New MBA year and president Holloway celebrated at opening reception

Issue October 2012 By Jennifer Rosinski

A night of great music and warm revelry welcomed Massachusetts Bar Association President Robert L. Holloway Jr. as more than 100 colleagues and friends gathered at the Regattabar at the Charles Hotel on Sept. 13 in Cambridge to celebrate the opening of the 2012-13 association year.

Following a jazz and blues infused set from a band of musicians, including Grammy-nominated blues musician Duke Robillard. President-elect Douglas K. Sheff offered a retrospective introduction of the MBA's newest president, eliciting hearty laughter from the crowd.

Including photos from his time as a rugby player at Amherst College, Sheff regaled the group with vignettes from Holloway's life as a sportsman, musician, family man and lawyer. Family members, including Holloway's wife, Peg, watched from the sidelines. Clearly entertained by the photo of himself and his grandfather projected on the big screen, Holloway's two-year-old grandson Thomas grinned and clapped often.

"When Holmes and Brandeis started the MBA 101 years ago, they wanted to create a diverse membership," Sheff said. "So it makes sense that the president of our great organization should be well-rounded, versatile and able to lead such a diverse membership."

Sheff proclaimed Holloway a "tough guy," explaining that while playing rugby in college - when he "had more hair," Holloway was knocked out cold but insisted on finishing the game when he regained consciousness.

Holloway said he was humbled by Sheff's remarks. "As rare as it may be, I'm rendered virtually speechless," he said.

Always the self-effacing jokester, Holloway shared with the group that he learned something new about himself from reading a Lawyers Journal article with him as the focus. "I discovered I'm short," Holloway dead-panned. "When did that happen?"

The MBA's membership and education programming will be the central focus of Holloway's year, which he hopes will be a year of coming together. "We're all in this profession together. We're all in this society together," Holloway said. "That's what we're committed to,"  he said of the officers and himself, "working together to address the issues of our profession."