NLADA honors DeFranco with Beacon of Justice
The Law Office of Marisa DeFranco in Salem was honored with a
2010 Beacon of Justice Award by the National Legal Aid &
Defender Association (NLADA). The award recognizes law firms
nationwide that have provided significant pro bono representation
in the area of immigration law. There were 34 recipients this
Marisa A. DeFranco, who chairs the Massachusetts Bar Association's
Immigration Law Section, has been a member of the American
Immigration Lawyers Association since 1998, where she served as a
director on the National Board of Governors and as president of the
New England chapter in 2005-06.
She is also a member of the Women's Bar Association and previously
served as a pro bono attorney for Cambridge Legal Services and
Jayne Tyrrell, executive director of the Massachusetts Interest On
Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA), nominated DeFranco for the
"I, along with the review committee, was genuinely moved by the
investment of time and legal representation that Marisa provided on
a variety of immigration issues to protect vulnerable clients,"
Tyrrell said. "It was important to have NLADA acknowledge the depth
and importance of her work with the legal community."
Winners were honored at the NLADA Exemplar Awards Dinner on Oct. 6
at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C., where the Justice
John Paul Stevens Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to the
Hon. John Paul Stevens, who retired as an associate justice of the
U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year.
NLADA, founded in 1911, is the country's oldest and largest
nonprofit association of individual legal professionals and legal
organizations devoted to the delivery of legal services to the
U.S. ADA Leoney appointed district court judge
Antoinette E. M. Leoney, an assistant U.S. attorney for
Massachusetts, has been appointed an associate justice of the
Gov. Deval Patrick nominated Leoney, who was working out of the
U.S. Attorney's Office's Major Crimes Unit. Previously, she was
deputy chief legal counsel to Gov. Michael Dukakis.
A Fellow of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, Leoney was
responsible for prosecuting complex violent crime and white-collar
felony cases and handling appellate and post-conviction matters.
She also worked in the U.S. Attorney's Office's Anti-Terrorism Unit
Before joining the U.S. Attorney's Office in 1994, Leoney was a
senior litigation associate with McKenzie & Edwards PC, where
she handled cases involving employment discrimination and sexual
harassment, commercial and debt collection, and lead paint and
She also served as director of the Office of Government Regulation
& Compliance at Brandeis University, as an assistant attorney
general for Massachusetts in the Public Protection Bureau, Consumer
Protection Division, and served as an assistant divisional counsel
with the Massachusetts Department of Social Services.
Leoney served as: president of the Women's Bar Association for
1999-2000 and president of the Women's Bar Foundation for
2002-03; an at-large delegate on the MBA's House of Delegates
from 1998-2001; a member of the Massachusetts Trial Court's Gender
Equality Advisory Board from 1999-2002: and a member of the
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's Commission to Study Racial
and Ethnic Bias in the Courts.
She is a trustee of Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, an
elected board member of the New England School of Law Alumni
Association, and an active member of the National Black Prosecutors
Association, Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys Association and
Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association.
Leoney received her B.A. from Lesley College and her J.D. from New
England School of Law. She was admitted to the Massachusetts state
and federal bars in 1985.
Fabbri honored with MDLA Prosecutor of Year Award
Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Michael Fabbri was named
one of this year's recipients of the William C. O'Malley Prosecutor
of the Year Award by the Massachusetts District Attorneys
Association at its Annual Prosecutors Conference on June 16. Fabbri
is chair of the Massachusetts Bar Association's Criminal Justice
The career achievement award acknowledges recipients' exceptional
courtroom skills, empathetic consideration for victims, mentoring
young prosecutors and professionalism.
"Michael Fabbri is an outstanding lawyer and a most valuable asset
to the excellent team of prosecutors we have at the Middlesex
District Attorney's Office," Middlesex District Attorney Gerry
Leone said. "Michael's distinguished career in public service and
at the MDAO has helped ensure the safety of the people of Middlesex
County. He is an advocate for victims and their families, with a
sincerely personal stake in protecting and prosecuting on their
behalf. We truly appreciate the MDAA for recognizing Michael's
dedication and passion as a progressive minded public servant and
Fabbri currently serves as chief of the Framingham Regional
Office, where he has worked for nearly 23 years. His prosecution
resume includes the successful 2008 conviction of Neil Entwistle,
who was found guilty in 2008 of two
counts of first degree murder for the shooting deaths of his wife
and their baby daughter.
Most recently, Fabbri was an assistant prosecutor in the
first-degree murder conviction of John Odgren, who was found guilty
in April for the stabbing death of his classmate at Lincoln-Sudbury
A 1983 graduate of Northeastern University School of Law, Fabbri
has also worked at the Office of the Attorney General as an
assistant attorney general and deputy chief of the Medicaid Fraud