It has been nearly a month since we last sent you an open letter, explaining that the City of Philadelphia had suspended payment to all vendors, including court-appointed attorneys and arbitrators, due to a lack of state funding.
As you know, Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced on Tuesday that the City of Philadelphia was accepting a $275 million short-term loan from JPMorgan Chase & Co. in order to ease its cash flow problems and enable the City to make approximately $200 million in delayed payments to vendors.
I spoke this morning with Everett Gillison, Deputy Mayor of Public Safety, and he has indicated that court-appointed attorneys and arbitrators are included in the list of vendors to be paid by the City of Philadelphia. Checks will be processed as invoices come in.
This, however, is merely a stop-gap measure. The budget crisis is not over. The city has taken an enormous risk in assuming this loan in the hope that the state budget will be resolved before interest payments are due.
Thus, we ask each of you to continue to speak out. Please contact your state senator and state representative (Legislative Action Center) and urge them to take immediate action to resolve the state budget. Please also join me in applauding Mayor Nutter and his administration, for they have heard your voices and taken your concerns seriously.
We recognize that the budget impasse has created an extraordinary hardship on those of you working as court-appointed attorneys and arbitrators. We extend our admiration to each and every one of you who have continued to work without payment. The citizens of this city, who rely so heavily on your representation, owe you a great thanks.
For those of you who may still need financial assistance, may I remind you that PNC Bank has agreed to immediately consider financing requests from our members who take court-appointed cases and who sit as arbitrators. All of these will be handled in a straightforward and confidential fashion.
Should you wish to avail yourself of PNC's services, please contact Jackie Byrne Lessman, CFP®, Senior Vice President, at (215) 585-5831 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your inquiries will not be shared with the Bar Association nor its staff.
We will continue to pressure our government leaders to resolve this budget crisis as soon as possible, recognizing that the lack of state funds is impacting the lives of clients and attorneys in real and dire ways.
As always, I remain available for your feedback at email@example.com.