New MBA officers begin 2013-14 term

Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013
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The Massachusetts Bar Association has officially set its leadership slate for the 2013-14 association year. Incoming President Douglas K. Sheff and his fellow officers will begin their terms on Sept. 1.

A passionate advocate for using the civil justice system to effectuate positive change, Sheff will focus his presidency on three initiatives: the "Working Families Initiative," "Consumer Law Initiative," and "Justice for all Initiative." Through these initiatives and other MBA programs, Sheff is committed to protecting working families and consumers, and promoting the public image of lawyers as an honorable profession.

Here is the list of the officers and some of their achievements.

Douglas K. Sheff

SheffSheff is the first attorney in Massachusetts to serve as president of the MBA and the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys (MATA), and as governor of the American Association of Justice (AAJ) and trustee of the AAJ's National College of Advocacy. Senior partner at Sheff Law in Boston, Sheff is nationally renowned in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death, construction site and brain injury litigation. Chair and founder of the MBA's Workplace Safety Task Force, Sheff recently spearheaded the passage of a new Massachusetts worker safety law mandating proper training, supervision and safety equipment for temporary workers. An executive committee member of the National Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, member of Trial Lawyers for Public Justice and lifetime fellow of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation (the philanthropic partner of the MBA), Sheff is also a member of the Academy of Catastrophic Injury Attorneys and a director of the Belli Society, a group recognized for innovative trial techniques. Sheff has received numerous honors for his achievements as a litigator and an advocate. He was honored with MATA's inaugural Excellence in Advocacy Award for his representation of children and adults who have suffered traumatic brain injury and received the ORT Award for integrity in the law. In addition, Sheff is a recipient of the AAJ's Next Generation Award and a seven-time recipient of its Wiedeman Wysocki Award. Sheff has also been recognized by the publication Lifesavers for preventing injury through aggressive representation of victims of defective products, and as a Boston magazine "Super Lawyer."

Marsha V. Kazarosian

KazarosianKazarosian is managing partner of Kazarosian Law Offices in Haverhill, where she concentrates in civil rights litigation, family law and discrimination law. Recently elected as an MBA delegate to the American Bar Association, Kazarosian has served on numerous committees and councils, including the Joint Bar Committee on Judicial Nominations and, most recently, the Supreme Judicial Court's Access to Justice Commission Committee on the Bar Examination. In addition, Kazarosian is a life fellow and trustee of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the MBA. A past president of the Essex County Bar Association and the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, Kazarosian was among the "Top Women in the Law" celebrated by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in 2011. In 1999, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly named her one of the top 10 lawyers in the commonwealth. Kazarosian is a Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education trustee and is admitted in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Kazarosian teaches continuing legal education for attorneys and is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell. A Haverhill resident, Kazarosian is a corporator of the Pentucket Five Cents Savings Bank and was a member of the Essex County 150th Anniversary Committee. Kazarosian has also served as a board member of the Northern Essex Community College Foundation.

Robert W. Harnais

HarnaisHarnais is with Harnais Law Office in Quincy, where his general practice concentrates on criminal law, family law, real estate, labor and consumer law. A past MBA secretary and vice president, Harnais has volunteered his service to the association for many years. The chair of the MBA's Diversity Task Force, Harnais has sat on the MBA's governing body -- House of Delegates -- since 2006 and has been a member of the MBA's Executive Management Board. A past president of both the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys and the National Hispanic Bar Association, Harnais remains highly involved with both organizations. As a member of the Norfolk County Bar Association, he has served on the Race and Ethnic Advisory Board for the Massachusetts courts since 2007. Harnais received his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts Boston and graduated from New England Law | Boston. Harnais lives in Braintree and is chairman of the Braintree Planning Board. He is a football official and former coach with Braintree Pop Warner.

Martha Rush O'Mara
Vice President

OMaraRush O'Mara operates the Law Office of Martha Rush O'Mara, where she has focused her practice in children's law for more than 20 years. A past co-chair of the MBA's Juvenile & Child Welfare Law Section, Rush O'Mara was also an MBA designee on the board of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation and sits on the association's Executive Management Board, Governance Committee and co-chairs the Membership Committee. A former president of the Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers, Rush O'Mara previously served on the Massachusetts Interest on Lawyers' Trust Account Committee. Rush O'Mara volunteers in the Massachusetts legal community, conducting pro bono work and mentoring recent law school graduates. She received her B.S. from Salem State College and went on to earn her law degree from New England Law | Boston. Rush O'Mara lives in Melrose.

Christopher P. Sullivan
Vice President

SullivanSullivan is a partner at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP in Boston, where he concentrates on civil jury trials in complex litigation matters, including financial and securities cases and intellectual property matters. Sullivan is a co-chair of the MBA's Membership Committee and has served as an MBA member-at-large of the House of Delegates and as a member of the MBA's Executive Management Board. Sullivan also sat on the MBA's Civil Litigation Section Council and served as tri-chair of the Federal Practices and Procedures Committee. In addition, Sullivan has served as an instructor at National Institute of Trial Advocacy programs and as Massachusetts Chapter president of the Federal Bar Association. As an accomplished trial lawyer, Sullivan has been named a New England "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyers every year since 2004. Sullivan graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester and is currently an executive board member of the Holy Cross Lawyers Association. He went on to receive his J.D. from Fordham University Law School and is New England Chapter vice president of the Fordham University Law School Alumni Association. Sullivan is a Hingham resident.

Christopher A. Kenney

KenneyKenney is a founding member and managing shareholder of Kenney & Sams PC. He has tried cases before every level of the state and federal trial court system in Massachusetts and has served as an appellate advocate before the Massachusetts Appellate Division, Massachusetts Appeals Court, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Chair of the MBA's Consumer Advocacy Committee and a member of the MBA's Executive Management Board, Membership Committee and House of Delegates, Kenney is also a former chair of the MBA's Civil Litigation Section. In addition to his work with the MBA, Kenney is a former president of the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association, former co-president of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and former president of the Boston Inn of Court. The Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association named Kenney the 2012 "Massachusetts Defense Lawyer of the Year." Kenney has served as adjunct faculty at Boston University School of Law and frequently writes and lectures for business groups, trade associations and bar associations. Boston University School of Law honored Kenney in 2012 with the Silver Shingle Award for outstanding service to the school. Kenney earned his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and his law degree from Boston University School of Law. Kenney lives in Sudbury.