Member Spotlight

Issue October 2008

Retired Chief Justice Armstrong joins REBA Dispute Resolution

Retired Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court Christopher
J. Armstrong
, has joined the panel of neutral mediators of REBA Dispute Resolution, an affiliate of the Real Estate Bar Association.

"We could not be more pleased that retired Judge Armstrong will join our growing program," said REBA/DR President Hon. Mel L. Greenberg (ret.). "His considerable experience on the appellate and trial court bench will be a great asset to our clients."

Armstrong was appointed to the Appeals Court as an associate justice in 1972 and served as chief justice from 2000 to 2006. He was instrumental in seeking and obtaining from the Legislature an expansion of the Appeals Court from 14 to 25 justices, eliminating a long-standing case backlog.


Catalano selected as Health Law Advocates Lawyer of the Month

Jeffrey N. Catalano, a partner at Todd & Weld LLP in Boston, was recently selected as Health Law Advocates’ Lawyer of the Month for his pro bono work on behalf of low-income, disabled and vulnerable children and individuals denied access to health care and services. He has served on the Health Law Advocates Pro Bono Legal Network since July of 2003.

Catalano is on the board of directors of HLA, a charitable, public interest law firm dedicated to health care justice. He will serve as co-chair of the Health Law Advocates 13th Annual Breakfast Benefit in November.

Three MBA members receive St. Thomas More Award at Red Mass

Four members of the justice system, including three members of the Massachusetts Bar Association, were to be presented the St. Thomas More Award for dedicated service at the annual Red Mass on Sept. 28.

MBA members honored with the award are Judge Kevan J. Cunningham, presiding justice of Taunton District Court; attorney John F. Folan of Dartmouth; and attorney Richard McMahon, executive director of the New Center for Legal Advocacy in New Bedford.

Cunningham became first justice of Taunton District Court in February 1998. As presiding justice of that court, he serves as a trial judge and as its administrative head. He was appointed to the bench in 1996 as a district court associate justice.

Folan is a partner of Folan and McGlone PC in New Bedford. Folan has handled various litigation matters and trials in state and federal courts with an emphasis on civil litigation, including liability issues, civil rights violations and workers’ compensation. For 15 years, he has helped conduct the Trial Advocacy Workshop sponsored by MCLE Inc., and has served on the Hearing Committee for the Board of Bar Overseers.

McMahon has been executive director of the New Center for Legal Advocacy since January 1997. He is a member of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, Better Community Living Inc. of New Bedford, and several coalitions in Bristol County addressing homelessness, poverty and family issues.

The Red Mass is hosted each year by the Fall River diocese to recognize those who work to provide justice in the legal system and to acknowledge the service of members of the community with the St. Thomas More Award. Recipients were nominated for the award by a committee of judges, attorneys, court personnel and priests from across the diocese, headed by New Bedford attorney and MBA member Joseph P.

Soule appointed executive director of MetroWest Legal Services

MetroWest Legal Services, formerly South Middlesex Legal Services, recently appointed Betsy Soule as its new executive director. MetroWest Legal Services provides free legal services to the poor, elderly and other disenfranchised people across 36 towns throughout the Metro West region.

Soule’s appointment follows the December 2007 death of Nancy King, who was the longtime executive director of MetroWest Legal Services from 1979 through 2007. The MBA honored King with a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

Soule will be responsible for the strategic management of the agency and its day-to-day operations. She brings significant experience in advocacy work on behalf of low-income families to her new position.

"We believe that Betsy Soule is particularly well suited to succeed our late, great leader, Nancy King, and lead the agency into the future," says board President Jack Merrill. "The board is pleased that the long evaluative process that led us to Betsy Soule yielded such an outstanding new executive director. We are excited about what the future holds under her leadership."

For the past 20 years, Soule has worked as an elder law attorney and has led the benefits unit of South Middlesex Legal Services. In addition to being a faculty member for the Trial Skills training program at the Center for Legal Aid Education in Boston, she has taught as a visiting clinical supervisor at the Boston College Legal Assistance Bureau and given presentations on a variety of elder law topics. She currently serves as board chair of the Wayland Council on Aging and as board president of the Weston Friendly Society of the Performing Arts.