Member Spotlights

Issue January 2014

Ponsor publishes novel

U.S. District Court Judge Michael A. Ponsor has penned his first novel titled, "The Hanging Judge," which is now commercially available. The book draws upon Ponsor's years as a federal trial judge, in particular his experience presiding over the 2001 death penalty trial of Kristen Gilbert, who killed four ailing patients under her care at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Northampton, and attempted to kill two more.

The book primarily deals with a drive-by shooting in which two are killed, a nurse and a known drug dealer.

The book highlights not only the real-life aspects of the criminal justice system generally, but the thoughts and pressures placed on the specific actors within it. A veteran defense attorney and an ambitious prosecutor clash as a new judge must referee.

Ponsor was appointed as a magistrate judge in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan, and then a district judge 10 years later by President Bill Clinton; he took senior status in 2011, but still hears both criminal and civil cases.

MBA member honored with 2013 Pro Bono Publico Award

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts announced the recipients of the 2013 Pro Bono Publico awards, and MBA member Jonathan R. Goldsmith of Goldsmith, Katz & Argenio PC received the Western Division Award.

Goldsmith was honored for his commitment to representing indigent parties in all aspects of bankruptcy matters, as well as mentoring of new bankruptcy practitioners. He has served as a panelist and lecturer on a number of bankruptcy and bankruptcy related programs. In addition, Goldsmith's commitment to encouraging others to engage in pro bono services made him an ideal recipient of the inaugural award.

Goldsmith is also a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and is a former New England District Chair of the Commercial Law League of America.