MBA honors Rep. Bradley, Mayor Walsh, Access to Justice awardees at MBA Annual Dinner

Thursday, May. 22, 2014
Article Picture
Top: (From left) MBA Secretary Christopher A. Kenney; MBA Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Healy; Legislator of the Year Awardee Rep. Garrett J. Bradley (D-Hingham); District Court Judge Heather Bradley; MBA President-elect Marsha V. Kazarosian; Keynote speaker Chris Matthews of MSNBC's "Hardball;" MBA Vice President Martha Rush O'Mara; MBA Vice President Christopher P. Sullivan; MBA President Douglas K. Sheff; MBA Treasurer Robert W. Harnais Second row Left: (From left) MBA Vice President Christopher P. Sullivan presents the MBA's Legislator of the Year Award to Rep. Garrett J. Bradley (D-Hingham) Right: (From left) MBA President Douglas K. Sheff honors Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh with the MBA's 2014 President's Award Third row Left: (From left) Access to Justice award honorees, including: Defender Award Honoree James B. Krasnoo; Prosecutor Award Honoree Lisa F. Edmonds; Pro Bono Publico Attorney Stephen J. Phillips; Legal Services Award Honoree Gerald D. Wall; Klein Hornig LLP's Teresa M. Santalucia, this year's Pro Bono Law Firm; Rising Star Award Honoree Jessica Berry Right: Chris Matthews, of MSNBC's "Hardball," delivers the 2014 MBA Annual Dinner keynote address Bottom: (From left) Jim Kennedy, counsel to the House of Representatives; Rep. Michael A. Costello (D-Newburyport); MBA Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Healy; Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo; Rep. Angelo J. Puppolo Jr. (D-Springfield)

From judges to top lawmakers, a who's who of the legal and political worlds turned out for the Massachusetts Bar Association's Annual Dinner on May 15 to applaud an array of distinguished recipients for their dedication to the law and community service.

Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's "Hardball," offered a sweeping keynote address, reminiscing about his years as an aide to House Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill and lamenting the hyper-partisanship of today's Washington.

Rep. Garrett J. Bradley (D-Hingham) was honored with the MBA's Legislator of the Year Award. Bradley was cited for his work fighting for funds to spur economic development projects in his district, as well as his work with the MBA on medical malpractice legislation.

Bradley also helped forge legislation in 2012 to control health care costs and has risen to a leadership position that "puts him in a direct path of every piece of legislation passed in the House," said Christopher P. Sullivan, the MBA's vice president.

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh received the MBA's 2014 President's Award. Walsh, a Boston native, was cited for his years of work with the organization on workplace safety issues as well as his long record as a legislator and now mayor promoting economic development, civil rights and marriage equality, among other important causes.

Walsh's commitment to workplace safety issues began decades ago when he joined a then-fledgling task force on the issue formed by the MBA.

"I can't think of any other profession that has made service such a central part of its mission," Walsh noted.

MBA president Douglas K. Sheff reflected on his time in office, which was dedicated as the "year-of-the-worker" and shaped by the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.

"[After the] two blasts that changed our lives, the MBA, as always, was there providing representation to victims and their families," said Sheff.

Citing his Working Families, Consumer Law and Access to Justice initiatives, he added: "The MBA took pride in the representation of the underrepresented."

Sheff, in turn, won praise from Marsha V. Kazarosian, the MBA's president-elect. "You are a tough act to follow," she said.

Five lawyers and one law firm were recognized with Access to Justice Awards for their dedication to working with the underrepresented and underprivileged:

  • Gerald D. Wall won the Legal Services Award for his decades of work providing legal help to immigrants at Greater Boston Legal Services.
  • Stephen J. Phillips won the Pro Publico Bono Award for his dedicated representation of more than 130 hospice patients at Baystate Visiting Nurse & Hospice.
  • The law firm of Klein Hornig LLP received the Pro Bono Award for Law Firms for many hours spent helping with local food banks and representing low-income tenants fighting eviction or foreclosure.
  • James B. Krasnoo, who won the Defender Award, began his career in the Attorney General's Office but decided to become a bar advocate after seeing firsthand the plight of defendants without adequate legal representation.
  • Lisa F. Edmonds won the Prosecutor Award for her work with juvenile offenders and domestic violence at the District Attorney's Office for the Cape and Islands.
  • Jessica Berry received the Rising Star Award for her work above and beyond the call of duty at the Children's Law Center.