Voir dire, service awards highlight Annual Dinner

Thursday, May. 14, 2015
Article Picture
Top (from left): MBA Chief Legal Counsel and COO Martin W. Healy, MBA Vice President John J. Morrissey, 2015 Annual Dinner Keynote Speaker Mark J. Geragos, MBA Secretary Christopher P. Sullivan, MBA Treasurer Jeffery N. Catalano and MBA President-elect Robert W. Harnais. Second row: Left: House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo accepts the MBA's 2015 President's Award from Harnais. Right: Morrissey presents the 2015 Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award to Massachusetts Superior Court Associate Justice Dennis J. Curran. Third row: Left: New England Law | Boston student Ying Wang was awarded the MBA's first $10,000 Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Scholarship by Catalano. Right: Geragos, principal of Geragos & Geragos, APC, in Los Angeles, speaks to Annual Dinner attendees. Fourth row: Access to Justice Legal Services Awardee Elizabeth Toulan (left) and Winthrop G. Minot (right), a partner at Ropes & Gray LLP, which received the Pro Bono Award for Law Firms, accept awards from Sullivan. Fifth row: Sullivan presents the Pro Bono Publico Award to Brian J. McLaughlin (left) and the Defender Award to Benjamin Evans (right). Sixth row: Access to Justice Prosecutor Award Honoree Jonathan Miller (left) and Rising Star Awardee Adriana Lafaille (right) receive awards from Sullivan. Seventh row: Left: Sullivan presents the Access to Justice Lifetime Achievement Award to Willard P. Ogburn. Right: Geragos speaks to a sold out MBA Annual Dinner crowd about his experiences with voir dire. Photos by Jeff Thiebauth.

Legislators, judges and attorneys gathered at the Massachusetts Bar Association's sold out Annual Dinner on May 7 to celebrate a milestone year for the legal community -- a year in which lawyers earned the right to engage in jury voir dire in Superior Court for the first time.

At the dinner, the MBA honored House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo with its 2015 President's Award and Massachusetts Superior Court Associate Justice Dennis J. Curran with the Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award, for their exceptional contributions to the administration of justice in the commonwealth.

In addition, the MBA presented  third-year New England Law | Boston student Ying Wang with its first $10,000 Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Scholarship and the 2015 Access to Justice Awards to six attorneys and one law firm for their exemplary legal skills and service to the community. Access to Justice Award winners included:

  • Legal Services Award: Elizabeth Toulan
  • Pro Bono Award for Law Firms: Ropes & Gray LLP
  • Pro Bono Publico Award: Brian J. McLaughlin
  • Defender Award: Benjamin Evans
  • Prosecutor Award: Jonathan Miller
  • Rising Star Award: Adriana Lafaille
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Willard P. Ogburn

To view full event coverage, look in our June Lawyers Journal.