Insurance options update; 'Conversations' resumes in May

Issue April 2004

As many of our members look to the MBA for guidance and placement of their insurance needs, I wanted to update you on our recent change of professional liability carriers. I also want to remind you of the many comprehensive policy offerings we have designed specifically for the busy lives of our membership.

Our transition of the lawyers professional liability business to CNA effective Jan. 1, 2004, has been a tremendous success! As we expected, members have supported the MBA during the change to a new insurance company and both CNA and the MBA Insurance Agency staff have worked diligently make the transition a smooth one. In addition, not only have we retained nearly all of our current policyholders, but we also have been able to bring many new member firms into the MBA's lawyers professional liability program.

The Insurance Committee, the MBA Insurance Agency staff, the MBA Officers and the staff at CNA dedicated many hours of their time to make sure that members would receive better policy coverage at a comparable price. The results thus far are outstanding and member feedback tells us that you are both pleased and excited to have this key practice safeguard in place for members to access easily. The professionals at the MBA Insurance Agency stand ready to answer all your questions on this critical practice tool.

I also want to take a minute to remind you that, as part of your MBA membership, we have available other insurance products that have been designed specifically for the MBA. In the life insurance area, we have both group term life and individual life insurance products available, including a free $50,000 life insurance policy for six months for new MBA members under age 50. There also are both group and individual disability insurance plans that can help replace your monthly income should you become disabled.

Health insurance and long-term care are two of the fastest growing and most accessed insurance benefits that members take advantage of. These benefits are designed to provide you and your family with critical insurance coverage at competitive prices. The MBA dental program also offers competitive rates with plans available to individual attorneys.

Finally, with personal automobile insurance in Massachusetts as expensive as it is, we have arranged to provide a 5 percent discount to MBA members and have made the transition to our program simple, convenient and worth your time to access. And, with the savings you gain, you can speak with our 401K and pension plan experts so that they can help you design a program that fits your individual investment risk appetite.

I encourage you to take advantage of these well-designed, member-focused insurance products. You can learn more either through the MBA Insurance Agency representatives at the MBA or through the MBA's Web site (www.massbarinsurance
.com). Thank you to all who have supported the MBA Insurance Agency products. And to those who have insurance needs to be addressed I encourage you to let us help you find easy solutions and quality products to fit your individual practice needs.

'Conversations' returns in May

On a different subject, we are once again conducting the MBA's "Conversations on Law and Liberty in Times of Crisis" program.

The MBA first launched this program for high school students in September 2002 to address important legal issues that have been raised since Sept. 11, 2001, including, but not limited to, racial profiling, prosecuting terrorism at home and abroad, civil liberties in times of crisis and protecting the attorney-client privilege. This program is designed to further dialogue in our schools and in our communities about our shared values as Americans in relation to our identities, our civic traditions and diverse world cultures. Although the program is based largely on a model curriculum provided by the ABA, MBA volunteers have developed many enhancements.

This year, we decided to focus the program in May, essentially as a month-long Law Day celebration. We also are updating the materials to include at least one scenario that raises some issues relevant to a discussion of the legacy of Brown vs. the Board of Education in honor of the 50th anniversary of that case.

We are calling upon our members to volunteer to serve once again as a conversation leader and facilitator for the "Conversations" program. We will assist you in preparing for a program and in making contact with a high school. Those who participated in the program last year reported that it was a lot of fun and very rewarding. Please join us as a volunteer by contacting Elizabeth O'Neil at (617) 338-0560. The leadership continues to be strongly committed to this program and we hope to reach a substantial number of high schools with it. But we need your help!