The Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the philanthropic partner of
the Massachusetts Bar Association, honored a "great friend" and
elected new officers at its 2014 Annual Meeting. Held on Jan. 23 at
the Social Law Library in the John Adams Courthouse, the meeting
marked the beginning of the foundation's 50th anniversary
Attorney Michael E. Mone of Esdaile, Barrett, Jacobs and Mone was
honored with the 2014 Great Friend of Justice Award. Mone, a
nationally recognized civil trial lawyer and a pioneer in the field
of tort litigation, has been extraordinarily committed to giving
back to the legal profession and the community throughout his
He has served as past president of the American College of Trial
Lawyers, the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys and the
Massachusetts Bar Association. Mone is also widely known for his
significant pro bono efforts on behalf of people in need, including
Guantanamo Bay prisoners, which he represented together with his
son and fellow attorney Michael E. Mone Jr.
"The work of the Mass. Bar Foundation is something that every
lawyer in the state can be proud of," said Mone. "In Massachusetts,
when you stand up for an unpopular cause, you're fulfilling a
tradition that goes back to colonial times. I accept this award not
on behalf of myself, but on behalf of every lawyer who does this
kind of work every day."
The meeting also featured remarks from grantee speaker Gail S.
Packer, the executive director of the Community Dispute Settlement
Center in Cambridge, who reflected upon the strong relationship her
organization has enjoyed with the foundation for more than 25
years. CDSC is a private, nonprofit mediation and training center
committed to providing an alternative and affordable forum for
resolving conflict. The foundation has proudly supported CDSC's
court-based mediation services for nearly two decades. CDSC has 70
volunteer mediators and offers a parent mediation program and
New officers Robert J. Ambrogi, Vice President Janet F. Aserkoff,
Treasurer Harvey Weiner, Secretary Richard J. Gahn, and Past
President Jerry Cohen were each elected for one-year terms ending
in 2015. Trustees were also elected for terms ending in 2017,
including Aserkoff; Lewis C. Eisenberg, Lawrence F. Farber, Hon.
Robert G. Fields; and Weiner.
In remarks following his election, Ambrogi said that this
anniversary year should be one in which the foundation continues to
build on its 50 years of supporting access to justice. But
acknowledging the harsh economic realities facing civil legal aid
programs, he also hopes to see it take a leading role in helping
grantee organizations innovate the use technology to deliver legal
"As we continue to have to do more with less, it is incumbent on
us to explore all available alternatives," he said. "Increasingly,
technology is a critical component of this."
The foundation also recognized Fellows who completed their pledges
in 2013 to become Life Fellows of the foundation. They included
Oliver Wendell Holmes Life Fellows John J. Carroll Jr., Daniel J.
Gleason, and Alice E. Richmond; Louis D. Brandeis Life Fellows J.W.
Carney Jr., Michelle Keith, Alfred J. Geoffrion Jr., Catherine E.
Reuben, Wendy Sibbison, James E. Tashjian, Mindee E. Wasserman and
Harvey Weiner; and Foundation Life Fellows Mary Lu Bilek, Maureen
E. Curran, Kevin G. Diamond, Chris S. Dodig, Hon. Brian J. Dunn,
Diane J. Levin, Dennis M. Lindgren, Barbara H. Mitchell, Angela
McConney Scheepers and Stephen K. Sugarman.
Founded in 1964, the foundation celebrates its 50th anniversary in
2014. Through its grantmaking and charitable activities, the
foundation works to increase access to justice for all in
Massachusetts. The foundation will host its 50th Anniversary Gala
Dinner on Oct. 23 at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston.