DECEMBER 2013 NEWSLETTER

MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT BARRY M. RYAN

On September 18, 2013, a little over two months ago, Governor Deval Patrick signed legislation raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction from age 17 to age 18.  The new law aligns Massachusetts with the majority of states (i.e. 39) and the Federal Government which use 18 as the age of adult criminal jurisdiction.  Previous legislation treated 17 year olds as adults, regardless of the severity of the crime or underlying circumstances.  It also allowed 17 year old juveniles to be questioned by law authority, waive their constitutional rights, and even enter into plea dispositions without the benefit of parental or guardian assistance. 

          Under the new law, 17 year old adolescents will not receive an adult criminal record.  At the same time, the new legislation has separate interests protected when dealing with violent crimes.  On the one hand, by increasing the jurisdictional age to 18, it takes into account issues of maturity or perhaps a lack thereof, on the part of juvenile defendants and allows an opportunity to extend avenues of rehabilitation that would not otherwise be available.  On the other hand, Juvenile Court judges still have the power and authority to issue adult sentences to such individuals as deemed appropriate under the circumstances of a particular case. 

          There is no question that times have changed in terms of legal age restrictions.  As an early teenager, I can recall when the Military Draft went into effect for the Vietnam War and 18 was the eligible age for the draft.  At that same time, the drinking age was 18, yet you had to be 21 to vote. The popular slogan at the time was “Old enough to fight, old enough to vote.” Now, in Massachusetts, you need to be 21 to purchase alcohol and 18 to purchase cigarettes, and can vote or serve on a jury at 18.  Laws change for various reasons, but the recent legislation has legitimate concerns for our juveniles.

          By law, the age of majority or adulthood is 18, yet many will agree that today, 17 to 18 year olds, on par, lack sufficient maturity to handle certain adult situations, including run ins with the law.  The juvenile court system plays an important role in assisting juvenile offenders to get their lives back on track before the damage is done, which, at times, can be irreparable. 

          Another important issue that comes to mind when dealing with juveniles is Criminal Offender Record Information (C.O.R.I.). Juveniles, who get entangled in the criminal web resulting in formal criminal charges being lodged, will have a C.O.R.I. background, which conceivably could have future long-lasting ramifications.  C.O.R.I. is troublesome because information that a person has committed or has been charged with or accused of committing a crime, creates roadblocks and impediments in pursuing employment in private or governmental sectors, housing, obtaining bank loans, mortgages, insurance, access to college, coaching positions, and even becoming a guardian or foster parent.  

          Although the state legislature passed a C.O.R.I. Reform Bill in 2010, roadblocks still remain for someone with a C.O.R.I. background.  The reform legislation seeks, in part, to provide more employment opportunities to individuals with past criminal records.  Yet, C.O.R.I. is far-reaching and many adults, let alone juveniles, are unaware of its adverse consequences in everyday life.  C.O.R.I., for many, is a permanent footprint that stays with them for life.  A simple arraignment in any court, no matter what the final outcome of the charges, remains in the record. Certain agencies and employers have statutory access to all available C.O.R.I., including non-conviction information, even a dismissed Continuation Without a Finding.

          Although arguably, the vast majority of offenses committed by individuals generally have little relationship to job suitability or performance, I think we can all agree that a previously convicted sex offender should not generally work with patients or children.  Clearly, there are inequities that are inextricably intertwined when dealing with C.O.R.I. issues, which make it particularly important that our youth, when applicable, be provided with opportunities for reform and rehabilitation so as to avoid having a C.O.R.I. background and so they can someday be productive members of society.  

          While one year may not seem a lot to some in terms of gaining maturity or insight, to many juveniles facing potential life-altering events that can mean the difference between being treated as a juvenile versus an adult, which can mean everything for their future.  There was a strong lobby effort to have the legislation amended to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18 and Governor Patrick and those who supported such change should be commended. 

          The change, however, should not stop there. As John F. Kennedy so poignantly stated, “Change is the law of life.  And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”  We, as a community and as concerned citizens and legal advocates, need to instill in our youth the serious and grave consequences that criminal involvement can have in their lives, continuing into adulthood.  With the assistance of the HCBA Board of Directors and our Outreach and Educational Committees, we are endeavoring to reach out to the local schools to work in collaboration with various school districts in Hampden County, the District Attorney’s office, Probation Departments, the Judiciary, and Corrections, to educate our youth in these areas.  The old adage, “It takes a village to raise a child,” can go a long way, if we apply our efforts and reach out to our vulnerable youth.

          In closing, I would like to extend warm wishes for a Happy and Joyful Holiday Season and a prosperous and healthy New Year. 

WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS

The Hampden County Bar Association would like to welcome the following attorneys and students as new members:

Daniel Edward Blakesley, Esq. - Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan & Blakesley, P.C.
Jessica L. Biscoe, Esq. – Parker & O’Grady, Attorneys at Law
Ashley Bogle - Student at University of Connecticut
Jonathan A. Breton, Esq. - Bacon Wilson, P.C.
Timothy William Cook, Esq. - Morrison Mahoney, LLP
Martin J. Dunn, Esq. - Dunn and Wilson
Angela Edwards, Esq. - Law Office of Angela Edwards
William F. Kern, Esq. – Fratar, Kern & Kelly, LLP
Patrick Goodreau, Esq.
Gerald B. Heap, Esq.
Matthew R. Hutchinson, Esq. – Law Offices of Richard H. Maynard & Associates
William F. Kern, Esq. – Fratar, Kern & Kelly, LLP
Katherine Elinor McCarthy, Esq. - Robinson Donovan, P.C.
Jane E. Mulqueen, Esq. - Hampden District Attorney's Office
John A. O'Neil, Esq. - Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
Mary H. Patryn, Esq.
Heather-Jill Williams, Esq. - Heather-Jill Williams Family Law, P.C.


MEMBER BENEFITS

Benefits - Connect with the HCBA and Save!

What is an HCBA membership worth?
Here are just a few examples…
Save 15 percent on all HCBA CLE's and Brown Bag Lunch Seminars

Hall of Justice Member Conveniences:
Photocopier Benefits
We have a copier in our lobby for use by our members while at the Hampden County Hall of Justice. Many of our members have already taken advantage of this useful benefit. All you need to get started is your user code. If you would like to have your code emailed to you, please click here to send us an email.

Computer Terminal w/Internet Access & Wireless Internet
Members have access to the computer terminal in our lobby that is equipped with Internet service, Microsoft Office and a printer. For those members with laptops, we also have the wireless router that we installed for our members who would like to access the Internet. Both of these services are available exclusively to our members. Please stop in or e-mail us at admin@hcbar.org to obtain the password.

Exclusive Sponsors/Vendors

ProShred ~ http://www.proshred.com/

  • 20 % or More Off Shredding Services ~ click here for discount pricing.
  • Click here for the ProShred pamphlet

Smart Scan   http://smartscanit.com/

  • SmartScan would like to give Hampden County Bar members an edge by helping them go digital in 2013
  • Now Offering 15% Off Regular Rates for Hampden County Bar Members.   Click here for Details
  • Click Here for Smart Scan Brochure

Insurance Services thru Millbrook Benefits, Axia Group & LePage Financial Services ~ http://www.millbrookbenefits.com/home.htm

Discounts on various insurance products including Professional Liability.
Waiver of annual fee of $125.00 to access group health insurance for small groups.
One stop shopping and personalized service.
Millbrook has custom designed insurance solutions to meet your specific needs.
Click here for more details

AXIA Insurance Benefits Reminder for Members

Are you sure that your Insurance coverage is correct? You need to know this before you need the coverage. AXiA offers a free coverage analysis for:
Personal Insurance
Auto, home umbrella
Business Insurance
Professional
Property and liability
Automobile
Workers compensation
Life & Health
Disability
In addition you can sign up for notifications to alert you when:
• Your inspection sticker is due
• Your license is up for renewal
• Or your registration is due to renew
.......And it's free!
On certain polices we have an additional discount of 5% only for members of the Hampden Bar Association! For more information, contact the AXia Group at 413-205-AXia(2942).

Hampden Bank ~ https://www.hampdenbank.com/

Click here for a brochure on Hampden Bank.
Hampden Bank would like to extend the following special offer to all members of the Hampden County Bar Association.

Professional Services: Line of Credit*
No application fee • No annual fee
Terms:
Credit Score Line Amount APR
700-749 $ 7,500 Prime +2.00%
750+ $10,000 Prime +1.00%
*requires an IOLTA Checking account with Hampden Bank
Certificate of Deposit Specials
Add .10% to the Annual Percentage Yield on any CD with a new Bright Choice
Business Checking account.
Add .20% to the Annual Percentage Yield on any CD with a new Bright Choice
Business Checking account and IOLTA Checking account.
Please contact Hector Toledo, Vice President Retail Sales Director, 413.335.3483.
Offer valid thru June 1, 2013. May be rescinded at any time.

Pensions & Benefits Associates, Inc. ~ http://www.manta.com/c/mm27bp8/pension-benefits-assoc-inc

Reduce plan document fee
Reduce base in per participant rates

Elm's Cleaners ~ http://www.manta.com/c/mm2zlsy/elms-cleaners-expert

Free pickup and delivery anywhere in Hampden County
Elm’s cleaners will go to your office or residence.
10% on dry cleaning & minor tailoring (excluding shirts)

Member Discount Programs

Save 25 percent on any website packages through ESQSites123.com
We are pleased to announce that the HCBA has formed an alliance with EsqSites123.com to provide member benefits to all of our members. EsqSites123.com provides attorneys with low cost website design and hosting packages. As a member of the HCBA, you are entitled to a 25% savings on any of their already low-priced website packages! For more information, please visit our member page at http://esqsites123.com/jumpPage/hcba/.

LexisNexis HCBA Discount Program
The Hampden County Bar Association has partnered with LexisNexis to offer:
20 percent discount on new subscriptions to LexisNexis Matthew Bender Publications and Annotate Laws of Massachusetts:

20 percent discount on new LexisNexis Online Research Subscriptions
30 percent discount on LexisNexis Total Practice Advantage Subscriptions
HCBA members receive a free practice profile listing in Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory

For more information contact Ryan Cayer at (860) 655-4128 or via email at ryan.cayer@lexisnexis.com.

Save 20% on UPS Shipping through Unishippers. Hampden County Bar Association is pleased to announce a new Member Benefit Program offered by Unishippers/UPS! This member benefit allows members of the Hampden County Bar Association, currently spending $10,000 or less per year on their shipping needs, to receive a 20% discount through the Unishippers/UPS program. Click here for a brochure.

Before any pricing can be offered, each account must be approved by UPS to receive the discounted rate. Signing up is easy. To see if you are eligible, please send an e-mail inquiry to marketing.support@unishippers.info providing your name, address, phone and e-mail address, or call 1.800.713.2111. Make sure to indicate that you are a member of the Hampden County Bar Association. If you qualify, an account number will be assigned and you'll receive a Welcome Packet via e-mail. Simply follow the instructions for use and start saving 20% on each and every package you send!

Save 15 percent on American Bar Association web store purchases including books, CLE course materials and other products - enter code PAB6EHCB upon checkout For further information on what is available, click here to visit the ABA WebStore.

Reduced rates on credit card processing fees through First National Merchant Solutions. For more information contact Richard Rheault at (413) 527-1304 or via email at rrheault@fnni.com.

20 percent discount off Paychex payroll processing charges. For more information contact Jamie Scherban at (413) 731-8930 ext. 47954 or via email at jscherban@paychex.com. (Mention National Account Code 5712.)

20 percent discount off the purchase of new subscriptions to Westlaw Forms and on any print volume from West’s Massachusetts Practice Series.

15 percent discount on new subscriptions to West Case Notebook with LiveNote technology. Free trial for WestlawNext. Contact Karen Katz, Esq. at Karen.katz@thomsonreuters.com or 617-935-9331.

10 percent discount on Disability insurance with Standard Insurance Company - the Hampden County Bar Association is pleased to present an opportunity to its members to apply for a quality individual disability insurance policy from Standard Insurance Company at a 10% discount. The Protector+ SM3 individual disability income insurance is guaranteed renewable and includes many excellent benefits. It can be customized with optional riders and benefit periods to meet your needs. For more information contact Financial Management Systems at 413-736-5550 or email Mickey Savoy at msavoy2001@msn.com or Javad Darouian at jdarouian@gmail.com.

Catuogno Court Reporting & StenTel Transcription Services is pleased to offer Hampden County Bar Association members a 10% discount on their legal support services. They have four offices across Massachusetts and Rhode Island that are available for your depositions, client meetings, arbitrations, and videoconferencing. Membership to the Lawyers Conference Centers is also available and provides you with meeting and work space in their 4 offices for one low monthly rate (membership also entitled you to additional discounts!)  Use you Hampden County Bar Association membership to receive discounts on the following services:

10% off depositions;
• 10% off legal transcription;
• 10% off videoconferencing & videography services; and
• 10% off email encryption.

Lawyer Conference Center members receive an additional 10% discount on  all of the above services!

Office locations in Springfield, Worcester, Boston, and Providence, R.I.

To take advantage of these benefits contact Catuogno Court Reporting & Sten Tel Transcription at (413) 746-8100 or visit their website at www.catuogno.us.

Save 15 percent discount on automotive maintenance/repair at Silk’s Auto Service, Inc., 51 Dale Street, Springfield, MA, (413) 733-9157.

$10.00 discount on Massage Therapy at Maleckas Therapeutic Massage, 501 Belmont Avenue, Springfield, MA, (413) 627-1410.

10 percent discount on computer repairs, data security, upgrades and installation of software for email encryption at Bob’s Computer Service, (413) 204-8339 or sysop@robertjgregory.com


MEMBER INFO

Elizabeth D. Katz, Esquire has announced her new office located at 355 Bridge Street, Suite 4B, Northampton, MA 01060.  Telephone 413-538-1785, Fax 855-325-1009 and her email address is ekatzlaw@gmail.com.

Attorney Richard M. Gaberman of Robinson Donovan, P.C. was named the first winner of the Distinguished Advisor in Philanthropy Award, by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts in partnership with the Estate Planning Council of Hampden County.  Congratulations for this award!

Attorney Ellen Freyman of Shatz, Schwartz, and Fentin, was recently appointed chairwoman of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield Board of Directors.  Congratulations on this accomplishment!

Attorney Michele Feinstein of Shatz, Schwartz, and Fentin, was recently promoted to senior adjunct professor at the Western New England University of Law, where she teaches in the master of laws program for estate planning and elder law.  Congratulations on this promotion!

Dinsmore Stark, Attorneys at Law are very happy to welcome Attorney Mara Shulman as an Associate Attorney in the firm.  Congratulations Attorney Shulman.

The law firm of Skoler, Abbott & Presser recently announced the addition of two new associates, David W. McBride, Esquire and Erica E. Flores, Esquire, who will concentrate their practice in labor law and employment litigation.

Hockey season is here again! Congratulations to the following Hampden County Bar Association member who won tickets to the Falcons hockey team home games for the month of October: Attorney Hope C. Button, Attorney Joseph J. Lange, Attorney Stanley R. Light, Attorney Carolyn L. McCaffrey, Attorney Karen Murphy, Attorney Michelle M. Vargo and Attorney Kathleen A. Cavanaugh-Whitley.  Go Falcons!


HAMPDEN COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION EDUCATION COMMITTEE

Education Sponsors

The Hampden County Bar Association Education Committee would like to thank Elm's Cleaners for its sponsorship of the "How To" Series on November 14, 2013 entitled "How To Draft an Estate Plan", Proshred Security/Smart Scan for their sponsorship of the November 15, 2013 Criminal Brown Bag Lunch entitled "Are You Kidding Me?  More Melendez - Diaz?", and Jack Ferriter, Esquire for his sponsorship of the November 25, 2013 Practice Development Series seminar on "Obtaining Medical Records in Compliance with Privacy Laws".   December 2013 Educational Programs will be sponsored by Sports World.  Their support of our organization is appreciated and we encourage our members to utilize their services.

Presenters

The Hampden County Bar Association Education Committee would also like to thank the following individuals who took time out of their busy schedule to present an educational training during the past month:

Mary J. Kennedy, Esquire, Bulkley, Richardson, & Gelinas, LLP
Shaun S. McLean, Esquire, Massachusetts Appeals Court
J. Michael Scully, Esquire, Bulkley, Richardson, & Gelinas, LLP
John J. Torrone, Esquire, Jackson & Torrone, P.C.

UPCOMING SEMINARS

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - Brown Bag:  Stress Management in the Workplace 

Sponsored by Sports World

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Presenter:
Trevor Smith, B.A. M.A. M.Ed., CLL of Laugh for No Reason

Location: Commissioner's Room, 50 State Street, 2nd Floor, Springfield

Click here to register.

Friday, December 20, 2013 - Criminal Brown Bag:  Constitutional Procedure - 2013 United States Supreme Court Review 

Sponsored by Sports World

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Presenter:
Stephen P. Maidman, Esquire

Location: Commissioner's Room, 50 State Street, 2nd Floor, Springfield

Click here to register.

Monday, January 6, 2014 - Criminal Brown Bag:  Immigration Consequences of Conviction

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm (Extended)

Sponsored by Sports World

Presenters:
Jennifer Klein, Esquire, Immigration Impact Unit, Committee for Public Counsel Services
Emma Winger, Esquire, Immigration Impact Unit, Committee for Public Counsel Services

Location: Commissioner's Room, 50 State Street, 2nd Floor, Springfield

Click here to register

UPCOMING CRIMINAL BROWN BAG SEMINARS…Watch for Details

February - Collateral Damage
March - Motions to Suppress/Car Stops Case Law
April - IP Issues (Patent, Trade Mark, Copyright)

UPCOMING BROWN BAG SEMINARS...Watch for Details

Court Clinic: Mental Health Diagnoses, Treatment and the Law
January - Appeals Court: Lawyer Mistakes
February 13 - Education Law
February - CRC Vocational Expert - SS, WC, PI

UPCOMING "HOW TO: SERIES...Watch for Details

February - Auto Accident Litigation: Preparing a Case for Trial

UPCOMING EXPERTS IN RESIDENCE…Watch for Details

February - Proof of Damages
April - Medical Malpractice - Disclosure, Apology and Offer

PRACTICE DEVELOPMENT SERIES

The eighth installment of the Practice Development Series, "Surviving & Thriving as a New Practitioner" will be held in January 2014.  The presenter will be David J. Lemasa, Esquire, Law Offices of David J. Lemasa, PC.  Watch for further details.

The Practice Development Series  discusses "Real Life Lawyering". The series objective is to support lawyers, particularly new practitioners, solo practitioners and members of small firms, to improve professional skills, increase collegiality and decrease the business, liability ethical and health risks of practice. These sessions will traditionally be held on the 2nd Monday of the month, 1pm – 2pm and are being offered free of charge.  Lunch will be provided.  If you have suggestions for future topics, please email them to Lynne@hcbar.org.


EVENT AND FOLLOW UPS

Poker Tournament Fundraiser

The Hampden County Bar Association will be holding its 2nd Annual Poker Tournament at Elegant Affairs on Thursday, January 23, 2014.  Watch for more details.  SAVE-THE-DATE!!!

Toast to the Season 

The Hampden County Bar Association hosted a Toast to the Season celebration on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at The Fort's new Biergarten,  We had a wonderful turnout of HCBA members who kicked off the holiday season with good food, drink and socializing. 

Check out photos from the Toast to the Season and past and current events at http://www.hcbar.org/category/5277/calendar-and-events.htm.


NEW LAWYERS SECTION

New Lawyers Section Lunch

The next New Lawyers' Section  monthly luncheon will be held on Friday, December 20, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.at  Plan B Restaurant, 1000 West Columbus Avenue, Springfield, MA   Please RSVP to Laura D. Mangini at laura@alekmanditusa.com so reservations can be made.

Holiday Party

The Hampden County Bar Association Holiday Party sponsored by the New Lawyers Section will be held on Saturday December 21, 2013 at 77 Orchard Road, East Longmeadow, MA from from 6:30 to 11:30 pm.  The holiday party is sponsored by the New Lawyers Section and all members of the bar and their guests are invited.  In the tradition of previous years we would ask you to bring an unwrapped toy to be donated to the NLS toy drive.  If you don't have time to pick up a toy, Jeff Morneau will have Toys-R-Us gift cards for $10 or $20 which you can  purchase.  Please RSVP to the HCBA office at 413-732-4660 or email admin@hcbar.org.  Save-The Date!

Annual Toy and Food Drive

The New Lawyers Section 6th Annual Toy & Food Drive is in full swing.  Please drop off an unopened, unwrapped, new toy for Toys for Tots or a non-perishable food item to benefit the Open Pantry on or before Friday, December 20, 2013 (or at the Holiday Party being held on December 21, 2013.)  

No time to shop?  Monetary donations are always welcome (via check made payable directly to the charity)! 

Drop off locations: 

Catuogno Court Reporting
1414 Main Street, One Monarch Place, Springfield, MA

Hampden County Bar Association
50 State Street,  Room 137, Springfield, MA   

Jackson & Torrone, P.C.
573 Northampton Street, Holyoke, MA

Law Office of Cristina M. Ianello
51 Park Avenue, Suite 5, West Springfield, MA

Law Office of Christina M. Turgeon
101 State Street, Suite 401, Springfield, MA

Suggested non-perishable food items: rice, canned fruit, canned vegetables (especially green beans and corn), children's snacks and peanut butter. Any contribution is welcomed and greatly appreciated. 

Thank you to Alekman DiTusa for their generous donation to Toys for Tots!  With your help, we can exceed last year's donations!

Homeless Lunch-Save the Date

On Saturday, January 18, 2014 the New Lawyers Section will be serving lunch to the homeless through the Open Pantry.  Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Laura Mangini at laura@alekmanditusa.com.


REAL ESTATE SECTION

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at Red Rose Pizzeria at 12:00 p.m.  The presenter and sponsor of this meeting will be REBA (Real Estate Bar Association), who will discuss topics which will include updates in the world of real estate law in Mass relevent to all practitioners and REBA membership and offerings.  This lunch is open to all HCBA Members-and is FREE!!  Click here for more information or to register for Tuesday's lunch.

ATTENTION HAMPDEN COUNTY EXAMINDERS, The Hampden County Bar Association Real Estate Section will hold a brief "Bagel and Coffee Break Meeting" on Monday, December 9, 2013 at 10:00 am with the Registry of Probate to discuss off-site file retrieval policies and to troubleshoot any issues with the process.  All title examiners are welcome!

BANKRUPTCY SECTION

The Bankruptcy Section will be hosting its 2nd Annual Holiday Party on Monday, December 9, 2013 at A Touch of Garlic, 427 White Street, Springfield, MA.  Spouses and paralegals welcomed too!  Save-The-Date!  Advanced registration is requested.  Click here to register

Please contact Attorney Christina M. Turgeon at attyturgeon@aol.com with any questions or topics of interest for future meetings. 


PROBATE & FAMILY COURT

Probate Court Bench Bar Meeting

The next Probate Court Bench Bar Meeting will be held on Thursday, December 12 , 2013 at 4:00 pm.  The agenda for this meeting is as follows:

  1. Words from the new Chief Justice – Hon. Angela M. Ordoñez
  1. Volunteer Programs  
  • Subcommittee to address shortage of volunteers/streamlining programs
  • “24 hours in 12 months”
  • Pro se “Blitz” day
  1. Submissions to the Court
  • Updated clerk/case manager assignments
  • All electronic submissions must include attachment(s)  in Word 2003 format
  • Submissions under Supplemental Rule 412
  1. Alimony – Pending appeals under new law
  1. Child Support Guidelines – Calculation when custody is more than one-third but

less than 50% (TurboLaw)

  1. Hampden Innovation Grant
  1. Save the Date:       February 25, 2014   MCLE Program

Sophisticated Issues in Western Massachusetts Family Law

  1. Civility Reminder
  1. View from the Probate Counter
  1. Bench and/or Bar concerns / Open dialogue
  1. Next meeting date

If you have any questions or would like to add a topic to the agenda, please contact Ellen Randle at erandle@bulkley.com or Gary Shannon at gshannon@dwpm.com.

Volunteer Opportunities

There is an urgent need for volunteers during the month of December.   We all have more than enough demands on our time already, but the volunteer programs we have in place in Hampden County are invaluable to the Probate Court and to the public it serves.  Please carve out a few hours one day this month to help out.

The Probate Court Bench Bar Sub-Committee on Volunteer Opportunities has developed a calendar that gives a brief description of the various volunteer programs, along with the dates that volunteers are needed in the Probate & Family Court. The programs include Conciliation and LAR/Lawyer for the Day opportunities.

Pre-Trial Conference Program

The Probate Pre-Trial Conference Program is a great pro bono opportunity for attorneys to offer their services in the Probate Court. Sessions are held every other Tuesday with an occasional Thursday.  We’d like to thank the following individuals who volunteered for Thursdays in November:

Thomas A. Kenefick, Esq.
Kelly A. Koch, Esq.
Kelli Robbins, Esq.
Stanley A. Szlachetka, Esq.

We are currently in need of volunteers for the following dates in November:

Lawyer for the Day-Probate Court:      December 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 27, 30

HCBA Limited Assistance Representation:  Courtroom 3:  December 17, 31

Conciliation:

Courtroom 1:    December  9, 16
Courtroom 2:    December  11, 18
Courtroom 3:    December  9, 17, 31
Courtroom 4:    December  12, 20, 26

DOR Contempts:

Courtroom 2:  December 12
Courtroom 3:  December 26

If you would like more information regarding the programs requirements or a complete list of the available dates, please contact Jennifer at the Hampden County Legal Clinic at hampdencountylegalclinic@verizon.net or 413-733-6500.

DISTRICT COURT

Bench Bar Meeting:

The next District Court bench bar meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 13,  2014.  The agenda for this meeting will be:

  1. Commonwealth Capped pleas in the first instance-
               a) CPCS perspective
               b) DA’s perspective
  2. Conference space in Palmer District Court    
  3. Gun Court – issues still to be considered   
  4. Mental Health Forum(s) –
               a) Perspectives from Bench – Judge Mason
               b) Defense Bar - Client Signs to look for Mental Health
                   Assistance    
  5. Topics for next month’s agenda    
  6. Other   
  7. Adjourn

If there are specific topics of interest to be added to the agenda, please contact Attorney James Goodhines at jgoodhines@hotmail.com.

District Court Posted Vacancies Open for Application

The Judicial Nominating Commission has posted vacancies open for application for Associate Justice.  The Deadline for applications is December 19, 2013.  In contrast to past practice, applicants responding to this posting will be considered for all available District Court vacancies, without reference to any specific location that become available during the remainder of Governor Patrick’s tenure. The Governor may nominate applicants recommended by the JNC to any District Court vacancies available under the statutory cap of 158 judges, including:

  • circuit positions;
  • named statutory positions currently vacant and listed on this website under Current Vacancies;
  • positions created by mandatory retirements in December 2013, May 2014, June 2014 and August 2014, listed on this website under Future Mandatory Retirements; and
  • positions created by additional vacancies that may occur in 2014. 

NOTE: Applications filed in response to this posting should answer Question 28 on Part II of the JNC application: “District Court, December 19, 2013.” Geographic limitations, if any, should be included in response to Question 29. 

Lawyer for the Day-District Court

The Lawyer for the Day program continues to be a success due to the many volunteers who have offered their services in District Court on Wednesdays and Thursdays. This is a great pro bono opportunity for area attorneys. This program benefits landlords and tenants who are income eligible. We’d like to thank the following individuals who volunteered for Wednesdays and Thursdays in November:

Tyson R. Ence, Esq.
Jackie Grant
James F. Gregory, Esq.
Lynn Higgin
Nicole L. Lefevre, Esq.
Melissa K. Long, Esq.
Jill Nareau

We are currently in need of volunteers for the following dates in December:

December  11 (9-1 and 1-4 session)
December  12 (9-1 and 1-4 session)
December  18 (9-1 session)
December  19 (9-1 session)
December  26 (9-1 session)

If you would like to volunteer, please contact Jennifer at the Hampden County legal clinic at 413-733-6500 or hampdencountylegalclinic@verizon.net.

JUVENILE COURT

National Adoption Day

Hampden County Juvenile Court was the featured site for the National Adoption Day on Friday, November 22, 2013