Lawyer in Country Club Fight Now Head of Bar Association

Attorney Marsha V. Kazarosian. (File photograph.)

The woman who upended the Haverhill Country Club during a gender discrimination fight during the 1990s is now head of the Massachusetts Bar Association.

Marsha V. Kazarosian, principal attorney at Kazarosian Costello & O’Donnell LLP, Haverhill, became association president last week.

In 1996, Kazarosian represented female members of the Haverhill Golf and Country Club who successfully challenged membership requirements, tee time availability and waiting lists. Kazarosian’s challenge delivered a $3.9 million judgment against the country club.

“It’s like an old high school football team that grew up together and moved to the country club. If you cross them, you’re blacklisted,” Kazarosian said at the time. The case marked the first time an appeals court allowed a state’s public accommodations law to apply to discrimination at a country club.

During her presidency of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Kazarosian plans to focus on educating attorneys and the public about the importance of the rule of law, the need to maintain an independent judiciary, the invaluable role of lawyers in protecting and ensuring a democratic society,and the MBA’s ongoing commitment to the promotion of excellence in the practice of law through continuing legal education, according to a press release.

Kazarosian concentrates on civil rights litigation, family law and discrimination law. She was was among the “Top Women in the Law” as named by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in 2011, and identified as a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters.

Kazarosian is a corporator of the Pentucket Five Cents Savings Bank and has also served as a board member of the Northern Essex Community College Foundation. She is the daughter of the late attorney Paul Kazarosian and Margaret (Movsesian) Kazarosian.