Monday, April 3, 2006
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 7, No. 18
 

Bar Unveils Podcasts

Members can now take the Philadelphia Bar Association "on the go" with the official April 1 launch of the Association's comprehensive new Podcast Center, offering a large audio library of interviews, speeches, panel discussions, Chancellor's columns and more available for free download at philadelphiabar.org.

Anne d'Harnoncourt (left), director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is the latest businessperson to be featured in "Hot Interviews with Very Cool People," one of eight podcast categories available on the site. Others include Major Events, Speaker Programs, Chancellor's Column, Member Benefits, Legislative Update, Career Corner and Law Practice Management. Together, they feature more than 35 original podcasts produced by the Philadelphia Bar Association. Additional categories will be added in the future.

Association podcasts can be listened to directly on your computer using your media player software, or you can "subscribe" to one of the above categories and automatically download the latest podcasts to your MP3 player, such as an Apple iPod.

Visit the Association's Podcast Center for additional information.

Board Opposes Amendment Prohibiting Same Sex Marriage

The Board of Governors has unanimously approved a resolution opposing an amendment to the Pennsylvania constitution prohibiting marriage between same sex couples.

The resolution says the proposed amendment could invalidate local laws, such as Philadelphia's Domestic Partnership Ordinance, which grant certain legal rights and benefits to unmarried domestic partners. The action came at the Board's March 30 meeting.

In other business the Board approved the appointment of Board members Judy F. Berkman, Kim R. Jessum and Matthew Perks to the Nominating Committee.

The Board also approved a resolution from the Real Property Section to support standard form orders to address fraudulent conveyances of real estate interests. A resolution opposing the Border Protection, Anti-terrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act was also approved.

Domestic Relations Rules on Section Agenda April 3

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Kevin M. Dougherty and Nancy P. Wallitsch of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Domestic Relations Rules Committee will discuss current and pending amendments at the Monday, April 3 meeting of the Family Court Committee.

Wallitsch and Judge Dougherty, chair and vice chair of the committee, will offer insight into current and pending amendments and the impact, mechanics and how to be involved. Judge Dougherty is the administrative judge for the Family Court Division. 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 register for this program.

Bankruptcy Committee to Discuss Winding Down Business

Stephen R. Leibowitz will discuss his experience in successfully winding down a business outside of the Bankruptcy Court at the Thursday, April 6 meeting of the Business Law Section's Bankruptcy Committee.

The meeting begins at 12:30 p.m. at the offices of Duane Morris LLP, 30 S. 17th St. Lunch will be provided for all in attendance (sponsored by Duane Morris). All members of the Business Law Section and all attorneys interested in joining the section are welcome to attend.

Please RSVP to Donna Zeoli at dzeoli@wolfblock.com by March 31. For more information about the Bankruptcy Committee please contact Committee Chair Kevin Buraks at 215-977-2473 or kburaks@wolfblock.com or Vice Chair Brad Sandler at 215-568-7515 or bsandler@adelmanlaw.com.

U.S. Supreme Court Induction Deadline April 5

The Philadelphia Bar Association will move 50 of our members for admission to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court on Monday, May 22. The admission ceremony will be made to the full Court sitting in session in Washington D.C. The day's events will include a continental breakfast, the swearing in ceremony and then a group photograph and tour of the court. Each inductee is able to bring one guest only.

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 www.supremecourtus.gov. Select the bar admissions tab on the left-hand side and this will bring you to the link for bar admission instructions and bar admission forms. Please read the bar admission instructions carefully. Once you have determined that you are eligible for admission, please print out and complete the admission forms. The instructions and guidelines are very specific and must be followed scrupulously. Do not fold the application and do not use staples. Use paper clips only.

Once you have successful completely the admission forms, please mail them with your check for $100 made out to the Philadelphia Bar Association to: David Burt, Director of Meetings & Special Events, Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107. Do not send the application directly to the Supreme Court. This event will be on a first-come, first-serve basis and all applications must be received by 12 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, 2006. If you have any questions regarding this event, please do not hesitate to contact David Burt at 215-238-6360 or via e-mail at dburt@philabar.org.

Mfume to Address Bar at June 19 Quarterly Meeting

Kweisi Mfume, former president and chief executive officer of the NAACP and candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland, will deliver the annual Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. Memorial Public Interest Lecture at the Philadelphia Bar Association's Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon on Monday, June 19 at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue.

A lifelong champion of individual rights, Judge Higginbotham had a legal career that spanned nearly half a century. Since Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the ChildrenÂ’s Defense Fund, delivered the first Higginbotham lecture in 1999, notables such as Juan Williams, Charles J. Ogletree, Chaka Fattah and Cornel West have filled the role. Tickets to the luncheon are $50 for Association members and $55 for non-members and are available at philadelphiabar.org.

Mfume began his public service career in 1979 when he was elected to Baltimore City Council. During his seven years in local government, he led the efforts to diversify city government, improve community safety, enhance minority business development and divest city funds from the apartheid government of South Africa. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for Maryland's 7th District in 1986, Mfume served on the Banking and Financial Services Committee, and held the ranking seat on the General Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. He served as a member of the Committee on Education and as a senior member of the Small Business Committee and the Ethics Committee. He later chaired the Joint Economic Committee of the House and Senate and during his final term, he was the vice-chairman for Communications. Mfume also served as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and as the Caucus' chair of the Task Force on Affirmative Action.

After serving five terms in Congress, Mfume resigned in 1996 to take over as the leader of the NAACP, a post he held for nine years. He is credited with restoring respect to the Association as well as instituting management and financial structures that led to an increase in endowment funds as well as a budget surplus. In March 2005, Mfume announced his candidacy for the Senate seat currently held by Paul Sarbanes, who will retire this year after serving in the Senate since 1977. Mfume, a member of the Democratic Party, seeks to become the first African American to represent Maryland in the Senate.

Former Justice Nigro to Address Pay Raise Issue

Former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Russell M. Nigro will discuss the recent legislative pay raise backlash at the Monday, April 10 meeting of the Professional Responsibility Committee.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 10th floor Board Room of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. A complimentary lunch will be served.

6ABC's Anita Brikman to Address Committees April 21

Anita Brikman, who has brought insight and clarity to difficult issues as WPVI - 6 ABC's medical reporter for more than a decade, will be the speaker at a joint meeting of the Medical/Legal and Bar-News Media committees on Friday, April 21. The lunch event begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St.

Brikman's "HealthCheck" segments have covered a variety of topics important to the health of individuals and families, including recent segments on avian flu, prescription drug recalls and mercury contamination in fish. Following the devastating tsunami of December 2004, she traveled to Indonesia to chronicle a medical relief mission undertaken by local physicians. In the fall of 2005, she presented two half-hour specials on 6ABC: "Heritage of Hope: 150 Years of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia," and "BodyWorlds."

Brikman, a Summa Cum Laude of Miami University in Ohio, worked at various television stations in Indiana and Ohio before joining the 6 ABC Action News team in 1994. To register for this event, visit philadelphiabar.org.

Chancellor's Forum on Judicial Selection April 28

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge George W. Overton, State Sen. Anthony Williams and Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts Executive Director Lynn A. Marks will be among the panelists at the Association's Chancellor's Forum on Judicial Selection on Friday, April 28 from 12 to 2 p.m.

Sen. Williams, who represents Pennsylvania's 8th District, is one of the sponsors of Senate Bill 100, which would amend the Pennsylvania state Constitution to adopt a new judicial selection system for Philadelphia.

The bill would establish "a means to better ensure a strong, qualified, and diverse bench for Philadelphia County through creation of (a) specified criteria and (b) a judicial selection committee for potential judges for the Common Pleas and Municipal courts."

Other panelists will be announced in the upcoming weeks. The Chancellor's Forum will be held in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. For more information, visit philadelphiabar.org.

President Judge Jones to Receive Honor April 5

The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund and Philadelphia Host Committee will honor Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas President Judge C. Darnell Jones II at its 4th Annual Awards of Excellence on Wednesday, April 5 at the National Constitution Center.

Click here for ticket information. For additional information, call (201) 227-8427.

Ginsburg Essay Contest Entries Due by April 28

The Philadelphia Bar Association is pleased to announce the Fourth Annual Legal Writing Competition in honor of the Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In so doing, the Bar Association recognizes the importance of excellence in legal analysis and writing skills, and seeks to award a student enrolled in a Philadelphia-area law school for authoring a top-quality competition submission. The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 28.

This competition is open to full- and part-time law students who are in their second or third year of study during the 2005-06 academic year at one of the following five institutions: University of Pennsylvania School of Law, The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers (Camden) School of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law, Villanova University School of Law, Widener University School of Law (Delaware Campus). Students must be in good standing at their institutions. The submission may not have been published previously, although it may have been prepared in connection with a law school course. The submission also may not have been submitted for any other competition during the time when it is under consideration for this Competition, until after the time when awards are announced. The submission must be the work of one author alone (joint submissions will not be considered), and the author must certify that the submission has been prepared without substantial editing from others.

Candidates may submit a law review quality submission on any topic relating to rights, privileges and responsibilities under federal law.

The author of the first place submission will receive a cash award of $2,500, the publication of the winning submission in The Philadelphia Lawyer magazine, on the Bar AssociationÂ’s Web site and/or in an appropriate Bar Association publication. The winner of the First Place award will be invited to the Quarterly Meeting of the Bar Association in October 2006, at which time the award will be presented. Click here for more information.

Law Week Events Need Volunteers

The Young Lawyers Division needs volunteers for its annual Law Week celebration that runs from Monday, May 1 through Friday, May 5.

Events in which volunteer attorneys work with Philadelphia students will take place throughout the week including Lawyer in the Classroom and Lawyer for Day. In addition, there will be a Law Fair at the Gallery at Market East mall at which volunteer attorneys counsel area residents, free-of-charge.

Volunteers are needed for all Law Week events. For more information on these events, and how to volunteer, visit www.philadelphiabar.org.

YLD Comedy Night May 6

Comedian Christian Finnegan, of VH1's "Best Week Ever," will be the featured performer at the YLD Comedy Night on Saturday, May 6, at the Academy of Natural Sciences, from 7 to 11 p.m.

Admission for the event is $55, which, in addition to the show, includes an open bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres, and dancing. Additional entertainment to be announced in the coming days. All proceeds from this event benefit the Philadelphia Bar Foundation. Click here to purchase tickets online.

Weekly Snapshot: Support Center for Child Advocates

The Support Center for Child Advocates is Philadelphia's lawyer volunteer program for abused and neglected children, providing legal assistance and social service advocacy to more than 700 children each year. Since 1977, Child Advocates has been one of the most successful volunteer models serving children in the country, with more than 300 active volunteers. Each child receives the service of a staff social worker who is teamed with a trained volunteer attorney throughout the term of representation.

Case example: Two little boys, aged two and three, were referred to Child Advocates for representation when their mother was charged with criminal neglect for leaving the children alone at home. The children were placed with extended family members while their mother was admitted to an inpatient drug treatment program and completed a term of probation for the neglect of her children. Initially the mother did well and worked hard to maintain her recovery and to regain custody of her children. Unfortunately, the mother's drug use resumed and the children were recommitted to the protection of the Department of Human Services and placed in foster care. Two years later, the boys were adopted by their loving foster family. In all, volunteer attorneys and Child Advocates' social workers advocated on behalf of the two brothers for seven years.

To learn more about Child Advocates visit www.advokid.org and plan to join them for their Annual Benefit Reception, Champions for Children, on May 24, a celebration of their volunteers with fine food, live music and a silent auction.

Organizations Schedule Spring Fund-Raisers

The Legal Clinic for the Disabled's 4th Annual Spring Celebration & Silent Auction will take place Thursday, April 6 at Blank Rome LLP's Comisky Conference Center, 18th & Cherry streets. Tickets are $40 and include fine beverages and hors d'oeuvres, music by Melody Gardot and John Train. For information or tickets contact Tom Prettyman at (215) 587-3357 or tprettyman@mageerehab.org.

The Homeless Advocacy Project's April Benefit will take place Thursday, April 20 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Conservatory of the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue. The evening will feature complimentary hors d'oeuvres and drinks in addition to dancing. An extensive auction will be held with a wide variety of items including sports memorabilia, dinners at the best Philadelphia restaurants, original artwork, collectibles, and much more. For tickets ($50 per person) or for information on sponsorship, please call Miranda Murray at (215) 523-9588.

HIAS & Council Migration Service will hold its annual fundraiser, "A Taste of Liberty," on Wednesday, April 26, from 6 to 8 pm at the National Liberty Museum. This year's honoree is Joseph Poon - world-renown master chef, immigrant entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist. In recognition of his creativity and contributions to our region, HIAS and Council will honor Poon with an "Immigrant Entrepreneur Award." Former Channel 10 News Anchor Steve Levy will host the event. For more information, to become a sponsor or reserve a seat, contact Steven Malamud at (215) 821-0920 or by e-mail at smalamud@hiaspa.org.

The SeniorLAW Center will hold a "Take a Chance for Seniors" Casino Night on Thursday, April 27 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Mellon Bank Center, 1735 Market St. Take a chance at our fun-filled, exciting evening of gaming to benefit SeniorLAW Center. Take a chance and test your luck at blackjack, craps, roulette, money wheel and poker. Use your winning chips to qualify for incredible prizes to be raffled away. Come gamble, eat, drink, enjoy live music and silent auctions. For more information, visit www.seniorlawcenter.org.

Don't Delay, Order The Legal Directory 2006 Today

The Legal Directory 2006 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 - available in early April - includes listings for more than 1,500 law firms and 17,000 attorneys in Philadelphia and the surrounding Pennsylvania counties, Delaware and New Jersey.

But The Legal Directory 2006 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; alternative dispute resolution resources; and a special business-to-business section tailored to the legal community.

This year, for the first time, 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.

Order The Legal Directory 2006 now for the discounted pre-publication price of $57.95 (plus shipping and tax). Place your order now at www.thelegaldirectory.org.

Bar Leaders Making Media Appearances

Kathleen A. Stephenson, chair-elect of the Probate Section, will appear on the Tuesday, April 4 "Money Matters Today" show on CN8. The segment is titled "The Good Will" and airs at 8 p.m. It will re-air on April 5 at 1 a.m.

Successfully Litigating the Auto Accident Case

PBI's Successfully Litigating the Auto Accident Case on April 6 offers an overview of issues confronted by practitioners in the handling of auto cases in Pennsylvania and focuses upon the day-to-day handling of the auto case. This program is designed for attorneys with less experience as well as the practitioner who handles auto cases as only part of a more diversified practice. This 5 substantive/1 ethics credit hour program will be held in Philadelphia on Thursday, April 6, at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m. For additional 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, April 4
7th Annual Estate & Elder Law Symposium
5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Wednesday, April 5
Family Law Institute
5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 6
Successfully Litigating the Auto Accident Case
5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credit
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Understanding How Eminent Domain Works in Pennsylvania
3 substantive CLE credits
9 a.m. to 12:15 a.m.

Friday, April 7
Commercial Document Series 2006 - Employment Agreements
2 substantive CLE credits
8 to 10:15 a.m.

The Greatest Trials Ever Held
5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

How to Do Means Testing Under the New Bankruptcy Law
3 substantive CLE credits
12:30 to 3:45 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.