Profiles of Smith, Costello & Crawford
A founding member of the firm, Jim has practiced law for over three decades. His career in public service began in the Massachusetts Legislature where he served four terms. Later he served as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Advisory Board. After which Governor Michael Dukakis appointed Jim to the MBTA Board of Directors where he served for eight years. Among Jim’s legislative accomplishments is the state’s open meeting law as well as its public records law. During his tenure at the MBTA Advisory Board, Jim made national news by holding the T to its agreed upon budget and forcing a one day shutdown of the system that led directly to strong management controls at the MBTA. During his tenure on the MBTA Board, the T undertook the largest expansion in its history.
His law practice includes zoning and permitting, exemplified by his successful representation of Seaport Landing in Lynn, one of the largest waterfront developments in the Commonwealth. Jim’s expertise is developing consensus between public and private interests, and he has helped clients with mediations, community outreach, public relations, business development and labor relations.
Before joining Smith, Costello & Crawford, Mike served for six terms in the Massachusetts Legislature as State Representative for the First Essex District. During his time in office, Mike was a leader in criminal justice reform, public safety and financial services issues while serving in two different position of House leadership.
As Chairman of the Joint Committee on Financial Services, Mike authored first-of-its-kind legislation to stem foreclosures caused by predatory loans and encourage loan modifications for thousands of homeowners in Massachusetts. He helped implement new statutory frameworks for long-term care insurance and stranger-originated life insurance, both based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s model laws. He also worked on issues related to credit scoring in automobile insurance and health care payment reform. In 2013, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators named him Vice President of the Property-Casualty Insurance Committee of Insurance. Also, in 2013, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors named him Legislator of the Year.
While Chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Safety & Homeland Security, Mike was a leader on public safety issues. He was instrumental in the passage of a new booster seat law, ensuring that children are protected from potential injuries due to the use of adult seat belts. He helped created new protections for recreational users of ATVs. Mike was the lead sponsor of sweeping identity theft legislation that required businesses to notify the public in the event of a data breach and provided consumer with new ways to safeguard their identities. He also spearheaded the development of a new State 911 Department, which encouraged regionalized response centers and provided new revenue for enhanced equipment and training.
During this time, Mike was a member of the Governor’s Anti-Crime Council, which addressed critical issues like gang violence and the spread of assault weapons. He served on the Governor’s CORI Reform Commission, which helped author legislation to provide meaningful opportunities for people seeking to transition back into society. In a similar capacity, he was named the National Chair of the American Bar Association’s Re-entry and Collateral Consequences Committee. The Massachusetts Bar Association named Mike its Legislator of the Year in 2007. In addition, in 2009 he was appointed by Governor Patrick to serve on the New England Board of Higher Education.
Prior to his election, Mike served as Chief of Staff to Senator and Democratic State Committee Chair Joan Menard. Mike began his distinguished career as a trial attorney, serving as Assistant District Attorney in Essex County. He holds a B.S. from Salem State College and a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School.
Jen joined the firm in 2014 after working in the legislative sector since 2001. She spent nearly three years on Capitol Hill working as a Legislative Assistant to Congressman Nick J. Rahall, II, a Democrat from West Virginia. She handled a large issue portfolio for the Congressman, including education, foreign affairs, economic development, veterans’ affairs, health, budget and environmental matters.
Since that time she has worked on Beacon Hill. She most recently served as Chief of Staff and General Counsel to the Joint Committee on Financial Services. In that role she oversaw the Committee’s work for all property, casualty, life and health insurance legislation as well as banking legislation. While working for the Committee, Jen served as a liaison to the insurance industry to assess market conditions and regulation in areas including coastal homeowners insurance, stranger-originated life insurance settlements, gender equity in insurance and credit scoring in automobile insurance. Jen worked closely with stakeholders, the Division of Insurance and legislators to shape legislative initiatives and facilitate dialogue on all issues under the jurisdiction of the Committee. Additionally, she played a significant role in the crafting and passing of legislation designed to combat the foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts and participated in negotiations on a variety of banking-related legislative matters.
Prior to that she has served as Counsel to Representative Brian Dempsey when he chaired the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. In this position, Jen played a key role in helping to craft the Green Communities Act which was the most significant energy reform legislation passed in the last ten years on Beacon Hill. Such issues as the renewable portfolio standard, net metering, energy efficiency and RGGI were addressed in the bill. The inclusion of hydropower in the renewable portfolio standard was a significant development for a number of the firm’s clients. Jen has also served as General Counsel to the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security where she focused on issues such as ATV safety, municipal police training policy and legislation creating a new state 911 Department to encourage regionalization of response centers.
Jen received a Bachelor of Arts from Bates College and a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School. She also holds a Master’s of Science from the University of Massachusetts Boston where she focused on environmental science and policy. Jen is admitted to practice law in both Massachusetts and Maine and is a licensed Notary Public.
David A. Tibbetts is of counsel to the law firm of Smith, Costello & Crawford, focusing
on economic development and government relations. He joined the firm in February
1999, after serving as Massachusetts Secretary of Economic Affairs and Director
of Economic Development under Governors William F. Weld and Argeo Paul Cellucci.
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