Member Spotlight

Issue June 2008

Supreme Judicial Court appoints MBA General Counsel Martin W. Healy to Board of Bar Examiners

The Supreme Judicial Court recently appointed Martin W. Healy, general counsel at the Massachusetts Bar Association, to the Board of Bar Examiners. His appointment is effective on June 1 and expires on Oct. 1, 2012. Healy fills the position previously held by Alice E. Richmond, a past president of the MBA (1986-87).

The Board of Bar Examiners, consisting of five members appointed by the SJC, makes rules with reference to examinations for admission to the Massachusetts bar and the qualifications of applicants, in accordance with SJC Rule 3:01. The board prepares, administers and grades the bar examinations, evaluates applicants’ requirements, and issues reports to the SJC.

Healy, of Wilmington, has worked at the MBA since 1989, and was promoted to general counsel in 1997. He also served the MBA in a dual capacity as both general counsel and interim executive director on two separate occasions.

Previously, he was a law clerk in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and in the Law Office of William F. Coyne in Boston. Healy has also served as a senior legislative aide in the Massachusetts Senate. Among his numerous professional activities, Healy is a pro bono defense counsel for the Committee for Public Counsel Services, an editorial board member of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and a member of the SJC Judiciary-Media Committee.

Mass. Appeals Court Chief honored at RWU School of Law Commencement

Roger Williams University School of Law awarded an honorary degree to the Hon. Phillip Rapoza, chief justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court and an influential figure in international human rights law, at its May 16 commencement ceremonies.

Rapoza received the honorary doctorate of laws for his leadership in the Massachusetts Appeals Court and his commitment to working on international legal issues. He has served as the only U.S. judge on the Special Panels for Serious Crime, a war crimes tribunal established by the United Nations to deal with crimes against humanity and human rights violations committed in East Timor during the country’s quest for independence. Within three months of his appointment, he was promoted to chief administrative judge of the panel.

Jorge A. Solis to lead National Subrogation Division at Gibson & Behman PC

Gibson & Behman PC in Burlington recently announced that Jorge A. Solis will head its National Subrogation Division.

In this expanded role, Solis, who joined the firm in 2003, will oversee the firm’s division on subrogation cases, one that has grown in the wake of an increasing number of cases whereby insurance companies are paying claims caused by the negligence of a third party.

“It is with pleasure that we announce Jorge as the head of our National Subrogation Division,” said Daniel P. Gibson, co-founder and chairman of Gibson & Behman PC. “His background as an assistant district attorney, and the comprehensive work he has done since joining us in 2003, makes him the optimum choice to lead this important and growing division.”

Massachusetts Association of Court Appointed Attorneys elects new leadership

On April 12, the Massachusetts Association of Court Appointed Attorneys held its annual election at its annual meeting in Worcester.

MACAA President Mark Hare said, “MACAA has united lawyers from every part of the state and has evolved into an organization which has the strength and expertise to effectively address issues of concern to its members.”

The 2008-09 officers are: President Mark Hare, Springfield, Hampden County; Vice President William Smith, Holden, Worcester County; Vice President Robert Dimler, Plymouth, Plymouth County; and Clerk/Treasurer Deborah Sirotkin Butler, Arlington, Middlesex County.

The 2008-09 board of directors are: Michael Cashman, Charlton, Worcester County; Beverly Chorbajian, Worcester, Worcester County; Julia Durchanek, Holyoke, Hampden County; Robert Iacovelli, Worcester, Worcester County; Aviva Jeruchim, Boston, Suffolk County; Nancy McLean, Dennis, Barnstable County; George Mulgrew Jr., Lexington, Middlesex County; D.J. Phillips, Danvers, Essex County; and Marie Elena Saccoccio, Cambridge, Middlesex County.

MBA Past President Mark Mason honored with the MBA Community Service Award at MLGBA Annual Dinner

The Massachusetts Bar Association recently honored Past President Mark D Mason with a Community Service Award for his ongoing commitment to using his legal skills to serve the public. Mason, a Springfield resident, has practiced at Cooley Shrair PC in Springfield for 14 years.

The MBA created the Community Service Award Program in 1984 to recognize attorneys and judges who have made public service contributions to their communities. Recipients are nominated for the award by county and other MBA-affiliated bar associations. Mason was nominated by the Massachusetts Lesbian & Gay Bar Association, of which he has been an active member for 15 years, and was given the award at MLGBA’s annual dinner at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge in Cambridge on May 9.

“Mark’s dedication to his profession and his community is extraordinary,” said MBA President David W. White Jr., who presented the award to Mason. “He leads by example, and has consistently dedicated his time and talent to serve the needs of others.”

Mason made history in 2006 when he became the first — and thus far, only — openly gay and married bar association president in the nation. As president of the MBA for the 2006-07 association year, Mason focused on establishing and expanding law-related education programs across the state, including the Choose Law program, the Judicial Youth Corps and Lawyer-Teacher Partnership program.

Mason’s volunteer work is diverse, as he divides his time between legal organizations and local community groups. He is co-founder and past president of the Gay & Lesbian Civic Association of Greater Springfield, past chair and commissioner of the Springfield Cultural Council, as well as a board member of the Holyoke Street School, the Community Music School of Springfield and the Hampden County Bar Association.

“It’s not a matter of taking time to volunteer. It’s a matter of pursuing a lifestyle that you find meaningful and enjoy. It’s always been important to me to help people and to be sure there’s justice in the world,” Mason said.