AC07 takes shape, improves on past events

Issue December 2006 By Kate O'Toole

Attendees of past MBA annual conferences will notice some important changes at this year's Annual Conference, to take place on Friday, March 2, 2007. A major change is the length of the conference, which has been trimmed from a three-day program to a one-day event.

"We are excited to be offering a one-day conference this year that is packed with programming concentrating on the most relevant topics for MBA members practicing in Massachusetts," remarked MBA Executive Director Marilyn J. Wellington.

Due to its popularity, the Bench-Bar Forum, which previously took place on the second day of the conference, was moved from the Annual Conference agenda and transformed into the Bench-Bar Symposium on Nov. 30.

NPR's Totenberg, ABC's Medrano top the speaker list
AC07 will also feature several distinguished speakers, including ABC News Legal Affairs Correspondent Manuel Medrano and National Public Radio Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg. Medrano will speak at a morning plenary session about diversity in the legal profession, and Totenberg will deliver the keynote address at the conference's Annual Dinner.

Medrano covers the Supreme Court and provides legal analysis for all ABC News broadcasts. Before beginning his career in broadcasting, Medrano was a trial lawyer at the law firm of Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal in Los Angeles, where he specialized in complex civil and white collar criminal litigation. He also served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Los Angeles office. Medrano is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

Totenberg has been a reporter for National Public Radio for more than 30 years, during which time she has received numerous journalism awards and several honorary degrees and has been recognized by the American Bar Association eight times for her excellence in reporting. She may be most known for her 1991 breaking report about Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment by Judge Clarence Thomas — a news story that forced the Senate to reopen Thomas' confirmation hearings.

The day will also be packed with CLE programming applicable to all types of attorneys, from a small-firm, family law practitioner in Lenox to a civil litigator at a large Boston firm. Throughout the day, short CLE seminars led by expert attorneys will cover the year's recent developments in all fields of law. AC07 will also include "Hot Topics" sessions, which will deal with issues such as career development and client relations.

"The MBA is proud to bring together attorneys and judges at this year's Annual Conference as we stand shoulder to shoulder ‘United in the Law,'" commented MBA President Mark D Mason, alluding to the shared theme of the association year and the conference, "United in the Law." "Our programming reflects the MBA's tradition of excellence in professional programs. From our ‘Recent Developments in the Law' offerings to the Access to Justice Awards Luncheon and Annual Dinner, the Annual Conference promises to be enriching and inspirational."

Additionally, AC07 attendees will interact with exhibitors offering the latest tools, resources and services to assist attorneys in enhancing their practice of law. Technology vendors will be front and center, showcasing their law-related products.

"These program offerings, speakers and other conference features will provide our members with an arsenal of relevant information and practical know-how to help them sharpen their practice upon returning to their offices across the state," said Wellington.