e-Journal

02-07

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From top to bottom:
Trial Court Administrator Harry Spence.
MBA Vice President Christopher P. Sullivan debriefs the group on the progress of the Membership Committee.
MBA Treasurer Marsha V. Kazarosian provided her officer’s report and shared details on the progress of the Education Committee, to which she serves as co-chair.
MBA Chief Legal Counsel Martin W. Healy shares highlights of the legislative session.

Photos by Tricia Oliver.

Spence addresses MBA HOD, delegates revisit spousal elective share debate

Trial Court Administrator Harry Spence was the featured guest speaker at the Jan. 31 House of Delegates meeting. Spence detailed the areas of focus in his nine month tenure in this newly created position in the Trial Court Department.

Spence told the MBA delegates of his strongest impression since beginning his post -- he has encountered a highly competent and professional work staff  with "surprisingly more of an appetite for change" than he was anticipating.

Spence continues to make weekly visits to various courthouses throughout the state. These visits and a staff survey have provided his office with key anecdotal information, as well as data to help quantify and qualify staff perceptions. Spence reported the survey revealed that 30 percent of court staff was interested in aggressive change, 90 percent wanted change and 10 percent was comfortable with the status quo.

Spence indicated that the Trial Court will soon be reaching out to the MBA for advice and assistance in the preparation of its strategic plan, which the court expects to submit to the Supreme Judicial Court for approval in June.

Aside from Spence's remarks, the delegation also heard from the MBA Taxation Section. The section requested that the delegates rescind their vote taken in November to support in principle, the filing of legislation amending the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code to add provisions relative to spousal elective share. After vigorous debate with input from representatives from the tax, probate and other MBA sections, as well as members of the ad hoc committee who brought the issue to the floor at the November meeting, the delegates voted against rescinding their original vote in November on the legislation.

The group also voted to support in principle the resolution and report relative to the powers of federal bankruptcy judges and to advocate for passage by the American Bar Association. The delegation voted unanimously in favor of this.

The next meeting of the MBA House of Delegates will take place in March at the MBA. Full coverage of the Jan. 31 HOD meeting will be included in the March issue of Lawyers Journal.

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Western Massachusetts residents can receive free legal advice Feb. 11 through “Your Money Monday: Lawyers on the Line” presented by the MBA and ABC40

Residents of Western Massachusetts can receive free legal advice on Monday, Feb. 11 by participating in the "Your Money Monday: Lawyers on the Line" call-in segment presented jointly by the Massachusetts Bar Association and WGGB-TV, the station that broadcasts ABC 40 and Fox 6.

"The Massachusetts Bar Association is proud to team up with ABC40 and offer Western Massachusetts residents a chance to speak with an attorney about their legal concerns," MBA President Robert L. Holloway Jr. said. "As the country's economic struggles continue, the number of residents in need of legal help grows. We hope this program can help meet that need."

Western Massachusetts residents who have legal concerns or problems can reach volunteer lawyers from the MBA from 5 to 6: 30 p.m. on Feb. 11. The call-in program will run while ABC40 airs its evening newscast.

The Your Money Monday: Lawyers on the Line phone number is (413) 846-0240. Normal telephone charges will apply. The legal advice is provided at no charge as a public service.

While volunteer lawyers field calls, Keith A. Minoff, a leader at the MBA and an attorney with his own firm in Springfield, will discuss the MBA's public service programs, the MBA Lawyer Referral Service and MBA efforts to lobby for adequate funding for the state's court system.

ABC40/Fox6 is the Pioneer Valley's source for breaking news, weather, traffic and national information, 24/7, online and on the air. ABC40/Fox 6 is locally owned by Gormally Broadcasting LLC in Springfield.

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Feb. 14 Court Advocacy Day: Mark your calendars to attend

Bar leadership asks attorneys to push for $589 million of maintenance funding for Trial Court

The Massachusetts Bar Association and Boston Bar Association invite members of the bar to join in Court Advocacy Day on Thursday, Feb. 14 at the Grand Staircase inside the Statehouse. Beginning at 11 a.m., the program will help reiterate the need for funding that allows the Trial Court to meet the needs of Massachusetts residents who use the courts.

The event will open with a brief speaking program, after which attendees will be encouraged to meet with their local legislators. Featured speakers include:

  • Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland;
  • Trial Court Administrator Harry Spence;
  • MBA President Robert L. Holloway Jr.; and
  • BBA President James D. Smeallie.

In order for Massachusetts' third branch of government to maintain basic services, $589 million is necessary. Materials will serve as helpful references when members of the bar meet with their local legislators to underscore the need for this level of funding.

The MBA and BBA organized a similar grass-roots lobbying effort in 2012 and 2009.

Click here to R.S.V.P.

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New issue of Lawyers Journal available

The February issue of Lawyers Journal has been mailed and is available online.

Highlights include:

  • An overview of a recent informational meeting between the Massachusetts Bar Association, Boston Bar Association and Trial Court with Essex County legislators at the Salem District Court;
  • Viewpoint pieces on mandatory flu immunizations for health care workers; and
  • Information on the Labor & Employment meeting featuring Secretary Goldstein.

The February issue also features Section Review articles from the Juvenile & Child Welfare and Business Law sections.

Click here to read the February issue.

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Top: New life members of the MBF Society of Fellows (from left to right): Frank A. Smith III of Frank A. Smith III & Associates PC, Robert V. Ward Jr. of Kurnos Law, Judith Farris Bowman of Bowman, Moos, Elder & Noe, Administrative Office of the Probate and Family Court Judge Megan H. Christopher, J. Owen Todd of Todd & Weld, James E. McGuire of JAMS and Gerald P. Hendrick of Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP.

Bottom: MBF Officers (from left to right): President Jerry Cohen of Burns & Levinson LLP, Secretary Lawrence J. Farber of the Law Office of Lawrence J. Farber, Treasurer Janet F. Aserkoff of Rappaport, Aserkoff & Gelles and Vice President Robert J. Ambrogi of the Law Office of Robert J. Ambrogi.

Photos by Merrill Shea.

Mass. Bar Foundation elects officers and trustees

On Jan. 24, the fellows of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation gathered for their Annual Meeting at the Social Law Library in the John Adams Courthouse. Following the recommendations of the Nominating Committee chaired by Steven Wollman and including Francis Ford, Wendy Sibbison and Craig Stewart, the MBF Fellows unanimously elected the following:

Officers

  • President Jerry Cohen, Burns & Levinson LLP, Boston;
  • Vice President Robert J. Ambrogi, Law Office of Robert J. Ambrogi, Rockport;
  • Treasurer Janet F. Aserkoff, Rappaport, Aserkoff & Gelles, Boston; and
  • Secretary Lawrence J. Farber, Law Office of Lawrence J. Farber, Amherst.

Trustees

  • Frank J. Ciano, Law Office of Frank J. Ciano, Cambridge;
  • Lewis C. Eisenberg, Cosgrove, Eisenberg & Kiley PC, Quincy;
  • Hon. Andre A. Gelinas, Fitchburg;
  • Gerald P. Hendrick, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, Boston;
  • Dennis M. Lindgren, Pierce & Mandell PC, Boston;
  • Angela McConney Scheepers, Commonwealth of MA -- Division of Administrative Law Appeals, Boston; and
  • Andrew Rainer, Office of the Attorney General, Boston.

In addition to presenting the Great Friend of Justice Award to MBA Past President Leo V. Boyle of Meehan, Boyle, Black & Bogdanow PC, the MBF inducted 19 new life members into the MBF Society of Fellows, all of whom successfully completed generous pledges made to advance the MBF's mission of increasing access to justice.

In sharing his vision for the year ahead, MBF President Jerry Cohen reaffirmed the MBF's determination to preserve the structure and scope of legal services in the commonwealth. He urged outreach by the MBF fellows to identify new sources of "money, time, and compassion" to mitigate the effects of the drastic cuts in IOLTA and other funding sources for the foundation and its grantees. Cohen reminded all in attendance, "it's easy to become jaded when we hear of great need and the like, but it's not enough to say the need is great, we also have to say the cause is right."

For more information about the MBF, visit www.MassBarFoundation.org.

 

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Top (from left to right): Hon. Frank J. Bailey, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts, Boston; Hon. Melvin S. Hoffman, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Worcester; Hon. Joan N. Feeney, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts, Boston; Hon. Henry J. Boroff, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Springfield.

Bottom: Attorneys participate in the Feb. 4 Annual Western Massachusetts Bankruptcy Conference.

Photos by Patricia Olier.

Annual Western Mass. Bankruptcy Conference draws crowd

More than 60 members of the legal community participated in the Massachusetts Bar Association's 11th Annual Western Mass Bankruptcy conference on Monday, Feb. 4 at Western New England University School of Law. Conference faculty included four federal bankruptcy judges for the District of Massachusetts.

"The Western Massachusetts Bankruptcy Conference, now in its 11th year, has evolved into a premier vehicle for continuing legal education in bankruptcy law in the District of Massachusetts," said Hon. Henry J. Boroff of  the United States Bankruptcy Court in Springfield. "We are grateful for the involvement of the Massachusetts bankruptcy judges and the bankruptcy law and other practitioners who have devoted their time, attention and skills to this program over that time and for the support of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Western New England University School of Law and the western Massachusetts bar associations. The overwhelming success of the program is a great credit to each of them."

This year's conference focused on changes in the intersection of bankruptcy and family law, successful attorney/trustee interactions and issue, updates on new claims and new foreclosure law and comparing bankruptcy practice and procedure between Massachusetts and Connecticut.

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MBA seeks nominations for 2013-14 officer, delegate positions

Submit nominations to MBA by Friday, Feb. 22

The Massachusetts Bar Association is currently accepting nominations for officer and delegate positions for the 2013-14 membership year. Nominees must submit a letter of intent and a current resume to MBA Secretary Martha Rush O'Mara by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 to be eligible.

To submit a nomination, mail or hand deliver the information to:

Massachusetts Bar Association
Attn: Martha Rush O'Mara, MBA Secretary
20 West St., Boston, MA 02111

If you have any questions about the nomination process, call MBA Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Healy at (617) 988-4777.

To review the Nomination & Election procedures, click here.

 

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Connect, share and collaborate with fellow MBA members on My Bar Access

Participate in ongoing section discussions on the Animal Law Practice Group, the upcoming Immigration Law Section Networking Social, data security regulations and more.

The Massachusetts Bar Association has launched My Bar Access, which replaces the section/division portion of the MBA website. Visit http://access.massbar.org/ today to join the conversation.

Check out posts on:

  • Proposed Bill 374; and
  • Responding to Chapter 93a demand letters in product liability cases.

Participate in ongoing member group discussions, including:

  • A Civil Litigation post about its Animal Law Practice Group;
  • Information about the upcoming Immigration Law Section Networking Social on Feb. 13;
  • Practice tips from members of The Sole Practitioner & Small Firm about data security regulations; and
  • An opportunity for Young Lawyers Division members to volunteer at the Boston American Bar Association student moot court competition from Feb. 28 through March 2.

The following simple steps can instantly connect you with fellow members:

  1. Login and agree to terms: Sign in using your MBA user name and password and sign the Code of Conduct.
  2. Create your profile and settings: Include your bio and photo and customize the frequency and format of your notifications (your profile info from LinkedIn may be pulled over).
  3. Start connecting: Post blogs, discussions (listservs) or upload a resource library entry for your section(s).

Resource materials -- including "Getting Started on My Bar Access" and "How to Use My Bar Access" -- posted in various areas throughout the site, can help users with questions. Following a review of those resources, members who need further help should contact the My Bar Access Help Desk at [e-mail mybaraccess].

Click here to login now.

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Lawyers needed to judge ABA law student competition in Boston

The America Bar Association's Law Student Division needs 200 licensed attorneys to serve as moot court competition judges from Thursday, Feb. 28 through Saturday, March 2 at the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse, 24 New Chardon St. in Boston.

Click here for specific volunteer details.

Please select the Boston competition to sign-up to be an oral argument judge.

Join the MBA's Member-Get-A-Member campaign

Refer a colleague and be rewarded.

Member get a member graphicJoin in the Massachusetts Bar Association's Member-Get-a-Member campaign. As a current member, you are the greatest testimony to the value of an MBA membership and we ask for your participation in recruiting at least one new member this association year.     

Take this opportunity to help expand the MBA's network of legal professionals statewide and strengthen our association's preeminent voice in the legal profession. Share your personal and professional MBA experiences and why you belong to the MBA with a colleague and be rewarded. See why others belong.

For every new member you recruit, you will be entered into our raffle for the following prizes:

  • Grand prize: $500 AMEX gift card
  • Second prize: $250 AMEX gift card
  • Third prize: $100 AMEX gift card

To be eligible, you must be identified as the source of the referral on the membership application.

To learn about the program, visit www.massbar.org/membergetmember
for guidelines and rules.

 

LPM Tip

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The warm call: Using social networking connections to break the ice of cold calls and introductions

Successful attorneys build and cultivate their professional networks, in order to acquire mentors, generate referrals and access other resources for their professional development. However, it's not easy to strike up professional relationships with persons you have never met, and know little to nothing about. Bar associations, like the Massachusetts Bar Association, remain an excellent place to meet other attorneys and related professionals; but, how many times have you hovered around the outskirts of conversations, not knowing what to say to get in. Neither does anyone like cold calling, traditionally the marginalized work of telemarketers who seem only to want to interrupt your dinner.

Wouldn't it be easier if you had a better idea about the people you wanted to talk to, if you knew a little bit about what their interests might be? Wouldn't it be great if you could identify mutual friends? Before internet accessibility, gathering this type of information was a daunting prospect; but now, with just a few clicks, you can find what you need to get in . . . LinkedIn, that is.

When you're logged into LinkedIn and access someone's profile, you can find out which connections you share (either at the 'Connections' box, or in the sidebar). If you're going to be calling someone you'd like to build a professional relationship with, how much more powerful is it to run down a list of mutual connections? (Of course, I didn't think of this all by myself. I received a call based on these signals from a financial advisor out of Southborough, Vince Domestico. Seems Vince went to elementary school with a good friend of mine.) If you've got existing connections with whom you'd like to create a stronger, or offline, relationship, you'll have much more material to work with. Review your target's recent status updates, so you'll have some idea of where their current interests lie; parlay that knowledge into a conversation that you know will be relevant to your contact. You may be able to access your first order contact's full connections list, such that you can potentially spin off other professional relationships, from there. If there is someone they know that you'd like to get to know, ask for an introduction. If you want to connect with someone you don't know on LinkedIn, the connection invitation screen will list information you both share, including that related to schooling, work, group memberships, etc. Use that information craft an invitation to connect. Once you've connected online, solidify that connection, by making a phone call, or arranging to meet.

And, it's not just LinkedIn, where you can leverage your online business connections for real-life results. Facebook profiles will show you mutual friends you share with certain users, as well as those users' full friends lists. You'll see status updates, too, if they haven't been blocked. Google+ profiles will show you the users you and your connection have circled in common. You'll also be able to see whom the user has circled, and who has circled the user. While Twitter does not list mutual connections, you will be able to glean useful information from profiles, including that respecting followers and followees, lists and favorite tweets.

For more tips on getting the most out of social media, check out the American Bar Association's, '. . . in One Hour' book series, which features titles covering LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Tip courtesy of Jared Correia, Law Office Management Assistance Program.

Published February 7, 2013

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To learn more about the Law Practice Management Section, which is complimentary for all MBA members, contact LPM Section Chair Thomas J. Barbar or Vice Chair Cynthia E. MacCausland.
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News from the courts

Proposed amendments to Rule 412; Separate and Secure Waiting Area Task Force releases implementation progress report; SJC approves new jury commissioner regulations

Proposed amendments to Rule 412 of the supplemental rules of the Probate and Family Court

Chief Justice Paula M. Carey, along with the Probate and Family Court Bench/Bar Committee on Rules, solicits comments on proposed amendments to Rule 412 of the supplemental rules of the Probate and Family Court.

The proposed changes to Rule 412, Joint Petition for Modification of Child Support Judgment, would expand the rule to allow parties to modify any judgment or temporary order of the Probate and Family Court where the parties are in agreement, the agreement is in writing and all other requirements of the rule are met.

Click here for a redlined version of the proposed amendments to Rule 412, showing the additions and deletions to the current rule and the text of how Rule 412 would appear with the proposed amendments.

Comments on the proposed amendments should be directed to the Probate and Family Court Bench/Bar Committee on Rules, c/o Evelyn Patsos, Esq. and sent via facsimile to (617) 788-6605 or [e-mail evelyn.patsos] on or before Friday, Feb. 15, 2013.

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Separate and Secure Waiting Area Task Force releases implementation progress report

The SSWA Task Force has filed a progress report outlining steps taken to implement the provision of the Massachusetts Victim Bill of Rights. The report outlines the results of the court-by-court assessments through January 2013.

Click here to view the report.

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Regulations of the jury commissioner


The Supreme Judicial Court has approved amended Regulation 9 and new Regulation 10 of the Regulations of the Jury Commissioner, effective March 1, 2013.

Click here to view the regulations.

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CPCS employment opportunities

The Committee for Public Counsel Services is committed to protecting the fundamental constitutional and human rights of its clients by providing zealous advocacy, community-oriented defense, and excellent representation.

Click here to view a current list of available positions, including a deputy chief appellate attorney position at the CPCS Appeals Unit - Public Defender Division, a staff attorney position at the Somerville Superior Court Office and Children and Family Law Division staff attorney postitions in the Boston, Brockton and Worcester offices.

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Featured member benefit: Clio

Belong to the MBA and receive a 10 percent lifetime discount on the #1 cloud-based legal practice management system for solos and small firms

Clio is a 100 percent web-based legal practice management system optimized to meet the needs of sole practitioners and small firms. Web-based, secure and easy-to-use, Clio overcomes many of the technical hurdles offered by conventional practice management solutions. Clio allows lawyers to simplify their workflow, thus freeing up valuable time to build their practice.

A NEW MBA member benefit, Clio is regularly $49/month for attorneys and $25/month for non-attorney support staff. Massachusetts Bar Association members receive a 10 percent lifetime discount on their Clio subscription, bringing the monthly cost to $44.10 for attorneys and $22.50 for non-attorney support staff. Sign up today.

** Valid MBA membership required.

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Attorney vacancies at the U.S. Department of Justice

The U.S. Department of Justice has numerous attorney vacancies. All interested applicants are encouraged to apply, but due to temporary funding restrictions, the department may not be able to fill all of the currently advertised positions.

Click here to view a current list of available positions.

To learn more about the U.S. Department of Justice and its legal careers, click here.

In addition, every year over 1,800 volunteer legal interns serve in DOJ components and U.S. Attorneys' Offices throughout the country. Law students interested in a DOJ volunteer internship, should click here for opportunities.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Join the MBA at the Feb. 12 "Considering, Preparing and Conducting Mediation and Arbitration Hearings" seminar, designed for lawyers and paralegals who engage in personal injury claims.

CLE Heading

To register for the following programs, call MBA Member Services at (617) 338-0530, [e-mail membership] or visit the CLE Web site. Scroll down for program details, including dates and registration details.

Recorded program Recorded session available for purchase after live program through MBA On Demand.

Live program Real-time webcast available for purchase through MBA On Demand.

UPCOMING PROGRAMS

Legal Chat: H-1B Principles Live program
Friday, Feb. 8, noon-1 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats.


Considering, Preparing and Conducting Mediation and Arbitration Hearings
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 4-7 p.m.
Western New England University School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield


Legal Chat: Conflict Management and Negotiation Live program
Friday, Feb. 15, noon-1 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats.


Lifecycle of a Business Part III: Employment & Business Litigation Matters Live program
Tuesday, Feb. 19, 5-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


MBA co-sponsors program: Uniform Commercial Code Conference
Thursday, Feb. 21, noon-6:30 p.m.
New England Law | Boston (Cherry Room), 154 Stuart St., Boston

SAVE THE DATE

The MUPC Revisited: Part I
Thursday, Feb. 28, noon-4 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

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MBA On Demand

Unable to attend January seminars? Practitioners who were not able to attend MBA CLE programs in January can now view select programs on MBA On Demand. MBA On Demand is an innovative MBA member benefit that offers you the opportunity to watch an MBA program from the comfort of your home or office, at a time that suits your schedule.

In addition, watching an MBA seminar or conference just got easier. All previously recorded MBA On Demand programs are now available anytime, anywhere on your mobile device.  

January CLE programming now available includes:

To view a listing of current programs offered on MBA On Demand, click here.

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Section News: Upcoming meetings and special section events

Join in the Feb. 12 Criminal Justice, Health Law and Family Law section council meetings. Attend the Feb. 13 Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section Council meeting. On Feb. 13 the Juvenile & Child Welfare open meeting will feature Reece Erlichman and the Immigration Law Section Social will feature Kate Auspitz, issues director for Congressman Michael E. Capuano.

Criminal Justice Section Council meeting

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Criminal Justice Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

To R.S.V.P., click here.

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Health Law Section Council meeting

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 5:15-6:45 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Health Law Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

To R.S.V.P., click here.

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Family Law Section Council meeting

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Family Law Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

To R.S.V.P., click here.

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Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section Council meeting

Wednesday, Feb. 13, 4-5:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 13 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

To R.S.V.P., click here.

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Juvenile & Child Welfare open meeting

Featuring Reece Erlichman, director of the Bureau of Special Education Appeals
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

You are invited to attend the Juvenile & Child Welfare Section open meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 13 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston.

The guest speaker for this open meeting will be Reece Erlichman, director of the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA), an independent subdivision of the Division of Administrative Law Appeals.

To R.S.V.P., click here. Space is limited.

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Immigration Law Section Social

Featuring Kate Auspitz, issues director for Congressman Michael E. Capuano
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 5:15-7:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The Immigration Law Section Council invites you to attend the Immigration Law Section Social on Feb. 13 from 5:15 to 7:30 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston. The  guest speaker at this event will be Kate Auspitz, issues director for Congressman Michael E. Capuano, representative, 7th Congressional District of Massachusetts.  

As many practitioners are aware, Auspitz is one of the most helpful congressional aides when a congressional assist is needed. Many are unaware Auspitz is a political historian, Fulbright fellow and Harvard Ph.D. She was an associate professor in Social Studies at Harvard College and taught in the Political Science Department at Wellesley College before leaving academia for practical politics. She now works on foreign policy, immigration and refugee issues.

Auspitz will discuss what a congressional inquiry can accomplish, how to request assistance and, as importantly, what cannot be reasonably expected from an inquiry. In addition, she will bring the latest news as to what is happening on the hill regarding comprehensive immigration reform issues.

Join Immigration Law section members at this special networking reception, where you will have the opportunity to meet fellow practitioners, expand your practice network and connect with colleagues in your practice area.

To R.S.V.P., click here.

©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association