Keynote Speaker

Governor Charles D. Baker, Jr.

Governor Charlie Baker was inaugurated on January 8th, 2015 as the 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In his first 100 days in office, Governor Baker tackled major challenges – including the difficult work of navigating the city and its transportation system through an unprecedented series of winter storms – established a bipartisan approach, and worked to craft a balanced budget. Moving forward, Governor Baker has outlined priorities that include addressing homelessness, opiate addiction, and educational opportunities for Boston youth.

 Please join us to hear about his vision for Massachusetts in the years ahead.


Presidential Citation: Speaker Robert DeLeo

Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo has served as a distinguished legislator since 1991and as Speaker of the House since 2009.  Under his direction, the House has passed a number of major legislative reforms that have made or maintained Massachusetts as a national policy leader. 

Perhaps most importantly, Speaker DeLeo has played an important role in supporting both the judiciary and civil legal aid.  Through his friendship with former Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland as well as generous legislative funding increases, the courts have flourished.  The recent judicial pay raise will help assure that the Commonwealth continues to benefit from the highest caliber judges.  The Trial Court is still in the midst of implementing its recent strategic plan and the justice system as a whole is again able to innovate such as through the implementation of specialty courts and probationary programs.

Speaker DeLeo has long been an advocate for civil legal aid.  Under his leadership, the House has passed many funding increases for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation.  Always concerned about the human element, it was the Speaker who pushed the BBA Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid to include accounts of actual people benefitting from legal services in its Investing in Justice report.  While he valued the studies and analysis of current legal aid turn-away rates and the potential cost savings from increased investment, he never lost sight of the real reason why legal aid is important – it helps people secure life necessities such as shelter or protection from abuse.

Distinguished Legislator Award: Chairman John Fernandes

Judiciary Committee Chairman John Fernandes has served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 2007.  In that time he has been the force behind many positive changes in the state.  Recently, he co-chaired the legislature’s Alimony Reform Task Force, which wrote and secured passage of sweeping reforms to the Massachusetts Alimony law, and has been hailed locally and nationally as a model for alimony reform.  He also sponsored and secured passage of the Post Conviction DNA Testing bill that provided a process for access to DNA testing of evidence by persons convicted of serious crimes where that testing was not formerly available. 

In 2013, he joined the BBA Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts.  He was an integral part of the Task Force, providing many insights on the interplay of civil legal aid and the legislature.  Since then, he has been one of the leading voices for MLAC funding, which paid off with an additional $2 million in the FY2016 state budget appropriation.

He was also recently named House Chair of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, a Committee which considers many BBA bills.  He is already making an impact and we look forward to continuing to work with him in this role.

About the Event

The BBA Annual Meeting Luncheon is the is the Boston Bar Association’s signature event of the fall season. Each year, the event draws over 1,300 judges, policymakers and lawyers from all sectors of the bar.  The event begins with a popular welcome reception, followed by lunch and a keynote speech. 

Firms, companies, law departments and offices can reserve tables of 10 for Annual Meeting Luncheon or purchase individual tickets.  There are also opportunities to support the BBA through the purchase of advertisements in the program book.  For more information, please contact Erica Southerland, Events & Fundraising Coordinator, at (617) 778-1930 or