MBA makes a difference at WBZ

Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015
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Photo Credit: Jason Scally
Top: MBA members answer phone calls at the Ask A Lawyer event on Sept. 30. Bottom: MBA President Robert W. Harnais in-studio with Dan Rea for the "Nightside" program on WBZ News Radio 1030.

Massachusetts Bar Association members offered free legal advice to 113 Massachusetts residents through Ask A Lawyer on Thursday, Sept. 30. Ask A Lawyer is a call-in program presented jointly by the MBA and WBZ Call For Action, which, like the MBA's own monthly Dial-A-Lawyer program, provides a unique opportunity for Massachusetts residents to speak to a qualified lawyer anonymously at no charge.

Seven volunteer lawyers took phone calls on the Ask A Lawyer hotline from 7 to 9 p.m., answering questions on a range topics, with the highest number of calls involving real estate, family and probate law. Most of the calls came in from low- to moderate income residents of Suffolk and Middlesex Counties. Staff from the MBA and WBZ Call For Action also helped facilitate calls.

Thank you to the following MBA members who volunteered and answered calls during the Ask A Lawyer event:

  • Thomas J. Barbar, Deutsch, Williams, Brooks, DeRensis & Holland PC, Boston
  • Kwadwo Frimpong, Fidelity Investments, Boston
  • Daniel Occena, Occena Law, Revere
  • Samuel A. Segal, Law Offices of Samuel A. Segal, Boston
  • J. Daniel Silverman, J. Daniel Silverman, Attorney at Law, Wakefield
  • Richard A. Sugarman, Boston Medical Center, Boston
  • Paul F. Zerola, Zerola & Associates, P.C., Weston

MBA president guests on 'NightSide'

While Ask A Lawyer was going on, MBA President Robert W. Harnais appeared as a guest on WBZ News Radio's "NightSide with Dan Rea," from 8-9 p.m. In addition to speaking about his own background and what it meant to be the first Hispanic president of the MBA, Harnais lamented the loss of civility among the profession. He also spoke with Rea, a lawyer himself, about why people should engage lawyers when they have legal problems, rather than trying to go it alone.

Throughout the hour Harnais promoted the Ask A Lawyer program and the Massachusetts Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service. He also took several calls from listeners seeking advice on elder law and consumer law issues.

The MBA and WBZ Call for Action revived the Ask A Lawyer program last year. It had been a regular program from 1978 until 2005. WBZ Call For Action, in existence for 42 years, is a non-profit telephone information, referral and action service dedicated to resolving people's problems. A free service, it is a member of the national organization, Call For Action, Inc.