2013–14 Officers

Douglas K. Sheff

Douglas K. Sheff


Firm: Senior partner at Sheff Law in Boston

Education: B.A., University of Michigan, 1980; J.D., Boston College Law School, 1984

Legal Career: Sheff is nationally renowned in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death, construction site and brain injury litigation. He has received numerous honors for his achievements as a litigator and an advocate. Sheff was honored with the inaugural Excellence in Advocacy Award from the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys (MATA) for his representation of children and adults who have suffered traumatic brain injury, and he has received the ORT Award for integrity in the law. Sheff is a recipient of the Next Generation Award from the American Association for Justice (AAJ) and a seven-time recipient of its Wiedeman Wysocki Award. In addition, Sheff is a Boston magazine "Super Lawyer," and has been recognized in Lifesavers, for preventing injury through aggressive representation of victims of defective products.

MBA Service: Sheff served as MBA president-elect from 2012-13 and two terms as MBA vice president. He is also a member of the MBA's Executive Management Board and Budget & Finance Committee. In addition, Sheff served as MBA secretary in 2008-09 and as chair of the MBA Civil Litigation Section from 2005 to 2006. Sheff is chair and founder of the MBA Workplace Safety Task Force, and has also served as a chair of the MBA Membership Committee and co-chair of the MBA Centennial Conference Committee.

Additional Service: Sheff is the first attorney in Massachusetts to serve as president of the MBA and the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys (MATA), and as governor of the AAJ and trustee of the AAJ's National College of Advocacy. Sheff served on MATA's board of governors for more than 20 years. He was honored with MATA's inaugural Excellence in Advocacy Award for his representation of children and adults who have suffered traumatic brain injury. Elected by his national peers, Sheff is a past chair of the AAJ's State Delegates and served as chair of its Council of Presidents, representing 50,000 attorneys nationwide. An executive committee member of the National Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, member of Trial Lawyers for Public Justice and lifetime fellow of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation (the philanthropic partner of the MBA), Sheff is also a member of the Academy of Catastrophic Injury Attorneys and a director of the Belli Society, a group recognized for innovative trial techniques.

Additional Information: Sheff lives in the North End neighborhood of Boston.

Marsha V. Kazarosian

Marsha V. Kazarosian


Firm: Managing partner of Kazarosian Costello & O'Donnell LLP in Haverhill

Education: B.A., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1978; J.D., Suffolk University Law School, 1982

Legal Career: Kazarosian concentrates in civil rights litigation, family law and discrimination law. Long active in bar associations across the state, Kazarosian is a past president of the Essex County Bar Association and the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys. An accomplished trial lawyer, she was recently nominated as Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly's Top Women in Law. Kazarosian was named one of the top 10 lawyers in the state in 1999 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly after successfully suing the Haverhill Golf and Country Club for gender discrimination. Super Lawyers magazine has identified Kazarosian as one of the top woman lawyers in Massachusetts and New England since 2006, when it chose Kazarosian for its cover story titled, "The Power of Marsha Kazarosian."

MBA Service: Kazarosian has served as MBA vice president, treasurer and secretary. She was elected as an MBA delegate to the American Bar Association and has served on numerous committees and councils, including the MBA's Executive Management Board, House of Delegates and the Joint Bar Committee on Judicial Nominations. She was co-chair of the MBA Centennial Conference committee and chair of both the MBA's Education Committee and the Technology Implementation Task Force. In addition, Kazarosian is a life fellow and trustee of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the MBA.

Additional Service: Kazarosian has been appointed to the Supreme Judicial Court's Access to Justice Commission Committee on the Bar Examination. She also served a two-year term as one of 25 lawyers in the commonwealth appointed to the SJC's Pro Bono Panel and a six-year term as a Hearings Committee Officer for the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers. Kazarosian is a Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education trustee. Kazarosian teaches continuing legal education for attorneys and is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell. In 2005, Kazarosian debuted as the host of her own internet radio program on the Legal Talk Network, in which she discusses relevant legal issues. Active in the North Shore Community, Kazarosian is a corporator of the Pentucket Five Cents Savings Bank and was a member of the Essex County 150th Anniversary Committee. She has also served as a board member of the Northern Essex Community College Foundation.

Additional information: Kazarosian lives in Haverhill and is admitted to practice law in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Robert W. Harnais

Robert W. Harnais


Firm: Harnais Law Office in Quincy

Education: B.A., University of Massachusetts, Boston, 1984; J.D., New England Law | Boston, 1989

Legal Career: A general practitioner, Harnais concentrates on criminal law, family law, real estate, labor and consumer law. A member of the Norfolk County Bar Association, Harnais has served as a member of the Race and Ethnic Advisory Board for the Massachusetts courts and the American Planning Board.

MBA Service: A past MBA secretary and vice president, Harnais has volunteered his service to the association for many years. The chair of the MBA's Diversity Task Force, Harnais has sat on the MBA's governing body -- House of Delegates -- since 2006 and has been a member of the MBA's Executive Management Board. Harnais has also served as co-chair of the MBA Task Force on Diversity.

Additional Service: Harnais is a past president of both the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys and the National Hispanic Bar Association, and remains highly involved with both organizations.

Additional information: Harnais is a resident of Braintree.

Martha Rush O'Mara

Martha Rush O'Mara

Vice President

Firm: Law Office of Martha Rush O'Mara in Melrose

Education: B.S., Salem State College, 1974; J.D., New England Law | Boston, 1990

Legal Career: Rush O'Mara focuses her practice in children's law. A former president of the Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers, Rush O'Mara previously served two terms on the Massachusetts Interest on Lawyers Trust Account Committee (IOLTA), as well as two terms as a Hearing Officer for the Board of Bar Overseers.

MBA Service: Rush O'Mara served as MBA secretary from 2012-13. A co-chair of the MBA's Membership Committee, Rush O'Mara sits on the Executive Management Board, as well as the MBA's Governance Committee. Rush O'Mara is also a former co-chair of the MBA's Juvenile & Child Welfare Law Section. In addition, she serves as an MBA designee on the board of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC), where she served a two-year-term as chair of the board.

Additional Service: Rush O'Mara serves as a judge for the MBA's annual Mock Trial Program and has served as a mock trial judge at Brandeis University and for the ABA's National Appellate Advocacy Competition. Rush O'Mara devotes a significant amount of time to her volunteer work in the Massachusetts legal community, supporting pro bono projects and mentoring law school students and recent graduates.

Additional information: Rush O'Mara lives in Melrose.

Christopher P. Sullivan

Christopher P. Sullivan

Vice President

Firm: Partner at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP in Boston

Education: B.A., College of the Holy Cross, 1971, J.D., Fordham University Law School, 1975

Legal Career: Sullivan focuses on the civil jury trials of complex litigation matters, such as financial and securities cases and intellectual property. As an accomplished trial lawyer, Sullivan has been named a New England "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyers magazine every year since 2004. Additionally, Sullivan is currently an Executive Board Member of the Holy Cross Lawyers Association and is New England Chapter Vice President of the Fordham University Law School Alumni.

MBA Service: Sullivan is a co-chair of the MBA's Membership Committee, and has served as an MBA member-at-large of the House of Delegates and as a member of the MBA's Executive Management Board. Sullivan also sat on the MBA's Civil Litigation Section Council and served as tri-chair of the Federal Practices and Procedures Committee.

Additional Service: Sullivan served as president of the Massachusetts chapter of the Federal Bar Association (2010-11) and is currently the FBA's vice president for the First Circuit. He has also served as an instructor at National Institute of Trial Advocacy programs.

Additional information: Sullivan is a resident of Hingham.

Christopher A. Kenney

Christopher A. Kenney


Firm: Kenney & Sams PC in Boston

Education: B.A., College of the Holy Cross, 1987; J.D., Boston University School of Law, 1990

Legal Career: A founding member and managing shareholder of Kenney & Sams PC, Kenney has tried cases before every level of the state and federal trial court system in Massachusetts, and has served as an appellate advocate before the Massachusetts Appellate Division, Massachusetts Appeals Court, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association named Kenney the 2012 "Massachusetts Defense Lawyer of the Year." Boston magazine ranked Kenney as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Massachusetts and Kenney was named a "Super Lawyer" in the areas of business litigation and civil litigation defense, a designation limited to the top 5 percent of attorneys in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Kenney was also selected for inclusion in every edition of The Best Lawyers in America since 2009.

MBA Service: Kenney joins MBA leadership following many years of volunteer service. He is the chair of the MBA's Consumer Advocacy Committee and a member of the MBA's Executive Management Board, Membership Committee and has served in the association's House of Delegates. Kenney is also a former chair of the MBA's Civil Litigation Section.

Additional Service: Kenney is a former president of the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association, former president of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and former co-president of the Boston Inn of Court. Kenney has served as adjunct faculty at Boston University School of Law and frequently writes and lectures for business groups, trade associations and bar associations. Boston University School of Law honored Kenney in 2012 with the Silver Shingle Award for outstanding service to the school. Kenney served as president of the Boston University School of Law Alumni Association in 2010-11.

Additional information: Kenney is a resident of Sudbury.

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