Mark A. Leahy
Attorney Mark A. Leahy has devoted countless hours to the
Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC) -- which went into effect
fully on March 31 -- from developing it to helping other
practitioners understand it.
Leahy, a partner at Whittum & Leahy in Hingham, where he
practices probate, trust and estate law, answered the call of both
the courts and the bar in the implementation of the MUPC.
He was reporter for the Joint MBA/BBA Committee on the Uniform
Probate Code; a draftsman of the MUPC; part of the Probate &
Family Court's Implementation Committee; and finally, one of the
key leaders in planning and implementing the recent five-part CLE
series "MUPC Demystified" for the Probate Law Section Council of
the Massachusetts Bar Association.
The idea for the MBA's five-part series came about when past
Probate Law Section Council Chair Janice Nigro (see related
spotlight below) and other council members talked about creating an
educational program on the new probate code, Leahy said. He had
already put several together, including for MCLE and Suffolk
University Law School, and was chosen to help lead the MBA
"Rather than repeat the same overview, we decided to go into the
major subjects in more depth than we could even in a whole day in
an overview. And we tried to give more practical, useful forms of
information than was provided by other CLEs," said Leahy.
Leahy and Nigro collaborated in planning the series, for which he
served as a panelist on four of the five seminars that ran from the
fall through February. The "MUPC Demystified" series is available
online through MBA On Demand at www.MassBar.org.
"Attorneys can get an insight to the new options which the code
offers probate administrators and estate planners, and also the new
internal procedures which the Probate and Family Court must
follow," he said.
And he isn't done yet. He will be a panelist on the estate
planning panel at the upcoming "MUPC Basics: An Overview of the New
Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code" seminar at the Massachusetts
School of Law in Andover on April 27.
Janice C. Nigro
For those who attended the Massachusetts Bar Association's
five-part "MUPC Demystified" CLE series, they have attorney Janice
C. Nigro and her colleagues to thank. Nigro not only helped
spearhead the popular series, she also served as a panelist on
three of the five seminars.
Nigro, a former MBA Probate Law Section Council chair, and
attorney Mark A. Leahy (see related spotlight above) worked
together to establish the topics for the important series in
advance of the upcoming implementation of the Massachusetts Uniform
Other colleagues helped with its organization and content. These
included Jennifer Rivera-Ulwick, Evelyn Patsos, Thomas Jalkut, John
Dugan, Edward Notis-McConarty, Michael Christy and the Hon. Anthony
"All helped bring the series to an unsurpassed level of
excellence," Nigro said.
The goal of the five-part series was to offer comprehensive
in-depth training on the new Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code
(MUPC). While other CLEs devoted an hour to cover the informal
probate proceedings, part one of the MBA series focused solely on
the topic for four hours.
"Because we knew the law changes would require sweeping changes
for practitioners, the series needed to be hands-on," Nigro
Those who were not able to attend the series in person can still
view it online through MBA On Demand by visiting
www.massbar.org/cle/mba-on-demand. Other educational offerings on
the topic of MUPC are also available through On Demand.
"Jan took the lead and I couldn't imagine any other member being
able to pull this together other than her," said MBA Senior Program
Manager Marc D'Antonio.
Nigro has long been involved in MBA CLE faculty and finds much
enjoyment in it. "I view my CLE work as a unique opportunity to
give back," said Nigro, who finds her CLE work and other bar
involvement intellectually stimulating.
"I'm always learning from other members, and appreciate their
insight and depth of knowledge," she said.
In addition to her work in CLE, Nigro volunteers her time through
the MBA's Elder Law Education Programs, and serves on the board of
The Angel Fund, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to
supporting ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) research.
A Northeastern University School of Law graduate, Nigro has been
practicing law for 26 years. She is a partner at Nigro, Pettepit
& Lucas in Wakefield, where she practices probate, trust,
estate and serious personal injury law.