MBF honors Hon. Robert G. Fields, celebrates Western Mass. grant recipients

Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013
Article Picture
Top: 2013 MBF President’s Award recipient Judge Robert G. Fields with his wife Tamar, and sons (left to right) Elan, Matan and Rafael. Second from top (from left): David E. Sullivan of the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office and James F. Martin of Robinson & Donovan PC. Second from bottom (from left): 2013 MBF Legal Intern Fellow Catherine Ady-Bell and her internship supervisor Daniel Bahls of Community Legal Aid Bottom (from left): Hon. Barbara M. Hyland of the Trial Court, Hon. Anne M. Geoffrion of the Hampden Probate and Family Court, and Hon. Patricia M. Dunbar of the Hampden Juvenile Court. Photos courtesy of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation.

Massachusetts Bar Foundation fellows and friends celebrated the foundation's 2013 grantees, legal intern fellows and President's Award recipient Hon. Robert G. Fields of the Massachusetts Housing Court's Western Division on Oct. 3, at Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas LLP in Springfield.

MBF Vice President Robert J. Ambrogi began the evening by welcoming guests and expressing the foundation's deep appreciation for its grantees' tireless work, which ensures access to justice for all in Massachusetts. He then invited 2013 MBF Legal Intern Fellow Catherine Ady-Bell, a student at Western New England University School of Law, to share her experience as an intern with Community Legal Aid's Housing Law Unit this summer. In addition to thanking the fellows in attendance, whose MBF contributions made her experience possible, Ady-Bell spoke enthusiastically about her work representing low-income clients in foreclosure and post-foreclosure eviction cases in Springfield.

MBF Secretary Lawrence J. Farber, a solo practitioner in Amherst, introduced Hon. Robert G. Fields, associate judge of the Massachusetts Housing Court's Western Division in Springfield, and presented him with the 2013 President's Award. The MBF President's Award is given to individuals and organizations who have demonstrated exemplary service to the MBF, as well as the Massachusetts legal community, through their leadership and commitment to increasing the availability of legal services for low-income people in the state. In addition to taking an active role in meeting the legal needs of the state's low-income population through his career, Fields has also been a longstanding and loyal supporter of the MBF.

"Judge Fields exemplifies the work this award seeks to honor," said Farber. "From his days as a legal services attorney, to founding a legal services law firm, to his annual participation in the MBF grant review, Judge Fields' steadfast commitment to increasing access to justice is clear."

Through its various grant-making programs, the MBF will distribute more than $2.15 million this year to support programs that either provide civil legal services to low income clients or improve the administration of justice in the state. Last year, MBF grantees assisted more than 75,000 people in need.