On behalf of the Philadelphia Bar Association, I am delighted to present this 2011 Annual Report.
This report showcases a year of exceptional programs and accomplishments at all levels of our Association. Our Division, Sections and Committees did an outstanding job, providing valuable information and service to members in every conceivable practice area. In addition, all of my announced goals for the year were achieved, and all unexpected challenges were overcome.
We furthered our core missions of service to the profession and the public, while also enhancing membership value. We built upon our already exceptional relationships with the judiciary, city officials and the business community. We even closed the year with a substantial budget surplus despite these challenging economic times.
Thanks to innovations in technology, we are providing this report in digital form at almost no cost and with significantly more content and photos. We also included a time capsule at the end, to give historical context to the year's work. Hopefully, this Annual Report will serve not only as a record of our accomplishments last year, but also as a benchmark from which we can measure additional progress in 2012 and beyond.
I thank all the Officers, the other members of our Board of Governors, the leaders of our Division, Sections and Committees, and our professional staff, for their generous and effective service on our behalf. Their efforts made everything possible that we did in 2011.
Serving as Chancellor is one of the greatest honors that any Philadelphia lawyer can receive. I thank you all for the opportunity you gave me to serve. The following pages show what a difference we have made together.
Philadelphia Bar Association
The Philadelphia Bar Association is a keystone in the ongoing developments of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania legal systems.
Our Board of Governors establishes the official policy of the Association and looks to the Association's Sections and Committees for recommendations on areas of interest or concern. They present resolutions to the Board with a full report on the issues involved and include supporting and opposing views. The Board adopts or rejects the resolution as the official stance of the Philadelphia Bar Association.
In 2011, our Board tackled a wide range of "bottom-line" issues for our members, the community and the profession.
In March, the Board adopted a resolution urging the Pennsylvania General Assembly to support Senate Bill No. 500, Printer's No. 500, to fairly and equitably eliminate joint and several liability as to any defendant whose percentage share of fault is less than the victim-plaintiff's share of fault; and to reject Senate Bill No. 2, Printer's No. 456, or any similar or amendatory language to any other legislation, which would unfairly balance the equities between victims of negligence and multiple liable defendants by effectively eliminating the rule of law on joint and several liability.
In April, the Board voted to urge the U.S. Congress to support any pending or future proposed legislation that effectively bans the issuance and enforcement of tax strategy patents. Also in April, the Board adopted a resolution supporting and encouraging enactment of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Act or similar legislation, which would require the posting of the NHTRC Hotline in locations most likely to reach victims of human trafficking.
In May, the Board voted to urge the General Assembly to prohibit youth from waiving their right to counsel; to provide for a presumption of indigence for youth when appointing counsel; and to provide a dedicated funding stream for indigent juvenile defense in delinquency proceedings. Also in May, the Board voted to oppose the passage of House Bill 525, Printer's No. 492, and any similar legislation that would ban the appointment of parenting coordinators in custody matters in Pennsylvania.
In June, the Board authorized the Chancellor, on behalf of the Association, to take legal action to prevent the implementation of the city's proposed Lobbying Ordinance that defined lobbying so broadly that it included many activities regularly conducted by lawyers when practicing law. Also in June, the Board adopted and endorsed the ABA Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System as the best practices standard and formal criteria for the systemic delivery of indigent defense legal representation services in Philadelphia County.
In September, the Board adopted In Memoriam resolutions recognizing the service and dedication of two trailblazers of the Bar, former ABA President Jerome J. Shestack, and former Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Albert W. Sheppard, Jr. Also in September, the Board adopted the revised Modest Means Program of the Association to reflect increased fees, still significantly reduced, for the efficient and effective maintenance of the program and for the benefit of the community served.
In November, the Board adopted a resolution to act as amicus curiae in support of the appellants in Newman Development Group of Pottstown, LLC v. Genuardi's Family Market, Inc., et al. involving the unintentional waiver of appellate rights as an issue of compelling interest to the Philadelphia legal community.
With more than 200 years of dedicated service to stand on, the Philadelphia Bar Association is firmly rooted in the Philadelphia community as a steady and reliable bellwether.
I would like to thank the members of the Philadelphia Bar Association Board of Governors who so generously gave of their time, and our Association staff for their invaluable assistance and professionalism. Finally, I would like to thank Chancellor Rudolph Garcia for providing me with the opportunity to serve as Chair of the Board of Governors. It has been an honor.
Regina M. Foley
Philadelphia Bar Association Board of Governors
For more than two centuries, the Philadelphia Bar Association has served the profession and the public by promoting justice, professional excellence and respect for the rule of law. As your partner for justice, we continue to place the highest priority on educating our membership and the public about our positions, activities and services.
With this year's electronic Annual Report, we introduce a new design featuring streamlined navigation -- further enhancing the wide range of communications that keep you informed on a daily basis about the many ways your bar association can help you grow your practice and thrive in your profession.
As we continue to emerge from challenging economic times, the Philadelphia Bar Association remains committed to doing its part to help. In addition to offering a free one-year membership to all first-year attorneys, we're helping established practitioners with the launch of several new signature member services in 2012.
These include Philadelphia Bar Lawyer Profiles, a premium advertising opportunity at philadelphiabar.org, and Affinity Lifeline, an online loyalty program that provides access to enhanced insurance coverage, discounts on everyday purchases and a points-earning benefit. I invite you to visit philadelphiabar.org to learn more about these new programs, or contact me personally and I would be delighted to speak with you about them.
With more than 100 Committees, nine Sections and our vibrant Young Lawyers Division, the Association provides a unique opportunity to meet and network with colleagues in every possible area of practice. When you get involved in our Association, you'll interact with people who can help advance your career.
I hope you will take time to explore the many initiatives contained in this Annual Report that made 2011 a proud year for our Association. I encourage you to test the broad range of your interests by becoming active in your professional community through the Philadelphia Bar Association, while sharing in the proud legacy that is the Philadelphia lawyer.