Pride In Our Legacy: Planning for a Future of Justice
About our panelists:
Estate Planning Attorney, DangerLaw, LLC
Annika concentrates her practice on estate planning and probate, with a special focus on members of the LGBTQIA+ community. She also has in-depth experience in family law. Annika is an expert at cutting through the red tape to help every LGBTQIA+ client access their rights. Having served as a law clerk gives her a tremendous advantage in understanding how to navigate processes and bureaucracy. Whether that means shielding same-sex couples in the process of adopting from affidavits that are no longer required, or tracking documentation from mail room to final signatures, she is a hands-on advocate for everyone she represents.
Annika was named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer and Rising Star in Estate Planning and Probate for 2019 and 2020. She is currently the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association, and she was the Co-Chair of GLAD’s Spirit of Justice Award Dinner/Celebration in 2019 and 2020.
Before joining DangerLaw in June 2016, Annika served two terms as a Law Clerk to the Justices of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court (in Worcester, Middlesex, Plymouth, and Suffolk counties), where she researched complex legal issues and drafted judgments and findings in some of the busiest counties in the Commonwealth. Following her clerkship, Annika worked as an associate at Wilson Marino & Bonnevie, PC in Newton, MA, assisting on residential real estate closings, domestic relations litigation, and adoptions.
Annika studied law at Boston University, focusing on diverse areas such as assisted reproductive technology (ART), mediation, and the evolving rights of LGBTQ families. While in law school, Annika worked as a Rule 3:03 Student Attorney at BU’s Civil Litigation Clinic and was a founding member of the BU Family Law Association.
Annika enjoys spending time with her wife and their small dogs Remy and Mac, especially while watching the Philadelphia Eagles (Fly, Eagles, Fly!). Annika is also an ordained minister (so she can marry people as well as get them divorced).
Family Law Attorney and Partner, Burns & Levinson
Lisa M. Cukier is a Partner and Executive Committee member at Burns & Levinson LLP in Boston. Her practice includes trust litigation, will contests, fiduciary litigation, mental health and addiction related legal interventions, elder law, guardianship and conservatorship litigation, probate litigation, child custody, high conflict parenting disputes, parentage issues, adoption, strategic divorce and divorce impacted by mental health issues and divorce impacted by family trusts and family business, blended family planning and litigation, LGBTQ family planning and litigation, grandparents visitation matters, and elder financial exploitation. Previously, Ms. Cukier was assistant general counsel for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and Department of Mental Retardation (now DDS). As Special Assistant Attorney General at DMR, she prosecuted disabled person abuse cases for the Disabled Persons Protection Commission. She is a past president of the Massachusetts Family and Probate American Inn of Court, and presently a member of the Boston Probate and Estate Planning Forum, the Boston Estate Planning Council, the Probate & Family Inn of Court, the Massachusetts Association of Guardians Ad Litem. Ms. Cukier has been recognized with the Best Lawyers designation from 2010 – 2020, the SuperLawyers designation from 2005-2020, the Massachusetts Bar Association Community Service Award in 2005, a National Law Journal Trailblazer in 2017, the Women Worth Watching recognition in 2018, Top Women of Law in 2019, and sits on the WBA Women Leaders Initiative as of 2020. Ms. Cukier is a graduate of Northeastern University and Suffolk University Law School. Ms. Cukier is raising her two adopted children in Weston MA (November 2020).
Head of Strategic Distribution Initiatives, John Hancock
Matt leads John Hancock Insurance’s distribution’s efforts for all things behavioral-linked insurance as Head of Strategic Distribution Initiatives at John Hancock. In this role he is responsible for leading critical insurance distribution initiatives across the organization through business planning, experience management, sales partnerships, and cross-functional efforts.
During his over 15-year tenure at John Hancock, he has held several roles within the organization; including managing some of John Hancock’s largest distribution relationships. Matt was one of the first to work on the John Hancock Vitality solution in advance of its launch April of 2015. From there, he helped introduce the product to the brokerage market and spent several years in the field wholesaling and providing leadership for John Hancock Vitality. He has been critically involved in John Hancock’s integration of health, wealth, and insurance management. Matt joined John Hancock shortly after the company’s merger with Manulife Financial in 2004, after beginning his insurance career at another Boston area insurance carrier in 2002.
Matt provides business insights and market perspectives to both internal and external stakeholders, and regularly speaks on behalf of the company at industry, media, and thought-leadership events. Matt is an agile and energetic presenter and speaks regularly on at industry and financial sector events including the Financial Times, LIMRA, and Finseca.
As a life-long Massachusetts native, Matt lives in Somerville with his husband and rescue dog. Matt graduated from Stonehill College in Easton, MA with a BS in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems, and holds his life, health, and FINRA Series 6 and 63 licences. He also is involved with a number of equality focused non-profits in the Boston and New England area.