Member Spotlight

Issue August 2005

Attorneys at Foley Hoag, LLP have received the 2005 Robert B. Fraser Award for Pro Bono Excellence given by the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts, Inc.

Those honored included three members of the Massachusetts Bar Association: partner Jacob N. Polatin, and associates Janene Asgeirson and Sheryl Howard.

The Fraser Award is given annually to lawyers who volunteer their expertise and are committed to meeting the needs of the artistic communities of Massachusetts. This year, each attorney was honored for significant efforts to support the Fort Point Cultural Coalition and help successfully rejuvenate the area’s neighborhood.

Foley Hoag’s lawyers provide pro bono representation in virtually every area of legal practice, particularly focusing on those areas that serve the poor and powerless in recent years.

The justices of the Supreme Judicial Court recently appointed Superior Court Judge Thomas A. Connors to the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee and reappointed Cambridge District Court Judge Jonathan Brant, Judge Edward M. Ginsburg (retired), and Worcester Probate and Family Court Judge Susan D. Ricci to the committee. All of the appointments are for four-year terms ending May 1, 2009.

Appointed a justice of the Superior Court in 2004, Judge Connors was first named to the bench of the District Court Department in 1995. Prior to that, he was in private practice.

Judge Brant was appointed to the bench in 1992. Before his appointment, he engaged in private practice and was a professor at the New England School of Law. Before that, he served as assistant attorney general. Judge Brant has written Law and Mental Health Professionals as well as numerous law review articles.

Appointed to the Probate and Family Court in 1977, Judge Ginsburg retired in 2002 after 25 years. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he was in private practice. He now teaches at Suffolk University Law School and Boston College Law School. He is a founder of Senior Partners for Justice, an organization that provides free legal services to indigent litigants in family law matters.

Before her appointment as a circuit justice of the Probate and Family Court in 1993, Judge Ricci was a partner in the Worcester law firm of Norman & Ricci. In 2001, she was appointed as associate justice of the Worcester Division of the Probate and Family Court.

Established by statute in 1973, the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee is composed of 14 judges and lawyers appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court for staggered four-year terms. The committee secures and protects the legal rights of persons involved in mental health and retardation programs in the commonwealth.