At the January 16th MBA House of Delegates Meeting in Boston, one of the agenda items garnered some spirited and supportive debate.  The focus of discussion was the proposed addition of “Access to Justice” as a topic for the Massachusetts Bar Examination.  The initiative was the brainchild of Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants and David Rosenberg, the Co-chairs of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission (“Commission”).  A key player on this Commission who hails from Western Massachusetts is Judge Dina Fein, who also was supportive of this topic being incorporated into the Massachusetts Bar Examination. 

The Commission, through its spokespersons, Justice Gants and David Rosenberg, lobbied for the support of the MBA for the proposed modification of the Massachusetts Bar Examination.  The proposal had already been unanimously adopted by the Access to Justice Commission in June.  The initial proposal was developed by a Bar Examinations Committee which consisted of representatives from the Access to Justice Commission, the MBA and the Boston Bar Association.

The proposal seeks to help move forward issues of Access to Justice which we are in need of statewide, and more particularly, as they pertain to law students and new lawyers.   This initiative is unique in that if the proposal is ultimately adopted and approved by the Supreme Judicial Court, it would make Massachusetts the first state to incorporate the theme of Access to Justice on a state bar examination.

The theory behind the proposed change, or as Justice Gants termed it, “reconfiguration” of the current bar examination, is to help recent law school graduates establish successful practices within the current legal climate by addressing unmet and unserved legal needs of the underserved client populations.  It will also assist in the recognition that being a lawyer means recognizing the need to provide assistance in obtaining access to justice.

The Commission determined, based on its research and findings, that there is a crisis in the legal profession resulting from a glut of unemployed and underemployed lawyers.  The Boston Bar Association Report on the subject noted that “for the foreseeable future, more and more new graduates … are likely to enter solo or small-firm practice.”  The MBA Report also concluded that “recent Massachusetts law school graduates must consider alternatives to the traditional law firm entry-level position.” 

This proposed change in the subject matter of the Bar Examination is designed to ensure that newly admitted lawyers are at least minimally competent to practice law, including areas which focus on Access to Justice.  The belief is that new lawyers, many of whom will likely be branching out into solo or small-firm practice,  must be versed and prepared to utilize different facets of the law to assist the less fortunate and those who simply cannot afford to pay the going rate legal fees of certain law firms.  The idea is to train new lawyers in the area of limited assistance representation, fee-shifting statutes and other facets of the law, which are essential to community lawyering.

The intended message of the Access to Justice topic is to encourage access to justice as a significant part of what it means to be a lawyer.  There are several studies which confirm   the “Justice Gap” in this state, noting that only a small percentage of the low to moderate income households can obtain legal assistance for their needs, even including the publically-funded legal services agencies, such as Community Legal Aid.  Some of the studies going back to 1987, 1996 and 2003, consistently confirm these findings.

The area of focus for access to justice topics include an offshoot of some of the current Bar Examination topics, with more focus on landlord-tenant (evictions and foreclosures), domestic relations, debt collection, consumer protection, as well as ethical issues, fundamental due process, and the law relating to attorney fees and fee-shifting statutes.

Although the idea is not a cure- all to the access to justice dilemma, it is a start in the right direction as far as addressing two areas in need of consideration, namely new law student graduates and the under- represented class of society.   With this proposed change to the Bar Examination, the thought is that law schools will begin to vary their curriculum by offering subjects specifically dealing with these topics.  In fact, WNEU Law School already has an access to justice curriculum, of which is Judge Dina Fein, the Special Advisor for Access to Justice Initiatives, is an active participant.

The MBA House of Delegates voted to approve the proposed Bar Examination to include an “Access to Justice” topic, which is also supported by the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson so poignantly stated, “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”  The proposal, if ultimately approved by the Supreme Judicial Court, is a step in the right direction to service the needs of our profession and future client base. 


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

Peter T. Lane, Esq. – Schlanger & Schlanger, LLP
Amanda Lee Jordan, Esq. - Soja & Abbott
David W. McBride, Esq. - Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.
Lea Occhialini, Esq.
Jenna Lynn Novotny Schmidt, Esq. - Schmidt & Sikes, P.C.
Matthew Soja, Esq. - Soja & Abbott
Joette Lan Trinh, Esq. - Webber & Meyers, LLC


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
Property and liability
Workers compensation
Life & Health
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
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


Governor Duval Patrick has announced his nomination of Hampden County Assistant District Attorney, Matthew J. Shea as an Associate Justice of the Holyoke District Court.  Congratulations on this nomination!

The Honorable Anne M. Geoffrion of the Probate and Family Court, was recently honored by the Massachusetts Bar Foundation in recognition of her service as a trustee over the past 8 years.  Judge Geoffrion's term has expired.  The Honorable Robert G. Fields, of the Housing Court has now been named as a trustee of the Mass Bar Foundation for a 4 year term.   The only other trustee from Western Mass is Lawrence J. Farber, Esquire from Amherst.

Rebecca L. Bouchard, Esquire and Gregory M. Schmidt, Esquire have been named partners at Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy.  Congratulations!

Petra I. Cervoni, Esquire has announced her new office located at 101 Mulberry Street, #509, Springfield, MA 01105.  Telephone 413-781-3163, Cell 413-351-5863 and her email address is petracervoni@comcast.net.

Michael S. Gove, Esquire has announced his new office located at 277 Main Street, Suite 206, Northampton, MA 01060.  Telephone 413-570-3170, Fax 413-579-6863, his email address is mgove@govelawoffice.com, and his website is www.govelawoffice.com.

Jared Olanoff, Esquire has announced his new office located at 73 Chestnut Street, Springfield, MA 01103.  Telephone 413-731-7000, Fax 413-731-7002, and his email address is jared@olanofflaw.com.

Hockey season is well under way and many members have had a chance to enjoy a game.   Congratulations to the following Hampden County Bar Association member who won tickets to the Falcons hockey team home games for the month of January: Attorney Gina M. Paro, Attorney Katharine A. Pacella, Attorney Dennis P. Powers, and Attorney Christina M. Turgeon.  Go Falcons!


Education Sponsors

The Hampden County Bar Association Education Committee would like to thank Sports World for its sponsorship of the January 27, 2014  Criminal Law Series Lunch entitled  "Immigration Consequences of Conviction" and Philbin & Associates for its sponsorship of the February 27, 2014 Criminal Law Series Lunch on CORI Reform.  Their support of our organization is appreciated and we encourage our members to utilize their services.  For more information on how to sponsor an Education Program, contact Lynne McMillan at 413-732-4660 or email to Lynne@hcbar.org.


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

John Barber, DMH Area Forensic Director
Judge Judd J. Carhart, Massachusetts Appeals Court
Elizabeth G. Dineen, J.D., Bay Path College
Jennifer Klein, Esquire, Immigration Impact Unit, Committee for Public Counsel Services
Judge Mark D. Mason, Associate Justice, Springfield District Court
Richard McKeown,  BHN Sloan Clinic
Shaun S. McLean, Esquire, Massachusetts Appeals Court
Anne C. Pratt, Ph.D., Designated Forensic Psychologist, BHN Adult Court Clinics
Judge Ariane D. Vuono, Massachusetts Appeals Court
Emma Winger, Esquire, Immigration Impact Unit, Committee for Public Counsel Services
Welli Yeh, PH.D., Program Director, BHN Adult Court Clinics


Thursday, February 13, 2014 - Brown Bag Seminar: Education Law

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Rebecca L. Bouchard, Esquire, Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy, P.C.

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

Click here to register

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - Brown Bag Seminar: Vocational Experts

Social Security/Workmans Comp/Personal Injury/Employment Law/Divorce

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Kerry A. Skillin CRC Services, LLC
David M. Soja, CRC Services, LLC

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

Click here to register


March 18 - Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code
Appeals Court: Lawyer Mistakes

Thursday, February 27, 2014 - Criminal Law Series: CORI Reform

Presented in conjunction with Hampden County Lawyers for Justice

Sponsored by Philbin & Associates

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Renay Frankel, CPCS

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

Click here to register


March 14 - Motions to Suppress/Car Stops Case Law
April - IP Issues (Patent, Trade Mark, Copyright)

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

March - Auto Accident Litigation: Preparing a Case for Trial


April 30 - Medical Malpractice - Disclosure, Apology and Offer
April - Proof of Damages


The eighth installment of the Practice Development Series, "Surviving & Thriving as a New Practitioner" will be held in March 24, 2014 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm in the Commissioner's Room, 50 State Street, 2nd Floor, Springfield.  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.


The Hampden County Bar Association is pleased to announce its collaboration with two invaluable organizations in which we are proud to advocate and work alongside, Veterans Justice Partnership and SoldierOn who provide assistance and services for veterans in Western Massachusetts.   The Hampden County Bar Association will hold a two-part training session on Friday, April 4, 2014 and Friday, April 11, 2014 to familiarize Criminal Law Practitioners on the Veterans Justice Partnership.

Veterans Justice Partnership is a collaboration of community and criminal justice partners with the goal of helping veterans and service members in need.  This program seeks to work with the Defense Bar, Probation Department and District Attorney's office to develop service and treatment options and, where appropriate, offer alternatives to incarceration.  They coordinate services among treatment providers and the courts, attorneys, jails, probation officers and houses of correction.  This allows them to make a positive transition and lead productive lives versus the alternative, incarceration.

SoldierOn fights to end veteran homelessness such as helping them navigate through the transition from homelessness to homeownership, provide peer support, counseling, financial support, training, education and employment services and more.

We believe that these programs may be a good resource for individuals who have been in the military and may be facing a legal issue whether it be civil or criminal.  Informational pamphlets will be available at the Hampden County Bar Association. If you have a client that has been in the military and who is facing criminal charges, on the verge of homelessness or struggling with issues related to housing, health care or substance abuse, please call 1-866-406-8449.  Our goal is to get the word out to our members about these valuable resources.


Judges Night

The Hampden County Bar Association will hold its Annual Judicial Dinner on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin, 500 Easthampton Road, Holyoke, with a cocktail hour starting at 5:30 pm.  The keynote speaker will be the Honorable Timothy S. Hillman of the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts. SAVE THE DATE and watch for more details.

Poker Tournament Fundraiser Rescheduled

The Hampden County Bar Association has rescheduled our 2nd Annual Texas Hold 'Em Poker Tournament to Thursday, April 10, 2014 from 6:00 pm until 10:00 pm at The Glass Room at Elegant Affairs, 1380 Main Street, Springfield, MA. There will be a $75.00 buy-in to benefit the programs of the HCBA.

Prizes:  1st Place - $1,000, 2nd Place - $250, 3rd Place - $100.  Click here to register.  (space is limited)

Golf Outing

The Hampden County Bar Association will be holding its Annual Golf Outing at the Ranch Golf Club in Southwick, MA on Thursday, May 22, 2014.  Mark your calendars and save the date!

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


New Lawyers Section Lunch

The next New Lawyers' Section  monthly luncheon will be held on Friday, February 28, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.at  Luxe Burger, 1200 W. Columbus Avenue, Springfield.   The speaker will be Kevin Maltby, Esquire of Bacon Wilson P.C. who will discuss the District Court Lawyer for the Day program and how the New Lawyers Section members can benefit from participating in the Lawyer for the Day Program.   Please RSVP to Laura D. Mangini at laura@alekmanditusa.com so reservations can be made.

Homeless Lunch Follow-Up

On Saturday, January 18, 2014 the New Lawyers Section served lunch to the homeless through the Open Pantry at South Congregational Church located at 45 Maple Street, Springfield.  Many thanks to all the attorneys and their family members who helped prepare and serve approximately 100 lunches.


The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at Red Rose Pizzeria at 12:00 p.m.  The speaker will be Ruth A. Dillingham, Esquire, Special Counsel for First American Title Insurance Company in the New England Region.  Ms. Dillingham will discuss the latest news on CFPB and how practice might change.  The meeting will be sponsored by First American Title Insurance Company.  Please contact Nyles L. Courchesne at nlc@pcalaw.net with any questions or topics of interest.  Click here for registration.


The Bankruptcy Section lunch was held on  Monday, February 3, 2014.    Thank you Andrea M. O'Connor, Esquire of Hendel & Collins, P.C., for your most informative presentation on "types of student loans, repayment plans, consequences, and options related to pre-default, post delinquency and post-default".   Please contact Attorney Christina M. Turgeon at attyturgeon@aol.com with any questions or topics of interest. Watch for more details regarding the next Bankruptcy Section lunch.

M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program

The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, a collaboration between the Boston Bar Association and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, helps high school students across Massachusetts learn about making informed and effective decisions regarding their finances through educational and experiential opportunities. With the assistance of over 350 volunteers, and the support of other bar associations across the commonwealth including Hampden County Bar Association and Hampshire County Bar Association, the program has reached over 3300 students statewide since 2005.

Members of the Hampden County Bankruptcy Section, over the past few months have been working with students at Holyoke High School to present the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program.  On January 30, 2014 students from Holyoke High School visited the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the final "consequence" module.  This program is a great opportunity for local schools.  We would like to expand the program to other area schools.  We would invite any of our members with connections to local schools to assist us in getting more schools involved.  For more information please contact Noreen Nardi at 413-732-4660 or email her at admin@hcbar.org.

All attorneys who volunteered to bring this literacy program to Western Mass are invited to attend the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program 10th Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 5:00 pm at the Boston Bar Association, 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA.  R.S.V.P. online today to confirm your attendance.


Probate Court Bench Bar Meeting

The next Probate Court Bench Bar Meeting will be held on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 4:00 pm.  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 in Probate Court

There is an urgent need for volunteers during the month of February.   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 in conjunction with the Hampden County Bar Association offer various volunteer programs, along with a calendar of available dates that volunteers are needed in the Probate & Family Court.  The programs include Conciliation, Pre-Trial Limited Assistance Representation, DOR Contempts and Lawyer for the Day.

We’d like to thank the following individuals who volunteered in one or more of our Probate and Family Court Volunteer Programs in January:

Attorney Stephanie A. Fitzgerald
Attorney Michael A. Frazee
Attorney Michael J. Grilli
Attorney Diana S. Velez Harris
Attorney Kelli Robbins

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

Lawyer for the Day-Probate Court:      February 10, 12, 19, 21, 26


Courtroom 1:   February 10, 24
Courtroom 2:   February 12
Courtroom 4:   February 14, 27

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.

Conciliation Training Guidelines Modified

Trial Court Chief Justice Robert A. Mulligan has approved a change in the qualification training requirements for Court-Connected Conciliators, as recommended by the Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution. The amended guidelines permit those who have completed an approved mediation training program to serve as a conciliator in a court-approved program subject to the approval of the conciliation program and the completion of the necessary court orientation by the program.  Pursuant to Rule 8(e), in addition to completing the proper training, conciliators must be members of the Massachusetts Bar, be in good standing with the Board of Bar Overseers and must have practiced law in Massachusetts for at least three years.   If you meet these qualifications and would like to sign up to volunteer for the Hampden Conciliation Program, please contact Gina Barry at (413) 781-0560 or at gbarry@baconwilson.com.


Bench Bar Meeting:

The next District Court bench bar meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 10,  2014 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm, in the Commissioner's Room, 50 State Street, 2nd Floor, Springfield.  Watch for further details on the agenda for this meeting.

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

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 January:

Tricia Cole, Mass Mutual Paralegal
Carolyn Hartung, Mass Mutual Paralegal
Attorney Melissa K. Long
Attorney Kevin V. Maltby
Attorney Vanessa Martinez
Attorney John O'Neil
Gayle Pedrotty, Mass Mutual Paralegal
Attorney Stephen J. Phillips

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

February 12  (9-1 and 1-4 session)
February 19  (9-1 and 1-4 session)
February 26  (9-1 session)
February 27  (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.


Bench Bar Meeting

The next Juvenile Court Bench Bar meeting will be held on Wednesday,  March 5, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.  The Bench Bar meetings are held quarterly, the first Wednesday of the month and are open to all attorneys who practice in Juvenile Court.  If you have any questions or would like to add a topic to the agenda, please contact the HCBA Juvenile Court liaison, Attorney Debra A. Quinn at 285-3197 or debraquinnesq@gmail.com.


Bench Bar Meeting

The next Housing Court Bench Bar meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 3:30 in the Western Division Housing Court in Springfield.   For more information or to present agenda items please contact Jonathan Kane at kane@fierstpucci.com, Toby Wilson at attywilson@comcast.net, or Archer B. Battista at abattista@lyonfitzpatrick.com.

Lawyer for the Day-Housing Court

The Lawyer for the Day program continues to be a success due to the many volunteers who have offered their services in Western Division Housing Court on 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 Thursdays in January:

Susan Beaudin, Mass Mutual Paralegal
Attorney Dominic Blue
Jennifer Buxton, Masss Mutual Paralegal
Lillian Gray
Attorney Lauren M. Marcous
Attorney Dorothy Varon
Attorney Thomas Zito

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

February 20, 27

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

Western Division Housing Court Temporary Relocation

Western Division Housing Court practitioners should be advised that effective March 7, the Greenfield session will be moving from its present location in the Juvenile Court to the temporary courthouse located on Munson Street in Greenfield. Once the new courthouse is completed in a few years, Housing Court will move its Franklin County session to the new courthouse.


The Hampden County Bar Association is now accepting applications for participation on the 2014 Arbitration & Mediation Service Panel.   Renewal applications have been mailed to current panel members.  If you have not received your renewal application, please contact our office.  If you are not currently a neutral on our panel, but would like to become a neutral, please click here for an application.  For more information on panel participation, please contact us at 413-748-7951 or visit our website at www.hcbar.org.

The Hampden County Bar Association Arbitration & Mediation Service maintains a roster of highly qualified lawyers and retired judges for arbitration, mediation, or case evaluations. Our panel members, as an accommodation to the Bar Association, have agreed to serve at substantially reduced rates for arbitrations, mediations or case evaluations. Indeed, many of our panel members independently mediate and arbitrate cases at higher rates. Why not conserve resources by coordinating your arbitrations or mediations through the Hampden County Bar Association? We encourage you to support your bar association by keeping the Arbitration and Mediation Service in mind for alternative dispute resolution. For a complete list of arbitrators/mediators and the type of cases they handle, please click here.

For information about the service, renewals or becoming a member of the panel, please contact our office via email at ArbitrationMediation@hcbar.org or by calling (413) 748-7951. This information may also be obtained by visiting our website at www.hcbar.org.


The 2014 panel registration forms for participation on the Hampden County Bar Association Lawyer Referral & Information Service are now due.  Anyone who has not renewed their registration will be removed from rotation on February 28, 2014. If you did not receive a renewal application or for more information about the LRIS program, contact 413-732-4660 or visit our website at www.hcbar.org.

The Hampden County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS) meets American Bar Association standards for lawyer referral and has a Reduced Rate Panel. Anyone interested in participating in the lawyer referral program can contact our office at 413-732-4660 or via email at lawyerreferral@hcbar.org.

Within the last month, attorneys have submitted over $8,340.00 in LRIS referral percentage payments a result of over $55,600.00 in client fees.

If you receive a call from a potential client looking for assistance in an area of law that you do not practice, why not refer them to the Hampden County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral & Information Service? All members of the LRIS are your experienced colleagues. Support your LRIS in providing quality referrals in our community!

Currently the LRIS is in need of attorneys on our Panel that handle immigration, ERISA and Civil Rights cases.


The Hampden County Bar Association is pleased to announce that Mass Mutual Financial Group has approved funding for the Legal Clinic for 2014 in the amount of $20,000.00.  We are very excited to continue our partnership with Mass Mutual Financial Group. The Hampden County Legal Clinic has been busy coordinating volunteers for programs in District, Housing and Probate Courts as well as handling foreclosure intake calls.  This would not be possible without the financial support from Mass Mutual Financial Group. If you are interested in volunteering for any of these programs, please contact Jennifer at the Hampden County legal clinic at hampdencountylegalclinic@verizon.net. or 413-733-6500.


The Hampden County Bar Association received an IOLTA Grant from the Massachusetts Bar Foundation in the amount of $50,000 for funding of the Hampden County Bar Association's Children's Law Project for the 2013-2014 Grant year. We are very grateful to the Massachusetts Bar Foundation for their continued support of this program. Through this program, children receive legal representation in the Hampden County Family and Probate Court for an array of matters. For more information about the Massachusetts Bar Foundation and the good work they do, check out their website at http://www.massbarfoundation.org.

The Children's Law Project Committee is planning an upcoming Education Program which is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, March 4, 2014.  Save the date and watch for upcoming details.


Administration of Oath

Chief Justice Angela M. Ordoñez of the Probate and Family Court, cordially invites local attorneys to attend the administration of the oath of office to Honorable Beth A. Crawford as First Justice of the Franklin Probate and Family Court on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 2:15 p.m. Franklin Probate and Family Court, 101 Munson Street, Greenfield, MA.  Reception to immediately follow.  RSVP mary.hildreth@jud.state.ma.us

Court Closures

For information on court closures in the event of bad weather, please check the Trial Court website.  Any closures will be posted on their homepage.


The Honorable Michael A. Ponsor would like to invite the members of the Hampden County Bar Association to attend a public reading from his new novel, The Hanging Judge, Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 7:00 pm at the Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA

UNICO National's 2013 Person of the Year

Laura S. Gentile, Esquire, Hampden County Superior Court Clerk of Courts will be awarded UNICO National's 2013 Person of the Year.  The UNICO National award dinner will be on March 8, 2014 at the Storrowtown Tavern in West Springfield.

Basic Mediation Training

The Mediation & Training Collaborative (TMTC) is offering its 30-hour, four-session training in Greenfield March 7, 15, 22 and 28, 2014, from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm each day.  This highly interactive, practice-based training is open to those who wish to increase their ability to help clients deal with conflict, whether through formal mediation or in a legal setting.  Individual attention and coached mediation practice; MA CAFL CLEs and VT CLEs available.  Fee is $595 with early registration and deposit by February 15, 2014; $625 after February 15, 2014.  Contact mediation@communityaction.us or call 413-475-1505 for more information.


Law Office for rent

437 Main Street, Amherst.  Very visible with three picture windows in the reception/work/waiting area.  Large Conference room and medium sized office.  Excellent on site, ample parking.  Fully furnished.  $1,700.00 includes heat and electricity.  Very attractive office.  Pictures upon request.  Please contact John F. Edwards at 413-259-2900 or Fax to 413-253-9460.

Rent/Share Space

Just off Route 91, between Springfield and Northampton, looking for a lawyer to rent or share office space.  Includes telephone, internet, printer, copier, conference room and break room; referrals possible.  Please contact 413-374-8400.

“All paid advertising published in this newsletter in no way constitutes approval or endorsement by the Hampden County Bar Association or by any of its members of the products and/or services advertised.”


February 12, 2014 - Real Estate Section Lunch
February 13, 2014 - Brown Bag - Education Law
February 25, 2014 - Brown Bag - Vocational Experts
February 27, 2014 - Criminal Brown Bag - CORI Reform
February 27, 2014 - Probate Court Bench Bar Meeting
March 4, 2014 - Children's Law Project Education Program
March 5, 2014 - Juvenile Court Bench Bar Meeting
March 10, 2014 - District Court Bench Bar Meeting
March 14, 2014 - Criminal Brown Bag - Motions to Suppress/Car Stops Case Law
March 18, 2014 - Brown Bag - MUPC
March 18, 2014 - Housing Court Bench Bar Meeting
March 24, 2014 - Practice Development Series - How to Survive & Thrive as a New Practitioner
March 27, 2014 - Judges Night
April 4, 2014 - Veterans Justice Project Training Part 1
April 10, 2014 - 2nd Annual Charity Poker Tournament
April 11, 2014 - Veterans Justice Project Training Part 2
April 30, 2014 - Experts in Residence - Medical Malpractice: Disclosure, Apology & Offer
May 22, 2014  - Annual Golf Outing - SAVE THE DATE!
June 12, 2014 - Annual Meeting & Vendor Show - SAVE THE DATE
November 7, 2014 - 150th Anniversary Gala - SAVE THE DATE!


The following is a list of Hampden County Judges' assignments through the end of the month. Please note that these assignments are subject to change without notice.

Hampden County Superior Court

2/10 Carey, Ferrara, Ford, Kinder, McDonough, Page, Sweeney
2/11 Carey, Ferrara, Ford, Kinder, McDonough, Page, Sweeney
2/12 Carey, Ferrara, Ford, Kinder, McDonough, Page, Sweeney
2/13 Carey, Ferrara, Ford, Kinder, McDonough, Page, Sweeney
2/14 Carey, Ferrara, Ford, Kinder, McDonough, Page, Sweeney

2/18 Carey, Ferrara, Ford, Josephson, Kinder, McDonough, Page, Sweeney
2/19 Carey, Ferrara, Ford, Josephson, Kinder, McDonough, Page, Sweeney
2/20 Carey, Ferrara, Ford, Josephson, Kinder, McDonough, Page, Sweeney
2/21 Carey, Ferrara, Ford, Josephson, Kinder, McDonough, Page, Sweeney

2/24 Carey, Ferrara, Ford, Josephson, Kinder, McDonough, Page, Sweeney
2/25 Carey, Ferrara, Ford, Josephson, Kinder, McDonough, Page, Sweeney
2/26 Carey, Ferrara, Ford, Josephson, Kinder, McDonough, Page, Sweeney
2/27 Carey, Ferrara, Ford, Josephson, Kinder, McDonough, Page, Sweeney
2/28 Carey, Ferrara, Ford, Josephson, Kinder, McDonough, Page, Sweeney

Hampden County Probate Court

2/3 Fuller, Geoffrion, Hyland, Saks
2/4 Fuller, Geoffrion, Hyland, Saks
2/5 Fuller, Geoffrion, Hyland, Sacks
2/6 Fuller, Geoffrion, Hyland, Sacks
2/7 Fuller, Hyland, Sacks, Wilson

2/10 Fuller, Hyland, Sacks
2/11 Fuller, Hyland, Rainaud
2/12 Fuller, Hyland, Sacks
2/13 Fuller, Hyland, Sacks
2/14 Fuller, Hyland, Wilson

2/18 Fuller, Hyland, Rainaud, Sacks
2/19 Fuller, Hyland, Sacks
2/20 Fuller, Hyland, Sacks
2/21 Fuller

2/24 Fuller, Geoffrion, Rainaud
2/25 Fuller, Rainaud
2/26 Fuller, Geoffrion, Hyland
2/27 Fuller, Geoffrion, Hyland
2/28 Fuller, Geoffrion, Hyland

Springfield District Court 

2/3 Boyle, Gordon, Groce, Hadley, Koenigs, LoConto, Mason, Murphy, Poehler
2/4 Beattie, Boyle, Gordon, Groce, Koenigs, LoConto, Mason, Murphy, Poehler
2/5 Beattie, Boyle, Gordon (AM), Groce, Hadley, Koenigs, LoConto, Mason, Murphy, Poehler
2/6 Boyle, Gordon, Groce, Hadley, Koenigs, LoConto, Mason, Murphy, Poehler
2/7 Beattie, Boyle, Gordon, Groce, Mason, Murphy, Poehler

2/10 Beattie, Boyle, Gordon, Groce, Hadley, Mason, Murphy, Poehler
2/11 Beattie, Boyle, Gordon, Groce, Hadley, LoConto, Mason, Murphy, Poehler
2/12 Beattie, Boyle, Gordon, Groce, Hadley, Mason, Payne, Ross
2/13 Beattie, Boyle, Gordon, Groce, Hadley, Mason, Murphy, Poehler, Ross
2/14 Beattie, Gordon, Grocve, Hadley, Mason, Murphy, Vrabel

2/18 Boyle, Gordon, Groce, Hadley, Hurley, Mason, Poehler
2/19 Beattie, Boyle, Gordon, Hadley, Hurley, Mason, Murphy, Poehler
2/20 Beattie, Boyle, Gordon, Hadley, Hurley, Mason, Poehler
2/21 Beattie, Boyle, Gordon, Groce, Hadley, Hurley, Mason, Murphy

2/24 Boyle, Gordon, Groce, Hadley, Murphy, Poehler
2/25 Beattie, Boyle, Gordon, Hadley, Mason, Murphy, Payne (AM), Poehler
2/26 Boyle, Gordon, Hadley, Hurley, Koenigs, Mason, Poehler, Vrabel
2/27 Boyle, Gordon, Hadley, Hurley, LoConto, Mason, Mazanec (AM), Poehler
2/28 Boyle, Gordon, Groce, Hadley, Hurley, Mason, Poehler

Palmer District Court

2/3 Mulcahy
2/4 Mulcahy
2/5 Mulcahy
2/6 Mulcahy
2/7 Mulcahy

2/10 Mulcahy
2/11 Mulcahy
2/12 Mulcahy
2/13 Mulcahy
2/14 Mulcahy

2/18 Mulcahy
2/19 Mulcahy
2/20 Mulcahy
2/21 Mulcahy

2/24 Mulcahy
2/25 Sargent
2/26 LoConto
2/27 Mulcahy
2/28 LoConto, Mulcahy

Westfield District Court

2/3 Contant
2/4 Contant
2/5 Contant
2/6 Contant
2/7 Contant

2/10 Contant, LoConto
2/11 Contant, Vrabel
2/12 Contant, LoConto
2/13 Contant, Sargent
2/14 Contant, Sargent

2/18 Contant
2/19 Contant, Koenigs
2/20 Contant, Koenigs
2/21 Contant, Koenigs

2/24 Contant
2/25 Contant, Koenigs
2/26 Contant, Koenigs
2/27 Contant, Koenigs
2/28 Contant, Koenigs

Chicopee District Court

2/3 Sanabria-Vega
2/4 Sanabria-Vega
2/5 Sanabria-Vega
2/6 Sanabria-Vega
2/7 Sanabria-Vega

2/10 Sanabria-Vega
2/11 Sanabria-Vega
2/12 Sanabria-Vega (AM)
2/13 Sanabria-Vega
2/14 Sanabria-Vega

2/17 Sanabria-Vega
2/18 Sanabria-Vega
2/19 Sanabria-Vega
2/20 Sanabria-Vega
2/21 Sanabria-Vega

2/24 Sanabria-Vega
2/25 Groce, Sanabria-Vega
2/26 Beattie, Sanabria-Vega
2/27 Beattie, Groce
2/28 Beattie

Holyoke District Court

2/3 MacLeod, Walsh
2/4 MacLeod, Walsh
2/5 MacLeod, Walsh
2/6 MacLeod, Walsh
2/7 MacLeod, Walsh

2/10 Sargent, Walsh
2/11 Connly, Walsh
2/12 Connly, Walsh
2/13 Connly, Walsh
2/14 Connly (AM), Walsh

2/18 Murphy, Walsh
2/19 LoConto, Walsh
2/20 LoConto, Walsh
2/21 Vrabel, Walsh

2/24 LoConto, MacLeod (PM), Mason (AM)
2/25 Connly, Mulcahy
2/26 MacLeod, Murphy
2/27 MacLeod, Sargent
2/28 MacLeod, Murphy

Springfield Juvenile Court

2/3 Eaton, Lock, Phillips
2/4 Phillips, Swords
2/5 Dunbar, Eaton, Swords
2/6 Dunbar, Eaton, Phillips
2/7 Dunbar, Eaton, Swords

2/10 Eaton, Phillips, Swords
2/11 Eaton, Phillips
2/12 Eaton, Locke, Swords (AM)
2/13 Eaton, Swords
2/14 Locke, Swords

2/18 Eaton, Phillips, Swords
2/19 Eaton, Swords
2/20 Phillips
2/21 Locke, Phillips

2/24 Eaton, Phillips
2/25 Eaton, Phillips
2/26 Eaton
2/27 Eaton, Phillips
2/28 Belsky, Locke, Phillips

Holyoke Juvenile Court

2/3 Belsky
2/4 Belsky
2/5 Belsky
2/6 Belsky
2/7 Belsky

2/10 Belsky
2/11 Belsky
2/12 Belsky
2/13 Belsky
2/14 Belsky

2/18 no session
2/19 Belsky
2/20 Swords
2/21 Swords

2/24 Locke
2/25 no session
2/26 Locke
2/27 Belsky
2/28 no session

Palmer Juvenile Court

2/14 Eaton

2/28 Eaton

Western Housing Court

2/4 Crampton-Kamukala, Fein, Fields
2/5 Fein, Fields (AM)
2/6 Crampton-Kamukala, Fields
2/7 Crampton-Kamukala, Fein, Fields

2/10 Crampton-Kamukala, Fein
2/11 Crampton-Kamukala, Fein
2/12 no session
2/13 Crampton-Kamukala
2/14 Fein

2/18 Fein
2/19 no session
2/20 no session
2/21 Fein

2/24 Crampton-Kamukala, Fein
2/25 Crampton-Kamukala, Fein
2/26 no session
2/27 Crampton-Kamukala
2/28 Fein