President's Message: A Final Encouraging Word

Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017
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MBA President Jeffrey N. Catalano

Last year, the Massachusetts Bar Association promulgated Civility Guidelines to "remind us all of the honor and dignity of the profession we serve and our individual and collective obligation to protect, repair, and enhance it on a daily basis with politeness, professionalism, civility, decorum and manners." One of the great privileges I have had in my year as president has been to engage with so many leaders in this commonwealth who are living, breathing examples of this decree.

These are legal leaders who are honorable and dignified and who put the citizens of this state before their own personal agenda. I have been able to shake hands and sit with so many impressive leaders in the state and federal legislature, in our courts, in the MBA and in so many other bar associations. They are amazing people who understand and humbly respect the positions with which they have been entrusted. They also respect others and treat them and their concerns with compassion. They speak and act with the integrity that their titles demand. They serve this state honorably and selflessly. These are leaders who collaborate and have civilized debates, even when they have very different points of view. They all inspired me as they do so many others.

We here in Massachusetts are truly fortunate to be in such great hands. Our leaders can be trusted to tackle major issues that impact our lives, our families' lives and the lives of those disadvantaged fellow citizens who need them. True, so many concerns are yet to be addressed and our state coffers are certainly constrained. But our leaders responded to the MBA's and others' calls to fund legal services, expand the Housing Court, support criminal justice reform and counter opioid addiction. I strategized with those who courageously advocated to protect the rights of minorities and LGBT people, as well as immigrants and those with disabilities. I handed awards to those who receive too little recognition (and remuneration) providing desperately needed legal services. In short, I am pleased to report there is an abundance of passionate individuals here dedicated to pursuing issues that are essential to a healthy society.

I am proud that the MBA has always been standing alongside those ready to bear the flag of equal justice for all. So I leave my brief stint as the 105th president of the MBA with peace of mind knowing that we are in good hands. And I look forward watching my successor officers who will ensure that the MBA remains part of a Massachusetts battalion that is an example of effective leadership for the rest of the country.

I want to thank Marty Healy, my fellow officers, the MBA staff, my partners, my family and all of you for the honor of experiencing this journey, and for your support on behalf of all we strive to do.