Section Council Spotlight

Issue December 2006

Family Law Section
The Family Law Section is working to get the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) through the Massachusetts Legislature during the upcoming session.

Forty-four states have passed this improvement in child custody jurisdiction, which permits the court to retain custody jurisdiction after a child relocates, so long as one parent remains in the state. Any members with compelling stories about the damage that loss of jurisdiction has done to a real family or client are encouraged to participate.

Two MBA members are on the Child Support Guidelines Task Force of the Trial Court: Section Chair Fern L. Frolin and attorney Marilynne Ryan. Members will be updated on hearing dates and other opportunities for input.

The Child Support Guidelines Task Force of the Trial Court, which convened on Oct. 31, is expected to culminate in a report in September 2007. The process will include public hearings in February in Boston, Springfield and possibly a third location, in Dedham. Dates and times will be posted on the MBA Web site as soon as they are available.

The Family Law legislation co-chairs, attorney Jerry Aaron of Newton and Elaine Gordon of Worcester, plan to submit draft legislation to reform division of Massachusetts state employees' pensions through divorce orders.

Labor and Employment Law Section
The MBA co-sponsored the 34th Annual Robert Fuchs Labor Law Conference, the major conference in New England devoted to federal labor law in the private sector.

The other co-sponsors were the Boston offices of the National Labor Relations Board and the U.S. Department of Labor, the five other New England state bar associations, the Boston Bar Association and Suffolk University Law School, where the conference was held. The keynote speakers were NLRB General Counsel Ronald Meisburg and Solicitor of Labor Howard Radzely.

One panel featured recent developments concerning the Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower law, while the other discussed legal developments under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

Labor and Employment has held three monthly luncheon roundtables. The Boston luncheon roundtable program is chaired by Ellen Messing, James Glickman, and David Wilson. Currently, Tani Sapirstein and Daniel Blake are making plans for luncheon roundtables in Springfield, while Nicholas Anastopoulos and Mark Hickernell are doing the same for Worcester.

The Springfield program will begin on Jan. 18 with a presentation on retaliation claims post-Burlington Northern.