Voices of the Bar 5/5/16: What is the most memorable experience you have had volunteering for Law Day in the Schools?

Law Day in the Schools is in full swing for the next few weeks, placing volunteer attorneys in classrooms in Boston public schools to teach more than 1,400 students about Miranda rights. We are thrilled that in its 30th year, this program has drawn so much interest from a wonderful team of volunteer attorneys.

The topic of the lessons this year is Miranda rights. For younger students, the curriculum was framed around “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. The picture books tells the infamous story from the wolf’s perspective. Some classes participated in a mock trial. For high school students, attorneys have focused on discussing the history and Constitutional basis of Miranda rights.

For this week’s “Voices of the Bar” column, we’re reaching out to ask:

“What is the most memorable experience you have had volunteering for Law Day in the Schools?

Rachel Hershfang – U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission 
“This year for Law Day, my partner and I visited a K2 (pre-K) class at the Nathan Hale School.  As interpreted for the younger set, the curriculum included reading an alternate version of the three little pigs, told from the perspective of the wolf.  As recommended in the instructions, we stopped every few pages to ask questions to ensure that the kids were following.  The first time we stopped, it was to confirm that the kids understood that the story was being told from a different perspective.  “So, who is telling the story?”  I asked.  “You!” answered a number of the kids.  Lesson learned:  don’t ask dumb questions to a kindergartner.”

Meghan Cosgrove – Donoghue Barrett & Singal
“The ability to take time out from our busy “lawyer” schedule and remember that our profession has a duty to mentor and engage with the younger generation.  Their energy, enthusiasm and inquisitive nature was motivating and refreshing and made me remember why I do what I do!”

Paula Bagger – Cooke Clancy & Gruenthal
“So, the wolf was acquitted of his crimes against the three little pigs. The way the lesson was written, the prosecution never stood a chance.  But I was most impressed with the way our eight-year old jury listened to the witness examinations, weighed the evidence, and later explained their rationale to the group. Some great jurors coming up (not to mention the lawyers and judge).”

John McBrine and Rory Pheiffer – Nutter McClennen & Fish
“A couple years ago, we volunteered in a first grade classroom in East Boston.  We were both amazed at the depth of the students’ curiosity and awareness of the world around them.  One first grader asked a question about her hero, Justice Sotomayor.  Wow!  When we were in first grade, our heroes were Voltron and He-Man.”

Joseph Molina Flynn – Molina Flynn Law Offices
“I had the pleasure of reading “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” to a group of first graders in East Boston. At the end of the story, the wolf claims he was framed and he is not truly a big bad wolf. This revelation spurred a very insistent line of questioning from one of the first graders who used the word “framed” with shocking facility. The conversation taught me the importance of perspective. Prior to this encounter with the first grader, I did not think that they would be so well-versed in the perceived pitfalls of the criminal justice system. At the end, this first grader taught me that not all communities are created equally and that, unfortunately, the criminal justice system often carries collateral consequences we are, at times, too ready to ignore.”

Michelle O’Brien – Pierce Atwood
“My one experience participating in Law Day in the Schools was terrific! Although my undergraduate degree is in Education I had not been in front of a classroom for many years and I was a little nervous. I was quickly put at ease because the fifth graders were so welcoming and engaged in the discussion. I was impressed by how attentive and thoughtful they were, and it was interesting to see how different groups of students approached the same task in different ways. It was a good reminder to know your audience and be adaptive.”

Wadner Oge – Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners
“Every time I have a chance to participate in the Boston Bar Association’s Law Day in schools I experience something that is remarkable and memorable. I was previously asked by a second grader if all lawyers make a lot money. I took this opportunity to explain to his classroom how lawyers occupy different roles in our society, and our salary depends on whether we work for a firm or for the government. On May 4, 2016, I experienced something that is remarkable different as I was making my way to the school’s main entrance for the Law Day presentation. One of the fifth graders, who was going to participate in the Law Day program, came up to and asked me, are you the lawyer who is going to speak to my class? I was shocked and said yes and smiled. It was my time going to his school and he did not know who I was. I took a brief moment to reflect on why he thought that I was a lawyer. I realize that it was simply because I was wearing a suit with a shirt and tie, and that he already has an expectation what a lawyer must look like in our society. This remarkable lesson I draw from the fifth grader clearly exemplifies that our appearance is matter, and that it is having a greater positive impact on our school children than many of us have actually thought.”

Bruce Falby – DLA Piper
“My partner Mike McGurk and I oversaw a trial of the big bad wolf in a fourth grade classroom at Samuel Adams School in East Boston.  I’ll remember two things.  First, the jury was out all of 2 minutes before coming back with a verdict finding the wolf guilty of deliberating blowing down houses and eating pigs, yet when we polled the witnesses, both prosecution and defense, they would have acquitted.  Second, the defense attorney departed from the script by making an extemporaneous  argument for reconsideration after the jury came back.  Procedurally irregular, but we admired his passion.”

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 4/28/16: What Musician, Living or Dead, Would You Most Like to See Live?

This year has been a somber year for music. The passing of legendary trailblazers Prince and David Bowie spurred moving tributes and reflections on what popular music means to society. As people from different places, generations and backgrounds have mourned, they have come together in appreciation for these two men and their work.

Of course, neither of these cases represent the first time that fans have created a moving display while saying goodbye to an icon. With countless musical greats to thank for many years of incredible songs, we wanted to know:

“If you could see any artist (living or dead) play a show, who would you choose?

Patrick Clendenen – Sally & Fitch
“I was fortunate to grow up in New Haven, Connecticut in the 70’s-80’s and then raise a family in Massachusetts in the 90’s to today.  My friends and family always had eclectic tastes in music, from folk, blue grass, Motown, classical, opera, jazz, rock, hard rock, rap, hip hop, pop, country.  An amazing growth in music over these years.  I was able to attend concerts at the Yale Bowl or New Haven Coliseum for Parliament, Kiss, Crosby Stills & Nash, the Eagles, Outlaws, the Grateful Dead, Yes, J. Geils Band as a young adult.  And I still remember the Sugar Hill Gang hitting the then Vinyl record stores.  But, if I had to choose,  I’d have to go with Led Zeppelin and Prince.  Big acts that will be tough to follow. ”

Kerry Crisley – Boston Bar Association
“I would LOVE to see a live episode of SNL in the 1970s, with John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Dan Aykryod, Laraine Newman, Garrett Morris and Jane Curtin…and hosted by Steve Martin.”

Tricia Hennessy – Hennessy Consulting Group
“Having just seen the movie Born to Be Blue, I would choose the jazz musician Chet Baker.  Given the work I do in the diversity and inclusion world and in light of conversations in our world today regarding race, I would put myself in the audience when he performed with Charlie Parker at the Trade Winds Club in Los Angeles in 1952.”

Nicole Roth – Boston Bar Association
“I’ve always wanted to see the Beatles perform at the height of Beatlemania. Aside from being an amazing band, the amount and dedication of their fans would just be so exciting to see in real life. I wish I could have been there for their performance on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964!”

Rachna M. Manrai – Ernst & Young
“I would absolutely hands down want to see Michael Jackson perform. Growing up, his ‘out of the box’ dance moves and beats were an inspiration not only for me but have paved the way for so many pop performers today. His style has also influenced so many cultures/countries, including Bollywood! To this day, “The Way You Make Me Feel” brings a smile to my face and laugh of Vincent Prince at the end of “Thriller” scares me! I wish I had seen him perform live- I’ve heard his singing and dancing skills were amazing in concert too!”

Sarah Babineau – Compass Metrics
“I want to see a band that comprises: John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) on drums,  John Entwhistle (The Who) on bass. Prince on guitar, vocals and piano, Jimi Hendrix on guitar, Freddie Mercury (Queen) on vocals and piano and Amy Winehouse on vocals.”

Melissa Nott Davis – McDermott Will & Emery
“It’s tempting to say Prince given how recent he passed and the genius we’ve lost. Michael Jackson when he was touring for Thriller is also a strong contender both for musicality and nostalgia for my childhood. But to be in the presence of unparalleled genius I have to go with Beethoven.”

Daniel Gaviani – Boston Bar Association
“Marvin Gaye!”

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 4/21/16: Tell Us About a Time You Were Proud to Be a Lawyer

This week, as we look ahead to our Law Day events, we are reflecting on the many contributions that lawyers make to their communities. At Law Day in the Schools, volunteer attorneys take time to acquaint students with important legal concepts. Throughout the year, we see attorneys engage in pro bono work and many different types of outreach and community service initiatives. And all of that is besides the billable hours that lawyers spend helping people.

For this week’s “Voices of the Bar” column, we’re in search of stories.

“Tell us about a time you were proud to be a lawyer.

Kate Carter – Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner
“Recently my colleague and I won political asylum for a Ugandan man who had fled his home, family, and career in Uganda because of persecution on account of his sexual orientation as a gay man. Although I’ve represented applicants for political asylum before, this was the first case my colleague handled as lead counsel. I was not only proud to be a part of our client’s story, and to have helped him remain in the United States so that he could live safely and love whomever he wants, but I was also so proud of my colleague, and of the small role I played in mentoring him to be the great advocate, who won our client freedom. ”

Hon. Robert B. Foster – Land Court Department of the Massachusetts Trial Court
“Early in my career, I represented a client pro bono before the MCAD. She had been kicked out of a tanning salon after disclosing that she was HIV-positive. All I did at the MCAD conciliation was have her tell her story, but it resulted in a settlement and apology. Later that year, at the holidays, she left me a voicemail thanking me, a voicemail I have saved to this day. It is the best gift I ever received, and my proudest moment as a lawyer.”

Vikas Dhar – Dhar Law
“I’m proud to be a lawyer every day! Confronting a variety of challenging issues on a daily basis is thrilling, and nothing beats seeing a happy client. Plus, I work with a rockstar team that is smart, fast, witty and totally embraces our philosophy on socially conscious professional practices. We share a belief that we can do well by doing good!”

Ilir Kavaja – Kavaja Law
“Just two weeks ago I represented an individual in a case that culminated in a jury trial. It was a hard fought trial, and the jury ultimately rendered a verdict for my client. At the time the jury announced its verdict my client burst into tears and gave me a big hug. At that particular moment it felt great to be an attorney and to be in a position where I can help others vindicate their rights under the law.”

Anant Saraswat – WilmerHale
“I was in an immigration law clinic in law school, and in my first case my 1L year, we represented a Haitian lawful permanent resident facing deportation over a minor drug possession conviction.  He had been held in jail for over fifteen months without a bond hearing while fighting his removal.  We filed a federal habeas petition and got him out of prison, and he later succeeded in cancelling his removal order.  I was there when he met his family, including his new baby daughter, for the first time after his release, and it was very moving.  I was extremely proud of the work my colleagues and I had done on our client’s behalf, and that experience has motivated me to continue doing pro bono work throughout my career.”

Rebecca Cazabon – Foley Hoag
“Many years ago, I helped a young immigrant woman who was brutally controlled and abused by her husband.  Her life was in turmoil when we met, and she was terrified that without immigration papers, she would be deported, or far worse, that her husband would kill her.  I helped this client obtain protection from abuse, legal immigration status, work authorization, and eventually her green card.  I found out recently that she was awarded a scholarship to go to college, and is now working as a case manager for disabled adults. She told me that receiving the help that she so desperately needed, changed her life, which has enabled her to change the lives of others.”

Eleni Kalmoukos – Victim Rights Law Center
“Working at the Victim Rights Law Center in Boston currently, and having worked at a legal services office prior to that, I can say that I am proud to be a lawyer every day. Providing legal advice and representation to the most vulnerable individuals who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford an attorney is an honor and a privilege and makes me proud to practice law every day. Making a difference in someone’s life is the reason I was interested in becoming a lawyer, and I am fortunate enough to be able to do just that in a very real way through my work, whether it is helping a client obtain a protective order to protect her from abuse or assisting a client with obtaining the disability benefits that he is entitled to.  ”

Brendan T. St. Amant – Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar
“I am proud to be a lawyer when I am assisting probationers with the civil legal issues they face as they transition back into the community.”

 

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 4/14/16: What Does One Boston Day Mean to You?

As you have likely heard, Mayor Martin Walsh recently signed a proclamation permanently naming April 15th One Boston Day. This year, on the third anniversary of the tragic events of the Boston Marathon bombing, the city will collect items for those in Flint, Michigan currently experiencing a water crisis. There will also be a moment of silence at 2:49 p.m. as the city’s churches ring their bells.

This week, we contacted attorneys who participated in our Marathon Assistance Project as well as members who run the Boston Marathon, seeking their unique perspective on Mayor Walsh’s proclamation.

We reached out and asked:

“What does One Boston Day mean to you?

Emily Hodge – Choate Hall & Stewart
“One Boston Day symbolizes the strength that this city has demonstrated in the wake of the Marathon bombings.  We have heard so many incredible stories of bravery, selflessness, and kindness come out of that day, and One Boston Day provides an opportunity to celebrate those qualities.  One Boston Day ensures that we remember that day, and what defines that day becomes not the acts of cruelty but the acts of kindness.  One Boston Day represents the city’s resilience and the characteristics that make so many of us proud to run the Marathon each year, and proud to be Bostonians.”

Kathleen Porter – Robinson & Cole
“It is the best of what and who we are – unsung heroes going about their work, preparing for the unthinkable and unexpected; everyday people reaching out to help each other and strangers. It is a Day when everyone is a Bostonian.”

Thomas Elkind – Foley & Lardner
“One Boston Day is a reminder to me that, as an attorney, I have an obligation to give something back to my community. I am pleased that Mayor Walsh has committed Boston to help other cities in need as well.”

Kate Sullivan –  Rosenfeld Rafik & Sullivan, P.C
“One Boston Day is a day to stop, for even just a second, to remember that life is a gift and those around us are part of that gift.  It is a reminder that we live in an amazing city surrounded by talented, wonderful and heroic people and we should not need a tragedy to prompt our showing kindness to one another.  We can make the decision each day to show compassion, understanding and kindness to those we encounter along our way.”

Peter Durning – Mackie Shea
“One Boston Day is a great time to reflect and remember what makes this community a great place to live and work.  Rather than focus on tragedy, commemorating One Boston emphasizes the response to adversity and helps forge our identity as a community that cares for one another.

I was working that Patriots’ Day at our office on Boylston Street and heard both bombs go off, but what stays with me today is the stories of people who welcomed stranded out-of-towners into their homes, the outpouring of support for the One Boston Fund, and the resolve to continue hosting the world for this great event.  As the Back Bay starts to buzz with pre-race excitement and new faces are getting in their final tapers along the Esplanade, it is important to remember that just as Boston had its hour of need in 2013, other communities, like Flint, need critical resources to get through hard times.  I applaud Mayor Walsh for extending the One Boston initiative in this constructive way.”

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 4/7/16: As a Child, What Did You Want to Be When You Grew Up?

We are gearing up for our annual Law Day in the Schools program, where Boston Public School students get to hear annually from our volunteer attorneys. This year, attorneys will introduce them to the important topic of Miranda rights.

The idea is to provide and interactive day of civic education for these students, but we also hope that the program might ignite an interest in practicing law in one or two. That is, if they’re not already dedicated to becoming a rock star, an astronaut or a professional athlete.

So we wanted to know: what about our members?

For this week’s “Voices of the Bar” column, we reached out to ask:

“When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

David Kluft – Foley Hoag
“I wanted to be Ambassador to Nicaragua until I learned that the movie Protocol, with Goldie Hawn, was not entirely accurate.”

 

Ian Roffman – Nutter McClennen & Fish
“As a child growing up in New Jersey, I wanted to play third base for the New York Yankees. I still do. ”

 

Carolyn Jacoby Gabbay – Nixon Peabody
“Growing up I always wanted to be a lawyer. My father was my role model. He was an attorney who loved the law and he was greatly respected and admired by his colleagues and clients. And he had some very cool clients — including Charlie Chaplin and the Eugene O’Neill family, for example.  As a child I wanted to be like him. I attended college at Boston University and planned on law school from day one as a freshman. I stayed in Boston attending Boston University School of Law and after graduating joined private practice just like my father. Years later, I am happy to still be doing what I aspired to do professionally from the time I was a young girl.”

Jennifer Sunderland – Manion Gaynor & Manning
“As an eight year old, nothing seemed more glamorous to me than becoming a secretary.  My sisters and I would play “Office” and I would readily volunteer my services in a support role to my twin sister’s job as “Boss.” I envisioned my future job as enabling me to wear a suit and high heels every day while having access to my own word-processing machine and an infinite number of office supplies.  The reality of my chosen career path has turned out better than ever I could have imagined – there are so many office supplies.”

Laura Stephens Khoshbin – Partners Healthcare
“This question took me back to age 7, to second grade in Louisville, Kentucky, in the height of Spring. Our class was asked to make a crayon drawing of a spring landscape.  I chose the deepest colors from the crayon box and sketched out a pastoral scene beneath a narrow strip of very blue sky.  After pausing at my desk for a moment, my teacher asked me to accompany her outdoors.  Just beyond the back door of the school was the scene I had in mind.  I can still remember the wet lilacs, new grass, and fragrant air, heavy with humidity.  My teacher gently took me by the hand and showed me how the sky goes all the way to the ground.  I remember the rush of revelation; it was a turning point in my arts education to be sure.  More importantly, in that moment she also inspired a life-long love of teaching.  I will never forget her.”

Janette A. Ekanem – Kotin Crabtree & Strong
“Believe it or not, I decided that I wanted to become a lawyer when I was a child.  My mother worked as paralegal in the Housing Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services and as a result, I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the power of using law as a tool for advocacy.  I also had a burning desire to be the next Michelle Kwan, but I abandoned that dream when I realized that my jumps and spins would never quite compare to hers.”

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 3/31/16: Tell Us a Story About Practicing in Front of a Judge

We have a variety of programs coming up featuring judicial leaders that are designed to help lawyers see their responsibilities from the perspective of someone on the bench.  So, we were hoping for the same from you – we want to know what it’s like to practice in front of a judge from the perspective of a lawyer.

We contacted members in search of stories about attorney flubs, wise words from judges, and anything else they found noteworthy from their years in practice.

For this week’s “Voices of the Bar” column, we reached out to ask:

“What has been your most memorable moment practicing in front of a judge?

J.W. Carney – Carney & Associates
“I will never forget the day that a District Attorney moved to dismiss three criminal convictions against Dennis Maher after he was exonerated by DNA testing. He had served 19 years in prison, and I had been his prosecutor.”

Lauren J. Weitzen – Lawson & Weitzen
“Following a bench trial in which my young client was facing a mandatory minimum sentence of incarceration for possessing a loaded firearm, the judge issued a Not Guilty verdict. My client, through tears, thanked the judge, told her his wife just had a baby a few days ago, and promised that his life was moving forward in a positive direction. The judge responded, seemingly emotional as well, that she made her decision based on the performance of his excellent attorney and that his whole life was now ahead of him, in his hands only, and wished him the best of luck.”

Brian Bixby – Burns & Levinson
“I was handling a will contest, and one of the parties removed the case to the U.S. District Court on the basis that there was a bequest to a charity that is technically a federal agency.  The case was assigned to Judge Tauro, who had scheduled a status conference requiring all the attorneys to appear.  He looked down at us, and particularly to the attorney who had removed the case to Federal Court and said, ‘I have been on the bench for about half a century.  I have never tried a will contest and don’t plan to start now.  Just because you can remove a case from the Probate Court does not mean that you should.  I will schedule another hearing in 30 days, and I don’t expect any of you to be here.’  We weren’t.”

Carol E. Nesson – Law Office of Carol E. Nesson
“The defendant,  represented by counsel, testified that she was innocent of a crime and   “just shared with her friends.”  “Oh, and did you share with your friends [on the night of the alleged offense]”, I asked.  “Oh, yes”, she answered. I then started to ask another question.  The judge, barely able to keep from cracking up, then advised me to know when I had won and stop!”

David Cherny – Atwood Cherny
“While trying a divorce case before Judge Haskell “Hutchie” Freedman in Lawrence many years ago, an expert witness acknowledged under cross-exam that he had never testified or qualified as a witness before that trial. Judge Freedman leaned over to the witness, looked him right in the eye and said “Son, EVERYBODY has to have a first time.”

Luke T. Cadigan – K & L Gates
“When I was a mid-level associate, a judge asked me at the outset of an argument whether I was ‘3:03 certified.’ In other words, was I still in law school?  It is the most unnerving question I have ever received from the bench.”

Brandon Scruggs – Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers
“When I was doing a stint as an Assistant District Attorney, I prosecuted a case where the Commonwealth accused a woman of attacking her ex-boyfriend with what appeared to be a portable stripper pole.  Just before the trial, I found myself arguing two interesting motions in limine.  Defense counsel moved to bar anyone from referring to the pole as a “stripper pole” and also wanted to have the labelling on the pole removed because if a juror read it, they would probably figure out what the device was.  I agreed not to refer to the pole as a stripper pole because I didn’t have a witness that could confirm that without speculation (and I didn’t need to call it a stripper pole to prove my case).  On the labelling, the judge sensibly ruled that the pole should remain unaltered so that the evidence would be in the condition it was in at the time of the alleged crime (or as close to it as possible).  At trial, I got to admit the stripper pole into evidence.  I even got to take a simulated swing with it at closing argument.  And the jury eventually convicted the defendant.”

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 3/24/16: What is your favorite piece of technology?

On Tuesday, March 29th, Adam Sherwin (The Sherwin Law Firm) will lead a discussion on the latest innovations in technology for lawyers, from software options and cloud storage to gadgets that might come in handy.

We spoke to Adam for a Q & A about this upcoming event for this week’s BBA Week, and it got us thinking about how much technology we all use in our daily lives. This week, we reached out to members to ask:

“What is the piece of technology you can’t live without?

Julie Tolek – Think Pink Law
“I can’t live without text messaging. I text EVERYONE, including clients, and while it’s not a super sexy tech tool, it gets stuff done. It’s not intrusive, and I use it all day, every day. ”

Ajay Zutshi – Goodwin Procter
“Google Calendar and auto sync with Android phones. I don’t use my phone much for texting or calling or gaming and hardly have any apps on it. But I use it constantly for scheduling. With my law practice plus teaching plus three kids at home there is always something going on somewhere with someone, and it’s been forever since I missed or forgot an obligation.”

John Morrier – Casner and Edwards
“When she was little, my daughter had the most apt description for what I do for work: “My Daddy types and talks on the phone.” Still true today, and often on my favorite gadget, the iPhone. Unlike my kids, I use the device to make actual phone calls. And review emails, type and revise docs, store pleadings, look up statutes, tweet about my firm and practice — @johnmorrier and @casneredwards — and post to other firm social media, read or listen to news, track to-do list progress, solve lunchtime trivia, and connect with friends, family and colleagues.”

Matthew Yospin – The Law Office of Matthew M. Yospin
“Taking this question literally, I think eyeglasses are a piece of technology that I could not live without. If it were not for this application of transparent materials with high refractive indexes combined with the technology to cast and shape lenses, my law practice and life would be very different. When it comes to legal technology, I think smartphones are the piece (compilation, really) of recent technology that I find most useful in operating and running my law practice: from calls and emails (and the wireless radio networks and packetized data they rely on) to practice management software (and relational databases), working as an attorney, or just meeting for lunch, would be far harder.”

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 3/17/16: What Is Your Favorite St. Patrick’s Day Tradition?

It’s no surprise to us that some would contend that Boston is the best city in America in which to spend St. Patrick’s Day. From the parade in South Boston to festivals and fundraisers hosted by organizations big and small, there’s certainly no shortage of opportunities to put on something green and celebrate.

For this week’s “Voices of the Bar” column, we’re reaching out to ask:

“What is your favorite St. Patrick’s Day tradition?

Mary Kate Geraghty – Burns & Levinson
“St. Patrick’s Day has been my favorite holiday since I was little – and luckily, my husband is also from a big Irish family and loves to celebrate. Before we had kids, we would tuck ourselves into a pub for a few pints and some traditional Irish music, or if we were lucky, we’d get tickets to a live show. Boston always has a great Irish band in town around St. Patrick’s Day. Over the years we’ve seen the Pogues and the Saw Doctors. Now that we have a toddler, it’s a day for my grandmother’s Irish soda bread, reading stories about Ireland and St. Patrick and, after bedtime, a few pints for us!”

Andrew Rainer – Public Health Advocacy Institute
“In my opinion, the best way to spend St. Patrick’s Day in Boston is with beer (numerous) at Doyle’s Cafe in Jamaica Plain, either in the “Kennedy” Room or below the photos of James Michael Curley.  Happy St. Pat’s!”

Alexis Smith – EnerNOC
“I like to wear green and chat with one of my friends from Galway, Ireland who now lives in New Zealand to reminisce on the fun St. Patty’s Day parties she has planned over the years!  This year she is sharing fun photos of her young daughter, Clodaugh, who, by the looks of the photos, loves St. Patrick’s Day as much as her mom does.”

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 3/10/16: Who Has Been The Most Influential Woman In Your Life?

March 8 was International Women’s Day, and we have been inspired to see many people of different ages and professions come together on social media and elsewhere to reflect on the contributions women have made in their lives, personally and professionally, and to society at large.

So, we want to hear from you. Is she someone you know personally, or a woman from history you’ve always admired?

For this week’s “Voices of the Bar” column, we’re reaching out to ask:

“Who has been the most influential woman in your life, and why?

Tara Myslinski – O’Connor, Carnathan, and Mack
“I have been lucky enough to have been educated, mentored and befriended by numerous inspirational and bright women.  The most influential woman in my life, however, was my mother.  Now that she is gone, I am reminded of her influence on me every day.  She taught me to be strong, work hard, and strive to be a good example in the community.  I will never be as effective at all that as she was, but I try.”

Hether Cahill – Burns & Levinson
“My mom, Janet Hetherwick Pumphrey.  Although it sounds cliché, my mom has been an influential role model to me (and many young lawyers) as a strong woman, dedicated lawyer, and community leader.  She attended law school when raising two young children, serving as editor-in-chief of her law review, and graduating in the top of her class.  Her love of the law has driven her to take challenging cases in her appellate practice.  Although she lives in a small town in the Berkshires, she has a state-wide presence through serving on the Massachusetts Law Review, Judicial Nominating Committee, countless MCLEs, and local Board of Selectmen. I hope to be such an influence on my daughter, as well as younger lawyers. ”

Michele Whitham – Locke Lord
“Imagine a child, the 12th of 13, who suffered a severe facial injury as a child and was hidden from view.  Sheltered from school (and the cruel taunts of the “beautiful” children), she became a brilliant, self-taught thinker and speaker by diving into newspapers and crossword puzzles.  Blessed with a gracious sense of humor and a musical laugh, she brought joy and an aura of fun to every gathering of the clan.  When her only child faltered under the burden of raising ten children, she quietly took some of them in.  I was the second of those ten and an exhausting child. This peaceful, centered woman rescued me, showing me – over many a crossword puzzle – how to define and express my best self.  This most influential woman in my life is my maternal grandmother, Eveleen McGuill Rogers.”

Katie Cintolo – Stone, Stone & Creem
“I know it might sound cliché, but no other woman has influenced me more than my own mom, Joanne Donahue.  Throughout my childhood, my family relocated numerous times and, each time, she not only managed to care for my two brothers and me, but also obtained new employment each time and excelled in her role as a teacher.  She is smart, strong, and, above all else, kind to everyone she meets.  She and my dad are now retired and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the retired life than my mom!”

Courtney Cox – Ropes & Gray
“I have had the good fortune of being surrounded by strong women throughout my life.  But I would be remiss if I did not name Judge Sandra Lynch on the First Circuit Court of Appeals.  She is one of the sharpest legal minds, male or female, that I have had the pleasure to work for.  Her exacting pursuit of just and speedy outcomes for those appearing before her is balanced by the warmth which drives her commitment to serving them.”

Laura Stephens Khoshbin – Partners Healthcare
“The most influential woman in my life is our beloved daughter, who demands only the best from me in all ways, large and small.  As she progresses toward her goals in school and elsewhere, I am reminded of family, teachers, mentors, colleagues, and friends who are and have been important in my life, and whose presence will also be a source of inspiration to her. Her emerging independence keeps me grounded and in a constant state of self-review.  Her awareness of and contempt for injustice of any kind is a source of perspective and purpose. Perhaps above all, her constant delight in the simple pleasures of life keeps me optimistic about the future.”

Kate Cook – Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen 
“I have been fortunate to have many wonderful and influential women in my life, but by far my mom and my 1 year-old daughter Maggie are the two most influential.  My mother, a tireless child advocate and family law judge, dedicated her career to making the world a better place and inspired me to become a lawyer.  And Maggie is a constant reminder of all that is good in the world and the import of making it even better for generations to come.”

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 3/3/16: Should Apple Have to Unlock the iPhone?

The role of technology in the legal world is constantly evolving, and in many high profile criminal cases, questions have come up surrounding the gathering and validity of digital evidence.  Apple’s recent filing to dismiss a court order to assist the FBI in unlocking an iPhone that belonged to San Bernardino shooting suspect Syed Rizwan Farook has triggered an intense debate on the subject. By bypassing its own security measures, would Apple set a dangerous precedent, disregarding the privacy of citizens in order for the government to collect information? Or is the company unjustifiably preventing the FBI from learning more about an attack that killed 14 people?

The motion filed by Apple states that the order violates the First and Fifth Amendments of the United States Constitution. For this week’s “Voices of the Bar” column, we’re reaching out to ask:

“Should Apple have to comply with the government’s order to create a program to unlock the iPhone?

Kent Sinclair – Sinclair Law
“No.  It is the legislature’s job to balance the benefits to our society of strong cybersecurity (including encryption) against the costs to law enforcement’s ability to obtain certain data. Congress has declined to alter the existing balance, rejecting legislation that would require technological backdoors for law enforcement.  The FBI should not be allowed to make an end run around Congress by using the All Writs Act of 1789 to force Apple to create a special version of its firmware that eliminates protections against brute force hacks.  Doing so would establish a precedent that fundamentally changes the existing cybersecurity/law enforcement balance without a public and robust debate in the legislature of the broader implications to our economy, national security, and privacy.”

David Powsner- Nutter McClennen & Fish
“Resolving Apple’s dispute with the FBI is a process.  Whether and what the answer will be remains to be seen.  Invariably it will be more than a bit messy, and it will spur years of additional litigation.  What is important is that our system permits this sort of question to be asked in the first place.”

Russell Beck – Beck Reed Riden
“I do not believe the parade of technological or other horribles that Apple has laid out. Nor do I believe that whatever privacy interests a dead person might theoretically have should supersede the need to investigate a crime (even without considering how horrific this crime was). Nor do I believe that the FBI has the right to, effectively, compel Apple to affirmatively work for the government. That said, I do believe that Apple’s position is a brilliant marketing strategy.”

Alex Rogers – Solo Practitioner
“The obvious benefits of allowing such open access by a government agency to data its citizens believe is secure and private for the purposes of national security are far outweighed by the cost such a dangerous precedent would set. Not only do we run the risk of a chilling effect on speech for fear that it may be misread, misinterpreted, or otherwise vilified by an investigative onlooker, but we also would be granting government entities a master key to a safe containing private details of citizens’ lives that in no way relates to an investigation. While I admit that there is benefit to be had by such access, I stand with Apple in saying that the cost for such benefit is far too high.”

Ellen Lubell – Tennant Lubell
“No.  If the FBI wants to access this iPhone, the FBI should develop the technology needed to subvert the phone’s security protections.  Why should the government expect Apple to do the FBI’s job? Apple doesn’t have the technology, and it purposely declined to develop the technology on the principle that customers should have a secure product. Will the government next try to force companies to reduce the security of patient medical records and home security systems so that the FBI doesn’t have to bother with the irritation of getting past those protections? This case is about the government getting control—not the Farook iPhone.”

Andrew Beckerman-Rodau – Suffolk University Law School
“Whether Apple should be made to comply is a difficult question. Compliance would help criminal investigators but that must be balanced against potential unintended consequences. Partially compromising Apple’s encryption could pose a long term security risk because encryption is utilized by the government and business entities to safeguard critical data. Weakening encryption may have short term benefits but it might also make it easier for criminals, terrorists and foreign spies to access critical encrypted data in the future.”

Christina Mott – Massachusetts Superior Court
“No.  The underlying problem with this court order compelling Apple to provide reasonable technical assistance to law enforcement to access the data on Farook’s iPhone is its basis on the 1789 All Writs Act, an antiquated statute that has not been updated since 1949.  The Act itself is extraordinarily broad in the relief it  authorizes and using it to justify compelling Apple to create a backdoor program would set a precarious, slippery precedent.  The larger, separate questions then become whether Apple has an ethical or moral duty to aid law enforcement, under certain circumstances,  in recovering data protected by their new encryption software, and whether the government can compel Apple to create new software and if so, whether specific constitutional protections can shield them from future compliance with court orders in today’s tech-savvy society where security breaches and personal-information theft have become increasingly common.  Perhaps this is the courts’ opportunity to bridge one gap in the ongoing catch-up game between case precedent and technology.”

Patrick Clendenen – Sally & Fitch
“While I certainly want the FBI fully to investigate the terrible San Bernardino killings, I side with Apple, Inc.  Balancing privacy and security in this day and age, and in the United States, will always present Americans with challenges and trade-offs. Though most people do not question the FBI’s motives, privacy trumps security here in my view, at least until Congress acts.  Like the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard in criminal cases, denying the FBI’s request for an affirmative injunction here, which potentially limits the information available to it in the investigation, but also protects the privacy of all Americans who own an iPhone, is a trade-off of living in a free society.”

Janet Faulkner – Faulkner Legal Consulting
“Over the past week, I’ve had many discussions about this issue.  Given the potentially high security risk at stake in this particular case, I’ve found it striking that the overwhelming majority of non-lawyers with whom I’ve spoken have sided unequivocally with Apple.  If the legal question is limited strictly to the phrasing here, it is hard to argue that Apple must create a new program.  At the same time, it would be ideal if all parties work toward another solution, rather than to put heightened effort into creating more barriers.”

Gary Bloom – Law Office of Gary Bloom
“Yes, Apple should have to comply with the government’s order to create a program to unlock the iPhone. In society, there is always a compromise between privacy and security. Every law abiding citizen is entitled to both; however, criminals are already sometimes not allowed to shield themselves from culpability by hiding behind the veil of some “reasonable expectation of privacy.” Current wiretapping statutes demonstrate this. The right of the public to be secure must prevail over the criminals’ right to privacy.  Accordingly, Apple should comply.”

Ernest Linek – Banner & Witkoff
“No, Apple should not have to comply with the government’s order to create a program to unluck the iPhone. This “new” software would soon be available to hackers.”

Warren Agin – Swiggart & Agin
“The All Writs Act shouldn’t be used in this way – companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon collect enormous amounts of information about our lives, and analyze it to help them know even more about us as individuals. This can let them build really neat and useful products for consumers. But, the whole system falls apart if the data isn’t kept secure – from everyone.”

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].