Member Spotlight

Issue October 2007

Tax attorney Ponda appointed to American Law Institute, named to “40 Under 40”

Ameek Ashok Ponda, a partner and co-director of the Sullivan & Worcester LLP’s tax department, recently was elected to membership in the American Law Institute and selected as one of the Boston Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” for 2007.

Membership in the American Law Institute is a distinct professional honor as only 3,000 lawyers nationwide are selected to be part of this group.

The Boston Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list highlights 40 professionals under the age of 40 who are considered part of the next generation of business leaders and innovators in terms of both their business success and community contributions.

Ponda has published several articles in leading tax journals, two of which precipitated changes in thinking at the Treasury Department that culminated in changes to federal tax law. He is a longstanding member of The Indus Entrepreneurs, the South Asian Bar Association, the India Association of Greater Boston and the Pakistan Association of Greater Boston, and serves as an editor for the Peace and Democracy in South Asia Journal.

“It’s truly an honor to be selected as a member of the ALI and as part of the BBJ’s ‘40 Under 40’ list both in the same week,” said Ponda. “These professional recognitions stem from the warm support and mentoring that I have received over the years from family, friends, clients, and of course, my colleagues at Sullivan & Worcester. I am looking forward to contributing to ALI’s mission, and to remaining involved in the commercial and civic fabric of the Boston community.”

Conley taps Miller as new district court chief

Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel E. Conley recently announced the appointment of Assistant District Attorney Christina E. Miller as his new chief of District Courts and Community Prosecutions.
A lawyer since 1998 and a six-year veteran of the Suffolk DA’s office, Miller is a member of the MBA’s House of Delegates, serving on the Budget and Finance Committee and the Diversity Committee. She is a co-chair of both the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association and the Boston Bar Association’s Criminal Law Section.

A former Superior Court law clerk, Miller began her career as a prosecutor in the Essex County District Attorney’s Office and later moved to Norfolk County, where she prosecuted a wide variety of offenses in Quincy District Court. As Suffolk County’s district court chief, Miller will supervise the prosecutorial staff in Chelsea District Court and eight municipal courts throughout Boston, Miller’s duties as chief of community prosecutions will also make her the point person for prosecuting hate crimes and civil rights violations within Suffolk County.

“My goal is to ensure that the work done in our district courts makes a positive impact on our communities and their residents,” Miller said. “It’s an honor to serve the people of Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop by seeking justice on their behalf.” (Content and quotations courtesy of Charlestown Patriot-Bridge newspaper.)

Former Family Law Section Council chair and Norfolk County Judge Paula M. Carey appointed chief justice of Probate and Family Court

Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert A. Mulligan recently announced the appointment of Judge Paula M. Carey of Burlington as the new chief justice of the Probate and Family Court for a five-year term. Carey succeeds Chief Justice Sean M. Dunphy, who retired on Sept. 30, after 29 years of exemplary service. Dunphy has served with distinction as chief justice of the Probate and Family Court since 1997.

Carey has been a Probate and Family Court judge since her appointment to the bench in 2001. She currently sits in Norfolk County and serves as a member of the Child Support Guidelines Task Force. She said, “I look forward to working with my colleagues and the staff of the Probate and Family Court at a time when our court is undergoing great positive change with the introduction of time standards, Mass Courts and increased performance accountability measures. I am mindful of the challenges we face and am committed to providing leadership and accountability in ensuring access to justice in all of our courts.”

In 2006, she received the Daniel J. Toomey Excellence in Judiciary Award, and in 2004, the Probate and Family Court Division of the Massachusetts Judges Conference presented her with a Judicial Excellence Award.

In 1989, she co-founded the firm Carey and Mooney PC, a family law practice. While in private practice, she chaired the Family Law Section of the Massachusetts Bar Association and served on the Family Law Steering Committee of the Boston Bar Association.

Carey graduated magna cum laude from the New England School of Law.

Robinson & Cole partner appointed vice chair of FDCC’s Insurance Coverage Section

Robinson & Cole Trial & Appellate Advocacy Partner Barbara A. O’Donnell was recently elected as a vice chair of the Insurance Coverage Section of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel. The FDCC’s membership consists of experienced defense counsel in private practice as well as corporate general counsel and senior level insurance claims executives.

O’Donnell is a partner in the firm’s Boston office and has more than 15 years of experience in matters of insurance coverage, insurance bad faith, insurance agent/broker liability, employment and professional liability law.

Seven MBA members named “Up & Coming Lawyers” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly; Judicial Administration Section Chair Kathy Jo Cook inducted into Hall of Fame

For the 11th year in a row, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly highlighted 15 Massachusetts lawyers who have been members of the bar for 10 years or less but have already distinguished themselves and appear poised for even greater accomplishments.

Congratulations to the following MBA members who were recognized by Lawyers Weekly: Michael R. Costa, vice president and general counsel, American Renal Associates, Beverly; Antonio E. Dos Santos, associate, Robinson Donovan, Springfield; Robert H. Fennessy, solo practitioner, Walpole; Damon P. Hart, partner, Holland & Knight, Boston; Christina E. Miller, chief of district courts and community prosecutions, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office; John R. Pitfield, partner, Choate, Hall & Stewart, Boston; and Thomas E. Workman Jr., Law Offices of Thomas E. Workman Jr., Taunton.

The newspaper also inducted attorney Kathy Jo Cook into the “Up & Coming Lawyers” Hall of Fame. In 1999, she was named by Lawyers Weekly as one of the top five “up and coming” attorneys in Massachusetts and is the third member of the Hall of Fame. Cook has chaired the MBA’s Judicial Administration Section for two years in a row and is the president-elect of the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts. Cook practices at Keches & Mallen PC in Taunton, where she focuses on personal injury, medical malpractice, construction site accidents, insurance bad faith and professional liability.

Holland & Knight named one of best law firms for women

Holland & Knight LLP was honored recently as one of the best law firms for women by Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers LLC, a national consulting firm advising attorneys and legal employers on work-life balance and the retention and advancement of women.

A new initiative, Best Law Firms for Women honors 50 law firms for their commitment to the retention and advancement of female talent. Other firms with Boston offices that were honored include Bingham McCutchen and Mintz Levin.

“Since its founding, Working Mother magazine has been the champion of progressive, women-friendly changes in the workplace,” said Working Mother Media CEO Carol Evans. “Every year we see substantive advances in companies’ policies across the country, and we are so excited to be able to pair with Flex-Time Lawyers to celebrate change in a field that has historically struggled to support women and their life choices. I commend Holland & Knight for taking the lead for women lawyers.”

“We are delighted to celebrate Holland & Knight for its efforts and successes in retaining and promoting women,” said Deborah Epstein Henry, founder and president of Flex-Time Lawyers LLC. “We hope its standing on the list of Best Law Firms for Women will further inspire Holland & Knight to use the national benchmarking data now available to it through participation in this initiative to improve the status of women in the profession and raise the bar on what makes a best law firm for women,” added Henry.

“We are honored to be recognized by Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers LLC for our commitment to our women lawyers,” said Holland & Knight Managing Partner Howell W. Melton Jr. “We are proud of our Women’s Initiative and Rising Stars program, as well as our Balanced Work Life Plan, which is available to all lawyers at our firm. It is important to us that our attorneys have options which allow them the time to combine successful careers with successful parenting.”

The complete list of the 2007 Working Mother & Flex-Time Lawyers Best Law Firms for Women can be found in the August/September issue of Working Mother magazine and online at and Holland & Knight provided detailed information on the issues that are most important to the retention and promotion of women lawyers in six measured areas: workforce profile, benefits and compensation, parental leave, childcare, flexibility, and retention and advancement of women.