Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 8, No. 72
 

Bar Announces Judicial Ratings, Releases Poll Results

Chancellor Jane Dalton and Shelley R. Smith, Chair of the Association's Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention, have announced the results of the Commission's investigation into the qualifications of candidates for Philadelphia's Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court in the Nov. 6 general election.

In addition, the Judicial Commission also released the results of a poll of all Philadelphia lawyers conducted for the Bar Association earlier this year by Votenet. The poll invited respondents to rate specific aspects of the judicial performance of each of the retention judges. Under the bylaws of the Association, the poll is not binding upon the Commission's deliberations, although it must be published with the Commission's findings. The complete poll results are available from the Bar Association.

The Chancellor pointed out that the Association's Campaign for Qualified Judges has launched a pop-up window that appears whenever anyone visits the Association's Web site. The window lists ratings that can be printed out and taken to the polls on Nov. 6. The Web site also features a complete "Voters Guide to the Judicial Elections." Dalton said the Association wants voters to know "not just who to vote for but why the judicial elections are so important and why we invest so much time and energy in reviewing and rating these candidates. This is the one place for voters to find thorough, non-partisan, objective ratings of the candidates."

The Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention is independent and non-partisan. It includes lawyers and non-lawyers. Among the members of the Commission are the Chief Public Defender, the President Judges of the Common Pleas and Municipal Courts, and representatives from the Asian, Hispanic and African American legal groups.

The ratings by the 30-member Judicial Commission follow extensive study and investigation by five-member panels of the Commission’s own 120-member investigative division, which includes 40 non-lawyer members. Those found Recommended satisfied a cumulative review of criteria including legal ability and training, trial experience, character and integrity, judicial temperament, mental and physical capacity and community involvement. The complete criteria are available from the Bar Association.

The following judges, listed alphabetically, were found RECOMMENDED for retention to the Court of Common Pleas:

Mark I. Bernstein
Gary DiVito
John W. Herron
C. Darnell Jones II
Barbara A. Joseph
Shelley Robins New
Rosalyn K. Robinson
Peter F. Rogers
M. Teresa Sarmina
Edward R. Summers

The following judges, listed alphabetically, were found RECOMMENDED for retention to Municipal Court:

Teresa Carr Deni
Ronald B. Merriweather
Wendy L. Pew
Louis J. Presenza

The following judges, listed alphabetically, were found NOT RECOMMENDED for retention to the Municipal Court:

Georganne V. Daher
Deborah S. Griffin

The Commission reiterated its ratings of the following candidates who have been found RECOMMENDED for election to the Court of Common Pleas:

Linda Carpenter
Alice Beck Dubow
Michael Erdos
Joyce Eubanks
Ellen Green-Ceisler

The Commission reiterated its rating of the following candidate who has been found RECOMMENDED for election to the Municipal Court:

Joseph J. O'Neill

The Commission reiterated its rating of the following candidate who has been found NOT RECOMMENDED for election to the Municipal Court:

Jacquelyn Frazier-Lyde

For a complete guide to the Judicial Elections visit the Philadelphia Bar Association Web site at philadelphiabar.org.

Privacy and Mental Health Issues Oct. 4

Joseph T. Kelley III will provide an overview of the Pennsylvania statutes and regulations that protect the confidentiality of information regarding treatment for mental health and drug and alcohol dependency, and how they relate to federal law at today's (Thursday, Oct. 4) meeting of the Health Care Law 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 $8.50 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this program.

Justice Fitzgerald on Judicial Administration Oct. 10

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice James J. Fitzgerald III will offer thoughts on judicial administration at the Wednesday, Oct. 10 meeting of the Appellate Courts 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 RSVP for this program.

Using Web as Platform Oct. 11 With Small Firm Committee

Dan Giancaterino, Internet librarian at the Jenkins Law Library, will present "Web 2.0: Should You Care?" at the Thursday, Oct. 11 meeting of the Solo and Small Firm Committee.

This presentation will focus on free Web sites that fulfill some of the core Web 2.0 principles: the Web as platform, harnessing collective intelligence, data is the next "Intel Inside" and rich user experiences.

The program 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 program.

Stanford Shmukler Memorial Service Oct. 17

A memorial service will be held Oct. 17 at 4 p.m. for Stanford Shmukler, Esq., a “colorful Center City criminal defense lawyer,” former chair of the Criminal Justice Section and past recipient of the Section's Thurgood Marshall Award. Remarks on behalf of the Philadelphia Bar Association will be offered by Association Chancellor Jane Leslie Dalton at the service, in the Ceremonial Courtroom in City Hall.

Shmukler (1930-2006) was a highly successful criminal defense lawyer who did not hesitate to represent unpopular defendants. In 1975, he represented an avowed Nazi, the leader of the KKK in Pennsylvania, who was accused of plotting to blow up a synagogue. He was not deterred, even in the face of death threats and the firebombing of his home. He donated half his fees from the case to his synagogue and the other half to Israel. He argued two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, one of them a part of the landmark decision Miranda v. Arizona. He was a member of the Association's Board of Governors, and served as executive director of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's Criminal Procedural Rules Committee. He will be posthumously inducted into the Association's Legends of the Bar on Oct. 23.

Electronic Discovery Disputes Oct. 17

U.S. District Court Judges Cynthia M. Rufe and David R. Strawbridge, along with Beatrice O'Donnell, will present "Electronic Discovery Disputes: The Next Step" at the Wednesday, Oct. 17 meeting of the Federal Courts Committee.

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 register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this program.

Marks to Receive O'Connor Award at Oct. Quarterly

Lynn A. Marks (right), a champion for court reform in Pennsylvania, has been named recipient of the Philadelphia Bar Association's 2007 Sandra Day O'Connor Award.

Marks is the executive director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts. The award presentation will be made during the Association's Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. Ann Weaver Hart, the first woman president of Temple University, will be the keynote speaker at the event.

The O'Connor 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.

Tickets for the October Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon are $50 and can be purchased online by clicking here.

YLD A-Scare-Ium at the Aquarium Oct. 20

The Young Lawyers Division will host its family-friendly "A-Scare-Ium at the Aquarium" on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, N.J. from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Children are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes to the event. Admission is $25 for adults and $15 for children and includes lunch, an animal encounter, a pick-your-own pumpkin and painting activity and a special showing of SpongeBob SquarePants 4D ride. Click here to purchase tickets.

Tickets Available for Lawyerpalooza Oct. 25

The Young Lawyers Division will host Lawyerpalooza at Kildare's Headhouse Square (2nd & South streets) on Thursday, Oct. 25.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m., lawyers who moonlight in bands, such as A Band Called M, Class Action, Brand New Gods and Pray for Mojo, will be featured. There will also be other performances by Brad Shuttleworth and Jim Wells. You've seen them in court, now see them on stage! The cost of $10 includes drink tickets, heavy hors d'oeuvres and drink specials.

Lawyerpalooza is sponsored by Esquire Deposition Services, LLC and Summit Court Reporting, Inc. Click here to purchase tickets.

Traffic/Vehicular Law Committee Meeting Oct. 24

The Traffic/Vehicular Law Committee will meet on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 12 p.m. in the 10th Floor Board Room of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St.

For more information about the committee, contact Dawn Burger at (215) 238-6367.

Save $100 on Client Development Workshop

Philadelphia Bar Association members can receive $100 off the registration fee when signing up for The Training Resource Group's training program for associates of professional services firms.

The workshop, for attorneys looking to improve their client development skills, will be held Oct. 10, Oct. 24 and Nov. 7 from 8 to 10 a.m. at the offices of The Training Resource Group, 100 N. 20th St., 4th floor.

The pre-discount cost of the program is $895 per participant and includes evaluation, training, coaching session and materials. To RSVP for this program, call The Training Resource Group at (215) 320-4652 or e-mail helene@trainingresourcegroup.com.

PLAN Diversity Summit Oct. 23

Dear Colleague:

This year marks 15 years that the PA Legal Aid Network has been placing first- and second-year minority law students in summer internships in legal aid offices around the state. PLAN's Martin Luther King Fellowship Program provides funding to minority attorneys who agree to spend two years as legal aid lawyers in underserved areas of the state.

The anniversary will be marked in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Bar Association Minority Bar Committee's second annual Diversity Summit on Tuesday, Oct. 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s CLE Conference Center in the Wanamaker Building, 10th Floor. The theme for the Summit is, "Pathways to Legal Careers: Best Practices for Hiring and Retaining a Diverse Legal Workforce."

Please consider attending this important event, which will feature luncheon keynote speaker Juan Williams, senior reporter for NPR and author of the acclaimed Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965.

In addition, we ask that you and your firm or company consider pledging your support for the Martin Luther King Fellowship. PLAN has set a goal of raising $100,000 for the Fellowship Program for each of the next two years to guarantee that fellowships can be offered in each of those years.

Law firms and other supporters from around the state are showing their support for the fellowship program by pledging $5,000 toward the program this year and an additional $5,000 toward the program next year. Alternatively, you can support the program by sponsoring the anniversary celebration event. Click here for details.

Sincerely,

Jane Leslie Dalton
Chancellor

Public Interest Events, Trainings Scheduled

• A Pro Bono Open House Fair will be held today (Thursday, Oct. 4) from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the offices of Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen, LLP, 1650 Arch St., 22nd floor. Representatives from Philadelphia public interest law centers, legal services programs and pro bono referral programs will be available to speak informally about volunteer opportunities at their organizations. This event is free and open to all members of the Philadelphia Bar. Light refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP by Sept. 27 to Colleen Coonelly at ccoonelly@wolfblock.com or call (215) 977-2377. This event is sponsored by the Law Firm Pro Bono Committee of the Public Interest Section.

The Support Center for Child Advocates will host the 2007 Child Advocates Golf Classic on Monday, Oct. 8 at Huntingdon Valley Country Club. For more information, contact Louise Pangborn at 215-925-1913, extension 125 or e-mail Lpangborn@advokid.org.

Philadelphia VIP will hold an open house for all members of the legal community on Thursday, Oct. 11 at VIP's offices at 42 S. 15th St., 4th floor, from 5 to 7 p.m. Meet the staff and board of directors of VIP, enjoy refreshments and hear about all the exciting things happening at VIP.

The Homeless Advocacy Project will conduct two lunchtime trainings on Thursday, Oct. 11 from 12 to 2 p.m., each providing two substantive hours of CLE credits. The first session, "How to Prepare for an SSI Hearing," is free for HAP volunteers. The training will be conducted by HAP senior staff attorney Pat Malley at the offices White & Williams, LLP, One Liberty Place, 18th Floor. Lunch will be provided. To register, contact Marsha Cohen at 215-523-9595 or marsha@philalegal.org. The second two-hour substantive CLE training on veterans disability claims and will be conducted by HAP's veterans attorney Michael Taub at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building. To register, contact the PBI at 1-800-932-4637.

• Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania Legal Education Fund will hold its 19th Annual Scholarship Reception on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 5:30 p.m., at the University of the Arts, Broad and Pine Streets, Philadelphia. Tickets are $75 per person. The keynote speaker will be Charisse R. Lillie, senior vice president of Human Resources for Comcast Cable and Vice President of Human Resources for Comcast Corporation. RSVP by Oct. 8 to Carolina Spaventa at 215-564-8184 or cspaventa@stradley.com.

Philadelphia VIP will present its annual training event "Pro Bono Opportunities Day," on Thursday, Oct. 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Montgomery, Walker & Rhoads, LLP, 123 S. Broad St., 28th Floor, Philadelphia. All attorneys are invited to learn how to help Philadelphia's low-income population with their legal needs. Participants may attend one of the following substantive training sessions: Public Housing; Child Custody; Nonprofit Issues: From Incorporation to Operation; or Quiet Title/Fraudulent Conveyances. Following the training, VIP will offer each participant a pro bono case. Attorneys who attend a seminar and accept a case will earn two (2) substantive CLE credits. The cost of the program is $45 per attorney. Breakfast and training materials are included. The registration deadline is Monday, Oct. 15. To register, please contact Tanya Rambert at 215-523-9550, or trambert@phillyvip.org.

Brennan Award Nominations Being Accepted

Nominations are being accepted for the Philadelphia Bar Association's prestigious Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Distinguished Jurist Award. The award will be presented at the Association's Annual Meeting and Luncheon on Dec. 4, 2007 at 12 p.m. at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue.

The award recognizes a jurist who adheres to the highest ideals of judicial service. Any member of the state or federal bench, whether active or retired, who has made a significant, positive impact on the quality or administration of justice in Philadelphia is eligible for consideration. Examples of accomplishments worthy of nomination include innovations in court administration, implementation of pioneering case management techniques, assumption of a leadership role in areas affecting the administration of justice, publication of a significant opinion, article, or other scholarly work, or the like.

This year's Brennan Award Committee is chaired by John Soroko. Nominations for the Justice Brennan Distinguished Jurist Award should be forwarded to: Brennan Award, Attn: Areetha Carter, Esq., Staff Counsel, Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107. All nominations should include the full name, address and telephone number of both the nominee and the person submitting the nomination, a summary of the nominee's accomplishments, and any pertinent supporting material the committee should consider. All nominations must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, 2007.

Nominations Sought for 2007 Wachovia Fidelity Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the Philadelphia Bar Association's 2007 Wachovia Fidelity Award. Nominations should be made in writing. Please include a detailed statement setting forth information and reasons why you are recommending the nominee for this award. The deadline for receipt of nominations is 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12.

Nominations should be sent to Tracey McCloskey, Philadelphia Bar Association, c/o Fidelity Award Committee, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

The criteria for the award are:

Significant accomplishments in improving the administration of justice (preferably in Philadelphia);

The absence of prior recognition for this work by the Philadelphia Bar Association;

Distinguished service consistently rendered over a considerable period of time or a single outstanding achievement in a particular year. (The fact that this single achievement may have occurred some years ago is not material so long as it has not been recognized.);

The accomplishment must arise from voluntary activities rather than for service rendered as a paid professional; and

It is preferred that the recipient be a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association not now in public office or directly involved with the court operations or any other public service activity.

Workers' Comp Section Seeks Award Nominees

The Association's Workers' Compensation Section will present its 7th annual Martha Hampton Award later this year. This award was named in honor of an attorney who was committed to the practice of workers compensation law. Each year a committee reviews nominations as to the attorney or judge who best exemplifies Martha's unique compassion and dedication to her clients, her professionalism, scholarship and good will with her peers.

It should be noted all members of the bar and bench who practice workers' compensation law are eligible. This is not an award restricted to claimants' attorneys. Past winners have included counsel from both sides of the aisle as well as from the bench.

This year's Award Committee will be chaired by Marc S. Jacobs (a partner with Hampton at Galfand Berger) and the co-chairs of the section from last year, Judge Patricia M. Bachman, Valerie H. Lieberman and Eric L. Segal. In addition to the award, a charitable contribution is made each year to Kids Chance by Galfand Berger, on behalf of the Section. Kids Chance offers scholarships to children who have lost a parent due to a work-related injury.

Your nominations are important. We encourage your participation. Please include your thoughts for making any nomination. All nominations can be e-mailed to Marc S. Jacobs at mjacobs@galfandberger.com or mailed to Jacobs at 1818 Market St., 23rd Floor, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103.

Ethnic, Race, Religious Sensitivities CLE Oct. 16

The Louis D. Brandies Law Society and the Jagiellonian Law Society will present the three-credit CLE workshop "Ethnic, Race and Religious Sensitivities in the Courtroom" on Tuesday, Oct. 16 from 2 to 5 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St.

The program will be moderated by Judges Marlene Lachman and Sandra Mazer Moss of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia. Judges Moss and Lachman are also the panel program planners along with Peter H. Demkovitz of the Jagiellonian Law Society and Michael J. Berkowitz of the Louis D. Brandeis Law Society.

Panelists include Imam Muhammad Abdur-Razzaq Miller, Mosque of So. Bawa Muhayadeen Philadelphia; Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, Ph.D., Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, Elkins Park, Pa.; Yan Q. Huo, board certified art psychotherapist and licensed professional counselor; Alonzo Webster Chairman of the Hospital Liaison Committee Jehovah’s Witnesses; Fr. Mark Horak, pastor of Old Saint Josephs Church, Philadelphia; and the Rev. Charles W. Quann, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Penllyn and Spring House, Pa.

The program is approved by the Pennsylvania CLE Board with two substantive and one ethics credit. Enrollment is $85 per person ($70 for members of the sponsoring organizations) and early registration is strongly suggested since seating is limited.

To register send your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, attorney ID number and society affiliation along with a check to "Brandeis Law Society" in the appropriate amount to Michael J. Berkowitz, Esq., 11th Floor, Seven Penn Center, 1635 Market St., Philadelphia, Pa., 19103-2212.

Brandeis Society Accepting Levy Award Nominations

Nominations are now being accepted for the Benjamin F. Levy Community Service Award, an award presented by the Louis D. Brandeis Law Society at its annual Hanukkah Party on Thursday, Nov. 29.

The award provides recognition to an individual who is a member of the bench or bar and has demonstrated a sustained commitment to serving the legal and broader community. The award is named to honor the life of Benjamin F. Levy, whose efforts contributed to the creation of the Louis D. Brandeis Law Society. Past recipients have included prominent members of the bench and bar.

Nominations, including a brief statement as to why the particular nominee should be considered for the Award, must be submitted by no later than Friday, Oct. 26, 2007 to Michael J. Berkowitz, Chancellor, Louis D. Brandeis Law Society at mjberkowitz@crbcp.com or via fax at (215) 751-1142.

Business Journal to Spotlight Bar Dec. 28

The Philadelphia Business Journal is producing a special Philadelphia Bar Association supplement in its Dec. 28 edition.

The objective is to market, to the Business Journal reader, the positive impact the legal community, the Bar Association and individual member law firms have on local commerce and businesses in the Philadelphia region.

The deadline for reserving advertising space is Nov. 30. For more information, contact Michelle Stuhl at (215) 238-5114 or e-mail her at mstuhl@bizjournals.com.

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Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107, 215-238-6300.