House of Delegates approves new Complex Commercial Litigation Section

Thursday, May. 22, 2014
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Photo Credit: Jason Scally
MBA Secretary Christopher A. Kenney (right) speaks to MBA House of Delegates members about establishing a new Complex Commercial Litigation Section

The Massachusetts Bar Association's House of Delegates (HOD) voted to establish a new Complex Commercial Litigation Section at its May 8 meeting, which was held at MBA headquarters in Boston. The Complex Commercial Litigation Section is the second new section to be added this year, joining the Workers' Compensation Section, which the HOD approved last September.

Speaking on behalf of the Membership Committee, Vice President Christopher P. Sullivan and MBA member Paul E. White requested the creation of a Complex Commercial Litigation Section to create a new "home" for complex commercial litigators, many of whom practice before the Superior Court's Business Litigation Section or in the federal courts. The new section, which was approved unanimously, is expected to attract both existing and new MBA members, especially litigators whose practices involves intellectual property, commercial contracts, business torts, bankruptcy and other areas across the business litigation spectrum.

During the HOD meeting, the last one of the 2013-14 membership year, HOD members also adopted the report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Criminal Justice Attorney Compensation. MBA Chief Legal Counsel Martin W. Healy noted that the recommendations in the report include raising assistant prosecutor and public defender salaries, and looking at the caps on bar advocate reimbursement to give these attorneys a living wage.

In addition to voting to elect the slate of officers and delegates for the 2014-15 membership year, HOD members also took up several measures brought by representatives from the Juvenile Law, Access to Justice and Family Law section councils. The HOD voted to:

  • Support, in principle, the Statement of Principle on Fair Sentencing of Youth Convicted of First Degree Murder (as amended);
  • Support, in principle, legislation relative to the proposed expansion of the Housing Court to other areas of the commonwealth; and
  • Support proposed changes to Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:03 allowing law students to represent clients on a pro bono basis in civil court under mentor supervision.

HOD members also approved for publication five opinions presented by Andrew Kaufman, the Ethics Committee chair.