MBA President Campbell calls effort 'a clear indication
of how dire the circumstances have gotten'
As Massachusetts begins its state budget process for fiscal
2013, the Massachusetts Bar Association has launched a high profile
awareness campaign on the effects of underfunded courts. The
statewide effort is geared toward the commonwealth's general
Former Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, reflecting on her early
years as a citizen in South Africa, uses a metaphor to explain the
importance of the rule of law. "When you are breathing oxygen, you
don't notice it; when you cut off the supply, you will notice it
Professor "Mo" Cunningham, the renowned scholar and chairman of
the Political Science Department at the University of Massachusetts
Boston (and a former Suffolk County assistant district attorney),
paraphrasing President Abraham Lincoln's comments at a time when
the rule of law was crumbling, instructs us that "our political
religion must respect the law" and our judicial system or "society
will come crumbling down."
With dysfunctional courts, he warns, "we are going to reach that
point." And, serving as the apostle of the obvious, Cunningham
tells us that "there is a point where you just can't tighten your
belt any longer, we're at it right now."
For most of us, the American judicial system has been one of the
few constants throughout our lives. Courts and the judges who sit
in them have been models of stability, equipoise and scholarship.
When political leaders like Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus prohibited
African-American children from entering Central High School in
Little Rock or Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett and the trustees of
the University of Mississippi blocked James Meredith from
matriculating, our courts and judges righted those wrongs.
Advocate Harvey Silverglate on keeping institutions
At the age of 69, Harvey Silverglate has realized he can no longer
operate nonstop. Silverglate recently confided to his research
assistant that he now needs five hours of sleep each night instead
Needing little sleep seems to be a secret of some of the very
successful. Other members of this exclusive club include President
Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton and former British
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. But Silverglate, who admits that
he works too much, doesn't credit his success to his sleep habits,
but to his work ethic, which has taken Silverglate far.
A renowned attorney for more than 50 years, he is also a revered
author and a champion for the civil rights of college students, a
cause that led him to open a non-profit that focuses on the
A lively discussion on the practitioner's views of mandatory
minimum CLE and debate over draft legislation requiring mandatory
mediation prior to foreclosures were among the topics deliberated
at the Massachusetts Bar Association's Jan. 19 House of Delegates
meeting at UMass Medical School in Worcester.
MBA President Richard P. Campbell welcomed all to the medical
school, which he described as "a really interesting institution."
UMass Medical School Vice Chancellor James Leary provided remarks
and introduced a video that revealed the campus'