The Jan. 26 meeting of the Massachusetts Bar Association's House
of Delegates (HOD) featured a historic vote on an
immigration-related resolution, the approval of several new ethics
advisory opinions and a presentation about the Dorchester Drug
The immigration resolution
(www.massbar.org/immigrationresolution, and see page 12),
introduced by MBA President Jeffrey N. Catalano and Civil Rights
& Social Justice Chair Richard W. Cole, saw HOD members vote
overwhelmingly to affirm the MBA's support for the due process
rights and need for legal representation for documented and
undocumented immigrants in Massachusetts. "It's important that we
act now and show that the MBA is prepared right now to take a
leadership position," said Catalano, before the vote.
Prior to the adoption of the immigration resolution, Harvard Law
School Professor Andrew Kaufman, the chair of the MBA's Committee
on Professional Ethics, received approval from HOD members to
publish four ethics opinions. The published opinions answer
- Engagement letters when lawyers change firms;
- Representing multiple plaintiffs against the same
- Releasing a file concerning the execution of the will of a
deceased client to a proponent of the will when a will contest is
- Rule 8.3's requirement to report misconduct to Bar Counsel's
Another highlight of the meeting was a presentation by Boston
Municipal Court Judge Serge Georges Jr. on the Dorchester Drug
Court. As the presiding judge of the session, Georges talked about
how the Drug Court, one of four specialty courts in Massachusetts,
has been successful helping to rehabilitate certain drug addicts
with drug-related offenses, and how and why the session is
different than regular BMC or District Court.
Several MBA leaders gave reports at the start of the meeting,
including Catalano, who touted the newest MassBar Beat podcast on
the Homeless Court and talked about recent collaborative efforts
with affinity and county bar associations. President-elect
Christopher P. Sullivan previewed an upcoming program on how to
become a judge. And Vice President John J. Morrissey announced a
March program about eliminating implicit bias through
attorney-conducted voir dire. MBA Chief Legal Counsel Martin W.
Healy also shared the news that attorney-conducted voir dire will
be coming to the District Court.
Also at the meeting, the HOD approved the recommendation to
elect five attorneys - Richard P. Campbell, William Hogan III,
Josephine McNeil, Francis Morrissey and Brigid Mitchell - as MBA
delegates to the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates.
The meeting concluded with a presentation by Lisa C. Goodheart on
the 2016 Report of the Court Management Advisory Board on the
Management and Administration of the Massachusetts Trial Court.