Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008
From top to bottom:
Left to right: Hon. Christopher J. Armstrong (ret.) accepts the Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award and Lee J. Gartenberg of the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Dept. in North Billerica, was awarded the MBA Gold Medal Award, at the 2008 Annual Gala Dinner.
Left to right: MBA President Edward W. McIntrye, daughter Kate McIntyre, a solo practitioner in Quincy, and 2008 Gala Dinner Keynote Speaker Leonard L. Riskin.
Lee J. Gartenberg, Hon. Christopher J. Armstrong (ret.) honored at Gala Dinner
The Massachusetts Bar Association honored Lee J. Gartenberg and former Appeals Court Chief Justice Christopher J. Armstrong (ret.) with two of its top awards at its 2008 Gala Dinner last night. The annual dinner also featured a keynote speech on “Mindfulness in the Law” by Leonard L. Riskin, the Chesterfield Smith Professor of Law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.
Gartenberg, the director for Inmate Legal Services for the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office for more than 25 years and a longtime MBA leader, was awarded the MBA Gold Medal Award, which is given to individuals who have provided outstanding legal services benefiting the legal profession in Massachusetts.
Armstrong, the former chief justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, was awarded the Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award. It is given to Massachusetts judges at either the state or federal level who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and dedication to improving the administration of justice and upholding the highest traditions for public service.
In introducing Gartenberg, longtime friend and fellow MBA leader Peter T. Elikann said, “Lee Gartenberg is not just the heart and soul of the MBA — it’s its very core and center — he is the very heart and soul of the Massachusetts Bar itself.”
Gartenberg said he was humbled to receive the Gold Medal and praised the MBA for awarding it to someone practicing in the field of legal services.
“It is amazing how many people contributed to the important work done by this organization,” Gartenberg said. “Giving this award to someone like me says so much about the MBA.”
Appeals Court Justice Cynthia J. Cohen, in introducing Armstrong, said, “More than any other judge of the Appeals Court, Chief Justice Armstrong was responsible for shaping that court.”
Armstrong thanked the other Appeals Court justices he worked with and led, noting that they were the most overworked group of judges he had ever seen. “This was a band of true heroes, in my opinion.”
To serve as a judge at the creation of the Appeal Court, as well as steer it into respectability, he said, was “the pride of my professional life.”
In introducing Riskin, MBA President Edward W. McIntyre noted the profound effect that Riskin’s teachings had on him.
“I approached my practice differently,” McIntyre said.
Riskin, whose speech was cut short by a fire alarm at the John J. Moakley U.S. Courthouse in Boston, suggested that lawyers take a step back from their busy schedules to be more thoughtful in how they approach clients, opposing counsel and their own practices.
“Mindfulness is paying attention in a certain way,” Riskin explained.