Thursday, April 13, 2006
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 7, No. 21

Chancellor's Forum to Address
"Election Versus Selection"

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 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 selection 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 a 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.

Workers' Comp Program on Mediation April 19

The Workers' Compensation Section will hold the CLE program "Preparing Your Client for Mediation" on Wednesday, April 19.

Panelists for the program include Judge Martin Burman of the Workers Compensation Office of Adjudication along with attorneys Nancy M. Farese, Arthur C. Girton and Wendy Slear. The program is designed to assist practitioners in preparing themselves and their clients for mediation in front of a Workers' Compensation judge.

The program has been approved for 1 substantive CLE credit. Participants wishing to receive the CLE credit will be required to pay $25 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for more than five years and $20 for members admitted for less than five years. Contact the Pennsylvania Bar Institute to register for this program at (800) 932-4637. Lunch is available for this program for an additional cost of $7.50 per person.

Magistrate Judges to Talk About Settlement Conferences

A panel of U.S. Magistrate judges will offer observations and suggestions from the court's perspective on settlement conferences at the Wednesday, April 19 meeting of the Federal Courts Committee.

The panelists include Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge M. Faith Angell, U.S. Magistrate Judges Thomas J. Rueter and David Strawbridge and Third Circuit mediator Penny Ellison. The meeting begins at 12:30 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 pay 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 been keynote speakers. Tickets to the luncheon are $50 for Association members and $55 for non-members. Click here to purchase tickets online.

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.

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.

Legal Directory 2006 Now Available for Purchase

The Legal Directory 2006 is now available. If you've ordered your copy, it will soon arrive; if not, place your order now for this indispensable resource – and receive free access to The Legal Directory Online.

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, in addition to Bar Association 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.

New for 2006, each copy of The Legal Directory includes complimentary access to The Legal Directory Online. So information will be only a few mouse clicks away and accessible wherever you go.

Over the coming weeks, new features will be available on The Legal Directory Online. You can still search for firms and attorneys; but you'll also have information on local courts and court rules, area bar associations and breaking legal news at your fingertips.
Click here to order The Legal Directory 2006 today!

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.

Reception for Commerce Court Judges May 11

The Business Litigation Committee will hold its annual reception for Commerce Court judges on Thursday, May 11 at the Westin Philadelphia, 99 S. 17th St., beginning at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $80 per person or $750 for a group of 10. Cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served. Visit philadelphiabar.org to purchase tickets for this event.

Organizations Schedule Spring Fund-Raisers

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.

Bar Association Night at the Phillies June 14

Join your colleagues and friends at Citizens Bank Park at Bar Association Night at the Phillies on Wednesday, June 14 when the Phillies take on their National League East rivals, the New York Mets, at 7:05 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here. Tickets are $36 for 100-level seats and $28. The login name for the electronic ticket purchase is BARN and the password is 0614. The log-in is case sensitive, so make sure the items are entered correctly.