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Membership Services

The Middlesex County Bar Association (MBCA) offers many services, including....

Free Information Legal Services| Alternative Dispute Resolutions |
Lawyer Referral Service Program| Middlesex County Probate Court Conciliation Program

 


Free Information Legal Services

Since 1979, the MCBA has sponsored a Free Legal Information Clinic, to assist low income individuals who are unable to secure legal services through customary channels.

Participants receive advice and counsel on legal problems and are referred to appropriate agencies, legal aid groups or private attorneys, through the MCBA Lawyer Referral Service.

The Clinic is staffed on a pro bono basis by MCBA attorneys who answer questions on a one-to-one basis.

For more information about the program, please contact MCBA Executive Director Diane Verner at 781-939-2797.

 


Alternative Dispute Resolutions

The MCBA sponsors an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program, designed as a time saving and cost-effective alternative to litigation and trial. The ADR Program offers reasonably priced dispute resolution services to its members and to the public at large.

These services presently include Mediation, Arbitration and Case Evaluation. The Program is administered by the MCBA and the services are provided by independent practitioners who have met the program’s qualification criteria. The qualifications of the panel members meet or exceed the standards established by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for ADR providers. ADR proceedings can be held at the MCBA’s offices at the Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse in Cambridge or at any other location agreed upon by the participants.

For more information about the program, please contact MCBA Executive Director Diane Verner at 781-939-2797.

 


Lawyer Referral Service Program

The MCBA’s Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) is a non-profit program designed to assist members of the public in obtaining appropriate and affordable legal services. For more information about the program, visit the LRS page.




Middlesex County Probate Court Conciliation Program

There were twenty six thousand filings in the Middlesex Probate and Family Court in 2003. The MCBA’s Middlesex Probate and Family Court Conciliation Program was developed to assist the court in handling its burgeoning caseload. The Conciliation Program utilizes approximately 50 MCBA member attorneys who practice in Middlesex County. The list of conciliators includes some of the most respected domestic relations attorneys in Massachusetts, who donate their time, pro bono, to this program. MCBA conciliators have applied their experience and creativity to bring about efficient and equitable solutions, in hundreds of cases to date. Since receiving approval from Chief Justice Sean Dunphy's office two years ago, the program has helped reduce the backlog of pending cases in the Middlesex Probate & Family Court.

The Conciliation Program benefits all litigants involved with the Middlesex Probate and Family Court. There are no income eligibility guidelines associated with this program and pro se litigants as well as litigants with counsel are eligible to participate at no cost. All conciliators have participated in an eight hour training seminar overseen by the Massachusetts Office of Dispute Resolution. Conciliators have a minimum of three years experience in the subject area of their conciliation and the current average years of experience is over 15 years. In assigning conciliators, the MCBA attempts to utilize conciliators that are in the geographic area of the litigants.

The Conciliation Program is offered to litigants at the time of the Pre Trial Conference. The Presiding Judge informs the parties of the availability of the program and if the parties elect to utilize it, the Judge issues an order sending the case to the Conciliation Program. The Program is administered by MCBA Executive Director Diane Verner. Upon receipt of a conciliation referral from the Court, she assigns a seasoned attorney in the specific area of law at issue, e.g. divorce, probate, custody, estates, etc. The conciliator meets with the parties and/or counsel in an attempt to resolve the outstanding issues and potentially settle the case. Typically conciliations run for two or more hours.

Following a conciliation, the conciliator drafts a conciliation report which is filed with the Court and the MCBA. The parties also complete and return an evaluation questionnaire to provide feedback on the program. Approximately 60 – 70 % of conciliations result in a settlement which ends the litigation process. Cases that do not settle are referred back to the Probate Court for trial. For more information about the program, please contact MCBA Executive Director Diane Verner at (781) 939-2797.




Middlesex County Bar Association | 200 Trade Center, 3rd Floor, Rm 329 | Woburn MA 01801 | 781-939-2797 | FAX 781-933-1291