Section Review

Comments from the Business Law Section chair

Francis T. Talty practices in Lowell with the firm of Talty & Talty, P.C.
The Business Law Section is the third largest of the Massachusetts Bar Association Sections. More than 2,400 lawyers make up our membership, coming from a wide spectrum of practice areas ranging from business litigation to intellectual property and corporate governance. Last year under Chairperson Madonna Cournoyer, the section revamped and consolidated its practice groups down to five.

They are:

•  Private Business: James C. Donnelly, Jr. and Stephen M. Kane, co-chairs;

•  In-House Counsel: Robert J. Kerwin and David A Parke, co-chairs;

•  Intellectual Property: Steven A. Brav, Peter McDermott, Steven Y. Chow and Inna Landsman, co-chairs;

•  International Law: Stanley B. Kay and William E. O'Brien, co-chairs; and

•  Public Corporations and Securities: Stanley B. Kay, chair.

If you are interested in participating in the activities of any of these practice groups, contact any of these chairs for more information.

Business Law Section members may log on to our pages on the MBA Web site at www.massbar.org. Your MBA member number from your membership card or from your most recent bill, and your last name as your password, gain you access to the member's pages. Then click on Sections, then Business Law. There you can link to every Section Council member's e-mail address. You may also read the minutes of the council's monthly meetings to get a good idea about what issues and topics are on the council's agenda this year.

Educational programming has been has given a high priority by the Business Law Section Council. Several programs are planned. A seminar on the basics of intellectual property is scheduled for late January, a program on electronic discovery for February, a hot topics session on doing business on the Internet is planned as part of the MBA Annual Conference in early March and a program on the formation of business entities is scheduled for April.

Watch the MBA Web site for specific dates and locations for these and other programs.

Each year the MBA hires law school students as interns and assigns them to work with the association's sections. The interns get a terrific experience and the sections get some very high caliber assistance. Business Law is fortunate this year to have as its intern Cynthia Hammond of Boston University School of Law. Hammond is a third-year student and is the articles editor of the Public Interest Law Journal at the school. In addition to her studies and her work on the journal, she has a second internship at the Boston office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In September, Hammond did a statistical analysis of data collected from surveys of Business Law Section members last spring, produced by former chair Cournoyer. Hammond's report to the council helped the council target its educational programs and establish policy priorities for the coming year.

The council is also monitoring legislation that impacts the practice of our members. Chaired by Steven Brav, the Legislation Committee has set about a comprehensive review of all bills filed with the Labor and Commerce Committee and the Taxation Committee of the Massachusetts General Court in the session just ended, with an eye on the newly filed bills to be taken up in 2005. In particular bills on the U.C.C., the Trade Secrets Act and the Uniform Mediation Act are likely to be considered in this session. Other bills concerning privacy measures in the workplace, consumer notice provisions and tax treatment of LLCs are likely to receive some attention. The Business Law Section Council will scrutinize and selectively focus its efforts on conveying our members' interests in the deliberations to come on these and other issues.

The Supreme Judicial Court has had before it, for some months now, proposed revisions to the Rules of Professional Conduct, adopted by the ABA in 2003. James Donelly of the Business Law Section chairs an Adhoc Committee of the Council to review, comment on and make recommendations to the MBA on these proposals. Watch the Business Law Section pages of the MBA Web site for the text of these proposals. The committee welcomes input from section members. Please visit the site and give us your thoughts and comments on our work this year.

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