Monday, June 19, 2006
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 7, No. 42
 

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 and are available for purchase at the door. 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.

Discussion Forums Debut 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 Section and YLD homepages. For more information, visit philadelphiabar.org.

85 Firms Raise $1.35 Million for Legal Services

With the addition of Naulty, Scaricamazza, and McDevitt, LLC, 85 firms have now joined the growing list of law firms that have pledged more than $1.35 million in support of Chancellor Alan M. Feldman's Raising the Bar Campaign to support legal services.

The 85 law firms, representing more than 4,200 attorneys, have pledged $1,359,120. 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.

Workers' Comp CLE Program June 21

A panel of Workers' Compensation judges will participate in a "Five-County Discussion" CLE program at the Wednesday, June 21 meeting of the Workers' Compensation Section.

This course provides practitioners with the opportunity to discuss current practice and procedure topics with judges from five regional offices. Judges Patricia M. Bachman, Debra Bowers, Donald Poorman, A. Michael Snyder and Joseph Stokes are scheduled to participate in the program, beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch and registration begin at 12 p.m.

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. If you wish to register in advance please visit pbi.org, call PBI Customer Service at 1-800-932-4637.

Lunch is available for $7.50 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this event.

Learn About Knowledge Industries Blueprint June 22

Duane Bumb and Josh Sevin of the Philadelphia Department of Commerce will discuss the blueprint for expanding Philadelphia's knowledge industries at the Thursday, June 22 meeting of the City Policy Committee.

In the Economic Development Blueprint for a Greater Philadelphia released last year, Mayor John F. Street identified his top economic development priorities for the remainder of his administration. First among these was expanding Philadelphia's Knowledge Industries to make Philadelphia a more vibrant and competitive global city. The blueprint laid out strategies to attract and retain college students and young professionals, provide knowledge economy skills to Philadelphia's existing workforce, and grow specific knowledge industry sectors such as the life sciences, technology, and the creative economy.

Sevin and Bumb will talk about the city's efforts in this area, including such efforts as the Knowledge Industry Partnership - aimed at attracting and keeping recent degree recipients - and public/private joint ventures like Innovation Philadelphia, and the effort to permit foreign-trained lawyers to sit for the Pennsylvania bar.

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 meeting.

Judge Bartle to Address Committee June 22

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Harvey Bartle III will address members of the Labor and Employment Law Committee on Thursday, June 22.

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 RSVP for this program.

State Civil Litigation Quarterly Meeting June 26

Harris Bock and James C. Haggerty will discuss the elimination of mandatory arbitration in UM/UIM automobile claims at the Monday, June 26 Quarterly Meeting of the State Civil Litigation Section.

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 register for this program.

Critical Mass Project Discussion June 27

Dr. Vicki Kramer will discuss the Critical Mass Project and whether it makes a difference in corporate governance to have a critical mass of women on corporate boards at the Tuesday, June 27 meeting of the Women in the Profession Committee.

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.

Authors to Meet with Committee June 29

Authors Tonya M. Evans-Walls, Gregory P. Miller and Sheilah D. Vance will discuss how they became published at the Thursday, June 29 meeting of the Minorities in the Profession Committee.

Miller, the founding shareholder of Miller, Alfano & Raspanti, PC, is the author of Becoming His Father's Son: A Novel. Vance, head of The Elevator Group, penned Chasing the 400. Evans-Walls, managing attorney of TME Law and owner of Legal Write Publications, has writen SHINE! Inspirational Poetry, Seasons of Her, Literary Law Guide for Authors Copyright, Trademark, and Contracts in Plain Language and Contracts Companion for Writers. The authors will also be available to sign copies of their work.

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 event.

Section, Committees Plan Social Events

• 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 7:30 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.

• The Solo and Small Firm Committee will hold a networking reception on Thursday, June 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at PNC Bank, 1600 Market St., in the Center Hall on the 3rd Floor. The event, sponsored by PNC Wealth Management and Thomson West, includes cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and is open to the first 60 members who reserve a place. Contact Dawn Burger at dburger@philabar.org or call (215) 238-6360 to RSVP.

• The Association's Committee on the Legal Rights of Lesbians and Gay Men will host a reception for summer associates on Thursday, June 22 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the offices of WolfBlock, 1650 Arch St. The reception, which will feature wine and other beverages as well as hors d'oeuvres, is free of charge. To RSVP contact Larry Felzer at (215) 701-3203 or by e-mail at lfelzer@seniorlawcenter.org or Michelle M. Marx at (215 864-6289 or by e-mail at marxm@whiteandwilliams.com.

Friends of Farmworkers Event June 28

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.

YPN Summer Associates Reception June 22

The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce's Young Professionals Network Summer Associates Reception will provide high-level networking opportunities and a panel discussion with top executives and lawyers that will discuss the region's economic outlook and what it's like to live, work and socialize in the Greater Philadelphia region on Thursday, June 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Cira Centre, 30th and Arch streets.

Steve Grandizio, president of Friendly Mortgage, will moderate the program with panelists Michael B. Hayes, chair of the Young Lawyers Division, Jeanne O'Connor, chief development officer, Select Greater Philadelphia; and David Abrams of Blank Rome, LLP.

This event is free to YLD members, but registration is necessary. To register for this event, contact Dawn Burger at dburger@philadelphiabar.org.

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.

Register for ACS Bike-a-Thon

The Association's Bike-a-Thon team meets every Saturday at 7 a.m. for training rides, leaving 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.

Nominations Sought for Sandra Day O'Connor Award

The Women in the Profession Committee is seeking nominations for the 2006 Sandra Day O'Connor Award. Deadline for nominations is Friday, Aug. 11.

The award is conferred annually on a woman attorney who has demonstrated superior legal talent, achieved significant legal accomplishments and has furthered the advancement of women in both the profession and the community. The award presentation will be made during the Association's Quarterly Meeting in October.

The committee established the award in 1993 to recognize the important contributions that women attorneys in Philadelphia have made to the legal profession. Click here to download a nomination form for the 2006 Sandra Day O'Connor Award.

VIP Training Opportunities Offered

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.

Professional Announcements Available in Bar Publications

The Philadelphia Bar Reporter and The Philadelphia Lawyer are excellent resources for any sort of professional announcement by your firm. Tell the legal community of greater Philadelphia about special new hires, associates ascending to partner level, career advancements, special awards and more.

A professional announcement in The Philadelphia Bar Reporter and The Philadelphia Lawyer will be placed in a publication with more than three times the circulation of any other legal publication in Philadelphia!

A professional announcement has tremendous impact and will benefit your firm in the increasingly competitive environment in which we work. Your firm will stand out as a fertile breeding ground for outstanding legal talent when placing a professional announcement.

The individuals recognized in the announcement will have a tangible piece of history that will serve as a keepsake that he/she will never forget. For rates and information, please call Howard Hyatt, senior account manager, at (410) 902-5797 or (800) 466-8721, extension 250.

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: Disabilities Law Project

The Disabilities Law Project advocates for the full implementation of civil rights for persons with developmental, mental and physical disabilities, especially the right of persons with disabilities to live as integral parts of their communities. One element of DLP's work involves providing advice, technical assistance and legal advocacy to persons with disabilities who use assistive technology. Assistive technology (AT) is a device or service that a person with a disability uses to perform daily life functions, such as a wheelchair, communication device, hearing aid, or home adaptation, and AT can be a crucial element to allow a person with a disability become or remain independent. Here are two recent examples of DLP's work in this area:

A DLP client named Edward, despite being eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid benefits, has waited for years for wheelchair repairs because durable medical equipment vendors in his Medicaid managed care plan insisted on charging him in advance for their services, a cost he could not afford. Eventually, Edward had to use a loaner wheelchair that was not designed for him and that caused him physical pain. A DLP attorney began advocating on Edward's behalf and convinced the Department of Public Welfare to direct Edward's managed care plan to permit him to use an out-of-network vendor who does not charge persons on Medicare and Medicaid in advance. Edward's wheelchair was finally repaired, allowing him to regain independent mobility.

DLP clients Michael, Steven and Mary were approved by Medicaid for augmentative communication devices. Michael is an adult who successfully used a device for years and needed a replacement device. Steven and Mary are children with speech impairments stemming from developmental disabilities. Vendors, however, would not provide the approved devices because they did not like the Medicaid rate authorized by DPW. A DLP attorney identified solutions so that the three clients could receive the necessary devices despite the ongoing payment dispute between DPW and the vendors. DPW eventually negotiated agreements with the vendors so that devices will continue to be provided to any Medicaid recipient who requires them. As a result of DLP's advocacy, Michael, Steven, Mary and nine other persons with disabilities finally received devices, allowing them to communicate effectively with persons in their lives and increasing their independence in the community.

For more information about the Disabilities Law Project, visit www.dlp-pa.org.

Accounting and Finance for Lawyers June 23

PBI'S "Essential Accounting and Finance for Lawyers" offers an overview of relevant accounting concepts that every lawyer should possess. Ed Adams, known as the presenter of "MBA Concepts for Lawyers" breaks new ground and provides invaluable insights that will make you a better and more effective advocate. This 6 substantive credit hour program will be held in Philadelphia on Friday, June 23, at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, Juniper Street entrance (between 13th and Broad street, opposite City Hall), from 8:30 a.m. to 4 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 20
A View From the U.S. Trustees Office
1 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
12 to 2 p.m.

Wednesday, June 21
Partnership Interests Issued in Exchange for Services
2 substantive CLE credits
12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Friday, June 23
Essential Accounting and Finance for Lawyers
6 substantive CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monday, June 26
A Practical Guide to International Business
5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
8:30 a.m. 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.

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