Monday, Feb. 27, 2006
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 7, No. 9
 

Bar Files Brief in Support of Judges

The Philadelphia Bar Association has filed a brief as a friend of the court in support of the judicial litigants seeking to declare as unconstitutional PA Act 72, which rolled back pay raises for certain elected officials, including pay raises for judges, but which did not lower the salaries of numerous other state officers.

The brief emphasizes the Association's mission to preserve and protect judicial independence, and calls for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to ensure that the judges of the state can perform their duties without worry of political reprisals affecting their compensation.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has agreed to hear a King's Bench appeal to determine if PA Act 72 violates Article V, Section 16 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, which states "Justices, judges and justices of peace shall be compensated by the Commonwealth as provided by law. Their compensation shall not be diminished during their terms of office, unless by law applying generally to all salaried officers of the Commonwealth."

Marc J. Sonnenfeld, a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, along with Thomas V. Ayala and Timothy D. Mygatt, are representing the Association. In addition to filing the brief a request has been made to present oral argument before the Court.

The brief supports the case of The Honorable Charles C. Brown Jr., The Honorable Fran T. Hazel, The Honorable Robert E. Kunselman, The Honorable Benjamin Lerner, The Honorable William A. Meehan, The Honorable Timothy Patrick O'Reilly and The Honorable Joseph A. Smyth, Applicants, v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al. Click here to read the full brief.

NPR's Mara Liasson to Speak at March 23 Quarterly

Mara Liasson, the national political correspondent for National Public Radio, will be the keynote speaker at the Association's March 23 Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon.

Liasson's reports can be heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazine "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition." She provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, D.C., focusing on the White House and Congress. Liasson also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway. During her tenure she has covered the 1992, 1996 and 2000 presidential elections. Prior to her current assignment, Liasson was NPR's White House correspondent for all eight years of the Clinton administration. She has won the White House Correspondents Association’s Merriman Smith Award for daily news coverage in 1994, 1995, and again in 1997. From 1989 to 1992, Liasson was NPR's congressional correspondent.

Also, Immediate-Past Chancellor Andrew A. Chirls will be honored by the Association at the event, which begins at 12 p.m. in the main Ballroom at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue, Broad and Walnut Streets. Tickets are $50 for Association members and $55 for non-members and can be purchased online by clicking here.

Minority Bar Brainstorming Session Feb. 27

The Miniorities in the Profession Committee will hold a brainstorming session to discuss goals, obstacles and issues for 2006 with representatives of minority bar associations on Monday, Feb. 27.

Guests at the meeting will include Jefferie Garcia, president, Hispanic Bar Association; David Garnes, president-elect, Barristers Association of Philadelphia; Grace Manno, president-elect, Asian-American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley; and Bharati Sharma, president, South Asian Bar Association.

Lunch will be provided at no cost. Click here to RSVP for this meeting.

Justinians to Honor Feldman, Cirucci Feb. 27

The Justinian Society will hold a luncheon in honor of Chancellor Alan M. Feldman and Daniel A. Cirucci, the Bar Association's former associate executive director for communications and public policy, on Monday, Feb. 27 at the Union League.

The event begins with a reception at 11:30 a.m. The luncheon begins at 12 p.m. Tickets to the event are $50 per person and $450 for a table of 10. For more information, contact The Justinian Society at (215) 545-0706 or visit justinian.org.

Committee Hosting Pro Bono Fair Feb. 28

Attorneys interested in pro bono work or non-legal community volunteer projects are invited to attend the Women in the Profession Committee's pro bono/public service information fair on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Attendees will be able to learn more about local organizations and how to help. The organizations that will be represented include Philadelphia Futures; Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program; SeniorLAW Center; Womens Way; and the Support Center for Child Advocates.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 10th floor Board Room of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $7.50 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this event.

President Judge to Address State Civil Section March 1

Judge C. Darnell Jones, President Judge of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, will be the guest speaker at the Wednesday, March 1 meeting of the State Civil Litigation Section.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $7.50 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this event.

DEP Counsel to Provide Update at March 2 ELC Meeting

Louise Thomson, Southeast regional counsel for the Department of Environmental Protection, will provide a DEP update at the Thursday, March 2 meeting of the Environmental Law Committee.

The meeting begins at 12:30 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $7.50 for those members who pay in advance. Click here to register for this meeting.

Bankruptcy Committee Ethics Program March 2

The Business Law Section's Bankruptcy Committee is holding a bankruptcy ethics CLE, "Disclosure by Professionals Revisited," on Thursday, March 2.

This program will be taught by Michael Temin and includes one hour of CLE credit. The program will be held from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the offices of WolfBlock, 1650 Arch St., 26th Floor. Lunch will be provided and served from 12 to 12:30 p.m. This event, including lunch and the CLE credit, is complementary, and is limited to 50 attendees only. If you are interested in attending, you must RSVP to Donna Zeoli at dzeoli@wolfblock.com no later than Feb. 24.

For more information about the Bankruptcy Committee, please contact: Kevin Buraks, chairman, (215) 977-2473, or via e-mail at kburaks@wolfblock.com or Brad Sandler, vice chairman, (215) 569-5092 or via e-mail at bsandler@adelmanlaw.com.

Intermediate Punishment Program on Feb. 28 Agenda

Assistant District Attorney Charles Junod and Debbie Beck of Drug & Alcohol Services Providers Organization of Pennsylvania will discuss the State Intermediate Punishment Program at the Tuesday, Feb. 28 meeting of the Criminal Justice Section.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $7.50 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this event.

Judge Rendell to Address Appellate Courts Committee

U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Marjorie O. Rendell (left) will be the guest speaker at the Wednesday, March 8 meeting of the Appellate Courts Committee.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 10th floor Board Room of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $7.50 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this meeting.

Program on High-Profile Trials March 22

U.S. District Court Judges Michael M. Baylson and John E. Jones III, along with George Anastasia, veteran crime reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, will be the panelists when the Federal Courts Committee presents "High Profile, High Publicity Trials: Observations from the Bench and the Press" on Wednesday, March 22.

Judge Baylson presided over the much publicized Philadelphia corruption and bribery trial that involved Philadelphia city officials and the "pay-to-play" attitude prevalent in the city. In 2003, Baylson issued a decision that ordered election officials to begin printing all election materials in both English and Spanish for any precinct where registered Hispanic voters constitute more than 5 percent of those on the rolls.

Judge Jones issued his decision in the landmark case of Kitzmiller v. Dover School District in December 2005, holding that it was unconstitutional to teach intelligent design within a public school science curriculum. In 2003, he struck down portions of Shippensburg University's speech code on the basis that they violated First Amendment free speech guarantees. He also issued a decision affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Milk Mustache/got milk campaign did not infringe the free speech rights of the producers.

Anastasia has been covering organized crime and various criminal prosecutions throughout the country for 35 years. His work has also appeared in Penthouse, Playboy and The Village Voice, and he has served as a consultant for ABC’s Primetime, the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. Anastasia is the author of several books, including The Last Gangster, the story of Ron Previte, "Skinny" Joey Merlino and Philadelphia organized crime.

This luncheon event begins at 12 p.m. at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building. Click here to register for this program.

Judge Abramson to Discuss Commerce Court ADR

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Howland W. Abramson will describe new alternative dispute resolution procedures in Commerce Court at the Friday, March 10 meeting of the Business Litigation Committee.

The meeting, rescheduled from Feb. 13, begins at 12:30 p.m. in the 11th Floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $8.50 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this program.

Probate and Trust Section Quarterly Meeting March 7

The Association's Probate and Trust Section will hold its Quarterly Meeting "Are Storm Clouds on the Charitable Horizon?" on Tuesday, March 7 at The CLE Conference Center in the Wanamaker Building.

The program will discuss pitfalls and opportunities related to the use of common charitable planning techniques during a period of heightened scrutiny by Congress and the Internal Revenue Service. The topics to be covered include:

- Analysis of proposals in Congress and elsewhere to tighten the rules on private foundations, donor-advised funds, supporting organizations and other charitable vehicles.

- The new Form 1023 (Application for Recognition of Exemption) and Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax) - valuable insight into the compensation and governance issues addressed by the recent changes to these forms.

- Conservation Easements - new IRS requirements for charitable gifts of conservation easements (including new Form 8323 and attachments), brief overview of conservation easements as estate planning tools and discussion of established elements required by the IRS to qualify for a charitable deduction (including easement purpose, prohibited uses and perpetual life).

The faculty includes Jaffray Louise Edens, senior planner, Environmental Management Center, Brandywine Conservancy, Inc.; Frederick J. Gerhart, partner with Dechert LLP; Kathy C. Mandelbaum, director of the Graduate Tax Program and associate professor of law at Temple University Beasley School of Law; and Eric J. Vieland, of cousel at Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, LLP. The course planners are Paula M. Jones of McCarter & English LLP; Laura E. Stegossi of Blank Rome LLP, Judith B. Stein, vice president of Wilmington Trust Company; and Jeffrey C. Wolken, vice president of wealth advisory services at Wilmington Trust Company.

The program will be held at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building. Registration for this program begins at 11:45 a.m. The Section's Quarterly Meeting begins at 12:15 p.m. and the CLE program runs from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and is worth 2 substantive CLE credits. Click here to register for this program.

Program to Teach Client Development Skills

The Training Resource Group will offer a four-week program designed to help those at the associate level with client development skills on Feb. 27 and March 13 and 27 at Bar Association headquarters.

TRG will help attorneys create an individual business development plan, develop strategic partners, better cross-sell current clients and build account relationships at a higher level. For more than 10 years, TRG has worked with companies and individuals to teach them the skills necessary to increase sales, profits and productivity.

For more information about The Training Resource Group, visit their Web site at trainingresourcegroup.com.

Chancellor on Headline News Beginning March 1

Chancellor Alan M. Feldman will be featured on Comcast Newsmakers on CNN Headline News from March 1 to March 7 at 54 minutes past the hour.

Feldman will discuss his agenda for 2006 during the interview.

Norman E. Donoghue II has been designated by Tax Section Representative Joseph E. Ronan Jr. to represent the Association during a segment of CN8's "Money Matters Today" on Monday, Feb. 27. Donoghue, a longtime member of the Association, will appear on a show dedicated to the benefits of charitable annuities.

Program on Polish-Jewish Relations Feb. 27

The Louis D. Brandeis Law Society and the Jagiellonian Law Society will present a program on Polish-Jewish relations on Monday, Feb. 27 beginning at 5:15 p.m. at the Philopatrian Literary Institute, 1923 Walnut St.

The program, which has been submitted for one hour of ethics CLE credit, will feature speakers Rabbi Andrew Baker, director of International Jewish Affairs for the American Jewish Committee and the Rev. John T. Pawlikowski, professor of social ethics and director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies program at the Catholic Theological Union at the University of Chicago.

Special greetings at the event will be offered by Consul General Krzysztof Kasprzyk of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York and Consul General Uriel Palti of the Consulate General of Israel in Philadelphia.

The event begins at 5:15 p.m. with cocktails and a buffet of traditional Polish and Israeli food. The program begins at 6 p.m. For additional information, visit www.jagiellonianlawsociety.org or www.brandeislawsociety.org.

March 2 Discussion to Focus on Justice and Women

The Civil Rights Committee will hold a Women's History Month program "Seeking Justice as African American, Latina and Asian American Women" on Thursday, March 2.

Speakers for the program include Barbara Easley-Cox, of Treehouse Books and Community Activist; Rocio Vazquez, Consul of Protection, Mexican Consulate of Philadelphia; Maria D. Quiñones-Sanchez, Regional Director, Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration; and Ellen Somekawa, Executive Director, Asian Americans United.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 10th floor Board Room of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Click here to RSVP for this program.

Traffic Court, Bar-News Media Committees Seek Volunteers

The Association is considering re-creating its Traffic Court Committee. Anyone interested in joining the committee or serving as its chair should contact Areetha Carter at acarter@philabar.org.

The Bar-News Media Committee facilitates good relations between lawyers and the news media through topical panel programs. To volunteer for committee service, e-mail Saul Segan at SHSESQ@aol.com or James Elam at james@jameselam.com.

Senior Lawyers Committee Forming

A new Senior Lawyers Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association is being formed, to be chaired by Louis W. Fryman, Chair Emeritus of Fox Rothschild LLP.

Individuals interested in serving on the committee should contact Ken Shear at kshear@philabar.org or call 215-238-6338. Individuals also can request membership in the new committee by completing the signup form on the Association's Web site by clicking here.

Pa. Bar Presents Public Service Institute March 9

The Pennsylvania Bar Association will present the "Public Service Institute" on Thursday, March 9, at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1100 Arch St., Philadelphia, from 8:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event includes two CLE credits in ethics and a luncheon.

Pennsylvania first lady and U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Marjorie O. Rendell is the keynote luncheon speaker. The day will begin with an opening plenary session at 9:15 a.m. featuring PBA President William Carlucci and Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Alan M. Feldman. Two concurrent two-hour breakout CLE programs will follow, starting at 10 a.m. The programs will focus on public service for lawyers who are in different stages of their practices. The program will conclude with the luncheon featuring Judge Rendell. Visit www.pabar.org for more information.

The PBA cordially invites all legal services attorneys to attend the program and is offering a discounted registration fee of $40. The PBA is waiving the CLE fee. To register, call the PBA Meetings Department at 1-800-932-0311, ext. 2234, or click here to download the registration form.

Rutgers Public Interest Auction March 8

The Rutgers University School of Law - Camden Association for Public Interest Law will hold its 11th Annual Goods & Services Auction on Wednesday, March 8, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. in Room 106 of the Law School.

Proceeds from the auction provide grants to law students working in unpaid public interest summer positions. For more information, contact auction co-chair Matt Rudolphi via email at rudolphi@camden.rutgers.edu, or by phone at (856) 296-0998. Donations may be sent to: Colleen McNally, Pro Bono Coordinator, Rutgers University School of Law – Camden, 211 N. 5th St., Camden, NJ 08102.

Legal Directory Comes With a Free Online Subscription

The Legal Directory 2006 plus The Legal Directory Online are now together at one low price. For the first time, every hard-copy edition comes with a complimentary online subscription. As always, both printed and online editions of The Legal Directory will contain comprehensive, up-to-date listings of area law firms and attorneys.

New for 2006, the online version also will include all the indispensable resources found in the printed directory - information about the Philadelphia Bar Association, its officers and committees; contacts for state, federal and local government agencies; listings of law-related associations, organizations and law schools; and an index of area judges.

Plus, The Legal Directory Online will include valuable new features - local court rules, links to area bar associations and other content of interest to the legal community.

It's all available, both the printed book and expanded online resource, for one price - $57.95, plus shipping and tax. Beginning April 1, the price becomes $77.95, plus tax, shipping and handling.

Commercial Bankruptcy Practice After the New Act

Two U.S. Bankruptcy judges join the panel of distinguished bankruptcy practitioners and U.S. trustees to examine the impact that new legislation has had on Chapter 11 filings at PBI’s Commercial Bankruptcy Practice After the New Act on Tuesday, Feb. 28. This 3-substantive credit hour program will be held at The CLE Conference Center in the Wanamaker Building from 12 to 3:15 p.m. Registration begins at 11:15 a.m. For more information, or to register, click here.

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.

Tuesday, Feb. 28
Pharmaceutical Litigation
3 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Commercial Bankruptcy Practice AFTER the New Act
3 substantive CLE credits
12 to 3:15 p.m.

Wednesday, March 1
Fundamentals of Elder Law
Franklin Institute Science Museum
5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

19th Annual Civil Litigation Update
5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Friday, March 3
Strategies for Success - Cross Exam
2 substantive CLE credits
9 to 11:15 a.m.

Monday, March 6
E-Discovery
5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bankruptcy for Domestic Relations Practice
3 substantive CLE credits
9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

More information is available on the PBI Web site at www.pbi.org, on the page devoted to Philadelphia programs, by calling 1-800-247-4724, or by e-mailing info@pbi.org. Note: some events sell out; before walking in, call PBI to confirm that space is still available for the program that interests you.

Earn up to 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.