RESOLUTION TO ESTABLISH A TASK FORCE ON GENDER FAIRNESS IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM

WHEREAS, at least 32 states have established task forces to study the problem of gender bias in their court systems;

WHEREAS, final reports issued in New Jersey, New York, Illinois and 14 other states reveal gender bias in substantive law and procedure which adversely impacts on women attorneys and litigants;

WHEREAS, the Allegheny County Bar Association and the Philadelphia Bar Association's committees on Women in the Profession have both conducted surveys which report gender bias in the legal systems in the two largest counties in Pennsylvania;

WHEREAS, the National Association of Women Judges is meeting in Philadelphia in October 1993, and will celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of the first Task Force on Gender Bias in the Courts, at which speakers will include the Honorable Marilyn Loftus, of New Jersey, and Chief Justices of Supreme Courts of the states with successful Task Forces on Gender Bias in the Courts;

WHEREAS, gender fairness in the court system is and should be an issue of concern to all the Sections and Committees of the Philadelphia Bar Association;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association hereby authorizes the Chancellor to:

1. Petition the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to approve and appoint a Pennsylvania Task Force on Gender Fairness in the Court System to make recommendations on actions required to eliminate gender bias in the Pennsylvania courts;

2. Appoint, as a Special Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association, a Task Force on Gender Fairness in the Legal System;

3. Authorize the Task Force to take whatever steps it deems appropriate, which shall include, but not be limited to, the following actions:
--Evaluate the reports and recommendations made by Gender Bias Task Forces in other states and jurisdictions; and
--Conduct focus group sessions and hearings to determine the nature and extent of gender bias, if any, in the court system in Philadelphia; and,
--Create a complaint procedure to hear and address complaints of gender bias in the court system in Philadelphia.

4. Report to the Board of Governors on recommendations which the Philadelphia Bar Association should support or adopt to ensure gender fairness in the court system.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED:  April 30, 1992