If you weren't able to join us at our Annual Dinner last month,
you missed an incredible event that had an energy that was
infectious. Between the beautiful weather, the sold-out crowd, the
well-deserved awards and a wonderful keynote by Attorney Mark
Geragos, the evening was the pinnacle event of our association
And I am so proud of the Massachusetts Bar Association's Oliver
Wendell Holmes Jr., Scholarship recipient this year, Ying Wang, who
received her scholarship at the Annual Dinner. As you can see from
the cover story about her and her extraordinary accomplishments,
she is truly the embodiment of what our profession celebrates.
Although the Annual Dinner had no official theme, it was a
celebration of everything that we have all accomplished this year
-- especially the advent of voir dire after decades of
advocacy. As if part of the script, Geragos' stories about voir
dire and his own high-profile trials were the perfect
punctuation to our night.
There was no better way to kick off the dinner than with the
presentation of the Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award to
Superior Court Associate Justice Dennis J. Curran, whose own
voir dire trials played such an integral role in proving
voir dire works. We were also honored to host so many
members of the judiciary at the Annual Dinner, including Supreme
Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants. Without the
collaboration of the judiciary, we never would be where we are
today, and we are thankful for their continued partnership and
It was also particularly inspiring to see so many of our friends
from the trial bar, including those from the Massachusetts Academy
of Trial Attorneys, with whom we worked so closely for 20 years to
achieve this goal of voir dire in Massachusetts. It was
truly a celebration of our joint efforts..
Of course, voir dire would not have become law without
support from our elected officials. When we presented the
President's Award to Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, his acceptance
remarks were telling: "I was proud to work with the Massachusetts
Bar Association and many of you here on the legislators'
attorney-directed voir dire law. In drafting that law we
relied on diverse opinions, and after much consideration were
compelled to address the system on a whole. I believe that because
of this strategy we are seeing positive effects much earlier than
it would have taken. That's why I can stand here tonight and say
that today the state of the judiciary is strong and getting
stronger every day."
And looking around the packed ballroom at the Westin on May 7
and seeing so many engaged and dedicated members of our
association, I realized that the same is true of the MBA. We are
getting stronger and stronger every day.
There are many wonderful organizations that represent specific
interests of the bar -- many being long-time MBA-affiliated bars
with which we enjoy a synergetic partnership. But one of the
things about the MBA that makes us so special is our unique
position as the statewide bar association.
The MBA boasts members from large firms and small firms, solos
and in-house lawyers, criminal lawyers, civil litigators,
transactional attorneys, and judges. We have 50-year members
and law students and everyone in between from every corner of the
commonwealth. Our constituents are our profession and those who
work in the legal community day in and day out, and it is an honor
and a privilege to serve them both.
Thank you to all of our sponsors, friends and colleagues around
the commonwealth for making this Annual Dinner the huge success
that it continues to be each and every year. We are deeply grateful
for your continued support of the MBA.
I also want to thank my fellow MBA officers and Executive
Management Board members for their collective dedication to this
annual milestone and to the excellence of the MBA, especially our
Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Healy,
whose leadership of the MBA staff in orchestrating this special
event is admired and appreciated. And a very special thanks goes
out to the staff -- thank you all for putting on what has become
the highlight of the year for fun events in the legal
Our Annual Dinner may be the symbolic end of the association
year, but we still have several exciting programs to look forward
to this summer. Please mark your calendars for our upcoming Summer
Networking socials. The first one is Thursday, June 25, at
Watermark East in Kendall Square. Then there will be one at
Sterling's in Boston on July 23 and a third at Tia's on the
Waterfront on Aug. 13. These are the events to attend if you want
to meet new attorneys and new members and have fun in the process.
I hope to see you there.
The MBA's best keeps getting better and better. I am looking
forward to what next year brings!