Letter from the Chancellor - Scott F. Cooper
On behalf of the entire Philadelphia Bar Association, I proudly present our 2010 Annual Report. It was a year of incredible accomplishments for our Association, Sections, Committees, Young Lawyers Division and the entire legal community.
When I took office, I promised an "unapologetically bold agenda." As our Annual Report shows, we met our goals and developed strategic partnerships to meet our objectives. We did all this amidst challenging economic times and dramatic restructuring in the legal profession. We honored our core missions of service to the profession and the community, while innovating and expanding membership value. We built upon already exceptional relationships with the judiciary, Philadelphia city officials and the business community.
It has been some time since the Association issued an Annual Report, due mainly to the high cost of printing. Thanks to innovations in technology, we can provide this online report to you at almost no cost and with significantly more content and photos from our Sections and Committees. We also included a time capsule at the end, to give historical context to the year's worth of work. Hopefully, this Annual Report will serve both as a benchmark of our accomplishments and a platform upon which future leaders will grow the Association.
I thank all the Officers, the Cabinet, the Board of Governors, the leaders of our Sections, Committees, YLD and Bar Association staff for their incredible efforts in making everything we did in 2010 possible. I also want to thank Jeff Gross, Tina Karkera and Sean Sullivan for their help in producing this Annual Report.
Serving as Chancellor was one of the greatest honors any Philadelphia lawyer can ever receive. I thank you for the chance you gave me to serve. I believe that the following pages show what a difference we all made together.
Scott F. Cooper
83rd Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association
Letter from the Chair - Richard S. Seidel
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 2010, 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 supporting an amendment to Pennsylvania's “hate crimes” law to add protections for ancestry, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity, whether “actual or perceived.” The resolution continues the Association's long-standing history of support for equal treatment under the law for all citizens of the Commonwealth.
Also in March, the Board adopted a resolution opposing cuts to state supplemental payments for vulnerable Pennsylvanians. Our Association historically has expressed its views on proposed legislation, regulatory changes and funding cutbacks that would have a significant financial impact on the disabled and poor who have a limited ability to speak out and lobby against these changes.
In May, the Board adopted a resolution to co-sponsor the American Bar Association's resolutions adopting the proposed ABA Model Access Act and ABA Basic Principles of a Right to Counsel in Civil Legal Proceedings where basic human needs are at stake such as shelter, sustenance, safety, health or child custody. The resolution furthers the Association's investigation and consideration of all aspects of an effective system of Civil Gideon. The Board also adopted a resolution authorizing the continued work of the Chancellor's Task Force on Civil Gideon.
In June, the Board adopted a resolution to co-sponsor the report and recommendations of the ABA Standing Committee on Gun Violence to coordinate efforts to curb gun violence by advocating for more regulation of the sale, transfer, possession and manufacture of guns.
In July, the Board adopted a resolution opposing life sentences without the possibility of parole for juvenile offenders in Pennsylvania. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that life sentences for juveniles without the possibility of parole violate the 8th Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment for non-homicide convictions.
Also in July, the Board adopted a resolution opposing anti-immigrant legislation. Pennsylvania and Philadelphia are home to immigrants from many countries who contribute economically, socially and culturally to the region. The Association historically has called for fair and humane immigration policies consistent with constitutional and civil rights.
In September, the Board adopted a resolution to recommend to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Civil Procedural Rules Committee that PA.R.C.P. 1311.1 be revised. Issues arose concerning the operation of the Rule that were studied by the State Civil Litigation Section and its Rules and Procedure Committee and Compulsory Arbitration Committee, which drafted, approved and adopted proposed changes to the Rule.
Also in September, the Board adopted a resolution endorsing the Green Ribbon Sustainability Initiative developed by the Association's Green Ribbon Task Force. The Initiative was designed to raise awareness among members of the Association concerning environmental issues and promote the adoption of more environmentally conscious behaviors and practices within law firms and legal offices large and small.
Additionally, the Board adopted resolutions authorizing two other major initiatives of Chancellor Scott F. Cooper – the Philadelphia Bar Association Historical Society and the Philadelphia Bar Academy, which are showcased in this Annual Report.
Also in September, the Board adopted a resolution opposing bills providing for the prosecution of teens for consensual “sexting” where no criminal intent to harm exists. The resolution holds that youth should be educated through their families, schools and communities about responsible uses of new technologies and making better choices about sharing intimate photographs with others.
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 my colleague and friend, Chancellor Scott F. Cooper, for providing me with the opportunity to serve as Chair of this Board. It has been an honor.
Richard S. Seidel
Philadelphia Bar Association Board of Governors
Letter from the Executive Director
- Kenneth Shear
For 209 years, the Philadelphia Bar Association has served the profession and the public by promoting justice, professional excellence and respect for the rule of law.
We continue to place a high priority on educating our membership and the public regarding our positions, activities and services. The publication of this first electronic Annual Report adds to 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.
The dramatic changes in the economy abruptly ended the conventional wisdom that law offices were somehow insulated from the cutbacks that have impacted other professions. 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 by launching several new signature member services in 2011, including free legal research through Fastcase©, and online Bar Classifieds at a significant member discount. 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 50 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 2010 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 of the Philadelphia lawyer.
The Philadelphia Bar Association, founded in 1802, is the oldest association of lawyers in the United States. It is a keystone in the ongoing developments of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania legal systems.
Attorneys, judges and politicians alike look to the Philadelphia Bar Association for guidance on controversial legal issues; and for an organized meeting ground for professional support and information sharing.
Non-lawyers of the Philadelphia community count on, and look to, the Philadelphia Bar Association for general information on how to address their legal issues and where they can go to find additional information and help.
2010 Officers & Board of Governors
- Scott F. Cooper Chancellor
- Rudolph Garcia Chancellor-Elect
- John E. Savoth Vice Chancellor
- Kathleen D. Wilkinson Secretary
- Sophia Lee Assistant Secretary
- Joseph A. Prim Jr. Treasurer
- Wesley R. Payne IV Assistant Treasurer
- Richard S. Seidel Chair
- Regina M. Foley Vice Chair
- Jacqueline G. Segal Parliamentarian
- Lawrence J. Beaser Counsel
Term Expiring December 31, 2010
- Michael J. Berkowitz
- Mehrin Masud-Elias
- Karen L. Detamore
- Maria A. Feeley
- Jeffrey S. Gross
- Richard S. Seidel
Term Expiring December 31, 2011
- Danielle Banks
- Jeffrey Campolongo
- Regina M. Foley
- Richard R. Harris
- Michael D. Shaffer
- Sean R. Sullivan
Term Expiring December 31, 2012
- Brandi Brice
- Pedro A. Ramos
- Kimberly Ruch-Alegant
- Scott P. Sigman
- Stacy A. Tees
- H. Marc Tepper
Young Lawyers Division
- Albertine Y. DuFrayne Chair
- Carolyn M. Chopko Chair-Elect
Section Chairs & Representatives
- Lee Applebaum Chair, Business Law Section
- Peter Berson Rep., Criminal Justice Section
- Shanese I. Johnson Rep., Family Law Section
- Judith B. Stein Rep., Probate & Trust Section
- Angus Love Rep., Public Interest Section
- Alfred R. Fuscaldo Chair, Real Property Section
- Thomas G. Wilkinson Rep., State Civil Litigation Section
- Daniel R. Blickman Chair, Tax Section
- Hon. A. Michael Snyder Rep., Workers Compensation Section
- Sayde J. Ladov Past Chancellor
- Gaetan J. Alfano Past Chair
Honorary Member (Ex-Officio)
- A. Michael Pratt
Executive Director (Ex-Officio)
- Kenneth Shear
Chancellor's Cabinet Additions (Ex-Officio)
- Scott W. Reid
- Louis S. Rulli
Philadelphia Bar Foundation President (Ex-Officio)
- Amy B. Ginensky
The Philadelphia Lawyer Editor-in-Chief (Ex-Officio)
- Kim R. Jessum
Philadelphia Bar Reporter Editor-in-Chief (Ex-Officio)
- Asima Panigrahi
Philadelphia Association of Paralegals (Ex-Officio)
- Renee S. Mazzeo
Philadelphia Legal Secretaries Association (Ex-Officio)
- Ella M. Herbin
Legal Marketing Association - Metropolitan Philadelphia Chapter, President (Ex-Officio)
- Nancy Hoffman
Delaware Valley Law Firm Marketing Group, President (Ex-Officio)
- Stacy West Clark
ABA Delegates (Ex-Officio)
- Abraham C. Reich (term exp. 8/10)
- Andre L. Dennis (term exp. 8/11)
PBA Zone 1 Governor (Ex Officio)
- Audrey C. Talley (term exp. 2011)
Section and Division Chairs
Lee Applebaum, Fineman, Krekstein & Harris, P.C.
Hon. Denis Cohen, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas;
Thomas O. Fitzpatrick, Fitzpatrick & Long, LLC
Shanese I. Johnson, Shanese I. Johnson & Associates, P.C.
Mary F. Platt, Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, LLP
Law Practice Management Division
Robert I. Friedman, Cozen O'Connor
Probate & Trust Law
Ourania Papademetriou, Philadelphia VIP
Alfred R. Fuscaldo, Gibbons P.C.
Robert T. Szostak, Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C.
David E. Prewitt, Bennett, Bricklin & Saltzburg, LLC.
State Civil Litigation
Daniel R. Blickman, Blank Rome LLP
Robin Romano, Marshall Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin;
Robert A. Huber, Huber & Palsir, LLC;
Judge Joseph Hagan, Bureau of Workers' Compensation
Albertine Y. DuFrayne, Petrelli Law, P.C.
Young Lawyers Division
Kimberly A. Boyer-Cohen, Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin
Gina Furia Rubel, Furia Rubel Communications, Inc.
John E. Savoth, Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky, P.C.;
Regina M. Foley, Raynes McCarty
Bench-Bar & Annual Conference
Michael F. Barrett, Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky, P.C.
Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Distinguished Jurist Award
Manny D. Pokotilow, Caesar, Rivise, Bernstein, Cohen & Pokotilow, LTD.
Eric S. Marzluf, Caesar, Rivise, Bernstein, Cohen & Pokotilow, Ltd.
Bruce A. Franzel, Oxenburg & Franzel, PC;
Lisa Washington, Atlas America, Inc.
Charter & Bylaws
David L. Hyman, Kleinbard Bell & Brecker LLP;
Denise J. Smyler, Smyler & Gentile
Teresa M. Rodriguez, Friends of Farmworkers, Inc.
Karen C. Buck, SeniorLAW Center;
Joseph A. Sullivan, Pepper Hamilton LLP
Delivery of Legal Services Committee
Alexander B. Giacobetti, Giacobetti & Levant
Robert W. Litvin, Paisner-Litvin LLP;
Kay K. Yu, Pepper Hamilton LLP
Grant S. Palmer, Blank Rome LLP
Shanese I. Johnson, Shanese I. Johnson & Associates, P.C.;
Linda F. Rosen, M. Mark Mendel, Ltd.
Jane Leslie Dalton, Duane Morris LLP
Wells Fargo Fidelity Award
Carl (Hank) H. Delacato Jr., Gibbons P.C.;
Wesley R. Payne IV, White and Williams LLP
Michael J. Berkowitz, Caesar, Rivise, Bernstein, Cohen & Pokotilow, Ltd.
Nicole D. Galli, Pepper Hamilton LLP
Jeremy Heep, Pepper Hamilton LLP
Sidney L. Gold, Law Offices of Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C.
Kelly Dobbs Bunting, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Labor and Employment Law
Kathy E. Ochroch, Blank Rome LLP;
Mary Gay Scanlon, Ballard Spahr
Law Firm Pro Bono
Maureen Olives, Temple University Beasley School of Law
Law School Outreach
Rudolph Garcia, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, PC
James Francis, Francis & Mailman, P.C.;
Scott Mayer, ARAMARK
Lawyer Referral & Information Service
Jamie Ray-Leonetti, Center for Disability Law Policy
Legal Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Wendy Beetlestone, Hangley Aronchick Segal & Pudlin;
Pedro A. Ramos, Trujillo Rodriguez & Richards LLC
Lawrence S. Felzer, SeniorLAW Center;
Romola Lucas, The Law Office of Romola O. Lucas
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights
Kevin C. Cottone, White and Williams LLP;
John Mirabella, Duffy + Partners
Manny D. Pokotilow, Caesar, Rivise, Bernstein, Cohen & Pokotilow, Ltd.
Mid-Size Law Firm Management
Wesley R. Payne IV, White and Williams LLP
Nadeem A. Bezar, Kolsby, Gordon, Robin, Shore & Bezar
Minorities in the Profession (becomes “Diversity in the Profession” in 2011)
Jonathan A. Clark, Pepper Hamilton LLP;
David F. Jones, Dechert LLP
Hope Ann Comisky, Pepper Hamilton LLP;
Kimberly S. Ingersoll
Hope Ann Comisky, Pepper Hamilton LLP;
Barbara S. Rosenberg, Law Office of Barbara S. Rosenberg
Jenimae Almquist, Lopez McHugh, LLP;
Barbara A. Potts; Blank Rome LLP
Advancing Civics Education
M. Melvin Shralow, Shralow ADR, LLC
Senior Lawyers Professional and Public Service
Sanjuanita Gonzalez, Cohen, Fluhr & Gonzalez, P.C.;
Jeffrey S. Lichtman, Disability Law Office of Jeffrey S. Lichtman Attorney at Law
Social Security Disability
Michael H. Gaier, Shaffer & Gaier, L.L.C.;
Natalie Klyashtorny, Nochumson P.C.
Solo & Small Firm Management
Kenneth E. Spivack, Spivack & Spivack LLP
Kimberly Ruch-Alegant, Alegant Law P.C.;
Nikki Johnson-Huston, City of Philadelphia Law Department
Women in the Profession
Mindee J. Reuben, Weinstein Kitchenoff & Asher LLC;
Sharon L. Caffrey, Duane Morris LLP
2010 Initiatives - Summary
2010 included bold Chancellor agenda items and innovative programming by our Sections, Committees and YLD. The following summarizes our work together.
Philadelphia Bar Association Academy
The new Philadelphia Bar Association Academy provides civic and cultural educational experiences that allow for enhanced business development opportunities to members of the Association. Academy programs provide a unique entry to the city's most vibrant institutions and leaders, offering members behind-the-scenes access to these institutions in a manner designed to benefit all participants. Sold-out events with the Philadelphia Union, KYW Newsradio 1060, Le Bec-Fin, Philadelphia Opera Company, Apple and Tastykake brought members of the Association together to learn, grow and find common interests.
Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Distinguished Jurist Award
The Brennan Award recognizes a jurist who adheres to the highest ideals of judicial service. Any member of the state or federal bench, whether active or retired, who has made a significant, positive impact on the quality or administration of justice in Philadelphia is eligible for consideration. Examples of accomplishments worthy of nomination include innovations in court administration, implementation of pioneering case management techniques, assumption of a leadership role in areas affecting the administration of justice, publication of a significant opinion, article, or other scholarly work, or the like.
Wells Fargo Fidelity Award
2010 Recipients: Mitchell L. Bach, a member of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC; Edward G. Biester III, a partner with Duane Morris LLP; Gregory H. Mathews of Effective Dispute Resolution Services, LLC; Darryl J. May, a partner with Ballard Spahr LLP; and Marc J. Sonnenfeld, a partner with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP for their work to make Philadelphia's Commerce Court a reality.
The criteria for the Fidelity Award are significant accomplishments in improving the administration of justice (preferably in Philadelphia); the absence of prior recognition for this work by the Philadelphia Bar Association; distinguished service consistently rendered over a considerable period of time or a single outstanding achievement in a particular year. (The fact that this single achievement may have occurred some years ago is not material so long as it has not been recognized.); the accomplishment must arise from voluntary activities rather than for service rendered as a paid professional; and it is preferred that the recipient be a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association not now in public office or directly involved with court operations or any other public service activity.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg "Pursuit of Justice" Legal Writing Competition
Named for the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, this competition recognizes the importance of excellence in legal analysis and writing skills. The Philadelphia Bar Association awards the winner – a student enrolled in an American Bar Association-approved or provisionally approved Philadelphia-area law school – with a cash award of $2,500, the publication of his/her submission in The Philadelphia Lawyer, on the Bar Association's website and/or in an appropriate Bar Association publication, and an invitation to the Association's Fall Quarterly Meeting, at which time the award is presented.
Sandra Day O'Connor Award
Presented by the Women in the Profession Committee, the O'Connor Award was named in honor of the first woman Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and is given annually to an outstanding woman attorney in the Philadelphia area. The recipient is expected to exemplify the qualities that Justice O'Connor has demonstrated in her life and work. Therefore, the Award Committee gives preference to those nominees who have achieved prominence and the highest degree of professional excellence in their field over a sustained period and who have openly and visibly used their position and stature in the community to mentor, promote and advance other women lawyers.
Philadelphia Bar Association Historical Society
The Association launched its first formal effort to preserve and study the rich history of our Bar. Under the leadership of Co-Chairs William P. Fedullo, Robert C. Heim and Roberta D. Liebenberg, the Philadelphia Bar Association Historical Society made tremendous progress in its first year. In partnership with Temple University, the Society interviewed 32 of our living former Chancellors and Association Executive Director Kenneth Shear. It premiered a 17-minute highlights video (which can be viewed at philadelphiabar.org) at a kickoff event held at Jenkins Law Library on Sept. 22. The Society also unveiled an interactive, virtual timeline for the upcoming Historical Society website that is scalable so that the Society can include the stories of all diverse segments of the Bar. Additionally, the website will bring to life other unique aspects of our Bar history, including a new and enhanced home for our current and future Legends of the Philadelphia Bar – the "hall of fame" of the city's legal giants of the past.
Taking the Association Green and the Green Ribbon Task Force
In 2010, the Association emphasized its role in saving our environment. The Green Ribbon Task Force, under the leadership of Co-Chairs Kim R. Jessum and Michael B. Hayes, established flexible guidelines to help legal employers of all sizes participate in green efforts. The Board of Governors unanimously adopted these guidelines to help law firms go green.
Fighting Against Sales Tax on Legal Services and for Attorney-Client Communications
We addressed several "bottom line" issues for our members and their clients. Perhaps none was more important than attacking the proposed repeal of the sales tax exemption. The proposed legislation would have placed lawyers in Philadelphia at an incredible competitive disadvantage, and saddled our clients with a tax found nowhere else in the region. We initiated a sustained communications effort and provided testimony before the state Senate. We also joined as an amicus in a case before the Supreme Court, which sought to clarify that the attorney-client privilege covers communications from both the attorney and the client.
Encouraging Regional Cooperation Through the First-Ever Meeting of Delaware Valley Bar Leaders Caucus
In 2010, we took a major step toward increasing our voice in regional matters. The Association hosted the first-ever meeting of Delaware Valley Bar Leaders. Bar presidents and executive directors attended from the local and state bar associations in the region to discuss matters of common concern. We discussed client service, taxes, differences in our court systems and legal education.
Creation of Pro Bono Network of Non-Attorney Experts
Flowing from conversations with forensic accountants, the Association launched a bold initiative to match non-attorney experts, pro bono, with indigent clients. Administered by Philadelphia VIP, this innovative pilot program expands access to justice for low-income individuals and allows a network of outside experts to give something back.
The Association brought specialized expertise to its Cabinet with the one-year appointment of Louis S. Rulli as Pro Bono Chair, and Scott W. Reid as Diversity Chair – both new positions. They allow the leadership to remain proactive on these benchmark issues, and bring informed perspectives to the other issues that come before the Cabinet.
Law Practice Management Committee Responds to the Economy
In order to help attorneys who are still struggling with the economy, we reinvigorated our commitment to law practice management. The Law Practice Management Committee ran numerous programs to assist attorneys with practice of law issues including ethics, law office management, marketing and access to the courts.
The Association continued its ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion and in 2010 hired a new Director of Diversity, Naomi K. McLaurin. The position serves as a unifying agent among Philadelphia's many dynamic minority, LGBT and specialty bar associations and as a key resource to law firms and legal departments that have or seek to develop diversity and inclusion programs, as well as to the Association's own Diversity in the Profession Committee and the Bar's sections and committees. The Office of Diversity will ensure the dialogue on diversity is expansive and inclusive at the same time.
Expanding Philadelphia's Role as a World-Class City
During a gathering of the world's largest city bar associations in Tokyo, we showcased our commerce court, our seat as a major local arbitration center, the court's efforts on mortgage foreclosure and our sophisticated legal practices. We also explored the challenges of conducting business in the United States with our 50 states, territories and separate federal licensing systems. By standing alongside London, Tokyo, Paris, Seoul, Ho Chi Minh City, Brussels, Antwerp, Montreal, New York, Chicago and others, we displayed our talents and learned of the trends sweeping global legal markets. Philadelphia is now a legitimate contender to bring this biannual conference here in the near future.
We hosted Professor Russell Engler, director of clinical programs at the New England School of Law, to share his expertise on Civil Gideon. We also welcomed Richard Negrin, managing director and deputy mayor for administration and coordination for the City of Philadelphia, who shared his vision, strategy and plans for this pivotal role within city government.
Social Media Communications
We launched a comprehensive social media component to the Association's public relations program through the promotion of Association news, events and activities on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Chancellor Scott F. Cooper became the first Chancellor to tweet messages and updates to the Association's membership.
We continued the work of Chancellor Sayde J. Ladov and expanded the Association's Civil Gideon efforts under the leadership of Civil Gideon Task Force co-chairs Catherine C. Carr and Joseph A. Sullivan. The mission of the Task Force is to investigate and consider all aspects of an effective system of Civil Gideon in Philadelphia, including the development of concrete and practicable proposals to advance the implementation of a civil right to counsel in those areas of adversarial civil proceedings where basic human needs are at stake.
Family Court Building
The Association continued its urgent call for construction of a new unified building for the First Judicial District's Family Court. Tens of thousands of citizens bring their family crises to the Domestic Relations Division each year. The Division cannot significantly improve its performance if maintained at the current inadequate level of economic support and personnel and in its current condition and location. We publicly expressed our support for a settlement in the construction project that allowed the Commonwealth to move forward with the process of acquiring real estate and awarding contracts for construction.
Meeting with Mayor Michael A. Nutter
We hosted a roundtable breakfast with Mayor Michael A. Nutter and leaders of several city law firms, trial bars and the deans of the law schools. It was a frank and open exchange about the issues that affect legal employers' abilities to stay in and grow jobs in Philadelphia. The discussion gave law firm leaders and the mayor a direct line of communication to discuss macroeconomic issues that affect the city and each firm. The Association also offered input on a business privilege tax reform bill proposed by Councilman At-Large Bill Green and Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez.
Law School Deans on Board of Governors
We passed a bylaw amendment that will allow our local law schools to have a rotating seat on the Board of Governors. By connecting the legal academic community with the practicing bar, the Association will help ensure law school graduates are ready for "real-life" scenarios.
LRIS Being Honored as a Showcase Program at the White House
The Association's Lawyer Referral and Information Service received national recognition. Chancellor Scott F. Cooper and Association Director of Public and Legal Services Charles Klitsch attended a special ceremony at the White House. There, the LRIS program for Wage and Fair Labor Standards Act cases received recognition from Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and American Bar Association President-Elect Stephen N. Zack.
46th Bench-Bar & Annual Conference
The 2010 Bench-Bar & Annual Conference marked one of our most successful conferences to date. Co-chaired by Vice Chancellor John E. Savoth and Board of Governors Vice Chair Regina M. Foley, the event featured 14 substantive and ethics CLE programs administered with the help of our CLE partner, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. The 2010 event also allowed our new Historical Society, in partnership with Temple University's Department of Theater, to present a live, theatrical reenactment of the landmark freedom of the press trial made famous by Philadelphia lawyer Andrew Hamilton 275 years ago.
These and many other accomplishments would not have been possible without the tremendous work and legacies of 2008 Chancellor A. Michael Pratt, and 2009 Chancellor Sayde J. Ladov. They, and the Chancellors before them, are inspirational leaders who positioned us brilliantly to go to new heights.
In 2010, the Association remained unwavering in its mission to serve the profession and the public by promoting justice, professional excellence and respect for the rule of law.
Business Law Section
One of the Philadelphia Bar Association's oldest and largest Sections, with more than 1,100 members, the Business Law Section has 17 individual Committees with their own leadership, programs and web pages. Through its Committees, the Section offers business lawyers a wide array of educational opportunities (with CLE credit) across a broad range of substantive areas, as well as opportunities to network with other attorneys sharing similar professional interests.
The Section's 2010 Executive Committee consisted of four officers: Lee Applebaum (Chair), Sandra A. Jeskie (Vice Chair), Barbara Sicalides (Treasurer), and Wanda E. Flowers (Secretary); four elected members: Michael D. Ecker, Bradford J. Sandler, Shelley R. Goldner and Curtis L. Golkow; three appointed members: Mitchell L. Bach, Rachel E. Branson, and Ralph J. Mauro; and the immediate past chair, Eric C. Milby. In addition, the Executive Committee was immeasurably enriched by the number of its past chairs who continue to attend and contribute to the Section's leadership, and is especially indebted to the contributions of former chairs Albert S Dandridge III, who provided invaluable leadership on the Section's Diversity Plan, and Merritt A. Cole, who led the effort to establish the Advisory Council and greatly assisted in pursuing the law student initiative.
Among others, the Section's 2010 Committee Leadership includes:
Antitrust Law, Gerard A. Dever (Chair); Bankruptcy, Anne M. Aaronson (Chair), Ashely M. Chan (Vice-Chair); Business Litigation, Robert R. Baron (Chair), E. David Chanin (Vice-Chair); Communications, Phyllis Horn Epstein (Chair); Franchise Law, A. Christopher Young (Chair), Bonne Chong (Vice-Chair); Health Care, John Washlick and Brad M. Rostolsky (Co-Chairs); Human Resources, Diane A. Loebell and Gina M. Ameci (Co-Chairs); Insurance, Heather Tashman Fritts (Chair), Michael Conley (Vice-Chair); Investment Companies, Michael D. Mabry and David F. Connor (Co-Chairs); Mergers & Acquisitions, Graham R. Laub (Chair), Peter D. Cripps (Vice-Chair); Securities Regulation, Graham R. Laub (Chair), Jeffrey M. Taylor (Vice-Chair); Tax Exempt Finance, Kevin Scott and David Unkovic (Co-Chairs); Venture Capital and Private Equity Law, Thomas A. Kennedy (Chair), Vincent S. Capone (Vice-Chair).
On Oct. 21, 2010, Business Law Section Committee leaders met with Executive Committee leaders Sandra Jeskie, Al Dandridge and Shelly Goldner, as well as new Bar Association Director of Diversity Naomi McLaurin to discuss the Section's Diversity Action Plan, its revived newsletter, "The Philadelphia Business Law Insider" and to share practical advice on how to run successful committees.
BUSINESS LAW SECTION ACTIVITIES IN 2010
The Business Law Section believes that inclusion, participation and involvement of attorneys from underrepresented groups in Business Section programs and activities is essential. In 2010, after two years of effort, the Section adopted a Diversity Plan. As the Section lives and breathes through its Committees and members, the Executive Committee will work with the Committee leaders and members to adapt and implement the plan into real action. We dedicated considerable time and effort to achieving a plan that we believe provides goals, guidance and flexibility. Our goals include: creating a culture where all members of the Bar Association feel valued, supported, comfortable and included in an environment that affords an opportunity to attorneys from underrepresented groups to thrive and contribute; demonstrating the commitment of the Section's Executive Committee to inclusion, participation and involvement of attorneys from underrepresented groups in Section programs and activities by developing policies, practices and plans that effectively and proactively implement this Plan; recruiting a more diverse pool of attorneys both for Committee membership and for Section presentations; and establishing and maintaining a systematic and structured process and approach to professional program development that is proactive and will ensure full and equal opportunities and support for attorneys from underrepresented groups to be full and active participants.
LAW STUDENT INITIATIVE
The Section has committed to including area law schools and their students into Section events, activities and membership. We view the law schools and their students as part of Philadelphia's broad legal community. Through our Business Litigation Committee, and coordinated by Lee Applebaum, area law students have been able to participate in the Commerce Court Opinion Project since 2006, and have co-authored 10 chapters in this effort. The Project matches up law student authors with practicing attorneys, who act as mentors and editors, in working together to summarize published Commerce Court opinions within specific substantive topics.
This year, the Section expanded its student initiative to include an ongoing effort by the Section's individual Committees to design meetings specifically directed to area law students (the Practicing Business Law Series for Law Students), along with efforts to include area law students actively working within the Committees. We have identified student leaders in area law schools who will act as liaisons with their school communities and the Section. At the Section's invitation, student leaders from area law schools attended our January 2010 Annual Dinner and were able to interact with judges and lawyers in Philadelphia's legal community.
The Section has initiated the Practicing Business Law Series for Law Students. This series offers a collegial and informative setting where business lawyers can discuss their areas of the law and personal practices with law students. Our goal is to have each of the Section's Committees hold a one-hour program for all interested area law students, giving the students a greater sense of what practice in that area of law might be like for them. At each session, Committee leaders, or invited speakers, lead a discussion among attendees as to the nature of the law that their Committee addresses, and the nature of their individual practice. The first program in this series, offered by the Bankruptcy Committee, was a truly exciting success.
After a five-year hiatus, the Section's newsletter has been revived. The Philadelphia Business Law Insider will provide a forum for professional and open exchange on all issues related to the Section's members and the law. The newsletter is now the work of the Section's Communications Committee, which was created in 2010. The Philadelphia Business Law Insider will be a vehicle for articles of in-depth interest to Section members in relevant areas of practice; professional news regarding members; book reviews on topics of general interest to membership; timely articles on matters of professional interest representing changes in the law or developments in your practice affecting lawyers and clients; and a means for Committee leaders to inform the membership of their present and future projects. We hope all of our members take advantage of this opportunity.
The following are highlights from among the Section's 17 Committees:
The Antitrust Committee held the programs: "Zubulake Revisited and Other Recent E-Discovery Developments and Their Implications for Antitrust Litigation"; "Antitrust at the Speed of Byte: Will Enforcement Agencies and Private Parties Be Able to Keep Up with The Fast-Paced IT World as It Continues to Accelerate?"; "Patent Hold Up: When Does the Abuse of a Private Standard Setting Process Amount to Actionable Conduct Under Section 2 of the Sherman Act or Deception Under Section 5 of the FTC Act?"; "Jury Psychology in Antitrust Cases"; and "Maximizing Your Impact in Antitrust Cases."
The Bankruptcy Committee held the Section's first program in the Practicing Business Law Series for Law Students. The Section greatly appreciates the role played by Executive Committee member Rachel Branson and Committee leaders Anne Aaronson and Ashely Chan in putting on this first program in the series, which was marked by real interchange between lawyers and students in a wide ranging discussion of bankruptcy law. The meeting also offered the students invaluable insights on life as a bankruptcy attorney from the Committee leaders, and from guest speakers Ronald S. Gellert and LeeAne O. Huggins, who were so generous with their time. The Committee's leaders are also working with an area law student to enrich the Committee's website. The Committee held a seminar, jointly with the Mergers and Acquisitions Committee, "Section 363 Sales: The Process, Benefits and Risks," with the Hon. Magdeline D. Coleman of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania among the speakers; and will hold a joint holiday party with the Turnaround Management Association and Commercial Finance Association of Philadelphia at the Loews Hotel.
In December 2009, the Business Litigation Committee presented a CLE on "Litigating Inevitable Disclosure Trade Secret Cases," with Magistrate Judge Henry Perkin of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In January 2010, the Committee held its "State of the Commerce Court" meeting, with Judges Keogh, Manfredi, Sheppard, Bernstein and New on the panel. In June 2010, the Committee held its annual Commerce Court reception. This year marked the Commerce Court's 10th Anniversary, and the Committee did an excellent job in honoring this institution, and the many judges and attorneys whose contributions and vision were instrumental in creating and developing the Commerce Court, including special tributes to Judges Herron and Sheppard. The Committee held a joint program with the Insurance Committee, "Business Insurance: Key Risks and How to Cover Them." The Committee was represented by its Chair, Robert Baron, in an ADR Summit program being planned by the ADR Committee of the Bar Association. Also, throughout the year, the Committee played a central role in the Commerce Court's Judge Pro Tempore program, including via the screening and approval for the Court of new JPTs.
The newly created Communications Committee, under the leadership of Phyllis Horn Epstein, has revitalized the Section's newsletter, now called The Philadelphia Business Law Insider.
The Franchise Law Committee and the International Law Committee held a joint meeting in which Alessandro Barzaghi, a lawyer from Milan, Italy spoke on "hot topic" franchising issues in the European Union.
The Health Care Law Committee continued its long-standing practice of monthly lunch meetings, with guest speakers addressing topical healthcare issues. The meetings are interactive, rather than speaker-listener format. The Committee experimented with a morning (breakfast) monthly meeting to see if it could increase attendance. Meeting topics included, among others: "Fair Market Value Process and Pitfalls: A Practical Approach"; "New Federal Income Tax Requirements for Tax-Exempt Hospital Organizations"; and "Understanding Key Areas of the HIPAA/HITECH Proposed Rule." At another meeting, Ann S. Torregrossa, Esq., the Director of the Governor's Office of Health Care Reform, discussed "Health Information Exchange and Chronic Care/Patient-Centered Medical Home." The Committee is working to develop a relationship with the Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law health law department. The Committee is working to develop opportunities for a broader range of its members to become more actively involved in Committee activities, and has initiated a campaign to increase Committee membership.
Consistent with its past practice, the Human Resources Committee held monthly meetings incorporating an informal discussion format. The meetings generally commence with such an informal discussion, followed by a topical program and discussion led by one of the regular committee participants. Among other subjects, in addition to its annual planning meeting, the Committee meetings included the following topics: "Executive Compensation"; "Off The Clock Issues - How Technology Has Changed What Is Compensable Time...And What is Time Worked Anyway?"; "What Employment Litigators Need to Know About Traditional Labor Law," "Hot Topics for Employee Handbooks"; "Occupational Fraud: Prevention and Detection"; and a meeting on administrative and investigative procedures with the Chief Counsel of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and a former Deputy City Solicitor from the City of Philadelphia Law Department's Labor and Employment Unit. The Committee has begun to attract new interest and membership through its listing in the Bar Reporter and electronic mailings. The Committee also put on "The Effective Use of Separation Agreements for Employee Terminations and Layoffs."
A revitalized Insurance Law Committee held planning and membership meetings early in 2010. Later in the year, the Committee joined with the Securities Regulation Committee in co-sponsoring the program "Straight Talk About the Risks Facing Directors & Officers," where the panel addressed the topics of current risks effecting directors and officers, an overview of the D&O liability insurance, recent case law on ethical risks for directors & officers during internal investigations and best practices during internal investigations. The Insurance Law Committee is also jointly sponsoring with the Business Litigation Committee the program "Business Insurance: Key Risks and How to Cover Them." In addition, the Committee put on the program, "Ethical Issues to Consider When an Insurance Company Issues a Reservation of Rights Letter."
The Investment Companies Committee held a program on regulatory developments in the investment management industry, with the Managing Director of the Independent Directors Council and the General Counsel of the Investment Company Institute. It also held a seminar on FINRA perspectives on fund-related issues, featuring the Vice President and Director of Advertising Regulation for FINRA, and the Vice President of Investment Companies Regulation at FINRA. It held a meeting, "The SEC's Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation and Current Regulatory Initiatives," with the Assistant Directors of the Offices of the Buy Sell and Sell Side of the SEC's Division of Risk Strategy and Financial Innovation.
The Mergers and Acquisitions Committee had meetings on: "Shareholder Rights Plans - Defending Against Takeovers and Protecting NOLs"; "Protecting Your Business Assets with Restrictive Covenants"; "Accounting Issues in M&A Transactions"; "Update on the Current Middle Market M&A Environment and Outlook for 2010"; "Recent Cases on Delaware Corporate Law"; an overview of recent changes in the proxy solicitation landscape, including legal changes and recent shareholder activism; and "Earn-outs: Drafting Issues and Legal Considerations." The Committee also jointly presented a program with the Bankruptcy Committee, "Section 363 Sales: The Process, Benefits and Risks," with the Hon. Magdeline D. Coleman of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania among the speakers. The Committee also held a joint lunch meeting with the Securities Regulation Committee addressing the legal risks and uncertainties surrounding retaining private placement agents and brokers who are not registered brokers along with the issues involved in negotiating the terms of engagement letters for private placement agents and investment bankers.
The Private Equity and Venture Capital Committee put on the programs: "Fund Formation II: Tax Considerations"; "Using S-Corp ESOPs as Exit Transactions for Private Equity Firms"; and "The Dodd Frank Bill, the Volker Rule, and Other Recent ‘Fixes.'"
The Securities Regulation Committee put on the programs: "Morrison v. National Australia Bank: Territorial Jurisdiction of the Federal Securities Laws and ‘Foreign Cubed' Cases"; an overview of recent changes in the proxy solicitation landscape, including legal changes and recent shareholder activism; Robert B. Kaplan, District Director of the Philadelphia office of FINRA, speaking on FINRA's operations and recent initiatives and developments for FINRA members; "Straight Talk About the Risks Facing Directors & Officers," co-sponsored with the Insurance Law Committee; and "The SEC's New Expanded Enforcement Capability: What You Need to Know Now." The Committee also held a joint lunch meeting with the Mergers & Acquisitions Committee addressing the legal risks and uncertainties surrounding retaining private placement agents and brokers who are not registered brokers along with the issues involved in negotiating the terms of engagement letters for private placement agents and investment bankers.
The Tax Exempt Finance Committee put on the program "PA Pension Issues and the New Schedule K to Form 990."
The Section itself put on the program, "Counseling the Corporation," at the 2010 Bench-Bar and Annual Conference. A panel of accomplished general counsel presented an informal moderated discussion about the inside/outside counsel relationship. The panel, including John Chou, general counsel of AmerisourceBergen and Marilyn Heffley, chief litigation counsel for Sunoco, discussed such topics as the likes, dislikes and struggles of in-house counsel in their everyday dealings with outside counsel. The panel discussed rates, alternative fee arrangements, how they choose outside firms, communications, staffing and a variety of other topics designed to assist the Bar in better serving their corporate clients.
To support our members, and encourage membership, the Section has also provided financial support to the Committees to cover lunch costs to members, or those who become members, at Committee programs.
In light of the deep commitment shown by the Section's leaders over the years, the Section has formed an Advisory Board consisting of past Chairs. One of the great difficulties faced by any Bar Association is the loss of institutional memory, which too often leads to the periodic reinvention of the wheel, or projects fading before fruition because those invigorating and leading them leave their post after a year. We believe that the Advisory Board will be a means to preserve institutional memory and worthwhile projects, and that it will allow us to move more expeditiously toward tangible, working achievements.
For the first time, all of the Section's Committees have some level of active presence on their own individual web pages. All Committee web pages state the Committee's purpose and goals, along with their leadership's contact information. Many Committees have used their web pages as vehicles to provide substantive content, as well as event calendars. These include, e.g., links to articles, podcasts, notices of specific events, meeting calendars, pictures and Committee endeavors and accomplishments. We consider this only a beginning to the services our Committees can provide via their web pages. The Business Litigation Committee's web page provides one admirable model for what the Bar Association can do to keep its members informed, and to substantively engage members of the Bar with information and practical guidance.
SECTION AWARDS AND CONTRIBUTIONS
Each year, at its Annual Dinner, the Section gives awards and makes financial contributions to those who have shown great commitment and service. Since 1997, the Section has given the Dennis H. Replansky Memorial Award to a Section member whose life and practice reflect the qualities and actions that we honor in former Section Chair Dennis Replansky's life: superior legal talent in the area of business law; unique contributions to and significant achievements within the business law community in the Philadelphia area; a reputation for mentoring young attorneys; significant participation in and contributions to civic and charitable causes in the community; and uniform recognition in the legal community of the candidate's honesty, integrity and professionalism. The Replansky Award recipient has the privilege of designating a public interest organization to receive the Section's annual charitable contribution. The Section also recognizes the contributions of its leaders and committees with awards for Chair and Committee of the Year. The 2010 Replanksy Award winner was Jane Leslie Dalton. The Chair of the Year was Graham R. Laub who chaired both the Mergers & Acquisitions and Securities Regulation Committees, and the Committee of the Year was the Antitrust Committee chaired by Gerard A. Dever.
The Section has also supported Philadelphia LawWorks, a project of Philadelphia VIP, with contributions of $18,000 in 2009, $12,000 in 2010, with an additional $10,000 committed in 2011. Among other things, LawWorks serves non-profit groups and small businesses that would often lack legal counsel without LawWorks. The Section also gave $500 toward scholarships at the Bench Bar conference for a public interest or government lawyer.
Criminal Justice Section
The Criminal Justice Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association has a long-standing tradition of examining issues that arise in the everyday practice of Criminal Law in Philadelphia. The Section offers prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges the opportunity to meet and collaborate on issues of mutual concern within the Criminal Justice System.
The 2010 co-chairs of the Section were Hon. Denis P. Cohen and Thomas O. Fitzpatrick; the chair-elect was Brad J. Shuttleworth; the treasurer was Kenneth L. Mirksy; and the Secretary was Leanne Litwin.
Helping Better Represent the Impoverished
Perhaps the most significant and historic project the Section undertook in 2010 was the creation and implementation of The Free Legal Research Center in the Jack Myers Lawyers Lounge of the Criminal Justice Center. The Criminal Justice Center is the courthouse for Common Pleas and Municipal Court criminal cases in Philadelphia. On June 16, 2010, the First Judicial District and the Philadelphia Bar Association held a ceremony heralding the grand reopening of the Lawyers Lounge as well as the creation of the Free Legal Research Center. The Center provides legal research without charge to private attorneys who are appointed to represent indigent defendants. This enables the attorneys to better advocate for their clients. Membership in the Criminal Justice Section is required to access the Center, which is staffed by volunteer law students from area law schools who perform the legal research. As far as the Criminal Justice Section is aware, this type of center is the first of its kind in Pennsylvania.
Confidential Information: Problems, Issues and Strategies (CLE)
Panelists: Bradley S. Bridge, Paul M. Messing, Alan L. Yatvin, Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman
Search and Seizure Appellate Update (CLE)
Speaker: Professor David Rudovsky
Representing a Non-Citizen in Criminal Matter Post Padilla v. Kentucky
Panelists: Caitlin Barry, Jonathan Feinberg and Peter Thompson
County and State Prisons: Work Release in the County and RRRI in the State (CLE)
Panelists: Hon. Genece E. Brinkley, Arthur J. Blackmon, Byron Cotter, Louis Giorla and Gregory J. Vrato
A Conversation with Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams
Changes in Municipal Court: A Dialogue
Panelists: Daniel-Paul Alva, Charles A. Cunningham and Edward McCann.
Contextual Bias in Forensic Sciences: What It Is and How Understanding It Can Improve Your Case (CLE)
Speaker: Dr. Lawrence A. Presley
Zone Courts: Navigating a New Structure
Panelists: Hon. Sheila Woods-Skipper, Charles A. Cunningham, Edward McCann and Jennifer Selber
Ethics, Forensic and Innocence (CLE)
Panelists: Professor Jules Epstein and Mark Gilson
Annual Pennsylvania Rule of Evidence Refresher (CLE)
Panelists: Professor Jules Epstein
Justice Thurgood Marshall Award Ceremony
The 2010 Justice Thurgood Marshall Award recipient was Ellen T. Greenlee from the Defender Association of Philadelphia. The award is the Section's highest honor, bestowed on an individual whose lifetime of service exemplifies the ideals of Justice Thurgood Marshall's career. The presentation took place at the Criminal Justice Section's Annual Reception on Dec. 8, 2010.
Henry Czajkowski Award Ceremony
The 2010 Henry Czajkowski Award recipient was Joseph A. Lanzalotti, Deputy Court Administrator - Criminal Trial Division. The award is for a non-lawyer who has made outstanding contributions to the administration of justice in Philadelphia. The presentation took place at the Criminal Justice Section's Annual Reception on Dec. 8, 2010.
In the News
As a result of an investigative series by The Philadelphia Inquirer into the operations of the city's Criminal Justice System, the Courts implemented procedural changes in an effort to increase conviction rates and prevent witness intimidation. The Philadelphia Bar Association and members of this Section provided insight during this process.
Amendments to the Section's bylaws were adopted by the Board of Governors in 2010. Further amendments to the Section's bylaws were adopted by the Section in December 2010. A goal for the Section includes membership recruitment of court-appointed counsel, private counsel, assistant district attorneys and defenders. One of the means to accomplish this includes sponsoring or co-sponsoring parties. Additionally, panel discussions and networking opportunities at area law schools will help attract young membership.
Family Law Section
The Family Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association offers lawyers who practice in the domestic relations field the opportunity to meet and network with other family law attorneys as well as Family Court judges and Masters.
Section members also receive informational mailings to help better serve their clients, including updates on case law and legislation, as well as law practice management strategies designed to improve efficiency and save money. The section's committees give members an opportunity to focus on substantive legal issues such as adoption, custody and custody mediation, divorce and divorce mediation, domestic violence, elder law, support/alimony and surrogacy.
The 2010 chair of the Family Law Section was Shanese I. Johnson; the vice chair was Julia Swain; the treasurer was Megan Watson; and the secretary was Michael E. Bertin. The Section met once a month excluding August.
Family Law Section 2010 Programming
The Section presented a program concerning new support guidelines in May and a program about same-sex marriages in July. The Section also greeted Philadelphia's new Family Court judges at its Annual Spring Reception on June 10 and presented its Herbert R. Wieman Jr. Award at its Annual Holiday Dinner on Dec. 14.
The Section plans to increase its membership by reaching out to new attorneys. It will also make a heightened push to encourage all its members to take as many Philadelphia VIP cases as possible.
Probate and Trust Law Section
The mission of the Probate and Trust Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association is to promote the objectives of the Bar Association in the area of probate and trust law by providing education for its members and the public through meetings, seminars and publications; coordinating relevant pro bono activities; and monitoring, reviewing and, when appropriate, suggesting legislation and regulation.
The 2010 chair of the Section was Robert I. Friedman; the chair-elect was Nina B. Stryker; the vice chair was Robert H. Louis; and the secretary was Susan G. Collings.
The Section's Executive Committee meets monthly throughout the year except for July and August. The Section has seven active and functioning Committees: Elder Law, Education, Legislative, Publications, Rules and Practice, Orphans' Court Disputes and Resolution, and Tax, all of which meet monthly except during the summer.
2010 Programming and Events
The Section organizes and sponsors a quarterly luncheon for members which includes continuing legal education (CLE) credit. In 2010, luncheons were "2010 and Beyond: The State of the Estate Tax" (March); "Business Succession Planning" (June); "Grantor Trusts" (September). The meetings were very well attended.
The Committees of the Section are very active and meet regularly. In many cases, these meetings include guest speakers, including, for example, representatives of the Internal Revenue Service and the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.
The Section's other events of the year included a reception for Orphans' Court Judges in October and its Annual Meeting and Reception on Dec. 9.
How the News Affected the Section in 2010
By far the most influential "event" for the Section in 2010 was the state of the federal estate tax. There was no federal estate tax for 2010, which is likely to be an anomaly. This had a significant impact on the area of practice, both for planning and for estate administration. The Section's first quarterly CLE luncheon was devoted to this topic.
The Legislative Committee produced proposed legislation to address the impact of this tax repeal on the wills and trusts of 2010 decedents which were drafted by reference to the tax. A version of this statute was ultimately introduced as an amendment to pending estate and trust legislation, and the Section was pleased that this bill passed the Legislature in Fall 2010 and was signed by Gov. Edward G. Rendell shortly thereafter.
Public Interest Section
The Public Interest Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association, founded in 1991, provides a forum for public interest and private lawyers to come together on behalf of Philadelphia's most vulnerable communities. The Section promotes the interests of the members of the Philadelphia Bar Association who address the legal needs and rights of the poor, minorities, victims of abuse, persons with disabilities, the homeless, and other members of our society who often lack advocates to speak for them. The Section provides a forum for new ideas in public interest lawyering, for new directions in volunteer service, and for new public-private ventures to benefit disadvantaged populations and improve access to justice. It also provides continuing legal education to its members and strives to educate and involve the entire bar in issues affecting the public interest. Section membership consists of public interest and private lawyers, law school faculty, foundation directors and law students.
The Section is proud to have seven Committees working tirelessly and in many cases independently under it: Civil Rights; Delivery of Legal Services; Law Firm Pro Bono; Law School Outreach; Legal Rights of Children; Legal Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and Women's Rights.
The 2010 chair of the Section was Ourania Papademetriou; the vice chair was Lawrence S. Felzer; the secretary was Sara Jacobson; and the treasurer was Rashida West.
The Section met on the third Monday of each month at Bar Association headquarters. Also, each Committee maintains a meeting schedule.
- Public Interest/Public Service Job Fair and Reception, organized by the Bar Association's Law School Outreach Committee (Feb. 4 and 5)
- Public Interest Plenary Program, "Understanding Luzerne County: Ordinary Injustice: How America Holds Court," co-sponsored by the Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section and its Young Lawyers Division. Featured guest speaker, author Amy Bach. (April 13)
- "Impact on the State Budget on Vulnerable Persons: Lessons Learned for the Budgets Ahead," co-sponsored by the Bar Association's Delivery of Legal Services Committee. Featured panelists Mike Wood, Research Director for Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, and Anthony L. Crisci, Crisci Associates. (May 4)
- "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Bench – War Stories from Women in the Judiciary," co-sponsored by the Bar Association's Women in the Profession Committee, Women's Rights Committee and the Young Lawyers Division. (May 14)
- Summer Brown Bag Series and bus tour, organized by the Bar Association's Law School Outreach Committee. (Summer 2010)
- Diversity CLE: "The Dangers of Stereotypes and Subconscious Bias: Does it Impact Your Success in the Courtroom?," co-sponsored by the Bar Association's Civil Rights Committee and the Young Lawyers Division. (June 17)
- "The State of Women's Rights," co-sponsored by the Bar Association's Women's Rights Committee, the Women in the Profession Committee and the Civil Rights Committee. (Sept. 15)
- Bench-Bar & Annual Conference CLEs: (1) "Diversionary Programs as Alternatives to Incarceration: What They Offer and What to Do as an Advocate," and (2) "Discovery in the Criminal Division of Philadelphia Municipal Court and the Court of Common Pleas", co-presented by the Civil Rights Committee, Criminal Justice Section and the Young Lawyers Division.
- National Pro Bono Week, coordinated by the Bar Association's Delivery of Legal Services Committee and Law Firm Pro Bono Committee. (Week of Oct. 25)
- "Vision 2020 – Opening a Dialogue to Advance Gender Equality," Sponsored by the Women's Rights Committee. (Nov. 17)
- Public Interest Law Day CLE: "Good News: Despite the Recession, We Are Making Progress," coordinated by the Bar Association's Delivery of Legal Services Committee. (Dec. 9)
- Co-sponsor of Young Lawyers Division Networking Happy Hour (Jan. 20)
- Participated in the Bar Association's Earth Day event (April 24)
- Participated in the Young Lawyers Division's Lawyer in the Classroom program as part of its Law Week 2010 celebration. (April 27)
- Law Student Pro Bono Award (Bar Association's June Quarterly Meeting)
- Public Interest Law Student Reception, organized by the Bar Association's Law School Outreach Committee (July 22)
- Public Interest Section Annual Awards Ceremony & Reception (Dec. 9)
America's overall economic situation directly affected the clients the Section serves. Particular events in the news that impacted the Section were immigration reform, health care reform, and the impact on Philadelphia's budget caused by overcrowded prisons.
Still, the stories of how public interest agencies work to continue to make a difference in the lives of their clients and families, with such limited resources, remain compelling and inspirational.
- Resolution regarding Parole for Juvenile Offenders & HB 1999 & HB 1994 (approved by Bar Association's Board of Governors in July)
- Resolution opposing Anti-Immigration Legislation (approved by Board of Governors in July)
- Resolution Opposing Bills Such as Pennsylvania HB 2189, providing for the Prosecution of Teens for "Sexting" (presented at Board of Governors in July and tabled until September meeting)
- Resolution of the Philadelphia Bar Association Supporting an Amendment to Pennsylvania's "Hate Crimes" Law (The Ethnic Intimidation and Institutional Vandalism Act) (approved by Board of Governors in February)
- Resolution Urging the Restoration of SSI Budget Cuts (approved by Board of Governors in February)
- Resolution to co-sponsor the American Bar Association's Resolutions Adopting the Proposed ABA Model Access Act and ABA Basic Principles of a Right to Counsel in Civil Legal Proceedings (approved by the Board of Governors in May)
Other News from 2010
- Members of the Section participated in the Civil Gideon Task Force and Chancellor Scott F. Cooper's Non-Lawyer Pro Bono Partnership Committee.
- The Section was happy to have Professor Louis S. Rulli serve on Chancellor Scott F. Cooper's Cabinet as the Pro Bono and Delivery of Legal Services Chair. His appointment to this important position indicated the commitment of the Bar Association to the important work of this Section and of public interest agencies that work hard to make a difference in the lives of Philadelphia's neediest communities.
The Section will continue to develop programs and activities on behalf of Philadelphia's neediest communities.
Real Property Section
The mission of the Real Property Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association is to assist members of the Association in the practice of real property law through education, studying and suggesting improvements to applicable laws, practices, and procedures, and consulting with the judiciary, legislature, and administrative bodies regarding implementing improvements.
The 2010 chair of the Section was Alfred R. Fuscaldo; the chair-elect was Cheryl L. Gaston; the treasurer was Brad J. Begelman; and the secretary was Richard L. Vanderslice. The Committee met on a monthly basis.
2010 Activities and Events
- Executive Committee members of the Section participated in a Committee that advised the court in its draft of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas General Order for Act 135 Conservatorship track cases.
- Section members participated in the Civil Gideon Task Force Housing Working Group.
- Section members of the Executive Committee worked on training for and put forth pro bono efforts towards implementing the Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Project.
- The Section presented a CLE on Borders and Fencing Law on Jan. 28.
- The Section's new Affordable Housing Committee presented a well-attended program on Healthy Homes with a speaker from the City of Philadelphia's Health Department on topics including lead based paint, asbestos, mold and bedbugs on June 30.
- The Section held its annual Social and Networking Event to promote contact among Section members on June 15 at Davio's Restaurant.
- Section members presented a CLE on Stormwater Management in Philadelphia on September 15.
- The Section presented "Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program Litigation," a CLE that guided uninitiated attorneys through the foreclosure process, at the Philadelphia Bar Association's Bench-Bar & Annual Conference at Atlantic City in October.
- The Section held its annual meeting on Nov. 11. There, the Section dedicated its Good Deed Award to a former recipient, Harris Ominsky, who passed away in 2010, and presented the award to The Food Trust.
- The Section presented a Zoning Law CLE on Dec. 14
2010 Issues in the News that Affected the Section
The change in the assessment method for storm water discharge inspired the Section to begin a subcommittee that deals with sustainable land use and development, including members who practice in areas such as oil and gas leases and environmental law.
The ongoing mortgage crisis also continues to inspire the Section to work with Philadelphia VIP and other members of the Bar Association, as well as Judge Annette M. Rizzo, to staff and contribute to the Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program.
In response to the Board of Revision of Taxes restructuring, the Section is exploring a subcommittee to address financing and conveyancing. Additionally, the Section's Zoning Code and Enforcement Subcommittee created a subcommittee to comment on the proposed revisions to the Zoning Code as it is released by the Zoning Code Reform Commission.
The Section anticipates continuing to provide CLEs to assist real estate practitioners in the Philadelphia Bar Association not only to meet the members' continuing education requirements, but also to advance the practice of real estate law in Philadelphia. The section also anticipates donating time and funding to several pro bono organizations throughout the year.
In addition, the Section is contemplating interaction with law students to present a potential 3L Real Estate Award, ongoing diversity initiatives, YLD mentoring, a Real Property Inn of Court, Real Property Advisory Council in conjunction with PA Realtors' Association, and a Habitat for Humanity Day.
State Civil Litigation Section
The mission of the State Civil Litigation Section (SCLS) of the Philadelphia Bar Association is to advance the development of the law and the furthering education of the Bar Association within this field in all its branches; to formulate and extend the study of this field of law; to cooperate in attaining uniformity with respect to both legislation and administration in all matters within this field, by cooperating with judicial, legislative, and administrative bodies and other constituents of the organized bar to further these activities; to suggest improvements in the applicable laws, practices and procedures; and to simplify and improve the application of justice in this field, in conformity with the Charter and Bylaws of the Philadelphia Bar Association.
The 2010 Co-Chairs of the Section were Robert T. Szostak and David E. Prewitt; the Secretary was Kari Samuels; the Treasurer was Robert E. Paul; and the Section Liaison to the Board of Governors was Thomas G. Wilkinson Jr.
Within the Section are three Committees: the Rules and Procedure Committee, the Compulsory Arbitration Committee; and the Medical-Legal Committee. The 2010 Co-Chairs of the Rules and Procedure Committee were Donna Lee Jones and Mark N. Cohen; the 2010 Co-Chairs of the Compulsory Arbitration Committee were Brad S. Rush and Joshua D. Baer; the 2010 Co-Chairs of the Medical-Legal Committee were John Mirabella and Daniel J. Rovner.
The Section met quarterly, the Rules and Procedure Committee met when the Section did not, the Compulsory Arbitration Committee met on three occasions, and the Medical-Legal Committee met once.
- State Civil Litigation Section
- "UM/UIM Practice and Procedure Post-Koken and the Developing Impact on the Civil Litigation System": featuring presenters Harris T. Bock, Director of The Dispute Resolution Institute; John A. Livingood Jr., Margolis Edelstein; Katherine Cole Douglas, Bennett, Bricklin and Saltzburg; and Scott B. Cooper, Schmidt Kramer. (March 3)
- "Video Preparation, Editing, Use and Presentation for Settlement and Trial": James R. Ronca from Anapol Schwartz provided a demonstrative presentation including his statewide perspective on the art of visual advocacy for all aspects of complex catastrophic civil litigation with emphasis on video design, concepts regarding video presentations for settlement, mediation and trial, and technical advice based on a series of examples from actual cases. (June 2)
- "A National Success Story: Mass Tort Programs in thePhiladelphia Common Pleas Court": The Hon. Sandra Mazer Moss, Coordinating Judge of the Complex Litigation Center, Tobias L. Millrood from Pogust, Braslow & Millrood, LLC and Robert C. Heim, from Dechert, LLC designed, developed and presented this program detailing the Philadelphia Mass Tort Program as a model of efficiency and fairness for litigants in pharmaceutical, medical device, product and other mass tort litigations. Insights were offered into the secrets of the program's success, with a current update on the inventory of the program featuring emphasis on hormone therapy litigation as an example of the successes and challenges within mass tort litigation. (Sept. 1)
- Three Bench-Bar and Annual Conference Programs (Oct. 15 and 16)
- "Trial Advocacy: The Power of Ideas": planned by Regina M. Foley and presented by Gerald A. McHugh and Robert J. Mongeluzzi.
- "The Philadelphia JPT Program: A Fresh Perspective on What it Takes to Be and Appear Before a JPT": planned by Robert T. Szostak and Charles A. Mapp; moderated by Mr. Szostak and David E. Prewitt; and presented by Hon. D. Webster Keogh, Administrative Judge, Trial Division; Hon. William J. Manfredi, Supervising Judge, Trial Division; Hon. Sandra Mazer Moss, Coordinating Judge, Complex Litigation Center; Hon. Jacqueline F. Allen, Judicial Team Leader, 2009 Day Forward Program; Hon. Howland W. Abramson, Judicial Team Leader, 2008 Day Forward Program; Hon. Leon W. Tucker, 2007 Day Forward Program; Hon. Mark I. Bernstein, Commerce Program; Hon. Idee C. Fox, Team Leader, Motions Court and Statutory Appeals Program; Edward F. Chacker; and Gerald J. Valentini.
- "Technology in the Courtroom": planned and moderated by Kathleen D. Wilkinson, and presented by Hon. Sandra Mazer Moss; Donna Lee Jones, Timothy R. Lawn, and Scott W. Reid.
- Rules and Procedure Committee
- "The Medicare Secondary Payer Act: How to Satisfy Liens While Protecting Clients, Counsel and Insurance Carriers": featuring presenters Roy Franco, Director, Risk Management Strategies, Safeway, Inc.; Will Shapiro, James Street Group; and Glen Ricketti, Margolis Edelstein. (February 3)
- "Discovery Issues Associated with Social Networking Websites": featuring presenters Stephen Bruderle, Margolis Edelstein; and Louis Cinquanto, Cornerstone Legal Consultants. (April 7)
- "Bad Faith in PA: You Can't Always Get What You Want": featuring presenters Louis A. Bove, Bodell, Bove, Grace and VanHorn; and Mark W. Tanner, Feldman Shepherd. (May 5)
- "Discovery Court - The Search for Uniformity": featured an esteemed panel of Civil Trial Division Judges - Hon. William J. Manfredi, Hon. Sandra Mazer Moss, Hon. Howland W. Abramson, Hon. Jacqueline F. Allen, and Hon. Allan L. Tereshko - who presented insightful views on best practices in Discovery Court, and fielded numerous questions and concerns from a capacity audience of attorneys in all fields and levels of civil litigation practice. (Nov. 3)
- Medical-Legal Committee
- "State of Medical Malpractice Litigation in Philadelphia County and Statewide": The Hon. Jacqueline F. Allen, Team Leader of the Court of Common Pleas Day Forward 2009 Program, delivered an informative presentation on the latest medical malpractice data locally and statewide. (May 26)
Issues in the News Impacting the Section in 2010
The programs of the Section and its Committees were cutting edge, based on the current trends, and well received by members as top-rated presentations on up-to-date litigation issues affecting the practice of civil litigation. Programming was delivered well before the topic areas became featured news in local and statewide journals. Examples from our important and timely body of work, value and service to the bench and bar include:
- Weeks in advance of many seminars addressing Medicare lien issues, the Rules and Procedure Committee's Medicare Secondary Payor Act Program included extensive materials and PowerPoint presentation on all aspects of lien resolution under the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007.
- Similarly, the Section hosted a program that provided comprehensive analysis and materials on UM/UIM Practice and Procedure as affected by the Koken opinion, which held that the Insurance Commissioner cannot require mandatory arbitration clauses in UM/UIM endorsements. This seminar provided guidance on varieties of arbitration clauses post-Koken, venue and removal issues, pleading concerns, joinder/misjoinder of actions, discovery and trial issues generated by the Koken holding.
- Another Rules and Procedure Committee program, "Discovery Issues Associated with Social Networking Websites," was especially interesting. The panelists explained the law of admissibility of social networking websites at trial, and provided commentary about the discovery, location and retrieval of electronically stored information for both civil and criminal matters. E-discovery resources on the web and their use in the litigation process also helped make this program a success well before the issues it covered “caught on” in featured legal news.
Other Section News for 2010
The Section and Rules and Procedure Committee reviewed, discussed, submitted and unanimously adopted a resolution in opposition to Pennsylvania Supreme Court Civil Procedural Rules Committee Proposed Recommendation No. 239, proposing Amendment of Rule 213.3 governing pre-trial conferences and promulgation of new Rules 212.5 and 212.6 governing settlement conferences. Mandatory presence of a representative of an insurance company at these conferences was opposed "in favor of having all parties' clients, i.e. the plaintiff, as well as the insurance carrier/defendant, 'promptly available by telephone', as an additional aid to the Court in an effort to settle cases." It was also suggested that the Rules be amended to require counsel to have settlement authority, and/or have the claims adjuster available by telephone.
The Rules and Procedure Committee opposed the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Civil Rules Committee proposed recommendation No. 246 governing voir dire. This issue generated statewide debate, particularly over whether a judge is required to begin voir dire examination of jurors. The Proposed Recommendation was ultimately changed to allow for a judge's presence to be waived by the agreement of the court and counsel. The Recommendation's proposal that Pa. R.C.P. 220.1 be amended to require attorneys to conduct the bulk of examination of prospective jurors was not revised.
The Committee's position, in part, that “the Proposed Recommendation No. 246 would adversely impact the functions of the civil trial courts of the First Judicial District,” was thus favored by the Supreme Court's Civil Procedural Rules Committee in a manner consistent with the views of our Civil Trial Division. As a result, both the Bench and the Bar were most appreciative of the Section's support in this important rule change that affects not only the process of voir dire itself, but also the limited court resources available to fund the conduct of the entire process of jury selection in Philadelphia County.
On May 5, Thomas G. Wilkinson Jr., as amici counsel for the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) and Philadelphia Bar Association, reported to the Rules and Procedure Committee on the Amici Curiae Brief filed on April 27, 2010 with the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in William Gillard v. AIG Insurance Company, et al., No. 10 EAP 2010. Tom also sought and received the Board of Governors' unanimous consent to participate as an amicus in the Supreme Court.
In the Brief, amici counsel urged the Supreme Court to reverse the Superior Court's narrow application of the attorney-client privilege to protect only information given by the client to the attorney and to issue a clear statement that communications made within the lawyer/client relationship are privileged when made for the purpose of soliciting or providing confidential legal advice. The Rules and Procedure Committee unanimously concurred with the views of amici counsel that a failure to protect the confidential communications of legal advice from attorney to client would significantly harm the attorney-client privilege and undermine the confidential nature of the attorney-client relationship because attorney advice and client communications are inextricably intertwined.
Mr. Wilkinson explained that the Superior Court's opinion left the scope of the attorney-client privilege uncertain and unworkable, served to chill the delivery of candid legal advice by lawyers and resulted in a significant adverse impact on legal representation in a corporate context where in-house counsel constantly offer legal opinions and advice based on and reflective of privileged client communications. The Rules and Procedure Committee fully agreed with amici counsel that the Supreme Court should reaffirm that the scope of the attorney-client privilege in Pennsylvania includes a lawyer's confidential communications to a client in the course of providing legal advice. Oral argument in Gillard took place Sept. 14.
On Dec. 6, 2010, the Section hosted its Annual Meeting and Reception overlooking Rittenhouse Square at Smith & Wollensky. It was a festive occasion well-attended by many judges and members of the Bar. Robert T. Szostak addressed the gathering with the customary Annual Review and a personal expression of gratitude to the Judiciary, Bar leadership and Section members, particularly its founding members, Rudolph Garcia (84th Chancellor), Gabriel L. I. Bevilacqua (78th Chancellor), Ronald A. Kovler, William P. Fedullo and Richard S. Seidel. In accordance with the bylaws, Kari Samuels cast the unanimous vote for the 2011 Section officers: Robert T. Szostak and Mark N. Cohen, Co-Chairs; Kari Beth Samuels, Secretary; and Robert E. Paul, Treasurer. Ms. Samuels then presented a tribute and award to the Hon. Annette M. Rizzo in recognition of her extraordinary implementation of the Philadelphia Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Mr. Prewitt next delivered a $5000 contribution from the Section to Philadelphia VIP to foster equal justice for the poor. Vice Chancellor Kathleen D. Wilkinson and President Judge Pamela Pryor Dembe then saluted David E. Lawrence for his many years of service to the court with emphasis on his integral role as court administrator.
The mission of the Tax Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association is to comment on proposed laws and regulations, to promote education of its members, to provide liaison with local representatives of the IRS and state and local tax authorities, and to promote the objectives of the Philadelphia Bar Association within the field of taxation.
The 2010 Chair of the Section was Daniel D. Blickman, the Vice Chair was George F. Nagle, and the Secretary-Treasurer was Stanley J. Kull. The Tax Council was Leslie M. Book, Howard S. Goldberg, Jared Gordon, Kevin Johnson, Wendi Kotzen, Kristen McKenna, Abigail Pancoast, Cheryl Upham, John P. Young, William Zimmerman, and ex-officio as ex-Chair Joan Arnold and ex- Secretary-Treasurer Stewart Weintraub.
The Tax Council generally met once a month.
- "Everything Old Is New Again: IRS Focuses Once Again on Employment Tax Issues" (May 13)
- "Reporting Uncertain Tax Positions" (Aug. 23)
- Cocktail reception at Mission Grill for young tax lawyers in Philadelphia and students from Temple and Villanova interested in tax law. More than 25 attendees joined the Section, which made for an opportunity to network and inform the young lawyers about how they can get more involved. (Nov. 9)
- "Financing with New Markets, Historic Rehabilitation and Renewable Energy Tax Credits" (Dec. 8)
- Annual Meeting and Dinner, featuring speaker Kristine Dankenbrink, V.P. Tax of Comcast. (Dec. 8)
Workers' Compensation Section
The Workers' Compensation Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association provides education, social interaction and awareness of the current practice and update of the law of Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation to its members.
Section members pride themselves on the civility among the attorneys who practice this area of the law as one of the most collegiate group of lawyers within the Bar Association.
The 2010 co-chairs of the Section were Hon. Joseph Hagan, Robert Huber and Robin Romano.
The Section (attorneys and judges) met 11 times (every third Wednesday of each month, except August) and held two major social receptions.
- Interaction of Medicare and Workers' Compensation
- Bench perspective panel discussions
- Commonwealth Court and appellate practice primer
- Case law updates
- Mediation practice
- Art in the Courts project
- Irving Stander Award, which is given annually to a law student who excels in Administrative Law. The 2010 winner was Kathleen Emberger.
- Martha Hampton Award (given annually to a Workers' Compensation practitioner or Workers' Compensation judge in recognition of strong advocacy, leadership and community service). The 2010 winner was William McKee.
- Fundraising for Kids' Chance (the Section's designated charity)
- Spring Reception at the Manayunk Brew Pub
- Holiday Gala Party at Cescaphe
In the News
The Section was recognized for the success of the Art in the Courts project (see The Philadelphia Lawyer, Vol. 73, No. 2), which commemorated various works of art for display at the Philadelphia Office of Adjudication. The paintings were created by Shaina Anderson, a talented artist, and depict 20th century achievements of the labor force in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The project sparked a great deal of enthusiasm and pride among a group of Budd Company retirees upon the announcement that a large painting commemorating railway cars manufactured by the Philadelphia branch of the Budd Company had been chosen for display. More than one hundred retired individuals who worked on these railway cars were honored at a luncheon in recognition of this contribution.
The Section is planning to expand its charitable donations to include, among others, the Philadelphia Bar Foundation and also endeavors to increase its membership and general involvement with the Philadelphia Bar Association.
Young Lawyers Division
The mission of the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) of the Philadelphia Bar Association is to promote and preserve the interests of young lawyers; to promote justice and improve the quality of the legal system; to provide a forum for the exchange of views among young lawyers; to encourage the professional development of young lawyers through educational and service programs; to participate in the growth and advancement of the legal profession; to interest and encourage young lawyers to participate in the general activities of the Philadelphia Bar Association; to encourage young lawyers to represent deserving clients on a pro bono basis; to assist in promoting worthwhile non-profit organizations including, but not limited to, non-profit legal organizations; and to otherwise support the interests and activities of young lawyers.
The 2010 chair of the YLD was Albertine Y. DuFrayne; the chair-elect was Carolyn M. Chopko; the vice chair was Kelly Jo Gastley; the secretary was Melanie J. Taylor; the treasurer was John Encarnacion; and the financial secretary was Rachel Kopp.
The YLD held separate monthly meetings for its Executive Committee and Cabinet throughout 2010. Always active, the YLD organizes and presents more than 50 events each year.
- YLD Annual Meeting (March 31)
- Sharon Pinkenson, the executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, shared her inside knowledge of the film industry and discussed new projects slated for the city at the 2010 YLD Annual Meeting. The event also featured remarks from chair Albertine DuFrayne and the presentation of three YLD community service awards to Lloyd Freeman of Archer & Greiner, P.C.; Djung Tran of Smith & McMaster, P.C.; and Ace Reporters, Inc.
- Comedy Night and Silent Auction (May 22)
- This annual fundraiser for the Philadelphia Bar Foundation marked its fifth year in 2010 and has raised more than $140,000 in its history, with almost $39,000 donated at the 2010 event. The event featured headliner Dan Cummins, star of "Comedy Central Presents Dan Cummins" who has also appeared on "The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and NBC's "Last Comic Standing."
- Diversity Scholarship Reception and CLE on Dangers of Stereotypes (June 17)
- At this annual event, the YLD emphasizes the importance of diversity in the legal field by awarding $500 scholarships to outstanding local law students. In 2010, the YLD recognized the exemplary work of Dwight Bailey from Villanova University School of Law; Kevin Harden Jr. from Temple University Beasley School of Law; Priscilla Jimenez from Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University; Dalisai Nisperos from University of Pennsylvania Law School; and Abraham Tran from Rutgers School of Law - Camden, NJ.
- In conjunction with this event, the YLD presented its first-ever diversity-related continuing legal education seminar, "The Dangers of Stereotypes and Subconscious Bias: Does It Impact Your Success in the Courtroom?"
- The reception was co-hosted by the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania, the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia, the South Asian Bar Association of Philadelphia, the Barristers' Association of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Bar Association's LGBT Rights Committee.
Community, Student and Law School Outreach
- John S. Bradway Philadelphia High School Mock Trial Competition
- Each year, the YLD partners with the Law Education and Participation (LEAP) Program at Temple University's Beasley School of Law to put on mock trial programming for hundreds of students on about 50 teams from schools across the city. Scores of attorneys volunteer to coach teams, lead trial advocacy workshops, and judge participants in the John S. Bradway High School Mock Trial Competition. In 2010, city champion Roman Catholic High School and runner-up Masterman High School went on to represent Philadelphia at the statewide mock trial competition in Harrisburg. Both teams made strong showings and Masterman advanced as far as the semi-final round.
- Philadelphia also hosted the 2010 National High School Mock Trial Championship in May. The winner was Breck High School, from Minneapolis, Minn. Pennsylvania representative Scranton Preparatory School placed 10th.
- Law Week (April 26-May 3)
- Each year, the YLD organizes and presents the Law Week celebration in Philadelphia. The weeklong event reaches thousands of citizens and includes a variety of law-related events:
- Lawyer in the Classroom: Volunteer lawyers visit different Philadelphia schools throughout the week to address students' concerns about the law and the legal issues that affect them as they enter adulthood, and answer questions about the legal profession.
- Legal Advice Live!: Volunteer attorneys gather to provide free, in-person legal advice to area citizens at branches of the Philadelphia Free Library, including the Central branch. This program in particular has won recognition from the American Bar Association.
- Lawyer for a Day: Volunteer attorneys and judges take high school students into the city's courtrooms for an inside look at how the law works.
- The Trials of Goldilocks and the Big Bad Wolf: Volunteer attorneys and judges dress in costume and use facts from the fairytales "Goldilocks" and "The Three Little Pigs" to act out mock criminal trials for grade school children at seven different City Hall courtrooms.
- Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest: A naturalization ceremony welcoming dozens of new U.S. citizens is held at the U.S. Courthouse, where the winner of this contest – open to Philadelphia high school seniors and named after a trial attorney and past Chancellor of the Bar Association who awards a $1,000 college scholarship to the winning essayist – reads aloud his or her essay.
- People's Law School (Every Tuesday, Sept. 21-Oct. 26)
- Each year, the YLD coordinates and presents the People's Law School, a six-week legal education program open to all citizens who wish to receive basic information about areas of the law most likely to impact daily life. Attendees receive a course book and learn directly from volunteer attorneys who teach 11 courses on a range of legal topics, including Family Law, Workers' Compensation, Criminal Law and Real Estate, among others.
- Harvest for the Homeless (Nov. 13)
- Each year, donations of men's, women's and children's clothing, towels and non-perishable items (soap, toothpaste, shampoo, lotion, etc.) and food items are collected at local law firms. Volunteers then coordinate the collection of these items and help sort the donations to deliver to local homeless shelters.
- Ronald McDonald House (June 29)
- Each year, volunteers from the YLD visit the Ronald McDonald House at Front and Erie streets, Philadelphia, as part of its Family Meal Program. There, they cook and serve dinner to the home's residents.
- Law School Outreach
- The YLD is in constant communication with local law schools, both through its liaisons to the school that sit on the Division's Executive Committee and through other contacts within the schools.
Mentoring and Education
- YLD Bootcamp (Feb. 19)
- This five-hour program debuted in 2010 and provided law students and young attorneys practical and fundamental knowledge on the intricacies of the legal profession. Philadelphia judges and experienced attorneys spoke on case preparation, selecting a career path, fully benefiting from initial employment, considerations when starting a solo practice, and building networking skills. The program concluded with a networking happy hour.
- Mentoring Program
- The YLD coordinates a Mentoring Program to foster the professional development of Philadelphia's future attorneys and simulate the growth, diversity and participation of lawyers in Bar Association activities and the community at large. Part of the program includes a signature event in which hundreds of mentors and mentees meet in person. Mentors reach out and make initial contact with their mentee; have one in-person or telephonic meeting with their mentee in advance of this Mentorship Program Event; have one or more in person meetings with their mentee after the event; and remain as a resource to the mentee for the course of the given year.
- "Negotiation Workshop," a Live, Lunch and Learn CLE Program (June 22)
- On June 22, the YLD presented this annual Live, Lunch & Learn CLE program at which expert presenters engaged in a mock negotiation of a typical merger and acquisition transaction. Featured speakers were Craig Circosta, Esq., a partner at Ballard Spahr, LLP, and James Leyden, Esq., associate general counsel at Teleflex, Inc.
- "The National Economic Outlook": A YLD 20/20 Program (Oct. 5)
- Each year, the YLD presents an educational program concerning topical issues, dubbed its "20/20" series. In 2010, this program featured Dr. Jason Faberman, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, who presented a national economic outlook with a review of the region.
- YLD Spotlight on Pro Bono Program (Oct. 22)
- The YLD kicked off National Pro Bono Week in Philadelphia on Oct. 22 with this free program co-hosted by the Bar Association's Delivery of Legal Services Committee and open to all attorneys interested in learning more about how to get involved in pro bono work. The program featured a panel of young lawyers sharing their experiences and lessons learned as pro bono volunteers.
- My First Federal Trial (Nov. 4)
- The YLD joined with the Bar Association's Federal Courts Committee to present this CLE on succeeding during one's first federal trial. Information included what to do in those last few hours before the trial, what to expect at the final pretrial conference, the mechanics of a trial, and what to do if trouble arises.
Social Events and Contests
- Networking Happy Hours
- Held almost every month, these events at various locations in Center City Philadelphia enabled professionals of all ages to get to know each other and build relationships.
- Family Event - Night at the Phillies (July 29)
- Each year, the YLD presents an event geared toward families. Past venues have included the Philadelphia Zoo and Sesame Place. In 2010, the YLD welcomed members and their children to a Phillies game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, preceded by a pre-game party at McFadden's at the Ballpark.
- Photography Contest (Summer 2010)
- The YLD welcomed submissions from all members of the Bar Association for "Eyes on the Environment," a summer photography contest in which the winner and runner-up received gift certificates to Ruth's Chris Steak House and had their images featured in The Philadelphia Lawyer, the Bar Association's magazine. The winner was John Rafferty, a member of the Class of 2012 at Villanova University School of Law, and the runner-up was Alyssa Saunders, a clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Michael M. Baylson.
The YLD publishes an American Bar Association award-winning weekly e-newsletter, the "YLD EZine," in which news on the Division as well as details on other events and initiatives pertinent to young attorneys is featured. In 2010, three original, monthly columns were added to the publication: an "Entertainment Corner," written by Aneesh Mehta; a "Tip of the Month" series written by Stephanie Mensing; and a "Pro Bono Corner" written by various professionals in the public interest sector and coordinated by Kelly Jo Gastley.
The YLD maintains a blog, PhiLAWdelphia, with eclectic content provided entirely by its members on a regular basis.
The YLD also spearheaded the Bar Association's foray into social media with its Facebook page, created in 2009. By the end of 2010, the page boasted more than 550 "likes" (or people that belong to the Facebook group).
The YLD will continue to present its extensive range of programming in 2011 as well as look to develop additional events geared toward helping law students and young attorneys succeed and thrive in the legal field.
5K Run/Walk Committee
The Philadelphia Bar Association 5K Run/Walk Committee produces, coordinates and directs the Bar Association's Annual 5K Run/Walk, a charitable event that provides financial support to the Support Center for Child Advocates to help provide legal assistance and social service advocacy for abused and neglected children. The 5K Run/Walk is one of the oldest continually run events in the history of the Bar Association as well as one of the oldest competitive runs in Philadelphia. 2010 marked its 31st year and over this time nearly $2 million has been raised for charity. The 2010 event had nearly 1,600 participants – including 46 legal teams and more than 500 students from Students Run Philly Style – and earned more than $10,000.
The co-directors of the Committee were Manny D. Pokotilow and and Eric S. Marzluf.
Meetings of the Committee took place at least once a month and plans are under way for the 32nd annual event, to be held May 15, on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Advancing Civics Education Committee
The Philadelphia Bar Association Advancing Civics Education (ACE) Committee organizes and runs the ACE program – an initiative that matches volunteer lawyers, law students and judges with Philadelphia public high schools to engage students in critical thinking about government, law and dispute resolution. The program complements the existing social studies curriculum.
The 2010 co-chairs of the ACE Committee were Jenimae Almquist of Lopez McHugh, LLP and Judge John M. Younge of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
In September 2009, the year's ACE program kicked off with a training program for new volunteers. From that point until the end of the 2009-2010 school year, approximately 80 volunteers visited Philadelphia-area high schools to teach the ACE curriculum. Lessons were improved for 2010 through the addition of a "toolbox" on the Philadelphia Bar Association website that enabled volunteers to pick and choose curriculum to teach on a monthly basis.
The ACE Committee also participated in Minority Law Day at the Temple University Beasley School of Law in May 2010, where a number of the ACE high school classrooms had the opportunity to act out mock disciplinary hearings concerning issues involving law and social media. Lastly, the Committee obtained a provisional grant of $10,000 from the state of Pennsylvania and has been refining ideas for how to design and implement a future ACE pilot program for 4th and 5th grades.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
The Philadelphia Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee addresses current issues of mediation, arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution processes. The Committee conducts educational programs for, and disseminates information to, the profession and the community-at-large relating to alternative dispute resolution as well as encourages a dialogue among lawyers on use of the appropriate process for effective dispute resolution. Legislation and rules regarding alternative dispute resolution are also proposed and monitored.
The chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee was Cassandra J. Georges of Above & Beyond Dispute Resolution.
2010 marked the debut of the Committee's ADR Summit, "2020: Our Vision of ADR in Philly." This inaugural event was held at Philadelphia Bar Association headquarters on Oct. 21 in collaboration with the Area Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution. The goal was to explore and inspire the growth of mediation, arbitration and other forms of ADR throughout the region by engaging a broad cross-section of participants, including judges, business leaders, attorneys and ADR providers. Philadelphia was compared to other vibrant ADR markets and ideas were shared about how to dramatically improve the appropriate use of ADR in our community. Also thanks to the Committee, the City of Philadelphia officially proclaimed Oct. 21 as Conflict Resolution Day.
During the final months of 2010, the ADR Committee planned to reconvene summit attendees to help make Philadelphia a true leader and global force in shaping the future of ADR.
Bar-News Media Committee
The Philadelphia Bar Association Bar-News Media Committee provides quality and diversified educational programs that address regional media opportunities, help build relationships between members of the bar and members of the media, and positively portray attorneys to the public. The Committee partners with the news media (including newspapers, magazines, radio, television and the Internet) to maintain valuable discussions, coordinate guest speakers and panel presentations, and present an annual continuing legal education (CLE) program on ethics and the news media.
The 2010 chair of the Committee was Gina Furia Rubel.
2010 Bar-News Media Committee Programming
How and When to Share Your Opinion with the Press – Submitting to Editorial Pages (April 22)
Panelists: Bernard Dagenais, editor of the Philadelphia Business Journal; Hank Grezlak, associate publisher and editor-in-chief of The Legal Intelligencer; Lisa Hostein, executive editor of The Jewish Exponent; Guy Petroziello, editorial page editor at The Bucks County Courier Times; and Irv Randolph, managing editor at The Philadelphia Tribune.
Meet the Legal Blawgers: An Insiders' Perspective on Connecting with the Legal Blogosphere (September 16)
Panelists: Jeff Blumenthal, staff writer at the Philadelphia Business Journal; Chris Brennan, a political writer at the Philadelphia Daily News; HughE Dillon, editor of PhillyChitChat.com and the Social Column at PhillyMag.com; Hank Grezlak, associate publisher and editor-in-chief at The Legal Intelligencer; Catherine Lucey, a staff reporter at the Philadelphia Daily News; and Saul Segan, Esq., a contributor at The Huffington Post.
Social Media and the Practice of Law (CLE Program) (Oct. 16)
Panelists: Gina F. Rubel, Esq., Furia Rubel Communications; Joseph A. Prim Jr., Philadelphia Bar Association Treasurer and a partner at Duca and Prim Esq.; Shelley R. Goldner, Esq.; a business law professor at LaSalle University; and Harold M. Goldner, Esq., an attorney at Kraut Harris, P.C.
Bar-News Media Committee programs have averaged approximately 50 attendees per event. Many are recorded for podcasting on the Bar Association's website, www.philadelphiabar.org. Some programs are also videotaped and made available on The Legal Intelligencer's website, www.law.com/pa. In an effort to cross-promote the programs and the Philadelphia Bar Association as a whole, the Committee partnered with the following organizations in 2010: Delaware Valley Law Firm Marketing Group; Legal Marketing Association Metropolitan Philadelphia Chapter; Philadelphia Public Relations Association; and Public Relations Society of America, Philadelphia Chapter.
Planned programs include: "The Mystique of the Pulitzer Prize" with Bill Marimow of The Philadelphia Inquirer; "Law & Reorder" with Deborah Epstein Henry; "Shut Up and Say Something: Conversing With the Media When the Stakes Are High" with Karen Friedman; and programs focusing on diversity in the media; reputation and message management in a crisis; leveling the playing field with blogs for solo to mid-size firms; the role of lawyers in the media from the editors' perspective; and cameras, social media and technology in the courtroom.
Charter and Bylaws Committee
The Philadelphia Bar Association Charter and Bylaws Committee regularly reviews the Bar Association's bylaws and makes recommendations to the Bar Association's Board of Governors for changes and improvements. Based on the Committee's review or on input from the Board or Members, the Committee drafts proposed bylaw amendments for approval of the Board and membership to reflect both substantive and procedural changes in the activities and structure of the Bar Association.
The 2010 co-chairs of the Committee were Lisa Washington, chief legal officer at Atlas Energy, Inc., and Bruce A. Franzel with Oxenburg & Franzel, P.C.
The following resolutions to approve recommended changes to the bylaws were presented by the Committee and approved by the Board of Governors in 2010:
- A change to Section 208 of the bylaws adding a seat on the Board of Governors for a representative of the deans of area law schools.
- A change to Section 602 of the bylaws establishing a requirement that no person may be appointed to serve as chair or vice-chair of the Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention without having first served during an election year as either a Commission member or as a trained investigator of the Judicial Commission.
- Changes to Sections 215 and 209 of the bylaws providing that vacancies in the Office of Secretary or Treasurer shall be filled by the Assistant Secretary or Assistant Treasurer, respectively.
All of these changes were subsequently approved by the membership. Additionally, non-substantive changes were made to Sections 208(A)(6)(a) and 700(C), which did not require membership approval.
City Policy Committee
The City Policy Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association serves as an informal liaison between the Philadelphia City Government in all of its forms (mayoral administration, City Council and the various city agencies) and the members of the Philadelphia Bar Association, as they are represented by the Board of Governors.
The Committee's work includes informing the members with regard to changes in significant city practices and procedures as well as serving as a "sounding board" for proposals for city policy action that affect the Bar Association and its members. The Committee also seeks to represent the Bar Association in city policy dialogues in order to promote the best interest of the Bar Association and its members. Moreover, when directed by the Board of Governors, and after due notice to the Bar, the Committee will make public statements on relevant subjects in the name of the Bar Association.
The 2010 co-chairs of the Committee were David L. Hyman and Denise J. Smyler.
The Committee hosted several meetings throughout the year featuring the following speakers:
- City Finance Director Rob Dubow, who presented on the city budget crisis.
- City Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez, who provided City Council's perspective on the city budget crisis.
- Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas President Judge Pamela Pryor Dembe, who spoke about the Family Court project and budgetary issues among a variety of subjects.
- Rep. John Taylor, Dave Davies (WHYY) and Tony Crisci, in a panel discussion involving post-election analysis focusing on implications of the changes in Harrisburg for Philadelphia.
In addition, the Committee facilitated a presentation by council members Bill Green and Maria Quiñones-Sanchez to relevant Bar Association leadership regarding their Tax Reform proposal.
Civil Gideon Task Force
Formed in 2009 by then-Chancellor Sayde J. Ladov, the mission of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Civil Gideon Task Force (Task Force) is to investigate and consider all aspects of an effective system of Civil Gideon in Philadelphia. This process includes the development of concrete and practicable proposals to advance the implementation of a civil right to counsel for low-income individuals in areas of adversarial civil proceedings where basic human needs are at stake. In a resolution adopted by the Philadelphia Bar Association's Board of Governors in April 2009, the Task Force was charged with examining Civil Gideon efforts underway in other states, developing strategies for implementing Civil Gideon in Philadelphia, and making recommendations in two areas of basic need: cases involving the potential loss of shelter and child custody.
The Philadelphia Bar Association's Board of Governors adopted the Task Force's Preliminary Report, Findings and Recommendations in November 2009, which endorsed the development of pilot projects in eviction and mortgage foreclosure defense and custody cases as well as the development of an education and communications plan to inform the legal and public community about the critical need to expand the right to counsel for low-income people faced with the threatened loss of these basic needs.
Chancellor Scott F. Cooper actively supported the Task Force in several reports to the Board of Governors in 2010, and hosted a Chancellor's Forum on Civil Gideon in July. In November 2010, the Association's Board of Governors adopted a resolution authorizing the continued work of the Task Force, building on its activities and initiatives set forth in the 2009 and 2010 Reports.
The 2010 co-chairs of the Task Force were Catherine C. Carr, executive director of Community Legal Services, and Joseph A. Sullivan, special counsel and director of pro bono programs at Pepper Hamilton LLP. The Task Force also formed three working groups in 2010 to recommend and implement strategies to expand the right to counsel. The Housing Working Group was co-chaired by Karen C. Buck, executive director of SeniorLAW Center, and Anita Santos Singh, executive director of Philadelphia Legal Assistance; the Family Working Group was co-chaired by Michael Viola, Shainberg & Viola, and Molly Callahan, legal center director for Women Against Abuse; and the Communications and Education Working Group was co-chaired by Rudolph Garcia, 2010 Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor-Elect, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC; Albert S. Dandridge III, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP; and Louis S. Rulli, University of Pennsylvania School of Law.
2010 Programming and Initiatives
The Task Force's Communications and Education Working Group planned several educational programs and activities designed to educate the legal community and public about the need for Civil Gideon.
A "standing-room-only" crowd gathered at the Philadelphia Bar Association on July 7 to participate in a Chancellor's Forum on Civil Gideon, featuring a keynote presentation by Russell Engler, Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Programs at New England Law|Boston and a national expert on Civil Gideon. Professor Engler reported on Civil Gideon efforts across the United States and discussed strategies to expand the civil right to counsel and access to justice in a time of economic crisis. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castile, many other jurists, and the co-chairs of the Task Force also participated in the program.
The Task Force also launched the Civil Gideon Corner, an online resource to help educate the legal community and public about the need for a civil right to counsel for low-income people in cases where critical human needs are at stake. The website includes an overview of the activities of the Task Force as well as studies, reports, information and resources about other nationwide efforts. Several educational articles highlighting the mission of the Task Force and its activities were also written by members of the Communications and Education Working Group in 2010. These articles, a podcast of the July 7 Chancellor's Forum, and other resources are available at the Civil Gideon Corner here: www.philadelphiabar.org/page/CivilGideon.
The leadership of the Civil Gideon Task Force also drafted and proposed a resolution to co-sponsor the American Bar Association's Resolutions Adopting the Proposed ABA Model Access Act and ABA Basic Principles of a Right to Counsel in Civil Legal Proceedings, which was approved by the Philadelphia Bar Association's Board of Governors in May. These resolutions were formally adopted by the American Bar Association in August 2010.
2010 Issues in the News that Affected the Task Force
The economic downturn, including the increase in unemployment rates as well as the reduction in funding for public interest legal organizations, continued to drastically increase the unmet civil legal needs of low-income people during 2010. According to U.S. census figures, Philadelphia is the nation's most impoverished big city among the country's 10 largest cities, where the poverty rate rose to 25 percent in 2009 from nearly 24 percent when the recession began in 2007. The number of households receiving food stamps in the city also increased from 82,085 in 2007 to 108,235 in 2009.
The Task Force will continue to focus on designing and promoting educational programs that inform the legal community and public about the need for Civil Gideon and in developing studies and conducting research to demonstrate the central importance of Civil Gideon to achieving genuine access to justice, as well as its wider community benefits.
The Task Force and its Family and Housing Working groups also plan to work more closely with the judiciary in 2011 to explore ways to improve access to justice for low-income people while continuing to pursue the exploration and implementation of strategies that will expand the right to counsel in cases involving the loss of shelter and custody.
Civil Rights Committee
The Civil Rights Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association is part of the Bar Association's larger Public Interest Section. The Committee's primary mission is to promote civil rights issues to its members and educate members and the public on emerging relevant and pressing civil and human rights matters that arise in the city, the state, nationally and internationally.
The 2010 chair of the Committee was Teresa M. Rodriguez, an attorney with Friends of Farmworkers, Inc.
Programming for the Civil Rights Committee in 2010 was as follows:
- Ordinary Injustice: How America Holds Court (April 13)
Panelists: Amy Bach
- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Bench: War Stories from Women in the Judiciary (May 14)
Panelists: Hon. Sandra Mazer-Moss, Hon. Angeles Roca, Hon. Cynthia M. Rufe and Hon. Norma L. Shapiro
- The Dangers of Stereotypes and Subconscious Bias: Does it Impact Your Success in the Courtroom? (June 17)
Panelists: Hon. Renee Caldwell Hughes, John S. Han, Vincent F. Regan, Scott W. Reid and Deborah Starr, Ph.D.
- Leave Immediately or Go to Jail: From Hazelton, PA to Arizona (June 24)
Panelists: Hon. Tony J. Payton, Judy Berstein-Baker, Carmen Guerrero, Robert Nix and Jan C. Ting
- Discovery in the Criminal Division of Philadelphia Municipal Court and the Court of Common Pleas (Oct. 15)
Panelists: Hon. Joseph J. O'Neill, Hon. Lillian H. Ransom, Jill J. Holden and David M. Walker
The Committee also co-sponsored the Dec. 15 Chancellor's Forum featuring remarks from Richard Negrin, Deputy Mayor of Administration & Coordination and Managing Director of the City of Philadelphia. It also prepared a resolution opposing anti-immigrant legislation such as Arizona S.B. 1070, House Bill No. 2479, Printer's No. 3715, and any similar legislation, which was unanimously adopted by the Bar Association's Board of Governors at a July 29, 2010 meeting.
Delivery of Legal Services Committee
For more than 35 years, the Delivery of Legal Services Committee (DLSC) of the Philadelphia Bar Association has provided a forum for leaders of the public interest legal community in Philadelphia to work collaboratively to advance access to justice for low-income, vulnerable and disenfranchised people and communities. In coordination with the Bar Association and its Public Interest Section, DLSC members strive to provide high-quality legal representation, advocate for systemic changes to reduce poverty and inequality, and work to shape a humane and safe society characterized by opportunity, financial stability, self-determination, liberty and justice for all.
No other metropolitan or state bar association has a comparable body that draws from so many constituencies within the organized bar for the benefit of the impoverished and disadvantaged, as well as nonprofits and service agencies. DLSC includes executive directors from more than 30 nonprofit public interest law firms as well as representatives from Philadelphia-area law schools operating public interest clinical programs, leaders of the Bar Association and the private bar, foundation directors, and others committed to expanding equal access to justice.
The 2010 co-chairs of DLSC were Karen C. Buck and Joseph Sullivan. DLSC member agencies include AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania; American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania; Community College of Philadelphia – Paralegal Program; Community Legal Services; Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project; Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania; Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University; Education Law Center – PA; Friends of Farmworkers; Face To Face Germantown; Good Shepherd Mediation Program; HIAS and Council Migration Service of Philadelphia; Homeless Advocacy Project; Independence Foundation; Jenkins Law Library; Juvenile Law Center; Legal Clinic for the Disabled; Mazzoni Legal Center; National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women; Nationalities Service Center; Pennsylvania Bar Association; Pennsylvania Capital Representation Project of the Philadelphia Federal Defender; Pennsylvania Health Law Project; Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center; Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project; Pennsylvania IOLTA Program; Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts; Philadelphia Bar Foundation; Philadelphia Legal Assistance; Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts; Philadelphia VIP; Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia; Regional Housing Legal Services; Rutgers-Camden Law School; SeniorLAW Center; Society Created to Reduce Urban Blight; Support Center for Child Advocates; Temple University Beasley School of Law; University of Pennsylvania Law School; Villanova University School of Law; Widener University School of Law; Women Against Abuse Legal Center; and Women's Law Project.
DLSC 2010 Programming
In addition to its monthly meetings, DLSC held a number of educational programs and special meetings to address critical and emerging issues and help build the capacity of its nonprofit members.
- The DLSC Resource Development Subcommittee planned a special meeting at the Philadelphia Foundation in March to discuss technology needs.
- A special DLSC Foundation Roundtable Discussion took place in March with representatives from the Pew Foundation, Philadelphia Foundation and Fels Foundation to explore collaborative projects.
- DLSC welcomed Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice and a nationally recognized expert on non-profits, in March to talk about critical issues impacting the nonprofit community.
- The DLSC's "Impact of the State Budget on Vulnerable Persons: Lessons Learned for the Budgets Ahead" program in May was co-hosted by the Public Interest Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association and featured a panel discussion on the impact of the state budget on health care, prisons, education and services for those with low incomes and people with disabilities. Panelists included Catherine Carr, Michael Churchill, Anthony L. Crisci, Angus Love, Mark Murphy, Ourania Papademetriou, Joseph A. Sullivan, Laval Miller Wilson and Michael Wood.
- DLSC and the Public Interest Section presented the annual Public Interest Law Day CLE Program, "Good News: Despite the Recession, We are Making Progress," on Dec. 9. Included were sessions on how the economic safety net has failed low-income advocates; updates on consumer law and the mortgage crisis; immigrants' rights in an intolerant era; and implementing health care reform.
DLSC 2010 Events
- DLSC held its third annual Retreat in June, a half-day program that was facilitated by Sharon Browning, executive director of Just Listening. The retreat focused on identifying and adopting strategies to further DLSC's overarching goals and priorities, which include exploring the feasibility of a more unified legal services delivery system in Philadelphia; raising the visibility and increasing the understanding of the impact of poverty and the work of the legal services community; and supporting leadership development.
- In celebration of the American Bar Association's 2010 Pro Bono Week, Oct. 25-29, DLSC's Pro Bono Subcommittee organized a number of pro bono recruitment events throughout Philadelphia and offered several pro bono training programs. DLSC joined with the Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association to present the kick off event for the celebration on Oct. 22 with a panel discussion that highlighted the pro bono experiences of young lawyers.
- DLSC also partnered with the Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association on several other events and initiatives to bolster the relationship between younger attorneys and the public interest legal community.
- Several DLSC member agencies (Community Legal Services, Philadelphia Legal Assistance, SeniorLAW Center, Philadelphia VIP and others) continued to be closely involved in the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program in 2010. Through the heartwarming stories of families whose homes have been saved by the Foreclosure Division Program, each DLSC agency fully realized collaboration is essential to the success of the Committee's work.
DLSC 2010 Initiatives
- DLSC members drafted, approved and proposed a resolution urging the restoration of SSI budget cuts, which was approved by the Philadelphia Bar Association's Board of Governors in February.
- Members of the DLSC joined with members of the Bar Association's Civil Rights Committee to draft, approve and propose a resolution opposing anti-immigration legislation, which was approved by the Board of Governors in July.
- DLSC unanimously approved a resolution regarding parole for juvenile offenders, which was proposed by the Public Interest Section and approved by Board of Governors in July.
- DLSC also unanimously approved a resolution opposing bills such as Pennsylvania HB 2189, which provided for the prosecution of teens for "sexting." The resolution was drafted and proposed by the Children's Rights Committee and approved by the Board of Governors in September.
DLSC working groups have been formed to implement the priorities identified at its 2010 Retreat. In addition to its regular slate of programming and meetings, DLSC plans to create new programs and activities in the coming year to implement its strategic priorities.
Federal Courts Committee
The Federal Courts Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association provides a forum for interaction between the federal judiciary and Committee members through educational and social programs.
The 2010 chair of the Committee was Grant S. Palmer; the vice-chair was Elizabeth A. Malloy.
The Committee hosted numerous panel discussions involving members of the federal bench, including programs on discovery issues, electronic discovery, and mediations and settlement conferences with the Court.
The Committee's most significant event of 2010 was the Federal Bench-Bar Conference on June 11 at the Grand Ballroom of The Rittenhouse Hotel. Attendees of the event heard from Philadelphia's District Attorney R. Seth Williams about the shift from a "horizontal prosecution method," in which prosecutors are assigned to a courtroom, to a "community-based prosecution method," in which prosecutors are assigned to a geographic region, and from judges of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania about the latest developments in paperless trials.
Fee Disputes Committee
The Fee Disputes Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association addresses disputes regarding the amount of fees charged by any member of the Bar Association in cases in which no unethical conduct is alleged. The Committee provides pro bono services, both arbitration and/or mediation, to help settle attorney-client disputes without resulting to litigation. For a nominal cost, the same service is offered to mediate and/or arbitrate attorney-attorney fee disputes.
The 2010 co-chairs of the Fee Disputes Committee were Linda F. Rosen and Shanese I. Johnson. The Committee met approximately every other month.
Fee Disputes Committee 2010 Programming
The Committee presented a three-hour program to inform and train mediators to expressly handle fee disputes on June 14. Cheryl Cutrona from Good Shepherd Mediation Services acted as the facilitator.
The Committee plans to develop a CLE program likely involving ethics of mediation and arbitration.
Insurance Programs Committee
The Insurance Programs Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association consists of members appointed by the Chancellor and is responsible for reviewing and monitoring the insurance programs offered through the Bar Association.
The 2010 co-chairs of the Committee were Carl (Hank) H. Delacato Jr. and Wesley R. Payne IV.
The Committee meets on a quarterly basis throughout the year and otherwise as needed.
In 2010, new health care laws and corresponding changes in the insurance industry kept the attention of the Committee throughout the year.
Intellectual Property Committee
The Intellectual Property (IP) Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association provides a forum open to all members of the Association for the discussion of current issues in IP law and how those issues affect the practice of IP law as well as other legal practices. The Committee follows and considers matters of policy in the IP area and makes recommendations on policy to the Board of Governors of the Association as appropriate.
The 2010 co-chairs of the Committee were Michael J. Berkowitz and Nicole D. Galli. The Committee has a number of working sub-committees, more than 100 members and meets regularly for business meetings, continuing legal education seminars, sub-committee activities and special events.
2010 IP Committee Programming
At a program presented by the IP Committee on June 8, former Chief Judge Paul R. Michel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit gave his first public remarks after his retirement from the bench. He explained one of the reasons he stepped down was to have more of an impact on public policy relating to innovation and economic advancement, even though he could have remained on the bench as a senior judge. Approximately 200 attended the event and 27 regional law firms acted as sponsors, as well as the Philadelphia Intellectual Property Law Association and the Benjamin Franklin American Inn of Court. The event was covered by The Legal Intelligencer.
In addition to its bi-monthly business meetings, the Committee held several CLE events in 2010, including seminars on patent law reform (which addressed pending litigation in Congress – a matter of significant national debate), cloud computing, patent damages, and the use of licensing and co-existence agreements for settling trademark disputes. All were well received.
The Committee's Women in IP Subcommittee was also active, hosting several meetings with speakers that were well attended. A special event took place in the fall – the CLE "Negotiating with Confidence" featuring Harrie Samaras and Judy W. Weintraub on Oct. 13.
The Committee will continue meeting monthly, alternating between CLE and business meetings. Its Women in IP Subcommittee will continue to meet as well. In addition, the Committee is studying a number of legislative initiatives and other matters in the intellectual property area that may be worthy of a resolution to present to the Board of Governors.
Finally, the Committee will continue its membership outreach, specifically targeting in-house IP lawyers and law students, as well as other lawyers in the legal community.
International Law Committee
The International Law Committee (ILC) of the Philadelphia Bar Association holds educational seminars; brings in guest speakers who practice international law, organizes panels for discussion of current international legal issues that impact Philadelphia and Pennsylvania; sponsors an exchange program between lawyers from Philadelphia and Lyon, France; and holds an annual reception to present an award in international law and human rights for visiting international LLM students.
The 2010 chair of the Committee was Jeremy Heep. Michael Considine chaired the newly created subcommittee, International Business Initiative, with the purpose of stimulating and facilitating international business in the Philadelphia area.
The Committee and Subcommittee met approximately once per month.
- Joint Meeting of International Law and Franchise Law Committees. Visiting Italian lawyer Alessandro Barzaghi spoke on the "EU Bolkestein Directive: How it Affects Retail and Franchising."
- Matthew H. Adler, chair of the International Litigation and Arbitration Practice Group at Pepper Hamilton LLP, spoke on "Differences in Enforcement Between International Judgments and International Arbitration Awards."
The ILC held approximately eight events, usually featuring guest speakers from international organizations or businesses in and around Philadelphia, including:
- Linda Conlin from the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia on promoting international business in the Philadelphia area.
- George P. Sfedu, Honorary Consul General of Romania in Philadelphia, about his experience in global trade and how he helps Romanian companies in the region.
- Dominic V. O'Brien and Gregory Iannarelli of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, about the Port of Philadelphia and their experience in global trade and interaction with shippers and companies.
The ILC also continued to sponsor the exchange program with Lyon, France and hosted international visitors from the Lyon Bar Association.
Receptions and Ceremonies
The ILC held two significant receptions and award ceremonies in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Temple University Beasley School of Law, one in the spring and one in the fall, both to honor the visiting international LLM students. At each ceremony, an award was presented to a student with outstanding achievements in international law and human rights.
In 2011, the ILC has planned an exciting calendar of events that includes visiting speakers, CLE presentations, hosting a visiting lawyer from Lyon, and collaborating with area law schools in programs and debates. The Hon. Michael Scullin, Esq., will rejoin his role as co-chair, and the International Business Initiative Subcommittee will continue to hold its monthly meetings featuring guest speakers.
LGBT Rights Committee
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Rights Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association addresses issues that are of importance to LGBT people in the legal profession. As part of its work, the Committee considers, investigates and makes recommendations to the Board of Governors on matters relating to the recognition and protection of the legal rights of LGBT people and their families, monitors relevant conditions and trends in the law and the treatment of LGBT people in the legal profession, and conducts educational programs and seminars, both independently and in conjunction with the other Committees and Sections of the Bar Association as well as with other organizations concerned with such rights.
The 2010 co-chairs of the Committee were Lawrence S. Felzer and Romola Lucas.
In 2010, the Committee is most proud of its resolution that was presented to and passed by the Board of Governors "supporting an amendment to Pennsylvania's ‘hate crimes' law (the Ethnic Intimidation and Institutional Vandalism Act)."
It is discouraging that in Pennsylvania, LGBT individuals remain unprotected by state anti-discrimination and hate crimes law, and the Committee is ecstatic the Board of Governors recognized this huge discrepancy. A common misconception among the public is there is already a federal or state law protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination in employment and public accommodations. With a number of suicides caused by bullying in schools and the outing of a college student (in New Jersey) having occurred in 2010, the need for inclusion of LGBT individuals in hate crimes law is needed more than ever.
The committee met on a monthly basis (usually the first Friday of the month) at the Bar Association offices.
The Committee's co-chairs have also been involved in representing the Committee at other Philadelphia Bar Association meetings and events, as well as other joining groups that represent diverse legal professionals.
Labor and Employment Committee
The mission of the Labor and Employment Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association is to educate members on developing areas of the law and to remain abreast of new case law affecting labor and employment issues. The Committee also offers in-depth discussions of topics of particular interest to labor and employment practitioners, in-house counsel and human resources personnel.
The 2010 co-chairs of the Committee were Sidney L. Gold and Kelly Dobbs Bunting. The Committee met on six occasions during the year, as well as co-sponsoring the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's 45th Anniversary Celebration at the National Constitution Center.
Labor and Employment Committee 2010 Programming
The Labor and Employment Committee presented several lunch programs in 2010, including: "Workplace Investigations" by Michael Torchia; "LGBT Employees in the Workplace" by Katie Eyer; and "Labor Relations" by Vincent Candellio.
The Committee also presented a panel discussion on "Trends and Issues in Wage and Hour Law" featuring Tina Tellado and Michele Malloy providing defense counsel's view of wage and hour litigation and Jerry Wells and Shanon Carson providing counsel for plaintiff's view.
The Committee's most popular presentation was a mock oral argument on a defendant's summary judgment motion in a sexual discrimination and retaliation case. The case was argued in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the Federal Courthouse before the U.S. District Court Judge Cynthia M. Rufe.
In response to the Obama Administration's increased focus on labor and employment issues, the Committee has presented programs dealing with changes in the Americans with Disabilities Act, new rules from Congress that negated U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and the increased power of administrative agencies such as the EEOC.
In the future, the Committee is planning to present a mock motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent an employee who has allegedly stolen his former employer's trade secrets from going to work for a competitor. The Committee plans to have the mock motion argued before and decided by a federal judge, and hopes to involve young lawyers and law students in the presentation.
Law School Outreach Committee
The Law School Outreach Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Public Interest Section is comprised of public interest and pro bono coordinators at the area law schools, including Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University, Penn State Dickinson School of Law, Rutgers School of Law – Camden, Temple University Beasley School of Law, Villanova University School of Law and Widener University School of Law. The Committee's mission is to increase the visibility of the public interest community and public interest work to law students during the academic year and summers. The Committee also works to bring more pro bono opportunities to students, and often collaborates to accomplish this.
Law School Outreach Committee 2010 Programming
- Summer Brown Bag Series: Nine weeks of programming for law students who have spent Summer 2010 working at public interest and government agencies in Philadelphia. Programs included a panel on Post Graduate Fellowships, Government and Criminal Work and an informal Table Talk session with representatives of agencies from the area's public interest organizations. Many discussions revolved around topical events: the struggling economy, legislation involving immigration, the incarceration debate and health care reform. Other sessions featured representatives from agencies speaking on issues such as change through policy work; making pro bono part of one's career; hot topics in direct service; hot topics in immigration rights; impact litigation; and systems advocacy.
- Summer Bus Tour: Sponsored by area law schools and coordinated by Community Legal Services, this bus tour took law students to the neighborhoods of the clients they served and introduced the students to various community-based initiatives affecting these clients.
- Supervision to Aid Re-Entry (STAR) Program: With help from the Committee, local law school students provided intake service to participants in the STAR program, a federal reentry court program for Philadelphia residents on supervised release from prison.
Law School Outreach Committee 2010 Events
- Public Interest/Public Service (PIPS) Job Fair Reception: Held in February before the annual PIPS Job Fair, the reception provided an opportunity for law students, public interest attorneys and public service attorneys to network. This year's event was held at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.
- Summer Reception: Held in July and hosted by Duffy + Partners, the reception provided an opportunity to celebrate the work of law students spending their summer in public interest and public service organizations in Philadelphia.
- Law Student Pro Bono Award: Given annually at the Philadelphia Bar Association's June Quarterly Meeting, this award recognizes the significant pro bono contributions of graduating law students from each of the area's schools.
- Law Student Award: Given annually at the Public Interest Reception in December to current third-year students at each of the area's law schools.
Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) Committee
The Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association oversees the operation of the Association's Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) and the Low Fee Plan, the Association's Modest Means program. Its mission is to provide persons in need of legal representation with referrals to attorneys qualified to provide appropriate legal assistance.
The Committee is both a service to the community and a means of business development for the Association's member lawyers. As such, it is one of the leading revenue sources for the Association.
The Committee reviews advertising options for LRIS, establishes standards that attorneys must meet to accept referrals through the service, monitors the enforcement of payment of funds owed by panel attorneys to the service, resolves complaints filed by clients against attorneys referred through the service, ensures that the legal needs of the Philadelphia community are being met through appropriate referrals, and performs other duties as necessary to maintain the high quality of LRIS.
The Committee consists of nine members, three of whom are appointed by the Association's Chancellor each year to serve a three-year term. The 2010 co-chairs of the Committee were Scott A. Mayer and James A. Francis.
The ongoing economic crisis has resulted in LRIS shifting its advertising emphasis to those areas of the law that are in higher demand in a down economy. Because of these adaptations, LRIS, through its more than 28,000 contacts with the public, remains in the forefront of helping those with legal problems find solutions that allow them to bring stability into their lives, maintain safe and sound places to live and keep families intact.
The Committee is in the process of completely overhauling the Low Fee Plan in order to properly manage the expectations of clients and to clarify the parameters of services provided to moderately low income clients for significantly reduced fees. The Committee anticipates this process to be completed in 2011.
Legal Rights of Children Committee
The Legal Rights of Children Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Public Interest Section was created to provide members of the Section with a forum for addressing the unique needs of children in our court system. The Committee is made up of individuals from the defense, prosecution, judicial and family advocacy communities.
The 2010 co-chairs of the Committee were George Mosee, deputy district attorney, Juvenile Division, and Riya Saha Shah, staff attorney, Juvenile Law Center.
The Committee met on a quarterly basis.
- "Child Welfare Legislative Update," with special guest speaker Jennifer Pokempner of the Juvenile Law Center (July 14)
- Truancy Discussion featuring Judge Ann M. Butchart of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Family Division (Oct. 12)
- Roberta Trombetta, Esq., Chief of Dependent Operations for Philadelphia Family Court, updated the Committee about the court's truancy reduction efforts (Dec. 13).
In the News
The Luzerne County judicial corruption scandal prompted much discussion on the right to counsel and the legislative recommendations made by the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice.
The release of the African-American and Latino Male Dropout Taskforce Report also promoted discussion of school issues, including dropout and truancy.
On Sept. 30, the Bar Association's Board of Governors passed a resolution opposing bills such as House Bill 2189, Printers no. 4008, Providing for the Prosecution of Teens for "Sexting."
Legislative Liaison Committee
The Legislative Liaison Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association brings to the attention of Bar Association officers, Board of Governors, Divisions, Sections, Committees and members various federal, state and local legislative and administrative matters of import; serves as the liaison between the legislative counsel of the Association and the Divisions, Sections and Committees on such matters; and monitors the status of such matters.
The 2010 co-chairs of the Committee were Wendy Beetlestone and Pedro Ramos.
The members of the Committee tend to be from the leadership of other Divisions, Sections and chairs of the Bar Association.
The Committee held regular meetings that included the monitoring and analysis of significant legislative developments. Developments were brought to the attention of Bar Association leadership and action was taken with respect to state budget and legislative initiatives as appropriate. These meetings were critical in providing Bar Association leadership information about legislative developments in Harrisburg that may affect their constituents. The information the Committee receives and discusses at the meeting is often elevated to the top levels of the Bar Association for action and discussion.
In 2010, the financial difficulties of Pennsylvania and the delayed budgeting process in Harrisburg had the potential to have, and on occasion did have, a significant negative impact on various Bar Association constituents. As always, the Committee will continue to monitor developments in 2011 and beyond.
Military Affairs Committee
The Military Affairs Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association provides pro bono legal services and educational services to military members and their families.
The 2010 chair of the Committee was Wesley R. Payne IV. The Committee met on a quarterly basis.
On Veterans' Day, in conjunction with the National Constitution Center, the Committee provided a free legal clinic. Several Committee members volunteered as mentors for the Philadelphia Veterans' Court Program and have offered to represent former service members on a pro bono basis. In one particular instance, a veteran of Vietnam was down on his luck and needed assistance in reviewing his lease. A volunteer attorney reviewed the lease and noticed several issues, saving the veteran a significant amount of money on the lease and his taxes.
The Committee would like to increase its membership with attorneys from various practice areas so that it may offer more pro bono services in conjunction with the Philadelphia Veterans' Court Program.
Minorities in the Profession Committee
The mission of the Minorities in the Profession Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association is to address matters that involve the achievement and maintenance of equal rights for attorneys who are members of minority groups who wish to practice law in the Philadelphia area. The Committee may monitor existing conditions and trends through the conduct of seminars and other programs as well as survey employees, employers and their employment policies on a periodic basis. The Committee may also examine business opportunities for attorneys who are members of minority groups and make appropriate recommendations for action to the Board.
In 2011, the Committee was renamed the Diversity in the Profession Committee so as to reflect the diversity and inclusiveness of its members. The newly envisioned Committee is a collective of minority and affinity bar association presidents who serve as ex-officio members for a term of one year. The Committee is a "unifier" of the local minority and affinity bar associations and encourage's collaboration on shared goals and interests.
Professional Guidance Committee
The Philadelphia Bar Association Professional Guidance Committee renders individual guidance through a Guidance Hotline open to callers with applicable inquires and also via formal opinions rendered by the Committee. Telephone opinions are rendered in house by the Bar Association's Assistant Executive Director Paul Kazaras, Esq., counsel to the Committee. The Committee has existed in its present structure since 1987 and the hotline handles approximately 350 to 400 calls per year. The Committee issued close to 20 formal opinions in 2010, all of which, unless non-publication is requested by the inquirer, are posted on the Bar Association's website and are available through the ABA/BNA Lawyers Manual on Professional Conduct as well as Westlaw.
The Committee operates under the cloak of confidentiality and the attorney-client privilege. While some issues posed are quite compelling, care is taken to avoid revealing any facts, which could identify the individuals involved.
For the third straight year, the 2010 Committee co-chairs were Hope A. Comisky, a partner and professional responsibility counsel at Pepper Hamilton, LLP, and Kimberly S. Ingersoll, a partner at Abrams and Ingersoll, LLP. Except in August, the Committee met on a monthly basis.
The American Bar Association 20/20 Commission is focusing in part on issues regarding the Internet and social media in ethics. Reflecting the concerns of practicing attorneys, the Philadelphia Bar Association Professional Guidance Committee has been addressing these specific concerns for quite some time. In 2010, the Committee took the lead in issuing opinions on these matters and, for its efforts, was mentioned at both the American Bar Association's Annual Meeting in San Francisco as well as at a National Defenders Program in Miami, Florida. A particularly notable opinion on the subject was 2010-6, regarding the use of electronic communications in solicitation of clients.
The Committee is a vital resource for attorneys throughout Pennsylvania and membership in the Philadelphia Bar Association helps to support the services it offers (particularly the hotline advice component). The Committee will continue to serve attorneys on a completely confidential basis.
Professional Responsibility Committee
The Philadelphia Bar Association Professional Responsibility Committee functions to comment on matters of policy regarding ethics and professional responsibility and suggests positions to be taken by the Philadelphia Bar Association when required.
In 2009 and 2010, the Committee was co-chaired by Hope A. Comisky, a partner and professional responsibility counsel at Pepper Hamilton, LLP and Barbara S. Rosenberg, Esq., a solo practitioner who for many years was disciplinary counsel for the Disciplinary Board.
The Committee presented a CLE on the dangers and issues caused by Internet document storage and access as well as the various concerns raised by ongoing technological advances in September.
The Committee presented "Civility-Nice Guys and Gals Do Not Finish Last," a CLE addressing the adoption of the PA Civility Code and cases decided citing the code, at the Bar Association's Bench-Bar and Annual Conference in Atlantic City in October.
For the past several years, the Committee has focused on CLE programs to assist practitioners in obtaining practical advice on how to avoid problems caused by technology as well as how to use technology to the practitioner's advantage. This is an ongoing issue and will continue to be a primary focus of the Committee for next year.
Senior Lawyers Professional & Public Service Committee
The mission of the Senior Lawyers Professional & Public Service Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association is to provide assistance and service to the courts, the Bar Association and the public, while finding useful outlets for the wisdom and experience of senior members of the Philadelphia Bar; provide assistance to senior lawyers, their clients and families, in dealing with issues such as retirement, illness or death; and provide opportunities for camaraderie and exchange of views among senior members of the Bar Association.
The 2010 chair of the Committee was M. Melvin Shralow.
In pursuit of the Committee's mission, it has established several subcommittees, all of which have been active in involving Committee members in service to the courts, the profession and the public.
- The Common Pleas Panel provides Judges Pro Tem to the Complex Litigation Center of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania for the purpose of conducting settlement conferences, primarily in cases on appeal to a trial de novo from mandatory arbitration. This volunteer panel, which consists of approximately 50 members, conducts up to 30 conferences a week in appeal cases and some major trial list cases. The program, run under the supervision of Judge Sandra Mazer Moss, has received frequent statements of appreciation for having assisted in eliminating the backlog that had existed and in keeping the list of cases current.
- The Victims of Crime Subcommittee provides assistance to victims of crime and their families in understanding and enduring the process involved in dealing with the criminal justice system. With the retirement of the longstanding district attorney and the election of her successor, the reorganization of the District Attorney's Office has created a delay in our interaction with that office. Our subcommittee chair has had a meeting with a representative of the District Attorney and is actively pursuing reestablishment of the program.
- Committee of Seventy: The Committee's members provide assistance to the Committee of Seventy in rendering assistance to voters in disputes that arise in the course of elections.
- Mentoring Young Lawyers: Members of the Committee are connected with young lawyers through the Philadelphia Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division and confer with them about the many issues younger lawyers face but are reluctant or unable to raise with more senior lawyers in their firms.
- Assistance to the Disabled: Over the course of the year, the Committee receives requests from the families of incapacitated or deceased lawyers for assistance in dealing with the cases and clients whose matters need attention. The process usually involves creating an inventory of open matters and finding active members of the bar who will undertake dealing with files in their respective areas of practice.
In one such case in 2010, the Committee was contacted by an attorney on the staff of Disciplinary Counsel to help with the files of a lawyer who was hospitalized on a long-term basis. The chair of this subcommittee spent several days and many hours going through the piles of files throughout the lawyer's office and compiling a list that the staff of Disciplinary Counsel then undertook to transfer to active lawyers.
- Social Activities: Camaraderie among Committee members occurs at the annual cocktail party the Bar Association sponsors, at Committee meetings that are well attended and give the members the opportunity to chat with each other, and through the activities that members engage in with each other. The spirit of giving service to the courts, colleagues and members of the public is highly invigorating and infuses Committee gatherings with energy and good will.
The Committee is grateful to the Bar Association for the support it gives to its members and activities and welcomes suggestions for additional areas in which it can be of service in pursuit of its mission.
Social Security Disability Committee
The mission of the Social Security Disability Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association is to provide members of the Social Security Disability bar with information about current trends and important happenings in this specific area of practice.
The 2010 co-chairs of the Committee were Jeffrey S. Lichtman and Sanjuanita González. Led by these co-chairs, the Committee was instrumental in helping Philadelphia become one of the leading areas in the country where practitioners make use of the electronic processes available for filing applications and appeals, submitting evidence, and accessing applicants' case folders online.
The Committee's most significant programs of 2010 involved representatives from the Social Security Administration (SSA) addressing issues that have direct bearing on Social Security Disability practice, including the three local hearing office chief administrative law judges and hearing office directors, the SSA area director for the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area, representatives of the Office of General Counsel, the Philadelphia Payment Center and district office managers.
The Committee's most significant event of 2010 was the mass registration of representatives for online access to electronic folders posted at the regional office of the SSA on Aug. 19. With the assistance of our committee, SSA did register more than 150 representatives for this service, which was the largest such event in the country.
The Committee also joined in the sponsoring of the Resolution Opposing Cuts to State Supplemental Payments (SSP) for Vulnerable Pennsylvanians, adopted on March 2.
The 2010 co-chairs plan on maintaining the close working relationship developed with the Area Director's Office for Region 1, which representatives of the SSA have told them is being considered groundbreaking and unique by the SSA. SSA is not used to representatives working with them rather than against them, and evidently has learned a lot by listening to the issues the Committee has raised with regard to communication and other issues involving its practices and clients, all of whom the SSA considers "stakeholders."
The Committee will continue to meet with hearing office and district office management and also will be looking to host mental health centers in a tutorial about the release of mental health records, which has been a particular problem over the years for practitioners.
Women in the Profession Committee
The Philadelphia Bar Association's Women in the Profession Committee was created to address the needs and interests of women lawyers in their professional and personal lives; monitors existing conditions and trends regarding women in the law; conduct special programs; and make recommendations that aid in the achievement of the Committee's goals.
The 2010 co-chairs of the Committee were Nikki Johnson-Huston and Kimberly Ruch-Alegant. The Committee met the last Tuesday of every month except in August and December.
2010 Programming and Events
- Women Lawyers and the Recession (Jan. 26)
- Women and Leadership (Feb. 23)
- Alternative Non-Legal Careers for Women Lawyers (March 30)
- Be Your Own Advocate (April 27)
- The Philadelphia Trial Lawyers' Diversity Initiative: From Goals to Gains (a jointly created program with the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association and the Women in the Profession Committee, May 6)
- Embracing Gender in Dispute Resolution (May 25)
- Third Annual Women in the Profession Summit: 21st Century Issues for the 21st Century Woman (a 4.5 credit CLE, June 16). Topics included:
- Women Lawyers & Social Media (Ethics, Privacy and Social Media)
- The Women of E-Discovery
- Ethical Challenges Facing Judges – Do They Differ for Women?
- Each year, the Committee awards its Sandra Day O'Connor Award to a woman attorney who has demonstrated superior legal talent, achieved significant legal accomplishments and has furthered the advancement of women in both the profession and the community. In 2010, the recipient was Stephanie Resnick, chair of the Litigation Department at Fox Rothschild LLP and chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Board of Governors in 2008. The presentation took place at the Bar Association's June 28 Quarterly Meeting.
- How Do We Eliminate the Income Gap (July 27)
- Judge Jeanine Pirro, host of The CW Philly television program "Judge Pirro," discussed issues confronting women in the legal field and weighed in on today's legal headlines. (Sept. 8)
- Women and Politics (Sept. 28), featuring The Hon. Marjorie Margolies, former Congresswoman from Montgomery County; Hon. Marian B. Tasco, Philadelphia City Council, District 9; Hon. Anne E. Lazarus, Superior Court of Pennsylvania; Hon. Sheila Woods-Skipper, Supervising Judge - Criminal Division, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas; Hon. Lillian Harris Ransom, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas; and Hon. Ida K. Chen, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Family Court Division.
- Sandra Day O'Connor Award winners from each of the last five years shared their secrets of success in their legal careers (October 26), featuring Stephanie Resnick, Fox Rothschild LLP; Dean JoAnne A. Epps, Temple University Beasley School of Law; Roberta D. Liebenberg, Fine Kaplan & Black; Lynn A. Marks, executive director, Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts; and Roberta D. Pichini, Feldman, Shepherd, Wohlgelernter, Tanner, Weinstock & Dodig.
- The panel discussed business development, achieving partnership, following a career path, being proactive in your career, making a difference and mentoring.
- Pathways to Leadership (Nov. 30): Past women Chancellors of the Bar Association joined the Committee for a discussion on effective leadership skills for women, how to promote yourself and your accomplishments, how to pursue your goals and how to pursue leadership positions within the Bar Association. Speakers were: Deborah R. Willig, Willig Williams & Davidson; Doreen S. Davis, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP; Audrey C. Talley, Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP; Jane Leslie Dalton, Duane Morris LLP; and Kathleen D. Wilkinson, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP (2010 Bar Association Vice-Chancellor Elect). Sayde J. Ladov, Dolchin, Slotkin & Todd, P.C. who was unable to attend, was also recognized at the event.
The Committee plans to establish a subcommittee that will meet and make "best practices" recommendations for how the pay disparity between male and female partners in law firms can be eliminated.
Women's Rights Committee
The Women's Rights Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association addresses the legal needs and rights of women on a local, state, federal and international level. In particular, the Committee focuses on such important issues as reproductive rights, domestic abuse and equality in the justice system. The Committee monitors legislation and offers educational programs involving women's rights.
The 2010 co-chairs of the Committee were Mindee J. Reuben and Sharon C. Caffrey.
- "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Bench: War Stories from Women in the Judiciary," featuring the Honorable Norma L. Shapiro, the Hon. Cynthia M. Rufe, the Hon. Sandra Mazer Moss and the Hon. Angeles Roca.
- "The State of Women's Rights," presented by Carol E. Tracy, executive director of the Women's Law Project, on Sept. 15.
- "Vision 2020 – Opening a Dialogue to Advance Gender Equality," presented by Catherine Omerod, Project Director of Vision 2020, on Nov. 17.
- New Image Residential Women's and Children's Program Holiday Outreach Project, December 2010.
Time Capsule 2010
The Bar Association's work in 2010 occurred amidst local, national and world events. The following were some of the major headlines and people who helped define our work in 2010.
- Haitian earthquake
- A catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck 16 miles west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, on Jan. 12. The Haitian government reported that an estimated 316,000 people died, 300,000 were injured and 1,000,000 made homeless.
- Chilean Mining accident
- The Copiapó, Chile mining accident began as a cave-in on Aug. 5 at the San Jose copper-gold mine in the Atacama Desert. All 33 trapped men were rescued and brought to the surface on October 13 over a period of almost 24 hours.
- Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, Icelandic volcano
- BP/Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the worst in U.S. history
- An explosion on BP's drilling rig Deepwater Horizon killed 11 workers on April 20. In the aftermath of the explosion, the $560 million rig sank and a five-mile-long oil slick formed. A leak of 1,000 barrels of oil a day was detected by the U.S. Coast Guard on April 25. Efforts to stop the leak continued for months until it was finally capped on July 15.
- Arizona immigration legislation
- Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona signed the nation's toughest bill on illegal immigration into law on April 23. The bill made the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and gave the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. Many denounced the move, calling it an open invitation for harassment and discrimination against Hispanics regardless of their citizenship status.
- Ground Zero Mosque controversy
- Plans to build a "monster mosque" in a building damaged by the fuselage of a jet flown into the World Trade Center on 9/11 stirred a heated debate throughout the nation. Some supported the house of worship, championing religious freedom and tolerance, while others thought the move would disgrace victims of the tragedy and was in general poor taste.
- General News
- Completion of new South Street Bridge
- Opened on Nov. 6, the new bridge - which includes on- and off-ramps to the Schuylkill Expressway – was the culmination of a $67 million reconstruction project and balances the needs of drivers, bikers and pedestrians.
- Duck boat disaster on Delaware River
- A tourist boat shaped like a duck carrying 37 people was struck by a barge on the Delaware River on July 7. Two Hungarian tourists were tragically killed.
- Lower Merion laptop spying controversy
- A Lower Merion High School student accused the school district of using remote tracking technology on school-issued laptops to spy on him inside his home. In the end, the district agreed to pay $610,000 to settle two students' lawsuits after admitting it captured thousands of webcam photographs and screen shots from laptops in a misguided effort to locate missing computers.
- Record snow
- Philadelphia endured its snowiest winter ever with more than 78 inches; its average was 19.
- Philadelphia became the largest U.S. city with a casino when SugarHouse opened in September.
- New Family Court building
- For years, the Philadelphia Bar Association advocated for a new, unified Family Court building. In 2009, then-Chancellor Sayde J. Ladov founded the Ad-Hoc Family Law Construction Committee – which included representatives from the courts, the District Attorney's Office, the private bar, court reform advocates, architects and others – to create a blueprint to help ensure the ultimate success of the project. Controversy on who would develop the building and its design delayed the project, but in early 2011 The Philadelphia Inquirer reported construction would move forward under newly elected Gov. Tom Corbett at a cost below the expected $200 million. This was terrific news for all city residents dealing with divorce, custody and juvenile matters, who had long endured the outmoded, overcrowded and unsafe conditions of the prior Family Court facility.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer series on Philadelphia's criminal justice system spurs changes
- The Inquirer's "Justice: Delayed, Dismissed, Denied" investigative series on shortcomings plaguing Philadelphia's criminal justice system spurred major changes, including a crackdown on witness intimidation and increased and aggressive efforts to collect bail debt.
- Cutbacks on entry-level hiring at Philadelphia law firms
- At least six of the city's 20 largest firms cancelled summer associate programs.
- A survey conducted by the Philadelphia Business Journal of local law firms found that among the 11 respondents that had summer programs in 2009 and 2010, hiring was down 46 percent.
- Mayor of Philadelphia: Michael A. Nutter
- Governor of Pennsylvania: Edward G. Rendell
- Premiere of HBO series "Boardwalk Empire"
- Set in Atlantic City, N.J. in the Prohibition Era, "Boardwalk Empire" stars Steve Buscemi as Enoch "Nucky" Thompson, the corrupt treasurer of Atlantic County who, with the help of mobsters, politicians and policemen, orchestrates the availability of illegal alcohol in Atlantic City.
- Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
- The most expensive Broadway production in history with the longest preview period, "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" is a rock musical with music and lyrics by U2's Bono and The Edge. It is based on a book by Julie Taymor and Glen Berger.
- Justin Bieber fever
- Justin Bieber became a pop-singing sensation in 2010 at just 16 years old. Fans young and old flocked to his concerts and appearances, similar to the reaction The Beatles received upon their debut.
- Academy Award winners
- Best Film: "The King's Speech"
- Best Director: Tom Hooper, "The King's Speech"
- Best Actor: Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"
- Best Actress: Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"
- Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, "The Fighter"
- Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, "The Fighter"
- Healthcare reform ("Obamacare")
- Economic woes continue
- Rise of the Tea Party
- Midterm Elections
- American voters turned control of the U.S. House of Representatives over to Republicans, giving the party a majority there for the first time since 2006.
- John Boehner (R-OH) replaced Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House
- Pennsylvania General Elections
- Pat Toomey (R) beat out Joe Sestak (D) for U.S. Senate
- Tom Corbett (R) beat out Dan Onorato (D) for Governor
- iPad and tablet computers
- 3D movies
- Growth of social media (Facebook, Twitter, "The Social Network")
- Philadelphia Flyers reach Stanley Cup Finals (lost to Chicago Blackhawks in six games)
- Philadelphia Phillies reach National League Championship Series (lost to San Francisco Giants – the eventual 2010 World Series champions – in six games)
- Behind a resurrected Michael Vick, the Philadelphia Eagles won the NFC East, but lost in the wild card round to the Green Bay Packers.
- Philadelphia's professional soccer team, the Union, played its first season, finishing 8-15-7.
- World Cup won by Spain