Lawyers Journal

Community Services: Dial-A-Lawyer, Veterans Training, Mock Trial

Western Mass. Dial-A-Lawyer seeks volunteers

The Massachusetts Bar Association’s Western Mass Dial-A-Lawyer program is currently seeking volunteers from Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden Counties to volunteer for a two-hour shift on Wednesday, May 20 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Volunteers take calls from the public answering basic legal questions at the semi-annual Dial-A-Lawyer program being held at the Western New England College School of Law. The work is extremely rewarding, and it is also great fun. Please contact either Christine Baronas at (413) 731-5134 in the MBA’s Springfield office or Stephanie Calderon at (617) 338-0563 in the MBA’s Boston office for more information.

April 1 Dial-A-Lawyer answers 122 calls

On April 1, Massachusetts Bar Association members answered 122 calls from the general public as part of the Dial-A-Lawyer program. This program has been in existence since 1991 and has helped thousands of people by giving them the opportunity to speak to an attorney via the telephone free of charge.

The April 1 program was co-sponsored by the Labor & Employment and the Family Law Sections. In addition to 13 MBA member volunteers, a total of seven section members staffed the Dial-A-Lawyer phones at the MBA’s Boston office. If you are looking for an opportunity to volunteer and assist people who are in need or you are having a problem finding the time to volunteer because of your busy schedule and other commitments, the Dial-A-Lawyer program may be the best volunteer program for your schedule and interests.

The MBA is seeking attorney volunteers to staff the phones for our monthly Dial-A-Lawyer program on the first Wednesday of every month, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This is just a two-hour commitment, once a month, answering basic legal questions from the public on the telephone. We need your help. To volunteer, call (617) 338-0556 or e-mail [e-mail lrs].

Veterans training May 29: “Representing Clients Before the Department of Veterans Affairs”

Join nationally known veterans law expert Michael Taub, director of the Veterans Project at the Homeless Advocacy Project in Philadelphia for this session, and you will leave with a clear understanding of VA benefit programs and substantive law, as well as practical tips for navigating VA procedures. This program, Friday May 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Massachusetts Bar Association offices in Boston, will cover the structure and organization of the VA, details of the claims procedure, including initial claims, claims to reopen old claims and rating increases at the regional offices. General eligibility requirements will be updated, as will rights to appeal, the process for securing disability compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation and pensions. Attorneys must be accredited by the VA to attend this training.

Attorneys representing claimants for veterans benefits must be accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs and must satisfy the CLE requirements contained in the May 2008 final rules. Applications for accreditation as a claims agent or attorney (VA Form 21a) or as a service organization representative (VA Form 21) are available online at The applications are relatively short and simple and the approval process generally takes approximately 30 days. The VA’s regulations require completion of qualifying CLE during the first 12-month period following the date of initial accreditation by the VA to satisfy the requirements of 38 C.F.R. § 14.629(b). Therefore, attorneys must be accredited by the VA prior to attending this training in order to use this training to satisfy the VA’s CLE requirement. This 3.0 hour CLE program satisfies the requirements of 38 C.F.R. § 14.629(b)(iii) and has been approved by the Maryland State Bar Association for 3.0 hours of MCLE credit.

This program is free for any MBA member who agrees to take one pro bono veterans benefits matter during 2009-10. MBA members making this commitment will also receive the 2008 LexisNexis Veterans Benefits Manual and Federal Veterans Laws, Rules and Regulations at no charge. MBA members may register for the course for $160, non-members for $250.

To register for this training, call MBA Member Services at (617) 338-0530 or e-mail [e-mail membership] or visit

The MBA’s Veterans Programming is provided as a public service of the MBA with the financial support of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation.

The Massachusetts Bar Association and the Mock Trial Committee thank the judges and attorneys who participated in the 2009 High School Mock Trial Program. Now in its 24th year, the program was again a success due to their dedication:

Hon. Peter W. Agnes Jr., Worcester
Hon. Patrick F. Brady, Boston
Hon. John D. Casey, Salem
Hon. Linda E. Giles, Boston
Hon. William P. Hadley, Longmeadow
Hon. John T. Lu, Boston
Hon. Barbara S. Pearson, Lowell
Hon. John F. St. Cyr, Dedham
Hon. Howard J. Whitehead, Boston
Alan H. Aaron, Framingham
Anthony E. Abeln, Boston
Astrid Humble Afklinteberg, Salem
Dorothy Anderson, Boston
Susan G. Anderson, Wellesley
Christine D. Anthony, Framingham
David G. Baker, Boston
Mary E. Bassett, Concord
Ilene B. Belinsky, Brockton
Anthony J. Benedetti, Boston
John Brenna Bjorlie, Gloucester
Jeremy R. Bombard, Waltham
Sheryl M. Bourbeau, Lowell
Alice B. Braunstein, Boston
James Breslauer, Lawrence
Michael D. Broderick, Lawrence
Mark S. Brodin, Newton
Rachel Elisa Brodin, Boston
Jenna Brownson, Lowell
Karen Buckley, Newton
John Burke, Weymouth
George B. Cannon, Springfield
Arthur J. Carakatsane, Middleton
Edward J. Casey, Attleboro
Daniel F. Cashman, Newton
Andre Cayo, Andover
Gabriel Cheong, Quincy
Claudine A. Cloutier, Taunton
Jeanne E. Condurelli, Methuen
Tracy M. Conlon, Beverly
Aaron E. Connor, Somerville
Leslie A. Curley, Pittsfield
Maryellen Cuthbert, Chelmsford
Daniel E. Dalton, Tewksbury
Michael F. Darche, Brockton
Adam S. Dash, Somerville
Christine G. DeBernardis, Portsmouth
Peter G. DeGelleke, Concord
Kevin P. DeMello, Taunton
Stephen B. Deutsch, Boston
Herbert C. Dike, Lawrence
Valeriano Diviacchi, Boston
Stephen M. Dodd, Norwell
Mark Edward Draper, Springfield
Richard A. Eustis, North Attleboro
Andrew A. Ferrer, Wellesley Hills
Gillian L. Fisher, Woburn
Mark H Freise, Southampton
David T. Gay, Taunton
George L. Goodridge III, Greenfield
Andrew St. Patrick Gordon, Boston
John Thomas Graff, Boston
William Gramer, Tewksbury
Pamela R. Green, North Adams
Richard Michael Green, North Grafton
Mitchell I. Greenwald, Pittsfield
Judy A. Groves, Boston
David Hallinan, Salem
Edward L. Hayden, Lynn
Albert G. Hayeck, Worcester
Deborah W. Hemdal, Shrewsbury
John L. Holgerson, Taunton
Nicholas C. Howie, Quincy
Roger E. Hughes Jr., Norwell
Thomas R. Hunt, Fall River
Stuart M. Hurowitz, Quincy
Barbara A. Intravaia, Salem
Ellen A. Jawitz, Newton Center
Robert L. Johnson, Quincy
Sharon V. Jones, Boston
Mary Jo Kennedy, Springfield
Ellen Kief, Boston
Michael F. Kilkelly, Malden
Jacob A. Labovitz, Boston
John J. Lalikos, Peabody
Duane P. Landreth, Orleans
Keith G. Langer, Wrentham
John F. Leahy Jr., Hingham
Mary K Lee, Somerville
Beth R. Levenson, Mansfield
Keith A. MacDonald, Rockland
Michael John MacKay, Hanover
Sharon B. Marchbanks, Dennis
Nancy Maule-McNally, Quincy
William B. McDiarmid, Boston
Kathryn E. McIntyre, Boston
Richard M. McLeod, Braintree
Jennifer Smith Miguel, Somerset
Chris A. Milne, Dover
John Olin Mitchell, Milton
Andrea Mobilia, Middleton
Paul W. Morenberg, Wellesley Hills
Richard C. Morrissey, Springfield
Timothy William Murphy, Leominster
Brendan P. Murray, Worcester
Paul S. Neustadt, Newton Center
Mark C. O’Connor, Boston
Paul P. O’Connor, Worcester
Wendy R. Olinsky, Methuen
Martha Rush O’Mara, Melrose
Steven P. Perlmutter, Boston
Christopher A. Perruzzi, Quincy
John O. Postl, Quincy
Andrew P. Quigley Jr., Hingham
Edward Rabinovitz, Boston
Dean Richlin, Boston
Stuart I. Rosnick, Salem
Anna Schleelein, Allston
J. Drew Segadelli, Falmouth
J. Michael Shanley, Marshfield
Geoffrey Spofford, Worcester
Janis M. Stanziani, Lynnfield
David Sullivan, Easthampton
Gregory V. Sullivan, Hingham
James V. Tabner, Concord
Michael Talty, Lowell
Phil A. Taylor, Stoneham
Christina M. Turgeon, Springfield
Benjamin Bray Tymann, Wenham
Thomas B. Vawter, Waban
Arvid von Taube, Boston
Jeffrey S. Weisser, Agawam
Brandon F. White, Boston
James B. Winston, Northampton
Jay M. Wolman, Boston
Amy Andronica Zuccarello, Boston

The statewide High School Mock Trial Program is administered by the Massachusetts Bar Association and made possible by the international law firm of Brown, Rudnick, Berlack & Israels LLP through its Center for Public Interest in Boston, which has contributed $25,000 every year since 1988. The 2009 Mock Trial state champion’s trip to the national competition in Atlanta is funded in part by a $2,500 travel grant from the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the MBA.

The MBA expresses its sincere gratitude to the members of the Mock Trial Committee, who spent countless hours developing this year’s case. It is their commitment to this program and to law-related education in Massachusetts that gives thousands of students this unique educational experience.

2009 Mock Trial Committee
Mary E. Bassett, Esq., chair

James H. Barnhill, Esq.
Denise Coffey
Richard Coffey
Jerry Howland, Esq.
Sharon V. Jones, Esq.
Beth R. Levenson, Esq.
Elliott M. Loew, Esq.
Joshua A. McGuire, Esq.
Tanya Perkins
Deborah L. Schreiber, Esq.
Eric Schutzbank, Esq.

In addition, the Trial Court of the Commonwealth is a true partner in this effort, providing both staff and space to make this program possible.

If you have general questions about the Mock Trial Program, contact the MBA Community Services Department at (617) 338-0570 or e-mail [e-mail mocktrial].


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