DelVecchio, Stevens honored at Excellence in the Law

Issue June 2014 By Mike Vigneux

Achievements across the legal community were celebrated at Excellence in the Law, an event co-presented by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and the Massachusetts Bar Association on May 1 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston.

The MBA paid special tribute to the Hon. Suzanne V. DelVecchio (ret.) and Carl Stevens of WBZ News Radio 1030. DelVecchio was presented with the Daniel F. Toomey Excellence in the Judiciary Award and Stevens was honored with the Excellence in Legal Journalism Award.

The event also featured award presentations for excellence in Pro Bono, Marketing, Firm Administration, Paralegal and Up & Coming Lawyers. A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Massachusetts Bar Institute Public Service Fund, which helps support community services throughout the state such as the Elder Law Program, the Tiered Community Mentoring Program, the Judicial Youth Corps Program, the Law Day Initiative, pro bono programs and the popular high school Mock Trial Program.

DelVecchio, a senior mediator and arbitrator at Commonwealth Mediation & Conciliation Inc., is a former Superior Court chief justice. As chief justice, DelVecchio implemented the Superior Court's Business Litigation Session. Her distinguished career also includes serving as the regional administrative justice in Plymouth County, as a staff attorney for the Boston Legal Aid Society and as corporate counsel for the City of Boston. DelVecchio sits on the MBA's Blue Ribbon Commission on Criminal Justice Attorney Compensation, which examines the impact of low prosecutor and public defender salaries on the state's criminal justice system.

"Excellence usually comes in threes," MBA President Douglas K. Sheff told the audience. "So where is the triad of excellence in the law? The answer is Judge Suzanne DelVecchio. Without her, our legal community would be incomplete, less human and considerably less colorful."

"This is special. This really means a lot to me coming from my colleagues," said DelVecchio after receiving her award.

Stevens is an award-winning general assignment reporter for WBZ News Radio 1030. During his career at WBZ, Stevens received the first-ever Edward R. Murrow National Award for Writing. In 1996, Stevens and WBZ received the prestigious Murrow Award for Feature Reporting on a story entitled "Blue M&M's." Named "Best Radio Reporter" by Boston Magazine, Stevens also uses a video camera to report on unique and enterprising stories for RadioVision on wbz.com.

"These days it's so easy to paint lawyers and judges alike in a negative light," said Sheff. "But Carl Stevens is not like most reporters."

Making light of his spot in the event's program, Stevens noted that "following Suzanne DelVecchio is like following David Ortiz in the batting order."

A total of 38 awards were presented including 25 to Up & Coming lawyers, those attorneys who have been members of the bar for 10 years or less but have already distinguished themselves as rising stars in the state's legal community.