June 24, 2008

Second Joint Diversity Happy Hour on Wednesday, July 9

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Join the Philadelphia Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division and Minorities in the Profession Committee, the Barristers' Association, the South Asian Bar Association, the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley, the Hispanic Bar Association of Philadelphia and Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia as they honor five law students who will each receive a Minority Bar Scholarship.

The event will be held upstairs at Vango (18th and Sansom) from 6 - 8:30 p.m. and will feature drink specials, complimentary appetizers and a DJ. The first 200 people to RSVP here will receive two complimentary drink tickets each.

This event is also sponsored by Kaplan, Leaman and Wolfe Court Reporters.

Benefit for Children With Autism Tonight at Public House

Join the Public House Logan Square to support autism awareness tonight from 6-9 p.m. Enjoy wines from around the world and hors d'oeuvres. Please note this is a free event - the suggested donation is $40 and proceeds benefit children with autism.

RSVP to Jessica Scott. If you'r'e unable to attend the event but would like to make a donation, please send a check to:

Variety – The Children’s Charity

re: Public House Autism Event

1520 Locust Street, 2nd Floor

Philadelphia, PA 19102

Sign up for Attorney Mentoring Programs

Young attorneys will once again have the opportunity to gain valuable insights from senior practitioners under the Young Lawyers Division's Attorney Mentoring Program. More than twenty 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 Michael B. Hayes.

Also if you would like to be a mentor to a law student, please contact Henry Yampolsky. Please include your practice area when you contact Henry.

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Bench-Bar Annual Conference Registration Open

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 range from $189 to $209. A limited number of rooms 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 Bench-Bar Conference to get these special room rates.

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The City of Ghoulish Love by Harper Dimmerman

"It's Close To Midnight And Something Evil's Lurking In The Dark

Under The Moonlight You See A Sight That Almost Stops Your Heart

You Try To Scream But Terror Takes The Sound Before You Make It

You Start To Freeze As Horror Looks You Right Between The Eyes, You're Paralyzed” Thriller by Michael Jackson

Before I attempt to make the connection between Thriller and the Philadelphia real estate market seem less attenuated than it really is, I think it's time for me to finally come clean. The guilt has been gnawing away at me for months, even years. It's become as intolerable as making sense of the Uniform Commercial Code. Not only did I recently karaoke to Thriller (alone of course and in the wee hours of the morning) but I also used to own and wear out in public a replica of the jacket popularized by the King of Pop himself. For those of you who are cringing because you too owned one or perhaps even the Beat It number (each to their own) or are simply too cool for school, let me refresh your recollection. It was extraterrestrial in design, with a strikingly large "V" running down the front and of course finished off in a reddish orange and black pleather.

Anyway, it would appear that the King of Pop's interpretation of death as depicted in the epic Thriller video might have more relevance to Philly than some might originally think. Philadelphia's dirty little secret has gotten out and real estate professionals everywhere are screaming bloody murder. There are even rumors of talk in the spooky corridors of City Hall about changing the town's moniker from the City of Brotherly Love to the City of Ghoulish Love.

We are living in one of the nation's most haunted cities. Wherever I turn, I see dead people and I know I'm not alone. There's even a tour through perhaps the most spirit laden section of the city devoted to bringing tourists face to ghastly face with our founding fathers. Ben Franklin himself has been known to meander the nighttime streets of Old City in search of mutton pie and ale. St. Peter's Cemetery literally comes alive at night, as the zombies boogie on down to J.T. and Beyonce. You know you've arrived when the dead are line dancing and bringing sexy back to your funkadelic beats.

Some developers would say that where there's an apparition, there's opportunity. John Westrum, CEO of Westrum Development Company, has big plans for a seventy-five acre site many claim to be haunted. It's the former home of Byberry, as in the mental ward. Tales of gruesome murders, rape and torture (picture The Shining times a thousand) besmirch the legacy of this unhallowed ground, soon to be home to a luxury 55 and over community. With a name like "The Arbours at Eagle Pointe", the horrors of yesterday will be erased with the stroke of an ad exec's stylus. There's a monolithic rebirth in the offing, and one with the promises of monolithic profits. Unless of course there's a specter insurrection, which wouldn't be entirely surprising once the finishing touches are put on the shiny happy hamlet. I hear phantoms have a real disdain for the Pleasantville experience. And that of course would be very bad for the salespeople charged with the task of peddling these little beauts. Heads might begin to roll.

How long before we see a rash of failure to disclose ghoul cases? Something tells me subpoenaing spirits will prove far easier than an eyewitness in a Philadelphia murder trial. So advise your clients accordingly. Make them spend that extra couple hundred for the inspecter, a Ghost Buster type character packing an EMF detector and infrared thermometer. Negotiate a spirit contingency into the deal. Welcome to the new Philadelphia, the City of Ghoulish Love. Something evil just might be lurking in the dark...

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