Posts Categorized: Voices of the Bar

Voices of the Bar 10/22/15: If You Could Hear Any Speaker, Who Would It Be?

This Fall, the BBA’s guest list is full of big names, including policymakers and judiciary leaders. At our Mergers & Acquisitions conference on Tuesday, Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Hon. Leo Strine Jr. spoke to attendees. At our upcoming Veterans Day Reception, Congressman Seth Moulton, a veteran himself, will join us in honoring men and women who have served in our country’s military.

As we welcome these leaders, we wanted to know:

“If you could listen to anyone give a lecture, who would it be and why?”

Christopher Somma – Goodwin Procter
“Rachel Carson. It was her book Silent Spring that jump started the environmental movement and was really ahead of its time. She inspired many to be stewards of the earth and take care of all creatures great and small. As a beekeeper, gardener and conservationist I would love to hear her insight as to progress made and what more we can do.”

Elizabeth Brusie – Medical-Legal Partnership
“Nelson Mandela. He was one of our greatest civil rights heroes, as well as a gifted orator with a good sense of humor…perfect traits for lecturing! But Nelson Mandela particularly inspires me a fellow lawyer because he used every tool in our professional toolkit: courtroom advocacy, negotiation, organization, and policy advocacy. He was an amazing lawyer long before he became an amazing statesman.”

Jeremy Halpern – Nutter McClennen & Fish
“Mark Twain, though surely he would reject the label “lecturer” and ultimately I would be content with the intellectual surety of companionable silence.
Backup plans:

    1. John Stewart – The greatest social and political critic of our time.
    2. Neil deGrasse Tyson – When an astrophysicist, philosopher, sociologist and humanitarian collide, you either get Neil deGrasse Tyson or bruises.”

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at [email protected].

Voices of the Bar 10/15/15: What do you think of the ‘Deflategate’ Decision?

A few issues of BBA Week ago, we heard from many of you that football is a highlight of the fall season. And as those of you who are avid football fans already know, this Sunday the “Deflategate” teams — the Patriots and the Colts — will face each other again.

With the game on the horizon, BBA Week reached out and asked:

“From a legal perspective, do you think Judge Berman made the right decision in vacating Tom Brady’s four game suspension?”

Raymond Ausrotas – Arrowood Peters
“Absolutely the correct decision.  When any kind of punishment or liability is at stake, notice is a fundamental right, whether in arbitration or a judicial forum.  Setting aside Goodell’s obvious partiality — an issue that didn’t even need to be considered but surely could have been — the Court’s opinion was grounded in findings of fact about the practical unfairness of this sham proceeding that should withstand the NFL’s misguided efforts on appeal (particularly under an appropriately deferential standard of review).  For example, Judge Berman’s determination, based on the record, that Brady had no way to know that general awareness of others’ misconduct was a basis for discipline cannot fairly be disputed, and neither can the fact that Brady’s legal team was denied an opportunity to cross examine the NFL’s “investigator” during the hearing.  And oh yeah, as for Sunday night against those whiny Colts, LET’S GO PATS!!!!”

Daniel Tighe – Prince Lobel
“Absolutely.  Courts defer to arbitrators, but they expect to see sensible and fair procedures.   Here, the NFL and its lawyers made no attempt at being fair to Tom Brady.  Judge Berman seemed to be rightly offended by it all and made the correct decision.  If I had a team in a fantasy litigation league, I’d probably draft Judge Berman in the early rounds.”

John Hickey – Boston Medical Center
“Judge Berman made the right call in the Brady case. Ultimately, the fundamental principles of neutrality were clearly absent in the process utilized by the NFL’s Commissioner. Statements made by the Commissioner in the weeks prior to the arbitration hearing clearly showed that the Commissioner’s hearing was not free of bias and the hearing process overall did not afford Tom Brady an impartial review of the facts. Judicial upset of arbitration awards is uncommon, but here, Judge Berman made the right call – after (judicial) review, the NFL Commissioner’s decision could not stand.”

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at [email protected].

Voices of the Bar 10/8/15 — Tell Us About Your First Experience With a Judge

In the coming weeks, the BBA will turn its attention to the judiciary. On October 14th, we will join the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts in hosting a reception congratulating Justice Fernande R.V. Duffly on her reception of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession’s Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. In November, members of the Governor’s Office, the Judicial Nominating Commission and members of the Massachusetts Judiciary will discuss the process of becoming a judge.

With this in mind, BBA Week wanted to reached out to our members and asked them to:

Tell us about the first time you appeared in court before a judge. What advice would you give a new attorney approaching the bench for the first time?

Jane Willis – Ropes & Gray LLP
“Two things: ‘listen’ and ‘slow down.'”

 

Edward Cheng – Sherin and Lodge LLP
“I was a young associate at Hill & Barlow. Charles Dougherty, one of the firm’s partners, decided to send me to argue a hearing on Martha’s Vineyard after I had drafted the brief. I prepared extensive notes for the hearing, and wrote out virtually every word that I intended to utter. Charles asked me what I had done to prepare, took one look at my notes and said, ‘you get one page of notes – that’s it. You know this better than you think you do.’ I went into the hearing with just one page of notes and won! Since then I have been a firm believer that you should prepare extensively before a hearing, but that less is more when it comes to your notes.”

Kevin O’Connor – Hinckley Allen
“My first oral argument was on a preliminary injunction argument in federal court in front of Judge Woodlock. As always, he was totally prepared, and he took the bench firing questions at opposing counsel. He made my arguments better than I could have. After demolishing my opponent, he asked me if I had anything to add. Rather than just keeping my mouth shut, I proceeded with my prepared argument, which Judge Woodlock promptly shredded with the same precision and vigor he had directed at the other side. Thankfully, despite my rookie blunder, we won the motion. And I have never forgotten the lesson he taught me that day, namely, that in court, as in life, ‘if something goes without saying, let it.’ ”


Mina Makarious – Anderson Krieger

“My first time in front of a judge was a on a small timber trespass case in Norfolk Superior Court as a second year associate. Explaining the differences in the relative sizes of mature tree species while anxious enough to not know if I even pronounced my name right was quite a challenge. If I could do it over: bring in visuals or just simplify.”

Andrew Glass – K&L Gates
“Preparation is key. If you know the facts e of your case and the governing law inside and out, then you won’t have to rely heavily on your outline and can meet the Court’s questions directly and succinctly. Always listen carefully and answer the question that the Court has asked directly, and then transition back to the points that are important to your case. Be polite, but do not be afraid to calmly explain why your client’s position is correct.”

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at [email protected].

Voices of the Bar 10/1/15 — What Was Your Most Meaningful Volunteer Experience?

At our Annual Meeting Luncheon on September 18, Governor Charlie Baker, our keynote speaker, continued a tradition near and dear to us at the BBA: He declared October Pro Bono Month in Massachusetts. All year long, we encourage our members to give back to the community, and provide as many opportunities as we can to make that happen. This month especially, we will focus on those stories.

With this in mind, BBA Week reached out to our members and asked:

“What was your most meaningful volunteer exerience?”

Laura Carroll – Burns & Levinson
“My most meaningful volunteer experience has been my service for the past 15 years as legal counsel and board member for the Charlestown Mothers Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission to support families in our urban Charlestown neighborhood. CMA has grown from a handful of members when it was first established over 15 years ago to almost 1300 families today, and has helped create a supportive and desirable community in which to raise a family. CMA’s efforts have dramatically increased the number of families who stay in Charlestown, leading to the establishment of several nursery schools in the neighborhood and soaring popularity for, and expansion of the local public schools. CMA provides year-round family programming, awards camp and college scholarships, and helps organize toy, clothing, and food drives for needy families in our community – currently working on a Halloween costume drive, if anyone has costumes to donate!”

Anita Bille – Legal Search Solutions
“One of my most meaningful fund-raising events was co-chairing (with my late husband) the Annual Ball for the Waltham Weston Community Hospital. It was a gala, a formal event with high ticket prices. The event raised many thousands of dollars. The proceeds, of course, was for the benefit of the hospital to support many of their worthy, pro bono causes.”

Joel Sherman – McLane Middleton Professional Association
“During my years as a member and  Co-Chair of the Grants Committee of the Boston Bar Foundation  (BBF ), I had the opportunity to learn firsthand about the extraordinary pro bono work that our legal service organizations perform throughout the Boston community. These organizations range from large agencies such as Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), which provide free legal assistance to individuals and families in a wide spectrum of matters, to a number of organizations which specialize in serving victims of domestic violence, veterans, immigrants, refugees and many other underserved populations. Our legal community should take pride in having these organizations in our midst.”

 

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at [email protected].

Voices of the Bar 9/24/15 – What is Your Favorite Thing About Fall?

With the beginning of the new program year, our annual meeting luncheon, and plenty of awards and accolades to go around, this is an important time of year for us — and for you, our members! Within all the hustle and bustle of programs and celebrations, we believe it’s important to find moments in the day to reflect on all the personal and professional changes each new season brings.

With the first official day of Autumn upon us on Wednesday, September 23, BBA Week reached out to our members and asked:

“What is Your Favorite Thing About Fall?”

Ajay Zutshi – Goodwin Procter
“Patriots wins, apple picking, and Thanksgiving dinner!”

 

Jacquelyn Redmond – J. Redmond Law PC
“I love Fall for so many reasons but especially because of the crisp weather, beautiful leaves, pumpkin flavored everything and the renewed energy that people often have as summer closes out and schools start back. This year I am especially excited about Fall because I am due to have our first baby (a boy) in November.”

Warren E. Agin – Swiggart & Agin
“It’s all about the football.”

 

Edward R. Wiest, PC
“As much as I enjoy my ice cream and seersucker suits (when I have reason to wear them in the business casual era), the best thing about Fall (even as “the days grow short when you reach September”) is the weather cooling down. Also, I hear professional football is played somewhere in New England this time of year . . .”

Jennifer Gallop – Krokidas and Bluestein
“Cider donuts!”

 

 

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at [email protected].

Voices of the Bar 9/17/15 – Who Are Your Professional Role Models?

With the start of each new program year, there’s always so much to celebrate. This is a week of awards and recognition at the BBA. At our Annual Meeting on Friday, the BBA will honor House Speaker Robert DeLeo with our President’s Award and House Judiciary Chairman John Fernandes with our Distinguished Legislator Award. On top of that, we’re getting ready to announce the recipients of the Beacon Award for Diversity and Inclusion.

As we recognize community leaders for their great work, BBA Week reached out to our members and asked:

“Who are your professional role models? “

Tiffany (Howard) Bentley – Burns & Levinson
“As I prepare for the arrival of my first baby in November, my professional role models are all of the hard-working mothers that I am fortunate to call my colleagues and mentors in the Private Client Group at Burns & Levinson, especially Nancy Van Tine, Lisa Cukier, CiCi Van Tine, Robin Lynch Nardone, and Francine Gardikas. They each do it so well, with so many different strategies that I hope to learn from and emulate as I add “mom” to my job description!”

Justin O’Brien – Collora
“My role models as a lawyer have always included the Justice Department attorneys who represented the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations in major events of the Civil Rights Movement – John Doar, Nicholas Katzenbach, Burke Marshall, and John Seigenthaler. From Ole Miss to the Freedom Rides, from Governor Wallace’s “stand in the schoolhouse door” to the “Mississippi Burning” case, they served crucial roles in trying to secure the rule of law in this country. Despite always incredibly tense and often dangerous circumstances, they remained unceasingly professional and tirelessly dedicated to their work.”

Marcus Scott – ScottCollins
“As an African American Attorney, my professional role models have always been men and women who personified the organization that they have built, meaning that when you hear their name, you automatically think of that organization first and foremost and the fact that they built it. Its they way I try to live my professional life. Having said that my professional role models are: Al Davis, Bill Gates, Malcolm X, Steve Jobs, Rosa Parks and Jesus Christ.”

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at [email protected].

Voices of the Bar 9/10/15 – What first brought you to 16 Beacon Street?

Ahh, September. The return of school buses, fall weather, and commuting delays. As our members and BBA Week readers know, the BBA swings into action each year on September 1. This year, our 24 Sections and 80+ committees will hold 400 educational programs and networking events. With our 2015-2016 programming underway, BBA Week reached out to our members and asked:

“What first brought you to 16 Beacon Street?”

David Mawhinney – K&L Gates LLP
“I attended a Young Bar Meets Bankruptcy Bench event in the fall of 2010 as a law student.  The bankruptcy bar is a great group of people.  I am lucky to be in a position this year as a BBA steering committee member to continue to foster a welcoming community for our new members.”

Ann Braga – City of Boston
“I first came to the BBA while a law student at Suffolk University Law School (in the old buildings).  I was working at Boston City Council and attending law school at night.  I learned about the value of professional associations while getting my MPA at UCONN and found my public sector legal home at the BBA through friends, internal groups, events and continuing education.  I am proud to be part of the first cohort of BBA Public Interest Leaders!  This fall will be 20 years with the BBA!!”

Elizabeth Kayatta – Arrowood Peters LLP
“When I was first starting out as a litigator, I attended a BBA brown bag lunch on responding to written discovery requests.  To this day I’m still using tips I learned from panel members!”

Kathryn Van Wie – Vertex Pharmaceuticals
“Having just finished law school in North Carolina, I relocated to Boston to take the bar exam and begin the job search in a state I had visited only twice. The BBA was my first stop and an integral step in connecting with the Boston legal community. I had my sights set to work in house, but I was aware I would be fighting an uphill battle to find an entry-level attorney position. Through the BBA’s industry-specific events, as well as general networking events, I was able to better hone my search, develop my network, and eventually found a role that continues to challenge and excite me. ”

Lisa Arrowood – BBA President
“When I found out about the brown bag lunches, I went to a few of them. It just knocked my socks off that I could go there at lunch and in 90 minutes get these incredible pearls of wisdom for free. That was just amazing to me.”

Read more about Lisa Arrowood’s introduction to the BBA in her President’s Page

Also in this edition of BBA Week, you’ll find an interview celebrating Nixon Peabody’s 20th anniversary as a BBA Sponsor Firm!! We’ve featured an excerpt of the interview below highlighting what first brought Nixon Peabody attorneys to the BBA. Read the full interview here.

Ruth Silman – Nixon Peabody
“The Environmental Law Section of the BBA is the preeminent gathering place for environmental practitioners in Massachusetts.  I was first introduced to the BBA ELS by now Judge Jim Milkey who told me that it was a great place to network with environmental leaders and to learn about substantive issues.  I started attending brown bag lunches and CLE programs and then became involved in the leadership of the Section, first as a committee chair and then as the Co-Chair of the Section.   The BBA ELS provides access to regulators and fellow practitioners, practical advice, updates on new developments in energy and environmental law and a great way to keep in touch with other energy and environmental lawyers.”

Danielle Pelot – Nixon Peabody
“My first impressions of the BBA came from attending the traditional big events – the annual meeting and law day lunch/dinner – as a junior lawyer just starting out, at the suggestion and invitation of senior members of the firm like Larry, Jack and Bill [Codinha]. It was helpful for reconnecting with classmates and learning who’s who in the Boston community – especially since Boston is not originally my home.”

Hannah Bornstein – Nixon Peabody
“I first became involved in the BBA by participating in the then-newly formed Immigration Section steering committee, as I was – and still – am actively involved in pro bono asylum cases. I then served as the co-chair of the Asylum Committee, helping to plan CLEs and trainings on topics relevant to practitioners representing asylum seekers. Over the past couple of years, I also have served on the steering committee for the BBF’s Passport to Pairings summer fundraising event, and the BBF’s John & Abigail Adams Benefit ball is one of my favorite events of the year.”

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at [email protected].

Forums Co-Chairs Reveal What They Have Planned for the New Program Year

Don’t miss the change to meet fellow in-house attorneys, government lawyers, and recently elected partners. Stop by the BBA on Wednesday, September 16th at 5:30 p.m. for our Forums Fall Kick-off!

This fall, we’re formally launching the In-House Forum, the Government Lawyers Forum, and the Recently Elected Partners Forum to offer a new way to focus on the way you practice, not just the type of law you need to know.

With this in mind, BBA Week reached out to the co-chairs of these forums to ask them about what is on tap for the new program year.

Recently Elected Partners Forum:

Matt Miller – Foley Hoag LLP
“The Recently Elected Partners Forum is comprised of attorneys who have transitioned from associate to partner within the past six years.  This Forum serves these recently elected partners and attorneys transitioning from associate to partner. The REP Forum’s Advisory Committee works to provide programs that address issues that all “new” partners face at one time or another – topics ranging from marketing and business development, to taking on leadership responsibilities within a firm, to learning how to manage and delegate more effectively.  We also want to provide meaningful opportunities to network with other recently-elected partners in the Boston area from different practice areas, who work in firms of all types and sizes.

Shannon Lynch – Beck Reed Riden LLP
“The REP Forum has a great year of programing planned, starting off on October 6th with our expert panel presentation, Understanding Your Firm’s Business and Navigating Your Future: The Perks & Pitfalls of Partnership.  We’ll also have presentations throughout the year on topics including marketing and business development from the new partner’s perspective, and how to continue to build and develop important legal skills as a new partner (without looking like you don’t know what you’re doing).”

In-House Forum:

“As seasoned BBA members who moved from law firms to corporate law departments, we recognized a need for the BBA to offer educational resources and networking opportunities for in-house lawyers.  Providing this segment of legal professionals with a dedicated place to find common ground, will surely help individuals gain and share strategies for success as they explore the challenges of in-house practice.  It is our goal to develop the Forum to include programming on technical subject matters, legal department management initiatives, and career development, all the while stressing the community aspect of being involved in the BBA.  We hope that in-house counsel at all stages of their careers will collaborate with us in identifying events and areas of interest and sharing their experiences on the client side.”

Darren Braham – Spartan Races Headquarters
Meredith Ainbinder – Osram Sylvania

 

 

Government Attorneys Forum:

Tim Wilkerson – Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
“The Government Lawyer Forum is planning educational programs to help attorneys in the public sector stay current with their professional development needs.  We also plan to host social events to build camaraderie between government lawyers and their private sector colleagues. The Forum’s programs will be non-partisan and balanced.  We hope that all current, former, and prospective Federal, State, and municipal government attorneys in the Boston area will find a professional hub with the Government Lawyer Forum. We plan to cover election law, student loan forgiveness this fall and will gather for an Open House Reception in January.”

 

Questions about BBA Forums? Email us at [email protected].

BBA Week Thanks Outgoing Council

As the BBA prepares for the start of the 2015-2016 program year, we wanted to highlight the work of our governing Council. The Council is a group of 34 elected and appointed members who guide the Association everything from public policy decisions to initiatives for new lawyers.

You can read outgoing BBA President Julia Huston’s personal reflections on her term here. To add to her sentiment, Voices of the Bar reached out to a few outgoing Council members and asked them to reflect on their Council term. Here’s what they had to say:

Susan M. Alexander – Biogen
“Throughout my tenure on the BBA Council I have been impressed by the unwavering commitment of the BBA leadership, my fellow Council members and the BBA membership to the integrity of our legal and judicial system, the highest standards of legal practice and assuring access to justice for all. I am grateful to have had the chance to participate in this important work.”

Dustin F. Hecker – Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP
“It is amazing how quickly three years of service as a member of the BBA Council can pass by. The issues that come before the Council, from fundamental public policy such as the death penalty, to the nuts and bolts of whether lawyers should be taxed on an accrual or a cash basis, were always interesting to think about and occasionally to debate at the meetings. I welcomed the insight into the operations of a tremendous organization with a great staff. As importantly as anything else, I appreciated very much the opportunity to work with and to get to know a bit better the members of the Council and the other leadership of the BBA. At the end of the day, the law is a people business, and I had the honor of working for three years with a great group of people.”

The BBA would like to thank the outgoing Council members and officers for their support, guidance, and dedication to our mission for the past three years. Thank you and we look forward to continuing our partnership.

Outgoing members:
Susan H. Alexander –Biogen
Roberto M. Braceras –Goodwin Procter LLP
Paul T. Dacier – EMC
Joseph M. Griffin – Law Offices of Joseph M. Griffin
Dustin F. Hecker – Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP
Geoffery A. Howell – DLA Piper
Sheila Hubbard – Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association
Kelly Leighton– Barnes & Leighton
Christine Netski – Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.

Voices of the Students 8/20/2015: What has been the most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs Program?

This summer, a record breaking 65 Boston Public School students participated in the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program. Not only did they gain valuable on-the-job professional experience, the students also participated in a series of enrichment seminars, attended a Mock City Council hearing, and visited Bankruptcy Court.

As the program comes to a close, we reached out to the students to find out,

“What has been the most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs Program?”

Depina_Deluisa

Deluisa Depina – Intern at Department of Public Health
Rising Freshman at Umass Dartmouth
“The most memorable part of the job at the Boston Bar Association has to be the Friday morning. This is when everyone comes together for breakfast at the law library brought by one of the attorneys or staff. I think it’s a great way to just have a moment with each other to laugh and share stories. I also enjoy the conversations I had with my co-workers on a daily basis. I laughed and learned a lot from them. They made me feel welcome and that I could contribute to the job by helping them with their work.”

Cusac_Angus

Angus Cusack – Intern at Nixon Peabody LLP
Rising Freshman at Boston College
“Nixon Peabody has been both informative and exciting. I’ve had the opportunity to learn about the legal practice from associates and partners and the chance to examine how law influences many aspects of the professional world. ”

Hernandez_Marcos

Marcos Hernandez – Intern at Proskauer Rose LLP
John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science
“The most memorable part of the summer program has been the opportunity to network with litigators, paralegals, and lawyers to help decide my own career path.”

Guan_Yingyu

YingYu Guan – Intern at U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Charlestown High School
“I was very happy to be part of the Boston Bar Association in this summer. I studied a lot of different things in the U.S Bankruptcy Court. I met the Judge in the Court and I learned what did the Judge at work. This helped me understand whether I want to be a lawyer in the future. I also learned to have more patience and work hard in life.”

Santiag_Nick

Nick Santiago – Intern at Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Boston Latin School
“The most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs Program has undoubtedly been the time when we acted as members of the city council making a decision regarding a curfew for teenagers. This was a very unique opportunity and I’m happy to say that I’ve learned a lot from the experience.”

Wang_Karen

Karen Wang – Intern at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Rising Freshman at Emory University
“The most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs Program for me has been talking to various people in the legal field, whether it be at Mintz Levin or during the weekly seminars, and gaining new perspectives about the different types of law that interest me.”

Truong_Kevin

Kevin Truong – Intern at Goodwin Procter LLP
Boston Latin School
“My most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs Program is that I was able to file documents with the Supreme Judicial Court and the First Circuit Court. I think that it was quite an experience to see and interact with the centers of the legal world.”

Martin_Jorgiana

Jorgiana Martin – Intern at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP
Snowden International High School
“The most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs Program was the enrichment seminar Exploring Legal Careers. This was the most memorable part the program for me because not only did the attorneys enlighten me, but meeting an actual lawyer in Boston, where I am from, and learning about the steps they took to become a lawyer, changed my life. I now am sure of my inner ambitions of what type of lawyer I want to become and the type of law I want to pursue. This is thanks to Adam J. Foss, you are a true inspiration and the BBA for this unforgettable experience.”