Jan. 4, 2010
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 11, No. 1
 

City Council Supports Funding of Unified Family Court Building

Philadelphia City Council has adopted a Resolution calling on Governor Edward G. Rendell and Mayor Michael A. Nutter to support funding for a united Family Court building. Click here to view the Resolution.

An Ad Hoc Family Law Construction Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association featuring numerous stakeholders – including representatives from the courts, the District Attorney’s Office, the private bar, court reform advocates, architects, and others – was established earlier last year by then Chancellor Sayde J. Ladov to create a blueprint to help advance and ensure the ultimate success of the project.

The lead sponsor of the Resolution, adopted by City Council on Dec. 17, was Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown.

“We applaud City Council for adopting this important resolution, which is a crucial step toward releasing critical funding for a unified Family Court headquarters,” said Ladov. “We thank Councilwoman Reynolds Brown for her vision and leadership in advancing the effort to create a safe, modern and efficient facility that will benefit all Philadelphia citizens.”

While many of the city’s attorneys represent individuals in divorce, custody, domestic violence and other critical issues in Family Court, the overwhelming majority of matters involve self represented litigants who have no opportunity to speak to the public about their concerns. As the voice of 13,000 attorneys in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Bar Association can attest to the dire needs of these families, Ladov said.

The Bar Association and its ad hoc committee will continue to dedicate its resources to moving the project forward to ensure that city residents have unfettered access to justice in the Family Court system.

According to the Resolution, a combined Family Court building “will allow for a streamlined Family Court system, alleviating logistical issues for the courts and creating a more user-friendly system for patrons.”

“The current locations for Family Court have served their purpose for a number of years but are now antiquated and the new combined Family Court can provide a level of safety and technological advancement that the citizens of this City deserve,” the Resolution states.

The Association has long been on record in support of a new Family Court complex. The Family Law Section and Public Interest Section have worked with former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Sandra Schultz Newman — who served as liaison to the First Judicial District and who was an important and compelling advocate on behalf of a new Family Court building — to identify the broad range of problems with the current facilities.

In July 2003, the Board of Governors unanimously endorsed the recommendations of a comprehensive report from the Women’s Law Project finding that the Domestic Relations Division falls short of national court performance standards in a number of critical areas. The report recognized that the Division “cannot significantly improve its performance if maintained at the current inadequate level of economic support and personnel and in its current building.”

The Board also adopted a resolution expressing support for increased public accountability about funding and resources allocation in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania. In addition to supporting improved facilities, it called for increased funding, personnel and resources; the provision of assistance and information for pro se litigants; improved security, scheduling and timeliness; and the fulfillment of the constitutional mandate of an open court.

Chancellor's Reception Jan. 5 at Bellevue

All members of the legal community are invited to attend a complimentary reception on Tuesday, Jan. 5 from 5 to 7 p.m. in honor of Scott F. Cooper, 83rd Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

The Chancellor's Reception will be held in the Grand Ballroom at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue, Broad and Walnut streets. No reservations are necessary.

This is the event at which even the city's busiest and most successful legal luminaries patiently wait in line to wish their leader and each other good luck in the year ahead.

Pending Custody Legislation Discussion Jan. 4

The Family Law Section will hold a review of the pending custody legislation and upcoming subcommittee hearing at its Monday, Jan. 4 meeting.

Speakers for the program include Ned Hark, Lauren Sorrentino and Terry Fromson. The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 10th floor Board Room of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $8 for those who register in advance. Click here to RSVP.

Legal Rights of Persons With Disabilities Committee Meeting Jan. 5


The Legal Rights of Persons With Disabilities Committee will meet on Tuesday, Jan. 5 to plan for 2010 and discuss work incentives for people with disabilities receiving SSI or SSDI.

The program begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Committee Room of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Please bring your own lunch, cookies and beverages will be provided. Click here to RSVP.

Rules and Procedure Committee Monthly Meeting Jan. 6


The Rules and Procedure Committee will hold its monthly meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 6. This meeting will be a working session to consider programs of interest to our members for the coming year and a panel/topic for the Bench-Bar and Annual Conference.

The program begins at 12 p.m. in the 10th floor Board Room of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch will be available through the Philadelphia Bar Association for an additional fee of $8 per person with payment being made to the Philadelphia Bar Association in advance of the meeting.Click here to RSVP.

CLE for IRS Volunteer Certification Jan. 7

The Tax Section and The Campaign for Working Families will hold a CLE training in basic tax law and IRS volunteer certification on Thursday, Jan. 7 beginning at 3:30 p.m. at the offices of Pepper Hamilton LLP, 3000 Two Logan Square (18th and Arch streets), 31st Floor.

This three-hour CLE training completes the requirements for volunteering with the Campaign for Working Families at our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites across Philadelphia. The campaign provides free high-quality tax preparation for low-wage families eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Space is limited, please visit phillyfreetaxes.org to register to volunteer and indicate this as your training date. For more information or with questions please contact Elly Porter-Webb at 215-851-1759 or epwebb@gpuac.org.

Pros and Cons of Structured Settlements Jan. 20

Brian J. Fillion will present "The Pros and Cons of Structured Settlements" at the Wednesday, Jan. 20 meeting of the Workers' Compensation Section.

The program begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. The program has been approved for 1.0 substantive CLE credit. Participants wishing to receive the CLE credit will be required to pay a fee of $25 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for more than five years, and $20 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for less than five years. If you wish to register in advance please visit pbi.org or call PBI Customer Service at 1-800-932-4637.

Lunch will be available through the Philadelphia Bar Association for an additional fee of $8 per person with payment being made to the Philadelphia Bar Association in advance of the meeting. Click here to RSVP.

Business Development Skills Series Starts Jan. 22

The Training Resource Group will present a series of programs to introduce business development skills to attorneys beginning on Friday, Jan. 22.

The program is designed for attorneys who are now expected to develop business for themselves or their firms. Learn these essential skill sets that were never taught in law school.

The sessions will be held in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St., from 12 to 2 p.m. The Jan. 22 session will cover building a network for business development and designing a business plan. The Jan. 29 session will discuss the basics of networking and building a memorable 30-second commercial. On Feb. 12, attendees will learn how to build a stronger network. The Feb. 19 session will provide an introduction to a systematic approach to client development.

The cost is $795 per participant which includes four training sessions, one individual coaching session and materials. For more information call (215) 320-4650 or visit trainingresourcegroup.com.

Business Law Section Annual Reception Jan. 26

The Business Law Section will hold its Annual Reception on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at the Westin Philadelphia Hotel, 99 S. 17th St., from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The Section will present its annual Dennis H. Replansky Memorial Award to Herman C. Fala, a member of Cozen O'Connor. The Committee of the Year Award will be presented to the Venture Capital and Private Equity Law Committee. Ralph Mauro, chair of the Mergers and Acquisitions Committee, will be presented with Committee Chair of the Year Award.

Tickets are $45 and include a light dinner and cocktails. Click here to purchase tickets. Download a printable registration form by clicking here.

Criminal Justice CLE on Work Release Jan. 26

The Criminal Justice Section will present the lunchtime CLE "County and State Prisons: Work Release in the County and RRRI in the State" on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Panelists include Warden Arthur J. Blackmon, Alternative and Special Detention, Central Unit; Byron Cotter, Chief of Alternative Sentencing, Defender Association of Philadelphia; Commissioner Louis Giorla, Philadelphia Prison System; and Gregory J. Vrato, Deputy Director of Legal Affairs, Philadelphia Prison System.

The program begins at 12:30 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Registration and lunch begin at 12 p.m. The program has been approved for 1.0 substantive CLE credit. Participants wishing to receive the CLE credit will be required to pay a fee of $25 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for more than five years, and $20 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for less than five years. If you wish to register in advance please visit pbi.org or call PBI Customer Service at 1-800-932-4637 or send in the attached registration form. Lunch will be available through the Philadelphia Bar Association for an additional fee of $8 per person. Click here to RSVP.

Public Interest Training Programs Set

Philadelphia VIP will present a video replay of a CLE training program on how to handle a case in the Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Project, the mandatory negotiation program operated by the First Judicial District, on Friday, Jan. 22. The CLE training program will be held from 12:30 to 4 p.m. at Pepper Hamilton LLP, 3000 Two Logan Square, 18th and Arch streets, Philadelphia. Volunteers will receive one free CLE credit for each hour of course work attended (a total of three free CLE credits are available) in exchange for representing two different clients from one or more mortgage foreclosure conciliation conferences on a continuing basis until the attempted negotiation is resolved, or in exchange for volunteering as an on-call attorney at three different conciliation conference half-day sessions. Volunteer work must be completed within six months of the training program. Lunch will be provided. Register at phillyvip@phillyvip.org or by calling 215- 523-9550. For more information, please contact Doug Schairer at 215-523-9569.

The Support Center for Child Advocates will present two CLE training programs at the PBI CLE Conference Center, Wanamaker Building, 10th Floor, Suite 1010 on Wednesday, Feb. 3. The first CLE program, "How to Handle a Dependency Case Involving a Child with Complex Medical Needs," will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and will provide three (3) substantive CLE credits. The second CLE program, "How to Handle a Dependency Case Involving a Child with Complex Behavioral Health Needs," will be held from 1 to 4 p.m., and will provide three substantive CLE credits provided. To register call PBI at 1-800-932-4637 or register online at pbi.org.

Brandeis Society Law Student Networking Night Jan. 27

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas President Judge Pamela Pryor Dembe will be the guest speaker when The Brandeis Law Society of Philadelphia holds its Ninth Annual Law Student Networking Night on Wednesday, Jan. 27 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the offices of Fox Rothschild LLP, 2000 Market St.

The event gives Jewish law students from area law schools the opportunity to meet and chat with seasoned attorneys and judges. It includes breakout sessions focusing on specific practice areas as well as a general session, refreshments and socializing. It has proven to be beneficial to countless young lawyers making their way into the Philadelphia legal community.

The Brandeis Law Society welcomes all of its members as well as other lawyers to this free event and advance registration is not necessary. The participation of experienced lawyers and judges is vital to the success of the evening.

Participants will have an opportunity to sign up to mentor individual law students if they choose.


For more information about the Law Student Networking Night, contact Miriam Steinberg-Egeth at 215-898-6451 or e-mail info@jewishgrads.org; or Matthew G. Laver at 215-686-7097 or Matthew.Laver@courts.phila.gov.

Volunteer Judges Needed for Mock Trial Competition

Volunteer judges are needed for the 2010 John S. Bradway Philadelphia High School Mock Trial Competition, which is run by Temple University Beasley School of Law and the Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

The rounds of competition will take place from Jan. 25 through March 13. Just click here and scroll down to sign up using our new and improved sign-up form.

If you have volunteered in the past, we thank you and hope that you will do so again this year. If you have not yet volunteered for the Mock Trial Competition, we encourage you to and are confident the experience will be rewarding. As a judge, you can chose to fill as many time slots as your schedule will allow and you do not need trial experience to participate. We encourage you to volunteer for multiple sessions. All you need is a willingness to give some time and be wowed by the high school students. Click here to volunteer.

Update Your Listing for The Legal Directory 2010

Listings updates for The Legal Directory 2010 have begun!

And this year, lawyer and law firm listings are now searchable on your mobile. That means more people will be using The Legal Directory than ever before - online, in print and wirelessly. That's thousands of listings at your fingertips, easily and instantly accessible. With this brand new component, you can't afford not to join in. Updating your information is more important than ever.

Don't be left in the dust. Act now and make sure your information is 100 percent correct in the Philadelphia area's most comprehensive legal resource.

If you have not heard from The Legal Directory, call us at 443-909-7843 and update information will be sent to your attention. The deadline is Monday, Jan. 11.

New to the Directory? Here are some key facts:

The Legal Directory 2010 will feature hundreds of new listings, part of the most complete database of metro-area firms and attorneys available. It also includes pages of indispensable information subscribers have come to rely on:
• Bar Association bylaws, contacts and committees;
• Facts on federal, state and county courts and government agencies;
• An index of judges with phone numbers and addresses;
• A special section devoted to corporate counsel;
PLUS our brand new mobile component and more!

Each copy of The Legal Directory 2010 will include free access to The Legal Directory Online, good through March 31, 2011.

Order now and take advantage of the discounted pre-publication price of $59.95 (plus shipping and tax).

The imitators have nothing on us - this is THE official publication of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Click here for more information.

Upcoming CLE

The following courses are cosponsored by the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. All courses are at The CLE Conference Center in the Wanamaker Building, except as otherwise noted. Registration begins 30 minutes before course start time.

Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 4-5
Simulcast - PLI - Current Developments in Insurance Law 2010
12.5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 5
Simulcast - PLI - Insurance Law 2010: A Comprehensive Review
12.5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Video - Fire At-Will: Wrongful Termination in PA
3 substantive CLE credits
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Video - Ethics Potpourri - Harry Potter and the Lawyer's Curse
1 ethics CLE credits
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 6
Simulcast - PLI - Drafting Corporate Agreements 2010
6 substantive, .5 ethics CLE credits
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 7
Video - Piercing the Corporate Veil
3 substantive CLE credits
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Video - Ethics Potpourri - Attorney Discipline in PA
1 ethics CLE credits
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Thursday and Friday, Jan. 7-8
Simulcast - PLI - 12th Annual Real Estate Tax Forum
9.5 substantive CLE credits
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 11-12
Simulcast - PLI - Mergers and Acquisitions 2010: Trends and Developments
11.5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
Monday: 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

*Earn as many as 4 credits on your computer, at your convenience at PBI's Online Campus, at www.onlinecle.pbi.org. More than 300 classes are available, including nearly 50 one-hour ethics programs. 24/7 CLE.

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Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107, 215-238-6300.

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