MLAC is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors, 10 of whom are appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court. The 11th is the Chief Justice for Administration and Management of the Trial Court or that Justice’s designee.
Mala M. Rafik | Chair
Mala Rafik was appointed to the board in 2015 and became Chair in 2020. She is a partner at Rosenfeld Rafik & Sullivan, representing clients denied access to health care as well as individuals seeking short-and long-term disability, life and long-term care benefits from private insurance carriers. She is a member of the boards of directors of Prisoners’ Legal Services and Health Law Advocates.
Richard Vitali | Vice Chair
Richard L. Vitali is a private attorney whose practice includes civil litigation, real estate, housing, domestic relations, and criminal law. He has also served as Assistant City Solicitor for the city of Lynn since 1990. From 2011 to 2014 he was president of the Board of Directors of Neighborhood Legal Services. Following program reorganization in 2014, he became vice-president of the board of Northeast Legal Aid, an MLAC-funded program. He is the president of the grassroots consulting firm Business & Industry Advocacy Group, and is a former trustee of the Massachusetts Bar Association.
Hon. John D. Casey
Massachusetts Probate and Family Court Chief Justice John D. Casey officially joined MLAC’s Board in 2023 as the designated appointee of the Trial Court of Massachusetts. Justice Casey joined the Probate and Family Court in 2006 and has served as chief justice since 2018.
For 23 years, he was a partner in the Attleboro Law Firm of Casey and Thompson, P.C. where he specialized in family law and criminal defense. He has served as a member of the Commission on Judicial Conduct and the 2025 Transition Leadership Team. Justice Casey has mentored many new judges and attorneys over the years and has served as a panelist for events hosted by the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association, the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), and numerous local state bar associations. Chief Justice Casey also previously co-taught the MCLE Family Law Trial Advocacy program.
Jeffrey Catalano was appointed to the MLAC board in 2019. He is a partner at Keches Law Group. Catalano has served in numerous leadership positions at the Massachusetts Bar Association and as a pro bono attorney for Massachusetts Advocates for Children (an MLAC-funded organization). He has a longstanding commitment to public interest law and the value of civil legal aid, and serves as a commissioner of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission.
April English was appointed to the MLAC board in 2019. She is Chief of Organization Development & Diversity at the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, where she has served in several roles, including as Director of the Insurance & Unemployment Fraud Unit. English brings to the board a dedication to public service and expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion practices that will help advance MLAC’s leadership in promoting these values in civil legal aid organizations across the Commonwealth.
Edward W. McIntyre is the Mediator-Arbitrator of McIntyre Mediation, where he has focused on alternative dispute resolution since 2008. He is also a sole practitioner with decades of experience in civil litigation, specifically cases involving serious and life-altering injuries. He is a current member of the Massachusetts Trial Court Department’s Standing Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution, and a former President of the Massachusetts Bar Association. He served as an officer in the US Army and is a Vietnam combat veteran.
Carol Starkey was appointed to the MLAC board in 2021. She is a partner at Conn Kavanaugh in Boston. A past president of the Boston Bar Association, Starkey practices white collar criminal defense and regulatory law, commercial litigation, and employment litigation. She previously was Chief of the Economic Crimes Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.
Mary Jeanne Stone
Mary Jeanne Stone was appointed to the board in 2015. She is a sole practitioner focusing on bankruptcy, family law, and alternative dispute resolution, and is of Counsel to the Law Office of Nancy C. Stanton. Stone is the immediate past President of the Bristol County Bar Association and a member of the Joint Bar Committee on Judicial Appointments. She is a Massachusetts Bar Association Fellow, and serves on its IOLTA Grants Committee.
Geoffrey Wilson was appointed to the MLAC board in 2014. He recently retired as Presiding Justice from the Franklin County Probate and Family Court, to which he was appointed after a career in private practice in Greenfield. He also served on the boards of two programs that were consolidated into Community Legal Aid—Western Massachusetts Legal Services (WMLS) and the Massachusetts Justice Center—and was chair of the board of WMLS.
Alma Woodberry was appointed to the MLAC board in 2018. She has served as a member of Greater Boston Legal Services’ Client Caucus since 2011, and volunteers her time in many ways, including with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and also as an advocate for elderly residents.