October 7, 2008

YLD Family Fall Festival Oct. 19 at Phila. Zoo

The Young Lawyers Division will hold its 2008 Family Fall Festival on Sunday, Oct. 19 at the Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 Girard Ave.

Admission includes all-day access to the zoo between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The YLD Family Fall Festival event will be held from 12 to 2 p.m. at the Peacock Pavilion and includes a picnic BBQ with dessert. Access to Pavilion is available between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Admission is $20 for adults and $12 for children ages 2 to 12. Children under 2 are admitted for free. Activities include the Zoo on Wheels from 12 to 2 p.m. and face painting from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Children are encouraged to dress in costume. Click here to purchase tickets for this event.

Candidates Sought for YLD Executive Committee

Pursuant to the YLD Bylaws, every year seven new members are elected to serve three-year terms on the Executive Committee. This year's Election will take place on Dec. 8, 2008, in conjunction with the Association's Annual Meeting...READ MORE

Associate Dissatisfaction - Myth or Reality Oct. 27

The Law Practice Management Division will present "Associate Dissatisfaction: Myth or Reality" on Monday, Oct. 27...READ MORE

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Quarterly Meeting Monday, Oct. 20

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Senior Judge Albert W. Sheppard Jr. and former Women in the Profession Committee co-chair Roberta D. Liebenberg will be presented with two of the Association's most prestigious awards at the Monday, Oct. 20 Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon.

Judge Sheppard is the recipient of the 2008 Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Distinguished Jurist Award. Liebenberg will receive the 2008 Sandra Day O'Connor Award.

The meeting will also include a panel discussion with women leaders from across Philadelphia. The panelists include Dr. Arlene C. Ackerman, superintendent/CEO of the School District of Philadelphia; Ahmeenah Young, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority; Tara Weiner, managing partner, Greater Philadelphia region, Deloitte and Touche; and Nina M. Gussack, chair of Pepper Hamilton LLP. The panel will be moderated by Mary Stoker Smith of CBS3 Eyewitness News.

Tickets are $55 for members and $60 for non-members. Click here to purchase tickets for this event, which begins at 12 p.m. at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue.

Chancellor's Diversity Training Series Today

Learn about creating, developing and growing your legal practices at the first session of the Chancellor Diversity Training Series today (Tuesday, Oct. 7). Come and learn about these practices from those who have "been there" and understand the process.

Panelists for the program, to be held from 4 to 6 p.m. in the 11th Floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St., include Christopher A. Lewis, Blank Rome LLP; Charisse R. Lillie, Comcast Corporation; Chuck Polin, The Training Resource Group; Bernard W. Smalley of Anapol, Schwartz, Weiss, Cohan, Feldman & Smalley, P.C.; and Joan Stern of Blank Rome LLP. The program will be moderated by Chancellor A. Michael Pratt.

A light snack and beverages will be provided to all attendees. There is no fee to attend this program but you must RSVP. Click here to RSVP for this program.

Future seminars in the Chancellor's Diversity Training Series include:

• Networking - Thursday, Oct. 23, 5 to 7 p.m. This workshop is intended to help attendees learn about the importance of networking and attending networking events, and how to become an effective networker.

• Navigating the Partnership Track - Thursday, Nov. 6 from 4 to 6 p.m. This workshop is intended to help attendees learn about the legal and other professional skills and abilities needed, as well as the practical steps that can be taken to advance to the partnership level. • Transitioning from Government to Private Practice - Thursday, Nov. 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. This workshop is intended to help attendees learn about legal and other professional skills and abilities needed, as well as the practical steps that can be taken to move from practicing law in the public sphere to a private firm. • Life at a Mid-Size Firm - Dec. 16 from 4 to 6 p.m. This workshop is intended to help attendees learn about working at mid-size firms. Of particular interest are the benefits of mid-size firms, as well as how mid-size firms contribute to an attorney's growth and development in the legal profession.

Candidates Sought for YLD Executive Committee

Pursuant to the YLD Bylaws, every year seven new members are elected to serve three-year terms on the Executive Committee. This year's Election will take place on Dec. 8, 2008, in conjunction with the Association's Annual Meeting. The deadline for submitting your material is 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008.

Any Voting Member of the Division shall be eligible for election to the Executive Committee provided, however, that the term of office for which the individual runs shall not extend beyond his or her membership in the Division. You are eligible if you are 37 years of age or less in the year 2011, or if you are older than 37, you will not be celebrating more than your third year of practice in 2011. The Nominating Petition and Personal Statement must be returned to the offices of the Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, no later than 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008. At 5 p.m. that same day, we will have an information meeting in the 10th Floor Board Room at the Bar Association where ballot positions will be drawn.

If you have any questions regarding the Executive Committee, or the election process, please feel free to contact Tracey McCloskey, Director of Meetings and Special Events, at 215-238-6360. Click here for a copy of a nominating petition. For a copy of the personal statement form, click here.

YLD Panel on Casinos Oct. 17

The Young Lawyers Division will present a panel discussion on casino zoning law issues, the Louis DeNaples situation and licenses being issued by the gaming board at a Friday, Oct. 17 program.

Panelists include Adrian R. King Jr. of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP; Matt Ruben of Northern Liberties Neighborhood Association; City Solicitor Shelley R. Smith; Stephen Schrier of Blank Rome, LLP; and Mark Stewart of WolfBlock. The program will be moderated by James Eisenhower.

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 who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this program.

Associate Dissatisfaction - Myth or Reality Oct. 27

The Law Practice Management Division will present "Associate Dissatisfaction: Myth or Reality" on Monday, Oct. 27.

After first examining just how prevalent - or not - the problem is inside of law firms, we will take a look at recently conducted surveys and studies to gain a grasp of the issues raised by associates. Then, we will analyze how much "fault" or blame lies with the firms and how much might lie with the associates, themselves. Finally, we will work together to identify practical responses to the challenges of associate dissatisfaction. There will be ample time for questions and answers, along with input from all in attendance. The presenters for the program are Bradford W. Hildebrandt, a consultant to law firms, and Joseph A. Gerber, a partner at Cozen O'Connor.

The program begins at 4 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. A reception will follow. There is no charge to attend, but space is limited and registration is required. Click here to RSVP.

Chicken Little Consolation by Harper Dimmerman

It's official. The sky is falling. Those are the infamous and rather prophetic words of Chicken Little, one of the lovable little creatures from the modern day canon of children's fiction. And as I sit at my desk, trying to concentrate on the practice of law even amidst the torrent of Doomsday economic scenarios (incidentally not doing wonders for my real estate practice), I begin to feel like a character in one of those very animated tales. Real estate values plummet! Foreclosures at historic highs! The world is coming to an end!

Assuming the pundits are incorrect, not an uncommon occurrence (see the presidential race) and we are not vulnerable to The Great Depression II, the big question is: how do I respond to the constant media chatter? Do I act like the chicken? Am I a chicken? Let’s get back to the story so we can bastardize the analogy and find out.

There are a slew of versions floating around out there. Yet according to a reliable source, Wikipedia.com, the basic premise is pretty much the same. Our tender protagonist is struck in the noggin by an acorn, of all things. And as poultry customarily does, she logically assumes the sky is falling. So she begins her quest, apprising the king of her discovery and garnering the support of the other animals in the empire. Before you know it, a procession of believers forms, disseminating the "truth" as they assume it to be.

Eventually, our antagonist, a smooth-talker by the name of Foxy Loxy, vows his support for their cause. Panicked and with their judgment clouded by dread, the believers are taken in by the fox's wily antics. In the most popular version of the tale, Foxy Loxy turns on them, devouring them, yet leaving one alive to warn the chicken. Other endings include total annihilation, the sky actually falling atop the fox, the king saving the day, etc.

No matter which variation of the story you favor, two morals come into immediate relief. The first is that courage, even in the face of what others perceive to be catastrophic, is vital. Even if the global economy is faltering, which it undoubtedly is, we need to be resilient and push on. In other words, don't be a chicken. I think there is actually an opportunity for Americans to regain some of the competitive edge, which has atrophied over time, due to increased competition and our lame attempts at overcompensating with arrogance. Instead of simply laying off or copping out, employers need to innovate and explore creative ways of enhancing employees' skills. The second moral is that we should never believe everything we hear. A wise person once said it would be a mistake to ever attribute more than five percent weight to the words of another. I would argue that the "We Buy Houses" companies are just a few of the foxes out there, looking to dupe naïve and desperate homeowners into simply handing over their equity. Instead of turning a blind eye to such unscrupulous business practices, it is incumbent upon us all to advise our clients to steer clear of those scams.

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