The Massachusetts Bar Association
thanked section leaders, community and public service volunteers
and task force and committee members at a volunteer reception held
June 24 at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston.
Nearly 200 people attended the
awards and networking event, at which New Bedford attorney Margaret
"Mardee" D. Xifaras was honored with the President's Award and the
association's 50-year members were recognized.
MBA President Edward W. McIntyre
applauded the work of the MBA's numerous volunteers.
"You are truly the heartbeat and
workhorses of the organization," he said. "Because of your
considerable sacrifices and contributions to our vibrant
organization, the Massachusetts legal community as a whole is
better off, the public needing legal services are better served and
access to justice is better preserved for those who need it
MBA Treasurer Denise Squillante, a
longtime colleague and friend of Xifaras, co-presented the
President's Award with McIntyre. Xifaras is an attorney at Lang,
Xifaras & Bullard.
"Mardee likes to do her work where
it most counts - in the trenches," said Squillante, who chronicled
Xifaras' admirable career in public service, accentuating Xifaras'
professional strengths as she "talked the talk and walked the
While accepting the MBA's high
honor, Xifaras described herself as "an old-fashioned organizer."
She emphasized the importance of the "values of community" taught
to her at a young age.
Xifaras added, "Being a lawyer is something more than being a
business person … it's always about what the community needs."