April 13, 2007

Purchase Tickets for the YLD 2nd Annual Comedy Night at Academy of Natural Sciences May 12

width=90,height=130 Ty Barnett, stand-up comedian and finalist on NBC's hit "Last Comic Standing," will fill the Academy of Natural Sciences with laughter when he headlines the Philadelphia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division 2nd Annual Comedy Night at the Academy on Saturday, May 12, 2007. Read more...

Law Week Begins April 30

Philadelphia's week-long law fest, sponsored by the 13,000-member Bar Association, is one of the most ambitious public outreach efforts of its type in the nation and runs from April 30 through May 4. The theme for Law Week 2007 is "Liberty Under Law: Empowering Youth, Assuring Democracy."

The following is a schedule of Law Week activities:

Monday, April 30
Monday kicks off a weeklong series of visits to Philadelphia school classrooms by volunteer lawyers with the Lawyer in the Classroom program. As part of this program, lawyers will enthusiastically 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.

Tuesday, May 1
A Naturalization Ceremony welcoming dozens of new United States citizens will be held at the U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia, at 10:30 a.m. The winner of the Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest will also read his or her essay.

Wednesday, May 2
Philadelphia attorneys will gather to provide free, in-person legal advice at a Law Fair, from noon to 2 p.m., at The Gallery at Market East 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.

Also on Wednesday, free legal advice will be given to those who call the Legal Line hotline. 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.

Thursday, May 3
The First Judicial District and Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts will sponsor the 8th Annual Juror Appreciation Day at 8:30 a.m. in the Criminal Justice Center's Jury Assembly Room on the first floor to recognize the crucial public service performed by local citizens who respond to jury duty.

Friday, May 4
Volunteer attorneys and judges pair with high school students and "show them the ropes" of their jobs by taking them to their offices and into the courts during the Lawyer for a Day program. Several city courtrooms will be open to allow the participants to observe the proceedings. The students will meet the lawyers and judges at the Bar Association at 8:30 a.m., and all participants are invited back to the Association's 11th floor Conference Center at noon for a concluding lunch, during which students will recount their experiences and hear from various speakers including a keynote address by Philadelphia Common Pleas Court President Judge C. Darnell Jones II and his daughter, FOX 29 morning anchor Sheinelle Jones.

For more information on Law Week activities and how to volunteer, click here.

Senior Lawyers Team Up with YLD for Attorney Mentoring Program

Young attorneys have the opportunity to gain valuable insights from senior practitioners under the Young Lawyers Division's Attorney Mentoring Program (AMP). A group of 25 senior lawyers have agreed to serve as mentors to members of the Young Lawyers Division. These distinguished lawyers come from diverse backgrounds and include solo practitioners, attorneys from large firms and attorneys who have been in government service.

If you are interested in being matched with a mentor through this program, please contact either Dan McKenna or Kate Skubecz. A luncheon hosted by the Young Lawyers Division will be held on May 8, 2007, for mentors and mentees. Thereafter, mentors and mentees will be able to develop an ongoing mentoring arrangement.

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Purchase Tickets for the YLD 2nd Annual Comedy Night at Academy of Natural Sciences May 12

Ty Barnett, stand-up comedian and finalist on NBC's hit "Last Comic Standing," will fill the Academy of Natural Sciences with laughter when he headlines the Philadelphia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division 2nd Annual Comedy Night at the Academy on Saturday, May 12, 2007. In addition to a night filled with entertainment, attendees will join together to raise money for the Philadelphia Bar Foundation -the charitable arm of the Bar Association, supporting legal agencies assisting the indigent, elderly and disabled, as well as abused women and children. The event, which runs from 7-11:30 p.m., features comedy, dancing, an open bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres and a silent auction.

Comedian and Philadelphia-native Chris Coccia will open for Ty Barnett and serve as emcee for the night.

The YLD Comedy Night is part of an annual mission to raise money for the Philadelphia Bar Foundation by promoting access to justice for all people in the community, particularly those struggling with poverty, abuse and discrimination. That mission is accomplished by providing grants and technical assistance in support of quality legal services, addressing unmet legal needs and providing education on matters in the public interest.

Tickets are $65 per person and the show is open to the public. All tickets are general admission. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

I'm Not Ready to Give Up on the 2007 Phillies by Jeff Lyons

The start of the season hasn't even been close to expectations. Manager Charlie Manuel, Jimmy "We're the team to beat" Rollins and members of the media all stressed the need for a good start. So how's that working out for you? At this point, finishing the month of April with a .500 record would have to be considered a major accomplishment.

But there are some reasons for hope. Pat Burrell - yes, THAT Pat Burrell - is hitting over .350 and has an on-base percentage close to .500. Ryan Howard looks to coming out of his early slump (more on that later). And even Aaron Rowand has started to hit.

Wednesday night's win over the Mets was significant for a number of reasons. The team showed all kinds of patience while Mets starter Oliver Perez was busy walking half the Borough of Queens. That patience led to three runs. Yeah, the Phils left another 14 guys on base on Wednesday night, but thanks to the patience of Phillies hitters, a few of those guys actually scored.

Adam Eaton pitched a decent game, which was a definite boost. His first start was awful and he needed this game for his own confidence as well as the teams'. It also helps that he's pretty much owned the Mets as a starting pitcher, never having lost to them. Antonio Alfonseca and Tom Gordon did what they were supposed to do in the 8th and 9th innings - get guys out, without drama.

Howard and Chase Utley will get their hits. Utley had a white-hot spring training and is scuffling a little bit. But his history shows he'll be back. He did get hit on the hand by a pitch Wednesday night and X-rays were negative. Hopefully, there won't be any missed time from him.

I still don't understand why Eaton was signed in the first place. I loved general manager Pat Gillick's trade for Freddy Garcia. He's a proven commodity. He pitches more than 200 innings every year and has won a World Series. And he's a pretty decent pitcher. But Adam Eaton? He's hurt a lot and when he does pitch, he's just not that good. Maybe Gillick got him because of his success against the Mets. But the signing - for three years and $24 million - gave the Phils six starting pitchers. And even though Jon Lieber outpitched Eaton in spring training, it was Lieber who was sent to the bullpen. Gillick tried to make a trade for relief help, but it appears he misread the market. So now the Phils have six starters.

Ugh.

Speaking of questionable moves, can someone explain to me why Rod Barajas is a Phillie? He's my candidate for this year's "Last Guy in Baseball to Get His First Hit" award. Chris Coste hit close to .330 last year and was solid behind the plate. After more than a decade in the minors, he finally made it to the majors last year. And the Phils thanked him by signing Barajas. Coste catches, plays third base, first base and the corner outfield spots. And his bat would be a huge commodity off the bench. But at least he's still in the organization, just a phone call away in Triple A.

Last year, the Phils stumbled to a 10-14 record in April. But then they started off May with a 12-1 streak. The season was truly lost, in my opinion, last June when they won just nine of their 27 games. Look, all teams go through losing streaks. It's part of baseball. And the current run of ugliness is magnified because it's happening at the season's start. If the bullpen can get its act together and they can leave a few less runners on base, there's no reason to think we won't see playoff baseball. I still believe.

Jeff Lyons, senior managing editor of the Philadelphia Bar Reporter, is a fanatical Philadelphia sports fan and has been drinking Phillies-flavored Kool-Aid since 1966.

Setting Up a Law Office April 19

The Law Practice Management Division's Technology Committee will sponsor the panel discussion, "Setting Up a Law Office - Determining Your Technology Needs" on Thursday, April 19.

The panel will discuss the technology needs of new and existing law firms, including hardware and software. The moderator for the program is Gil Marquez, law firm administrator for Feldman, Shepherd, Wohlgelernter, Tanner & Weinstock. Panelists include Chuck Davis, president and co-founder of Adaptive Solutions, Inc.; Larry Hershman, president of Advanced Network Services, Inc.; and Monica D'Amore of D'Amore Consulting, LLC.

The program begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $7.50 for those members who register in advance. Click here to attend this program.

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