JUDICIAL COURT STANDING COMMITTEE
ON PRO BONO LEGAL SERVICES TO PRESENT
FIRST ADAMS PRO BONO PUBLICO AWARDS
recognition of outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services
for the poor and disadvantaged, the Supreme Judicial Court
Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services will present
its first Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards to three recipients
in a ceremony in the Supreme Judicial Court Courtroom on Wednesday,
May 29, 2002 at 4:30 p.m.
Judicial Court Justice Francis X. Spina will present the awards
to Attorney Henry B. Raphaelson of Worcester, Attorney S.
Stephen Rosenfeld of Boston, and the Boston law firm of Foley,
Hoag & Eliot LLP.
tributes to these attorneys from clients, judges, clerks,
and other lawyers was nothing short of inspirational. They
each have made a substantial contribution to providing meaningful
access to justice for poor and disadvantaged residents of
Massachusetts," said committee member Richard McMahon,
Chair of the Awards Subcommittee. He praised the award recipients
for having exceeded the goal of SJC Rule 6.1, Voluntary Pro
bono Publico Service, to provide twenty hours of pro bono
legal services to persons of limited means or to those organizations
that address the needs of such persons.
B. Raphaelson is a private practitioner in Worcester specializing
in real estate and landlord/tenant law. Praised as a zealous,
knowledgeable, and caring advocate, he has dedicated countless
hours to the representation of hundreds of litigants in the
Worcester Housing Court. In addition, Mr. Raphaelson has served
as a trainer and mentor, encouraging newer attorneys to join
the Volunteer Lawyers Service Panel, co-sponsored by the Worcester
County Bar Association and the Massachusetts Justice Program.
Stephen Rosenfeld, an attorney with the Boston law firm of
Rosenfeld and Rafik, founded Health Law Advocates, Inc. in
1996, a public interest law firm dedicated to representing
those denied access to the health care system. It is affilliated
with Health Care For All, a state-wide consumer advocacy organization
that promotes access to health care, for which Mr. Rosenfeld
established a panel of pro bono attorneys for the organization.
Last year, panel members represented over 200 Massachusetts
families and hundreds of Massachusetts residents. Mr. Rosenfeld
also is the volunteer legal director of Health Law Advocates,
and has been personally involved in many of their cases, notably
the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc. receivership appeal,
as well as in representation of the Lynn Health Task Force
and the Neponset Valley Community Health Coalition.
Hoag & Eliot has been chosen as a recipient of the award
for the pro bono work of individual lawyers and for its institutional
commitment to pro bono legal services. In 2001, Foley, Hoag
& Eliot dedicated 5.5% of its billable hours, approximately
22,703 hours, to pro bono work with more than 70% of the firm's
lawyers participating in pro bono service. Traditionally known
for its role in large pro bono cases, such as the Boston school
desegregation case, the firm's focus in recent years has been
on service to individuals and groups who serve the poor. The
firm established an abuse prevention project that works with
domestic violence programs in the Greater Boston area. Foley,
Hoag & Eliot attorneys have also provided innovative transactional
pro bono work through the Center for Women and Enterprise
and other non-profit organizations.
in 1999, the Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Committee on
Pro Bono Legal Servies works to promote volunteer legal work
in Massachusetts to help people of limited means who are in
need of legal representation, in accordance with SJC Rule
6.1. In March, 2002, the Committee announced that they were
seeking nominations for the inauguaral award, named in honor
of Attorneys John Adams and John Quincy Adams.