October 23, 2007

Purchase Tickets Now for Lawyerpalooza October 25

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On October 25, the YLD will host Lawyerpalooza at Kildare's Headhouse Square (2nd & South streets). The cost of $10 includes drink tickets, heavy hors d'oeuvres and drink specials. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., lawyers who moonlight in bands, such as A Band Called M, Class Action, Brand New Gods and Pray for Mojo will be featured. There will also be a performance by Brad Shuttleworth. You've seen them in court, now see them on stage!

Lawyerpalooza is sponsored by Esquire Deposition Services, LLC and Summit Court Reporting, Inc. Click here to purchase tickets.

Deadline to Receive Nominations for YLD Executive Committee is Oct. 25

If you are interested in running for the YLD Executive Committee, you must complete a nominating petition and personal statement by 3 p.m. on Thursday, October 25.

This information can be found at www.philadelphiabar.org.

If you have any questions, please contact Tracey McCloskey.

Supreme Court Candidates Forum Oct. 24

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, Philadelphia Bar Association, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, the Committee of Seventy and the Philadelphia NAACP will present Decision 2007, an interactive forum with the candidates running for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 1 p.m.

Candidates including Judges Michael Krancer, Maureen Lally-Green and Debra Todd will be on the panel, which will be held in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch will be available for a discounted rate of $5. Click here to RSVP for this program.

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Volunteers Needed for Mock Trial Competition Oct. 27

Members of the Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association will once again serve as mentors and coaches for the High School Mock Trial Competition. This year's competition begins with the Mock Trial Law Camp, set for Saturday, Oct. 27 from 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at Temple University's Beasley School of Law, located at 1719 North Broad Street.

The camp is an intensive all-day training session that couples an instructive component with hands-on training in direct and cross-examination of parties and witnesses. Students get an introduction to the key components of the trial, including the rules of evidence and opening and closing statements.

Attorney volunteers are essential to the success of this program. As group leaders, they guide small teams of students through the entire day's program. More than assisting students with preparation and presentation for their trials, attorney volunteers serve as mentors and a resource to high school students, who one day wish to follow in their footsteps to a career in the legal field. Lawyers will be provided with instructions and guidelines to assist in their participation.

After Mock Trial Camp, students from 50 public, private, and parochial schools will compete in a simplified mock trial for the City Mock Trial Championship in the spring. The students are given the opportunity to play the roles of attorneys and witnesses in a fictitious criminal or civil case, focusing on real legal issues. Previous trials have involved the suppression of evidence, hate crimes, constitutional issues, simple negligence matters, civil forfeitures in a criminal context, and 1st degree murder.

YLD volunteer coaches are integral in guiding students in understanding the way a trial works, helping to develop trial strategies, and promoting an understanding of trial fundamentals. The teams compete in a round-robin tournament, with the best teams ultimately advancing to the state championship in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to represent the Philadelphia region. The State Champions go on to represent Pennsylvania in the National Finals.

Volunteers are needed to serve as team coaches and judges for the preliminary rounds of the competition. Attorneys interested in volunteering should contact Roberta West or Eleanora Jones at (215) 204-1887. If you have any questions, you may also contact Heather Herrington.

Bad Manners Can Kill A Deal by Lisa Goldstein

“Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.” - Clarence Thomas

It is common sense that bad manners can kill a deal. In a professional service business, bad manners equate to poor client service. I do not think that anyone intends to behave inappropriately, however, I am amazed at the degree of rudeness that exists from all levels of professionals, from senior partners, to new associates.

Recently, I was conducting a business meeting for a group with varying dietary needs, ranging from kosher to vegetarian. When I planned the menu, I figured that salmon was a safe item to serve. As the meeting was about to begin, one of the group members asked what we were serving. When I said that we were serving salmon, he stated that he could not do salmon, and he left the meeting.

The impression that this man left on the group was very negative. His focus should have been on the meeting, not the food. The polite response would have been to stay and eat the other items that he did enjoy. Although we were not clients, all of us in the group are well networked and the behavior will reflect negatively on this individual.

Some rude deal breaking behavior can easily be corrected. Here are some common examples that will go a long way towards helping your clients feel comfortable.

Never Tell a Dirty Joke in a Business Context

Some of you are wondering why I would even have to write about this. However, I can recall two incidents regarding dirty jokes that were tremendous “deal breakers.” A former colleague of mine told a dirty joke during a lunch meeting with a General Counsel. I don’t think this joke got any laughs, and the GC formed a negative impression of my colleague that he was never able to correct.

In another instance a senior partner at a major law firm told a dirty joke to introduce a speaker during a large CLE program. Although there was nervous laughter in the room, most of the attendees were offended.

Never Answer Your Cell Phone or Check Your Emails During A Business Meeting

I know that in today’s fast paced world we are all anxious to multi-task and cram too many activities into too short a period of time. We want to be available to our colleagues and our clients 24/7. When you are in a face to face business meeting, however, shut off your phones and PDAs.

I was recently sitting in on an interview with a client seeking a new business development professional. One of the gentlemen she was interviewing kept looking at his PDA to check his messages during the interview. Needless to say, he did not get the job.

When you answer a cell phone or check your emails during a meeting, the message you send to the person who is present is that your time is more valuable then theirs.

Returning Phone Calls and Emails

It is never o.k. not to return the phone call or email of a person whom you know. I understand that you are busy. However, in a service business your reputation is based upon how you treat others. Even if the person who contacts you is not a client, that person may know someone who is or could be a client. You don’t want to risk creating the impression that you are not responsive.

With conscious effort, anyone can improve their manners. In general, the most important manner is the one we learned back in pre-kindergarten, the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." If you make the effort to follow the Golden Rule, many more deals will come your way.

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