For Immediate Release

BOSTON, MA – The Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice Board of Directors unanimously voted to appoint Melanie L. Todman, Associate at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, to Chair of its Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting on June 27, 2019. She succeeds Martha Mazzone, Executive Vice President of Legal Transformation at Cobra Legal Solutions LLC, who served as Board Chair since 2015 and who will remain on the Board of Directors.

“It has been an honor to serve as Chair of the Board over the past several years, and I thank my fellow Board members for the opportunity,” said Martha Mazzone. “I join my colleagues in congratulating Melanie, a true advocate of social justice with a deep commitment to moving Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission and projects forward. I am confident that under her leadership, Appleseed will continue and expand its essential work to reform the systemic barriers that keep access to justice and equal opportunity out of reach for so many in our state.”

Additionally, the Massachusetts Appleseed Board of Directors elected John A. Shutkin, General Counsel at CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, as the new Vice-Chair. Justin J. Wolosz of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP has stepped down as Vice-Chair and will also continue to serve on the full Board of Directors. Massachusetts Appleseed, a nonprofit organization that advocates for systemic reform in areas such as access to justice, youth homelessness, and education is pleased to announce that Ms. Todman and Mr. Shutkin have assumed their new leadership roles.

Melanie L. Todman, Associate at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP

Ms. Todman is an associate in Nutter’s Litigation Department. Her practice focuses on advising clients in internal governmental investigations and complex civil litigation relating to securities, insurance and reinsurance, commercial and product liability, government procurement, and municipal law. She has also spent time as a volunteer attorney in the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau and prior to that, was a legal fellow at Heartland Alliance International in Chicago. While serving on the Board of Massachusetts Appleseed, she has been a champion of the organization’s access to justice work, devoting hours of pro bono time to its pilot project, Turning on the Lights: How the Massachusetts Trial Court Could Deploy a Virtual Court Service Center to Assist Self-Represented Litigants.

“I want to extend my deepest thanks to Martha Mazzone for her tireless work as Chair for so many years, and to the Board of Directors for their confidence in me to serve in this new role,” said Ms. Todman. “Appleseed’s work to break down systemic barriers affecting our most vulnerable residents is more important than ever, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board to continue moving Appleseed’s vital mission and projects forward.”

John A. Shutkin, General Counsel at CliftonLarsonAllen LLP.

John A. Shutkin is the General Counsel of CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, based in its Lexington, Massachusetts office. His extensive legal experience includes serving as General Counsel for KPMG International and the law firm of Shearman & Sterling LLP. Throughout his career, he has devoted his time to working for communities in need, serving on the boards of Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund, Partnership for After School Education (PASE), the Bank Street College of Education, and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice. Mr. Shutkin is a committed member of the Appleseed network and in the past, served on the Board of Directors at Massachusetts Appleseed’s sister center, Connecticut Appleseed. In his time on the Board of Directors, Mr. Shutkin has generously supported the organization’s programs and will be heading the new Governance Committee.

“There is nothing more critical right now than continuing to expand justice and equal rights for all of our residents in Massachusetts, and I am honored to have the opportunity to do so as Vice-Chair of Massachusetts Appleseed,” said Mr. Shutkin. “I thank my fellow Board members as well as Martha Mazzone for her years of leadership and wisdom, and I look forward to working with Melanie to make a real difference for Massachusetts’ most vulnerable communities.”

Massachusetts Appleseed is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and is thrilled to have Ms. Todman and Mr. Shutkin at the helm as the organization charts its path forward.

About the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice:

Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission is to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues. We research the ways in which the justice system, schools, and government agencies are systematically failing our most vulnerable residents. We collaborate with community partners to ensure that recommended plans of action are practical and comprehensive. We advocate for the implementation of solutions that will create lasting change.

For Immediate Release

BOSTON, May 29, 2019 – The Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice applauds the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission’s conclusions in its recently released report that courthouse cell phone bans create “unacceptable hardships” for court users and visitors. The Commission’s report recommended that cell phone bans “should be phased out in favor of alternative security measures” that prevent the misuse of cell phones in courthouses while allowing court users access to their devices.

These findings echo a July 2018 report by Massachusetts Appleseed that detailed how cell phone bans prevent people without attorneys from presenting critical evidence stored on their phones or referencing relevant legal resources during their legal proceedings. Appleseed also found that these bans create serious hardships for low-income court users who are often unable to coordinate childcare, transportation, and their absences from work without access to their cell phones.

“The burden of courthouse cell phone bans falls especially hard on people with business before the court who cannot afford to hire an attorney to represent them, many of whom are also members of other vulnerable populations,” said Deborah Silva, Executive Director of Massachusetts Appleseed. “I’m thrilled to see the Massachusetts court system take another step closer to ensuring justice for all and am grateful to the Access to Justice Commission’s working group for its thorough and thoughtful study of this issue.”

Cell phone bans exist in 56 court facilities across Massachusetts, but the Commission recommended that the bans be reviewed and eliminated in most courthouses while providing exemptions for self-represented litigants in all courthouses during the transition period. In high-security risk courthouses where restrictions are deemed necessary, the Commission recommended that the bans could be replaced with either in-court storage facilities or Yondr pouches (tamper-proof containers that the phone’s owner can carry but have to be unlocked by security personnel). The Commission’s report also emphasized that the court system’s portable electronic device policies should focus on regulating the use of devices rather than the possession of them.

Massachusetts Appleseed’s report, Cell Phones in the Courthouse, an Access to Justice Perspective, can be found on its website: www.massappleseed.org.

 

About the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice:

Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission is to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues. Appleseed uses research, collaboration, and advocacy to advance social justice across the Commonwealth. For more information about Massachusetts Appleseed, visit www.massappleseed.org. Follow us on Twitter: @MassAppleseed.

Media Contact:
Deborah Silva, Executive Director, Massachusetts Appleseed
617-482-9111, deb@massappleseed.org

Bob Rivers, Good Apple Award Recipient (Photo By: Greg M. Cooper / Eastern Bank)

For Immediate Release

Honoring Bob Rivers, Chair and CEO of Eastern Bank

Boston, MA – On March 28, 2019, the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice (“MA Appleseed”) honored Bob Rivers with its 12th annual Good Apple Award. MA Appleseed also celebrated its 25th anniversary with a special cocktail hour, which was followed by the award reception at 6:00 pm in the Wharf Room at the Boston Harbor Hotel. Each year, MA Appleseed presents the “Good Apple” award to someone in the Massachusetts business or legal community who exemplifies the principles of social justice and equal opportunity on which MA Appleseed was itself founded. This year marks the first time that a member of the business community has been honored with the “Good Apple” award. The event, which serves as Massachusetts Appleseed’s annual fundraiser, raises money to support the organization’s program and outreach efforts.

“What a great evening we had, with so many friends and colleagues of our honoree, Bob Rivers, gathered to remind us why he is such an important leader in our community,” said Martha A. Mazzone, chair of the Board of Directors of MA Appleseed. “When Bob addressed the assembled guests, his inspirational words about fairness and speaking truth to power were perfectly aligned with Appleseed’s mission to correct systemic social inequities. Mincing no words, he made it clear that he will never stop being a champion for social justice and putting his words into action wherever he can.”

Rivers is Chair and CEO of Eastern Bank, America’s oldest and largest mutual bank and the largest independent community bank headquartered in Massachusetts with $11 billion in assets and over 115 locations. He is also Chair of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable and The Dimock Center.

“It is a great honor to receive this award from Massachusetts Appleseed, especially as it celebrates its 25th anniversary, and to join the past honorees in promoting equal rights for all,” Bob Rivers said. “I am humbled to be recognized by an organization that understands demonstrating true equal access and opportunity for all people is both a moral and business imperative. Thank you to Massachusetts Appleseed for this very special honor and award presentation.”

Named after the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Rivers’ passion for advocating for social justice causes and sustainability issues is the result of a personal and professional journey that began early in his life. He has been recognized by many organizations for his work in championing diversity and social justice, including The Boston Globe, The Partnership, Get Konnected!, Color Magazine, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), the Asian American Civic Association (AACA), Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), El Planeta, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, The Theater Offensive, and MassINC.

Featured speaker at the event, the Honorable Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, remarked, “As someone named for my father, Robert Kennedy, Bob Rivers certainly bears his legacy well. Bob has an unwavering commitment to the pursuit of social justice and leads Eastern Bank with an extraordinary vision of equity. I am so glad to have been able to help celebrate Massachusetts Appleseed’s 25th anniversary and to present Bob with the Good Apple Award.”

“Bob is a champion of social justice and a force for good in Massachusetts. He represents the absolute best of our corporate community and we couldn’t be happier to present him with the 2019 Good Apple Award,” said Deborah Silva, Executive Director of MA Appleseed.

The Sustainer sponsors of this event include the Board of Directors of Massachusetts Appleseed and Past Good Apple Honorees.

Recent past recipients of the Good Apple award include Senator William “Mo” Cowan, President of Global Government Affairs and Policy at GE; Jonathan Chiel, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Fidelity Investments; Jeffrey N. Carp, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of State Street Corporation; Stephanie S. Lovell, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts; Lon F. Povich, former Executive Vice President and General Counsel of BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc.; Susan H. Alexander, Chief Legal Officer of Biogen Idec; and Paul T. Dacier, former General Counsel of EMC Corporation (now Dell).

Champion Sponsor

About the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice:

Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission is to promote social justice and equal rights for Massachusetts’ residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to issues of systemic inequality.

At Massachusetts Appleseed, we dedicate ourselves to remedying social injustices for at-risk and underserved children, youth, and adults residing within our state. Working with volunteer lawyers, community partners, and others, we identify and address gaps in services and opportunities in areas such as education, homelessness, and the accessibility of the Massachusetts court system. Through in-depth research, consensus building, and community problem solving, we develop powerful solutions for reforming the systems and structures responsible for injustice. Our work seeks to level the playing field and transform communities. Every year we honor someone in the business or legal profession equally committed to these principles through our “Good Apple” award.

For Immediate Release

Jessica L. Ellis, Hearing Officer at the Department of Public Utilities

Boston, MA – The Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice welcomed Jessica L. Ellis, a Hearing Officer in the Legal Division at the Department of Public Utilities, and Samuel R. Gates, an Associate at Pierce Davis & Perritano LLP, to its Board of Directors on November 27, 2018. The Massachusetts Appleseed Center, a non-profit organization that advocates for systemic reform in areas such as education, youth homelessness, and access to justice, is pleased to have Ms. Ellis and Mr. Gates, two enormously talented attorneys, join the organization.

“One of our long-time Board members who is stepping down, Kristen Graves, referred Jessica and Sam to us, and we could not be happier to invite them to join the Board,” said Martha Mazzone, chairperson of the Board of Directors. “Both have extensive experience in representing the underserved population in Massachusetts, and consequently have the expertise to enhance our access to justice work. We will no doubt rely on them both for insight into how a “user” experiences the justice system.”

Samuel R. Gates, Associate at Pierce Davis & Perritano LLP

Ms. Ellis currently presides over administrative hearings and manages case teams of technical staff in matters concerning electric power, natural gas, water companies, pipelines, and transportation network companies for the state of Massachusetts. Mr. Gates’s current practice focuses on litigation and trial advocacy in defense of cities, towns, and other public employers in Massachusetts State and Federal Court, and he brings unique and substantial business experience alongside his legal expertise. Both Ms. Ellis and Mr. Gates have spent years dedicated to the representation of indigent clients. They were student attorneys in Suffolk University Law School’s immigration and criminal defense clinics, and both previously worked at the Committee for Public Counsel Services, the Massachusetts public defender agency, as Trial Attorneys.

“It is a privilege to join the Board of an organization dedicated to finding creative and impactful solutions to issues plaguing our most vulnerable citizens,” Ms. Ellis said. “Appleseed’s mission is one that we should all strive to incorporate in our day-to-day lives.”

Mr. Gates said, “Massachusetts Appleseed is doing critical work to fight for equal rights and social justice. I am honored to join its Board of Directors and grateful for the opportunity to contribute to its mission.”

 

About the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice:

Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission is to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues. Working with volunteer lawyers, community partners, and others, we identify and address gaps in services and opportunities in areas such as education, homelessness, and the court system. Through in-depth research, consensus building, and community problem solving, we develop powerful solutions for reforming the systems and structures responsible. Our work seeks to level the playing field and transform communities.

For Immediate Release

Melanie L. Todman, Associate at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP

Boston, MA – The Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice Board of Directors unanimously voted at its September 25th board meeting to appoint Melanie L. Todman, Associate at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, to join Justin J. Wolosz of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP as co-Vice Chair. The Massachusetts Appleseed Center, a non-profit organization that advocates for systemic reform in areas such as education, youth homelessness, and access to justice, is thrilled to have Ms. Todman, among the organization’s most dedicated volunteers, assume a leadership role on the Board.

Ms. Todman is an associate in Nutter’s Litigation Department. Her practice focuses on advising clients in internal governmental investigations and complex civil litigation relating to securities, insurance and reinsurance, commercial and product liability, government procurement, and municipal law. She has also spent time as a volunteer attorney in the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau and prior to that, was a legal fellow at Heartland Alliance International in Chicago. While serving on the Board of Massachusetts Appleseed, she has been a champion of the organization’s access to justice work, devoting hours of pro bono time to its pilot project, Turning on the Lights: How Online Resources Can Help the Trial Court Illuminate the Process of Self-Representation for Massachusetts Litigants.

“The opportunity to work with Massachusetts Appleseed in this new role is an absolute privilege,” said Ms. Todman. “As a steward of Massachusetts society, Appleseed’s work to first identify issues affecting underserved people in our community, and then engage with community stakeholders to develop long-lasting, structural solutions for those issues, is crucial to building a more just and equitable society. I look forward to assisting the organization in any way I can to achieve its critical mission of working to ensure equal rights and opportunities for every person in the Commonwealth.”

“Anyone who attended our 2017 Good Apple reception honoring Jonathan Chiel will remember Melanie, then a new member of the Board, who closed the event with stirring but disturbing comments about the foreseeable road ahead under the new administration,” said Martha Mazzone, chairperson of the Board of Directors. “She noted the absolute necessity to support groups like Appleseed that stand for the rule of law as the foundation of a just society. I admire Melanie for her rock solid demonstrated commitment to social justice and look forward to partnering with her and with her co-Vice Chair Justin in this, our organization’s 25th anniversary year.”

About the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice:

Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission is to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues. Working with volunteer lawyers, community partners, and others, we identify and address gaps in services and opportunities in areas such as education, homelessness, and the court system. Through in-depth research, consensus building, and community problem solving, we develop powerful solutions for reforming the systems and structures responsible. Our work seeks to level the playing field and transform communities.

For Immediate Release

John A. Shutkin, General Counsel of CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Boston, MA – The Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice welcomed John A. Shutkin, General Counsel of CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, to its Board of Directors at its board meeting on September 25, 2018. The Massachusetts Appleseed Center, a non-profit organization that advocates for systemic reform in areas such as education, youth homelessness, and access to justice, is pleased to have Mr. Shutkin, a truly dedicated advocate for social justice, join the organization.

John A. Shutkin is the General Counsel of CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, based in its Lexington, Massachusetts office. His extensive legal experience includes serving as General Counsel for KPMG International and the law firm of Shearman & Sterling LLP. Throughout his career, he has devoted his time to working for communities in need, serving on the boards of Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund, Partnership for After School Education (PASE), the Bank Street College of Education, and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice. Most importantly, Mr. Shutkin is a committed member of the Appleseed network and served on the Board of Directors at MA Appleseed’s sister center, Connecticut Appleseed.

“I am delighted and honored to join the board of MA Appleseed,” said Mr. Shutkin. “Since moving to the Boston area several years ago, I have wanted to get involved in a local equal rights and justice organization and I could not be more supportive of MA Appleseed’s mission and initiatives.”

“As we continue to build out our program and focus on solutions to the inequities in our legal system, we need true legal advocates at every level of the Appleseed organization to bring to fruition our plans,” said Martha Mazzone, chairperson of the Board of Directors. “John is a lifelong advocate for justice, and we are thrilled to have someone of his caliber and experience join our board.”

About the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice:

Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission is to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues. Working with volunteer lawyers, community partners, and others, we identify and address gaps in services and opportunities in areas such as education, homelessness, and the court system. Through in-depth research, consensus building, and community problem solving, we develop powerful solutions for reforming the systems and structures responsible. Our work seeks to level the playing field and transform communities.

For Immediate Release

Boston, July 24, 2018 – A policy brief released today by the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice examines the impact of banning cell phones and other personal electronic devices in Massachusetts courthouses. It finds that there are unintended consequences to the bans, especially for self-represented litigants, and that access to justice can be harmed as a result.

“It’s become increasingly clear that courthouse cell phones bans put litigants who are representing themselves at a serious disadvantage,” said Deborah Silva, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. “Attorneys can bring smart phones into courthouses, and they often store their clients’ phones so they can be accessed throughout the day, if needed. But pro se litigants do not have that option and so they cannot access proof of payments, agreements, and injuries that are stored on their phones in the form of email, text messages, and photos.”

Trial courts in Massachusetts permit the use of cell phones and other personal electronic devices provided that they are turned off or set to be silent before entering a courtroom. However, chief justices at individual courthouses may set further restrictions and currently 56 trial courts across the state do not allow anyone other than attorneys, jurors, and court personnel to bring cell phones into the courthouse.

Interviews with attorneys, litigants, and advocates for affected populations, such as people with low incomes, survivors of domestic violence, and people who speak a first language other than English found the following:

  • Litigants are often unaware of courthouse cellphone bans until they arrive at court. A few courthouses offer safe storage of phones and other electronic devices in secure lockers, but most do not.
  • When faced with the option of missing their court appointment if they cannot get rid of their phone, litigants have resorted to hiding their phones in bushes around the courthouse, leaving a phone with a cab driver, and even stashing their phone in the bag of a bicycle locked up outside the courthouse. Outside busy courthouses, some vendors have started phone storage businesses. This works for some litigants, but others cannot afford to pay for storage.
  • Self-represented litigants who are able to store their phones outside the courthouse are often hindered without them in the courtroom because they do not have access to evidence stored on their phones that support their legal claims. Phones are also necessary for coordinating translation services and using hearing assistance apps.

Cell phone bans were originally put in place to prevent individuals from recording victims, witnesses, jurors, or court employees for the purpose of threatening or intimidating them, or even broadcasting courtroom proceedings to people outside the courtroom. While the report acknowledges that these may be legitimate concerns in certain instances, an examination of policies and practices in other states, finds that there are ways to ensure safety without disadvantaging self-represented litigants. Examples of policies in courts in Massachusetts and other states that permit cell phones in courthouses include permitting their use in the courtroom but confiscating them if they are used improperly; designating courthouse spaces in which cell phones can be used; and providing secure lockers to safely store cell phones.

“Cell phones have become an integral part of daily life for most people and banning their use in public spaces such as courthouses has serious consequences,” Silva added. “Living in a democratic society demands a constant balance of security with liberty. Cell phone bans have outlived their usefulness and we need new policies to ensure that everyone who enters a Massachusetts courtroom enjoys the promise of access to justice.”

The report, “Cell Phones in the Courthouse: An Access to Justice Perspective,” is available online: http://massappleseed.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Cell-Phones-in-the-Courthouse.pdf.

About the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice:

Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission is to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues. Working with volunteer lawyers, community partners, and others, we identify and address gaps in services and opportunities in areas such as education, homelessness, and the court system. Through in-depth research, consensus building, and community problem solving, we develop powerful solutions for reforming the systems and structures responsible. Our work seeks to level the playing field and transform communities.

For Immediate Release

Micah W. Miller
Associate at Nutter, McClennen & Fish LLP

Boston, MA – Massachusetts Appleseed Center welcomed Micah W. Miller, Associate at Nutter, McClennen & Fish LLP, to its Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting on June 12, 2018. The Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, a non-profit organization that advocates for systemic reform in areas such as education, youth homelessness, and access to justice, is pleased to have Mr. Miller, an enthusiastic and thoughtful advocate, join the organization.

Micah W. Miller is an associate in Nutter’s Litigation Department. Drawing on his experience as a software engineer, Mr. Miller frequently counsels clients on patent matters and disputes in a broad range of technologies. He is committed to pro bono work and has worked with the Victim Rights Law Center and the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Pro Bono initiative, where he has assisted several pro bono clients in obtaining abuse prevention orders.

“MA Appleseed has a long history of doing important and impactful work,” said Micah Miller. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve on its board, and I look forward to helping MA Appleseed continue to tackle systemic issues that deny so many access to justice and opportunity.”

“We are delighted to welcome Micah to MA Appleseed,” said Martha Mazzone, chairperson of the Board of Directors. “Micah is one of those rare people who finds the time to serve as a trusted counsel to his clients AND take on extensive pro bono work advocating on behalf of indigent clients. He models what Appleseed was founded on – that the commitment of our legal communities to social justice can make a true difference.”

At the June 12th meeting, members of the Board also unanimously re-elected officers Martha A. Mazzone (Board Chair), Justin J. Wolosz (Vice Chair), Christopher Hoyle (Treasurer), and Sara J. Shanahan (Secretary).

About the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice:

Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission is to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues. Working with volunteer lawyers, community partners, and others, we identify and address gaps in services and opportunities in areas such as education, homelessness, and the court system. Through in-depth research, consensus building, and community problem solving, we develop powerful solutions for reforming the systems and structures responsible. Our work seeks to level the playing field and transform communities.

2018 Good Apple recipient Senator William "Mo" Cowan

2018 Good Apple recipient Senator William “Mo” Cowan

For Immediate Release

Honoring Senator William “Mo” Cowan, Vice President of Litigation and Legal Policy of GE

Boston, MA – On March 29, 2018, the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice (“MA Appleseed”) honored former Senator William “Mo” Cowan with its 11th annual Good Apple Award. The event began with a reception, which began at 6:00 pm, in the Wharf Room at the Boston Harbor Hotel. Every year, MA Appleseed presents a “Good Apple” award to someone in the Massachusetts legal community who demonstrates the principles of social justice and equal opportunity that MA Appleseed was itself founded on. The event, which serves as Massachusetts Appleseed’s annual fundraiser, raises money to support the organization’s program and outreach efforts.

“We are thrilled and proud to present Senator Cowan with this year’s Good Apple Award,” said Martha Mazzone, chair of the Board of Directors of MA Appleseed. “Mo’s commitment to inclusion, justice and civic engagement – don’t turn your back on the system, work to improve it – mirrors the Appleseed mission perfectly. Add in his dedication to the Boston legal community, his huge circle of friends and family and colleagues and mentees, and he’s the perfect Good Apple recipient. Everyone wants a chance to say thank you to Mo.”

Featured speaker at the event, Attorney General Maura Healey remarked, “I am grateful to be able to recognize Massachusetts Appleseed for their critical work in developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues while celebrating this year’s Good Apple, my dear friend Mo Cowan. Mo is a champion for social justice whose life and legacy represents the best our community has to offer.”

Senator Cowan is a graduate of Duke University and Northeastern University School of Law. In 2013, he represented Massachusetts as interim U.S. Senator, filling the vacancy left by John F. Kerry when he was appointed Secretary of State. Senator Cowan served as Chief Legal Counsel, Chief of Staff, and Senior Advisor to the Governor in the administration of former Governor Deval L. Patrick and, in the Fall of 2013, Senator Cowan was a Fellow at the Harvard University Institute of Politics. In 2017 Sen. Cowan assumed the position of VP of Global Litigation and Legal Policy at GE, after having served Of Counsel to Mintz Levin and as President and CEO of ML Strategies.

“I am humbled to receive this great honor from the Appleseed Center,” Senator Cowan said. “I deeply appreciate the recognition and cherish the opportunity to be associated forever with an organization committed every day to social justice and the rule of law, and to follow in the footsteps of the distinguished past honorees. Thank you for helping me make my family proud!”

Senator Cowan is on the Board of Directors for Eastern Bank Corporation, Partners Healthcare, and is Co-Chair of the Greater Boston YMCA Board of Overseers. He further serves our community as a Trustee of Northeastern University, the Massachusetts General Hospital, and is a member of the Boston Club Corporate Advisory Board, Duke University Trinity Board of Visitors, Cambridge College President’s Council, and U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress.

Senator Cowan is an active civic leader committed to the same principles of inclusion and justice that is at the foundation of all of MA Appleseed’s work. When appointing Cowan to serve as interim U.S. Senator, former MA governor Deval Patrick described him as having “brought preparation, perspective, wisdom, sound judgment, and clarity of purpose” every step of the way, with the needs of Massachusetts’ residents always on the forefront of his mind.

“Mo’s evenhanded approach to difficult issues and his persistence in pursuing a better, fairer world is an inspiration to many. We are proud to present him with this year’s Good Apple Award,” said Deborah Silva, Executive Director of MA Appleseed.

2018 Good Apple Award Recipient (PDF)
2018 Good Apple Invitation (PDF)

 

Recent past recipients of the Good Apple award include Jonathan Chiel, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Fidelity Investment; Paul Dacier, former General Counsel of EMC Corporation (now Dell); Susan Alexander, Chief Legal Officer of Biogen Idec; Lon F. Povich, Former Executive Vice President and General Counsel of BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc.; Stephanie S. Lovell, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts; and Jeffrey N. Carp, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of State Street Corporation.

About the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice:

Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission is to promote social justice and equal rights for Massachusetts’ residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to issues of systemic inequality.

At Massachusetts Appleseed, we dedicate ourselves to remedying social injustices for at-risk and underserved children, youth, and adults residing within our state. Working with volunteer lawyers, community partners, and others, we identify and address gaps in services and opportunities in areas such as education, homelessness, and the accessibility of the Massachusetts court system. Through in-depth research, consensus building, and community problem solving, we develop powerful solutions for reforming the systems and structures responsible for injustice. Our work seeks to level the playing field and transform communities. Every year we honor someone in the legal professional equally committed to these principles through our “Good Apple” award.

 

For Immediate Release

Richard Bergin

Richard Bergin

Boston, MA – Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice welcomed Dr. Richard Bergin, Managing Director for Alix Partners, to its Board of Directors on October 4, 2017. MA Appleseed, a non-profit organization that advocates for systemic reform in areas such as education and access to justice, is pleased to have Dr. Bergin, an active and dynamic advocate, join the organization.

“This is a great opportunity to push for statewide reform in the areas of justice and education,” Dr. Bergin said. “I look forward to helping expand the impact of MA Appleseed’s important work in identifying barriers and developing pragmatic solutions to secure lasting access to opportunity and justice for all.”

Dr. Richard Bergin has over 20 years of experience in leading investigations and litigation consulting. He has led independent investigations into some of the world’s most prolific and complex antitrust, financial fraud and manipulation cases as well as investigations in more than 50 countries. Dr. Bergin regularly serves as a litigation consultant, and he has testified as an expert witness in trials, at arbitrations, and before government agencies, including federal courts and state courts as well as the DOJ, SEC, CFTC, AAA, ICSID, ICC, UNCITRAL and various ad hoc arbitrations around the world. Prior to joining Alix Partners, Dr. Bergin was a Principal at KPMG for more than four years, advising companies facing investigations and disputes. Previously, he held senior roles at FTI Consulting, Navigant Consulting, and NERA Economic Consulting. Dr. Bergin has a doctorate in business administration and an MBA – both of them awarded with highest distinction from Harvard Business School, which he attended as a Fulbright Scholar.

“We’re very excited and grateful to have Rich join the Board,” Board Chair Martha Mazzone said. “His experience outside the legal world, passion as a social justice advocate, and infectious enthusiasm will be instrumental in moving MA Appleseed forward.”

About the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice:

Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission is to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts’ residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues.

At Massachusetts Appleseed, we dedicate ourselves to remedying social injustices for at-risk and underserved children, youth, and adults. Working with volunteer lawyers, community partners, and others, we identify and address gaps in services and opportunities in areas such as education, homelessness, and the court system. Through in-depth research, consensus building, and community problem solving, we develop powerful solutions for reforming the systems and structures responsible. Our work seeks to level the playing field and transform communities.