Monday, June 26, 2006
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 7, No. 44
 

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.

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.

Section's CLE to Examine Sentencing June 27

The Criminal Justice Section will present the lunchtime CLE seminar "Race to Incarcerate: An Examination of the Role of Race in the Criminal Justice System" on Tuesday, June 27.

Isla A. Fruchter of the Defenders Association of Philadelphia is the course planner for the seminar and Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, Washington, D.C., is the guest speaker.

This seminar will examine the policies and practices that have resulted in vastly disproportionate rates of imprisonment for people of color. 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. To register in advance, visit www.pbi.org or call PBI Customer Service at 1-800-932-4637. The program will be held in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch begins at 12 p.m.

Lunch is available for an additional fee of $7.50. Click here to purchase lunch for this event.

86 Firms Raise $1.36 Million for Legal Services

Eighty-six firms have pledged more than $1.36 million in support of Chancellor Alan M. Feldman's Raising the Bar Campaign to support legal services. The latest firm to join the effort is Kleinbard Bell & Brecker LLP.

The 86 law firms, representing nearly 4,300 attorneys, have pledged $1,365,720. 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.

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 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.

VIP Training on Estates June 27

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.

YLD, International Law Happy Hour June 29

The Young Lawyers Division and the International Law Committee will sponsor a networking happy hour at Barrister's Bar, 1823 Sansom St., on Thursday, June 29, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The American Bar Association International's Young Lawyers Interest Network will be the special guests at the event, which features free drinks, appetizers and drink specials for the later hours.

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.

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. Click here to purchase tickets for this event.

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.

Summer Associates Reception July 19

The Minorities in the Profession Committee will hold a reception for summer associates on Wednesday, July 19 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St.

Complimentary hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine will be served. Summer associates can network with members of the Minorities in the Profession Committee, along with members of the Asian-American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley, the Barristers Association of Philadelphia, the Hispanic Bar Association and the Young Lawyers Division.

To RSVP, contact Tracey Blevins at (215) 238-6360 or e-mail tblevins@philadelphiabar.org.

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 Spotlight: Pa. Capital Representation Project

The Pennsylvania Capital Representation Project - a nonprofit project of the Philadelphia federal defender's Capital Habeas Unit - provides direct representation and recruits, trains, and assists pro bono law firms in representing local death row inmates in their post-conviction appeals. The Project's lawyers have helped to obtain more than 250 stays of execution and - in addition to their own successes - have assisted pro bono counsel to overturn 20 ther unconstitutional convictions or death sentences. Four of the Project's lawyers have argued in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Pennsylvania is one of only two death penalty states in the country that provides no state money to represent indigent defendants at trial or in later proceedings. That responsibility rests with each of Pennsylvania's counties. And as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's Committee on Racial and Gender Bias recently concluded, indigent capital defense services are grossly underfunded across the Commonwealth. This resulted in systemically inadequate death penalty representation in Pennsylvania's state courts that, left unaddressed, virtually ensured that defendants who had been unconstitutionally sent to death row would be executed without being able to obtain judicial review of meritorious claims. The Pennsylvania Capital Representation Project was created in response to this crisis.

Most of Philadelphia's major law firms have stepped forward - with the Project's assistance - to provide pro bono representation in these critical cases. Together, the Project and the firms have:

Overturned the convictions of four innocent men, including the first DNA exoneration of any Pennsylvania death-row inmate.
Won new trials for five death-row inmates who were denied fair trials by racial discrimination in the selection of Philadelphia death-penalty juries.
Helped to reduce from death to life imprisonment the sentences for five mentally retarded death-row inmates.
Reversed more than 50 death sentences that were the product of trial counsel's failures to meaningfully investigate the personal backgrounds, life histories, and mental conditions of their clients and to present significant mitigating evidence that was available in each of these cases.

Approximately 50 former death-row inmates whose convictions or sentences the Project's lawyers helped to reverse have been resentenced to life or less. These are 50 lives actually saved from unconstitutional executions. For information on how to assemble a capital defense team at your firm to undertake the pro bono your representation of a local death row inmate, contact the Pennsylvania Capital Representation Project through its Director of Training, Robert Dunham, at Suite 545-W, The Curtis Center, 601 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19106, or at robert_dunham@fd.org.

Finding Facts Online June 27

At PBI's Finding Facts Online, three law librarians, with extensive expertise in Internet research, show you how to make the most of this valuable research tool to obtain pertinent information, such as legislative government information, competitive intelligence information, and medical resources, in an efficient manner. This 3 substantive credit hour program will be held in Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 27, at The CLE Conference Center, on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, Juniper Street entrance (between 13th and Broad Streets, oposite City Hall), from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Registration begins at 8:30 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 27
Solving Driver's Licensing Problems
6 substantive CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Finding Facts Online
3 substantive CLE credits
9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 28
General Practitioners' Update 2006
Franklin Institute Science Museum
222 N. 20th St., 5th Floor
5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.

Intellectual Property: Supreme Court Updates
2 substantive CLE credits
11:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Thursday, June 29
Nursing Home Negligence
3 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Representing Start-up Businesses and the Role of Business Incubators
5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 4:15 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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Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107, 215-238-6300.