Thursday, March 15, 2007
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 8, No. 22
 

Oscar-Winner Richard Dreyfuss to Speak March 26

Don't miss a rare opportunity to hear from Oscar-winning actor and social activist Richard Dreyfuss, who 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."

Judicial Commission Releases Ratings

Jane Dalton, Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, and Shelley R. Smith, Chair of the Association's Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention, have announced the first group of results of the Commission's investigation into the qualifications of candidates for Philadelphia's Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court in the May 15 primary election.

Dalton noted that the list of Recommended and Not Recommended candidates is still incomplete and said additional names and ratings will be announced as investigations are completed on the remaining candidates. "We wanted to get these names and ratings out as soon as possible and invite people to learn more about how and why we rate the candidates. They can do this by visiting our Web site at philadelphiabar.org," Dalton said.

The Chancellor pointed out that the Association's Campaign for Qualified Judges has launched a "Voters Guide to the Judicial Elections" on the Association's Web site. Dalton said the Association wants voters to know "not just who to vote for but why the judicial elections are so important and why we invest so much time and energy in reviewing and rating these candidates. This is the one place for voters to find thorough, non-partisan, objective ratings of the candidates."

The Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention is independent and non-partisan. It includes lawyers and non-lawyers. Among the members of the Commission are the Chief Public Defender, the president judges of the Common Pleas and Municipal Courts, and representatives from the Asian, Hispanic and African American legal groups.

The ratings by the 30-member Judicial Commission follow extensive study and investigation by five-member panels of the commission's own 120-member investigative division, which includes 40 non-lawyer members. Candidates found Recommended satisfied a cumulative review of criteria including legal ability and training, trial experience, character and integrity, judicial temperament, mental and physical capacity and community involvement. Complete details can be found at philadelphiabar.org.

The following judicial candidates, listed alphabetically, were found RECOMMENDED for election to the Court of Common Pleas:

Daniel Anders
Linda Carpenter
Alice Beck Dubow
Michael Erdos
Joyce Eubanks
Ellen Green-Ceisler
Thomas Martin
Beverly Muldrow
Joseph T. Murphy
Thomas M. Nocella
J. Scott O'Keefe
Angeles Roca
Meredith Seigle-DiClaudio
Sandjai Weaver
Marvin Williams
Donna M. Woelpper

The following judicial candidates, listed alphabetically, were found RECOMMENDED for election to the Municipal Court:

Joyce Eubanks
Joseph T. Murphy
Meredith Seigle-DiClaudio
Sandjai Weaver

Additional names and ratings will be announced soon.

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) 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.

Technology for the Non-Litigator Today

Trey Lowdermilk will present "Technology for the Non-Litigator: Automated Document and Forms Assembly" at the Law Practice Management Division Technology Committee's meeting today (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.

Bike-a-Thon Committee to Meet Today

The Association's team for the annual American Cancer Society Bike-a-Thon will hold its first meeting today, Thursday, March 15. Lunch will be provided.

The meeting begins at 12:30 p.m. in the 11th floor Committee Room South of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. For more information, contact Jeffrey Abramowitz at jeff@klevanabramowitz.com.

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.

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.

Program on ADR and Employment Law March 27

The Labor and Employment Law Committee and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee will hold a joint meeting "Appreciating the Benefits of ADR in an Employment Law Context" on Tuesday, March 27.

Michael A. Marra, district vice president, American Arbitration Association, and Phil Goldman, ADR coordinator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, will discuss the application of alternative dispute resolution as it relates to employment law matters.

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.

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.

Philadelphia Prisons Update CLE March 27

The Criminal Justice Section will present the lunchtime CLE program "Philadelphia Prisons Update: Practices and Procedures on Tuesday, March 27.

Speakers for the program include Thomas Innes, chief of prison services, Defender Association of Philadelphia; Maj. James DiNubile, deputy warden and commanding officer of Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility; Michael Resnick, chief of staff and director of legal affairs, Philadelphia Prison System; Christopher Thomas, director of classification, movement and records, Philadelphia Prison System; and
Lt. Ernest Webb, movement coordinator, Philadelphia Prison System.

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.

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.

Submissions Sought for Law Week Poster, Essay Contests

The Young Lawyers Division is now accepting submissions for the Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest and the 2007 Poster Contest.

The YLD invites all high school seniors who attend public, private, charter and parochial schools in Philadelphia to participate in the 8th annual Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest. Named for former Chancellor Edward F. Chacker, the 2007 contest asks students to write an essay of at least 1,000 words on the question: Do lawyers have more responsibility as citizens to protect and/or promote democracy? Why or why not?

The winner will receive a $1,000 college scholarship. Submissions should include the student's name, address, telephone number and school on a cover sheet accompanying the essay.

All 4th-, 5th- and 6th-grade students who attend Philadelphia public, private, charter and parochial schools are invited to participate in the 2007 Poster Contest. Students are asked to draw a picture which best illustrates what democracy means to you. Posters should be produced on standard 22 x 28 inch poster board and students should include their name, address, telephone number and school on the back of the poster. First, second and third prizes will be awarded.

All entries for the Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest and the 2007 Poster Contest must be received by 12 p.m. on Monday, April 23, 2007. Please submit entries to Amy Muldoon, Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Applications Sought for YLD Minority Scholarship Program

Applications are now being accepted for the Young Lawyers Division Minority Scholarship Program. The scholarship, established in 2006 by the YLD Executive Committee, awards $500 for deserving minority law students who desire to practice law in Philadelphia upon graduation.

Applications should be submitted as soon as possible to the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley, the Barrister's Association of Philadelphia, the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania, the South Asian Bar Association of Philadelphia and the National Bar Association, Women Lawyers Division, Philadelphia Chapter. Each group will forward three applications to the YLD for consideration on April 16, 2007. The YLD will award the scholarship based on academic achievement; demonstrated commitment to community service and involvement; financial need; and career aspirations and goals.

Interested candidates should submit to the appropriate minority bar association named above, a resume, transcript, and a brief essay (not to exceed 850 words) addressing (at the candidate's discretion) the scholarship criteria set forth above. Any questions regarding the scholarship should be directed to Sozi Tulante at spt@hangley.com or at 215-496-7073 or to the individual minority bar association to whom a law student is interested in applying.

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.

Public Interest Groups Schedule March Events

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.

Help Available for Disabled Senior Attorneys

Senior attorneys who become disabled or families of disabled or deceased attorneys can now receive emergency assistance on practice issues from the Senior Lawyers Professional and Public Service Committee.

"Anyone in need of assistance to handle an emergency in a practice or to wind down a practice is eligible," said Louis W. Fryman, chair of the committee.

"A widow of a single practitioner, a partner burdened with his own files, or an attorney who is disabled either for the short or long term can receive assistance. It may be necessary to contact clients or the court concerning the problem or to review files in order to put the legal house in order," he said.

Parties needing the committee's help should call a Bar Association hotline at (215) 238-6391.

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.

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 ID Badge Program to Resume March 19

The City Hall security badge ID program will resume operations on Monday, March 19.

Attorneys can go to Room 112 near the northeast corner of City Hall beginning on Monday, March 19. The office will be open 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.

PBI Offers Dog Bite Case, Gun Control Seminars

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. The panelists for the March 22 program 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.


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