Harshbarger headlines MBF 2004 Annual Meeting

Issue January 2004

Former Massachusetts Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Scott Harshbarger will be the keynote speaker at the Foundation's Annual Meeting on Jan. 22, 2004, at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. The meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. and is followed by a cocktail reception.

From public servant to government/corporate watchdog to his current role as director of the Harshbarger Governance Practice at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, Harshbarger brings a wealth of insight and experience in the areas of government, public interest and corporate ethics.

Harshbarger moved to private practice after spending three years as president & CEO of the non-partisan citizens' organization Common Cause in Washington, D.C. While at Common Cause, he built partnerships and coalitions with business and grassroots organizations to push passage of the landmark federal campaign-finance-reform legislation, commonly known as "McCain-Feingold." Harshbarger also launched Common Cause's corporate governance project in 2002 and dramatically expanded Common Cause's national agenda to include election reform and monitoring the performance of executive agencies.

His lengthy career in public service includes Massachusetts Attorney General (1991-1999) and Middlesex County District Attorney (1983-1991), among other positions of leadership. Harshbarger also has served as counsel to the State Ethics Commission, chief of the Public Protection Bureau in the Attorney General's Office, and deputy chief counsel for the Massachusetts Defenders Committee.

Grantee Speaker
Henriette Perkins of the Lynn-based Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. (NLS) is this year's grantee speaker. Perkins plays a vital role as both a staff attorney and the pro bono coordinator for the highly successful NLS Family Law Support Project. She handles the recruitment and training of the program's more than 100 volunteer private attorneys, in addition to the case screening and referral process.

Perkins has played a leading role in NLS' creative and effective utilization of pro bono volunteers to expand its program services over the years. Last year, the program provided services to more than 3,200 individuals in Essex County.

The Massachusetts Bar Foundation is a proud supporter of the NLS Family Law Support Project. This year, NLS received an IOLTA grant in the amount of $42,500. NLS also recently hosted a 2003 MBF Legal Intern Fellowship Program recipient.

Great Friend Awardee
MBF Fellows are invited to support the Foundation and honor a Great Friend of Justice at the annual Access to Justice Awards Luncheon, co-sponsored with the MBA as part of Annual Conference 2004. The luncheon, which takes place on Friday, Jan. 23, 2004, at noon will honor Massachusetts attorneys and a law firm that have made exemplary contributions to pro bono activities or the cause of justice in the commonwealth. During the luncheon, the MBF will present a Great Friend of Justice Award to Atty. Richard Johnston for his leading role in defending the Massachusetts IOLTA program against legal challenges.