Monday, March 12, 2007
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 8, No. 21
 

Chancellor's Forum for Mayoral Candidates April 10

The Philadelphia Bar Association will host a Chancellor's Forum for mayoral candidates on Tuesday, April 10 beginning at 11:45 a.m. at The CLE Conference Center in the Wanamaker Building.

Each candidate will have an allotted time to answer questions concerning main issues of interest to Philadelphians. During the second portion of the forum, the audience will have the opportunity to submit questions in writing on any topic. The moderator will then select several audience questions and direct them to the candidates as time permits. All declared candidates have been invited to participate in this forum. The program will be moderated by Joseph C. Vignola, co-chair of the Association's Legislative Liaison Committee. The candidates set to appear at the forum include (top row, from left) Dwight Evans, Chaka Fattah, Tom Knox (bottom row, from left) Michael Nutter and Al Taubenberger.

The program is co-sponsored by the Criminal Justice Section and Young Lawyers Division, the Barristers' Association of Philadelphia, the South Asian Bar Association, the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley, the Hispanic Bar Association and the National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division.

The event will begin at 11:45 a.m. on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, Juniper Street entrance (between 13th and Broad Streets, opposite City Hall). There is no charge to attend this program, but you must RSVP to attend. Click here to RSVP for this program.

Oscar-Winner Richard Dreyfuss to Speak March 26

Oscar-winning actor and social activist Richard Dreyfuss will be the keynote speaker at the Association's Monday, March 26 Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue. Tickets are $50 for Bar Association members and can be purchased online by clicking here.

Dreyfuss won the Academy Award for best actor in 1977 for his performance in "The Goodbye Girl." He was nominated for Best Actor in 1996 for his role in "Mr. Holland's Opus." He has appeared in dozens of films, including Stephen Spielberg classics "Jaws" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Three of his films were recently included in the American Film Institute's list of the greatest 100 films.

Immediate-Past Chancellor Alan M. Feldman will be honored at the event. Feldman will be presented with a gold snuff 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."

Women's Policy Issues on Civil Rights Committee Agenda

The Civil Rights Committee will host a program on women's policy issues the next mayor must champion at it's meeting today (Monday, March 12).

Speakers for the program are Carol Goertzel, president and CEO of PathwaysPA; JoAnne Fischer, executive director, Maternity Care Coalition; Carole Johnson, executive director, Women Organized Against Rape; Cynthia Figueroa, executive director, Women Against Abuse; Ann Schwartzman, director of policy, Pennsylvania Prison Society; and Jennifer Dickson Keith, research associate, Women's Death Review Team.

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 program.

Judge Rau on Presentation of Evidence March 13

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Lisa Rau will present the judge's perspective on the presentation of evidence in 1311.1 cases at the Tuesday, March 13 meeting of the Compulsory Arbitration Committee.

The committee will also receive status reports on the arbitration center and complex litigation center at the meeting. The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th Floor Committee Room South 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 program.

Collateral Orders in Pa. Appellate Courts March 14

Bruce P. Merenstein and Carl A. Solano will present a program on collateral orders in the Pennsylvania appellate courts at the Wednesday, March 14 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 program.

Technology for the Non-Litigator March 15

Trey Lowdermilk will present "Technology for the Non-Litigator: Automated Document and Forms Assembly" at the Law Practice Management Division Technology Committee's meeting on Thursday, March 15.

The meeting is jointly sponsored by the Law Practice Management Division Practice Technology Committee, the Real Property Section and the Probate and Trust Law Section. Bar, and should be publicized to members of all of these committees/sections. The program 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.

Committee to Learn of Examination Process March 16

Medical relations program managers and Ruth Garito and Ray Owlett of the Bureau of Disability Determination will address the consultative examination process at the Friday, March 16 meeting of the Social Security Disability Benefits Committee.

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 program.

Barristers General Meeting March 14

The Barristers' Association of Philadelphia will hold a general meeting on Wednesday, March 14 at 5:30 p.m at the offices Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young, LLP, 2005 Market St. Refreshments will be provided.

Elvin P. Ross III, a Barristers' member from Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP who is running for judge, and Greg Goldman of Wireless Philadelphia, will be the speakers at the program. Please RSVP to dgarnes@stradley.com.

Public Interest Groups Schedule March Events

Temple Student Public Interest Network (SPIN) Annual Live Auction will be held at Duane Morris, LLP, 30 S. 17th St., Philadelphia on Wednesday, March 14. The reception will begin at 6 p.m., and the live auction will start at 7 p.m. SPIN works to support Temple law students who volunteer their time to the public interest. Proceeds from the auction support grants to law students working for non-profit legal organizations during the summer. This event is free. For more information, contact Molly Armour at spin@temple.edu or at 646-554-0538.

The Edward V. Sparer Symposium "Judicial Responses to International Violence," will be held at the University of Pennsylvania Law School on Thursday, March 22 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The keynote speaker will be Juan Mendez, United Nations special adviser on the prevention of genocide. Panel discussions will feature leading human rights activists, academics, and practitioners and include domestic judicial remedies for torture, international criminal tribunals and universal jurisdiction, and the transitional justice for war-affected children. This event is free and open to the public. Six CLE credits are anticipated. Please RSVP by March 9 to Jacobsbh@law.upenn.edu.

Rutgers Law School Association for Public Interest Law will hold the Rutgers Law School 2007 Public Interest Auction on Wednesday, March 28 from 12:30 to 2 p.m., at Rutgers Law School, 217 N. 5th St., Camden, N.J. Proceeds from the auction support grants to law students working for non-profit legal organizations during the summer. This event is free. For more information contact Eve Biskind Klothen at 856-225-6608.

Nationalities Service Center will be hosting an Open House at its new office on Thursday, March 29 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at 1216 Arch Street, 4th Floor, Philadelphia. Nationalities Service Center provides services to immigrants and refugees from around the world. This event is free and open to the public.

Breheon St. Patrick's Day Event March 14

The Brehon Law Society is having a St. Patrick's Day Party from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14 at Tir Na Nog, 1600 Arch St.

The cost is $60 for open bar and hors d'ouvres. For more information, contact John O'Malley at jomalley@volpe-koenig.com.

Judges to Discuss Med-Mal Cases March 21

Team leaders for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas will address issues in the handling of medical-malpractice cases at the Wednesday, March 21 meeting of the Medical Legal Committee.

Speakers for the program include Judges Jacqueline Allen, William Manfredi, Sandra Mazer Moss, Arnold New, Joseph Papalini and Allan Tereshko. The meeting begins at 12 p.m. at The CLE Learning Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, Market and Juniper streets, in Seminar Room B. Lunch is available for $7.50 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this program.

Carpal Tunnel Expert to Address Section March 21

Dr. Joseph Bernstein, an orthopedic surgeon in practice at Mercy Hospital in West Philadelphia, will present "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Facts, Theories, Myths -
A Medical/Legal Analysis of Causality" at the Wednesday, March 21 meeting of the Workers' Compensation Section.

This monthly lunch and learn CLE presentation will assist workers' compensation practitioners in evaluating and presenting or defending carpal tunnel or repetitive trauma cases in the workers' compensation practice. 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. Visit pbi.org to register.

The program will be held 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 buy lunch for this program.

Developing Rewarding Mentoring Relationships March 27

Former Chancellor Audrey C. Talley, Board of Governors Vice Chair Stephanie Resnick and Sharon L. Caffrey will be the panelists for the March 27 Women in the Profession Committee program "How to Develop a Rewarding Mentoring Relationship."

Talley is a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP; Resnick is a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP and Caffrey is a partner at Duane Morris LLP. The program 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 program.

Lawyers Coach to Address Committee March 29

Lawyers coach Phyllis Sisenwine will present "Choices: You are What You Choose" at the Thursday, March 29 meeting of the Minorities in the Profession Committee.

Sisenwine is a master certified coach and has an international practice providing coaching services to law firms and lawyers who want to increase profits and improve performance.

The program 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 program.

Browning Fund 10th Anniversary Dinner March 22

The Peggy Browning Fund, which provides fellowships and internship opportunities for law students interested in workers' right, will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Thursday, March 22 with a dinner honoring John Sweeney, president of the national AFL-CIO.

Local labor leaders, educators and attorneys involved in the employment field will congregate at 6 pm at the Penns Landing Caterers, 1301 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, to support the fund that perpetuates the memory of one of the city's most accomplished labor lawyers.

Margaret "Peggy" Browning was a partner with the law firm of Spear, Wilderman in 1994 when President Bill Clinton named her a member of the National Labor Relations Board. At the time she was the only union-side attorney on the board, which regulates relations between management and organized labor.

After Browning died in 1997, her husband, Joseph Lurie, also a labor lawyer, along with others, established the Peggy Browning Fund. The fund is a nonprofit corporation with a "mission..to provide law students with diverse, challenging work and educational experiences in the area of workers' rights.'

Since its founding the fund has established internships and fellowships for nearly 200 law students allowing them to work in various agencies, including, including the U.S. Department of Labor, the NLRB, labor unions, worker centers and legal aid organizations.

In choosing to to honor John Sweeney, president of the 10-million-plus member labor federation, on its 10th anniversary, the Peggy Browning Fund recognizes the partnership role the federation has established with the nation's law schools and the fund in providing actual working experience for law students who seek to establish careers in labor law.

Tickets to the event are available by calling (215) 665-6815 or by visiting peggybrowningfund.org.

Reappointment of Bankruptcy Judge

The current 14-year term of office of Stephen Raslavich, United States Bankruptcy judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, is due to expire on Oct. 28, 2007. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is considering the reappointment of Judge Raslavich to a new 14-year term of office. Members of the bar and the public are invited to submit comments for consideration by the Court of Appeals regarding the reappointment of Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Raslavich.

All comments should be directed to one of the following addresses: by e-mail at Raslavich_Reappointment@ca3.uscourts.gov or by mail to the Office of the Circuit Executive, 22409 U.S. Courthouse, 601 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19106-1790. Comments must be received no later than Tuesday, April 10, 2007.

In Their Own Words: In the Middle
of the Night, Pick Up the Phone

by Paul Kazaras

As a parent, I am always amazed at how instantaneously awake I become in the middle of the night when the phone rings. Even though my daughters are 22 and 24, by the time I grab the phone and answer with "are you OK?" I am alert enough to take the LSATs, (were I so inclined).

Two weeks ago, three nights in a row the phone rang after 2 a.m. Twice it was my younger daughter with issues that could have waited until daylight but which for her at the time couldn't. The third night was my older daughter seeking advice only a parent can give, whether Tylenol or Advil was better for her fever. The morning after the third call I called them both and extracted a promise from each that they wouldn't call after 11 p.m. for the rest of the week unless it was literally a matter of life or death because I was becoming psychotic from sleep deprivation. With profuse apologies they agreed.

Had this happened four years ago, I would have been furious. After all, they are legally adults and should be able to handle most things that occur in the middle of the night (when they should be at home and asleep anyway like me). However, a lot has happened in the past four years. The morning after each of their calls I was indeed tired and somewhat irritable at the little things that occur during the day. But, I wasn't angry at them for calling.

Since the United States has been involved in its present war, more than 3,000 soldiers, many of them the ages of my children and younger, have been killed. Tens of thousands have been wounded but that is a topic for another day. Every day I think about the ones who have died. Their parents, spouses and loved ones will never again receive a phone call from them in the middle of the night about an issue that could have waited. They will never again be asked for advice. Good news and bad news will never again be shared, and they will never hear the words, "Thanks for listening. I'm really sorry I woke you. I love you." They will never again have the opportunity to respond, "I love you too." Their loss is one that truly is beyond description and leaves a void that can never be filled. So, I am extraordinarily grateful that my children are safe, that they do call in the middle of the night and that we end each call with "I love you." I'm very sad that as of March 5, 2007, the families of 3,172 loved ones will never hear those words again from those they have lost. Never, ever again.

Paul Kazaras is assistant executive director of the Philadelphia Bar Association. For more information about writing for "In Their Own Words," contact Bar Reporter Online senior managing editor Jeff Lyons at jlyons@philabar.org.

Assistance from Law Students Available for Pro Bono Cases

The Law School Outreach Committee, in conjunction with Chancellor Jane L. Dalton, is pleased to announce an easy, quick way to find law students who are willing to help the private bar with pro bono cases. If you are currently working on a pro bono case and need assistance, the area law schools are happy to find eager law students to help.

Signing up for help is easy. Given that all of the area law schools have different pro bono programs and methods for matching students, a "one-stop shopping" link has been created. Visit philadelphiabar.org and click on the Public Interest Section and then go to Pro Bono Corner. There, you'll see a list of the area law school pro bono programs. After each description, there is a link to a volunteer form. Just fill out the online form and it will be e-mailed directly to the school of your choice (and you can e-mail more than one school if you choose). The law school coordinator from that school will be in touch within 48 hours with your students.

This new online system will give attorneys another reason to take a pro bono case from any of our many Philadelphia public interest agencies. The area law schools are happy to help with this initiative and look forward to working with the new volunteers.

LPM Hotline Can Help Improve Your Practice

The Association's Law Practice Management Division offers committees with programs to help you manage your law office as well as a hotline to help you with staffing, bookkeeping and other issues. Contact the Law Practice Management Hotline at (215) 238-6314.

Whether you are just starting your own firm or trying to grow your established practice, the LPM Division is available to help. The program features a bank of consultants available to counsel Bar Association members with both innovative and practical information on topics including marketing, management, technology and finances.

The Association's Law Practice Management Division is offering programs designed to help members in many different areas. For more information on any of these subcommittees, contact the committee chairs listed below:

Vendor and Consultant Referral Program Committee - Mary Platt at mplatt@mmwr.com and Marla A. Joseph at mjoseph@workcomppa.com.

Financial Management Committee - Joel D. Feldman at jfeldman@anapolschwartz.com and Thomas A. Brophy at tbrophy@mdwcg.com.

Technology Committee - Carl G. Roberts at cgroberts@ballardspahr.com and Daniel J. Siegel at dan@danieljsiegel.com.

Business Management Committee - Margaret Klaw at mklaw@bernerklaw.com and Jeffrey A. Lutsky at jlutsky@stradley.com.

Marketing Committee - Merritt A. Cole at colem@whiteandwilliams.com and Harper J. Dimmerman at harper@harperlawgroup.com.

The Law Practice Management Division is chaired by Joseph A. Prim Jr. and Carl G. Roberts.

If you need help with staffing, bookkeeping or developing your Web site, we have the consultants to assist you! Contact the Law Practice Management Hotline at (215) 238-6314.

City Hall Security ID Application Program Expanded

Attorneys who do business at Philadelphia City Hall are urged to apply for their new security cards. A new security system is being implemented for City Hall within the next several months.

Attorneys can go to Room 112 near the northeast corner of City Hall Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. for the next several weeks to fill out an application and have a photo taken for the new badge. The photo and application process takes just 10 minutes. Click here to download the application form.

Order Your Copy of The Legal Directory 2007

The Legal Directory 2007 will be available in early April, and you won't want to miss the newest, most comprehensive resource for the Philadelphia-area legal community. This is your last chance to order your copy at a special pre-publication price.

This year's edition includes listings for more than 1,600 law firms and nearly 18,000 attorneys in Philadelphia and the surrounding Pennsylvania counties, Delaware and New Jersey.

But The Legal Directory 2007 also includes all the indispensable information you've come to rely upon - Bar Association bylaws, contacts and committees; information on federal, state and county courts and government agencies; a judges index; corporate counsel listings; alternative dispute resolution resources; and a special business-to-business section tailored to the legal community.

Once again this year, each copy of The Legal Directory will include complimentary access to The Legal Directory Online. So the information you need will be only a few mouse clicks away. Online firm and attorney listings are updated throughout the year, so you'll always have access to the most up-to-date addresses and phone numbers.

Order The Legal Directory 2007 now for the discounted pre-publication price of $57.95 (plus shipping and tax). Order today at thelegaldirectory.org.

Case Study of "A Few Good Men" March 15

The uniquely entertaining and informative Developing and Presenting Your Case: A Case Study of "A Few Good Men" uses hit movie scenes as a case study to guide you through initial case analysis, witness prep, client interviews, hostile witness interviews, trial prep, openings, direct examination and cross examination. This 3 substantive/1 ethics credit hour program will be held in Philadelphia on Thursday, March 15, at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, Juniper Street entrance (between 13th and Broad streets, opposite City Hall), from 8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Registrants must attend entire program to receive the ethics credit. For additional information, or to register, click here.

At PBI's "Handling the Dog Bite Case" on March 16, you'll hear from attorneys who bring and defend dog bite cases, Common Pleas Court judges who try these matters, a dog training and aggression expert, humane officers who investigate dog bite claims and others who have developed expertise in dog law issues. Click here for more information.

In its continuing series of public policy programs, PBI will bring together faculty with diverse opinions on the issue of gun control and how gun violence can be reduced. Our panelists include: Lynne Abraham, Philadelphia District Attorney since 1991; Sylvester M. Johnson, Philadelphia Police Commissioner since 2002; Brian J. Siebel, Esquire, a senior attorney with the Legal Action Project at The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence; Gregory Gilderman, author of the November, 2006 Philadelphia magazine cover story "The Dead of Night" that addresses the skyrocketing gun violence in Philadelphia; and Prof. Lawrence W. Sherman, University of Pennsylvania criminologist and director of Penn's Jerry Lee Center of Criminology. The panel will discuss existing gun laws and debate whether additional or modified laws could have an impact on the level of gun violence. 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.

Tuesday, March 13
Use of Trusts in Estate Planning – Basic and Intermediate Trusts
4 substantive CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

13th Annual Health Law Institute
Pennsylvania Convention Center, 12th and Arch Streets
5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Use of Trusts in Estate Planning - Sophisticated Trusts
3 substantive CLE credits
1:30 to 4:45 p.m.

Wednesday, March 14
13th Annual Health Law Institute
Pennsylvania Convention Center, 12th & Arch Streets
5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Pandemic and Disaster Planning: Are We Really Prepared?
3 substantive CLE credits
9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Thursday, March 15
Developing and Presenting Your Case: A Case Study of a Few Good Men
3 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits (Must attend entire program to receive ethics credit)
8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Commercial Document Series 2007 – LLC Documents
2 substantive CLE credits
12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Friday, March 16
Handling the Dog Bite Case
3 substantive CLE credits
12 to 3:15 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 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.