Oct. 29, 2009
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 10, No. 77
 

Hamilton Benefit Nov. 21 at Please Touch Museum

Philadelphia lawyers, judges and business leaders will gather as they have since 1978 at the Please Touch Museum in Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. for the Andrew Hamilton Benefit to support the Philadelphia Bar Foundation and the network of legal services organizations it funds.

This will be a wonderful evening of food, drink and dancing. There will be a "Dancing for Justice" with surprise guests in a featured dance sequence. The contributions to those in need will be recognized through the presentation of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation Award to Catherine C. Carr, executive director of Community Legal Services, and the Citizens Bank Pro Bono Award to Dechert LLP and Berner Klaw & Watson LLP. But most of all it will be gathering of people who share a common purpose - to promote equal access to justice for all.

Lawyers have a special responsibility to help the poor, children, the disabled and those who are especially vulnerable in times of crisis have access to legal representation. The Andrew Hamilton Benefit is the public symbol of the Philadelphia legal profession's commitment to this notion and helps not only the public interest legal organizations and the clients they serve, but the legal profession itself. By showing that it cares about our justice system, the profession grows in stature.

Many law firms and businesses are supporting the Hamilton Benefit through sponsorships including Pepper Hamilton LLP; UPS; Hangley Aronchick Segal & Pudlin; and Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney to name a just a few early sponsors. For more information, call Liz Pannulla at 215-238-6337 or click here and visit the Bar Foundation web site.

We ask you to continue to be there for Philadelphia's public interest legal services and join us on Nov. 21 as we celebrate the strength of our legal community and reaffirm together that Philadelphia lawyers care.

Poll Results Released for Judges Seeking Retention

The Philadelphia Bar Association's Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention is releasing the results (see www.electqualifiedjudges.org) of a poll made available earlier this year to all practicing Philadelphia lawyers.

More than 900 attorneys completed the poll. Under the bylaws of the Association, this poll is not binding upon the Commission's deliberations, though it must be published along with the Commission's findings. In addition to poll results, the Commission evaluates each candidate based on criteria including integrity, legal ability, judicial temperament and efficiency.

Sayde Ladov, Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association and a member of the Judicial Commission, says she hopes that "voters will understand why judicial elections are so important and why we invest so much time and energy in reviewing and rating these candidates."

Referring to the Bar Association’s web site, www.electqualifiedjudges.org, she adds, "Judges have enormous power. This is one place where voters can find thorough, non-partisan, objective ratings of judicial candidates."

The following candidates have been rated recommended for retention to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas: Sandy L. V. Byrd, Ida K. Chen, Pamela Pryor Dembe, Richard J. Gordon, Glynnis Hill, Benjamin Lerner, Annette Rizzo, Karen Shreeves Johns and Sheila Woods Skipper.

The following candidates have been rated recommended for retention to Municipal Court: Frank T. Brady, Barbara Gilbert, Lydia Kirkland, Gerard Kosinski, Marsha H. Neifield and Craig M. Washington.

In addition to the judicial retention candidates, the following candidates (nominated in May's primary) have been recommended for election to the Court of Common Pleas in the general election: Daniel Anders, Adam Beloff, Robert P. Coleman, Angeles Roca, Diane Thompson and Donna M. Woelpper.

The following candidate (nominated in May's primary) is not recommended for election to the Court of Common Pleas in the general election: Roxanne Covington.

The following candidates (nominated in May's primary) are recommended for election to Municipal Court in the general election: Patrick F. Dugan, Charles Hayden, Dawn A. Segal, Joseph C. Waters, Jr.

The Commission consists of lawyers and non-lawyers including the President Judges of Common Pleas Court and Municipal Court, the Chief Public Defender, the City Solicitor, the Chancellor, Chancellor‐Elect and Vice Chancellor of the Bar Association and representatives of diverse interests within the community.

Earlier this spring, the Commission released its recommendations for judicial candidates seeking open seats on Philadelphia's Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court. Of the 17 candidates nominated in May’s primary election, 16 were recommended by the Commission.

The Philadelphia Bar Association has issued its recommendations on judicial candidates for 33 years. Composed of 13,000 members, the Bar Association serves the public and the profession by promoting justice, professional excellence and respect for the rule of law.

For more information about the Judicial Commission, its process and recommendations, go to www.electqualifiedjudges.org.

Pro Bono Celebration Week Continues

Pro Bono Celebration Week honors the pro bono contribution of Philadelphia's lawyers and offers an occasion to learn more about the interesting and professionally challenging pro bono opportunities that exist with Philadelphia's public interest organizations. Click here to download the complete schedule.

Coordinated by the Public Interest Section's Delivery of Legal Services Committee and the Law School Outreach and Law Firm Pro Bono Committees of the Philadelphia Bar Association, Pro Bono Celebration Week is planned in collaboration with the ABA's National Pro Bono Celebration. The following is a list of Pro Bono Celebration Week activities:

Thursday, Oct. 29
• SeniorLAW Center HelpLine volunteer training program: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Fox Rothschild LLP, 2000 Market St., 10th floor. Register with Sue Wasserkrug at 215-701-3216 or swasserkrug@seniorlawcenter.org. Two free CLE credits are anticipated for volunteers. Lunch will be provided.

• Homeless Advocacy Project Legal Clinic: 6 - 7 p.m., Eliza Shirley Shelter, 1320 Arch St. Register with Marsha Cohen at marsha@philalegal.org.

Friday, Oct. 30
• Capstone CLE Forum - Pro Bono: Where Do We Go From Here: 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 34th and Chestnut streets. 3 CLE credits (pending approval). Registration is $25 for public interest attorneys and $30 for all others. Register with Arlene Finkelstein at arfinkelstein@law.upenn.edu. The program will include an overview of the pro bono movement, utilizing resources, best practices and innovative solutions.

• SeniorLAW Center training program Personal Planning 101: Wills, Living Wills, and Powers of Attorney for Older Pennsylvanians: 12 - 3 p.m., Duane Morris LLP, 30 S. 17th St. Register with Roxane Crowley at rcrowley@seniorlawcenter.org. Three free CLE credits are available in exchange for handling a case. Lunch will be provided.

• Homeless Advocacy Project Legal Clinic: 1:45 - 3 p.m., St. John's Hospice, 1221 Race St. Register with Marsha Cohen at marsha@philalegal.org.

Legal Services for Elderly CLE Oct. 29

The Elder Law Committee will present the CLE program "Legal Services for Elderly in Philadelphia" on Thursday, Oct. 29.

Panelists for the program include Karen Buck, SeniorLAW Center; Debra Kroll, Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law; and Pamela Walz, Community Legal Services, Philadelphia. As panelists discuss various legal services programs and resources in Philadelphia, they will explain the way these services interface with one another. The program will address the mandate of the Area Agency on Aging and will highlight hot topics in elder law, as well as recent legislative and regulatory developments confronting senior citizens.

The program begins at 1 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Registration and lunch begin at 12:30 p.m. The program has been approved for 1.0 substantive CLE credit. Participants wishing to receive the CLE credit will be required to pay a fee of $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 Customer Service at 1-800-932-4637.

Lunch will be available through the Philadelphia Bar Association for an additional fee of $8 per person. Click here to purchase lunch for this program.

14th Annual Bankruptcy Institute Oct. 29

For the last 13 years, the annual Bankruptcy Institute has gained rave reviews for its outstanding topics, speakers, and updates on recent developments in bankruptcy law. PBI is pleased to bring you the 14th Annual Bankruptcy Institute, promising once again, a program full of new and popular topics and information on Thursday, Oct. 29.

Hear from judges, specialized practitioners, and representatives of the U.S. Trustees Office, as well as your local Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 Trustees. And this year the program offers, for the first time, basic level consumer bankruptcy topics for those who are new to bankruptcy or just need to brush up on the basics of bankruptcy law.

Speakers include U.S. Bankruptcy Court Chief Judge Stephen Raslavich along with Bankruptcy Court Judges Richard E. Fehling, Jean K. FitzSimon and Eric Frank (all from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania), District of Delaware Chief Judge Kevin J. Carey and Judge Brendan L. Shannon and District of New Jersey Bankruptcy Court Judge Rosemary Gambardella.

For more information on standard tuition fees and registration, please call 800-932-4637 or visit PBI’s web site at pbi.org.

The program begins at 9 a.m. at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, Market and Juniper streets. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

Philadelphia Zoning Code Update Oct. 30

The Real Property Section and the Zoning, Land Use and Code Enforcement Committee will present an update on a new zoning code for Philadelphia on Friday, Oct. 30.

The meeting will features Zoning Code Commission members Darwin R. Beauvais, Richard DeMarco, Wendella P. Fox, Eva Gladstein (executive director, Zoning Code Commission), Councilman Bill Green, Peter F. Kelsen, Councilman Brian J. O'Neill and Stella M. Tsai.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $8 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP.

Hamilton Award Nominees Sought by Oct. 30

The Public Interest Section is now accepting nominations for the annual Andrew Hamilton Award. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Oct. 30. Nominees must be a legal services advocate or public defender employed by, or associated with, an organization whose purpose is to serve persons who cannot afford to pay for legal representation, or be a public-interest lawyer working with a nonprofit organization serving a charitable or public interest purpose.

In addition, nominees must have substantial experience in legal services, indigent defense or public interest law and must currently be employed in one of these capacities. Members of the selection committee will consider such factors as personal vision and commitment; critical nature of the problems addressed by the nominee's advocacy; innovative nature of the nominee's work; outcomes and results achieved through effective advocacy; the difficulty of achievement; and community commitment.

Nominations are encouraged and should include the individual's name, address and a brief statement describing his or her qualifications. All nominations should be mailed to Tracey McCloskey, c/o Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Joint Program on Community Policing Nov. 2

The Civil Rights and City Policy Committees will present "The End of Community Policing?" at a joint program on Monday, Nov. 2.

Speakers for the program include Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Everett Gillison, City Councilwoman Maria Maria Quiñones Sanchez, Mary Catherine Roper of the ACLU and former city solicitor Kenneth Trujillo. The panelists will discuss the Secure Communities program of the United States Immigration Customs and Enforcement and how this initiative affects the success of community policing in the city of Philadelphia.

The meeting begins at 12:30 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $8 for those who register in advance. Click here to RSVP.

Interviewing the Child Witness Nov. 2

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Doris Pechkurow and Master in Custody Fern Brown Caplan will present "Interviewing the Child Witness: A View from the Bench" on Monday Nov. 2.

Elizabeth Warner will moderate the program, which begins at 12 p.m. in the 10th floor Board Room of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $8 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP.

ADA Amendments Act Discussion Nov. 3

The Legal Rights of Persons with Disabilities Committee will continue its discussion of the proposed regulations concerning the ADA Amendments Act at its Tuesday, Nov. 3 meeting.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 10th floor Board Room of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Please bring your lunch. Beverages and cookies will be provided.

Pro Bono Needs, CLE Discussion Nov. 4

U.S. Magistrate Judge David R. Strawbridge and Philadelphia VIP Executive Director Sara Woods will discuss the increased need for pro bono in the current economic climate and providing CLE credits to lawyers who do pro bono legal work at the Wednesday, Nov. 4 meeting of the Rules and Procedure Committee.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $8 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP.

Money Management Series Continues Nov. 5

The Women in the Profession Public Service Task Force will present the second part of its Money Management 101 progam "How to be Ahead of the Game for the Rest of Your Financial Future" on Thursday, Nov. 5.

Daniel P. Foley, a financial advisor with Delaware Valley Financial Group Companies, will lecture on building wealth, investing and planning for retirement. The meeting begins at 12:15 p.m. in the 11th floor Committee Room South of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. The Women in the Profession Committee Public Interest Task Force would like to thank its lunch sponsor, DVFG Advisors, LLC, for its generosity. Click here to RSVP for this program.

CLE Examines Vincent Chin Murder Nov. 6

The Philadelphia Bar Association Office of Diversity and Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania will present the CLE program "The Pursuit of Justice: The Murder of Vincent Chin and the Origins of a Civil Rights Movement" on Friday, Nov. 6.

The 1982 murder of Vincent Chin and its legal aftermath marked a watershed in the civil rights movement in America and is considered the genesis of the Asian Pacific American civil rights movement. Chin, a Chinese American, was beaten to death in Detroit with a baseball bat by a Chrysler plant superintendent and his stepson. The lenient sentencing of the two men generated public outrage, as the attack possessed many attributes consistent with hate crimes.

Through the re-enactment of specific portions of the actual transcripts of the state and federal criminal trials, attorneys will observe and discuss the actual criminal trial, including direct and cross-examination of witnesses, witness preparation, and the interactions between lawyers, judges, parties and non-party witnesses. In addition, the reenactment will reveal how the lack of resources and possible prejudices might have led to lenient sentences for this brutal homicide. Also addressed will be the practical challenges and limitations faced by attorneys in developing a case and substantiating legal theories. Furthermore, the re-enactment and subsequent dialogue will address the perceived limitations of criminal justice system and the civil rights laws, how this miscarriage of justice galvanized the Asian-American community, the numerous attempts to enact hate crimes legislation, and the unfinished business of this civil rights movement.

he program has been approved for 1.5 substantive CLE credits. Participants wishing to receive the CLE credit will be required to pay a fee of $48.50 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for more than five years, and $43.50 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for less than five years. Tuition fees include lunch. Interested parties not seeking CLE credit may attend and purchase lunch for the fee of $8.50. If you wish to register in advance please visit pbi.org or call PBI Customer Service at 1-800-932-4637.

The course planners include John D. Huh, Y. Jae Kim, May Mon Post and Stella M. Tsai. Speakers and cast members include Nadeem Bezar, DaLesia Boyd, Melanie Bunker, Wendella P. Fox, Carol A. Fritz, Yanni Guo, Joyce K. Hackenbrach, Nilmini Klur, Marisa H. Lattimore, Chancellor Sayde J. Ladov, Sarah R. Lavelle, Tsiwen Law, Sophia Lee, Maureen Rowley, John Savoth, Brian Sims, Divya Wallace and Su Ming Yeh.

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 on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009 at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue, Broad and Walnut streets.

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 E. Savoth. Nominations for the Justice Brennan Distinguished Jurist Award should be forwarded to: Brennan Award, Attn: Tracey McCloskey, 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 Friday, Nov. 6, 2009.

Discovery Rules and Tools CLE Nov. 6

The Pennsylvania Bar Institute will present the CLE program "Discovery: Where Most Cases are Won or Lost – The Rules, Tools and Practical Information You Need to Know" on Friday, Nov. 6.

This is an intermediate-level program that will address discovery in general civil litigation using personal injury and class action cases as examples contrasting and comparing strategy from both the plaintiff and defense perspective. The panel of plaintiff and defense counsel and a judge will address federal, state and local rules and customs as well as point out special issues that arise in different types of cases.

Faculty members include Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Jacqueline F. Allen, judicial team leader of the 2009 Day Forward Major Jury Program; Peter J. Divon, manager, Discovery Court, Court of Common Pleas along with attorneys Paul D. Brandes, Kelly D. Eckel, Jennifer Diesing Falcey, Jason A. Leckerman, Ira Neil Richards, Maureen Rowan and Burt M. Rublin.

To register for this course, please visit the PBI web page at pbi.org, or contact the Pennsylvania Bar Institute at 1-800-932-4637

Volunteers Sought for Mock Trial Camp Nov. 7

The Young Lawyers Division and Temple University Beasley School of Law's LEAP Institute are busy matching lawyer coaches with new teams and preparing the annual daylong mock trial camp on Saturday, Nov. 7.

More than 100 students and dozens of lawyers will come together to officially kick off the mock trial season with a full day of lectures and small-group sessions in trial advocacy. And in January and February, the citywide John S. Bradway High School Mock Trial Competition will take place at Temple and the Criminal Justice Center. This year is expected to feature the largest field of competitors in Philadelphia history.

Given the unprecedented scope of this mock trial season, the YLD and Temple Law's LEAP Institute welcome volunteer participation by all members of the bar. Volunteers may commit as little as a few hours at a time and will leave impressed by the students and rewarded by the volunteering experience.

Volunteer coaches and instructors are needed for the Nov. 7 camp, as well as volunteer judges. Camp instructors will set aside the full day of Nov. 7 to lead small group sessions that will apply trial advocacy concepts introduced in brief lectures. Coaches will typically meet about once a week with their teams, either on a weekday afternoon or weekend day.

Volunteer judges will commit to judge a three-hour round of competition during a weekday, weeknight or weekend between Jan. 25, 2010 and Feb. 27, 2010. Judges can choose to judge as many rounds as schedules permit and judges do not need trial experience to participate. All volunteers need is a willingness to give some time and be wowed by the high school students.

Those interested in volunteering can contact joshu.harris@phila.gov, Paul Kaufman or Kristina Littman.

Selecting, Reducing Cost of Health Insurance Nov. 9

The Law Practice Management Division will present "Selecting and Reducing the Cost of Health Insurance" on Monday, Nov. 9.

Speakers for the program include Manny D. Pokotilow, managing partner, Caesar, Rivise, Bernstein, Cohen & Pokotilow, Ltd.; and Brian McLaughlin and Ray Keough vice presidents of Employee Benefits at U.S.I. Affinity, Inc. They will discuss high deductible programs, employee funding options, health savings accounts, health reimbursement accounts, flexible spending accounts and tax savings.

The program begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $8. Click here to RSVP.

Women in IP CLE Nov. 11

The Women in IP Subcommittee of the Intellectual Property Committee will present the lunchtime CLE "Think Again, Blink Again, and Let's Revisit That: When Hidden Mindsets, Beliefs, and Values Interfere with an IP Lawyer's Perception, Decision-Making and Achieving Strategic Goals" on Wednesday, Nov. 11.

This CLE presentation will examine some of the common lenses/perceptions used by IP practitioners, artists and scientists, suggest methods for mitigating the negative effects of these perceptions, and dis-cuss ongoing challenges and how to take action to correct these lenses for the benefit of our clients and practice. The guest speaker is Susan Letterman White, J.D., M.S. of Letterman White Consulting.

The program has been approved for 1.0 substantive CLE credit. Participants wishing to receive the CLE credit will be required to pay a fee of $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. Interested parties not seeking CLE credit may attend without charge. If you wish to register in advance please visit www.pbi.org or call PBI Customer Service at 1-800-932-4637. Lunch is available for $8 for those who register in advance. Click here to RSVP.

Role of Audit Committee CLE Nov. 12

The Securities Regulation Committee will present the lunchtime CLE "The Role of the Audit Committee in Managing Risk in Turbulent Times" on Thursday, Nov. 12.

This course will address issues that Audit Committee members face in economically uncertain times. Featured panelists are Frederick D. Lipman and Anthony B. Creamer III. The course planners are Graham R. Laub and Jeffrey M. Taylor.

The program begins at 12:30 p.m. at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, Market and Juniper streets. Lunch and registration begin at 11:45 a.m.

The program has been approved for 1.0 substantive CLE credit. Participants wishing to receive the CLE credit will be required to pay a fee of $33.50 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for more than five years, and $28.50 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for less than five years. Interested parties not seeking CLE credit may attend and purchase lunch for the fee of $8.50. If you wish to register in advance please visit www.pbi.org or call PBI Customer Service at 1-800-932-4637.

Business Development Skills Series Starts Nov. 13

The Training Resource Group will present a series of programs to introduce business development skills to attorneys beginning Friday, Nov. 13.

The program is designed for attorneys who are now expected to develop business for themselves or their firms. Learn these essential skill sets that were never taught in law school.

The sessions will be held in the 10th floor Board Room of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St., from 12 to 2 p.m. The Nov. 13 session will cover building a network for business development and designing a business plan. The Nov. 20 session will discuss the basics of networking and building a memorable 30-second commercial. On Dec. 4, attendees will learn how to build a stronger network. The Dec. 11 session will provide an introduction to a systematic approach to client development.

The cost is $795 per participant which includes four training sessions, one individual coaching session and materials. For more information call (215) 320-4650 or visit trainingresourcegroup.com.

Litigating More Effectively with Technology Nov. 16

The Young Lawyers Division, in co-sponsorship with the Technology Committee of the Law Practice Management Division, will present the lunchtime CLE "Litigating More Effectively Using Technology" on Monday, Nov. 16.

Featured panelists include Debra Aisenstein, vice president of client development, James DeCrescenzo Reporting, LLC and Trial Technologies, Inc. and James DeCrescenzo, foun-der and president, James DeCrescenzo Reporting, LLC, Trial Technologies, Inc., and Digital Reporting Service.

The program will be held at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, Market and Juniper streets. Lunch and registration begin at 12 p.m. The program begins at 12:30 p.m. The pro-gram has been approved for 1.0 substantive CLE credit. Participants wishing to receive the CLE credit will be required to pay a fee of $38.50 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for more than five years, and $33.50 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for less than five years. Tuition price includes lunch. You may also attend without receiving CLE credit, but you will be required to pay a fee of $8.50 for lunch. If you wish to register in advance please visit pbi.org or call PBI Customer Service at 1-800-932-4637.

Gillen to Speak at Real Property Annual Meeting Nov. 19

Kevin C. Gillen, Ph.D., vice president with Philadelphia-based Econsult Corporation, will be the keynote speaker at the Thursday, Nov. 19 Annual Meeting of the Real Property Section.

Dr. Gillen works on issues related to local economic policy and real estate development. The meeting begins at 12 p.m. at Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 1201 Market St. The Section will also honor Joe Syrnick of Schuylkill River Development Corporation with its annual Good Deed Award.

The election of officers and new members of the executive committee will take place at the Annual Meeting. The Section's Nominating Committee has nominated the following persons for the offices indicated Vice Chair, Cheryl Gaston; Treasurer, Brad Begelman; and Secretary, Richard Vanderslice.

The succession of current Vice-Chair Alfred R. Fuscaldo to the position of Chair of the Section is automatic in accordance with the Section's bylaws.

The Section's Nominating Committee has nominated the following persons for the Executive Committee (three-year terms): Markita Morris Louis, Harper Dimmerman, Sherman Toppin, Kathy Keyser and Rachel Friedman (completing final year of a three-year term). The nominee for Young Lawyers' Division Liaison is Rachel Gallegos.

Additional nominations may be made in accordance with the bylaws of the Section, by written notice from any member, which is seconded in writing by no fewer than 10 members of the Section. Additional nominations must be received not less than 20 days prior to the Annual Meeting.

Additional nominations are to be mailed or delivered to Christine Paul, Chair of the Real Property Section, Women's Community Revitalization Project, 407 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19123.

Tickets to the Real Property Section Annual Meeting are $45 for Section members and $50 for nonmembers. Click here to purchase tickets.

Risk Management Alert from USI Colburn

USI Colburn has become aware of a number of schemes to defraud funds held in attorney client trust accounts. Solo practitioners as well as attorneys at large national firms have fallen victim to such schemes. The typical scenario is outlined below.

Situational Overview
An attorney is approached via e-mail to assist with a collection matter for a new client. The attorney is asked to respond to a personal e-mail account as the client is having computer network "problems." The client and their customer appear to be legitimate entities by an Internet search. Later, the client tells the attorney that he has been able to work out an agreement with his customer on the amount owed and that the customer will send a certified check to the attorney for placement in the attorney's trust account. The attorney receives a certified check via Fed Ex. The attorney deposits the check in his trust account. The client then requests that the funds be released by wire to another customer of the client's in another country. The bank where the trust account resides will say the funds are available even though the check has not cleared yet as it is a certified check. The attorney does as instructed. The bank where the trust account is open then informs the attorney that the check is fraudulent. By this time the funds have already been released by wire and the attorney is unable to pull the wire transfer back.

What To Look For
Please be wary if you are approached by anyone via e-mail asking you to negotiate any check through your trust account. At the very least you need to understand the risks associated with certified checks – even in real estate transactions. Though funds may be available to you once you deposit a certified check that does not mean the check has cleared or is valid.

Best Practice: How To Protect Yourself And Your Firm
When transferring money that was deposited to your trust account via any form of check, it is a best practice not to transfer these funds until your bank confirms that the check has cleared and the funds from the check have been deposited into your account. Additionally, you should keep records of all communication regarding availability of funds for each transaction. When short turnaround is required, encourage the use of deposit wire transfers. Any additional cost and effort is a good investment in the prevention of fraudulent scams.

Reward Offered for Information in Paralegal's Death

The Citizens Crime Commission is administering a $10,000 reward posted by the law firm of Caesar, Rivise, Bernstein, Cohen & Pokotilow, Ltd., for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a bicyclist who struck and fatally injured Andre Steed, a Caesar Rivise paralegal.

Steed was struck at about 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 15 at the corner of 16th and Locust streets. Steed suffered massive head injuries and died on Oct. 24.

Witnesses at the scene describe the bicyclist as a white male in his early 20s, 140 pounds, wearing a white hooded sweatshirt with red spots in the background and riding a white mountain bike.

To be eligible for the reward, information must be called in to the Crime Commission Tipline at 215-546-TIPS, and the caller must receive a code number from the operator. The anonymity of all callers will be protected.

AIDS Law Project Anniversary Event Nov. 5

The AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania will mark its 21st anniversary with Decades 2009 on Thursday, Nov. 5, at Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue, Broad and Walnut streets.

The evening begins with a cocktail reception from 6 to 7 p.m. (with open bar, extensive hors d'oeuvres, a silent auction and music by the Young Jazz Lions), followed by the presentation of a mock trial from 7 to 8:30 p.m. CLE credits (.5 substantive, 1.0 ethics) are available.

Former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Sandra Schultz Newman will be presiding. The mock trial "actors" include well-known Philadelphia lawyers Tom Kline of Kline and Specter, P.C., and William L. Banton of Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin, as well as infectious disease specialist, Dr. Robert M. Swenson. The mock trial will re-enact an employment-discrimination case of an HIV-positive food handler.

VIP tickets are $250 (given preferred seating); regular subscription is $125. Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are also available. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-587-9377 or on the AIDS Law Project's web site at aidslawpa.org.

Volunteers Sought for Penn Mock Trial Event

The University of Pennsylvania Mock Trial Team is looking for judges, attorneys or law students to volunteer to serve as presiding judges or scoring judges for the 2009 Quaker Classic Invitational on Nov. 13-14, where some of the best college mock trial teams from across the country will compete.

All trials will be held on the University of Pennsylvania campus. Food will be provided to judges between Rounds 1 and 2, before Round 3, and between Rounds 3 and 4. The rules that govern tournaments require having one presiding judge and one or two scoring judges for each trial. A total of 40 volunteers per round are needed, to judge 20 simultaneous trials. Having actual attorneys and judges present in rounds shows students how professionals speak and comport themselves and also gives students better feedback for their roles. Real-life experience cannot be replaced.

On Nov. 13, judges will meet at 2:15 p.m. Round 1 runs from 3 to 6 p.m. and Round 2 is from 7 to 10 p.m. On Nov. 14, the judges meet at 8:15 a.m. Round 3 is from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Round 4 is from 1 to 4 p.m.

College mock trial is a unique opportunity for students interested in the legal process. If you have any questions or know a colleague who would be interested in participating, contact judging coordinator Doug Haefele at judges@pennmocktrial.com.

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