"Honoring the Profession's Finest" recognizes Judge William Young, ABA's Michael Greco May 9

Issue April 2006

The Massachusetts Bar Association will host "Honoring the Profession's Finest," an award presentation and dinner program, on Tuesday, May 9, at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum at Columbia Point in Boston.

The first-time event will recognize the recipients of the MBA Gold Medal Award and the Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award.

MBA President Warren Fitzgerald will award U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young the Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award. American Bar Association President Michael S. Greco will be presented with the MBA Gold Medal Award.

"Both of these extraordinary leaders — receiving the highest honor given to an MBA member and the highest honor given to one of our jurists — will be recognized at this special event," Fitzgerald said. "These awards warrant a special occasion and a special event to honor them."

Recognizing Young and Greco at the event will come as the president's tenure begins to wind down in the summer, ending officially at the end of August. MBA President-Elect Mark D. Mason is scheduled to begin his term as MBA president for 2006-2007 on Sept. 1.

Tickets for the event are $125. A cocktail reception and access to the museum's exhibit areas will begin at 6 p.m., with the dinner and awards program to follow at 7 p.m.

The Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award is presented to judges of the federal or state courts who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and dedication to improving the administration of justice, furthering public understanding of and respect for the law, advancing legal scholarship and enriching the literature of the law, and, in so doing, upholding the highest traditions for public service.

Young serves in the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts. A graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School, Young was nominated to serve on the federal court in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan. Prior to his nomination, he was an associate justice on the Superior Court of Massachusetts from 1978 to 1985. Among Young's most noteworthy judgments were his 2003 sentencing of convicted "shoe bomber" Richard Reid and his 2004 ruling rendering federal sentencing guidelines unconstitutional.

The Gold Medal Award is given to individuals who have provided outstanding legal services that have benefited the legal profession in Massachusetts. Awardees have performed actions that have enhanced the image of the legal profession and the MBA, as well as demonstrated a commitment to public service and the principles embodied in the MBA.

Greco, a partner in the Boston office of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, Nicholson, Graham LLP, became president of the American Bar Association in August 2005. A trial lawyer with more than 30 years of litigation experience, he served as president of the MBA, the New England Bar Association, the New England Bar Foundation and the Board of Trustees of Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education. As MBA president, he and the governor appointed a blue ribbon Commission on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children, whose report and recommendations led to the enactment of new statutes protecting the legal rights of children.