Monday, June 5, 2006
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 7, No. 38

June 5 Chancellor's Forum
to Explore Diversity Issues

A Chancellor's Forum, "Diversity Beyond the Large Firms," will be held today (Monday, June 5) beginning at 1 p.m. at the CLE Conference Center at the Wanamaker Building. Speakers include (from left) Chancellor-Elect Jane L. Dalton, Charisse R. Lillie and Melissa M. Gomez. This unique conference for small and mid-size firms and public interest practitioners will feature a discussion on the challenges and successes for creating a diverse and inclusive work environment...READ MORE
 

Chancellor's Forum on Diversity Beyond the Large Firms

A Chancellor's Forum, "Diversity Beyond the Large Firms," will be held today (Monday, June 5) beginning at 1 p.m. at the CLE Conference Center at the Wanamaker Building. This unique conference for small and mid-size firms and public interest practitioners will feature a discussion on the challenges and successes for creating a diverse and inclusive work environment.

Chancellor Elect Jane L. Dalton will open the event, followed by keynote speaker Charisse R. Lillie, vice president of human resources for Comcast. Trial consultant Melissa M. Gomez will present "The Journey Continues: Understanding What It Means to Have a Diversity-Friendly Workplace."

The panel discussion "Creating a Model for Progress: Diversity Challenges and Successes From the Front Lines" follows, with moderator Karen Jackson Vaughn and panelists Carl G. Cooper, former Chancellor Deborah R. Willig, Roosevelt Hairston Jr., Louis Rulli and James A. Pabarue. A reception with federal and state judges follows from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m.

Three CLE credits are available for this program. The program is free to those who don't want CLE credit. The tuition is $149 for Philadelphia Bar Association members who wish to receive CLE credit; $150 for non-members of the Association admitted after Jan. 1, 2002 and $170 for non-members of the Association. To register for this event, visit pbi.org or call (800) 247-4724.

Ethics in Family Law CLE June 5

The Family Law Section will present "Ethics in Family Law: Sticking to the Straight and Narrow When the Case Takes Twists and Turns" today (Monday, June 5) beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Panelists for the program include Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Family Court Division Judge Idee C. Fox; former Family Law Section Chair David I. Grunfeld; and Paul Kazaras, assistant executive director of the Philadelphia Bar Association, and staff counsel to the Professional Guidance and Professional Responsibility Committees. The panel will address ethical issues that family lawyers regularly face, including defining the attorney-client relationship, dealing with difficult clients in emotionally charged circumstances and negotiating with and litigating against pro se parties.

Registration and lunch begin at 11:30 a.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. The program has been approved for 1 ethics 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 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 at 1-800-932-4637.

Lunch will be available for an additional $7.50 per person. Click here to purchase lunch for this event.

Probate Section Quarterly Meeting June 6

The Probate and Trust Section will hold its quarterly lunch/CLE program "Fiduciary Law in the First State: What a Pennsylvania Practitioner Should Know About Delaware's Law, Practice and Procedure" on Tuesday, June 6.

Speakers for the program include Steven R. Director, The Bayard Firm; Todd A. Flubacher, Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell, LLP; Thomas O. Hiscott, Heckscher, Teillon, Terrill & Sager, P.C.; and Anne L. Stallman of J.P. Morgan Trust Company.

The program begins at 12:30 p.m. A demonstration of the Register of Wills newly developed computerization program will be held at 11:30 a.m. The program will be held at the CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building. Two substantive CLE credits are available for this program. Click here to register for this program.

Specter, Nutter on YLD Ethics Panel June 9

U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (left) and Philadelphia City Councilman Michael Nutter will be panelists as the Young Lawyers Division presents "Ethics in Government and Politics" on Friday, June 9.

The roundtable discussion, part of the YLD's 2020 lunchtime seminar series for young lawyers, will be held at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute's CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wannamaker Building. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. and the panel discussion will begin promptly at 12 p.m. and will conclude at 1 p.m. A third panelist will be named in the future.

YLD Chair Michael B. Hayes and YLD Executive Committee member Jocelyn Gabrynowicz will serve as moderators. The event is open to all members of the Philadelphia Bar Association. The first 50 members of the YLD to register for the event at philadelphiabar.org will receive a free lunch. All YLD members after the first 50 and all general members of the Association who wish to purchase lunch can do so for $7.50. Click here to register for this event.

Brandeis Law Society to Mark Jewish Law Day June 7

All members of the legal community are invited to join The Louis D. Brandeis Law Society when it kicks off a yearlong observance of the 150th birthday of Justice Brandeis by welcoming Virginia Commonwealth University Prof. Melvin I. Urofsky (left) for its 24th Annual Jewish Law Day, Wednesday, June 7 at 4:30 pm. at the Jewish Community Services Building, 2100 Arch St.

Prof. Urofsky will discuss "Louis D. Brandeis: Educator Extraordinaire" at the free session, which includes a one-hour substantive law credit granted by the Pennsylvania CLE Board. The event also honors Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas President Judge C. Darnell Jones II and Judge Frederica A. Massiah-Jackson, immediate-past president judge.

Complimentary valet parking will be provided on-site and the event will be preceded by a Mincha service and followed by a reception. Dietary laws will be observed. Reservations can be made at brandeislawsociety.org.

Jewish Law Day is sponsored by the Brandeis Society, the Committee of Lawyers and Judges and VAAD, the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia. The event is co-chaired by Harris T. Bock, Judge Abraham J. Gafni and Rabbi David L. Gutterman.

73 Firms Donate $1.2 Million to Raising the Bar Campaign

The law firms of Kohn, Swift & Graf, P.C., Kolsby, Gordon, Robin, Shore & Bezar, P.C.; Messa & Associates, P.C., Seidel Weitz Garfinkle & Datz, LLC, Wapner Newman Wigrizer and Brecher, and Tabas and Rosen have joined the growing list of law firms that have pledged more than $1.2 million in support of Chancellor Alan M. Feldman's Raising the Bar Campaign to support legal services.

The 73 law firms, representing more than 3,800 attorneys, have pledged $1,225,020. Campaign organizers remain confident that many more firms will agree to participate in the weeks and months ahead, according to Feldman. The Raising the Bar Campaign is a joint effort by the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Philadelphia Bar Foundation to increase funding for Philadelphia public interest law centers.

Each firm made a pledge of at least $300 per attorney in its Philadelphia office, with a number of firms committing to as much as $400. Seventeen of the firms are among the 20 largest as listed in PaLAW 2005. To contribute, contact Maureen Mingey, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation.

Click here for a list of the participating law firms and for more information about the Raising the Bar campaign.

Civil Rights Committee to Discuss AIDS Crisis June 7

Julie Davids, executive director and founder of Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization for Power, will discuss "The Worst Public Health Crisis of Modern Times: Fighting to End AIDS" at the Wednesday, June 7 meeting of the Civil Rights Committee.

Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization for Power is an organization committed to a prevention justice movement in order to address the underlying challenges of poverty, racism and homophobia. CHAMP is designed to train participants to become more effective in local, national and international advocacy.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. To RSVP for this meeting, contact Dawn Burger at (215) 238-6367.

Judge to Address Bankruptcy Committee June 12

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Eric L. Frank will discuss his recent transition from lawyer to judge at the Monday, June 12 meeting of the Business Law Section's Bankruptcy Committee.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. at the offices of WolfBlock, 1650 Arch St., 22nd floor. Lunch will be provided to all in attendance. Please RSVP to Donna Zeoli at dzeoli@wolfblock.com by June 9.

Discussion Forums Now Available at philadelphiabar.org

Philadelphia Bar Association members have a powerful new tool for exchanging information with their colleagues on practice-related issues and other topics of interest with the launch of the Association's new Discussion Forums network at philadelphiabar.org.

The Association created Discussion Forums for members of every Section and the Young Lawyers Division. Forums soon will be launched for the Association's Committees, as well as Committees within Sections.

Any Association member in good standing of one of these groups can instantly access the Discussion Forum for that group by logging in to their personalized homepage at philadelphiabar.org, and clicking "My Discussion Forums" at the bottom of the page. Members can also access the Forums through a link on the right side of Section and YLD homepages. For more information, visit philadelphiabar.org.

Federal Bench-Bar Conference June 16 at Loews

The Federal Courts Committee's annual Federal Bench-Bar Conference moves back into the city on Friday, June 16 with a full program of seminars and a keynote luncheon address from U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Marjorie O. Rendell.

The Federal Bench-Bar Conference will be held at Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 1200 Market St. A total of 3 CLE credits, including .5 ethics credits, are available. Seminars for the conference include "Managing Multi-District Litigation," "How Focus on Ethics and Professionalism Improves the Relationship Between the Bench and Bar," "Addressing Requests to Waive Attorney-Client Privilege in Criminal Matters" and "Pending Rules Changes on Discovery of Electronic Documents."

Tuition, which includes breakfast, a course book and lunch, is $175 for members of the bar admitted before Jan. 1, 2002 and $155 for members admitted after Jan. 1, 2002. Registration and breakfast begin at 7:45 a.m. Click here to register for this event.

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 spoken at the annual lecture. Tickets to the luncheon are $50 for Association members and $55 for non-members. Click here to purchase tickets online. New members of the Association's 50-, 60-, 65- and 70-Year Clubs will also be honored, with attorney Paul N. Minkoff speaking on their behalf.

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.

June 13 Program to Explore Commerce Court Litigation

Since January 2000, all business litigation filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas has been referred to the Commerce Case Management Program. The judges assigned to the Commerce Case Management Program have developed unique rules and procedures applicable to these cases. All attorneys handling commercial litigation in Philadelphia are required to be familiar with these innovations. Join course planner Mitchell Bach and a panel of Commerce Case Management judges, who will review, in detail, the operation of the Commerce Management Program as well as discuss its evolution since its inception on Tuesday, June 13.

The topics will include organization of the Commerce Case Management Program; assignment of cases to the Commerce Case Management Program; Commerce Case Management Procedures; Commerce Case Management Program judges pro tempore, alternative dispute resolution and mediation; and development of Commerce Court Case Management Programs in other courts. The program begins at 9 a.m. at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Tuition for Bar Association members is $169; for members admitted after Jan. 1, 2002, tuition is $149; tuition for nonmembers is $189. Click here for more information.

VIP Training Opportunities Available

Paul Feldman will present an overiew of guardianship practices in Pennsylvania focusing on how to handle a guardianship proceeding on Tuesday, June 20 from 12 to 2:15 p.m. at the offices of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, 1701 Market St.

The seminar will define who may be appointed a guardian, how a guardianship proceeding is initiated, and what a court considers when determining whether to appoint a guardian. Two CLE credits are available for this program. Please call VIP at (215) 523-9550 to reserve your space.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Anne E. Lazarus will teach a VIP training session "Probating Estates and Alternatives to Probate in Philadelphia - Homeownership Issues" on Tuesday, June 27 from 3 to 4:15 p.m. at the offices of WolfBlock, 1650 Arch St., 22nd Floor.

Judge Lazarus will talk about the probate process and the alternatives to probate that are used to convey title to low-income clients. It covers the legal grounds, procedures, and forms for probating an estate and, alternatively, for filing a petition in Orphans' Court for determination of title, with an emphasis on the issues that low-income clients frequently encounter in obtaining title to a property. This discussion will also address how volunteer attorneys can utilize the financial assistance of the Tangled Title Fund project in representing these low-income clients. Attorneys can earn one (1) Substantive CLE credit if they accept a VIP case. Please contact Philadelphia VIP at (215) 523-9550, to reserve your space.

Sections Plan Spring Events

• The Workers' Compensation Section will hold its annual spring party on Wednesday, June 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant, 4120 Main St., in Manayunk. Tickets are $45 per person and includes two drink tickets and heavy hors d'oeuvres. Click here to order tickets online.

• The Real Property Section will hold its Annual Spring Reception on Thursday, June 8 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Maggiano's Little Italy, 1201 Filbert St. Tickets to the event are $5 and are available by clicking here.

• The Family Law Section will hold a reception to welcome new Family Court judges and honor new Family Court Administrative Judge Kevin M. Dougherty on Thursday, June 22 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 1200 Market St., on the 33rd floor.

Tickets are $45 for Section members; $40 for employees of the First Judicial District and $50 for non-members of the Section. Tickets include one drink. Hors d'oeuvres, a carving station, a pasta station and dessert will be available. Click here to purchase tickets.

Organizations Schedule Spring Fund-Raisers

The SeniorLAW Center will host a Happy Hour at Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St., from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 15, followed by a comedy show starting at 8 p.m. featuring national headliner Greg Warren. Proceeds benefit the work of SeniorLAW Center. For ticket information, call 215-701-3203 or e-mail lfelzer@seniorlawcenter.org.

Friends of Farmworkers will hold its 30th Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, June 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, 11th and Arch streets. Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Frederica A. Massiah-Jackson, Immediate-Past Chancellor Andrew A. Chirls and Efren Diego will be honored at the event. Tickets are $75. For more information, call (215) 733-0878 or e-mail admin@friendsfw.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 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.

Bar Foundation Golf Classic June 26

The 18th Annual Philadelphia Bar Foundation Golf Classic will be held Monday, June 26 at Philadelphia Cricket Club in Flourtown. The 18-hole tournament, which benefits the Foundation, will begin at 12:30 p.m. with a shotgun start on both the Wissahickon and Militia Hill courses. Click here to register online.

The 2005 tournament raised more than $100,000 for the Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Bar Association. During 2005, the Foundation funded 29 law-related programs with grants ranging from $2,000 to $100,000.

Prizes will be awarded for team low net, individual low net and individual low gross. A new prize for law-firm (defined as a foursome with at least three members from the same firm) low gross will also be awarded.

The tournament is open to the public with a general fee of $375 that includes greens fees, golf cart, lunch, refreshments on the course, and cocktails and dinner. Members of the Association's Young Lawyers Division may participate for a discounted fee of $295. Event and hole sponsorships are also available. For more information on sponsorships or playing in the event, contact Melissa Engler at (215) 238-6347. Click here to register online.

YLD Summer in the City Party July 13

The Young Lawyers Division will host its annual Summer in the City party on Thursday, July 13 at the Print Center, 1614 Latimer St., from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This annual event is a great opportunity for summer associates to network with young members of the legal community.

The cost of admission is $25 and will include an open bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres. All young lawyers and summer associates are encouraged to attend.

Bike-a-Thon Training Rides on Saturdays

The Association's team for the American Cancer Society Bike-a-Thon will begin training rides this weekend. Riders will meet every Saturday at 7 a.m. and leave from Spring Mill train station on the Schuylkyll Bike Path.

Riders of all abilities are welcome and the training sessions will go only as far as the riders are comfortable. If you will be riding on Saturday please send a confirming e-mail to Jeffrey Abramowitz.

This year's Bike-a-Thon is scheduled for Sunday, July 9 and begins at 7 a.m. at the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia and stretches 62.5 miles to Lenape Park in Mays Landing, N.J. There are also starting points at Cherry Hill High School East on Kresson Road in Cherry Hill, N.J. and Mazzas Furniture on 12th Street in Hammonton, N.J.

The ACS Bike-a-Thon Expo is set for Saturday, July 8 at Dave & Busters on Columbus Boulevard from 12 to 5 p.m. For more information, contact Jeffrey Abramowitz at (215) 568-4980 or visit acsbike.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!

Weekly Snapshot: Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project

The Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project is entering its 15th year of operations. CBAP is a nonprofit referral agency assisting Philadelphians whose incomes fall below the federal poverty guidelines. Clients need Chapter 7 bankruptcy or debt counseling to deal with consumer or medical debts. CBAP refers clients to attorneys for pro bono representation. The elderly, the disabled, the illiterate, and the homeless are in need of our services and seek CBAP's services to deal with their severe debt problems.

CBAP has successfully adjusted to the new requirements of the recently enacted revisions of the Bankruptcy Code. Attorneys and clients are impacted by these changes but CBAP now has administrative systems in place that enable volunteer attorneys to efficiently guide a client through the additional required steps to a full discharge of their debts. It is an added difficulty for them but clients have navigated the five new requirements, including two financial counseling sessions, with surprising success. The burden of the new requirements falls mostly on the shoulders of our clients. They must provide their volunteer attorney and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court with more documentation of their finances, tax and employment history. Since CBAP clients are in such serious need of this important legal tool, they prevail in providing this information.

CBAP volunteer attorneys from Pepper Hamilton LLP; Duane Morris LLP; Fox Rothschild LLP; Adelman Lavine Gold & Levin; Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, LLP; Donovan Searles, LLC; Cozen O'Connor; Spector Gadon & Rosen, P.C.; WolfBlock; and Swartz Campbell LLC have represented many CBAP clients and enabled them to substantially change their financial situation. As a result of successfully filing for Ch. 7 bankruptcy, clients benefit by receiving the opportunity for a financial "fresh start."

For more information about the Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project, please contact Mary Anne Lucey, Project Director, at 215-523-9511.

How to Win Your Next Trial Using the Power Trial Method

David Gross will present "How to Win Your Next Trial Using the Power Trial Method" on Thursday, June 8. Gross will show you how to reduce overall stress associated with jury trials by emphasizing certain key elements of persuasion and presentation; focusing on the jury at all times while remaining true to one's "persuasive self." This 6 substantive credit hour program will be held in Philadelphia on Thursday, June 8, at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 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, June 6
Fiduciary Law in the First State
2 substantive CLE credits
12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 7
Review of the Supreme Court’s 2005-2006 Term
1 substantive CLE credits
12 to 1 p.m.

Thursday, June 8
How to Win Your Next Trial Using the Power Trial Method
6 substantive CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Winning Zoning Cases in Philadelphia
3 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
12 to 4:15 p.m.

Friday, June 9
Trying Cases in Federal District Court
3 substantive, .5 ethics CLE credits
9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Monday, June 12
Social Security Disability: The Basics
4 substantive CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Legal Issues in Advertising
4 substantive CLE credits
12 to 4:30 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.