A Rockin’ Good Cause

Published in 2005 Massachusetts Super Lawyers — November 2005

Michael Allard-Madaus was stumped. Back in April 2001 the Worcester lawyer went looking for lawyers who played rock music, thinking it would be fun to start a band. But he couldn’t find any. So he took out an ad in the Worcester County Bar Association publication Legal Lines that read, “Be popular! Be cool! Wear Spandex! Earn no appreciable income! Be in a band!” The responses flowed in and The Annulments were born.

Allard-Madaus, who practices real estate law and criminal defense when not living out his Bruce Springsteen fantasies, admits to feeling a bit uneasy about the early days of the group. “I wasn’t sure what the talent quotient was going to be. … I was really nervous that no one was going to show up,” he says. But show up they did.

Allard-Madaus sings and plays hand-percussion in the eightmember all-lawyer group. The band plays a medley of American hits — “We do what you could say is the Great American Bar Songbook, and by bar I don’t mean lawyers,” laughs Allard-Madaus. “‘Chain of Fools’ by Aretha is a crowd favorite; so is ‘What I Like About You’ by The Romantics.”

Along with having a great time, the band is motivated by good intentions. It plays about 10 times a year, often to raise money for such local organizations as Children’s Friend, First Night Worcester and most recently the Massachusetts Bar Foundation. “Our playing is not going to cure cancer, but it sure helps us all to feel a little more civil toward each other and have some fun,” he says.

Considering the band’s all-lawyer lineup, Allard-Madaus admits it can be a challenging group. Yet their love of music binds them together. “There’s nothing else that I love, besides my wife, more than music,” says Allard-Madaus. “This band has only been a positive experience.”

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