Economy, divorce calls dominate Western Mass. DAL

Issue July/August 2009 By Jennifer Rosinski

Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, Springfield

John F. Burke Jr., Morrison & Mahoney LLP, Springfield

Alfred P. Chamberland, Law Office of Alfred P. Chamberland, Easthampton

Elizabeth N. Clarke, South Deerfield

Colleen C. Curri, Colleen A. Currie Attorney at Law, Northampton

Justin Howard Dion, Bacon Wilson PC, Springfield

Mary K. Eaton, Eaton & Rescia LLP, East Longmeadow

Zoe Falken, Zoe Falken, Esq., Holyoke

Michele Feinstein, Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin PC, Springfield

Terry M. Ford, Law Office of Frank R. Saia, Springfield

Ellen Weiss Freyman, Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin PC, Springfield

John E. Garber, Weinberg & Garber PC, Northampton

Claudette-Jean Girard, Monson

Joshua P. Grey, Health New England, Springfield

Elizabeth D. Katz, Ostrander Law Office, Northampton

Mary Jo Kennedy, Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas LLP, Springfield

Roger P. Lipton, Green, Miles, Lipton, White & Fitz-Gibbon, Northampton

Carolyn L. McCaffrey, Frank P. Fitzgerald PC, East Longmeadow

Amy J. Megliola, Siddall & Siddall PC, Springfield

Susan A. Mielnikowski, Cooley Shrair PC, Springfield


Kelly B. Neubauer, Jackson & Torrone, Holyoke

Thomas D. O'Connor Jr., Springfield

Mark J. Pasquariello, Adams

Christopher D. Reavey, Franklin/Hampshire Juvenile Court, Hadley

Timothy A. Reilly, Law Office of Timothy A. Reilly, Springfield

Kara A. Rescia, Eaton & Rescia LLP, East Longmeadow

Katherine A. Robertson, Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas LLP, Springfield

Daniel Mark Rothschild, Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas LLP, Springfield

Robert T. Santaniello, Santaniello & Santaniello LLC, Springfield

Denise M. Shear, Ostrander Law Office, Northampton

Michael Siddall, Siddall & Siddall PC, Springfield

Diana Sorrentini-Velez, Cooley Shrair PC, Springfield

Eileen Z. Sorrentino, Eileen Z. Sorrentino Collaborative, Chicopee

Stanley A. Szlachetka, Fratar, Kern & Kelly LLP, Chicopee

Peggy Ann Torello, Attorney at Law, Greenfield

Christina M. Turgeon, Law Offices of Christina M. Turgeon, Springfield

Jeffrey S. Weisser, Connor, Sandman & Weisser, Agawam

More than 30 volunteer lawyers from the MBA answered 443 calls over four hours from residents of Western Massachusetts during the semiannual Dial-A-Lawyer program held at Western New England College School of Law on
May 20.

Attorneys answered questions on a wide range of legal concerns, with family, probate and real estate law being the most popular inquiries. Many of the calls were related to the current economic downturn. The number of callers asking about bankruptcy, foreclosure and divorce nearly doubled, according to attorneys who typically handle those calls.

"This is the first time where it's been non-stop all divorce," said Diana Sorrentini-Velez, who practices family law at Cooley Shrair PC in Springfield. "In my experience, divorce tends to follow the market."

Now in its 15th year, the Western Massachusetts DAL provides free legal advice to residents of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties. The service is provided as a public service of the MBA.

"The phones literally ring off the hook," said Christina M. Turgeon, who operates her own bankruptcy law practice in Springfield. "There are a good number of calls where a lawyer is not needed, they just don't know where to go."

Of the 443 calls, more than 200 were answered on the spot. The other callers were referred to agencies, organizations or attorneys who can help further.

The MBA's Dial-A-Lawyer program is co-sponsored by Western New England College School of Law, The Republican, El Pueblo Latino and the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys.

The MBA thanks the following attorneys who participated in the May 20 program: