Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, May. 26, 2011
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Keynote speaker Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer talks about the importance of the U.S. Constitution.

Retiring U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner accepts the MBA’s Hennessey Award from MBA President-elect Richard P. Campbell.

MBA Past President Leo V. Boyle (left) presents the MBA’s Gold Medal award to Foley Hoag’s Michael B. Keating (right).

The MBA honored the late Richard G. Mintz of Mintz Levin with a posthumous centennial award. R. Robert Popeo (left), chairman of Mintz Levin, accepts the centennial award on behalf of Mintz from MBA Vice President Douglas K. Sheff.

Photos by Christine Peterson.

Justice Breyer wishes MBA “happy birthday” at May 19 Centennial Ball

Judge Gertner, Keating and Mintz receive awards as part of centennial celebration

In his keynote speech at the Massachusetts Bar Association's Centennial Ball, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer celebrated the crucial role that lawyers plays in shaping laws, fighting for the judiciary and educating and mentoring students.

MBA President Denise Squillante welcomed an audience of nearly 1,000 people in the Sheraton Boston ballroom for the Centennial Ball. Breyer's keynote address on May 19 was the highlight of the two-day Centennial Conference.

"It isn't surprising to me that the Massachusetts Bar Association holds the position of respect that it does," he said. Looking back to the start of the MBA, Breyer noted, "This organization was founded by Holmes and Brandeis. And it was racially integrated from the start."

He rattled off a number of the association's historical responsibilities - including public service, defending the judiciary and nurturing students' civic knowledge - noting that a century later, it's "the same job, but tougher now."

Breyer said he was impressed by the turnout, saying that seeing so many lawyers turn out reflects well on the profession and the important work lawyers are called upon to do, particularly in terms of public service.

He ended on a rousing note in honor of the event's milestone: "The only five words I really want to say are 'happy birthday, Massachusetts Bar Association!'"

On the occasion of its 100th anniversary celebration, the MBA also honored a number of legal professionals for their contributions at this year's Centennial Ball. Awardees included:

  • MBA Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award
    U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner
  • MBA Gold Medal Award
    Attorney Michael B. Keating, Foley Hoag
  • Posthumous MBA Centennial Award
    The late Attorney Richard G. Mintz, Mintz Levin

Click here to view photos from the May 19 Centennial Ball and Reception.

Look in the June issue of Lawyers Journal for full coverage of the commemorative events.

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