Exploring legal issues facing businesses and individuals in IP-intensive fields

From Issue Spot: BBA Welcomes Professionally Diverse New Class of Legislators

Monday, December 03, 2012

With just 6 weeks to go before members of the Massachusetts Legislature are sworn into office on January 5, 2013, we decided to take another look at the number of lawyers serving in the Massachusetts House and Senate. For the 2013-2014 legislative session, 60 of the 200 legislators are attorneys – 46 lawyer legislators in the House of Representatives and 14 in the Senate. This marks a net gain of 6 lawyer legislators over the session that ends on December 31st of this year.

Why should the number of lawyer legislators be of concern to the Boston Bar Association? We count on legislators with legal training to play a role in helping their non-lawyer colleagues understand technical legal concepts – in the same way a physician might clarify medical issues or a business owner might explain economic development issues.

We fervently believe the legislature should reflect the diversity of the public it serves. We are pleased to see that in addition to attorneys, the incoming “freshman class” includes several small business owners, a real estate broker, a free-lance columnist, and a recent college graduate. We want all legislators to know – regardless of their professional experience – that the Boston Bar Association is a non-partisan organization always available to provide technical assistance – whether that means walking someone through the practical ramifications of a complex piece of legislation or explaining in plain English the unintended consequences of a particular proposal. For our legislature and especially for our non-lawyer legislators, the BBA strives to be an accessible resource on issues requiring legal expertise.

The BBA supports initiatives and promotes policy that will have a positive impact on the community, the law and the legal profession. We wish there could be a Cliff Notes version of what is sometimes technical legislation, and try our best to provide summaries and more detailed explanations for those wanting to dig in. A recent example of this is House Bill 25 “An Act Making amendments to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Covering General Provisions, Documents of Title and Secured Transactions.” As Issue Spot noted last month, the BBA supports this legislation because it will provide clarity and more certainty for commercial transactions in Massachusetts.

Even with lawyer legislators whose practices don’t necessarily deal with the UCC or other highly technical pieces of legislation, we understand nobody can be expected to vote on something with which they are not familiar. We care deeply about our credibility with all legislators, lawyer or non-lawyer, and remain committed to supplying them with as much information as they find helpful.

- Government Relations Department
Boston Bar Association

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Intellectual Property Law Committees

  • Arts, Entertainment and Sports Law Committee
    This committee provides resources for lawyers who represent clients in the arts, in entertainment and in associated industries, including visual artists, writers, publishers, film and TV producers, songwriters, music producers and publishers, performing artists and those involved in other creative pursuits.

    Contact Information

    Brooke Penrose

    Burns & Levinson LLP

    (617) 345-3287

    Stacey C. Friends

    Ruberto, Israel & Weiner, P.C.

    (617) 570-3578

  • Computer and Internet Law Committee
    This committee covers areas including federal and state regulation, intellectual property, contracts, employment, civil and criminal litigation, corporate and business law, taxation, export control, finance, libel, privacy and publicity rights, obscenity, defamation, antitrust and international law, as well as technical standards and commercial protocols.
  • Intellectual Property Law Committee
    This committee brings together lawyers from diverse IP law fields, including patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret and transfer of technology, know-how and publicity rights law.

    Contact Information

    Robert Silverman

    Foley & Lardner LLP

    (617) 342-4000

    Daniel A. Lev

    FastCAP Systems Corporation

    (857) 239-7500

  • Intellectual Property Litigation Committee
    This is a joint committee between the Intellectual Property and Litigation Sections. This committee provides education concerning the enforcement of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secrets rights as well as the defense of those accused of infringing on such rights, in federal and state courts and before the International Trade Commission.

    Contact Information

    Kelli Powell

    Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

    (617) 526-6819

    Dalila Wendlandt

    Ropes & Gray LLP

    (617) 951-7884

    Christina M Licursi

    Wolf Greenfield

    (617) 646-8384

  • International Intellectual Property Law Committee
    This committee brings together practitioners and others concerned with the state of IP in multiple countries and pursuant to multinational accords. Areas covered include perfection and protection of IP rights, defenses against IP abuses, technology transfer and other licensing and venture transactions, as well as collateral affecting IP development and exploitation.

    Contact Information

    Asya Calixto

    Prince Lobel Tye LLP

    (617) 456-8110

    Hsuanyeh Chang

    Burns & Levinson LLP

    (617) 345-3218

  • Life Sciences Committee
    This committee addresses the business and patent issues that arise in biotechnology, health care services, laboratory services, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

    Contact Information

    Lawrence Cogswell

    Hamilton, Brook, Smith & Reynolds, PC

    Lesley Chuang

    Campbell Campbell Edwards & Conroy, PC

    (617) 902-0501

  • Privacy Law Committee
    This committee covers the full range of issues involved with the collection, use, sharing and securing of personal information, as relevant to Massachusetts-based entities. Areas covered include website and online privacy; information management practices; physical and system monitoring; healthcare, financial and other sector-specific privacy rules; international data collection and transfers; RFID and other tracking technologies; workplace privacy concerns; and new developments in privacy and compliance law and practice.

    Contact Information

    Seth Carlton Harrington

    Ropes & Gray LLP

    (618) 951-7226

    Kent David Ballaty Sinclair

    Stroz Friedberg, LLC

    (617) 848-5650

  • Steering Committee
    The leadership committee of the Section organizes programs and discusses policy. To inquire about opportunities, please contact the Section Co-Chairs.