Announcements

  • Demystifying DMH

    Please join the Education Law Practice Group on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019 from 4:30 – 6:00 P.M. at the MBA in Boston with guest speakers Carly Sebastian and Lester Blumberg from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. Please click here to RSVP. 

    DEMYSTIFYING DMH

    The Education Law Practice Group is excited to have Lester Blumberg and Carly Sebastian from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) joining us to talk about the services the DMH provides, including working in partnerships with schools. Blumberg and Sebastian will provide an insider’s look at DMH, the continuum of services available and how the DMH can support students. Blumberg will also discuss the DMH’s new policy position on residential placements that was issued on Oct. 20, 2019.

     

    Lester Blumberg, Esq. has worked for the Massachusetts DMH since 1992, and presently serves as general counsel to the agency. Prior to assuming that role, he served as the chief of staff, and as legal counsel to the DMH, first as an assistant general counsel, then as deputy general counsel. He received his JD from Northeastern University School of Law, a master’s in child development from Tufts University, and a bachelor’s degree from Clark University. Prior to joining the DMH, he was in private practice. He has been a frequent presenter at DMH and continuing legal education training programs dealing with mental health, civil commitment reform, guardianship, special education, juvenile law and child custody issues.

     

    Carly Sebastian, LICSW, is the director of Child Youth and Family Services for the DMH in Central Massachusetts. Her career in human services began more than 20 years ago with a drive and passion to help some of the commonwealth’s most vulnerable populations. She began her service with DMH as a child and adolescent case manager, then moved to the role of program manager, overseeing the Service Authorization Department for youth and adults. As director, she is charged with overseeing the service delivery network, which includes both the DMH and contracted agencies for children, adolescents, young adults and their families. The DMH, as the Mental Health Authority, has afforded her the unique role of providing direct support as well as a partner with the community to collaborate in eliminating mental health discrimination and improve accessibility to early intervention. Sebastian is also an adjunct professor at Mount Wachusett Community College.


    Please submit any questions you may have for Carly Sebastian and Lester Blumberg ahead of time. You may email me directly at hrobertson@massbar.org with your question(s). The deadline for all inquiries is Nov. 19. Please note that all questions will be anonymous.


     Click here to RSVP.

    Date: Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019
    Time: 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Location: Massachusetts Bar Association; 20 West St., Boston

    Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. 

  • 2019-20 Access to Justice Awards

    The MBA annually recognizes attorneys and law firms who make significant contributions to access to justice in the commonwealth. Nominate and recognize an unsung hero of the legal profession, or a law firm that has made a significant difference for low-income litigants dealing with the justice system, by submitting your nomination by 5 p.m. on Nov. 19.

    Please click here to make a nomination.

    AWARD CATEGORIES:

    PRO BONO PUBLICO AWARD:
    This award is given to an individual who has been instrumental in developing, implementing and supporting pro bono programs for the MBA, a local county bar association or a pro bono program of a law firm, or has developed a pro bono program sponsored or organized through an agency in the commonwealth, or has performed significant or meaningful pro bono activity.

    DEFENDER AWARD:
    This award is given to an attorney who is employed or retained by a public or nonprofit agency to provide criminal legal services to low-income clients, and who has made a particularly significant or meaningful contribution to the provision of low-income legal services above and beyond the requirements of his or her position.

    LEGAL SERVICES AWARD:
    This award is given to an attorney employed by a public or nonprofit agency to provide civil legal services to low-income clients, and who has made a particularly significant or meaningful contribution to the provision of low-income legal services, above and beyond the requirements of his or her position.

    PRO BONO AWARD FOR LAW FIRMS:
    This award is given to a law firm, comprised of two or more attorneys with one or more offices in the commonwealth, whose pro bono activities are particularly noteworthy in relation to the firm's size, and which has performed significant or meaningful pro bono activities or has been particularly instrumental in developing, implementing and/or supporting a pro bono program or pro bono service within Massachusetts.

    PROSECUTOR AWARD:
    This award is given to a state or federal prosecutor who has distinguished himself or herself in public service, and whose commitment to justice and serving the communities where he or she lives or works is particularly praiseworthy.

    RISING STAR AWARD:
    An attorney employed by a legal services organization, a public defender organization, or a state or federal prosecutor's office, or an attorney who has engaged in significant pro bono activities, who has been a practicing attorney for seven years or less, who has distinguished herself or himself by a particular accomplishment or body of work that has made a significant and meaningful contribution to access to justice to an undeserved population within Massachusetts.

    Please click here to make a nomination.
  • Opportunity to Join the Public Law Section Council

    Hello Public Law Section members:

    During the next month, President-elect John Morrissey will be appointing members to the Massachusetts Bar Association's 19 section councils. As you are probably aware, section councils are the lifeblood of the MBA. They provide educational programs and legislative initiatives, they publish articles that inform and educate members of the profession on new developments in their particular areas of practice and, most importantly, section councils serve to cultivate and develop future leaders of the Massachusetts Bar Association.

    If you would like to be considered for appointment to the Public Law Section Council, please feel free to contact me at hrobertson@massbar.org or reply directly to this posting to nominate yourself or to recommend someone else to serve. Volunteers such as yourself who choose to serve as leaders in the MBA are extremely important to the fellowship of lawyers throughout the state, and to the respect of the profession by the public. 

    As a section council member, you will meet monthly and actively participate in the implementation of the section council's objectives.

    All MBA members are eligible to serve on a section council, so please submit your request to be considered for appointment as soon as possible. Please state why you or the person you have nominated is interested and qualified to serve on the Public Law Section Council.

    Thank you for considering this opportunity to serve our profession, and I look forward to your application.
  • CL Section Review - Call For May 2019 Submissions!

    Calling all civil litigators!

    Section Review seeks submissions of 500-2,000 words for digital publication in this summer's digital publication.  This is a terrific marketing opportunity.

    Section Review is a digital publication, and its articles are e-mailed to thousands of members in the legal community. We also showcase the articles in our weekly eJournal (which is also e-mailed out to all Mass. Bar Association members). In addition, the articles are highlighted on the MBA's social media channels. 

    Examples of recent submissions can be found here.

    The final deadline for submissions is May 31st.  If you are interested in writing an article, please contact me at kotoole@connkavanaugh.com, or Mike Molloy at mmolloy@marcottelawfirm.com.

    Thanks!
  • 16th Annual In-House Counsel Conference

    The Massachusetts Bar Association is presenting its 16th Annual In-House Counsel Conference on Thursday, Jan. 31, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Bentley University, Waltham. This year, the theme of this popular program is “Managing Risk in a Changing World.”

    Today, information and misinformation circulate with increasing volume and speed, impacting the reputations of organizations and their managers. Public and private companies are exposed to increased scrutiny and accountability, and there is less tolerance for certain business and individual misconduct. Ensuring transparency and promoting a culture of compliance are key components to the management of risk. In-house counsel must anticipate and manage new risks in these changing times.

    We are pleased that the keynote address will be delivered by Seth Stratton, vice president and general counsel of MGM Springfield. The conference will feature panels and other presentations regarding litigation cost containment and management, employment law developments, and other topics of current interest to in-house counsel.

    In addition to Stratton's keynote address, attendees at this year's conference will hear panel discussions concerning:

    - Case management and litigation cost containment, including recent initiatives of the Business Litigation Session to facilitate prompt and efficient resolution of complex business disputes. The panel will also address management of electronic discovery in the digital age.

    - Controlling data security risks and management of a data breach.

    - Employment law developments, including: 1) The commonwealth's Paid Family Leave Act and its requirements that go into effect in July 2019; 2) The practical impact of legalization of recreational marijuana on drug testing in the workplace; 3) Reasonable accommodation obligations under the commonwealth's Pregnant Workers Fairness Act; and 4) The wisdom (or not) of having employees sign arbitration agreements waiving the right to file wage an hour claims.

    - The 2018 Massachusetts Non-Compete Statute that carries forward many prior common law principles and includes an array of new procedural requirements, safeguards for employees, limits on who and what may be restricted, and new standards for consideration for noncompetition agreements.


    As has been our custom, we will also present, in "lightening round" format, current developments of interest to in-house counsel, including the Supreme Judicial Court's 2018 Merrimack College v. KpmG LLP decision. This decision regards the application of the in pare delicto doctrine to corporations and other business organizations.

    This year’s conference is co-sponsored by the New England Corporate Counsel Association Inc. Members of New England Corporate Counsel Association, who are not MBA members, can enjoy a special discounted rate of $80. To register, please contact the Massachusetts Bar Association Member Service Center at (617) 338-0530.

    A classic continental breakfast will be served and a coffee break provided.
  • 45th Annual Robert Fuchs Labor Law Conference

    The Massachusetts Bar Association's Labor & Employment Section is proud to co-sponsor the 45th Annual Robert Fuchs Labor Law Conference, which will highlight a year of significant legal developments. Do not miss this exclusive opportunity to network with colleagues, program faculty, and the leaders of the labor and employment bar on Thursday, Jan. 17, from 1 to 5 p.m., at Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont St., Boston.

    Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board John F. Ring will speak on issues likely to come before the board in the coming year. Solicitor of Labor Kate S. O'Scannlain will also present a keynote address.

    Other conference highlights include a plenary session on Reading the Tea Leaves: Hot Topics and Recent Developments in Labor and Employment Law.

    A networking reception will immediately follow the conference.