Symposium showcases perspectives on mandatory arbitration

Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016
Article Picture
Top left: (From left) MBA Treasurer Christopher A. Kenney, who chairs the MBA’s Consumer Advocacy Task Force, and 2016 Pinnacle Award winner Anton’s Cleaners' COO Arthur C. Anton Jr. Top right: (From left) Polkadog Bakery's Deborah Suchman and Rob Van Sickle accept a 2016 MBA Pinnacle Award from MBA's Consumer Advocacy Task Force member Jaimeson E. Porter. Bottom: MBA President Jeffrey N. Catalano, pictured with program panelists and moderators, gave opening remarks at the Third Annual Consumer Advocacy Symposium on Dec. 6.

The Massachusetts Bar Association's Consumer Advocacy Task Force held its Third Annual Consumer Advocacy Symposium and Pinnacle Awards on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the MBA in Boston. Panelists from the Attorney General's Office, consumer organizations, private business and the dispute resolution field discussed "the future of mandatory arbitration," the theme for this year's event.

The panelists for the program were Max Weinstein, chief of the Consumer Protection Division in the Office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey; Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates; Daniel Moriarty, vice president and counsel for Kindred Healthcare; and Brian R. Jerome, founder and CEO of Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services and chair of the MBA's DR Section.

Each of the panelists offered his perspective on the topic of mandatory arbitration. Nursing home disputes, the future of pre-suit arbitration agreements, and the current state of Massachusetts law were some of the topics covered during the hour-and-a-half long discussion. The panelists also answered questions from moderators Christine Lee and Andrew Rainer, who are both members of the MBA's Consumer Advocacy Task Force, before taking questions from the audience.

At the conclusion of the panel discussion, MBA Consumer Advocacy Task Force members Jaimeson E. Porter and Jessica Kelly presented the 2016 MBA Pinnacle Awards to Anton's Cleaners and Polkadog Bakery. Each company was recognized for demonstrating "the highest commitment to their customers by taking affirmative steps to improve the consumer experience in Massachusetts."

MBA Treasurer Christopher A. Kenney, who chairs the MBA's Consumer Advocacy Task Force, said: "Anton's Cleaners has generated a loyal following through its customer-focused savings programs and services, including home delivery and free storage, while following environmentally responsible business practices and demonstrating a strong commitment to the community. Polkadog Bakery has made a name for itself as a leader in pet nutrition by educating consumers and offering high quality products with locally sourced ingredients -- all of which furthers its mission to support economic and social development in the Boston area. The Massachusetts Bar Association is proud to recognize both companies for their shared commitment to providing exceptional value to their customers in Massachusetts."

Special thanks to the members of the MBA's Consumer Advocacy Task Force for presenting this event:

  • Christopher A. Kenney (Chair), Kenney & Sams PC
  • Nadine Cohen, Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Thomas Delmar, Keches Law Group PC
  • Jessica G. Kelly, Sherin and Lodgen LLP
  • Sakib A. Khan, Kenney & Sams, P.C.
  • Christine Lee, Gesmer & Updegrove LLP
  • Adam C. Ponte, Fletcher Tilton PC
  • Jaimeson E. Porter, Kenney & Sams PC
  • Andrew Rainer, Brody, Hardoon, Perkins & Kesten, LLP

The task force would also like to thank the MBA's Complex Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution sections for co-sponsoring the event.