ABA proposals highlight March HOD meeting

Issue April 2014 By Jason Scally

Members of the Massachusetts Bar Association's House of Delegates (HOD) endorsed several proposals, and honored an MBA stalwart, during their March 6 meeting at Suffolk University Law School.

Before delving into the evening's full agenda, MBA President Douglas K. Sheff honored MBA Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Healy for 25 years of service to the MBA. Healy was given a commemorative watch.

During the first of two American Bar Association-related issues taken up at the meeting, Past President Richard P. Campbell asked the HOD to endorse the report of the ABA's Task Force on the Future of Legal education, which passed unanimously. HOD members also voted to support an ABA resolution, introduced by MBA President-elect Marsha V. Kazarosian and MBA Vice President Christopher P. Sullivan, which opposes a federal tax proposal that would require firms with annual gross receipts of more than $10 million to use the accrual method of accounting.

Past President Kathleen M. O'Donnell then presented extensive comments from her Professional Conduct Committee's look into proposed changes to the Rule of Professional Conduct. After the HOD endorsed her presentation, O'Donnell received a loud ovation in appreciation of her work on this exhaustive task, with Sheff noting, "This was not a project; it was a journey."

HOD members also readily supported presentations by the Juvenile Law, Probate and Access to Justice Section Councils, which included approval of the 2014 Access to Justice Award nominees.

Continuing this year's tradition of guest speakers, Chief Justice of the Superior Court Barbara Rouse spoke to HOD members early on in the agenda about attorney judicial evaluations, assuring them that attorneys' comments were indeed anonymous. The meeting also featured a full membership vote, which supported changes to the MBA's bylaws.