Sen. Candaras, Rep. Fernandes lauded with MBA President's Awards

Issue November 2012 By Jennifer Rosinski

The Massachusetts Bar Association bestowed both State Sen. Gale D. Candaras (D-Wilbraham) and State Rep. John V. Fernandes (D-Milford) with the MBA President's Award, which honors local attorneys' service to the profession and their community. MBA President Robert L. Holloway Jr. presented the award at the Oct. 26 opening reception of the MBA's Annual Family Law Conference at the Cranwell Resort in Lenox.

Candaras and Fernandes were honored for their work as members of a legislative task force that wrote the alimony reform bill signed into law by Gov. Deval L. Patrick last fall. MBA Past President Denise Squillante also served on the task force.

"Senator Candaras and Representative Fernandes have proven themselves to be exemplary legislators whose skills as attorneys helped Massachusetts overhaul an antiquated alimony system," Holloway said at the reception. "The MBA applauds their far-reaching contributions to both the legal community and the citizens of Massachusetts."

The President's Award is given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the work of the MBA, to the preservation of MBA values, to the success of MBA initiatives and to the promotion of MBA leadership role within the legal community in Massachusetts.

Candaras has been a member of the Massachusetts Senate since 2007, and currently serves as chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies as well as vice chair of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. Previously, she was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives for nine years. A former member of the Wilbraham Board of Selectman, Candaras also sat on the town's Planning Board and Finance Committee. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree, magna cum laude, from Fairleigh Dickenson University and her law degree from Western New England College School of Law.

Fernandes has served on the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 2007, and is vice chair of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. He is a former member of Milford's Board of Selectman, Milford School Committee and Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School Committee. Fernandes currently sits on Milford's School Building Committee, Long Range Educational Planning Committee and Ad Hoc Duplex By-law Committee. A graduate of UMass Amherst, he earned his law degree from Suffolk University Law School.