Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008
Image for Excellence in the Law
Photograph by Bethany Versoy
MBA President David W. White Jr. presents District Court Chief Justice Lynda M. Connolly with the Daniel F. Toomey Excellence in the Judiciary Award at the Feb. 5 Excellence in the Law Dinner.

Excellence in the Law honors profession’s finest

Excellence in the Law event celebrated the profession’s finest on Feb. 5 at the Westin Boston waterfront with more than 200 people in attendance

by Bill Archambeault

The annual ceremony, which is hosted by the MBA and the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, honored the 2008 recipients of the Daniel F. Toomey Excellence in the Judiciary Award and the Excellence in Journalism Award. Also recognized were the 10 Lawyers of the Year and five Diversity Heroes selected by Lawyers Weekly.

MBA President David W. White Jr., who presented the judiciary and journalism awards, was introduced by Lawyers Weekly Publisher David L. Yas, the evening’s moderator, as “a tremendous leader. What a tremendous example for lawyers.”

Recognizing the work of Chief Justice Connolly

District Court Chief Justice Lynda M. Connolly was honored with the Excellence in the Judiciary Award. In 2004, Connolly was appointed District Court chief justice, responsible for overseeing 62 district courts. She has overseen the implementation of time standards and a dramatic increase in clearance rates in the district courts — which she calls the “gateway to justice for the vast majority of people who use the court system.”

Cynthia Simison Ex in LawApplauding a commitment in covering legal news

Cynthia G. Simison (right), managing editor of The Republican and Sunday Republican in Springfield, received the Excellence in Legal Journalism Award. She coordinates the newspaper’s daily local news effort, oversees the weekly Plus Papers and participates in long-range planning for investigative and enterprise reporting projects.

The full list of honorees includes:

The Daniel F. Toomey Excellence in the Judiciary Award

Hon. Lynda M. Connolly

Chief Justice, District Court


Excellence in Legal Journalism Award

Cynthia G. Simison

Managing Editor, The Republican


  Lawyers Weekly’s Lawyers of the Year 2007   

  • Juliane Balliro, Wolf Block, Boston
  • Martha Coakley, Attorney General, Boston
  • Christine S. Collins, Bowditch & Dewey, Worcester
  • Nancy J. Kelly, Greater Boston Legal Services’ Immigration Unit, Boston
  • John Willshire-Carrera, Greater Boston Legal Services’ Immigration Unit, Boston
  • Peter B. Krupp, Lurie & Krupp, Boston
  • David E. Meier, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Boston
  • Michael E. Mone, Esdaile, Barrett & Esdaile, Boston
  • Carlene A. Pennell, Rubin & Rudman, Boston
  • Andrew H. Tarsy, Anti-Defamation League, Boston
  • John M. Thompson, Thompson & Thompson, Springfield

Lawyers Weekly’s Diversity Heroes

  • Harry T. Daniels, Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr LLP, Boston
  • Hon. Fernande R.V. Duffly, Associate Justice, Appeals Court
  • Mickey E. Harris, Law Offices of Mickey E. Harris, Springfield
  • Hon. Charles R. Johnson, Chief Justice, Boston Municipal Court
  • Bernadette Stark, Western Massachusetts Legal Services, Northampton
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