Civil Litigation Newsletter

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Note from the chair

Greetings! Spring is here, and with that comes renewal and the bloom of projects long in planning. The MBA's Civil Litigation Section Council has been very busy throughout the winter, and we are excited for the spring events that are on the horizon.

Below are some of the highlights of recent events, and a preview of others to come.

We had a very successful section council meeting on April 6 at the MBA where former Attorney General Tom Reilly was the featured guest speaker. Reilly spoke about his experiences as Middlesex County District Attorney, as Massachusetts Attorney General, and more recently in private practice at Cooley Manion Jones LLP. It was very interesting, and we thank him for his time and inspiring public service.

The CL Section Council has a newly formed Federal Practice and Procedure Committee that is tri-chaired by Chris Sullivan, Nancy Frankel Pelletier and Frank Morrissey. They kick-off meeting was held on March 22. The first planned event will be a CLE program in Worcester focusing on the differences between state and federal practice. The program will concentrate on the distinct and unique aspects of federal practice and procedure, highlighting how it differs from practice in Massachusetts state courts. The MBA Young Lawyers Division and the Worcester County Bar Association will help design and co-sponsor the program. The committee also hopes to present this program in Springfield, Boston and Southeastern Massachusetts.  In addition to the federal/state practice differences program, the committee is discussing a "Meet the Clerks" program at all of the Federal Courthouses in Massachusetts. Watch for the date for their spring "open house" meeting. Any suggestions for other programs or events for the Federal Practice Committee are welcome.

Ray Ausrotas, vice chair of the CL Section Council, held a CLE Roundtable Series with Dr. Daniel Dugan of Trial Science.  The topic of "Storytelling" was held on March 22, and the topic of "Scientific Trial Preparation" was held on March 23. Both of these programs are available via MBA On Demand if you could not make it to the MBA, 20 West St., Boston for these very interesting and worthwhile events.

On May 4 the CL Section Council will hold its monthly meeting in Western Massachusetts at the U.S.D.C. in Springfield and it will be co-sponsored by the Federal Bar Association. I am excited to inform you that Judge Michael A. Ponsor and Judge Kenneth P. Neiman have agreed to join us at this meeting and provide an overview of practice and procedure in the federal court in Western Massachusetts.  We are currently checking with the judges to see if they will permit us to hold a networking reception following the meeting.

The Construction Law Committee will host the following webinars and seminar:

  1. "Signs of a Troubled Project"
  2. "Traps for the Unwary in Standard Construction Documents"
  3. "Public Construction Update"

Watch for further updates on the time/dates for these exciting events.

Section Council member Holly Polglase has been working with MBA Program Attorney Michele Himes and Katherine Hesse from the ADR Committee to plan a seminar on Mediation Advocacy Tips, Tactics and Techniques to be held later in the Spring. Again, watch for the date/time to be announced.

CL Section Council members Paul White and Marianne LeBlanc will hold a CLE program on Advanced Deposition Techniques. This program will be on Tuesday, May 10 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston. It will cover deposition fundamentals, but also feature advanced strategic considerations for achieving "game changing" case developments through mediation planning and execution.

Ken Rubinstein and Joan DiCola of the Tax Section Council will hold a seminar on tax implications for settlements and judgments and for Medicare and Medicaid liens. Click here for more information.

This is an exciting time of year. With your assistance and participation, we hope to keep up the energy and enthusiasm that have been building. We continue to encourage you to participate in all that the section has to offer.

Chris Kenney, chair
Civil Litigation Section

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