Posts Categorized: Lawyer for the Day

Continuing Wiley Vaughan’s Legacy Through the Lawyer for the Day in the Housing Court Program

Wiley Vaughan (center) with Sandy Moskowitz of Davis Malm & D'Agostine (left) and Christopher Pitt of Robinson & Cole (right).

Wiley Vaughan (center) with Sandy Moskowitz of Davis Malm & D’Agostine (left) and Christopher Pitt of Robinson & Cole (right).

We know that our readers are familiar with the Boston Bar Association’s Vaughan Fund, which supports the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program. However, as we look forward to celebrating the 15th year of the program on April 10th, Beyond the Billable wanted to give our readers a firsthand look at the man who inspired the fund.

In 1999, Herbert “Wiley” Vaughan helped launch the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program. Wiley enjoyed a lengthy 47-year career as a highly respected real estate lawyer at WilmerHale LLP before retiring from the firm in 1995. After his retirement, Wiley continued to work with organizations and causes he believed in, including the Boston Bar Association and representation for pro se litigants. When the Pro Bono Committee of the BBA’s Real Estate Section was attempting to create a program to assist individuals and families facing the loss of their homes as well as landlords in need of a better understanding of their rights, Wiley jumped at the chance to lead their efforts. Through his tireless work, he was able to secure not only a tenant’s advisory table at Housing Court, but also a landlord’s table for landlords who qualified under income standards.

But don’t take it from us. Hear from those who know Wiley best:

“Wiley was a giant not only for his real estate expertise but for his commitment to access to justice. The Boston Bar Association’s Lawyer for a Day in the Housing Court Program would not exist but for Wiley Vaughan.” – Hon. Robert B. Foster, Associate Justice, Massachusetts Land Court

“Wiley Vaughan was — to use a phrase he spoke of when referring to others — “a person of quality” who had a clarity of purpose, an integrity, and an openness to ideas that endeared him to his friends and his colleagues, and enriched every institution with which he was involved.” – Andy Cohn, WilmerHale LLP

Thanks to his dedication and support, Wiley was once nicknamed the “Father” of the Lawyer for the Day Program. Since the Program’s inception 15 years ago, more than 12,000 volunteers from law firms, solo practices and in-house corporate legal departments have provided legal assistance and advice to more than 15,500 unrepresented tenants and landlords. Join us in celebrating Wiley, the program, and others, at 5:00 p.m. on April 10th at 16 Beacon Street.

The Boston Bar Foundation’s Vaughan Fund was established in recognition of the 10-year anniversary of the BBA Lawyer for the Day Program and Wiley Vaughan’s stellar leadership. The Fund helps support the pro bono and public service projects of the Real Estate Section. This year, the BBF has raised over $5,000 for the Fund, allowing for the purchase of essential materials needed to run the program. Click here to learn more.

VLP Announces Honor Roll for January and February

 Volunteer attorneys provide necessary help at the Boston Housing Court through the Lawyer for the Day Program.


Volunteer attorneys provide critical help at the Boston Housing Court through the Lawyer for the Day Program.

Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association thanks the following attorneys who accepted cases or provided consultation through the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program in January and February:

Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program

Samuel Ames
Caryn Appelbaum
Birchfield Aymer
Nathan Band
David Bean
Marea Beeman
Nicholas Bentley, Mintz Levin
Rose Billeci
Chloe Coravos
James Creed
Justin DeAngelis
Christine Dieter, Goodwin Procter LLP
Dahlia Fetouh, Goodwin Procter
Julia Harmatz
Sarah Hymes
Sharon Jones
Martsyl Joseph, Committee for Public Counsel Services
Jennifer Kent, Goodwin Procter
Brian Kydd
Esther Laine
James Lavelle
Corrine Lusic, Goodwin Procter
Asbel Nunez
Jennifer O’Callaghan
Kenneth Parker, Parker Keough LLP
Reid Robinson
Jason Savageau
Sarah Solomon, Goodwin Procter
Irina Vaglica
Leann Walsh, Goodwin Procter
Katy Ward, Mintz, Levin
Lawrence Wind
James Xu, Goodwin Procter

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program

Richard Baldwin, Foley Hoag
Mark Berman, Nixon Peabody
Peter Bilowz, Goulston Storrs
Jeremy Coffey, Brown Rudnick
Josef Culik
Michael Franzoi
Scott Hubbell
Gazion Kotoni
Peter Konstantilakis
Jason Matalas
Steven Mooney
Michael O’Neil
Kenneth Parker, Parker Keough LLP
Steven Pohl, Brown Rudnick
Michael Riley
Kiersten Taylor, Brown Rudnick

BBA Housing Court Program Reaches Over 15,000 in 15 Year History

Lawyer for the Day 4

Busy scene at the Boston Housing Court, where  BBA volunteers have been providing legal assistance to landlords and tenants for 15 years.

Did you know that approximately 90 percent of tenants and 50 percent of landlords in the Boston Housing Court don’t have legal representation? Since 1999, the BBA’s Lawyer for the Day in the Housing Court Program has acted as a lifeline for pro se landlords and tenants, with volunteers providing more than 15,000 pro se litigants with legal assistance.

Attorneys at the Boston Housing Court assisting tenants

Attorneys at the Boston Housing Court on a Thursday morning assisting tenants as part of the BBA’s Lawyer for the Day Program.

This year, the Program has been able provide representation to over 450 tenants and 100 landlords. Last Wednesday, the Program also launched a monthly initiative with Burns & Levinson LLP that will assist Section 8 clients facing eviction. As our members know, a lawyer can make all the difference for families who are facing the loss of their homes and landlords who need to better understand their rights.

At Boston Housing Court, Lawyer for the Day Program volunteers Joanna Allison of the Volunteer Lawyers Project and BBA Real Estate Public Service Committee and Chris Saccardi of The Law Office of Christopher T. Saccardi.

At Boston Housing Court, Lawyer for the Day Program volunteers Joanna Allison of the Volunteer Lawyers Project and BBA Real Estate Public Service Committee and Chris Saccardi of The Law Office of Christopher T. Saccardi.

Beyond the Billable checked in with Joanna Allison (Volunteer Lawyers Project) to learn more about the Program. Here’s what she had to say:

“The Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program gives a voice to so many in need. This Program is a model not only for legal professionals and law firms, but for the nation as a whole. I am proud to be a part of a program that prioritizes increased access to justice and look forward to watching the program grow and expand its reach.”

The Boston Bar Foundation Vaughan Fund covers essential materials needed to run the program, such as updated signage and nametags to allow for volunteer attorneys to be easily identified. This year the BBF has already raised over $5,000 for the Vaughan Fund. Are you interested in supporting this Program? Learn more about making a contribution or how you can volunteer.

Join us in celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program, on April 10th at 5:00 p.m. It will be an evening of food and drinks while we acknowledge the hard work of volunteers, Housing Court staff and the many others who make the program possible. R.S.V.P. online here.

VLP Announces Honor Roll for November and December

Volunteer attorneys provide critical help at the Boston Housing Court through the Lawyer for the Day Program.

Volunteer attorneys provide critical help at the Boston Housing Court through the Lawyer for the Day Program.

Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association thanks the following attorneys who accepted cases or provided consultation through the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program in November and December:

Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program

Stefanie Abhar, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.
Sam Ames
Stephanie Angel, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Caryn Appelbaum
Nicholas Bentley, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.
Rose Billeci, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Cynthia Caramana
Eric Cronin, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Francis Curren IV
Alexia De Vincentis, Ropes & Gray LLP
Francesse Denis
Marissa Eisenberg, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Julia Harmatz McAneny
Barbara Horan
Rebecca Izzo, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Sharon Jones
Brian Kydd
Esther Laine
Holly Laliberte
Mary Lee
Yvonne Lee, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Chloe Major
Stephanie Marzouk, Glickman Turley LLP
James McGinnis, Ropes & Gray LLP
Michael Morales
Justin Murphy
Ken Parker
Wendy Recine
Widmine Remy
Reid Robinson
Gretchen Roin, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Jason Savageau
Brandon Scruggs, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Allison Stoddart, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Keerthi Sugumaran, Goulston & Storrs, PC
Irina Vaglica
Mark Vaughn, Ropes & Gray LLP
Michael Vito, Ropes & Gray LLP
Damon Wallace
Lawrence Wind
Michael Zalosh, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program

Neil Berman
Roger Bertling, Harvard Legal Services Center
Angelina Bruce-Flounory
Tia Chatterjee, Brown Rudnick
Christopher Floyd, Brown Rudnick
Steven Hoort, Ropes & Gray
Marques Lipton
Jonathan Marshall, Brown Rudnick
Melissa O’Berg
Steven Pohl, Brown Rudnick
Ethan Rittershaus
Dennis Rooney
Douglas Rosner
Judith Vassilovski
Neil Warrenbrand

VLP Announces September and October Honor Roll

Attorneys volunteer at the Boston Housing Court on Wednesday and Thursday mornings through the Lawyer for the Day Program.

Attorneys volunteer at the Boston Housing Court on Wednesday and Thursday mornings through the Lawyer for the Day Program.

Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association thanks the following attorneys who accepted cases or provided consultation in September and October:

Samuel Ames
Birchfield Aymer
Nicholas Bentley, Mintz Levin
Angelina Bruce-Flounory
Cynthia Caramana
Esther Cho, Mintz Levin
Jay Creed
Jason Crow, McDermott Will Emery
Francesse Denis
David Himelfarb, McCarter & English
Walter Howell, McCarter & English
Scott Hubbell
Amaan Husain, Maloney & Associates
Sharon Jones
Brian Kydd, Kneeland & Kydd
Esther Laine
Michael Levesque, Goodwin Proctor
Corrine Lusic, Goodwin Proctor
Stephanie Marzouk, Glickman Turley LLP
James McGinnis, Ropes & Gray
Steven Mooney
Michael Morales, Murray & Associates

Elizabeth Morano
Kristofer Munroe
Justin Murphy
Jennifer O’Callaghan
Nina Parker
William Parks
Steven Pohl, Brown Rudnick
Wendy Recine
Reid Robinson
Dennis Rooney
Adam Ruttenberg
Jason Savageau
Ella Shenhav, Mintz Levin
Sarah Soloman, Goodwin Proctor
Brian Sullivan
Irina Vaglica
Damon Wallace
Leann Walsh
Heather Ward
Christian Westra, Ropes & Gray
Lawrence Wind

BBA Spotlights Four Pro Bono Superstars

During Pro Bono Month, the BBA trained over 200 attorneys to take pro bono cases, including training over 50 attorneys to volunteer for the Lawyer for the Day program and the Boston Housing Program.

During Pro Bono Month, the BBA trained over 200 attorneys to take pro bono cases, including training over 50 attorneys to volunteer for the Lawyer for the Day program and the Boston Housing program.

Though Pro Bono Month has officially ended, Beyond the Billable encourages its readers to take advantage of the BBA’s public service and pro bono initiatives year-round. If you needed any extra motivation, take a look at the four pro bono spotlights below, each of which highlights the commitment and participation of dedicated lawyers dedicated to pro bono work.

Thomas Beauvais: Lawyer for a Day Has A Lifetime Impact
Meg McKenzie Feist: Helping to Ease Burdens Through Bankruptcy
Donald Lassman: Financial Education for Service Members as a Means of Prevention
Katy Ward: Ensuring Access to Justice in Boston’s Housing Court

For a full recap of Pro Bono Month, click here. Please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at [email protected] for more information on how to get involved throughout the year.

Volunteers Flock to Landlord Tenant Training

Attorneys interested in volunteering for the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program attended the annual Landlord Tenant Basics Training last night at the BBA.

Attorneys interested in volunteering for the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program attended the annual Landlord Tenant Basics Training last night at the BBA.

The conference center at 16 Beacon Street was packed once again, this time thanks to eager volunteers looking to get involved in pro bono work in the Boston Housing Court. The Real Estate Public Service Committee and Volunteer Lawyers Project teamed up to host the annual Boston Bar Association Landlord Tenant Basics Training. Volunteers were prepped on what to expect and how to prepare to volunteer for the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program by First Justice of the Boston Housing Court Jeffrey Winik, Katy Ward (Mintz Levin), Seth Malamut (Sherin & Lodgen), and Maria Theophilis (Broderick, Bancroft & Goldberg).

Beyond the Billable caught up with Joanna Allison, a staff attorney at VLP and the coordinator of the training, to find out what she hoped attendees took away from the training. Here’s what she had to say:

“The attendees learned the ins and outs of Massachusetts summary process rules and more subtle practice pointers for the Boston Housing Court and the BBA Lawyer for the Day Program. In addition, they learned some of the more effective ways to assist a tenant facing eviction from subsidized housing. Through the wit and wisdom of Judge Winik, they learned how to navigate the evidentiary issues most likely to arise in a summary process case.”

Thanks to the training, attendees now have the opportunity to provide legal advice to landlords and tenants on Wednesday and Thursday mornings through the Lawyer for the Day at the Boston Housing Court Program. The program provides essential services to landlords and tenants in need of legal advice, but don’t take it from us. Joanna gave three reasons why attorney should get involved in the program:

“1. It is an invaluable learning experience with the opportunity to appear before the court with the support and mentoring of very experienced lawyers
2. It makes a huge difference to the court and the litigant when the litigant has advice and/or representation. It makes the courts job cleaner and makes the litigant feel enfranchised.
3. You will be a part of a community of lawyers who will support you, answer your questions and, quite possibly, become your friend.”

If you are interested in landlord tenant law, be sure to check out the upcoming training for veterans and military personnel. Click here to learn more. To support the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program, contribute to the BBF’s Vaughan Fund here.

Honoring Pro Bono All-Star’s Liberty Mutual Law Department

Liberty Mutual's legal department takes pro bono cases through the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program.

Liberty Mutual’s Law Department takes pro bono cases through the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program.

At Liberty Mutual’s Law Department, engaging in pro bono activity is a way of life. More than 50 attorneys in the legal department take part in pro bono work in areas including housing, unemployment compensation, social security, and domestic violence. That’s just one of the many reasons they will be honored with the Thurgood Marshall Award at the BBA’s Annual Meeting this Friday.

Specifically, Liberty Mutual has shown commitment to many of the BBA’s public service and pro bono initiatives. This year alone, their attorneys accepted pro bono cases through the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program, helping the program assist over 1,100 landlords and tenants. When the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program more than doubled in size last year, the legal department stepped up to the plate and adopted a classroom at Boston Community Leadership Academy. To learn more about Liberty Mutual legal department’s commitment to pro bono work, please click here.

BBA Co-op Students in the Field—A Visit to the Boston Housing Court

Last Thursday, the BBA’s Northeastern Co-op students visited the Lawyer for the Day at the Boston Housing Court project to see the volunteers in action. Since the programs inception in May 1999, volunteers have assistant more than 15,000 landlords and tenants. Here’s what the co-op students had to say about their experience:

BBA Co-op students Alixandra Powers and Gaciru Matathia visited the Boston Housing Court last Thursday.

BBA Co-op students Alixandra Powers and Gaciru Matathia visited the Boston Housing Court last Thursday.

“Attending proceedings at the housing court was an interesting experience for me. I would have to say that the most fascinating aspect of the visit was the sheer volume of cases that the housing court deals with on a regular basis. During my visit, the clerk announced over 100 cases that were scheduled to be handled on that day alone. With such a huge number of cases, it is no surprise that the courtroom was packed to capacity with landlords, tenants and attorneys waiting patiently for their case number to be called. However, even with all the people in the room, there still managed to be a basic sense of order and structure which allowed for the proceedings to move along relatively quickly.”

Gaciru Matathia is working in the BBA Lawyer Referral Service until the end of June. Gaciru studies International Affairs, and is pursuing a minor in Social Entrepreneurship.

“Going to the housing court as an intern was a really interesting and educational experience. I learned a lot about how high volume legal issues are addressed in a court room setting and enjoyed being able to see court proceedings first hand. It was also nice to see so many lawyers volunteering their time to people in need.”

Alixandra Powers is working in the BBA Membership Department until the end of May. Alixandra is a History major, and is a cadet in the school’s ROTC program. She hopes to attend law school after graduation, and is interested in becoming a Judge Advocate General (JAG) in the Military.

Volunteers provide legal advice to landlords and tenants as part of the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program.

Volunteers provide legal advice to landlords and tenants as part of the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program.

For more information on the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, at [email protected].

A Few Hours Makes All the Difference — Volunteer in the Boston Housing Court

Last night, Judge Jeffrey Winik was honored with a Citation of Judicial Excellence for his leadership as the First Justice of the Boston Housing Court. In this role, Judge Winik has dedicated himself to advancing the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program, which he describes as “access to justice in action.” Volunteer attorneys help provide legal advice and representation to landlords and tenants. Approximately 90 percent of tenants and 50 percent of landlords are unrepresented. Since the program began 14 years ago, 12,000 volunteers have helped more than 14, 500 individuals. However, the sheer volume of cases—the housing court can see about 200 eviction cases on a single day—calls for additional volunteer attorneys.

Judge Winik received a Citation of Judicial Excellence at the Law Day Dinner for his leadership as the First Justice of the Boston Housing Court

Judge Winik received a Citation of Judicial Excellence at the Law Day Dinner for his leadership as the First Justice of the Boston Housing Court

Here’s how Judge Winik described the volunteer experience:

I guarantee you, you will come away from the experience knowing you have done something important and have helped people who would have been far worse without your assistance.

Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court is the epitome of a meaningful pro bono opportunity. Just a few hours on a Wednesday or Thursday can make the difference between a family losing their home or a landlord being foreclosed on.

Volunteers can participate individually or with their firm. Volunteers will be trained and supported by staff attorneys from the Volunteer Lawyers Project, Greater Boston Legal Services and Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School during the volunteer session. Interested volunteers should contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at [email protected] for more information about ways to get involved.