Historic court reform legislation was signed into law, but two
other issues championed by the Massachusetts Bar Association were
left unresolved as a busy legislative summer ended.
As this issue went to press, alimony reform legislation was
awaiting action by the Legislature, having adopted technically
different versions. Also, tensions over the adequate funding of the
court system promised to remain a contentious issue into the fall.
The states top judges asked Patrick to stop appointing judges until
there was enough money allocated to support them. They also warned
of layoffs and released plans for closing courthouses, highlighting
the impact that substantial, ongoing budget cuts have had on the
Trial Court Department.
A few things surprised Kathi Sullivan about Richard P. Campbell,
whose term as Massachusetts Bar Association president began Sept.
1, when they met in early 2009. Sullivan's 17-year-old daughter,
Taylor Meyer, had drowned in two feet of water in a Norfolk swamp
after getting lost in the woods at an underage drinking party on
Oct. 17, 2008.
The Massachusetts Bar Association has launched a new
professional development program that is intended to benefit both
mentors and mentees. The MBA is currently looking for members at
all professional levels to form one group in each of the 14
Massachusetts counties, of eight to 12 persons each, to meet
quarterly beginning this month.
MBA Mentoring Circles will combine varying professional levels
together, providing all members, whether experience or recently
graduated, with the
resources they need to develop and improve
their management and leadership skills and grow within the
profession. The desired professional mix of an individual group
would include two to three senior level attorneys, one retired
judge or attorney, and five to eight attorneys who have practiced
for 10 years or less.
The American Bar Association honored the Massachusetts Bar
Association's Tiered Community Mentoring Program with the 2011 ABA
Partnership Award at an Aug. 5 awards luncheon in Toronto. The
program was selected because of its commitment to diversity.