Thursday, April 6, 2006
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 7, No. 19

April 28 Chancellor's Forum
Includes Lawmakers, Judge

Four distinguished panelists will debate the issue "How Pennsylvania Chooses its Judges: Election Versus Selection" as Chancellor Alan M. Feldman hosts a Chancellor's Forum on Friday, April 28. The panelists include (above, from left) Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge George W. Overton, state Sen. Anthony H. Williams, state Rep. Mark B. Cohen and Lynn A. Marks, executive director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts...READ MORE
 

Chancellor's Forum on Judicial Selection April 28

Four distinguished panelists will debate "How Pennsylvania Chooses its Judges: Election Versus Selection" as Chancellor Alan M. Feldman hosts a forum on Friday, April 28 in the Association’s 11th floor conference center at 1101 Market St. from 12 to 2 p.m.

Arguing in favor of merit select will be state Sen. Anthony Williams, who represents the 8th Pennsylvania Senate District and Lynn A. Marks, executive director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts. Speaking in favor of the election of judges will be Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge George W. Overton and state Rep. Mark B. Cohen, who represents the 202nd House District for the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Judge Overton, who earned his law degree from Widener University School of Law, was in private practice for 15 years before being elected to the bench in 2001. Rep. Cohen, who also has his law degree from Widener University, is the Democratic Caucus Chairman.

Sens. Williams and Vincent Fumo are sponsors of Senate Bill 100, which would amend the state Constitution to adopt a new judicial selection system for Philadelphia. It is modeled on merit selection using a bi-partisan citizen-based nominating commission to evaluate individuals interested in becoming a Common Pleas or Municipal Court judge. Lynn A. Marks, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, has led Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts since 1990. She was a principal advisor to former Gov. Tom Ridge in his effort to achieve merit selection of judges and co-chaired the transition team's Judicial Issues Task Force of Gov. Edward G. Rendell.

A complimentary lunch is included with this free program, but R.S.V.P. is required. To register, visit www.philadelphiabar.org or call 215-238-6300.

Legal Directory 2006 Now Available for Purchase

The Legal Directory 2006 is now available for purchase! You won't want to miss the most comprehensive resource for the Philadelphia-area legal community. This year's edition includes listings for more than 1,500 law firms and 17,000 attorneys in Philadelphia and the surrounding Pennsylvania counties, Delaware and New Jersey.

The Legal Directory 2006 includes 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. Best of all, this year, for the first time, each copy of The Legal Directory includes complimentary access to The Legal Directory Online. So the information you need is only a few mouse clicks away!

"For more than 125 years, your Legal Directory has been an indispensable part of your professional life with updated and comprehensive information about lawyers, judges, the courts, government agencies and law-related groups and services throughout the five-county region. Certainly, 2006 is no exception," said Chancellor Alan M. Feldman. "With our publishing partner, Media Two, and our sponsor, PNC Advisors, we are constantly working to improve and enhance The Legal Directory. Our aim is to provide you with the most modern, useful and convenient service imaginable." Click here to order The Legal Directory 2006 today!

"Eagles Live" Host is Latest "Hot Interview"

Philadelphia Eagles' Dave Spadaro, host of "Eagles Live!", offers insights on last year's T.O. situation and hopes for the season ahead in the latest "Hot Interviews with Very Cool People" podcast episode.

Visit philadelphiabar.org/Podcast to hear the latest programs that have been added. "Hot Interviews with Very Cool People" are interviews with the region's top movers and shakers in and out of the legal community.

Pa. Human Relations Commission Anniversary Luncheon Today

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission will celebrate 50 years of service to the residents of Pennsylvania with an educational forum and awards luncheon today (Thursday, April 6) at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel in Philadelphia.

The PHRC is mandated to enforce the Commonwealth's laws that prohibit discrimination because of race, color, religion, ancestry, age (40 and above), sex, national origin, non-job related disability, known association with a disabled individual, possession of a diploma based on passing a general education development test and familial status. The PHRC's jurisdiction covers employment, housing and commercial real estate, public accommodations, education, refusal or willingness to participate in abortion procedures and monitoring racial tension situations.

For ticket information, contact Carol Feguer at (717) 787-4412 or Carlene Neal at (215) 560-2496.

Former Justice Nigro to Discuss 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.

Judge Colins to Address Zoning Committee

James Gardner Colins, president judge of Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, will be the guest speaker at the Thursday, April 13 meeting of the Zoning, Land Use and Code Enforcement 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 register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this meeting.

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 Children’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.

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.

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.

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 Association’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.

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.