Photo Credit: Jason Scally
MBA President-elect Jeffrey N. Catalano speaks at the March 24 House of Delegates meeting.
The creation of a new Dispute Resolution Section and a new Law
Student Division were among the proposals passed by the
Massachusetts Bar Association's House of Delegates (HOD) at its
meeting in Boston on March 24.
The MBA has had an active Alternative Dispute Resolution
Committee for many years. The creation of the new Dispute
Resolution Section -- and the dropped "Alternative" from the name
-- is recognition of dispute resolution's now mainstream use and
the increasing number of practitioners who use it and/or practice
it. HOD members adopted the proposal to create the new section
after a presentation by ADR Committee Chair Brian Jerome.
Similarly, the adoption of the Law Student Division was
presented as a natural expansion of the MBA's active work with its
law student members. Law students enjoy free MBA membership and are
automatically members of the MBA's Young Lawyers Division. This new
Law Student Division will provide additional opportunities both for
law students and the MBA. The HOD approved the Law Student Division
after a presentation by MBA Secretary John J. Morrissey and Law
Practice Management Section Chair Damian J. Turco.
In addition to the measures passed above, the HOD voted
- To join by letter the amicus brief in support of the appellant
in Partanen vs. Gallagher, which answers affirmatively
questions related to whether the plaintiff, whose same-sex partner
gave birth to two children by artificial insemination with the
plaintiff's consent during their relationship, was entitled to
assert a claim of parentage. (Introduced by Thomas Carey from the
MBA's Amicus Committee.)
- To support a recommendation regarding the public records law.
(Introduced by David Saliba, chair of the taxation Law Section
- To support, in principle, the concept of earned work credits
for satisfactory performance while under parole supervision and to
endorse this proposal to amend M.G.L. c. 127, s.129D (Introduced by
Lee Gartenberg, vice chair of the Criminal Law Section
- To support the redrafted version of the Uniform Child Custody
Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. (Introduced by Jennifer Clapp,
chair of the Family Law Section Council.)
Earlier in the meeting, MBA President Robert W. Harnais
discussed the statewide expansion of the MBA's Section 35 Helpline,
which was initially launched as a pilot program in Norfolk County.
He and MBA President-elect Jeffrey N. Catalano also discussed the
work of the newly created Civility Task Force, which will be
visiting law schools in April. During the discussion about the Law
Student Division, MBA Vice President Christopher A. Kenney gave an
update about the MBA's Leadership Academy.
In addition to his legislative update, MBA Chief Legal Counsel
and Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Healy spoke about the Trial
Court's plan to use the For The Record digital recording system in
lieu of court reporters. Court reporters' jobs, he said, are not
guaranteed after January 2017.