Feb. 24, 2009

Home Sweet Home: Philadelphia Native Matthews Speaks at YLD Annual Meeting

By Michael Petitti

Chris Matthews has seen many places and met many people. On Feb. 23, he brought the political knowledge he accumulated back to his hometown of Philadelphia, where he spoke to attendees of the Young Lawyers Division’s Annual Meeting at the Westin Philadelphia Hotel... READ MORE


Learn the Basics of Self Defense, Get CLE Credit Feb. 27

The Young Lawyers Division, Criminal Justice Section, LGBT Rights Committee, Women's Rights Committee and Women in the Profession Committee will present the lunchtime CLE program "Self Defense: Defending Your Person and Your Property Under the Law" on Friday, Feb. 27...READ MORE

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Home Sweet Home: Philadelphia Native Matthews Speaks at YLD Annual Meeting

By Michael Petitti

Chris Matthews has seen many places and met many people. On Feb. 23, he brought the political knowledge he accumulated back to his hometown of Philadelphia, where he spoke to attendees of the Young Lawyers Division’s Annual Meeting at the Westin Philadelphia Hotel. (Click here to listen to the podcast from the event.)

"My accent always comes through here," Matthews said, "The bad news is when you leave town they say, 'Hey, you talk different.' Not that there’s anything wrong with it."

Using his signature charm and experience, Matthews discussed his wide-ranging views on politics in America. He recalled past presidents and trends in political history and analyzed the hardships faced today. He balanced topics like the state of the economy, foreign affairs, the difficult job ahead for President Obama, and the prospect that things will get worse before they get better with wit and honesty.

"The American people will not live with the status quo," Matthews said, "What separates this country from most countries of the world is our inability to accept mediocrity. I always compare [presidential elections] to the pitcher on the mound. When you see that the pitcher can't get the other side out, the manager goes out and takes the ball from the guy. They never look and see how they're throwing in the bullpen. They don’t care how they’re throwing in the bullpen! This is so Philly, by the way. Get the bum out of there! Nobody asked if Obama’s got a fastball or what kind of stuff he's got. He's better than what we got because he's got to be better than this."

President Obama and the economy came up often in Matthews' speech.

"We have the most amazing president now in this sense: very pragmatic. I don’t think he’s an ideologue," Matthews said, "I think he’s a Democrat. He's Chicago - very smart and very pragmatic. Very Rahm Emanuel. David Axelrod. They think in terms of coalition building and dividing the spoils along ethnic lines so that everybody gets a piece.

"The problems this president faces are so deep that he's going to need a lot of professionalism, a lot of luck and he's going to have to get to some extent the goodwill of the American people and the media. Financial institutions that we grew up with that we thought would be there like rocks our whole lives, all of them in despair right now. It's stunning the challenges [Obama] faces."

He also touched on a matter requiring the expertise of those in attendance.

"You're all attorneys and you have to think about this rights issue but what do we do about people who are dangerous but haven't committed any crimes? What do you with people who are dangerous and have said so and want to kill us but they haven't committed a crime? I don't know the answer to that question. Morally, if a person hasn’t done any wrong we accept in this country we got to let them go. But if you know they're the enemy, if you pick them up in a combat situation when you know they’re with the bad guys, what do you do about it? I have never gotten an answer on this from anybody."

Matthews covered many other topics but always found his way back to a hard but unfortunate truth.

"The times are going to really suck for the next couple years,” Matthews said, "They're going to be terrible. This economy is going to be bad for the next couple years. You think it's tough now? When this honeymoon's over a year from now and we have 8 or 9 percent unemployment and people's 401Ks are still 101Ks and people can't retire and young people can’t find jobs, you think it's going to be nice?”

Leave it to a Philadelphia-native to tell it like it is, accent and all.

Michael Petitti is the Communications Manager for the Philadelphia Bar Association

Click here to listen to the podcast from the event.

Learn the Basics of Self Defense, Get CLE Credit Feb. 27

The Young Lawyers Division, Criminal Justice Section, LGBT Rights Committee, Women's Rights Committee and Women in the Profession Committee will present the lunchtime CLE program "Self Defense: Defending Your Person and Your Property Under the Law" on Friday, Feb. 27.

This Self Defense CLE will teach attendees the legal and real aspects of protecting yourself, including what Pennsylvania law allows, what self-defense is designed to accomplish, and what is "too far" when defending yourself. Immediately following the CLE program, please stay for an actual self-defense demonstration and learn valuable self-defense techniques to defend yourself in common situations.

The program begins at 12 p.m. at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, 13th and Market streets. Lunch and registration begin at 11:30 a.m. Click here to register for this program.

Reception for Young Tax Lawyers Feb. 26

A cocktail reception for the young lawyers of the Association's Tax Section will be held Thursday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. at the offices of Pepper Hamilton LLP, 3000 Two Logan Square.

Come mingle with young tax lawyers from the Philadelphia area while enjoying refreshments and appetizers. Additionally, there will be a brief presentation regarding the activities of the Young Lawyers Division and how you can get involved.

Please RSVP to Kate Haeffner by e-mailing haeffnec@pepperlaw.com or calling 215-981-4042.

YLD Networking Event, March 26 at JL Sullivan's

The YLD is holding a Networking Event on Thursday, March 26 at JL Sullivan's at Broad and Walnut streets. The event is a great opportunity to meet and socialize with young professionals in Philadelphia. More details to come...

Government and Public Service Lawyers Committee to Meet March 5

The Government and Public Service Lawyers Committee will hold its first meeting of the year on Thursday, March 5.

Meet your new co-chairs and bring your brainstorming hats. This first meeting will be introductory in nature, but we will also open up the floor to new ideas for how the Government and Public Service Lawyers Committee can better serve you in 2009 and in the future.

Also, please bring along any ideas you have for interesting and relevant panel discussions, speakers and community activities for which our members can volunteer to participate. The meeting will be held in the 11th floor Committee Room South of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $8 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this program.

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