All things DR- all in one place

Issue November/December 2016 By Brian R. Jerome

The DR Section is off to an exceptional start, with the section council having had their kick-off meeting in early September, followed by an immensely successful inaugural reception on September 20. Close to 100 people were present to celebrate the launch of the MBA's newest section, enjoying unparalleled networking opportunities, and appreciating an interesting achievement-oriented discussion by Lon Povich, Governor Baker's chief legal counsel, along with thoughtful and inspirational remarks by the Hon. Dennis Curran of the Massachusetts Superior Court.

We're organizing programs to bring together DR practitioners and users through this section - the first statewide platform of its kind in Massachusetts. We already have more than 180 members, with interests extending through the full range of dispute resolution spectrum. Our liaison positions have been assigned and have been working to establish goals in their respective areas of responsibility.

  • Sarah Worley, vice chair
  • Hon. Patricia Bernstein, Young Lawyers
  • Stephen Chow and Jeffrey Stern, Legislative
  • Hon. Judith Dein and Jeanne Kempthorne, Law School
  • John Fieldsteel and Merriann Panarella, Best Practices
  • Jonathan Fitch, Arbitration
  • Scott Goldberg, Sole Practitioner / Small Firm
  • Hon. Mal Graham and Katherine Hesse, Amicus Curiae
  • Nigel Long, Pro Bono
  • Hon. Bonnie MacLeod and Eron Hackshaw, Membership
  • Conna Weiner, Vivian Hsu and Laura Gibbs, Education
  • Michael Zeytoonian and Sheri Wilson, My Bar Access, Public Relations, and Publications

We have been reaching out to other sections to determine how the DR group can provide the most significant support. For example, our YLD liaison attended the recent Summer Boat Cruise and connected with members of their section, and our Education liaisons have initiated conversations with multiple sections in hopes of co-organizing CLE events focused in specific practice areas. Our SP/SF liaison attended that group's first section council meeting and is learning about their unique needs so as to most successfully integrate DR collaboration.

Our Best Practices group has scheduled four programs to occur over this association year, with one to be held in Springfield. DR's Law School liaisons have already reached out to every Massachusetts law school to offer expert presentations and unique observation opportunities to focused students. Our Publications crew has scheduled a different DR-related article to be featured every month, which you will see here in the Massachusetts Lawyers Journal and eJournal, as well as in the DR Section's My Bar Access Library.

Since we are talking about My Bar Access, we are working to establish My Bar Access as the primary communication method within the section. Doing so will enable all section members to best benefit from the work we are engaged in. So please log in, create your profile and set your preferences. It will take only 10 minutes, and you'll be better connected. Please start a discussion, ask a question, and post something valuable to our library!

Our focus this year is to build critical mass, garner member input, and put together a diverse and valuable program. Please consider joining the DR Section (it's as easy as a click!) to support this fellowship. As we say: Dispute Resolution - it's not just a section, it's a community.

Brian Jerome is chair of the MBA's Dispute Resolution (DR) Section Council.

Other Articles in this Issue: