Oct. 31, 2005
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 6, No. 49
 

Additional Nominations for Bar Offices Accepted

Notice is hereby given that the Philadelphia Bar Association is accepting additional nominations for candidates for Bar offices to be elected by the membership at the Association's Annual Meeting and Election on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005.

The deadline for filing these additional nominations is Friday, Nov. 4, 2005, at 5 p.m.

Nominations must be in writing and may take the form of a letter to the Secretary, c/o Susan Knight, Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107-2911. Letters must state the office the individual is seeking and must include the names and signatures of at least twenty-five (25) members of the Association who are entitled to vote, except for the nomination of Vice Chancellor, which shall be signed by a least one hundred (100) members who are entitled to vote. Offices to be filled are Vice Chancellor, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer, as well as five (5) positions on the Board of Governors for a term of three years.

Candidates are also asked to provide a photograph and statement of no more than 150 words, demonstrating their qualifications to serve as a member of the Board of Governors. Photos and statements will be published in the Philadelphia Bar Reporter and must be received no later than Friday, Nov. 4, 2005, at 5 p.m.

Inquirer Columnist Trudy Rubin To Speak Nov. 2

The Public Interest Section and the Civil Rights Committee are sponsoring a Chancellor's Forum with Philadelphia Inquirer "Worldview" columnist Trudy Rubin (left) on Wednesday, Nov. 2.

Rubin's book, Willful Blindness, The Bush Administration and Iraq, describes how the Bush administration got the U.S. into Iraq and the prospects for getting out. This book, a collection of Rubin's columns from 2002 to 2004, draws on her extensive experience in the Middle East, including four lengthy trips to Iraq and her close contacts with Iraqi officials, clerics and ordinary people.

The event begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. A complimentary lunch will be provided, but RSVP is required. Click here to RSVP for this event.

Honors to be Presented at Nov. 12 Hamilton Ball

The Philadelphia Bar Foundation will present the 2005 Citizen Pro Bono Award to Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP and the 2005 Philadelphia Bar Foundation Award to Louis S. Rulli at the Andrew Hamilton Ball on Nov. 12. The theme for this year's Andrew Hamilton Ball is "Viva Las Vegas."

Rulli (left) is a practice professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is former executive director and managing attorney at Community Legal Services.

The Ball will be held on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue, Broad and Walnut streets. Tickets are $375 for patrons, $325 for subscribers and $225 for members of the Young Lawyers Division. Tickets for the event are available online by clicking here.

Frederick Strober of Saul Ewing LLP and Carol Nelson Shepherd of Feldman, Shepherd, Wohlgelernter, Tanner & Weinstock are the chairs for this year's event.

The Andrew Hamilton Ball is the premiere social event of the year for the Philadelphia legal community. Funds raised go directly to the Foundation's annual grantmaking. Last year, the Foundation awarded $400,000 to 28 local legal services providers. The Foundation also raises money through its annual Golf Classic and Access to Justice membership drive, as well as through contributions from law firms, individuals and corporations.

Meet Ethnic and Foreign Media Nov. 9

The Public Interest Section and the Bar-News Media Committee will host a free Chancellor's Forum, "Meet the Ethnic and Foreign Language Media" on Wednesday, Nov. 9, from 12 to 2 p.m. at Bar headquarters, 1101 Market St., in the 11th Floor Conference Center. A complimentary lunch will be provided. RSVP is required. To RSVP, click here. Panelists will include Hernan Guaracao, publisher of Al Dia; Darek Barcikowski, publisher of White Eagle (Polish) newspaper; Paul Kotrotsios, publisher of the Hellenic News of America; and Jorge Quintana, anchor for WFMZ-TV 69. Top representatives from the Portuguese and Ukrainian press also have been invited. Chancellor Andrew A. Chirls (left) will be the moderator for this program.

The forum is a continuation of the Association's effort to bring immigrant communities and the legal system closer together to reduce cultural and other barriers between people and the justice system. The program will focus on how to reach and communicate with the ethnic and non-English language media. While the event helps attorneys in the public interest sector let the ethnic and foreign-language media know about the legal and other services that they offer, all interested members of the Bar are invited to attend.

The Association held a similar forum on March 2, and 120 lawyers and legal advocates attended. Representatives attended from Korean, Chinese, Russian and Spanish publications.

Chirls said the program will also serve as the first meeting of the new Committee on Law Practice for New Americans. The committee will educate members of the Bar and the public about access to justice for immigrant groups and people who use languages other than English.

The committee will assist the Bar Association in taking positions on immigration law and the many other legal issues that affect the ability of immigrant groups and non-English speaking populations to have effective use of the legal system and other parts of our governmental system. The committee will also educate lawyers about how to serve clients and prospective clients who are not citizens or who do not speak English. The education will relate not only to immigration law, but to how immigration status affects other legal issues that the individuals face. The committee will work through the Association with courts and other agencies to improve access to justice for immigrant and non-English speaking populations. Robert C. Seiger III and Matthew D. Baxter will be the co-chairs of the new committee.

Judicial Commission Releases Recommendations

Chancellor Andrew A. Chirls has announced the results of the Association's investigation into the qualifications of candidates for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and Philadelphia Municipal Court in the Nov. 8 general election. The investigation was conducted by the Association's Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention.

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 Parente Consulting. 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 29-member Judicial Commission includes lawyers and non-lawyers as well as 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. Nearly half of the Commission members are African-American, Latino or Asian-American.

Each of the currently rated candidates was voted upon by the Commission. Those found "Recommended" satisfied a cumulative review of criteria including qualifications such as legal ability and training, trial experience, character, integrity, judicial temperament and mental and physical ability and community involvement. The complete criteria are available from the Bar Association.

The following judges, listed alphabetically, were found Recommended for retention on the Court of Common Pleas:
Hon. Willis W. Berry, Jr.
Hon. Gwendolyn N. Bright
Hon. Matthew D. Carrafiello
Hon. Amanda Cooperman
Hon. Idee C. Fox
Hon. Renee Cardwell Hughes
Hon. Marlene F. Lachman
Hon. Patricia A. McInerney
Hon. Lillian Harris Ransom
Hon. Esther R. Sylvester
Hon. John Milton Younge

The following judges, listed alphabetically, were found Recommended for retention to Municipal Court:
Hon. Linda F. Anderson
Hon. James M. DeLeon
Hon. Thomas F. Gehret
Hon. William Austin Meehan Jr.
Hon. Harvey W. Robbins
Hon. Alan K. Silberstein

The following judge was found Not Recommended for retention to Municipal Court:
Hon. Jimmie Moore

The Commission reiterated its ratings of the following candidates who have been found Recommended for election to the Court of Common Pleas:
Hon. Glenn B. Bronson
Ann M. Butchart
Hon. Charles J. Cunningham
Joyce Webb Eubanks
Marilyn Heffley
Hon. Susan I. Schulman
Leon W. Tucker

The Commission reiterated its ratings of the following candidates who have been found Not Recommended for election to the Court of Common Pleas:
Hon. Walter J. Olszewski
Hon. Frank Palumbo
Lisette Shirdan-Harris

The Commission reiterated its ratings of the following candidates who have been found Recommended for election to the Municipal Court:
Hon. Nazario Jimenez
Hon. Bradley K. Moss
Karen Simmons
David C. Shuter

For a complete guide to the Judicial Elections visit philadelphiabar.org.

Long-Term Planning for Katrina Victims

A meeting to strategize a long-term response to the legal needs of the victims of Hurricane Katrina while simultaneously and permanently improving the delivery of legal services to low income Philadelphians will be held Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Committee Room South of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St.

For more information about the meeting, contact Sharon Browning at sbrowning@phillyvip.org.

Appellate Strategies Seminar Nov. 9

The Appellate Courts Committee will hold a one-hour seminar "Picking Your Best Issues: Strategies for the First Three Pages of Your Appellate Brief" on Wednesday, Nov. 9.

Speakers for the program will be Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Renee L. Cohn Jubelirer and Nancy Winkelman. Topics will include selecting issues on appeal; crafting the statement of questions presented; crafting the summary of argument; using all parts of your appellate brief as an opportunity to persuade the court; and an appellate judge's perspective on the first three pages of a brief.

The program begins at 12 p.m. at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building between 13th and Juniper Streets on Market Street.

The program has been approved for 1 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. If you wish to register in advance please visit www.pbi.org or call 800-932-4637. Please make checks payable to the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Lunch is included with tuition. If you would like to attend the meeting and not receive CLE credit, you may purchase lunch for $8.50 at the door. Lunch will only be provided for those who have registered in advance. If you wish to purchase lunch only, please RSVP to Tara Phoenix at tphoenix@pbi.org or (215) 965-5526.

Practical Views on Experts From Judges' Perspective

U.S. District Court Judge John R. Padova and Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark I. Bernstein will present practical advice on selecting and presenting experts and on issues concerning expert discovery and reports on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

The seminar, sponsored by the Federal Courts Committee and the Business Litigation Committee, will be moderated by Roberta D. Liebenberg. The seminar will be held at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

The program has been approved for 1 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 and Montgomery Bar Associations admitted for more than five years, and $28.50 for members of the Philadelphia and Montgomery Bar Associations admitted for less than five years. If you wish to register in advance please visit www.pbi.org or call 800-932-4637. Please note that you may attend the meeting without making any payment, but you will not receive the CLE credit. Please RSVP to Marisa Kossakowski at mkossakowski@philabar.org. This price includes lunch.

How to Survive Your Initial Years of Practice

The Philadelphia Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division and the Association's Membership Committee will present a panel discussion, "How to Survive Your Initial Years of Practice," on Friday, Nov. 11 at noon at Association headquarters, 1101 Market St., in the 11th Floor Conference Center.

Topics for discussion will include acquiring the skills needed to succeed in your early years of practice; building professional relationships with co-workers and supervisors; navigating office politics; balancing work-life responsibilities; and related issues affecting younger lawyers.

A diverse panel of young practitioners from different areas of practice and firm and office sizes will participate. The event will be moderated by Molly Peckman (above left), special counsel and director of professional development at Pepper Hamilton LLP, and co-chair of the Association's Women in the Profession Committee. Bring your questions for this highly interactive discussion.

A complimentary lunch will be served, but RSVP is required. To RSVP, please send name, e-mail address and phone number of attendee(s) to Marisa Kossakowski at mkossakowski@philabar.org.

Higginbotham Fellowship Deadline is Nov. 18

The Public Interest Section is accepting applications from Delivery of Legal Services Committee public interest centers for the Higginbotham Fellowship. This stipend, in the amount of $4,000, will subsidize the work of a summer law clerk at a DLSC public interest law center during the summer of 2006. Any DLSC public interest law center interested in applying for this stipend should notify Merril Zebe via e-mail at mzebe@philabar.org by no later than Nov. 18. The recipient of the stipend will be determined by a lottery drawing conducted at the Public Interest Reception scheduled on Dec. 1.

This stipend is intended to support the work of a summer law student involved in legal advocacy, either through direct legal services or impact litigation, on behalf of indigent and disadvantaged members of our community. This stipend is also intended to subsidize a DLSC law center that would not otherwise be in a position to support the costs of employing a summer law clerk. The Higginbotham Fellowship is not available to public interest law centers that have previously received the stipend.

Kenny Gamble to Receive Good Deed Award

Philadelphia music legend Kenny Gamble (left) will receive the Real Property Section's Good Deed Award at the Section's Annual Meeting on Thursday, Nov. 17.

Walt D'Alesio, vice chairman of NorthMarq Capital, will be the keynote speaker at the event, which begins at 12 p.m. at Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 1200 Market St. Tickets for the event are $35. Click here to purchase tickets online for this event.

Gamble is a two-time Grammy winner and his efforts have resulted in more than 170 platinum and gold albums and songs. Gamble turned to songwriting and producing with fellow musician Leon Huff, with whom he worked for three decades. Gamble and Huff are known as the originators of the Philly Soul Sound, one of the most popular and influential music developments of the 1970s. Their hits include "Expressway to Your Heart," "Only the Strong Survive," "Me and Mrs. Jones," "If You Don't Know Me By Now," "Back Stabbers," "Love Train" and "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now."

In the 1970s, Gamble began to purchase rundown houses, beginning with his own childhood home, to improve conditions in blighted areas. By the early 1990s, he had purchased more than 100 abandoned homes, and he and his wife moved from the affluent suburbs back into the inner-city neighborhood in South Philadelphia where he had grown up to help rebuild the community.

Gamble founded a nonprofit community development corporation, Universal Community Homes, to provide low- and moderate-income families in Philadelphia with newly built or refurbished homes at affordable prices. The community revitalization programs Gamble has launched and nurtured have created hundreds of jobs and more than 120 homes have been constructed or renovated, along with more than 70,000 square feet of commercial space that has been developed to support local needs.

Dessert Party for LGBT Civil Rights Nov. 5

The Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights is having a dessert and wine party on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Atwater Kent Museum, 15 S. 7th St., from 8 to 10 p.m. The reception will feature tastings of desserts from renowned Philadelphia patisseries and restaurants.

Contribution levels are Attendee $50, Sponsor $100, Patron $250, Benefactor $500 and are tax-deductible as allowed under sec. 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. Purchase advance tickets online at www.center4civilrights.org or call Alicia Marie Williamson at 215-731-1447, ext.13. The Center advocates equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in Pennsylvania through direct legal services, education, and policy reform.

Nominees Sought for Wachovia Fidelity Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the Philadelphia Bar Association's 2005 Wachovia Fidelity Award. Nominations should be made in writing. Please include a detailed informational statement setting forth your reasons for recommending the nominee for this award. The deadline for receipt of nominations is 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4.

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

The criteria for the award are:

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

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

3. 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 in not material so long as it has not been recognized.);

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

5. 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.

SeniorLAW Center Wine-Tasting Party Nov. 15

The SeniorLAW Center will host a Fall French Wine Tasting Party with Keith Brand of the Wine School of Philadelphia on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 5:30 p.m.

This two-hour wine-tasting will feature premium French wines and is being held at the PNC Bank Center, 1600 Market St., Philadelphia. Tickets are $50 each or 2 tickets for $90. Proceeds from the event will support the SeniorLAW Center's work protecting the legal rights of senior citizens. For tickets or more information, call Larry Felzer at (215) 701-3203 or e-mail
lfelzer@seniorlawcenter.org.

Sections Schedule Annual Parties, Receptions

- The Family Law Section will hold its annual dinner and award presentation on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at Maggiano's Little Italy, 1201 Filbert St., beginning at 5:30 p.m. The section will present the Herbert R. Weiman Jr. Award to Divorce Masters Dennis L. O'Connell and Anthony T. Vanore. Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Administrative Judge Myrna P. Field will also be honored for her dedication and service to the Family Law Bench. Tickets are $60 for employees of the First Judicial District; $65 for members of the Family Law Section; and $70 for non-section members. The ticket price includes one drink ticket, hors d'oeuvres and a three-course dinner. Visit www.philadelphiabar.org to order tickets online.

- The Workers' Compensation Section will hold its Annual Holiday Party on Wednesday, Nov. 30 from 6 to 8;30 p.m. at The Pyramid Club, 1735 Market St., 52nd Floor. Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased online at www.philadelphiabar.org.

- The Public Interest Section will hold its Annual Cocktail Reception and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 1 beginning at 5 p.m. at Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 1200 Market St. Tickets to the event are $35 for public interest and government attorneys; $50 for section and non-section members. A $100 Higginbotham Scholarship contribution includes a ticket to the event. Ticket prices include open bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres. Tickets are available online by clicking here.

Board Approves $3.8 Million Budget for 2006

The Board of Governors has approved a $3.8 million budget for 2006, a 5.8 percent increase over the current spending plan. The action came at the Board's Oct. 27 meeting.

Chancellor-Elect Alan M. Feldman attributed the increase to costs involved with the Association's sponsorship of the 2006 Equal Justice Conference and a new contract for consulting services that will emphasize law practice management programs.

In other business, the Board approved approved a resolution from the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee in Support of Senate Resolution 160, which calls for a statewide study of mediation and other forms of dispute resolution.

The Board also approved a resolution from the Civil Rights Committee against the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts proposal for making Pennsylvania criminal records available on the Internet.

The Board also approved a one-time donation of $5,000 to Philadelphia's Community Court.

Members Urged to Vote Yes on Ethics Question

The Board of Governors recently adopted a resolution supporting the ethics bill passed by City Council and signed by Mayor John F. Street. The unregulated contracting environment in Philadelphia has bred a system in which businesses and individuals who want to provide goods and services to the City need to "pay to play" by way of significant contributions and/or favors to the political or politically-connected parties responsible for awarding the contracts.

Bill No. 040772-AA seeks to regulate the bidding and awarding of city contracts. The intent of the bill is to create a unified and objective process for awarding professional service and other non-competitively bid contracts, including legal services contracts. The bill institutes caps on campaign contributions and will bar both individuals and companies from being awarded contracts if their contributions are in excess of the caps. The bill also requires that contracting opportunities and selection criteria be posted on the city's Web site so that anyone interested will have the opportunity to submit an application.

The bill seeks to make the contracting process more open, uniform and competitive. The bill amends Title 17 and becomes effective only after a change to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter which itself requires approval by the city voters. A question will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot and the Philadelphia Bar Association, along with other organizations, is campaigning for voters to vote yes on the ethics ballot question.

Group Forming to Support Juvenile Diabetes Research

The Philadelphia Bar Association is supporting the efforts of attorneys with a connection to juvenile diabetes to network and develop a program for supporting the important research efforts currently being undertaken by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

If you are interested in participating in this effort, please e-mail Elliott R. Feldman at efeldman@cozen.com. A meeting then will be scheduled to discuss and develop appropriate activities under the auspices of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Wanted: Tales From the Front Lines

Wanted: Short vignettes of Philadelphia lawyers and law practice; overheard conversations; observations; comments on interesting encounters; or unusual anecdotes similar to those found in The New York Times "Metropolitan Diary" feature for The Philadelphia Lawyer magazine. Example: overheard conversation between two associates about the bad wardrobe choices at a large Philadelphia law firm on dress-down days. All stories are subject to review and approval by the magazine's Editorial Board. Send your anecdotes to Managing Editor, The Philadelphia Lawyer, Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th floor, Philadelphia, Pa. 19107-2911 or e-mail to tplmag@philabar.org.

Discussion on U.S.-Canada Business Issues Nov. 3

Canadian and U.S. lawyers and three Canadian consuls have been collaborating for months to plan a first-time, one-of-a-kind CLE conference "Doing Business With Canada," co-sponsored by the International Law Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association, the CLE Society of British Columbia and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. In a fast-paced panel format, this 6-credit CLE program will explore everything from corporate and employment issues to litigation, and from trade and customs issues to IP. The Hon. Pamela Wallin, Canadian Consul General to New York City, is the keynote luncheon speaker. Wallin had a career as one of Canada's most accomplished and respected journalists prior to assuming her foreign service post in 2002. The program will be held Thursday, Nov. 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building. Registration is at 8 a.m. For more information or to register for this program, 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, Nov. 1
Representing the Senior Housing Industry
6 substantive CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 2
Stormwater Management
4 substantive CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Social Security Law for Worker's Compensation Practitioners
4 substantive CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 3
Doing Business with Canada
6 substantive CLE credits
8:55 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Post Trial Motions
2 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
12:30 to 3:45 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 4
What Jurors Really Think
4 substantive CLE credits
9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

The Nuts & Bolts of Medicaid Planning
3 substantive CLE credits
12:30 to 3:45 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 7
How to Handle a Child Abuse Case
5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
9 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.