Posts Categorized: Voices of the Bar

Voices of the Bar 5/28/15: What are you most looking forward to this summer?

80-degree+ weather, sunshine, barbecues — after a long winter and a beautiful but short spring, it looks like we’re jumping headlong into summer. The season heralds school vacation, exotic trips, and even small joys like beach trips and outdoor marketplaces; at the BBA, it means we’re gearing up for our Summer Career Series and a whole host of Year in Review CLEs. The BBA staff is definitely excited about the summer programs — and some other summer plans.

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

“What are you most looking forward to this summer?”

Jackie Querubin – CLE Coordinator
“Spending the 4th of July in Washington, D.C. I hear they really like America there.”


Kerry Crisley – Director of Communications
“That’s easy! I can’t wait for my annual weekend in Eastham with my Book Club girlfriends. The eight of us spend a wonderful two days on the Outer Cape. We hit the beach, talk, laugh, read, swim and enjoy a great dinner out. Sometimes a dance party will break out. When it does, we just go with it. It’s my favorite weekend of the summer. And yes, we do talk about the book!”


Christopher Whyte – Web & Technologies Project Coordinator
“I am excited to spend days cruising on the motorcycle around New England and enjoying walks with my Yorkie-poo Vader rather than trudging resentfully through the snow. Also, plan my wedding…maybe. ”


Jonathan Schreiber – Legislative & Public Policy Manager
“Ultimate frisbee, weekend morning coffee on the porch, and marrying my best friend in September!”


Ashley Young – Member Enrollment Coordinator
“After a couple of years working on my degree part time, even over the summer, I’m looking forward to not having research and school work to do. Instead, I’m looking forward to spending a long weekend in New York City next month, planning and celebrating birthdays for one of my nephews and my niece, taking a trip to the Berkshires later this summer, and hopefully visiting some friends on the west coast.”


Gabrielle Guarracino – Communications Assistant
“I’m beyond excited to embark on my first solo plane trip to Chicago at the end of June for my college friend’s wedding…you know it’s going to be a good one when the invitation asks you the join in the ‘post-wedding bacchanal.'”


If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Gabrielle Guarracino at

Voices of the Bar 5/21/15: Who is the best commencement speaker you’ve ever seen?

It’s commencement season, and the BBA wants to offer a hearty congratulations to the graduating classes of our five sponsor law firms, as well as to all of the other graduates in the Boston area. We’re also looking forward to hearing about the inspiring words of advice that they’ll be hearing from this year’s commencement speakers, who include Chief Justice of the SJC Ralph Gants, Senator Edward Markey, and David Simas.

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

“Who is the best commencement speaker you’ve ever seen??”

Harvey Weiner – Peabody & Arnold LLP
“I will never forget the 2008 Harvard Commencement address of J. K. Rowling.  She spoke of the fringe benefits of failure and the importance of imagination.  Her address was original and devoid of platitudes, just what you might expect from the creator of Harry Potter.”


Paul C. Bauer – Bowditch & Dewey, LLP
“My sister’s school gave an honorary degree to Stevie Wonder and he rocked out with his band for about 20 minutes.  So that by far was the best “Commencement Speaker” I have seen.”


Michael Sommerville – Cetrulo LLP
“William E. Bailey Esq. (deceased  brother of F. Lee Bailey and also a great speaker) is far and away the best speaker I have ever seen.  Intellectually brilliant, warm, personable and funny. Saw him speak many times, always to a standing ovation.”



If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Gabrielle Guarracino at

Voices of the Bar 5/14/15: What is your favorite dynamic duo or pairing?

Passport to Pairings is coming up fast — only a little over a month separates us from the BBF’s newest signature summer event, which features not only great food and beverage pairings, but also pairs each station to a public service project of the BBA. To start getting excited about the event, we reprised a traditional question and asked the Passport to Pairings Steering Committee about their favorite pairings. Who knows — maybe we’ll see some of them served at the event on June 25th!

“What is your favorite dynamic duo or pairing?”

John A. McBrine – Nutter McClennen & Fish
“R2-D2 and C-3PO. I can’t wait to see what they’ve been up to in December.”


Kimberly B. Rainen – Tamkin & Hochberg, LLP
“What is better together than milk and cookies? My favorite pairing or dynamic duo is that childhood favorite comfort food of a warm chocolate chip cookie, fresh out of the oven, and an ice cold glass of milk for dunking!”


Christopher J. Somma – Goodwin Procter LLP
“Me and my husband. He’s sweet, kind, caring, and compassionate — and more importantly, lets me be the star!”


Marissa Urban – Holland & Knight
“Call me old fashioned – or perhaps it’s the Colorado girl in me – but I just don’t think you can ever beat some chips and Hatch Green Chili salsa with a nice microbrew. It’s the perfect combination of refreshing and spicy!”

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Gabrielle Guarracino at

Voices of the Bar 5/7/15: Whom do you wish you could meet from the past or present – and why?

Spring at the BBA means a slew of programs featuring hot topics and influential speakers, including programs like Cutting Edge Issues in Criminal Law and Meet the Banking GCs. We’re excited to hear from these great minds of the present as they comment on pressing and relevant issues to the profession.

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

“Whom do you wish you could meet from the past or present, either within the legal community or outside of it – and why?”


Ruth O’Meara-Costello — Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP
“I would love to talk with my favorite childhood author, Louisa May Alcott. In addition to writing heartfelt and insightful children’s novels about families, she was a suffragist and early feminist, and an abolitionist who worked as a nurse in a Union hospital during the Civil War. In view of my practice as an employment lawyer representing plaintiffs in gender discrimination cases (not to mention my own efforts to juggle work and kids) I think it would be fascinating to hear her thoughts on women’s roles in the workplace today.”


Anthony E. Fuller — Collora LLP
“Without question, Oliver Wendell Holmes. I recently re-read his famous Memorial Day speech from 1884 (“In Our Youth Our Hearts Were Touched With Fire…”) and was struck by how timeless that speech is. I would like to ask him to describe how his military service in combat influenced his life as a lawyer and judge. I also suspect he would have been a good guy to have a beer with.”


Nadiyah Humber – Northeastern University School of Law
“I wish I could meet Thurgood Marshall, so I could hear his thoughts on fighting for civil rights issues in 2015.”


Basilios E. Tsingos – Plymouth Rock Assurance Corp.
“If I could meet anyone from the past or present it would be the defendant of arguably the most famous trial in history: Jesus of Nazareth. I know, I know: Jesus is one of those names that, if mentioned at all in polite company or professional circles, can cause an uncomfortable silence. Still, I spent too many Sundays in Sunday School and church as a child, and since then, not to have often wondered what he must have been like in person.

Scholars argue about the ‘historical Jesus.’ As a lawyer, the ‘legal Jesus’ fascinates me. Talking of the Judeo-Christian foundation of our system of law and government can seem cliché. But, it’s amazing how much of what we believe law, justice and equity are, or ought to be, are grounded on this Jewish rabbi’s teachings from and interpretations of the Hebrew scriptures. Separation of what we call ‘church’ and ‘state’? (‘Render unto Caesar….) Speaking truth to power? (‘Let the one among you who is without sin, cast the first stone.’) The importance of procedural due process? Even as we constantly seek to improve the flaws and problems we see in our own day, the events commemorated on Good Friday powerfully inform our understanding that a system of jurisprudence that would let one guilty person go free is to be preferred to one that would permit an innocent to be wrongly convicted and sentenced to death.”


J.W. Carney, Jr. – Carney & Associates
“Thurgood Marshall. He was a brilliant strategist on civil rights issues, and I would like his perspective on what the President should do in this area.”



If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Gabrielle Guarracino at

Voices of the Bar 4/30/15: What is your favorite lawyer joke?

This Friday is Law Day, a celebration of the legal profession and all that it contributes to our society. The BBA celebrates every year by visiting Boston public schools students during Law Day in the Schools and presenting a lesson on the law, democracy, and the justice system to the students. These lessons – and hearing about the kids’ ideas about lawyers – are unfailingly entertaining; and we think that being able to have a good laugh at the stereotypes surrounding lawyers is valuable.

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

“What is your favorite lawyer joke?”

Anthony A. Froio – Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP
“A lawyer dies and goes to Heaven. ‘There must be some mistake,’ the lawyer argues. ‘I’m too young to die. I’m only 55.’ ‘Fifty-five?’ says Saint Peter. ‘No, according to our calculations, you’re 82.’ ‘How’d you get that?’ the lawyer asks. Answers St. Peter, ‘We added up your time sheets.'”


Martin J. Newhouse – New England Legal Foundation
“A partner and an associate had worked together on a trial. Once the matter was submitted to the jury and the lawyers had left the courtroom, the partner turned to the associate and said, ‘As you know, this case took much longer than we expected, and I’ve got to leave tonight on a cruise with my wife. I know that I can safely leave the case in your hands at this point. But just make sure that if the jury comes back with its verdict while I am away, you cable me immediately to let me know what the jury decided. Here is the name of the our cruise ship and how to send me a cable.’ At that, the partner left with his wife for their cruise.

Every day of the cruise, the partner waited for word about the jury’s verdict. Finally, after three days, a cable arrived from the associate: ‘The jury reached its verdict. Justice has been served.’ The partner cabled back: ‘Appeal immediately.'”


Larry S. DiCara – Nixon Peabody LLP
“A lawyer knocks on the doors of heaven. St. Peter suggests he looks good for someone who is 102. The lawyer responds he just turned 80. St. Peter responds: ‘That’s not what your time sheets tell me!'”


Joseph M. Griffin – The Law Office of Joseph M. Griffin
“Q: What do you call a smiling, sober, courteous person at a bar association convention?
A: The caterer.”


Christopher D. Strang – Strang, Scott, Giroux & Young
“My favorite lawyer joke is Cole Young.”



If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Gabrielle Guarracino at

Voices of the Bar 4/23/15: What is your favorite ‘rip-off’ song?

Did you know that April 29 is World IP Day? We’ve heard plenty about high-profile lawsuits in the news recently, particularly when it comes to some of today’s most popular hit songs. Even though tunes like “Blurred Lines” and “Ice, Ice Baby” ripped off earlier songs, we have to admit they’re still pretty catchy. There is also a more recent trend of sampling from songs (with permission) to create remixes, mash-ups, etc.

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

“What is your favorite ‘rip-off’ song, or song that borrows in some way from another?”

Bruce D. Jobse – Burns & Levinson, LLP
“Eric Carmen of the Rasberries 1975 solo release “All by Myself” based on 2nd movement of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor. A very classy rip-off, but still cost him 12% royalty because the Rachmaninoff work was not yet in the public domain.”


Zachary Kosan – Northeastern University School of Law
“I’d have to say “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet, which appears to lift quite a bit from “Lust for Life” by Iggy Pop. I like both songs, but didn’t make the connection until a musician pointed it out.”


Lena Cavallo – Northeastern University School of Law
“”Me and My Broken Heart” by Rixton, which rips off “Lonely No More” by Rob Thomas.”


Brendan T. St. Amant – Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar
“One of my favorite songs from back in the day is B.I.G.’s “Mo Money Mo Problems” which heavily samples Diana Ross’s “I’m Coming Out.””


Madhanga Wickramasinghe – New England Law Boston
“I would have to say “Surfing USA” by The Beach Boys, in which The Beach Boys borrowed Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen.” Unlike many other ‘rip-off’ songs I have listened to, it is easy to tell that these two songs do relate to each other. I heard “Surfing USA” first and fell in love with it. Growing up in California, having the occasional surfing sessions with my friends at the places the song talks about made me feel like I am a part of the song. Then I stumbled upon “Sweet Little Sixteen,” and the first idea that came to my mind was “hey, he is copying Beach Boys.” But, later I found out that it was vice versa. The songs have the same harmony and rhythm, but different lyrics. Now, I have fallen in love with both songs, every time I feel stressed or tense I listen to these two songs first. ”


If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Gabrielle Guarracino at

Voices of the Bar 4/16/15: What words of encouragement do you want to offer to this year’s Marathon runners?

We’re very proud of all of this year’s Boston Marathon runners, especially representatives from the legal community who will be running the 26.2-mile course this Monday (find out some of those names here). It is always a memorable, moving event for the city, and even more so in the past couple of years. We want to give as much encouragement possible to our runners in the face of this physical challenge.

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

“What words of encouragement would you want to offer to this year’s Marathon runners? What is your mantra when things get tough?”

Julie Heinzelman – Prince Lobel Tye LLP
“The best advice that I can give to this year’s runners is “never give up.” I ran the Boston Marathon in 2011 for Tedy’s Team to raise money for the American Stroke Association in honor of my grandmother. Tedy’s mantra of “never give up” was particularly helpful to me when running Boston because of problems I encountered while training and just the overall difficulty of the course. Even off of the course, his words have always stuck with me. Training through this past winter undoubtedly required a great deal of mental toughness, but it will all be worth it when each runner takes the right on Hereford and left on Boylston. Crossing the finishing line is one of the greatest feelings in the world (even though it took me forever to get there). Never give up!”


Darren Braham – Spartan Race, Inc.
“I love cheering on runners on Marathon Monday. The crowds line most of the route, and I remember how much they helped me get over the finish line ten years ago. My mantra, which, although, I repeated over and over, proved harder to follow in principle was “pain is temporary; suffering is optional”. One other tip: write your name on your shirt so people can call you out by name. Good luck runners!”


Thomas A. Mackie – Mackie Shea, PC
“Start easy, maintain a steady pace, look around, enjoy the experience. When the going gets tough, remember to embrace it – that is what you are there for.”


Rosanna Sattler – Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP
“Best of luck; but please remember, luck is the residue of design. Your preparation will undoubtedly pay off.”


Vince Pisegna – Krokidas & Bluestein LLP
“In the immortal words of Dottie Hinson (played by Geena Davis) in the movie A League Of Their Own: “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.””


Rachel Munoz – Morgan Brown & Joy
“Do not forget to have fun, celebrate your accomplishment, and take a moment to remember the victims of the Marathon bombing when you cross the finish line. When things get tough, I like to sing the song by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “I Won’t Back Down.” When things get tough for you on the course, remember that you, the victims and their families, and the City of Boston have not and will not let those who wish to create fear and harm keep us from the finish line. Also, remember that the City of Boston is cheering you on! I have run two marathons and learned that when I focused on the experience and appreciated the support from the spectators, rather than the pain of 26.2 miles, I had a much better race. ”


Amy Lipman-White – Law Office of Lipman & White
“We each set our own personal intentions when we decide to embark on something as relentless as running a Marathon. Keep sight of your intention. Bring yourself back to that moment in time which brought you here and it will carry you through the day. Good luck, Marathoners. I have no doubt you can do it.”


Joseph L. Bierwirth – Hemenway & Barnes LLP
“I would just say trust your training, listen to your body, soak it all in, and enjoy the experience! Crank some Springsteen if you’re an earbud type … those two lanes will take you anywhere!”


If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Gabrielle Guarracino at

Voices of the Bar 4/9/15: Which sport keeps you glued to your TV every year?

March Madness has wrapped up – both in the sports world, and in the BBA’s Boston School March Madness – and the NHL is entering the playoffs, as we also celebrate the oncoming baseball season with Opening Day.

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

“Which sport keeps you glued to your TV every year?”

Adam M. Stewart – Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP
“I love to watch football, especially when the Denver Broncos are playing.”


Stacey C. Friends – Ruberto, Israel & Weiner, P.C.
“While I wholeheartedly support the Boston teams and have gone to each teams’ games in person each year (Go Bruins!), football is the only sport I really watch on the TV. That being said, none of the sports “glue” me to the TV, I am more arts-oriented and avidly watch the singing and dancing shows (which is kind of a sport?), in particular SYTYCD!”


Paul R. Kennedy – Attorney at Law
“Every July, I look forward to watching the Tour de France. Even those with no interest in cycling can appreciate the scenery of France and surrounding countries. In the month leading up to the bar exam, watching an hour or so of “le Tour” while eating dinner was how I wound down.”


Brendan Carter – University of Massachusetts School of Law
“College football in the fall, particularly the SEC and Notre Dame. I am only a subway alumni of ND, but I bought into the ND mystique as a kid and I continue to watch every Saturday.”


If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Gabrielle Guarracino at

Voices of the Bar 4/2/15: What book is at the top of your reading list to pick up next?

Read anything good recently? The BBA hopes you’ll pick up Boston and the Civil War: Hub of the Second Revolution and come to our talk by author Barbara Berenson on April 9 for an inside look at her writing process and Boston’s role in the Civil War.

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

“What book is at the top of your reading list to pick up next?”


Chinh H. Pham – Greenberg Traurig LLP
“I am looking forward to reading 26.2 Miles to Boston: A Journey Into the Heart of the Boston Marathon, by Michael Connelly.  A teammate on the Museum of Science Marathon team suggested this book before our 21 mile run this past Saturday.  With the Boston Marathon coming up in a few weeks, I am hoping that the book can provide additional inspiration as I make my way from Hopkinton to Boylston Street on April 20th.”


Mark D. Smith – Laredo & Smith
“I just picked up Boys in the Boat by Daniel Brown and hope to complete it over the next few weeks.”


Judith R. Sizer – Rose, Chinitz & Rose 
“I’ve already ordered the new book by Mary Norris, a long-time copy editor for The New Yorker (Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen).   Every practicing lawyer should be obsessed with commas, particularly one who tries to complement her legal prose with occasional op-eds and sermons.  And in honor of the recent ceremonial reburial of Richard III, Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time is back on my nightstand.  It’s a brilliant British mystery novel revealing that Richard wasn’t so dastardly after all.”


Phelps T. Turner – Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen P.C.
“Next on my list is The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb, about the race to be the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes. I know how the story ends, but I look forward to reading about Roger Bannister’s journey to breaking the barrier first, and about the British runner’s battle with two runners in the United States and Australia for the record.”


Robert K. Crabtree – Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, LLP
“Andrew Solomon’s Far From the Tree is a must read for those involved in disability law or related fields.  Eloquent, thoroughly researched, and deeply compassionate, this work explores how traits that separate people from their families and/or their communities can drive behavior, define needs, and provoke legal and educational responses.  The book is lengthy, but it need not be read all at once. With topics as wide-ranging as children with Deafness, Down Syndrome or Autism, children of rape, and children who commit crimes, chapters can be read as and when the spirit or needs dictate. Ultimately one learns about a wide range of “different” identities in the world, the advocacy communities, legal systems and support systems that form around those identities, the wider communities’ impact on them and vice versa.  Above all, one learns about the very notion of “identity” and will find one’s moorings nicely loosened a bit in the project. Readers sometimes grow as persons with certain books; this is one of those.”


Catherine Martin – New England Law Boston
“I am looking forward to reading Boston and the Civil War: Hub of the Second Revolution, in part to prepare for the BBA event with the author next Thursday night discussing the legal community’s relationship with the growing abolitionist movement. The book covers a group of Boston abolitionists who participated in the campaign against slavery. While I, and probably most Boston residents, know a good deal about the area’s importance during the Revolutionary War, I was not aware how much activity there was leading up to and during the Civil War. Looking forward to an interesting read and a great event!”


If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Gabrielle Guarracino at

Voices of the Bar 3-26-15: What is your favorite travel destination?

In the wake of President Obama’s recent Cuba Initiative, the BBA is excited to present an all-star panel at March 30’s “Cuba: Open for Business” educational program. These experts will explore recent legal developments, including the sanctions that have been eased and those that remain; the broader landscape and history of the Cuban-American relationship; and new opportunities for engagement in business, educational, and cultural activities. The thought of these new opportunities inspired us to think about broadening our horizons – literally.

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

“What is your favorite travel destination?”

Sam A. Mawn-Mahlau — Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C.
“Greece. The history is humbling, the food fantastic, the art everywhere, and the people and climate both hospitably warm. And the museums stay open late into the night.”


Vatsady Sivongxay — City of Boston
“I love traveling! My favorite destination is Laos because I get to enjoy the best foods with my family.”


Matthew Ball — Boston University School of Law
“My favorite travel destination is Ventura County, California, especially after this last Boston winter. North of L.A. just enough to avoid the congestion, it’s right on the beach with beautiful sailing opportunities around the Channel Islands. Hiking paths in the hills around Ojai, a short drive from Malibu, and most of all, In-N-Out Burger, make it pretty much the perfect getaway.”


Ellen S. Kief — The Law Office of Ellen S. Kief
“Foremost, my favorite mode of travel is cycling. Vermont, as a local destination, is beautiful, with rolling hills and miles of fields, farms, flowers, and lakes. However, currently we are still in snowshoeing mode!”


If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Gabrielle Guarracino at