MBA holds semiannual Western Mass. Dial-A-Lawyer program

Thursday, July 11, 2019
Article Picture
Top: MBA members answer callers' questions at the semiannual MBA Dial-A-Lawyer event in Springfield on June 27.
Bottom: Hon. Henry J. Boroff (ret.), an MBA volunteer, discusses the Western Mass. Dial-A-Lawyer program on WWLP's Mass Appeal TV show.

Massachusetts Bar Association attorneys provided free legal advice to residents of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties during the semiannual Western Mass. Dial-A-Lawyer call-in program on June 27.

Nine volunteers manned the phones from 5-7 p.m. at Western New England University School of Law in Springfield, handling 103 calls from members of the local community. The varied expertise of participating attorneys allowed callers to ask questions on legal issues ranging from criminal and bankruptcy law to tort law, landlord-tenant law, and labor and employment law.

Earlier in the day, Hon. Henry J. Boroff (ret.), formerly of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, promoted Dial-A-Lawyer as a guest on WWLP’s Mass Appeal TV show. Boroff discussed some of the more common legal questions posed to attorney volunteers and touted the program as an excellent resource for those in the community who cannot afford the services of a lawyer.

“This is a particularly useful service for people who are low-income, who don’t have regular access to lawyers, but really anyone who has a legal problem and doesn’t know where to start. This is a beginning,” Boroff said.

Asked to describe the most unusual call he has received as a Dial-A-Lawyer volunteer, Boroff recalled speaking with a homeowner involved in a dispute over unraked leaves on a neighbor’s property. As is customary for a program attorney who fields a question better addressed in another forum, Boroff said he advised the caller to take up the issue with the town.

Dial-A-Lawyer was co-sponsored by Western New England University School of Law, The Republican, El Pueblo Latino, the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys and the Hispanic National Bar Association.

The MBA thanks the following members for donating their time and expertise to this important volunteer effort:

  • Barry M. Ryan, Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy PC
  • Thomas D. O'Connor, Thomas D. O'Connor Jr., Attorney at Law
  • David W. Ostrander, Ostrander Law Office
  • Sanjiv Reejhsinghani, Law Office of Sanjiv Reejhsinghani
  • Dennis E. Tully, Atty. Dennis E. Tully
  • Stephen Smith
  • Hon. Henry J. Boroff (ret.), United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts
  • David F. Carey, Carey Legal Services
  • Edward Pikula