The Massachusetts Bar Association honored five attorneys and one
law firm at the Access to Justice Awards Luncheon on May 18 at the
Boston Sheraton Hotel for their efforts in providing exemplary
legal services to the public. The luncheon was held on the first
day of the Centennial Conference.
"It is the dedication of today's honorees to the public, the
profession and the rule of law that exemplifies the MBA's founding
principles and rich tradition of service," MBA President Denise
Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray delivered the keynote address and was
honored with an MBA Centennial Award, which has been and will
continue to be bestowed across the state throughout the MBA's
100th anniversary commemoration.
"Access to justice must be universal," said Murray, who spoke out
in favor of keeping the state's current judicial vetting system.
"Our judicial system touches everyone in our commonwealth."
Murray congratulated the MBA on its anniversary and presented
Squillante with a citation from Gov. Deval Patrick recognizing the
association's 100 years of service.
Legal Services Award
Linda L. Landry of the Disability Law Center and Daniel S.
Manning of Greater Boston Legal Services were both honored with the
Legal Services Award.
Landry has spent her career committed to people with disabilities,
beginning with her days at Neighborhood Legal Services in Lynn,
before joining the Disability Law Center 20 years ago. She is
manager of the SSI Coalition, an association of legal services and
private attorneys that supports people with disabilities.
"I'm very honored, but the truth is, civil service work is not
done in a vacuum," said Landry, who thanked her colleagues and the
private attorneys she has worked with. "I can't believe I'm getting
an award for something I love doing."
Manning has committed more than 35 years to legal services. He has
worked with the Boston Center for Independent Living to secure
medical services at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and
Woman's Hospital, among others, for those with physical
disabilities. Manning played a key role in securing a settlement
and changes to MBTA facilities and practices on behalf of
individuals with disabilities.
"The work I have been able to do is very rewarding," Manning said.
"My clients are people of great courage and
Pro Bono Award for Law Firms
The Law Offices of Howard Friedman in Boston was honored with
the Pro Bono Award for Law Firms because of its pro bono commitment
to access to justice for people in need. The firm, including top
civil rights attorney Howard Friedman and associate David Milton,
has successfully represented minorities, those of little means, and
prisoners who have been victims of illegal strip searches, inhumane
holding conditions and other police misconduct.
"Cases that effect a change in practices are the most satisfying,"
said Friedman, who urged attorneys at firms of all sizes to try
civil rights work.
Pro Bono Publico Award
Eleanor J. Newhoff, a Cambridge attorney, was honored with the
Pro Bono Publico Award for her commitment to the immigrant
community for more than 30 years. In 2007, Newhoff put her private
practice on hold and represented more than 70 clients around the
clock on a limited part-time salary after a raid in New
"The collaboration in the pro bono effort was really essential. If
we don't have the collaboration, you have a far weaker situation,"
said Newhoff, who described the pro bono bar as an essential part
of the immigrant community.
Radha Natarajan, of the Committee for Public Counsel Services in
Somerville, was honored with the Defender Award. She has made a
lasting contribution through her expertise on cross-racial
eyewitness identification. Natarajan is vice chair of the MBA's
Criminal Justice Section Council and a member of the Commission to
Study Inmate Fees.
"I am so incredible proud to be a public defender. I'm proud to
fight for my clients," said Natarajan, who described the award as a
"promise of what I hope to achieve in my career."
Katharine B. Folger of the Middlesex District Attorney's Office
in Woburn was honored with the Prosecutor Award. She maintains her
own caseload, and as chief of the Child Abuse Unit, supervises 20
in a department that reviews more than 1,000 investigations each
year into child sexual and physical abuse, deaths and child
pornography. She was instrumental in launching the state's first
online child abuse mandated reporter training.
"I am routinely asked how is it that you deal with what you see
and hear every day," Folger said. It is the hope of the children
and the families who have been victims of crimes that help her
through it, she said. "It also has something to do with the
talented, dedicated, caring and compassionate people I have the
pleasure of working with."