The Audit and Finance Committee's purpose is to oversee and review the HCBA’s financial condition from time to time. The Audit and Finance Committee is also responsible for overseeing and reviewing the audit function, including coordinating with both management and the HCBA's accountant and bookkeeper. The Audit & Finance Committee will assist the President, Treasurer, and others in fulfilling their oversight responsibilities for the accounting, financial, and internal control process of the HCBA's audits of its financial statements. It shall recommend to the President and Treasurer either the retention of the current accountant or three qualified accountants as replacements of the current accountant.
A number of standing bench bar committees serve to promote dialogue between lawyers and judges in the various Courts in Hampden County. The Bench Bar Committees represent the Federal Court, Superior Court, District Court, Housing Court, Bankruptcy Court, Probate and Family Court and Juvenile Court. These committees provide an invaluable service to improving the judicial process for lawyers and litigants.
The By-Laws Committee keeps a record of and takes action on all suggestions and proposals relating to a modification or change in the By-Laws from time to time; and prepares and submits to the membership of the HCBA for its consideration any change or amendment to the By-Laws that it deems necessary or advisable, such amendment to be made in accordance with the By-Laws.
The Hampden County Bar Association has received an IOLTA Grant from the Massachusetts Bar Foundation for funding of the HCBA Children’s Law Project since 1992. Through this program, children receive legal representation in Hampden County Probate and Family Court for an array of matters. The program is always looking for qualified HCBA members to represent these children.
The Continuing Legal Education Committee of the HCBA aims to maintain the HCBA’s role as the leader in continuing legal education by partnering with the HCBA’s entities and diverse membership to create and deliver high quality educational programs and services to our members and the legal profession. The programs include Brown Bag Lunches (criminal and civil), Experts in Residence, “How To”, and Practice Development.
This committee was established due to the proposed new county courthouse and to have input into the process as an association representing our 1000 plus members who practice in the courthouse on a regular basis. The committee would be the voice of the HCBA on issues of relevance, such as lawyer conference rooms, security concerns, technology issues, etc. and hopefully ensure our presence in the new courthouse, assuming one is approved by the legislature.
The Fee Arbitration Committee helps to resolve legal fee disputes between attorneys and their clients, former clients and other attorneys. This process addresses what is a fair and reasonable fee.
The purpose of the Lawyer Referral and Community Outreach Committee shall be to make legal services more available to the general public by providing a way in which any person may be referred to a member of the HCBA that participates in the HCBA’s LRIS. This purpose includes any and all Community Outreach. The Committee shall review and approve the operation, eligibility, and rules relating to LRIS, promote the use of the HCBA’s LRIS services in the community, and otherwise oversee the operation of the HCBA’s LRIS program.
The Mediation & Arbitration Committee of the HCBA strives to serve as a resource for practitioners and the public with an emphasis on providing cost effective and expedient ADR and Arbitration. One of the main goals of the committee is to promote the use of mediation and arbitration through the HCBA.
The Membership, Benefits & Sponsorship Committee is the HCBA’s advocate for all current and prospective members of the HCBA, ensuring that both HCBA mission and goals are met and that revenue is generated to continue the HCBA’s important work. The main goal of the Committee is to increase membership and sponsorships in the HCBA. The main duties of the Committee are to invite and welcome new members to the HCBA, actively solicit membership and organize and participate in HCBA social events in order to increase membership and promote active participation in the HCBA. The Committee is also responsible for the annual HCBA Golf Tournament.
The mission of the Pro Bono Committee is to ensure access to justice through the expansion and enhancement of the delivery of legal and other law-related services to the underserved through volunteer efforts of legal professionals in Hampden County. The Committee fosters the development of pro bono programs and activities by law firms, bar associations, corporate legal departments, law schools, government attorney offices and others; analyzes the scope and function of pro bono programs; and proposes and reviews policy that affects lawyers' ability to provide pro bono legal services. The Committee is also charged with making recommendations to honor individual lawyers, law firms, law schools, government attorney offices, corporate law departments and other institutions in the legal profession for pro bono awards. This committee oversees the Lawyer for the Day Program and Legal Clinic.
The Public Communications and Media Affairs Committee identifies and drafts public messages for significant issues and events of importance to the HCBA and lawyers with particular emphasis on issues identified by current, former, and future presidents of the HCBA. The goal is to anticipate issues that affect lawyers and the HCBA and to be prepared and comment on those issues. The committee also provides member input on public relations issues.
The Technology Committee advises and assists the HCBA staff and Board on the use of hardware, software, and technology in the day to day operations of the HCBA. The committee consults on the concept, design, implementation and content of all of the HCBA websites.