Providing education ranging from fundamental skills to the latest legislative changes

From Issue Spot: BBA Budget Advocacy- A Year Long Commitment

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It’s that time of year again – time to talk about the budget! Governor Patrick will release his budget next Wednesday, January 23rd followed by the House budget in April and the Senate budget in May.  The differences in the various budgets must be reconciled by the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, 2013. Each year the BBA plays a major role in the budget process, advocating for adequate funding for civil legal services, our state courts, district attorneys and CPCS.  Here are a few of the ways we have recently been involved in adequate funding for FY 2013 for the Trial Court and civil legal services–

Trial Court Advocacy

Meeting with the people who make the important decisions is always a big part of any advocacy effort.  This year we took it right to the top.  BBA President-Elect Paul Dacier (EMC Corporation) sat down with Governor Patrick on January 9thto discuss court funding and specifically the Trial Court’s Fiscal Year 2014 maintenance request of $589 million and the $22 million needed for a judicial pay raise. The Governor was sympathetic and appreciated the BBA’s commitment to court advocacy. He also understands the need for fully functioning courts and agreed that our judges are woefully underpaid.

In addition to meeting with the decision makers, we took our advocacy on the road to meet with those directly affected by the Trial Court’s budget.  BBA President J.D. Smeallie hosted his own state representative and state senator at Salem District Court.  This informal meeting also included the Essex County Legislative Caucus, Trial Court Administrator Harry Spence, clerks, judges and other court staff. This meeting offered an open forum to discuss the current state of the understaffed departments within the courthouse and what effect it has had on the administration of justice. Legislators that attended the meeting included Representatives John D. Keenan, Lori A. Ehrlich, Theodore C. Speliotis, Jerald A. Parisella and Senators Kathleen O’Connor Ives and Joan Lovely. Due to the success of this meeting and the impact of having court personnel speak on issues they face on a day to day basis, the BBA will continue to take court advocacy on the road by visiting other courthouses across the Commonwealth.

Civil Legal Services Advocacy

We are co-sponsoring the 14th annual Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid again this year.  This event, one of the largest advocacy events of its kind will take place on January 30th at 11 am at the State House.  Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC), the largest funding source for civil legal aid programs in the Commonwealth, will be requesting $15.5 million for legal services, a $3.5 million increase over last year’s budget. This money is needed to avoid further layoffs and service cuts that would force programs to turn away even more residents who need legal help.

We also raise money for legal services through our charitable arm, the Boston Bar Foundation (BBF). In 2012, the BBF made grants totaling $1 million to 24 Massachusetts community organizations providing a wide variety of core legal services – from domestic violence and immigration to housing and homelessness.  Each year the BBF hosts the John and Abigail Adams benefit to raise money to support is mission of promoting justice. The Adam’s Benefit will take place this year on Saturday, January 26 this year. Tickets are still available!

The Boston Bar Association works year round on a variety of fronts to increase legal aid and secure funding for our Courts. We take serious our commitment to ensuring that all citizens of the Commonwealth have access to justice.


To view the original post, please click here


Trusts & Estates Committees

  • Ad Hoc Spousal Elective Share Committee
    Ad Hoc Spousal Elective Share Committee

    Contact Information

    Deborah J. Manus

    Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP

    (617) 439-2637

    Colin M. Korzec

    U.S Trust Corporation

    (617) 365-2724

  • Elder Law and Disability Planning Committee
    This committee addresses a variety of legal matters generally associated with elder clients, disabled clients and clients with disabled dependents. Areas covered include basic and sophisticated estate planning, Medicaid planning, disability, SSI, special needs and long-term care planning, guardianship and conservatorship.

    Contact Information

    Michael A. Stankavish

    North Shore Elder Law & Estate Planning

    (781) 979 9050

    Michael Couture

    Winston Law Group

  • Estate Planning Committee
    This committee provides a forum to exchange tax-planning ideas and discuss common problems among lawyers specializing in estate planning.

    Contact Information

    Andrew D. Rothstein

    Goulston & Storrs, PC

    (617) 574-4089

    Kelly A. Aylward

    Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, PC

    (617) 218-2038

  • Fiduciary Litigation Committee
    This committee focuses on a range of litigation matters involving trusts and estates. Areas covered include will and trust contests, disputes over the distribution of trust assets, instrument interpretation, trust modifications and accounting actions.

    Contact Information

    Jennifer Locke

    Goodwin Procter LLP

    (617) 570-1152

    Arthur W. Young

    U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management

    (617) 434-8934

  • New Developments Committee
    This group of lawyers works to track developments in trusts & estates law.

    Contact Information

    Jaclyn S. O'Leary

    Day Pitney LLP

    (617) 345-4682

    William K. Moran

    Bass, Doherty & Finks, PC

    (617) 783-0493

  • Practice Fundamentals Committee
    A part of the Trusts & Estates Section, the Estate Planning Fundamentals Committee focuses on the fundamentals of trusts and estates practice. Its monthly meetings typically feature a presentation on topics of interest to new practitioners. The committee welcomes practitioners with all levels of experience, but its activities are most valuable to trusts and estates practitioners with less than five years of experience.

    Contact Information

    Christopher D. Perry

    Northern Trust

    (617) 235-1835

    Jennifer Shingleton Ewing

    Ropes & Gray LLP

    (617) 951-7552

    Jennifer A. Civitella Hilario

    Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, PC

    (617) 218-2028

  • Steering Committee
    The leadership committee of the Section organizes programs and discusses policy. To inquire about opportunities, please contact the Section Co-Chairs.
  • Tax Law Update Committee
    The Tax Law Update Committee tracks estate, GST and gift tax law developments throughout the year and presents a summary of those developments twice annually at the Year In Review and Mid-Year Review.

    Contact Information

    Amy R. Lonergan

    Bingham McCutchen LLP

    (617) 951-8822

    Alison Irving Glover

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

    (617) 3481661

  • Trusts & Estates Education Committee
    Help develop relevant and innovative educational sessions led by a diverse group of talented speakers who cover trusts and estates issues.

    Contact Information

    Leiha Macauley

    Day Pitney LLP

    (617) 345-4602

    Stacy K. Mullaney

    Fiduciary Trust Company, Boston

    (617) 549-0339

    Joseph L. Bierwirth

    Hemenway & Barnes LLP

    (617) 557-9728

  • Trusts and Estates Communications Committee
    This committee publishes information relevant to the trusts & estates bar. If you are interested in an editorial position or publishing an article, please contact us.

    Contact Information

    Nikki Marie Oliveira

    Bass, Doherty & Finks, PC

    (617) 787-5551

    Michelle Beth Kalas

    Riemer & Braunstein LLP

    (617) 523-9000

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

    Contact Information

    Peter M. Shapland

    Day Pitney LLP

    (617) 345-4766

    Mark E. Swirbalus

    Goulston & Storrs, PC

    (617) 574-4119

  • Trusts and Estates Public Service Committee
    This committee, working in collaboration with the Probate & Family Court and the Massachusetts Bar Association created the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code Resource Desk. The aim of the Resource Desk is to assist attorneys with understanding the transition to the new Code and how it affects their practice. Volunteers will be providing advice and guidance to the attorneys.

    Contact Information

    Kerry Spindler

    Goulston & Storrs, PC

    (617) 482-1776

    Tamara Sturges

    Law Office of David W. Adams, LLC