July 6, 2010

TOMORROW: Chancellor's Forum on Civil Gideon

The Bar Association will present a Chancellor's Forum on Civil Gideon featuring a keynote address by Prof. Russell Engler, a national expert on the subject and the Director of Clinical Programs at New England Law | Boston, tomorrow, July 7. The program, titled "Civil Gideon: Establishing a Right to Counsel for Low Income Persons in Civil Cases Where Basic Human Needs Are at Stake," will begin at 12 p.m. on the 11th Floor of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. READ MORE

Register Now for 2010 Bench-Bar and Annual Conference at the Borgata

Register now for the Bar Association's 2010 Bench-Bar and Annual Conference at the Borgata in Atlantic City, N.J. on Friday, Oct. 15 and Saturday, Oct. 16. YLD member costs remain at 2007 prices. Early bird pricing registration is available if tickets purchased by Sept. 17. READ MORE

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TOMORROW: Chancellor's Forum on Civil Gideon

The Bar Association will present a Chancellor's Forum on Civil Gideon featuring a keynote address by Prof. Russell Engler, a national expert on the subject and the Director of Clinical Programs at New England Law | Boston, tomorrow, July 7. The program, titled "Civil Gideon: Establishing a Right to Counsel for Low Income Persons in Civil Cases Where Basic Human Needs Are at Stake," will begin at 12 p.m. on the 11th Floor of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St.

The program will also feature a panel discussion including Catherine C. Carr, Executive Director of Community Legal Services, and Joseph A. Sullivan, Special Counsel and Director of Pro Bono Programs at Pepper Hamilton LLP, who are Co-Chairs of the Bar Association's Civil Gideon Task Force, formed in early 2009 by Immediate Past-Chancellor Sayde Ladov.

Civil Gideon is a growing national movement exploring strategies to provide legal counsel, as a matter of right and at public expense, to low income persons involved in urgent civil legal proceedings, such as those involving shelter and child custody. The term takes its name from Gideon v. Wainwright, the landmark 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case in which the court decided indigent defendants have a constitutional right to be represented by an attorney, at no charge, in state criminal cases.

In November 2009, the Bar Association's Board of Governors adopted a preliminary report from the Civil Gideon Task Force that recommended the endorsement of pilot projects in eviction and mortgage foreclosure defense and custody cases as well as the development of an education and communications plan to inform the legal and public community about Civil Gideon.

Tomorrow's Chancellor's Forum will further educate Bar Association members on the topic as well as provide a venue for questions and discussion.

Professor Engler has written several published texts on Civil Gideon, including And Justice for All-Including the Unrepresented Poor: Revisiting the Roles of Judges, Mediators and Clerks (1999), Shaping A Context-Based Civil Gideon from the Dynamics of Social Change (2006) and Connecting Self-Representation to Civil Gideon: What Existing Data Reveal About When Counsel is Most Needed (2010). An upcoming title, Pursuing Access to Justice and Civil Right to Counsel in a Time of Economic Crisis, will be released later this year.

Professor Engler also serves on the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission and the Boston Bar Association's Task Force on Expanding the Civil Right to Council. He joined the New England Law | Boston faculty in 1993 and teaches the Lawyering Process and Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic, co-teaches clinical component courses, and directs the Public Service Project for the law school's Center for Law and Social Responsibility.

During the 1999-2000 academic school year, Professor Engler was a guest lecturer on law at Harvard Law School. Prior to joining New England Law | Boston, Professor Engler was the Director of the Housing Law Unit at Brookyln (N.Y.) Legal Service, Corporation B. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School and his B.A. from Yale University.

The event is free for Philadelphia Bar Association members but advanced registration is required. Lunch will be provided. To register, CLICK HERE.

Register Now for 2010 Bench-Bar and Annual Conference at the Borgata

Register now for the Bar Association's 2010 Bench-Bar and Annual Conference at the Borgata in Atlantic City, N.J. on Friday, Oct. 15 and Saturday, Oct. 16. YLD member costs remain at 2007 prices. Early bird pricing registration is available if tickets purchased by Sept. 17.

Thirteen CLE programs in a variety of practice areas are on tap for the Bench-Bar and Annual Conference. The CLE programs, in which attendees can earn up to eight hours of credit (including the opportunity to earn two ethics credits), will feature judges and some of the city's most well-known practitioners, who will use their expertise and experience to enlighten attendees.

A dramatic re-enactment commemorating the 275th anniversary of Andrew Hamilton's historic 1735 defense of printer John Peter Zenger will be offered for CLE credit as the opening program on Oct. 15. The case established the concept of freedom of the press and coined the term "Philadelphia lawyer."

A state-of-the-court program will also be offered for CLE credit as the closing program on Saturday, Oct. 16. Vice Chancellor John E. Savoth and Board of Governors Vice Chair Regina M. Foley are co-chairs of the 2010 conference.

Full-conference admission is $349 for members and $399 for non-members, if reserved by the early bird deadline of Friday, Sept. 17. For members of the Young Lawyers Division and government and public interest attorneys, admission is only $199. CLICK HERE for a complete registration form and pricing guide.

Hotel reservations must be made separately by calling the Borgata directly at 1-866-692-6742. Guests must reference the Philadelphia Bar Association to receive the special rate. Discounted rooms are available from Thursday, Oct. 14 through Saturday, Oct. 16. if booked by Friday, Sept. 17.

Leading Your Solo and Small Firm, July 15

The Bar Association's Law Practice Management Committee will present "Leading Your Solo and Small Firm: Leadership Skills to Advance Your Business or Your Career," featuring Susan Letterman White, J.D., M.S., Letterman White Consulting, on July 15 at Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St., 10th Floor.

Growing your business or advancing your career requires a strategic plan and set of skills that will help you to differentiate your legal services or products from those of everyone else. In this program, participants will learn how to identify their strengths and weakness, locate opportunities and threats, and develop goals and action plans to advance personal career or law firm goals.

The program is free and begins at 12 p.m. Lunch is available for $8.00. CLICK HERE to register.

Breaking Down the Basics Series Continues Thursday, July 8

The new, 5-part Pennsylvania Bar Institute series, "Breaking Down the Basics," continues Thursday, July 8 from 12-2 p.m. on the topic "How to Handle the First Client Meeting." The program is also available via webcast.

"Breaking Down the Basics" is a new series of practical luncheon seminars that will provide attendees with the foundational "how to" in several key areas of practice. Designed for the new attorney, or the attorney who has recently changed practice areas, started his/her own firm or expanded into new areas in a general practice, these programs will provide you with practical nuts and bolts information and lots of sample documents, forms and checklists.

Each seminar is two hours over lunch and interested parties can register for all five or as many that suit their needs. Signing up for all five seminars enables you to receive a substantial discount.

The courses are as follows:

--How to Prepare for Your First Residential Real Estate Settlement: June 29
--How to Handle the First Client Meeting: July 8
--How to Avoid Ethics Problems: July 27
--How to Conduct Effective and Efficient Discovery in the PI Case: August 11
--How to Draft a Simple Will: August 25

All courses are 12-2 p.m. at various locations. Click here for more details and to register.

Conversation with Bankruptcy Bench this Friday, July 9

The Pennsylvania Bar Institute will present a conversation with the bankruptcy bench on Friday, July 9.

This program features a panel of highly distinguished bankruptcy judges who will discuss their individual practices and procedures, and what they expect from counsel who appear before them. Whether you practice on the consumer or commercial side and whether you represent debtors or creditors, this is a not to be missed opportunity to hear from the bankruptcy judges in your region as they discuss their personal preferences and peeves and share advice that will help make your court appearances run more smoothly.

The program has been approved for 2.0 substantive CLE credits.

The program begins at 12 p.m. at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, Market and Juniper streets. Click here to register online. Lunch is included.

Family Law Section to Learn of VIP Study, July 12

Sara Woods, executive director of Philadelphia VIP, will give a brief presentation regarding VIP's partnership with Harvard Law School to conduct a three- to four-year study evaluating the impact of pro bono services in divorce cases in Philadelphia County at the Monday, July 12 meeting of the Family Law Section.

Mark Momjian of Momjian Anderer, LLC will also give a brief presentation on "Same-Sex Marriages, Civil Unions, and Domestic Partnerships: New Jurisdictional Challenges for Pennsylvania."

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

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