The John and Abigail Adams Benefit Ball TM 

Saturday, January 26, 2019
6:30pm – 12:30am
Museum of Fine Arts | Boston

THANK YOU to the sponsors and guests who supported the 2019 John & Abigail Adams Benefit.  Because of your support, we raised a record breaking $725,000+ for the work of the Boston Bar Foundation in our community, including direct grants to critical legal services organizations that serve thousands in need.  If you attended as a guest of one of our sponsors, or weren’t able to join us that evening, please consider helping us keep the momentum going and make a donation to our Annual Campaign.

Diane Patrick

2019 Public Service Award Recipient

Diane Patrick

The Boston Bar Foundation (BBF) is proud to announce that the 2019 recipient of the Public Service Award will be Diane Patrick, Senior Counsel at Ropes & Gray, former First Lady of Massachusetts, and longtime advocate for vulnerable populations across Greater Boston. LEARN MORE.

Event Co-Chairs

Joan Lukey

Joan A. Lukey

Former Boston Bar Association President Joan Lukey, a partner at Choate, is a former member of the Boston Bar Foundation Board of Trustees and currently an Executive Fellow of the BBF. For more than thirty years, Joan has tried complex business litigation, employment and other cases in state and federal court in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and nationwide. She is also a past overseer of Boston College.

“As lawyers, we are able to step up and directly address some of the most pressing issues presented by this period of time in our country.  Now, more than ever, each of us needs to extend a helping hand to our neighbors, as Diane Patrick has done for her entire professional life.”

John Donovan_square

John D. Donovan
Ropes & Gray

Ropes & Gray partner John Donovan served as Boston Bar Foundation President from 2010 to 2012. He is also a former member of the BBF Board of Trustees and currently an Executive Fellow of the Foundation. John has been a partner in the firm’s litigation department since 1990, focusing his practice on business litigation. He has also served as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Commission and as a Trustee of the Social Law Library.

“The Boston Bar Foundation supports legal services organizations in their efforts to aid and protect the most vulnerable, and the Adams Benefit helps make that critical work possible. Through her civic and philanthropic efforts, Diane Patrick has demonstrated a commitment to the same values.”

Event Steering Committee

Robert Bertsche
Prince Lobel

Bruce Falby
DLA Piper

Mark Fitzgerald
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Thomas Gallitano
Conn Kavanaugh

Angela Gomes
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Scott Faust

Anthony Froio
Robins Kaplan LLP

Stephen Hall
Holland & Knight

William Hannum III
Schwartz Hannum PC

Christopher Nasson
K&L Gates LLP

James Parker
Boston Celtics

Alan Rose
Rose, Chinitz & Rose

Paige Scott Reed
Anderson & Kreiger

Christopher Strang
Strang, Scott, Giroux & Young, LLP

Kathy Weinman
Hogan Lovells

The Impact

The proceeds from the Adams Benefit support the Boston Bar Foundation’s work in our community.  Each year, the BBF provides direct grants to legal services organizations working to serve thousands of individuals and families in our city in all areas of law.  Last year, this event helped make possible over $1 million in grants for legal aid.  Below are stories of some of the clients who were able to receive help from a lawyer thanks to these essential organizations.

Meet Jeremy

Jeremy* is a man in his mid-fifties who is incarcerated in a medium-security state prison.  He learned of his Hepatitis C diagnosis after repeated requests for medical help for his symptoms.  Prior to his diagnosis, Jeremy had no idea that he had Hep C as there was no routine testing for new prisoners—despite the fact that rates of Hep C infection in prisoners are many times higher than those of the general population.  In addition, the prison medical providers denied treatment to all but a handful of very ill prisoners.

While important new advances in Hep C treatment had been made in the past several years, the DOC’s medical providers made their decisions based on the cost of treatment, not its effectiveness.  They knew that prisoners with Hep C who were close to their release date would no longer be their financial or clinical burden, so they denied treatment, meaning that many were released with communicable diseases that had progressed to levels that were much more difficult and expensive to treat.

Along with co-counsel, Prisoners’ Legal Services filed suit.  The refusal to provide life-saving treatment was a clear violation of the prisoners’ 8th Amendment right to freedom from cruel and unusual punishment.  Early this year, after nearly three years of litigation, a settlement was reached with the Department of Correction.  With court approval, all new prisoners will be offered Hep C testing when they enter the system, and those with the disease will be treated in accordance with the seriousness of their condition.  The number of prisoners who will be cured of Hep C will rise substantially.

Jeremy is now nearing the end of his treatment and his incarceration.  As a result of PLS’s advocacy, he will be released more prepared to successfully reintegrate into his community.

*Client’s name has been changed to protect confidentiality.

Meet Olianny

Olianny,* a 3-year old girl, automatically became a U.S. citizen when her father, José,* became a citizen.  José is 40 and suffering from metastatic gallbladder cancer, and he had a difficult path to citizenship because he does not speak English.  However, despite his illness, José was motivated to gain his citizenship for Olianny.  Project Citizenship advocated for a disability waiver for José, providing an exception to the English and civics testing requirements for naturalization, and a waiver of the $725 filing fee.  The organization also secured a pro bono attorney for José’s naturalization interview and successfully expedited the case, ensuring that José was sworn in as a U.S. citizen before entering a clinical trial.  Thanks to José’s commitment to pursuing citizenship, and Project Citizenship’s advocacy, in the future Olianny can attend college as a U.S. citizen, making her eligible for all student loans; enter the job market as a U.S. citizen, making her eligible for all federal jobs; vote, run for office, and fully participate in her country’s democracy.

*Clients’ names have been changed to protect confidentiality.

Meet Lila

Lila,* a single mother of four, came to the Lawyer for A Day table (a joint program of Northeast Legal Aid and the Northeast Justice Center) in tears. A constable was at her house, loading all the family’s belongings onto a truck for eviction.

Lila had defaulted on her original court date in Housing Court, as she had no car and had arrived late. Then her motion to remove default was denied in her absence because she was waiting outside the courtroom looking for her landlord (it turned out his attorney was inside the courtroom). Her motions for a stay had then been denied on the papers. She had never been heard. Lila’s experience that day underlines the difficulty of navigating the court system without an advocate.

When the Lawyer for A Day attorney reviewed the amount demanded in the eviction complaint, interviewed Lila, and spoke to the Housing Authority to verify the tenant’s portion of the rent, it was clear that she owed a tiny fraction of the amount demanded, if anything – and that she would lose her Section 8 voucher and not be eligible for shelter if she were evicted for non-payment. The Lawyer for A Day attorney asked the judge to hear Lila on the merits. The eviction was ordered halted, and after two more court hearings, the tenancy was stabilized. Lila’s eviction was dismissed with a credit on her rent ledger.

*Client’s name has been changed to protect confidentiality.

Meet Tanya

Tanya* was referred to Casa Myrna’s Legal Advocacy Program by an advocate. Tanya had been in a dating relationship with her abuser which had quickly escalated to physical violence. During the relationship, Tanya had also agreed to help her abuser purchase a car; the car was in Tanya’s name though her abuser was driving it and making payments to Tanya. Tanya later sought a restraining order against her abuser after a serious assault. After a full hearing in court, the Legal Advocacy Program attorney secured a one-year extension of Tanya’s restraining order and an order that the abuser had to return the car to Tanya under police supervision. With her attorney’s assistance, Tanya obtained both physical and financial freedom from her abuser.

*Client’s name has been changed to protect confidentiality.

Meet David

One such young person is David.* Earlier this year, the EdLaw Project was asked by a community-based agency to represent David, an 8-year-old student in the third grade. In his short life, David has been removed from his home several times and has experienced severe trauma including physical abuse. He was removed from his mother’s care two years ago and placed in an intensive foster care home. David had been hospitalized several times and diagnosed with an intellectual disability, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder.

While in foster care, David was placed in an inappropriate classroom setting that failed to address his emotional and academic needs. When his attorneys first met him, he was running away from school, using profanity, soiling himself, destroying property, and involved in many situations that put him and other students in danger. Through the EdLaw Project’s advocacy, his school district constructed a more appropriate Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and recommended a more therapeutic style placement.

Then, David was returned home to his mother, who was now living in a home free from domestic violence. Once he moved, the EdLaw Project immediately informed his new school district of his unique needs and shared his newly created IEP. As a result, the new district made referrals to several therapeutic schools in the local area. His mother and his new school report that he is now doing extremely well at home and at school, exhibiting none of the explosive or escapist behavior that characterized his prior school placement. Since being placed in the right school environment, David is thriving.

*Client’s name has been changed to protect confidentiality.


Platinum Sponsors

GoodwinHZ_high  (PRNewsFoto/Ropes & Gray LLP)

Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors

Brown Rudnick LLP
Robins Kaplan LLP

Bronze Sponsors

Burns & Levinson
Casner & Edwards
Conn Kavanaugh
Eastern Bank
Fidelity Investments
Hogan Lovells
Holland & Knight
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Morgan Lewis
Nixon Peabody
Santander Bank
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.

Participating Sponsors

Alvarez & Marsal
Anderson & Kreiger
Arrowood LLP
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Barrett & Singal, P.C.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Boston College Law School
Chu, Ring & Hazel LLP
Cooley LLP
Cornerstone Research
DLA Piper
Foley & Lardner LLP
Foley Hoag LLP
Goulston & Storrs
Greenberg Traurig
Hemenway & Barnes LLP
Hinckley Allen
Hirsch Roberts Weinstein
John Hancock Financial Services
Jones Day
K&L Gates LLP
Kenney & Sams, P.C.
Krokidas & Bluestein
Laredo & Smith, LLP
Lawson & Weitzen, LLP
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP
Locke Lord LLP
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
McDermott Will & Emery
Morrison Mahoney LLP
Nelson Mullins
Peabody & Arnold
Pierce Atwood LLP
Prince Lobel Tye LLP
Raytheon Company
Rockland Trust Company
Schwartz Hannum PC
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Sherin and Lodgen
Sullivan & Worcester
Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP
Todd & Weld LLP
Vertex Pharmaceuticals
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Contributing Sponsors

Adler, Pollock & Sheehan PC
Beck Reed Riden LLP
Boston Celtics
Clements & Pineault, LLP
Commonsense Construction Law LLC
Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar, LLP
Jones Kelleher LLP
Meehan, Boyle, Black & Bogdanow, P.C.
O’Neill and Associates LLC
Rose, Chinitz & Rose

Patron Sponsor

Lawrence S. DiCara
Norm and Amy Gorin

Special Thanks

Partners Healthcare

Click here to learn about Adams Benefit sponsorship opportunities.

Scroll to top