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From Tipping the Scales: Judge Edward Leibensperger: “True Leaders Share Credit and…”

Judge Edward (“Ned”) Leibensperger serves as an Associate Justice on the Superior Court. Prior to his appointment to the court, he served as partner at McDermott Will & Emery, where he had a national civil litigation practice, and before that as a partner at Nutter McClennen & Fish. He is a past President of the Boston Bar Association, and he currently serves on the Boston Bar Journal’s Board of Editors. Additionally, Judge Leibensperger has dedicated thousands of hours to pro bono and community service, and received the Supreme Judicial Court’s Pro Bono Award in 2010.

1.      What is the most common mistake you notice in those seeking or undertaking a leadership position?

For those seeking a leadership position, a common mistake is not prioritizing the effort that will advance your goal. It may be that you are of two minds whether to seek or accept leadership. I suggest to anyone who might consider taking on a leadership role to clarify your goals and firmly decide to devote the time and resources to achieving those goals. Failure to be open and inclusive can also be a liability. In some of my proudest moments as President of the BBA, consensus-building was key.

 2.      How do you balance duties as a leader in a volunteer organization with meeting the demands of your other full-time work?

It can be a difficult balance. You may feel torn between billable time and volunteer efforts. But if you want to be involved as a leader, you need to commit the time to do the job and treat the volunteer position as high a priority as your billable time. Without this understanding, you may miss valuable opportunities to take on and commit to the right role.

 3.      What advice would you give to the head of a volunteer organization about guiding it?

First, find outstanding people to support you and put them in positions of responsibility. Cultivate an excellent staff and select dedicated volunteers. That’s the bottom line: find good people. Another thing I keep in mind – true leaders give credit to others when things go well and take personal responsibility when things go badly.


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Environmental Law Committees

  • Air Quality and Climate Change Committee
    This committee reviews federal and local air pollution control, including source permitting, air quality planning, transportation planning, compliance monitoring, hazardous air pollutants and indoor air pollution.

    Contact Information

    Marilyn Levenson

    Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

    Aladdine Joroff

    Harvard Law School

  • Energy and Telecommunications Law Committee
    This committee addresses regulatory and related issues affecting the natural gas, electric and telecommunications industries in Massachusetts — on the federal level and in other jurisdictions. Members typically practice before the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Federal Communications Commission, and state and federal courts.

    Contact Information

    Jamie M. Tosches

    Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General

    (617) 727-2200

    James M. Avery

    Pierce Atwood LLP

    (617) 488-8125

  • Environmental Law Public Policy Committee
    The BBA is very active in legislative and regulatory changes. Environmental attorneys are asked to lend their expertise.
  • Environmental Law Public Service Committee
    This committee has a number of annual service events including planting trees for Earth Day and volunteering with the Food Project. The committee also focuses on practice-specific pro bono projects and brown bag programming.

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    Mina S. Makarious

    Anderson & Kreiger LLP

    (617) 621-6525

    Korrin Petersen

    Buzzards Bay Coalition

    (508) 999-6363

  • Environmental Litigation Committee
    This committee focuses on Chapter 21E, CERCLA, insurance, clean air and clean water litigation.

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    Seth Schofield

    Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General

    (617) 727-2200

    Katherine Kimball

    Morgan Lewis (Federal Street Office)

    (617) 951-8000

  • Hazardous and Solid Waste Committee
    This committee informs members about issues relating to federal and Massachusetts laws governing oil, hazardous materials and hazardous waste, including CERCLA and Chapter 21E.

    Contact Information

    Bonnie Heiple

    Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

    (617) 526-6745

    John D. Beling

    (508) 429-6163

  • International Environmental Law Committee
    This committee is for members interested in international environmental issues and the laws of foreign countries.

    Contact Information

    Stuart L. Canton

    (781) 652-0135

    Cicely Ott Parseghian

    Foley Hoag LLP

    (617) 832-3038

  • Steering Committee
    The leadership committee of the Section organizes programs and discusses policy. To inquire about opportunities, please contact the Section Co-Chairs.
  • Wetlands, Waterways and Water Quality Committee
    This committee keeps members abreast of changes in local, state and federal statutes, regulations and by-laws relating to discharges to surface water, groundwater and wastewater treatment plants.

    Contact Information

    Rebekah Lacey

    Anderson & Kreiger LLP

    (617) 621-6500

    Margaret M. Callanan

    Executive Office of Environmental Affairs

    (617) 626-1146