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MBA News

MBA signs amicus brief in support of marriage equality

Click here to view a recent amicus brief in the case of United States v. Windsor, signed by the Massachusetts Bar Association, which challenges Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. In signing the amici, the MBA joins a coalition of bar associations, civil and human rights groups and public interest and legal service organizations.

The MBA has supported marriage equality since the early 1990s. In addition to filing an amicus brief in Goodridge, the landmark decision that legalized same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, the association set-up a "Post-Goodridge Task Force" to examine compliance issues related to the decision.

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2013 Member Appreciation Week, April 1-5

Participate in exclusive giveaways and raffles

Mark your calendar for the third annual "Member Appreciation Week" from Monday, April 1 through Friday, April 5, 2013.

To thank you for your commitment, we invite you to participate in exclusive events, giveaways and raffles. Winners will be contacted each morning and their names will be posted on our website at www.massbar.org.

Click here to enter the raffle
for the following prizes:

  • Monday, April 1: View select MBA On Demand CLE programs for FREE.

    From Monday, April 1 to Friday, April 5 enter passcode: FREECLE, at checkout to view a recorded MBA On Demand program for FREE. View select programs, such as "Getting Paid," "How to Avoid Common Mistakes New Lawyers Make," "How to Draft a Trust that Works" and more.

  • Tuesday, April 2: Win one free dinner pass with parking to the MBA's Annual Dinner on May 9 at the Westin Boston Waterfront.

    Be our guest at the 2013 Annual Dinner on Thursday, May 9 at the Westin Boston Waterfront, 425 Summer St., Boston. Gov. Deval L. Patrick will deliver the dinner's keynote address.

  • Wednesday, April 3: Win "Free CLE for a Year."

    Attend any seminar or luncheon roundtable from April 1, 2013 to August 31, 2014. Full-day conferences excluded.

  • Thursday, April 4: Join us for a FREE Member Appreciation Dessert/Wine Tasting and Reception at University of Massachusetts Club, 225 Franklin St., Boston.

    Enjoy a variety of complimentary, decadent desserts paired with a glass of wine. As a special treat to show our appreciation, "spin to win" great prizes including two tickets to the April 15 Bruins Game, a $150 Amex Gift card and more. R.S.V.P. here.

  • Friday, April 5: Win a "Free MBA membership plus free LRS membership" for the 2013-14 year.

Thank you for your continued support of the MBA.

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Join your section/division on My Bar Access

Login today for practice resources.

Connect, share and collaborate with fellow MBA members on My Bar Access. Visit http://access.massbar.org/ today to join the conversation.

Check out blog posts on:

  • Divorce Arbitration: Nine Reasons For a Family Law Arbitration Statute in Massachusetts;
  • Marriage Equality: Politics and Supreme Court Briefs; and
  • Divorce Mediation: Then and Now.
Questions about a new rule? Need a referral? Looking for a sample motion? Interested in learning more about your fellow members? Login and participate in ongoing member group discussions, which are now PRIVATE and can only be viewed by MBA members, who login to the MBA's online community. Discussions were previously viewable by the public. My Bar Access discussions allow you to enjoy the benefits of a traditional listserv, without clogging your inbox.

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].

Get started today on http://access.massbar.org.
Questions? [e-mail mybaraccess].


Upcoming YLD networking event

R.S.V.P. for the March 26 "I Apologize" discussion and reception

I apologize

The Young Lawyers Division of the Massachusetts Bar Association, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Medical Society, invites you to attend a FREE substantive discussion on apology laws that apply in medical malpractice cases. The networking event will take place on Tuesday, March 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston.

The discussion will also address institutional medical apology programs and the trends and future of apology in medicine from the perspectives of physician, defense counsel and plaintiff counsel. Faculty includes: Jeffrey N. Catalano of Todd & Weld LLP in Boston and Scott M. Heidorn of Bergstresser & Pollock LLC in Boston.

A cocktail reception will follow the program to give you the opportunity to network with colleagues. Complimentary wine and beer.

Click here to register.

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Join the MBA at the 2013 Mock Trial State Championship on March 20

The Massachusetts Bar Association would like to invite you to the  Mock Trial State Championship on Wednesday, March 20 at 10 a.m. in the Great Hall located in Boston's historic Faneuil Hall.

First organized in 1985, the MBA's Mock Trial tournament places high school students in a simulated courtroom to assume the roles of lawyers and witnesses in a hypothetical case. In this year's criminal case, the prosecution alleges the defendant poisoned and killed his great-aunt by tampering with her medication. The defense claims the great-aunt either died of a natural heart attack or was murdered by either her live-in caretaker or another relative upset about her reduction of their inheritance.

The 2013 Mock Trial Championship will be judged by a three-member panel similar to the process used at the National Competition. The finals will be comprised of a presiding judge, who will conduct and score the trial, as well as two additional scoring judges. The team listed as winner on the majority of ballots will be the state champion.

This year's panel is:

  • Hon. Howard Whitehead, presiding justice, Massachusetts Superior Court;
  • Hon. John Lu, Massachusetts Superior Court; and
  • Hon. Kathe Tuttman, Massachusetts Superior Court.

To R.S.V.P. to attend the 2013 Mock Trial Championship [e-mail mocktrial] or call (617) 338-0570 by Friday, March 15.The law firm of Brown Rudnick is sponsoring the statewide Mock Trial Program as it has since 1998.


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Bruins tickets raffle

Enter a lottery for tickets to the April 15 Ottawa Senators game.

The MBA is currently offering tickets to see the Boston Bruins play the Ottawa Senators at TD Banknorth Garden on Monday, April 15 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $80. Due to high demand, the MBA will use a lottery method to distribute tickets to members.

To enter the lottery, please [e-mail MBATickets] by Friday, March 22 at 5 p.m. Please include:

  • Your name; and
  • Phone number.

There is a two-ticket limit per person and each member is allowed only one lottery entry. After March 22, the MBA will no longer accept entries and will conduct the lottery drawing.

All winners will be contacted directly by MBA Member Services via e-mail by Monday, March 25 for payment.

Due to the large number of entries anticipated, only members whose names are drawn will be contacted.



The intersection of convenience and care: Informed consent for cloud applications

On May 17 of last year, the Massachusetts Bar Association's House of Delegates approved for publication an ethics opinion related to attorneys' use of cloud-based programs. You can read the opinion in full here. (Massachusetts is one of 15 states that have issued opinions respecting the ethics of cloud computing; every state issuing an opinion has approved the practice. The American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center maintains a full list.) The main thrust of the ethics opinion is that attorneys using cloud-based technology should make reasonable efforts to secure the confidentiality of information maintained on those systems.

However, it is the subsidiary point addressed in Opinion 12-03 that is the focus of this tip. The opinion reads, in pertinent part, that the 'Lawyer remains bound to follow an express instruction from his client that the client's confidential information not be stored or transmitted by means of the Internet, and that he should refrain from storing or transmitting particularly sensitive client information by means of the Internet without first seeking and obtaining the client's express consent to do so.' This is an important consideration. The opinion takes into account the fact that the client's file is the client's, and that the attorney-steward has certain obligations to protect the client's information (broad obligations are outlined at the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.6). But, the opinion also addresses other aspects of the attorney-client relationship, beyond the securing of data (and, not just 'particularly sensitive' data -- all client information should be rendered confidential via vetting and security procedures respecting cloud tools), including balancing between convenience and transparency. It makes sense for attorneys to use cloud services in a modern practice, due to cost efficiencies and collaboration advantages. But, it also makes sense to disclose to clients the services the law firm uses (you probably won't find many clients these days who are unwilling to let you use internet services at all, as the opinion seems to intimate might be the case). This is a convenient way to educate clients about the ways in which they'll communicate with the firm; it also sets their minds at ease respecting the security of their data. Clients are searching for good lawyers; but, they're also searching for honest lawyers; and, transparency makes up the greater part of honesty. And, in addition to providing a marketing edge (an attorney who is clear and up-front about data security and technology services appears as thorough, competent and savvy), the acquisition of informed consent from clients respecting technology products is potentially useful for protecting yourself in the event of a breach of a particular service over which breach you had little to no control.

Saying that one should get informed consent is one thing; but, figuring out how to acquire informed consent is another thing. One solution is to include a term in your fee agreement respecting the technology products you use in your office and some information respecting the security of those technology products. The fee agreement memorializes the relationship between the attorney and the client; but, smart lawyers use fee agreements as educational tools for the clients they will work with. Before you get a signature on your fee agreements, explain to your clients the technology you use, with a brief overview of each product (including those security components -- the ones the system applies, and your own). You should also use this teaching moment to educate your clients on the ways in which they can secure their own data (relevant to the case), including maintaining confidentiality for the data they send to you (e.g. -- apply strong personal passwords for access to firm collaboration tools). While some attorneys may view this sort of thing as just another administrative hassle, many others will see this as an opportunity: to educate clients, to protect themselves and to market the law firm.

You can access all of the opinions of the MBA's Committee on Professional Ethics here.

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

Published March 7, 2013


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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CPCS accepting applications for CAFL Appellate Panel Certification Training Program

The Committee for Public Counsel Services is accepting applications for the Children and Family Law Appellate Panel Certification Training Program.

Applicants must have the following minimum qualifications: Demonstrated proficiency in legal research and writing; and at least one of the following:

  1. Two years of child welfare trial experience;
  2. Primary authorship of two or more appellate briefs in other subjects;
  3. A recent appellate clerkship, substantial editing experience for a law journal, or publication of a law journal article.

Admission into the training is competitive and not all applicants will be admitted.  Applicants may be required to participate in an in-person interview.

Applicants must attend the one-day appellate training program at the Courtyard Marriott in Marlborough on Friday, May 3, 2013, and either be certified to accept trial level CAFL assignments, or attend the first four days of the CAFL trial panel certification training program on April 8-11, 2013 at MCLE, 10 Winter St., Boston.  

To be considered, please submit two completed applications to: Rita Caso, certification coordinator, Children and Family Law Division, 44 Bromfield St., Boston, MA 02108. Two copies of the application including references must be received at the CAFL administrative office no later than Monday, March 11, 2013.  No portion of the application, including writing samples, will be returned.  Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Please do not submit payment until after receiving confirmation that you have been accepted into the training, at which point payment should be made directly to MCLE to reserve a seat in the program.  

For further information regarding the appellate panel certification process, please contact Rita Caso at (617) 988-8444 or [e-mail rcaso].

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Tell us why you belong to the MBA

MBA Vice President Robert W. Harnais wishes he had become more involved with the MBA earlier in his 22-year career because of the resources it has provided his practice. Share your story.

Engaging conferences. Inspiring pro bono work. Welcoming networking events. You belong here, at the Massachusetts Bar Association.

Tell us why YOU belong. E-mail us at ibelong to share your story.

The MBA offers the legal community a wide array of professional development and volunteer opportunities.See why others belong.

iBelong Harnais

NOTE: All testimonials shared by e-mail, mail and phone may be published in various MBA publications, posted on the MBA web site and its social media platforms, printed on marketing materials and used in advertising or for other related endeavors.

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Join the conversation to keep up to date on the
latest iBelong news and offers:

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Follow hashtag #iBelong2MassBar

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Have you taken advantage of FREE classifieds?

Post an MBA classifieds ad today

MBA Classifieds provide MBA members and non-members the opportunity to post and search for career opportunities, office share/rental options, lawyer-to-lawyer services, real estate listings and more.

Classified postings are FREE to members and are available to non-members for $25.

Post an ad today and take advantage of this opportunity to reach members of the commonwealth's legal community, through its largest bar association.

Click here to post an MBA classified ad.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Have questions about how the new CORI law impacts children and parents involved in the child welfare system? Register for the March 13 "Juvenile CORI Reform Roundtable."

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.


Lifecycle of a Business Part IV: Mergers & Acquisitions & Bankruptcy Live program
Tuesday, March 12, 5-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Managing Your Work Search Session II: Mental Self-Management -- Staying Positive, Proactive and Motivated
Wednesday, March 13, 10 a.m.-noon
MBA, 20 West St. Boston

Juvenile CORI Reform Roundtable Live program
Wednesday, March 13, 4-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 west St., Boston

Juvenile & Child Welfare Legal Chat Series Live program
Friday, March 15, 1-2 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats.

Law Firm Business Plan Workshop Live program
Wednesday, March 20, 2-5 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Managing Your Work Search Session III: Finding a Satisfying Legal Position When Most of Them are NOT Advertised
Wednesday, March 27, 10 a.m.-noon
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


MBA On Demand

Unable to attend February seminars? Practitioners who were not able to attend MBA CLE programs in February 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.  

February 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 March 12 Health and Family Law section council meetings. Attend the March 13 Individual Rights, Immigration Law and Juvenile & Child Welfare section council meetings.

Health Law Section Council meeting

Tuesday, March 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, March 12 from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Family Law Section Council meeting

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

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

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


Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section Council meeting

Wednesday, March 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, March 13 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Immigration Law Section Council meeting

Wednesday, March 13, 4:30-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Immigration Law Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, March 13 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council meeting

Wednesday, March 13, 6-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, March 13 from 6 to 7 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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




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