Four attorneys and one law firm were honored with the
Massachusetts Bar Association's Access to Justice Awards for their
exemplary delivery of legal services at the May 31 Annual Dinner.
MBA President Richard P. Campbell and MBA President-elect Robert L.
Holloway Jr. presented the awards at the Westin Boston
Victoria Reggie Kennedy, who provided the Annual Dinner keynote
address, said she was inspired by the honorees. "I congratulate
them for receiving Access to Justice Awards this evening, but most
of all, I congratulate and thank them for the work they all do make
sure that all people in our community have access to justice,"
PRO BONO AWARD FOR LAW FIRMS
Perkins & Kesten LLP,
The 13-member firm was recognized for its work as one of only
six law firms involved in a unique pro bono collaboration with the
Middlesex District Attorney's Office representing high-risk,
complex domestic violence cases.
Partner Laurence Hardoon describes the collaboration as a
win-win. Says associate Greg Pagnini "to know that my client's life
is immediately changed for the better because of our counsel has
been the most rewarding."
Since signing on as a vital piece of this much needed
collaboration in 2009, Brody Hardoon's track record has been
described as impressive by the Middlesex District Attorney's
Office. In addition to Hardoon and Pagnini, founding partners Rick
Brody, Lenny Kesten and Sam Perkins, Partner Jeremy Silverfine and
associates Tom Donaghue, Kristen Harris and Peter Montgomery have
all been vital to the firm's success with the program.
LEGAL SERVICES AWARDThomas Mela
Advocates for Children, Boston
Thomas Mela's longstanding career in public service is
highlighted by his work with the under-represented. As the
Massachusetts Advocates for Children managing attorney and senior
project director, Tom facilitates and leads three coalitions of
legal aid and public interest lawyers-the Children's Law Support
Program Advisory Committee, the Education Law Task Force and the
School Discipline Work Group.
His nomination stated, "Tom works far beyond his hours, deeply
committed to making change at the systemic level and obtaining the
best, sometimes life-changing, results for individual, low-income
clients." In addition to his exemplary service to clients, Tom
passes along his experience and example through his mentorship to
less seasoned colleagues and law students.
PRO BONO PUBLICO AWARD
Linda C. Hickman
Neighborhood Legal Services,
A long-time volunteer with the service's Elder Law Program,
Linda Hickman has donated her services with many complex cases and
has been instrumental in providing services to those who might not
otherwise have access. According to her nomination, "Linda's
contributions were stunning and made the difference between winning
a successful outcome or losing the case."
Dulcinea (Duci) Goncalves
Quincy Youth Advocacy
Department, Committee for Public Counsel Services
Dulcinea "Duci" Goncalves is the attorney in charge of the
Quincy Youth Advocacy Department of the Committee for Public
Counsel Services. There, she supervises three attorneys and support
staff and carries 15 to 20 cases at a time.
Said those who nominated "Duci," "those who have worked closely
with her all comment on her exceptional ability to work with her
clients and their families, advocating to obtain the best
short-term and long-term outcomes possible and going the extra mile
to make a difference in their lives."
Michael L. Fabbri
Michael Fabbri is currently the chief trial counsel for the
Middlesex District Attorney's Office. The 26-year prosecutor says,
"even on a bad day, it's a great profession."
According to his nomination, Fabbri has earned the respect of
his colleagues through his legendary work ethic, his integrity, his
commitment to serving victims and his effort to mentor his
colleagues. In addition to all the work that makes him deserving of
the honor, Fabbri is also the MBA's current chair of the Criminal