Providing opportunities for education and pro bono in all substantive areas of real estate law

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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Real Estate Committees

  • Affordable Housing Committee
    The purpose of this committee is to educate the local bar concerning new initiatives in financing and developing affordable housing.

    Contact Information

    Terrence M. McNeil

    Boston Properties, Inc.

    Karen Kelleher

    Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency

    (617) 723-0500

  • Construction Law Committee
    This committee addresses all aspects of construction law, including contract documents and alternative project delivery systems; construction litigation, arbitration and ADR; public contract law and other legal issues of interest to practitioners who handle matters relating to construction.

    Contact Information

    Rhian M.J. Cull

    Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP

    (617) 378-4120

    Michael P. Sams

    Kenney & Sams, P.C.

    (508) 490-8500

  • Land Use and Development Committee
    This committee focuses on issues related to land use and development in the context of real estate transactions.

    Contact Information

    Johanna W. Schneider

    Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster

    (617) 951-1162

    Mark A. Kablack

    M. A. Kablack & Associates, PC

    (508) 366-2900

  • Leasing Committee
    This committee studies issues affecting this area of practice and plans educational programs led by experienced leasing lawyers and other senior real estate practitioners.

    Contact Information

    Timothy J. Famulare

    Burns & Levinson LLP

    (617) 345-3000

    John N. Affuso

    Massachusetts Port Authority

    (617) 568-3144

  • Real Estate Finance Committee
    This committee is concerned with all aspects of financing real estate transactions.

    Contact Information

    Amanda S. Eckhoff

    Robinson & Cole LLP

    (617) 557-5988

  • Real Estate Public Policy Committee
    The BBA is very active in legislative and regulatory changes. Real estate attorneys are often asked to lend their expertise.

    Contact Information

    John J. Goldrosen

    Kopelman and Paige, P.C.

    (617) 556-0007

    Kathleen E. Connolly

    Murtha Cullina LLP

    (617) 457-4000

  • Real Estate Public Service Committee
    This committee oversees the BBA’s Lawyer for the Day in Boston Housing Court. The Real Estate Section has provided educational programs both membership-wide and to the public on issues related to landlord and tenant law and the Housing Court.

    Contact Information

    Seth A. Malamut

    STAG Industrial, Inc.

    (617) 574-4777

    Katy E. Ward

    Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

    (617) 348-1850

  • Steering Committee
    The leadership committee of the Section organizes programs and discusses policy. To inquire about opportunities, please contact the Section Co-Chairs.
  • Title & Conveyancing Committee
    This committee covers topics such as mechanic's liens, survey matters and affirmative coverage; sophisticated title insurance endorsements; lis pendens; real estate litigation; title insurance claims; bankruptcy and creditors' rights; the land registration system; offers to purchase real estate; purchase and sale agreements; hazardous substances; forms of ownership; mortgages, foreclosures, easements and restrictions; and broker and lender relationships.

    Contact Information

    Sophie Stein

    Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company

    Richard D. Vetstein

    Vetstein Law Group, P.C.

    (508) 620-5352