SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT
STANDING COMMITTEE ON PRO BONO LEGAL
SERVICES PRESENTS 2008 ADAMS PRO BONO PUBLICO AWARDS
recognition of outstanding commitment to providing
volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged
in Massachusetts, Supreme Judicial Court Justice Francis
X. Spina, on behalf of the Supreme Judicial Court Standing
Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, presented the
seventh annual Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards to five
recipients at a special ceremony in the John Adams
Courthouse on Wednesday, June 4. The 2008 awardees
are as follows:
John G. Dugan, of Millis, a principal in the law firm
of Doherty Ciechanowski, Dugan & Cannon, P.C. in
Franklin and Medfield, and Attorney Edward Notis-McConarty,
of Newton, a partner in the Boston law firm of Hemenway & Barnes
LLP, for their work in the development and implementation
of three Limited Assistance Representation pilot projects
in the Probate and Family Court Department to expand
access to justice;
J. (Jay) Lynch III, of North Easton, managing partner
in Lynch & Lynch Attorneys of Boston and South
Easton, for his volunteer legal services at MainSpring
Christine J. Wichers, of Cambridge, and Lisa M. Gaulin,
of South Boston, of Choate Hall & Stewart, LLP
in Boston, for their tireless efforts on behalf of
an abandoned Pakistani mother forcibly separated from
her four children.
Spina said, “The field of nominees this year
demonstrates the exceptionally wide spectrum of opportunities
for lawyers to render pro bono legal services. I was
truly moved by the depth of sacrifice, the remarkable
achievements, and the ingenuity of the legal profession
when called upon to address difficult problems in hard
times. I applaud the 2008 award recipients for their
Dugan and Notis-McConarty are recognized for their
extraordinary efforts to address the needs of litigants
who represent themselves in court. For more than six
years, Attorneys Dugan and Notis-McConarty, as co-chairs
of a working group established by the Supreme Judicial
Court Steering Committee on Self-Represented Litigants,
diligently worked to expand access to the Massachusetts
courts by developing and implementing Limited Assistance
Representation pilot projects in Probate and Family
Courts in Suffolk, Hampden and Norfolk counties. These
projects permit attorneys to assist pro se litigants
on a limited basis without undertaking full legal representation.
Through their outstanding leadership abilities and
selfless work, Mr. Dugan and Mr. Notis-McConarty have
made significant contributions to improving access
to justice for people of limited means.
Dugan volunteers in the Lawyer for a Day program at
Norfolk Probate and Family Court. He has served as
president of the Western Norfolk Bar Association, president
of the Norfolk County Bar Association, and vice president
of the Massachusetts Bar Association. He is a graduate
of Suffolk University Law School and the College of
the Holy Cross.
Notis-McConarty currently serves as co-chair of the
Supreme Judicial Court’s Working Group on Expanding
Access to Justice. A member of the Boston Bar and the
Massachusetts Bar Associations, he has served as a
hearing officer for the Board of Bar Overseers. He
received a J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from Boston
College Law School and a bachelor’s degree, cum
laude, from Harvard College.
seventeen years, Attorney Jay Lynch has served on the
Board of Directors of the Brockton Coalition for the
Homeless, known as MainSpring. Established in 1982,
this community-based, charitable organization serves
the homeless by providing shelter, food, education,
job training, support services, and housing. Attorney
Lynch has volunteered countless hours of legal services
to homeless and low-income individuals, MainSpring
and Father Bill’s (Quincy Interfaith Sheltering
Coalition), as well as to other non-profit organizations.
He served as a pro bono legal resource in the recent
merger of MainSpring and Father Bill’s and was
instrumental in expanding their programs and facilities.
Through his dedication, residences for homeless families
were established in Middleboro and Stoughton, and 400
families have received emergency shelter and stabilization
services at those facilities.
member of the Bristol County Bar Association, the Massachusetts
Bar Association and the American Bar Association, Mr.
Lynch received a J.D. from the New England School of
Law and a B.A. from the University of Maine. He is
a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and
a past president of the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers
Christine Wichers, a partner, and Attorney Lisa Gaulin,
an associate, at Choate Hall & Stewart’s
labor and employment practice group, are honored for
their lengthy and dedicated pro bono representation
of a Pakistani woman who lost custody of her four children
after being abandoned by her Pakistani husband while
living in the United States. Without documentation,
money, and English language skills, the woman was forced
to return to Pakistan without her children after her
mother-in-law and sisters-in-law abused her. Attorneys
Gaulin and Wichers worked strenuously and successfully
to help the woman with her complicated legal plight,
eventually resulting in the woman regaining custody
of her three younger children. The case was brought
to the firm’s attention through the Women’s
Bar Foundation Family Law Project for Battered Women.
Wichers is President of the Women’s Bar Foundation
Board of Trustees and a member of the Boston Bar Association.
She holds a J.D. degree, with honors, from the University
of North Carolina School of Law and a B.A. degree,
cum laude, from Dartmouth.
Gaulin is a member of the Boston Bar Association and
the Women’s Bar Association. She earned a J.D.
degree, summa cum laude, from Boston College Law School
and a B.A. degree, summa cum laude, from Syracuse University.
attorneys represent low income clients pro bono through
the Women’s Bar Foundation’s Family Law
Project for Battered Women.
from the 2008 Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards