March 25, 2008

VH1's 'Best Week Ever' Comedian to Co-Headline YLD Comedy Night Saturday, May 10

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Join the YLD for a night of laughs on Saturday, May 10 featuring opening act Anton Shuford and co-headliners Lynne Koplitz and Doug Benson of VH1's "Best Week Ever." Tickets are available now and include open bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres, a silent auction and a DJ.

For sponsorship information, please contact Brian Chacker. To donate items to the silent auction, please contact Abbie DuFrayne.

All proceeds benefit the Philadelphia Bar Foundation.

Bench-Bar Annual Conference Registration Open

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Registration is now open for the Association's 2008 Bench-Bar and Annual Conference on Sept. 19-21 at Bally's Atlantic City.

This year's conference is expected to bring together more than 500 lawyers and judges from the Philadelphia area for three days of CLE programming that lets practitioners and the judiciary share ideas and best practices. The theme of this year's conference is "The Sound of Philadelphia."

Registration for the full three days of the conference is $549 for those members who register by Aug. 15. That rate includes all meals and CLE. For public interest attorneys, government attorneys and members of the Young Lawyers Division who register by Aug. 15, the full conference registration fee is $399. Other one-day and two-day registration packages are available. For those prices, visit philadelphiabar.org.

Bally's Atlantic City offers a world-class spa, salon, fitness center and 18 restaurants to meet every craving. Experience the Old West at Bally's Wild Wild West Casino with nearly 74,000 feet of gaming accessible via a short walkway connected to Bally's.

Bally's is now accepting hotel reservations for attendees. Book early for the best rates: rooms on Thursday, Sept. 18 are $99; rooms Friday, Sept. 19 are $144, and Saturday, Sept. 20 rooms are $189. A limited number of room are available for the $189 rate on Saturday night. Call 1-800-345-7253 for reservations and mention you are attending the Philadelphia Bar Association's Bench-Bar and Annual Conference to get these special room rates.

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Volunteers Needed for Law Week April 28 - May 2

The Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association seeks volunteers for Law Week events. Law Week is a series of programs that place Philadelphia lawyers of any age and law students in the community to educate the city's youth and public about the law through direct interaction.

Some of our Law Week activities include:

Lawyer in the Classroom – Volunteer lawyers and law students will visit different schools throughout the week to address students' concerns about the law and the legal issues that affect them as they enter adulthood and answer questions about the legal profession. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Kelly Gastley or Josh Ryan.

Legal Advice Live! - A free, daylong ask-a-lawyer event spanning across Philadelphia. On Wednesday, April 30, dozens of Philadelphia attorneys will gather on Independence Mall to provide free, in-person legal advice from noon to 2 p.m. in Center City. Attorneys will provide answers to legal questions on a broad range of topics, including landlord/tenant law, divorce and child custody matters, wills and estate planning, real estate law and employment law. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Abbie DuFrayne.

Also on Wednesday, April 30, volunteer attorneys will go into the community and give free legal advice at select Free Library of Philadelphia branches. Volunteers are needed at the South Philadelphia Branch at Broad and Morris Streets and the Tacony Branch at Torresdale Ave & Knorr Streets from 1 to 3 p.m. To volunteer contact Abbie DuFrayne.

Legal Line - Also on Wednesday, April 30, from 5 to 8 p.m., area residents can call lawyers at 215-238-6333 and have their legal questions answered free and confidentially. The lawyers will staff a phone bank at the headquarters of the Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th floor. If you would like to volunteer for Legal Line (either April 30 or a future date), please contact Stephanie Mensing.

The Trials of Goldilocks and the Big Bad Wolf – On Thursday, May 1 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., volunteer attorneys will use the facts of the well-known fairytales, Goldilocks and The Three Little Pigs, as the basis for criminal trials. Volunteers act as prosecutors, defense attorneys and witnesses in the criminal trials, which include opening statements, examinations and cross-examinations of witnesses, closing arguments, and instructions of the juries. At the conclusion of each trial the students are given the role of the jury and determine whether the Big Bad Wolf or Goldilocks are guilty of a crime. To volunteer please contact Heather Herrington.

Lawyer for a Day - Volunteer attorneys, law students and judges pair with high school students and take them into the courts to learn more about the process of the judicial system as well as the role lawyers, judges and juries play in our community. Several city courtrooms will be open to allow the participants to observe proceedings. This program starts at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, May 2 at the Philadelphia Bar Association, and all participants are invited back to the Association’s 11th floor Conference Center at noon for a concluding lunch, which includes a keynote by a guest speaker. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Carey Chopko or Corey Davis.

Also if you know 4th, 5th, 6th or 12th grade students, teachers or parents at a Philadelphia public, parochial, charter or private school, we are seeking submissions for:

· Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest - Named for past Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Edward F. Chacker, the 2008 contest offers a $1,000 college scholarship to a high school seniors who attend public, parochial, charter or private school in Philadelphia. Seniors are asked to write an essay of at least 1,000 words on the question:

Do you think that school officials should be permitted to search a student's computer, iPod or iPhone? Why or why not? What factors should a court consider when deciding whether it is proper for a school official to search the contents of a student’s computer, iPod or iPhone?

The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is supposed to protect the privacy and security of individuals against unreasonable searches by government officials. However, school officials also have an interest in protecting the safety of their students and teachers. Students may want to address the possible kinds of information that could be on a computer, iPod or iPhone - like voicemails, emails, text messages, documents, videos, etc. - that could be illegal or perfectly legal but highly private information.

In addition to the scholarship, the winner will read their essay at a Naturalization Ceremony on May 1, 2008. Submissions should include the student's name, address, telephone number and school on a cover sheet accompanying the essay. All entries must be received by Amy Muldoon at the Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market Street, 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107 or amuldoon@philabar.org by NOON on Friday, April 11, 2008.

· 2008 Poster Contest - All 4th, 5th and 6th grade students who attend Philadelphia public, private, charter and parochial schools are invited to participate in the 2008 Poster Contest. Students are asked to: Draw a picture that best illustrates how law provides opportunity and equality in our community. Posters should be produced on standard 22" x 28" poster board and students should include their name, address, telephone number and school on the back of the poster. First, second and third prize savings bonds will be awarded. All entries must be received by Amy Muldoon at the Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market Street, 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107 by NOON on Friday, April 11, 2008.

If you would like to volunteer or know of someone who can, please contact us or forward this information to them (including teachers or parents of students in the 4th, 5th, 6th or 12th grade). With your help, we look forward to a week of successful events.

Sixers Sprinting to Playoffs by Jeff Lyons

After watching last night's remarkable comeback win against the East-leading Boston Celtics, I've decided the Sixers are for real.

The Sixers used a 19-0 run to beat Boston in Boston. How special is that? Consider that in early February, the Sixers were 12 games under .500. Since then, they've won 18 of their last 23 games and now sit in sixth place in the NBA's Eastern Conference. They are now one game over .500 at 36-35 and trail the fifth-place Washington Wizards by just a game. They've already won more games this season than all of last season.

How are they doing it? New GM Ed Stefanski and Coach Mo Cheeks have given the younger players more minutes and they're playing an up-tempo game. The have five players (Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Willie Green, Louis Williams and Samuel Dalembert) averaging more than 10 points per game. Youngsters Williams, Thaddeus Young and Rodney Carney have provided offense from the bench and the defense has been aggressive, tenacious and effective.

"The Sixers are just aggressive, athletic. They play hard, and if you let them hang around, they'll beat you, because they are a team, a young team," Celtics coach Doc Rivers told The Philadelphia Inquirer after Monday night's game.

The key for the Sixers to play deep into the spring will be to retain their work ethic and not take anything for granted. If they relax, they'll slide out of the playoffs just as quickly as they've joined the race.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Opening Day is less than a week away and the Phillies still have a couple of question marks. Closer Brad Lidge hasn't regained his arm strength and he'll be on the disabled list until at least April 5. That means the ancient Tom Gordon, he of the creaky arm, will be forced into duty as the Phillies closer for the first week of the season.

It says here the Phillies will go with 12 pitchers to start the season. Your starters are Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick and (shudder) Adam Eaton. The bullpen will include Gordon, Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero, Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey, Travis Blackley and J.D. Durbin. I look for JD to get released once Lidge's fastball is crackling past 95 mph.

A 12-man staff leaves the Phillies with five bench players – Eric Bruntlett, Greg Dobbs, So Taguchi, Chris Coste and either Chris Snelling or Wes Helms. The Phils will try to trade Helms but will probably end up releasing him and eating his contract.

I always start to obsess about the weather for Opening Day around March 15. I've sat through some horrific conditions for baseball. I remember driving to the Vet during a snow squall one year. Last year's conditions were just about perfect. It was sunny and close to 70 degrees. Here's the outlook so far, from three different sources:

National Weather Service: Sunny with a high of 53.

weather.com: Mostly cloudy with a high of 52.

AccuWeather.com: Times of sun and clouds, high of 56.

I'll be there, no matter what the weather is like.

Jeff Lyons, senior managing editor of the Philadelphia Bar Reporter and Bar Reporter Online, is a fanatical Philadelphia sports fan. His e-mail address is jlyons@philabar.org.

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