Celebrity judges added to panel for MBA’s Law Day Video Essay Contest

Issue March 2010 By Jennifer Rosinski

A pair of local media personalities will serve as the celebrity judges of the Massachusetts Bar Association's Law Day Video Essay Contest open to Massachusetts high school students. They join MBA President Valerie A. Yarashus and Norfolk Probate and Family Court Associate Justice Angela M. Ordoñez.

KISS 108's "Matty in the Morning" personality Billy Costa has reported on Hollywood news for the show since its inception. He also hosts the "KISS Top 30 Countdown of Today's Hit Music" on Saturday mornings and broadcasts live from major events, including the Oscar and Grammy awards.

In addition to his work at KISS, Costa hosts "TV Diner with Billy Costa" on New England Cable News.

A native of Cambridge who attended both Merrimack and Emerson colleges. It was while at Emerson that Costa became a DJ for a live radio show at a Boston nightclub and joined the college's radio station as a phantom DJ.

Jared Bowen is an Emmy-winning reporter with WGBH-TV's nightly news magazine program, "Greater Boston with Emily Rooney." His coverage takes him from breaking news to politics to arts and culture. Bowen has produced four news documentaries for "Greater Boston" and he produced the first three seasons of the station's "Eye on Education" initiative.

Bowen has won two New England Emmy awards for his arts reporting. He serves on the Board of Governors for the Boston/New England Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

A graduate of Emerson College, where he won several Associated Press Awards, Bowen is a native of Uxbridge.

Yarashus, a principal at Meehan, Boyle, Black & Bogdanow PC in Boston, will also serve as a judge alongside Ordoñez, co-chair of the MBA Diversity Task Force, which is providing funding for the winning scholarships.

Yarashus' signature efforts as an MBA officer include spearheading the MBA Task Force on Diversity from 2005 to 2007 and co-founding the association's Leadership Roundtables. She is a frequent speaker and writer for continuing legal education programs and co-chairs a bench-bar task force for plain English jury instructions.

Dedicated to bar involvement, Yarashus is also active in the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys and served as its president in 2002-03.

Ordoñez was appointed associate justice of the Nantucket Probate and Family Court Department in June of 2000 by Gov. Paul Cellucci. She served as first justice of the Nantucket probate and Family Court from 2000 to 2005. On Oct. 3, 2008, she was appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick as an associate justice of the Norfolk Probate and Family Court.

Prior to her appointment, Ordoñez was an assistant register of probate at Suffolk Probate and Family Court and a staff attorney in the Family Law Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services.

Ordoñez has been co-chair of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Family and Probate Inn of Courts. She initiated and assisted in implementing the MBA's Community Tiered Mentoring Program.

The video essay contest, the first of its kind by the MBA, is being held in celebration of Law Day this May. Contestants are competing for scholarships by creating and submitting original videos - up to three minutes in length - on the subject of "Diversity in the Law."

The winning entries will be selected based on originality, creativity, adherence to the theme and overall quality. The following scholarships will be awarded: $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for honorable mention.

All three winners and their families will be invited to attend a special ceremony during the MBA's House of Delegates meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Dedham on May 19. All three videos will be shown at the event.