Greater Newburyport Bar Association



CLE Schedule

 Handling Mental Health Issues in 

Probate & Family Court


Thursday, November 5, 4-6:30

via Zoom


It is a given that the COVID pandemic has changed the practice of law. To what extent have those changes impacted the representation of those with mental health issues? What are the concerns about navigating the court process now? How do you proceed when one party to a divorce suffers from a mental health impairment? This program brings together divorce and mental health law experts to provide you with tools for addressing these issues now and in the future.


Attend and Learn:

  • What Does Adjudication of Incapacity Mean

  • How to Establish Incapacity/Disability

  • What Is Your Obligation to a Client Who Has Mental Health Issues

  • Why Use a Single Transaction Conservatorship and How to Use it When a Divorce Litigant Suffers from a Lack of Capacity

  • What to Do When a Mental Health Issue Arises in the Midst of a Divorce?

  • What is the Role of a GAL in a Divorce Case When There Is a Mental Health Issue



Honorable Brian Dunn, Probate & Family Court

M. David Blake, Blake & Associates, Boston

Clare P. Culhane, Blake & Associates, Boston

Katelyn Lynch, Lynch & Ledoux, Salem

Donald Pitman, Newburyport

Margot G. Birke, Esq., Elder Law Solutions, Newburyport, Moderator




The Annual John C. Stevens Symposium on Family Law: Benched II


Rescheduled, Thursday, May 13, 2021, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Firehouse Center for the Arts, Market Square, Newburyport


Back by popular demand is “Benched”. This year’s symposium features the following, all of whom will share their thoughts and tips for more effective advocacy.


Honorable Joan P.  Armstrong

Honorable Thomas J. Barbar

Honorable Mary R. Black

Honorable Brian J. Dunn

 Honorable Abbe L. Ross 


 Attorneys Judith Cowan & 

Donald Pitman, Moderators

Topics include


  • Motion Practice—Emergencies; Contempt; DCF Cases

  • Pretrials—Preparation; Pro Se; Exhibit Books

  • Discovery—GAL Reports; DCF Records, Executive Compensation

  • Trials—Evidentiary Mistakes, Preserving Objections

  • Appeals—Interlocutory; Credibility; Exhibits



Tuition: $70 for GNBA Members/$120 for Nonmembers

To register:

Lawyers for Affordable Justice

What is the access to justice gap? According to a recent study by Clio, 77% of the people with legal problems can not afford legal assistance. In other words, only 23% of the people with legal problems are receiving legal help. Thus the access to justice gap. And for those needing legal help, it can seem as if there is an insurmountable mountain that they cannot climb. They don't meet the legal services guidelines and yet they have serious legal problems. COVID has exacerbated the number of legal issues for lower income people and that situation is likely to expand. From the other side of the gap, 80% of practicing lawyers say they want more clients. Lawyers can choose to see the access gap as an opportunity to serve more clients, contribute to the profession and expand their market.

So, what can you do as a lawyer perhaps looking for more clients? Consider joining Lawyers for Affordable Justice, LAJ. LAJ is a group of lawyers who practice independently in different specialty areas.  LAJ was founded in 2016 through the collaboration of Boston College Law School, Boston University School of Law, and Northeastern University School of Law.  The objective was to help each school’s graduates start successful solo practices that include serving low to moderate income clients in the Boston area.  In January 2018, Lawyers for Affordable Justice, Inc., LAJ launched as a nonprofit organization, independent of the founding law schools. 

LAJ lawyers offer discounted fees to people in need who have a budget for their legal matter but can’t afford the full price lawyers typically charge. Lawyers who join receive a number of valuable benefits, including:

  • Law Practice Management Software from Clio;

  • Access to Lexis Nexis;

  • Massachusetts Bar Association Membership;

  • Boston Bar Association Membership;

  • Substantive Law and Practice (Business) Mentors. 

Please consider joining to help others while potentially also growing your own practice. With many individuals hurting more than ever under COVID, the need for legal help is great. For more information you can contact Carole Wagan, Executive Director, at Discover more about LAJ at