Lucy Prashker speaks to nonprofit leaders about “political” advocacy

Managing partner Lucy Prashker explored the legal boundaries of advocacy by 501(c)(3) organizations with leaders of the nonprofit Berkshire County community at a gathering on February 27, 2017 in South County.  The presentation, organized by Beryl Jolly, executive director of the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Inc., was the kick-off event for a planned series of meetings of nonprofit leaders about how best to advance their respective missions in the current political environment. Nonprofit board members often operate under the misconception that charities are not permitted to engage in issue advocacy.  In fact, issue advocacy is permissible, even on issues that divide candidates in an election for public office, provided that issue advocacy does not “functionally” serve as political campaign intervention. Prashker’s presentation was followed by a lively give-and-take among the nonprofit leaders about specific advocacy challenges local charities are facing.   Taking a stand on a politically-charged issue can adversely affect development efforts — but so too can not taking a stand on that issue.   Most agreed mission should be paramount in determining action and that board education and participation is important.   Follow-up gatherings of nonprofit leaders on this topic are planned.  Should you like to learn more...

In Memoriam: Frederick M. Myers, Jr., our founder, mentor, and dear friend

We are sad to announce that Frederick M. Myers, Jr., our firm’s founder and a prominent and well-respected member of the Massachusetts Bar for over 50 years, died on February 27, 2016. Fred was born in Pittsfield on September 4, 1922, the son of Frederick M. Myers, Sr., and Ethel M. Myers. He attended Williams College, Class of 1943, and received his LL.B. cum laude from Harvard University in 1948. Fred was admitted to the New York Bar in 1949, and was employed at the prestigious Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York City from 1948 until 1950 when he was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar, and joined his father in the practice of law as Myers & Myers. That partnership continued until the senior Myers died on August 11, 1963. On January 1, 1964, Lincoln S. Cain, Stephen B. Hibbard and Fred formed Cain Hibbard & Myers, with offices at 7 North Street. After a gas explosion damaged the 7 North Street building in 1970, the firm moved to 184 North Street and then, in 1988, to the newly constructed Tierney Building at 66 West Street. In 2014, Cain Hibbard & Myers, now with offices in Pittsfield, Great Barrington...

Lucy Prashker named 2015 Woman of Achievement by Berkshire Business and Professional Women

Lucy Prashker was named the 2015 Woman of Achievement by Berkshire Business and Professional Women (BBPW), an organization dedicated to promoting full participation, equity, and economic self-sufficiency for working women in Berkshire County. The award honors a Berkshire County woman for her significant career accomplishments and exceptional commitment to the community.   On October 19, 2015, a reception will be held at the Country Club of Pittsfield to recognize Lucy as the 51st recipient of the Woman of Achievement award.  Money raised by the event will go toward BBPW’s scholarship fund to allow Berkshire County women to pursue education to further their careers. Lucy joins an impressive list of fellow recipients who have been honored with the Woman of Achievement award since BBPW first granted the award in 1965. Read the article  Lucy Prashker named Woman of Achievement  

Lucy Prashker announces launch of Chapter One, an early childhood literacy initiative in South County

Lucy Prashker, managing partner of Cain Hibbard,  announced the launch of Chapter One, an early childhood literacy initiative in South County supported by Berkshire United Way.  Prashker’s announcement of the launch was made at a LIVE UNITED community celebration held at Crissey Farm in Great Barrington. The Chapter One coalition is made up of educators, social service organizations, businesses, and community members who have committed to closing the educational opportunity gap in South County by supporting early childhood literacy.  Six public school districts are participating in the initiative, including Richmond, Lenox, Lee, Berkshire Hills Regional, Farmington River and Southern Berkshire Regional.  With the support of Berkshire United Way, Prashker volunteered to help develop and lead the launch of this critical initiative in South County. Chapter One’s next public event will be held May 21 at the American Institute for Economic Research.  The event will be open to business leaders and other community leaders interested in learning about the demonstrated link between early childhood literacy and a community’s economic health.

Cain Hibbard wins Pinnacle Award from Berkshire United Way

Cain Hibbard has been named a member of the 2015 Pinnacle Group by Berkshire United Way.  Membership in the Pinnacle Group is awarded to those businesses that have demonstrated outstanding generosity.  Cain Hibbard employees achieved 100% participation in last year’s BUW fund drive, a participation rate about which the firm is very proud.  At Cain Hibbard, community counts.

Diane DeGiacomo featured speaker on sophisticated issues in Family Law Practice

Diane DeGiacomo joined other experts in her field of family law to speak at the annual Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education’s “Cutting Edge Issues in Western Massachusetts Family Law Practice 2015” on March 27, 2015 in Springfield, MA.    Do the provisions in the Alimony Reform Act terminating alimony upon reaching retirement age apply retroactively? What is the standard courts use to decide if a parent with joint custody may leave the state with children? Under what circumstances will a court refuse to later uphold a prenuptial agreement, even if it was fair and reasonable when executed?  Analyzing recent cases against the backdrop of both old and new legislation, DeGiacomo illustrated recent trends in Probate and Family Court decisions, and practice tips for experience family law lawyers.

Diane DeGiacomo and Jared Kelly featured speakers at HRABC’s annual law update.

Diane DeGiacomo and Jared Kelly presented “The Season of Changing Leaves” to the Human Resources Association of Berkshire County  on March 18, 2015 at the Berkshire Hills Country Club.   The presentation centered around significant changes in employment law in the last 12 months, especially in the area of leave policies. Employers must now provide five sick days a year to employees, and for many employers, the leave must be paid. Massachusetts has now expanded the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act to encompass men as well as women. And the Act Relative to Domestic Violence requires employers of 50 or more to provide up to 15 days of unpaid leave a year for employees to address issues of domestic violence.   How these new leave requirements interact with one another, as well as existing required leaves, such as the Family Medical Leave Act, remains an open question. What is clear is employers must review and modify existing leave policies to comply with the ever changing employment laws in Massachusetts and on the federal level.     

Jared Kelly, litigator and business lawyer, joins Cain Hibbard

Cain Hibbard is pleased to announce that Jared T. Kelly, Esq. has joined the firm.  A native of California, Jared began his litigation career in Massachusetts in 2007. Since that time, Jared has practiced at two leading international law firms, where he handled complex litigation matters in a variety of areas, including contract, tort, securities, and intellectual property. In 2011, Jared became a Deputy District Attorney in California where he successfully tried several misdemeanor and felony cases. Jared was educated in Canada, securing his Bachelor of Science from McGill University and his legal degree from the University of Toronto. At McGill, Jared conducted research in the field of neuroscience and psychology, publishing two papers on the neurological underpinnings of nicotine craving. In law school, Jared led several international human rights endeavors, including producing documentary films in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe and assisting the prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Jared has a varied practice whose work spans  intellectual property, employment law, health law, and domestic relations.  Jared is a member of the firm’s litigation group, with experience in state and federal courts, as well as governmental tribunals. Outside of work, Jared enjoys getting involved in community and environmental initiatives. He currently serves...

Partner Diane DeGiacomo Coaches Lenox High Students in Statewide MBA Mock Trial Competition

Diane DeGiacomo, now in her eighth year as the lawyer coach for Lenox Memorial Middle and High School’s Mock Trial team, proudly congratulated her students as they swept the Berkshire County competitions winning 3-0 and moved on to represent Region 16 in the state play offs. “I love working with these kids”, DeGiacomo said. “They have a great thirst for knowledge and become more confident in their abilities throughout the season.” The mock trial program is an annual competition in which members of the Massachusetts Bar Association create a fictional case that is then argued by high school teams statewide. Judges determine the trial winners based on the quality of the arguments and individual performances of the high school student participants. There are 16 regions statewide containing135 high school teams total. This year’s case involves a murder trial, with the defendant alleging self-defense. The mock trial program has become so popular that nearly 30 kids have joined the team this year, up from the 6 students who made up the team when DeGiacomo first started coaching in 2007. Read More – Berkshire Eagle: MA Mock Trial Program  

50th Anniversary Event at the Mahaiwe: Black Violin

Fifth of Cain Hibbard’s “five for five” 50th anniversary events held at the Mahaiwe with foot-stomping performance by Black Violin As the last of its five community events commemorating its 50th anniversary, Cain Hibbard sponsored a lively and inspiring performance by the musical duo Black Violin at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The two violinists played their own original blend of classical, Hip-Hop, R&B, and bluegrass music to a packed theatre of middle school students from area schools. The students were on their feet for most of the performance, captivated by the skill and energy of the performers. The performance was part of the Mahaiwe “ah-ha” educational series, a series that Cain Hibbard has been privileged to sponsor every year since the program’s inception.