On Demand Program

Representing and Respecting Transgender and Non-binary Clients and People in the Courts


Date Aired: Thursday, April 15, 2021
Runtime: 2:00h

Program Code:


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Please join the Massachusetts Bar Association's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and Judicial Administration Section Council for a webinar that will help legal practitioners better interact with and advocate for those who identify as non-binary or transgender.

Defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges, civil litigators and court staff will gain key skills that are necessary when working with people who are transgender or non-binary. Whether you are representing a client, putting a witness on the stand, conducting a jury voir dire, or just speaking to someone during a court proceeding, negotiation or other court event, it is important to be familiar with basic terminology and concepts related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

The discussion will be moderated by Shayla Mombeleur, Esq. and led by Connor Barusch, Esq. Barusch (he/they) is a transgender public defender and public defender trainer in Massachusetts, where he has a decade of experience representing clients as a public defender and frequently consults with other public defenders in Massachusetts and throughout the country about working with trans and non-binary clients and witnesses. Barusch has also worked as a trans activist and trainer since 2003.

The program will familiarize attorneys with:

  • Basic terminology and concepts relating to sexual orientation and gender identity
  • How to ask people what name and pronouns they would like to use in various situations  
  • Common barriers faced by trans and non-binary people in the court system
    Some actions that can be taken with all clients or litigants in order to signal support of transgender/non-binary people with whom they may not know they are interacting

This session was hosted using Zoom.


Shayla Mombeleur, Esq., Program Co-Chair & Moderator
MBA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, CPCS, Boston
Denise Murphy, Esq., Program Co-chair
MBA President, Rubin and Rudman LLP, Boston
Thomas Bond, Esq., Program Co-chair
MBA President-elect, The Kaplan/Bond Group, Boston
Connor Barusch, Esq., Discussion Leader
CPCS-Mental Health Panel, Boston
Hon. Paula Carey, Panelist
Chief Justice, Massachusetts Trial Court, Boston
Hon. Judith Fabricant, Panelist
Chief Justice, Massachusetts Superior Court, Boston
Hon. Shannon Frison, Panelist
Worcester County Superior Court, Worcester
Hon. Mark Mason, Panelist
Mason Mediation LLC, Springfield
Jennifer Levi, Esq., Panelist
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Western New England University Law School, Springfield

Sponsoring Sections:

Judicial Administration Section

NOTE: This is a previously recorded MBA On Demand product.
When you register, you will receive a link via email to the previously recorded MBA On Demand program and its ePublication. Your member profile will also contain a permanent link to the MBA On Demand version of the program.

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