Thursday, March 5, 2009
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 10, No. 18
 

Workers' Comp Lifetime Achievement Lunch April 15

The Workers' Compensation Section will present its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award to Joseph S. Bekelja at a luncheon featuring keynote remarks by novelist and Philadelphia lawyer Lisa Scottoline on Wednesday, April 15.

Bekelja, a partner with Margolis Edelstein, has been a "teacher, leader, mentor and role model not just for workers' compensation attorneys but for all attorneys," said Workers' Compensation Bureau Judge Michael A. Snyder, one of the Section's co-chairs. The April 15 program is being co-hosted by the Women in the Profession Committee, Criminal Justice Section and the Law Practice Management Division.

Bekelja received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Notre Dame and his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Georgetown University. Bekelja was house counsel for Nationwide Insurance Company as well as house counsel for Yellow Cab Company before joining the firm. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He has been associated with Margolis Edelstein since 1974 and has been a partner in the firm since 1981.

Scottoline, a Philadelphia-based lawyer-writer, had her first novel Everywhere That Mary Went, published in 1994. It became a bestseller and was nominated for the Edgar Award, the most prestigious award given in crime fiction, awarded by the Mystery Writers of America. Her second novel, Final Appeal, was also nominated for and received an Edgar Award. Since then she has written 11 more legal suspense novels.

Tickets to the luncheon are $50 for Association members and includes a copy of Scottoline's new book Look Again, which will be released April 14. Tickets are $45 for YLD members and $60 for nonmembers. Visit philadelphiabar.org to register for this event.

Renew Membership Today and Save

Members have until April 1 to renew their Bar Association memberships at 2008 prices. Members renewing after April 1 will face a 5 percent increase in their dues. Click here to renew your membership.

Benefits of membership include:

You'll attend informative workshops, meetings and special programs and receive significant discounts on continuing legal education courses offered through the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and the Philadelphia Bar Association. At sessions sponsored by more than 50 committees, nine sections and two divisions, you'll meet and network with colleagues who are experts in every possible legal specialty. You'll interact with people who can help you grow your practice and thrive in your profession.

Within our Young Lawyers Division or as part of one of our many pro bono or public service projects, you will test the broad range of your interests and make valuable contributions to the community while sharing in the proud legacy of the Philadelphia lawyer.

You'll have ongoing access to our ethics hotline which brings more than 20 years of ethics experience to answer your questions. In addition, you can request formal written guidance from our Professional Guidance Committee.

Through our monthly Philadelphia Bar Reporter newspaper, The Philadelphia Lawyer quarterly magazine, our philadelphiabar.org web site, our bi-weekly Bar Reporter Online e-newsbrief and monthly online substantive law publication Upon Further Review, you'll receive a regular menu of information that will update you and keep you connected to our professional family day after day.

You'll benefit from our comprehensive, economical membership insurance package, including professional liability insurance, complete health coverage, group term life insurance, a disability income plan and more. You'll also be able to take advantage of discounted rates on credit cards, health clubs and rental cars.

Finally, our legislative program - under the direction of a full-time, on-site staff attorney and a special consultant in the state Capitol - will champion your interests to lawmakers at City Hall, in Harrisburg and in Washington.

Click here to renew your membership.

Gov't and Public Service Lawyers Committee to Meet

The Government and Public Service Lawyers Committee will hold its first meeting of the year today (Thursday, March 5).

Meet your new co-chairs and bring your brainstorming hats. This first meeting will be introductory in nature, but we will also open up the floor to new ideas for how the Government and Public Service Lawyers Committee can better serve you in 2009 and in the future.

Also, please bring along any ideas you have for interesting and relevant panel discussions, speakers and community activities for which our members can volunteer to participate. The meeting will be held in the 11th floor Committee Room South of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $8 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this program.

Practical Tips from EEOC, PHRC and PCHR Today

The Labor and Employment Law Committee and the Corporate In-House Counsel Committees will hold a joint meeting on practical tips from the EEOC, PHRC and PCHR today (Thursday, March 5).

Panelists include Mary Tiernan, acting program analyst, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Charles Nier, assistant chief counsel, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission; and Rue Landau, executive director, Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th Floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $8 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this program.

Anatomy of a Ponzi Scheme Today

Richard A. Levan and Jeffrey M. Taylor will lead a discussion on the anatomy of a Ponzi scheme at today's (Thursday, March 5) meeting of the Securities Regulation Committee.

The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. at the offices of Dilworth Paxson LLP, 1500 Market Street, Suite 3500E. Please RSVP to Graham R. Laub at glaub@dilworthlaw.com or 215-575-7277. Guests of the committee are invited to attend.

State Rep. Joseph on Antidiscrimination Bill March 6

State Representative Babette Josephs will discuss the details of House Bill 300, the antidiscrimination measure she will be introducing shortly, at a Friday, March 6 meeting of the the LGBT Rights Committee and the Civil Rights Committee.

The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. in the 10th floor Board Room of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Breakfast will be provided.

Initial Attorney-Client Interview CLE March 10

The Professional Responsibility Committee will present the lunchtime CLE program "The Initial Attorney-Client Interview-Getting it Right from the Start" on Tuesday, March 10.

This one-hour CLE will be a re-enactment of an initial client interview followed by a panel discussion. Panelists include Chancellor Sayde J. Ladov and Kimberly S. Ingersoll. Lunch and registration begin at 12 p.m. at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, 13th and Market Streets. Participants wishing to receive the CLE credit will be required to pay a fee of $33 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for more than five years, and $28 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for less than five years. Lunch fee is included in the tuition price. 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 for those not requesting CLE credit for a fee of $8 per person with payment being made to the Pennsylvania Bar Institute at the time of program.

Mortgage Foreclosure CLE March 11

A CLE program about the Philadelphia Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program will be held Wednesday, March 11 at 9 a.m. at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building.

Faculty for the program include Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Annette M. Rizzo, Kenneth J. Fleisher, George D. Gould and Michael T. McKeever.

The Philadelphia Court System, in response to a national crisis caused by more than 700,000 seriously delinquent mortgages and a 37 percent increase in foreclosure filings in Philadelphia alone, in 2008 determined that judicial intervention was not only justified, but absolutely necessary to avert a crisis. The Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Pilot Program is a case management alternative designed to provide early court intervention in residential owner-occupied mortgage foreclosure cases. The process involves early identification of suitable properties for the program and diverts those cases to counselors and pro bono attorneys for possible interest rate renegotiation, loan restructuring, or other settlement options prior to foreclosure.

Click here to register online or contact the Pennsylvania Bar Institute at 1-800-932-4637.

Ins and Outs of Mentoring March 11

The Women in Intellectual Property Committee will discuss the ins and outs of mentoring for mentors and mentees at its Wednesday, March 11 meeting.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $8 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this program.

Class Certification Discussion March 13

The Federal Courts and Business Litigation Committees will present a discussion "In re Hydrogen Peroxide: Leveling the Field or Changing the Landscape for Class Certification?" on Friday, March 13.

Panelists include Steven E. Bizar, Anthony J. Bolognese, Roberta D. Liebenberg and Barbara Sicalides. The program will be moderated by U.S. District Court Judge Jan DuBois.

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 $8 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this program.

Workers' Comp CLE on IREs March 18

The Workers' Compensation Section will present the lunchtime CLE program "Everything You Wanted to Know About IREs" on Wednesday, March 18.

Panelists for the program are Mark M. Mazzanti and Mark Schmidt. The program has been approved for 1 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 and registration begin at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $8 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this program.

Sandra Day O'Connor Award Nominees Sought

The Women in the Profession Committee is seeking nominations for the 2009 Sandra Day O'Connor Award. Deadline for nominations is Tuesday, March 17.

The award is conferred annually on a woman attorney who has demonstrated superior legal talent, achieved significant legal accomplishments and has furthered the advancement of women in both the profession and the community. The award presentation will be made during the October Quarterly Meeting.

The committee established the award in 1993 to recognize the important contributions that women attorneys in Philadelphia have made to the legal profession. Click here to download a nomination form.

Arianna Huffington to Address Bar Members April 1

Political commentator Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, will be the keynote speaker at the Association's Wednesday, April 1 Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon at 12 p.m. at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue.

Immediate-Past Chancellor A. Michael Pratt will be honored at the event. Pratt will be presented with a gold box, an exact replica of the one presented to Andrew Hamilton for his defense of John Peter Zenger in 1735. The gold box is presented annually to the immediate-past Chancellor and is inscribed with the message "acquired not by money, but by character."

Huffington is also a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of 12 books. She is also co-host of "Left, Right & Center," public radio's popular political roundtable program. She launched The Huffington Post in May 2005, and the news and blog site has become one of the most widely read, linked to, and frequently cited media brands on the Internet.

Tickets are $55 for members and $60 for non-members and can be purchased online at by clicking here.

Celebrate Formation of Pa. Innocence Project April 7

A reception will be held Tuesday, April 7 to celebrate the formation of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to exonerating persons imprisoned in Pennsylvania for crimes they did not commit and to eliminating the causes of wrongful convictions.

The program will be held at the National Consitution Center, 525 Arch St., beginning at 5 p.m. with a private viewing of the America I Am exhibit. The program and reception will follow. Speakers for the program include JoAnne Epps, dean, Temple University Beasley School of Law; Pa. state Sen. Stewart J. Greenleaf, chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee; Peter J. Neufeld, co-founder and co-director of Innocence Project at Cadozo Law School and Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, eyewitness whose testimony convicted exoneree Ronald Cotton and co-author with Cotton of Picking Cotton: Our Story of Injustice and Redemption.

Tickets are $25 and include admission of America I Am exhibit, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. For more information, contact Amy Hastings at (215) 981-4249. Click here to register.

Get Admitted to U.S. Supreme Court May 4

The Philadelphia Bar Association will move up to 50 of our members for admission to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court on Monday, May 4. The admission ceremony will be made to the full court sitting in Washington, D.C.

The court's requirements for a group admission ceremony are very rigid. To review these requirements and to download the forms for admission please visit the Supreme Court's web site at supremecourtus.gov. Select the Bar Admissions tab on the left-hand side and this will bring you to the link for the Bar Admissions Form and Bar Admissions Instructions. Please read the instructions carefully. Once you have determined that you are eligible for admission, please print out and complete the Admission Form. The instructions and guidelines are very specific and must be followed scrupulously. Do not fold the application or use staples. Use paper clips only.

Once you have successfully completed the Admission Form, please mail it along with a check for $200 made payable to the Philadelphia Bar Association to: Dawn Petit, 1101 Market Street, 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107. Do not send the application directly to the Supreme Court.

The event will be on a first-come, first-served basis and all applications must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16, 2009.

If you have any questions regarding this event, please do not hesitate to contact Dawn Petit at 215-238-6367 or dpetit@philabar.org.

Hispanic Bar to Honor Judge Sanchez March 11

The Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania will host its annual La Justicia reception on Wednesday, March 11 where U.S. District Court Judge Juan R. Sanchez will be honored.

The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. at Drexel University School of Law, 3230 Market St. Fore more information, call (215) 864-6285.

Public Interest Training Sessions, Events

Philadelphia VIP will present a pro bono CLE training program on quiet title on Friday, March 6, from 12 to 2:15 p.m., at Reed Smith, 2500 One Liberty Place, 1650 Market St. Two CLE credits will be provided in exchange for handling a pro bono case referred by VIP. To register, please call VIP at 215-523-9550.

Philadelphia VIP will present a pro bono CLE training program on divorce on Friday, April 3, from 12 to 2:15 p.m., at Dechert LLP, 2929 Arch St. Two CLE credits will be provided in exchange for handling a pro bono case referred by VIP. To register, please call VIP at 215-523-9550.

Support Center for Child Advocates will present the pro bono training program "How to Handle A Child Abuse Case," from on Monday, April 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building. Five substantive CLE credits and one ethics CLE credits provided. To register, contact PBI at 1-800-247-4724.

Brehon St. Patrick's Day Party March 11

The Brehon Law Society will hold its annual St. Patrick's Day Party on Wednesday, March 11 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Stotesbury Mansion (Philo Club), 1923 Walnut St.

The Brehon Law Society invites local state and federal judges as guests for the event. All members of the Bar are welcome. The cost will be $20 if paid before March 9 and $25 if paid at the door. The cost includes an open bar (beer and wine), hors d'oeuvres and Irish music.

Checks for the event made payable to the Brehon Law Society can be sent to John O'Malley, Volpe and Koenig, P.C., 30 S. 17th St., Suite 1800, Philadelphia, PA 19103. For more information, contact John O'Malley at jomalley@volpe-koenig.com or by phone at 215-568-6400.

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