House of Delegates meeting features EMB candidates, Outstanding Young Lawyer

Thursday, May 19, 2022
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MBA President Thomas M. Bond presided over the May HOD meeting.

The Massachusetts Bar Association’s House of Delegates received the names of the candidates vying for seats on the MBA’s Executive Management Board for 2022-23 and honored the 2022 Outstanding Young Lawyer at the final HOD meeting of the association year, which was conducted over Zoom on Wednesday, May 19. 

MBA President Thomas M. Bond thanked everyone for their support, noting that the meeting was his last as president. He recapped the MBA’s accomplishments over the past year, including fruitful meetings with the heads of state court departments. Bond noted that the MBA has continued to support the courts by advocating for a judicial salary increase and amplifying the need for funding of the court’s IT Bond bill.

Bond then highlighted some MBA programs for their successful efforts this year, including the Tiered Community Mentoring Program (TCM), which held virtual events and nearly doubled the number of mentors from diverse communities. He thanked the Trial Court for providing paid internships to some of the TCM students this summer.

Turning to the MBA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEIC), Bond praised committee Co-chair Shayla Mombeleur for stepping up to lead the committee with Hon. Robert W. Harnais. Among its accomplishments, the DEIC conducted a successful program on voir dire in conjunction with the Trial Court and the Worcester County Bar Association and also developed a supplement to the judges’ training, which included an FAQ of scenarios involving transgender or non-binary court users.

Bond also noted that the MBA increased the diverse membership of its Leadership Academy class this year with his “three for free” program, where he encouraged affinity bars to submit candidates for the class. The 2021-22 class of Leadership Academy Fellows was honored at the May 12 Welcome Back Reception and also had a virtual graduation ceremony on Monday, May 16. (See related story.

Turning to new business, Bond introduced the ballot of candidates seeking a seat on the MBA’s Executive Management Board in 2022-23. The vote will be held electronically due to the pandemic, and HOD members were asked to email their ballots to MBA Director of Policy & Operations Lee Constantine by Friday, May 20, at 5 p.m. HOD members will select three members from the following eight candidates:

  • Shayla Mombeleur
  • Frank Morrissey
  • Lee Gartenberg
  • Hon. Bonnie MacLeod (ret.)
  • Paul Klehm
  • Stephen Chow
  • Marc Moccia
  • Lori Cianciulli
MBA President-elect Grace V.B. Garcia then gave her report and recapped the joint effort between the MBA’s Lawyer Well-Being Committee and the Supreme Judicial Court’s Committee on Lawyer Well-Being during Lawyer Well-Being Week, which was May 2-6. The MBA sent out daily emails with suggested activities and helpful information on areas of well-being.

Garcia, who will become president of the organization on Sept. 1, noted that she has been meeting with the MBA’s section councils and Young Lawyers Division, and noted the incredible work that they have accomplished this year, from putting together fantastic programming and proposing legislative changes to figuring out ways to network online and participating in charity events. She invited members who are interested in getting more involved with a section council or the YLD to reach out to her.

After the minutes from the March HOD meeting were approved, Bond introduced YLD Chair Michelle Byers, who introduced the winner of the MBA’s 2022 Outstanding Young Lawyer Award: Rebecca Amdemariam, who serves on the MBA’s Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council and is an attorney for the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), Children and Family Law Division. (See related story.)

Before the meeting concluded, several HOD members congratulated Bond for his successful year as president of the association. Many members echoed what Garcia had said earlier in the meeting, “The heart Tom brought to this position has made a real, positive impact on the MBA.”