“Compulsory Arbitration Seminar” CLE on Oct. 31

Join the Compulsory Arbitration Committee of the State Civil Litigation Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association for the CLE program to become certified as an arbitrator for the Philadelphia Court Common Pleas on Wednesday, October 31, 2007 – 8:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute CLE Conference Center, Wanamaker Bldg. (Juniper Street entrance), 10th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

The Course Planner is Sayde J. Ladov, Esq. of Abrahams, Loewenstein & Bushman, P.C.. Featured panelists are: Joseph M. Hankins, Esq. of Britt, Hankins, Schaible & Moughan; Mayer Horwitz, Esq. of Dashevsky, Horwitz, Disandro, Kuhn & Novello, P.C.; Ronald A. Kovler, Esq. of Kovler and Rush, P.C.; and Dale G. Larrimore, Esq. of Larrimore & Farnish LLP.

This course is for any attorney practicing in Philadelphia who is interested in becoming certified to sit as an arbitrator for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas compulsory arbitration program. When you leave this seminar, you will be better prepared to go to your first (or your next) arbitration. Our panelists are all dynamic speakers, they know the process and they impart their knowledge in a clear, concise and engaging manner.

The program has been approved for 3 Total CLE credits (2 Substantive/1 Ethics). If you wish to register in advance please visit pbi.org.

The Death Penalty in Pennsylvania: Reforms Proposed by the ABA's Pennsylvania Death Penalty Assessment Team

Join the Civil Rights Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association on Thursday, November 1 at 12:00 p.m. to hear Robert Dunham, Esq., director of training for the Capital Habeas Unit of the Pennsylvania Capital Representation Project.

Lunch is $7.50 for those members who register in advance. Register now.

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"Terrorism: Law, Policy and National Security" CLE on Nov. 8

This program will be held on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 12 p.m. Registration begins at 11:15 a.m. at PBI on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building.

Topics include: The Patriot Act, Executive Privilege, Al Qaeda and Iraq, International Law and its Impact on Terrorism and Human Rights, U.S. Constitutional Rights and National Security. Panelists include Michael Isikoff of Newsweek and Bob Swift, a Philadelphia litigator and human rights advocate.

For more information and to register, please visit pbi.org.

October Surprise by Jeff Lyons

Time for a show of hands. Who expected the Flyers to be 7-3 after their first 10 games of the season? Yeah, OK.

I was hopeful that they'd be a .500 team this season, figuring it would take some time for all the new players to gel and get used to playing together. And a .500 season means you'll probably make the playoffs.

There are a couple of reasons for the early success. Goalie Martin Biron (you have to love the lumberjack on his mask) is playing absolutely out of his mind. Biron is 7-2 and is stopping an astounding 94.8 percent of the shots he's facing, with a goals-against average of 1.78. Any team that gets that kind of goaltending over the course of the season is going to play deep into the spring. There's a certain level of confidence you get when you see Biron in the net. I never got that vibe from the tandem of Robert Esche (now playing in Russia) and Antero Niittymaki. Niittymaki has made just one start, and it was a shaky one. Barring injury, he’ll get 10 or 12 more starts this season to give Biron a breather.

Over the summer, I wanted the Flyers to sign Scott Gomez instead Daniel Briere. Man, was I wrong. Briere leads the Flyers with 13 points in 10 games and really disrupts opposing defenders with his speed.

Mike Richards, named an assistant captain at the beginning of the season, has been fantastic. He's playing the way many expected the former first-round pick to perform. He's scoring, he's killing penalties and he's playing with a nasty edge to his game. I like him. A lot. Not a man crush, but he’s my favorite Flyer.

The new captain, Jason Smith, has been a tremendous addition to the blue line. The grizzled veteran is a stay-at-home defenseman who isn’t afraid to give up his body to block shots.

The only thing that worries me about this team is the amount of shots they're allowing every game. Biron is facing more than 30 shots every night. I'd like to see that number come down, because some of those shots will eventually find their way into the net through deflections, funky bounces and other weirdness. I'm really enjoying the physical play of the Flyers. I'm not a big fan of what Steve Downie and Jesse Boulerice did to earn their suspensions, but I like the hitting and the scrappiness. I hate the "new NHL," where you draw a two-minute minor for looking cross-eyed at Sidney Crosby. I'm really disappointed with the NHL's decision to suspend Randy Jones for two games for his hit on Patrice Bergeron over the weekend. Bergeron was in a bad position and got KO'd. Jones got a major penalty for boarding and game misconduct. Justice was served. Time to move on.

Jeff Lyons, senior managing editor of the Philadelphia Bar Reporter and Bar Reporter Online, is a fanatical Philadelphia sports fan who readily admits he greatly overestimated the Eagles this season. His e-mail address is mailto:jlyons@philabar.org.

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