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'
The first topic of the meeting, fittingly, was improving health
care quality as it relates to medical errors. "As a patient
advocate, I am always open to listening to means to address this
crisis," said MBA Vice President Jeffrey N. Catalano, who
specializes in medical malpractice. Dr. Alan Woodward, an emergency
physician, consultant and former president of the Massachusetts
Medical Society, presented a detailed PowerPoint presentation on
the subject of transforming medical liability and improving patient
safety in Massachusetts.
HOD voted to support in principle a report of the Foreclosure Task
Force presented by Robert Cannon, which outlined draft legislation
to create a mandatory mediation procedure prior to foreclosure on
residential properties in Massachusetts. The task force originally
presented the matter to HOD in November, but it was tabled. The
legislation calls for face-to-face mediation within 90 days, said
Cannon, who described the process as creating predictability.
Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts President Christopher
S. Pitt reported that REBA does not support the bill as drafted,
but does not oppose mediation in principle. MBA Civil Litigation
Section Chair Raymond P. Ausrotas said the section also does not
support the legislation as drafted.
A vote of approval by HOD was given to a resolution that grants
U.S. magistrate judges the power to conduct any and all proceedings
in a jury or non-jury civil matter in federal court and authorizes
the MBA to bring it before the American Bar Association at its
midyear meeting in February.
HOD voted unanimously to express opposition to provisions
contained in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2012
that concern detention, interrogation and prosecuted of suspected
terrorists. MBA member Michael Mone Jr., son of MBA Past President
Michael Mone, presented the matter to HOD. HOD also voted to bring
this matter before the ABA.
The MBA's Mandatory Minimum CLE Task Force, co-chaired by MBA Vice
President Marsha V. Kazarosian and Christopher A. Kenney, a region
10, Worcester County delegate, provided an overview of its report.
The seven-member task force, created in September, met with and
sought input from MBA members, affiliated bars, MCLE, the Board of
Bar Overseers and Minnesota Continuing legal Education. "The
message was Massachusetts lawyers are a very self-motivated group,"
Kazarosian said. "Many are not against CLE, just the mandatory
?aspect of it."
Catalano, who sits on the Supreme Judicial Court's Working Group
on Professionalism, said the SJC has discussed making CLE mandatory
for young lawyers, and that the scope may be broadened. Campbell
suggested the task force should now develop a plan that outlines
how mandatory CLE should operate in Massachusetts, so that the bar
is not blind-sided if it in fact becomes a true possibility.
MBA Treasurer Douglas K. Sheff gave a positive MBA financial
report, noting the MBA is operating with a profit in the first
quarter of its fiscal year, new members have increased 10 percent
over the same time period last year and CLE has grossed more than
anticipated, in part due to the success of the MUPC series.
Catalano informed HOD that he is now forming a committee to decide
how to distribute funds collected for the Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Scholarship, which was created with money raised above the amount
needed for last year's Centennial Celebration
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Vice Chancellor Leary addresses MBA delegates
On hand to provide welcome remarks to MBA's HOD at its Jan. 19
meeting was UMass Medical School Vice Chancellor James B. Leary,
Esq. (see Viewpoint, page 3).
Leary explained that UMMS is approximately 40 years old and
founded with a dual mission -- to provide affordable, high-quality
medical education to Massachusetts residents, and increase the
number of primary care physicians practicing in underserved areas
of the state.
Today, UMMS is ranked eighth in primary care among the nation's
133 medical schools by U.S. News & World Report; and
it is 17th in affordability out of the 133 (measured by total cost
of tuition, fees and health insurance), according to the
Association of American Medical Colleges.
"We are by far the most affordable medical school in the
Northeast," said Leary, who also noted UMMS' ranking of 31 for
competitively awarded National Institutes of Health research
In addition, Leary reported that only 4 percent of the UMMS budget
comes from a state appropriation with the other 96 percent derived
primarily from revenues from entrepreneurial ventures, such as
Commonwealth Medicine, Mass Biologics Labs, grant funded research,
and licensing fees.
For more information on UMass Medical School, visit www.umassmed.edu.
Next HOD meeting at UMass
The MBA HOD will meet next on March 22 at UMass Lowell.
UMass Lowell is a comprehensive, national research university. The
campus offers its 15,000 students bachelor's, master's and doctoral
degrees in engineering, education, fine arts, health and
environment, humanities, liberal arts, management, sciences and
UMass Lowell delivers educational programs, hands-on learning and
personal attention from faculty and staff. UMass Lowell enjoys its
ranking from U.S. News & World Report as a top 200 research
university. Also, Forbes ranks the university as one of the top 650
Of the more than 75,000 living alumni, nearly 44,000 are
Massachusetts residents. One such alumnus is the current
chancellor, Martin Meehan. Meehan is the second chancellor of UMass
Lowell and the 14th leader of its predecessor schools founded in