Bar honors outstanding attorneys for dedication to justice

Issue Februray 2004

Bar Honors
Photo by Roger Farrington
Honored for their dedication to the legal profession, several attorneys gather together during the Access to Justice Awards Luncheon. Pictured (from left) are MBA President Richard C. Van Nostrand, John E. Willshire-Carrera, Access to Justice Section Chair James Van Buren, Richard A. Johnston, Mary E. Sawicki, Lynn Whitney, Geoffrey E. Spofford, Cynthia O. Eynon, Paula A. Smith, Access to Justice Vice-Chair Jacquelynne Bowman, John A. Shea and Robert G. Lian.
The Massachusetts Bar Association and Massachusetts Bar Foundation honored several attorneys Friday, Jan. 23 during the Access to Justice Awards Luncheon of Annual Conference 2004 for their dedication to the profession.

This year's Access to Justice award winners are: Lynn Whitney, Pro Bono Publico Award; Daniel E. Callahan, Defender Award; John E. Willshire-Carrera, Legal Services Award; Mary E. Sawicki, Prosecutor Award; and Lian, Zarrow, Eynon & Shea, Pro Bono Law Firm Award.

Also at the luncheon, Richard A. Johnston of Hale and Dorr received the Massachusetts Bar Foundation's Great Friend of Justice Award. Johnston successfully represented the Massachusetts and Texas Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) programs against separate constitutional challenges in federal court. He was appointed a Special Assistant Attorney General, and provided pro bono representation to the IOLTA program and the justices of the Supreme Judicial Court.

Receiving the Access to Justice Pro Bono Publico Award, Whitney has performed significant pro bono services in a number of difficult family law matters through Southeastern Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corp. from 1983-96 and then through New Center for Legal Advocacy.

Callahan, the attorney in charge of the Lowell office of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, received the Defender Award for his significant contributions to clients and other attorneys. He has worked for CPCS since 1978, many of those years as lead attorney for the Lowell office, and is very active in the Greater Lowell Bar Association.

Willshire-Carrera of Boston, a senior attorney in the immigration unit at Greater Boston Legal Services, received the Legal Services Award for his work for decades on human rights and immigration issues at Greater Boston Legal Services, Cambridge & Somerville Legal Services and in the community.

Sawicki of Worcester received the Prosecutor Award for her work as chief of the Worcester District Attorney's Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit for more than 10 years. Responsible for prosecuting crimes against children, Sawicki also organizes and presents numerous educational programs to area school and community groups.

Lian, Zarrow, Eynon & Shea, this year's recipient of the Pro Bono Law Firm Award, is a nine-member firm whose members serve on at least one of the three active pro bono panels in the Worcester area. Many of its members serve on all three panels and each carries a regular pro bono caseload of at least half a dozen.