October 26, 2010

Next THURSDAY: My First Federal Trial CLE

The YLD and the Federal Courts Committee will present "My First Federal Trial," a CLE on succeeding during this momentous event, on Nov. 4 beginning at 4 p.m. at the Federal Courthouse Ceremonial Courtroom. A new reduced price of $109 is now available for YLD members. READ MORE

YLD Volunteer Day, Nov. 13

Two worthwhile YLD public service initiatives - Mock Trial Camp and Harvest for the Homeless - take center stage on YLD Volunteer Day, Saturday, Nov. 13, and the Division needs your help to make both a success. READ MORE

Senior Lawyers Committee Offering Mentoring to Young Lawyers

Members of the Bar Association's Senior Lawyers Committee are available to provide face-to-face or over-the-phone mentoring on any subject of concern to young attorneys, from ethical issues, obtaining clients, relationships with higher ranking members of respective firms, etc. Interested parties can contact Aneesh Mehta at amehta@volpe-koenig.com who will then notify the Senior Lawyers Committee to follow-up.


Nominations for Business Law Section's 2010 Replansky Award Due Nov. 5

The Business Law Section is seeking nominations from the Philadelphia legal community for the Section's 2010 Dennis H. Replansky Memorial Award. Nominations are due Nov. 5 and the award will be presented at the Section's Annual Reception to be held on January 25, 2011. READ MORE

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My First Federal Trial, Nov. 4

The YLD and the Federal Courts Committee will present "My First Federal Trial," a CLE on succeeding during this momentous event, on Nov. 4 beginning at 4 p.m. at the Federal Courthouse Ceremonial Courtroom.

Your first federal jury trial can be a harrowing experience. While there are plenty of trial practice courses available to teach trial skills, "My First Federal Trial" is designed to fill the gaps and allow you to learn directly from the judges what you really want to know, but are afraid to ask.

Topics will include:

  • What to do in those last few hours (things that are not set out in the rules)

  • What to expect at the final pretrial conference

  • The mechanics of a trial - where to stand, where to sit, what to do with exhibits, etc.

  • What to do if you get in trouble

The program will begin at 4 p.m. at the Federal Courthouse Ceremonial Courtroom, 601 Market St. The cost for YLD members is $129. For those admitted to practice after January 1, 2006, the cost is $109. CLICK HERE to register.

YLD Volunteer Day, Nov. 13

Two worthwhile YLD public service initiatives - Mock Trial Camp and Harvest for the Homeless - take center stage on YLD Volunteer Day, Saturday, Nov. 13, and the Division needs your help to make both a success.

Harvest for the Homeless
Donations of men's, women's and children's clothing, towels and non-perishable items (soap, toothpaste, shampoo, lotion, etc.) and food items are collected at local law firms. Volunteers are needed to coordinate the collection of these items at their firms and, on Nov. 13 at 8:30 a.m. at Ballard Spahr, help sort the donations and deliver them to local homeless shelters. Those interested in assisting in this effort, please contact Melanie Taylor, Roxane Crowley and Matt Laver.

Mock Trial Camp
This intensive, all-day camp on Nov. 13 at Temple University's Beasley School of Law prepares students for the annual John S. Bradway Philadelphia High School Mock Trial Competition. The YLD and Temple University's Legal Education and Participation Program (LEAP) seek attorney volunteers to lead small-group sessions on various aspects of trial advocacy throughout the day. Volunteers can choose from two sessions, 7:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., or commit to the entire day. More than 100 students are expected at this year’s camp, so many volunteers are needed. To sign up or for more details, contact Joshu Harris, Paul Kaufman or Joe Guzzardo.

Pro Bono Corner: Helping the Incarcerated Innocent

"Conviction," a recently released film, tells the story of an 18-year battle to free a man wrongfully convicted of murder. Betty Ann Waters, a high school drop-out, got her GED then went to college and law school all just to free her brother. The film is nothing short of a call to action.

I spoke with Ms. Waters after the Philadelphia Film Festival Premiere. She hoped the film would shed light on the issue and encourage people to take action. Regardless of the reason - misconduct, neglect, junk science, etc. - innocent people sit in jails across this great nation. The Pennsylvania Innocence Project seeks to remedy these situations, one case, one inmate at a time.

During its first year of operation, the Pennsylvania Innocence Project received more than 1,600 requests for assistance. Each request, consisting of a completed questionnaire and appellate documents, is reviewed by a volunteer to determine whether there is a plausible claim for innocence. The volunteer recommends the Project to either accept the case or discontinue review. If accepted, the Project conducts a full investigation of the case, and the fight to gain the inmate's freedom begins.

The staff of the Project consists of 3 full-time employees; the sheer volume of requests for assistance means that all of the evaluations are done by volunteer attorneys. The Project has trained over 200 lawyers to volunteer, and there are nearly 100 lawyers with cases right now.

Volunteer lawyers working with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project select their level of involvement. The volunteer opts to handle the initial evaluation, review the questionnaire and make recommendations, or join the team established for the accepted cases. Moreover, volunteers choose the number of cases to review. You decide, you choose.

The Pennsylvania Innocence Project supports the volunteers by providing training and ongoing support. In addition to an initial training session, I can personally attest to the fact that Marissa Bluestine, the Legal Director, is always available to take a call or respond to an email when I have a question.

I challenge you to get involved. I encourage you to see "Conviction" and then call or write the Pennsylvania Innocence Project to volunteer your time. It is a worthwhile venture and we cannot continue the fight without your support. Take that first step and register for a training program today.

Jennifer Seme, Esq., a 2004 graduate of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in Ohio, is an Associate with Gibbons, P.C., where she concentrates her practice in Business & Commercial Litigation. She can be reached at Jennifer Seme.

Nominations for Business Law Section's 2010 Replansky Award Due Nov. 5

The Business Law Section is seeking nominations from the Philadelphia legal community for the Section's 2010 Dennis H. Replansky Memorial Award. The nominations are due NOv. 5 and the award will be presented at the Section's Annual Reception to be held on January 25, 2011. The award recipient will receive the privilege of designating the recipient of the Section's annual charitable contribution to a public interest organization.

Award criteria are:

  • Superior legal talent in the area of business law.
  • Unique contributions to and significant achievements within the business law community in the Philadelphia area.
  • A reputation for mentoring young attorneys.
  • Significant participation in and contributions to civic and charitable causes in the community.
  • Uniform recognition in the legal community of the candidate's honesty, integrity and professionalism.

Each candidate must be a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Business Law Section.

The Section established the award in recognition of Dennis Replansky's career as a lawyer and his contributions to legal, civic, religious and other charitable causes. Dennis Replansky was a 51-year-old senior partner at the law firm of Blank Rome Comisky & McCauley when he died in March 1994. He was a former chair of the Business Law Section.

The deadline for award nominations and letters of support is noon on Friday, November 5.

Written nominations detailing the nominee's qualifications for the award should be sent to: Dennis H. Replansky Memorial Award, c/o Lee Applebaum, Esquire, Fineman Krekstein & Harris, P.C., Mellon Bank Center, Suite 600, 1735 Market Street, Philadelphia PA 19103; or e-mailed to lapplebaum@finemanlawfirm.com.

More information about the Dennis H. Replansky Award or the nomination process for the award may be obtained by calling Lee Applebaum at 215-893-8702 or on the Business Law Section's website here.

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