Lawyers Journal

U.S. veteran profiles

In honor of Veterans Day, Lawyers Journal is including brief profiles of some of the Massachusetts lawyers who have served in the armed forces.

Kurt Kusiak

Partner, Sally & Fitch, Boston
Specialty: Corporate litigation
Service: U.S. Air Force, 1984-88 (the first two years in the U.S., the last two in Germany)
Comment: "It was a great way to see the world. I oversaw an office of 50 people when I was still in my twenties and helped negotiate contracts for everything from computer systems to weapons. Sitting across the table from corporate lawyers, it became apparent to me that if I was really going to compete with these guys, I needed to get a law degree."

Thomas Martin

Professor, Massachusetts School of Law, Andover; Principal at Mason & Martin LLP, Wellesley
Specialty: General practice with an emphasis on health care
Service: U.S. Navy, 1964-67; Vietnam 1965-66
Awards: Commendation ribbon for service in Vietnam
Comment: "I have no regrets. It was involuntary on my part - I was going to be drafted. I didn't know the U.S. was going to have a war. When I went to Vietnam as a naval officer instead of an infantryman, my prospects for returning safely were greatly enhanced. I was involved in a highly secret program to carry the war to North Vietnam with PT boats, acting as a planning, administration and personnel officer."

Isaac Mass

Intern, Appeals Unit of the District Attorney's Office, Northwestern District in Northampton. Passed the Vermont bar, Massachusetts Bar admission pending (Graduated Western New England University School of Law cum laude, May 2011)
Service: Massachusetts Army National Guard, sergeant, 1995-2003. Deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina 2001-02
Comment: "I joined the military a year out of high school. I joined to help pay for school. I served with some of the very best soldiers the service has seen. The military provides leadership training, attention to detail and self-discipline, some of the characteristics I think are essential for a new attorney."

James B. Re

Partner, Sally & Fitch, Boston
Specialty: General, civil litigation
Service: U.S. Army, 1966-68
Comment: "It was a great experience. It taught me self-discipline. I think everyone ought to get drafted when they are 19."

Francis T. Reynolds

Sole practitioner, Francis T. Reynolds, Attorney at Law, Lexington
Specialty: real estate and probate law
Service: U.S. Marine Corps, 1962-67
Comment: "The last 13 months of my service were spent in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot. After my active duty concluded, I served in both the Marine Corps Reserve and Army National Guard as a legal officer and helicopter pilot until 1986, at which time I retired. I consider my military service and my legal career to have been time well spent, with ample opportunities for challenges and achievements.
The legal and military professions have both earned my greatest respect in large part because of their common trait of service rather than self indulgence. My father, a World War II Navy flight surgeon, whose sentiments I share, greatly admired the lawyers and military personnel who played pivotal roles throughout history without compromising integrity.
I remember fondly my comrades in the military and in the practice of law and related activities at the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Foundation and the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation."

Gerald C. Rovner

Sole practitioner, Law Office of Gerald C. Rovner, Boston
Specialty: Family and employment-based immigration issues, as well as naturalization and consular processing
Service: U.S. Army Military Assistance Command Group, legal clerk, (effectively an acting judge advocate), in II Corps, Pleiku, Vietnam, the only attorney in the command of approximately 2,000 soldiers. Vietnam, 1968-69
Awards: Bronze Star
Comment: "Being the only attorney in a corps, I was able to effectively render some legal assistance to both the personnel of the corps as well as the commanding general. It gave me some training in management and in dealing with people and problems."

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