Lawyers Journal

Member Spotlight

MBA President-elect Squillante honored

MBA President-elect Denise Squillante, a Fall River native, was honored with the John S. Brayton Jr. Memorial Community Service Award by the Fall River Chamber of Commerce on June 17.

Squillante was one of eight to receive the award - named for a member of one of Fall River's pioneer families - during a banquet at the Venus de Milo restaurant in Swansea. The chamber selected Squillante for the honor because of her strong commitment to the community, much like Brayton, who championed the strengths of Southeastern Massachusetts and helped lead tourism on the waterfront.

A solo practitioner, Squillante established her practice of nearly 30 years in Fall River. She concentrates in family law, corporate law, injury and estates, and also provides business and legal consulting services to corporations.

A former president of the Fall River Bar Association, Squillante is currently vice president of the New England Bar Association and a member of the Bristol County Bar Association Executive Board.

Highly involved with efforts to address domestic violence in Fall River, Squillante is a former member of the board of directors at the Katie Brown Educational Program, YMCA-Fall River and Domestic Violence Task Force. In addition, she is a former visiting lecturer at Bridgewater State College and Bristol Community College.

CPCS Chief Counsel Leahy to retire July 30

William J. Leahy, who served as chief counsel for the Committee for Public Council Services for more than 19 years, is set to retire at the end of July.

Leahy had announced his decision to retire in November to allow for his replacement to be chosen and to work on the transition. Anthony Benedetti, who has been CPCS general counsel since 1998, will take over as chief counsel on Aug. 2. The chief counsel is responsible for day-to-day operations of CPCS.

Leahy, who worked as a public defender for almost 36 years, emphasized in his announcement to CPCS staff that he would not be a lame-duck, but would continue fighting for adequate funding to help represent clients.

"… We should be very proud that we have worked together so skillfully to ensure that every indigent client in every case receives the effective assistance of counsel, not some pale pretense," Leahy wrote.

"The continuation of this magnificent accomplishment - and when I say continuation, I do mean to include its continuous improvement - is our greatest challenge, a challenge I have no doubt we will fulfill."

Chief Justices Connolly, Pierce honored by BBA

The Boston Bar Association honored Chief Justice Lynda M. Connolly of the Massachusetts District Court and Chief Justice Steven D. Pierce of the Housing Court with Citations of Distinguished Judicial Excellence at the BBA's Law Day Dinner on May 25 at the Westin Copley Place.

"Chief Justice Connolly and Chief Justice Pierce have distinguished themselves as leaders of their respective courts, dealing with the most immediate and pressing legal needs of our fellow citizens, but also as leaders in the effort to help the Trial Court Department determine how best to deliver justice when faced with a severe fiscal crisis," said BBA President Jack Regan.

Two years ago, Connolly and Pierce were asked to serve as co-chairs of the Trial Court's Fiscal Task Force. Their assignment was to analyze court operations and make recommendations about how the seven Departments of the Trial Court could make adjustments to live within the budget provided by the Legislature while still providing access to justice.

Leading an interdepartmental group of Trial Court leaders for nearly two years, Connolly and Pierce have steered a system-wide effort to reduce expenses and improve efficiency in response to the fiscal crisis.

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