The Hon. George Jacobs, (Ret.), JD
Judge Jacobs was an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court from 1989 to 2003. He previously served as an Associate Justice of the Superior Court of Massachusetts from 1981 to 1989 and as an Associate Justice of the Bristol County Probate and Family Court from 1975 to 1981. Judge Jacobs joined TMG after his retirement from the bench in 2003.
Prior to these judicial appointments, Judge Jacobs was engaged in private practice in New Bedford from 1958 to 1975. In addition, he was City Solicitor of New Bedford from 1964 to 1970 and an Assistant Attorney General, Massachusetts, from 1970 to 1974.
Throughout his career both on and off the bench, Judge Jacobs has developed expertise across a broad spectrum of legal practice areas. Particular areas of specialty include family law, municipal law, commercial litigation and the law of medical malpractice.
Judge Jacobs also has substantial teaching experience as a visiting lecturer and adjunct professor at several area law schools and universities. He has taught extensively about Mass. Practice generally as well as business and labor law and the law of medical malpractice. He is currently a professor at the UMass School of Law and is co-author with fellow TMG neutral Ken Laurence of Professional Malpractice, Volume 51 in the Massachusetts Practice Series. Prior writings include co-authoring of articles entitled “Will Contests” and “Sale of Personal Property”, both published in the Massachusetts Probate Manual (1981).
Judge Jacobs’ civic involvement includes membership in numerous non-profit and community organizations including several New Bedford area and Jewish community groups.
Judge Jacobs graduated from Harvard College in 1955 and from Harvard Law School in 1958.
Hon. Rudolph Kass, (Ret.) LL.B
From January, 1979 to September, 2003, Rudolph Kass served as an associate justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. During his tenure, he was the author of 1,680 opinions of the court as well as approximately 200 single justice memoranda and orders.
Prior to his appointment to the court, he was a partner in the Boston law firm, Brown, Rudnick, Freed & Gesmer. His area of specialty was real estate, concentrating in urban affairs, i.e., urban renewal projects and government assisted housing, zoning, land use planning law, real estate financing, eminent domain and taxation. He was on the drafting committee that wrote the Massachusetts condominium law and was an active practitioner in that area. As counsel to the 1965 special legislative commission on low-income housing, he was a principal draftsman of the statute that created the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency.
During the period between his retirement in June, 2000 from the Appeals Court at the constitutionally mandated age, and before being recalled for additional service on the court, he acted as a mediator and arbitrator. He chaired an advisory committee to the Supreme Judicial Court concerning electronic access to trial court records. In addition, he chaired an advisory board to the Governor on ferry service to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. He also acted as an expert on Massachusetts law for the United States State Department in an arbitration under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Since joining The Mediation Group in 2003, Judge Kass has resolved disputes over real estate, contracts, insurance coverage issues and a range of other civil matters.
Among his community activities, Judge Kass has been a president of the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly (JCHE) and the Ford Hall Forum. He has served as a member of the executive committee of the Board of Trustees of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Currently he serves as a director of JCHE, Law Advocacy & Resource Center the Schwamb Mill Preservation Trust and as a member of the Ethics Committee of the Brigham & Women’s Hospital. He is a member of the Supreme Judicial Court Judiciary/Media Committee.
Judge Kass is an adjunct professor of law at Boston College Law School where he co-teaches with Joel Reck a real estate course built around commercial leases. He was the editor and author of several chapters in Legal Chowder; Lawyering and Judging in Massachusetts, published in 2002 by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. More recently, he authored a chapter and served as editor for Reflections on Diversity in the Massachusetts Legal Profession Past and Present, published by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. in 2014. He is a member of the editorial board of the Massachusetts Law Review and a member of the advisory editorial board of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.
Judge Kass obtained his A.B. from Harvard College in 1952 and his LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1956.
Judge Kass has been honored with numerous awards and recognitions:
In 2009, he was honored for his “continuing commitment to ADR and the ADR community” at MCLE’s first annual ADR & the Law conference.
The Ford Hall Forum awarded Judge Kass its George W. Coleman Service Award in 2009, in recognition of his “extraordinary contributions to the Forum, to free speech and to the Greater Boston Community.”
In 2006, the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action honored Judge Kass “ in recognition of his commitment to social justice.”
He received the Richard B. Johnson award, in 2002, by what was then called the Massachusetts Conveyancers’ Association (now the Real Estate Bar Association), in recognition of his “significant lifelong contributions to the Massachusetts conveyancing bar.”
Hon. Kenneth Laurence (Ret.) J.D.
Kenneth Laurence served as an associate justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court from 1990 until 2007. Prior to his appointment to the bench he was a partner in the Boston law firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart with a practice concentrating in banking, antitrust, health care and environmental litigation and administrative proceedings. He also represented bondholders of independent public authorities in litigation and financings and served on the American Arbitration Association’s commercial panel of arbitrators in Boston.
After his retirement from the Appeals Court, Judge Laurence joined The Mediation Group as an arbitrator, case evaluator and special master. He also served as a consultant for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office.
Admitted to the Federal and State bars in Maine and New York as well as Massachusetts, Judge Laurence is a member of the Boston Bar Association, where he served as chairman of the Committee on Professional Responsibility. He is also a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, the American Law Institute, and the American Judicature Society.
Judge Laurence has been an adjunct professor at Northeastern University School of Law and has authored numerous articles and professional treatises, particularly in the areas of legal malpractice, the ethical practice of law and the public trust doctrine. He was co-editior of and contributor to Ethical Lawyering in Massachusetts and most recently co-authoredProfessional Malpractice, Volume 51 in the Massachusetts Practice Series, with fellow TMG neutral George Jacobs.
Judge Laurence is a graduate of Harvard College, magna cum laude (1958) and Harvard University School of Law, cum laude (1962). He also holds degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science (Fulbright Fellow) and Oxford University.