The Massachusetts Bar Association bestowed both State Sen. Gale
D. Candaras (D-Wilbraham) and State Rep. John V. Fernandes
(D-Milford) with the MBA President's Award, which honors local
attorneys' service to the profession and their community. MBA
President Robert L. Holloway Jr. presented the award at the Oct. 26
opening reception of the MBA's Annual Family Law Conference at the
Cranwell Resort in Lenox.
Candaras and Fernandes were honored for their work as members of
a legislative task force that wrote the alimony reform bill signed
into law by Gov. Deval L. Patrick last fall. MBA Past President
Denise Squillante also served on the task force.
"Senator Candaras and Representative Fernandes have proven
themselves to be exemplary legislators whose skills as attorneys
helped Massachusetts overhaul an antiquated alimony system,"
Holloway said at the reception. "The MBA applauds their
far-reaching contributions to both the legal community and the
citizens of Massachusetts."
The President's Award is given to individuals who have made a
significant contribution to the work of the MBA, to the
preservation of MBA values, to the success of MBA initiatives and
to the promotion of MBA leadership role within the legal community
Candaras has been a member of the Massachusetts Senate since
2007, and currently serves as chair of the Joint Committee on
Economic Development and Emerging Technologies as well as vice
chair of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. Previously, she was
a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives for nine
years. A former member of the Wilbraham Board of Selectman,
Candaras also sat on the town's Planning Board and Finance
Committee. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree, magna cum
laude, from Fairleigh Dickenson University and her law degree from
Western New England College School of Law.
Fernandes has served on the Massachusetts House of
Representatives since 2007, and is vice chair of the Joint
Committee on the Judiciary. He is a former member of Milford's
Board of Selectman, Milford School Committee and Blackstone Valley
Regional Vocational Technical High School Committee. Fernandes
currently sits on Milford's School Building Committee, Long Range
Educational Planning Committee and Ad Hoc Duplex By-law Committee.
A graduate of UMass Amherst, he earned his law degree from Suffolk
University Law School.