Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, May. 15, 2008
Image for HOD
Photograph by Bill McCormack
MBA President David W. White Jr. (left) passes the gavel to President-elect Edward W. McIntyre at the May 14 House of Delegates meeting. McIntyre will officially begin his presidency on Sept. 1, 2008.

Wednesday’s HOD meeting highlights ceremonial passing of the gavel, creation of two new sections

House approves Immigration Law, Juvenile & Child Welfare Sections

MBA President David W. White Jr. swiftly led the MBA House of Delegates through a full agenda on May 14 at the Salem Waterfront Hotel. Wednesday’s meeting marked the fifth and final meeting of the House until the new association year begins in September.

The first vote of the meeting resulted in unanimous approval for the creation of the Juvenile and Child Welfare Section. A consistent vote of approval followed for the Immigration Law Section. Prior to Wednesday’s votes, the Juvenile Practice Group existed under the Criminal Justice Section and the Immigration Law Committee was not incorporated into any of the association’s existing sections.

Kathy Jo Cook, chair of the Judicial Administration Section, then called for a vote to expand the pilot program on Massachusetts Rule of Professional Conduct 3.5 (d) into criminal cases. The House previously approved the section to launch the program with civil cases, but Cook called on the delegates to “modify that house action to incorporate the criminal side of things.” Delegates approved that modification.

The lengthiest portion of the meeting surrounded the Public Law Section’s bid to have delegates endorse in principle “much needed reform legislation” regarding the Open Meeting Law. Robert L. Quinan Jr., co-chair of the section, explained that the law needed to be updated since its inception in 1975 in order to keep up with modern technology and to address more timely factors surrounding the law. Ultimately, the House approved a twice-amended endorsement.

Peter McDermott, co-chair of the Business Law Section, quickly received a house vote to support the resolution to amend the Business Corporation Act to permit businesses to consider the environmental and social impact of corporate action. White added to McDermott’s plea, explaining that the MBA’s Energy and Environmental Task Force—responsible for orchestrating the popular MBA Eco-Challenge—brought this to the attention of the Business Law Section.

Following the votes and informational reports, White then led the ceremonial passing of the gavel to his successor Edward W. McIntyre. Upon accepting the passed gavel, McIntyre provided words of tribute to White’s productive year. He summarized White’s year as a “dogged endeavor.” McIntyre touched on the many accomplishments of White’s tenure, most notably his criminal sentencing initiatives, the hugely successful Lawyers Eco-Challenge and an unprecedented sell-out crowd at the November Gala Dinner. “David consistently encourages the bar and bench to reach higher,” McIntyre said.

White returned to the podium to close the last business meeting of the House for this association year and gave some final thanks and reflective remarks. “Thanks to all of you for making such good news for the MBA, our clients and the law,” concluded White.

Delegates retired to a closing reception, at which four law firms were honored for their unique implementation of the Green Guidelines developed by the MBA Energy and Environment Task Force as part of the Eco Challenge launched in January 2008. Look for more information on the firms honored in next week’s issue of Lawyers e-Journal.

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