Feb. 1, 2021 | Vol. 22, No. 5
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 

Snow Emergency -- Courts Closing, Monday Feb. 1


From President Judge Idee C. Fox:

Please be advised that due to the snow emergency the First Judicial District is announcing that all Courts are closed Monday, February 1, 2021. The Philadelphia Municipal Arraignments Court for Bail Hearings and the Emergency Protection From Abuse Unit will remain open.

Philadelphia Bar Association Offices Closed Feb. 1 Due to Inclement Weather

The Philadelphia Bar Association offices will be closed on Monday, Feb. 1, due to inclement weather conditions. Please be safe.


News

Time to Renew

We're your source for timely updates from the courts

Things are changing – fast.

That goes for all aspects of our lives, and the Philadelphia courts are no exception. As the courts continue to respond to COVID-19, policies and procedures have had to be adjusted, trials have been delayed and courtroom assignments shifted around.

When these announcements come out, we make sure you're among the first to know. Continue to stay informed by joining or renewing your membership today.

From the pandemic's inception to now, we've made these updates a priority because we know that they have immediate and significant impact on your life and your career.

It's all part of our mission to be your partner in the practice of law in Philadelphia.

Be a part of a community you can trust.

Join or Renew Today


Action Alert Protect Judicial Independence Stop House Bill 38

Take Action to Protect Judicial Independence: Stop House Bill 38

The independence of Pennsylvania's judiciary is at risk. Here's what you need to know - and what you can do.

We need your help to fight pending legislation that would threaten that independence and disenfranchise Pennsylvania voters.

Take Our Survey

We want to learn more about what you value about the Philadelphia Bar Association. We are conducting a short survey to learn what our Association can do to help you, and what types of activities, benefits and services you feel are important.

To take the survey, simply click on the URL provided below. Alternatively, you may copy the URL below into your web browser.

https://surveys.intelliscaninc.net/s3/PHLBar2021

The survey is hosted by Intelliscan, Inc. and the company is extremely sensitive about protecting your privacy. All data will be reported in aggregate and your responses will remain strictly confidential. Those who wish to share their contact information upon completion of the survey will be entered into a drawing for a pair of Apple AirPods Pro.

Check the Coronavirus Response page for updates as they develop.

Latest Updates

  • January 29, 2021 – Administrative Judge Shirdan-Harris and Supervising Judge Anders have issued an administrative order extending the Philadelphia Residential Eviction Moratorium to March 31, 2021, in harmony with the CDC order.
  • January 28, 2021 – Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas President Judge Idee Fox has issued new administrative orders postponing February Tax Sheriff Sales to dates in May, 2021 and establishing protocol for providing notice of the new dates; and an administrative order postponing February 2 Mortgage Foreclosure Sheriff Sales to May 4 and June 1, 2021, per the schedule attached to the order.

Re-Opening Task Force


Re-Opening Task Force has been created to provide a set of resources and best practices as law offices re-open their doors and work places after the shutdowns mandated by the pandemic. … Read More

Business Law Section Annual Reception

Registration now open for Business Law Section Annual Reception

Awards Ceremony with Dueling Pianos
A Virtual Experience

Thursday, Feb. 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Albert S. Dandridge III
Partner, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, will receive the Dennis H. Replansky Memorial Award

Lloyd Freeman
Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, will receive the Albert S. Dandridge III Diversity Award

Melissa Pang
Assistant General Counsel, The School District of Philadelphia, will receive the In-House Counsel Award

Co-Chairs of the Franchise Law Cmte.,
Harris J. Chernow, Reger Rizzo & Darnell LLP, and Charles S. Marion, Blank Rome LLP, , will receive the Committee Chairs of the Year Award

Health Care Law Committee
Co-chaired by, Nicole J Aiken-Shaban, Reed Smith LLP & Adam Yoffie, Bristol Meyers Squibb, will receive the Committee of the Year Award

Live Stream Entertainment by

Felix and Fingers

A Spontaneous and Interactive All-Request Performance!

Register Here

Thank you for the generous support of our Sponsors

Current 2021 Sponsors

FTI Tech Consultants
Montgomery McCracken

2020 Sponsors

Cozen O'Connor
Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP
Lundy Beldecos & Milby
Montgomery McCracken

Events


Family Law Section Town Hall

Monday, February 1 at 12 p.m.

In these challenging times, we have all experienced so much, including feelings of doubt, outrage and despair with the struggle for equity. For our February 1 Section Meeting, we are having a town hall discussion to address how we can see meaningful change and move forward productively. We hope you will join us, so we can start this important journey together.…Register Here

Wellness Wednesday

Wednesday, February 3 at 8 a.m.

The Wellness Committee is here for you during this period of great uncertainty and invites you to break up your week with a short, guided mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness can help to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. The session will be led by Courtney Schulnick, Esquire, who has completed both the Mindfulness Based Stress-Reduction (MBSR) teaching practicum and internship at Jefferson University's Mindfulness Institute. Guided meditation will be followed by optional group sharing and processing. Feel free to bring your morning coffee, tea, or breakfast.…Register Here

State Civil Litigation Section Town Hall

Wednesday, February 3 at 12 p.m.

Join us as we continue our conversation from the previous town halls during this two-week check in. If you have any questions regarding the new protocols or anything related to the judicial emergency, please email jordan@actionafterinjury.com and denise.mandi@selective.com directly. We will do our best to provide answers at this meeting. This remains an evolving situation and we value all contributions to the discussion.…Register Here

Technology Committee of the Probate and Trust Section

Thursday, February 4 at 12 p.m.

At this meeting, the Committee will hear from special guests, Odia Kagan, Chair of the Cyberlaw Committee of the Business Section, and Dan Siegel, Chair of the Technology Liaison Committee, regarding interesting developments in their fields of expertise. The Committee will also review considerations of the Probate Section's Legislative Committee regarding e-wills, review cases, and discuss other trailblazing topics related to digital assets.…Register Here

Federal Courts Committee

Thursday, February 4 at 12:30 p.m.

Please join the chairs and vice-chairs of the Federal Courts Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association for our first meeting of 2021, to kick off our year together! We invite and encourage members of the Federal Courts Committee to join us over lunch (virtually) in order to discuss recent developments in everyone's areas of federal courts practice, how attorneys have navigated the pandemic, and issues/questions that have arisen that we can channel to our points of contact at the federal courthouse. We also would like to brainstorm with our members areas of interest for future meetings, CLE credits, and social/networking events (likely remote), over the coming year.…Register Here

Chat and Chew with the Wellness Committee

Friday, February 5 at 12:30 p.m.

The Wellness Committee is happy to invite you to a weekly lunchtime "Chat and Chew" forum to enjoy your favorite home-made or take-out cuisine while we all discuss (or listen to) topics of interest, whether legal or non-legal.…Register Here


Announcements


mycase - trusted by thousands of attorneys

If your 2020 annual planning was interrupted as a result of COVID-19, this handy checklist from MyCase offers concrete action steps legal professionals can depend on to carry you through 2021 and beyond — no matter what changes come your way. Download your free guide here.

Discounts for Members


Benefits Page Image

Our colleagues, clients, and referral sources are now facing unprecedented disruption to their work and home lives. Philadelphia Bar Association benefits provide unique discounts and offers on products and services that you can use to help maintain business continuity in this challenging climate.

LRIS ad


Get Published in The Philadelphia Lawyer


The Editorial Board welcomes submissions from attorneys and other professionals, who are members of the Philadelphia Bar Association, who wish to share their expertise on law-related topics.

Accepting manuscripts in multiple genres: law-related articles & features, general interest, fiction, practice areas, essays or humor, and book reviews.

Articles must be original and previously unpublished.

As policy, we do not compensate our writers.

For more information, email Rachel Kipp at rkipp@philabar.org


Philadelphia Bar Foundation: Coronavirus Response


The Philadelphia Bar Foundation has been an anchor institution for civil legal aid for more than 50 years. We extend our thoughts and best wishes to colleagues, friends, and families who are being negatively affected by the virus and the current crisis. The disruption to business operations in the U.S. and the economic downturn created by the COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant and damaging impact on the Foundation's fundraising activities. We have taken immediate action in response to budget concerns, but we need your help. Please donate today to help us continue providing unrestricted funds and technical support to legal aid agencies on the frontlines of this crisis.


CLEs



Upcoming Philadelphia Bar Association CLE Courses

All CLE programming, until further notice, will be offered via webcastCLE video icon. For course offerings, dates, and times, please visit:

Philadelphia Bar Association Calendar List

Then, type "CLE" in the search box and hit "Go."

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order temporarily modifying Rule 108 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Continuing Legal Education to eliminate the six credit cap on CLE credits earned through distance learning with respect to credits needed to satisfy all 2020 compliance deadlines.


Full course calendar here.


Public Interest Events


  • Thursday, February 11, the ACLU of Pennsylvania will host its annual fundraising gala, "Show the Constitution Some Love," virtually. The event will feature a diverse program with civil liberties speakers and performers. More information will be available at www.aclupa.org/showlove. Please contact Jenna McEloy, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Associate Director of Philanthropy at jmcelroy@aclupa.org with questions.
  • Tuesday, February 23 and Wednesday, February 24, the Support Center for Child Advocates (SCCA) will hold a two-part virtual volunteer training, "How to Handle a Child Abuse Case," from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (must attend both sessions). This training program is for those interested in taking cases as a Volunteer Attorney with the Support Center for Child Advocates. Join SCCA for this volunteer workshop and learn from dedicated experts in the field of child advocacy about how you can make a difference in the lives of children who have experienced abuse and neglect. Register online at www.eventbrite.com/e/how-to-handle-a-child-abuse-case-volunteer-training-tickets-129350820787. For more information about SCCA visit sccalaw.org/.
 
USI logo

Cyber Liability Insurance - Checklist for Law Firms

article image With a significant portion of the current U.S. workforce having shifted to a remote environment, many businesses, law firms included, are finding that their employees may not return to the "actual office." This disruption has opened the doors for Cyber Criminals to do what they do best - mayhem. From phishing scams to social engineering scams - the remote environment makes business more vulnerable to these types of events and law firms have been a prime target. …Read More

Red Cave logo

Up: Efficiency is Just What You Need to Make More Money in Your Law Firm

The #1 concern of law firm owners is revenue. They want more of it. They want it to go up annually.

Lawyers, however, are not often focused on data. So, figuring out how to make more money becomes mostly a guessing game. Maybe you charge more. Maybe you market harder. Maybe you hire more. Maybe you even stitch several options together.

But, there’s only one answer: And, that is to get more efficient.

The 2019 Clio Legal Trends Report indicates that the most significant factor affecting law firm revenue generation is efficiency. In a longitudinal study covering thousands of law firms, the 2019 study found that ‘growing’ law firms on average grew revenue at a 30% clip year-ovper-year, and an average of 112% after 5 years. ‘Shrinking’ law firms, on the other hand, lost 54% of their revenue, on average, every 5 years. The difference: ‘growing’ law firms have a higher utilization rate than the industry average of 31%.

Utilization rate is a metric that captures what percentage of a given workday makes it into an invoice. It’s a simple KPI (key performance indicator) to measure. Each day, timekeepers in the law firm track the total number of hours worked, and measure that against billed time. So, for an average 8-hour workday, no one bills all 8 hours (= a 100% utilization rate); the industry average, according to the Legal Trends Report, is 31%, or 2.56 of every 8 hours, that ultimately gets billed (not collected). Most timekeepers are billing anywhere from 2-5 hours out of every 8 hours worked.

That may be a sobering number for many law firm leaders to hear; but, it underscores the lack of efficiency within law firms. That lack of efficiency has several causes, including a continuing reliance on hourly billing, that actually promotes inefficiency. But, the biggest issue for law firms looking to become more efficient is a lack of knowledge and application of technology in a law firm setting. Lawyers who understand and can implement technology alongside appropriate (technology-supported) processes and workflows can really ramp up their numbers.

The ultimate decisionmaking process for lawyers, then, should be whether whatever choice is made makes the law firms more or less efficient. So, if you want to make more money in 2021, there’s your guiding principle.

Fleshing this out some, here are some things you can look at to help drive efficiency:

  • Lawyers still traffic heavily in documents and email. So, it makes sense to invest in document assembly software, and email management tools. If you can speed up the rate at which you create documents, and reduce the time you spend managing emails, your utilization rate is bound to rise.
  • Convert to a completely cloud-based technology infrastructure, in order to better leverage the mobility and flexibility that such technology offers.
  • Track timekeeper data using reporting tools available in accounting and case management software, to compel additional efficiencies.
. . .

The Philadelphia Bar Association now offers DISCOUNTED law practice management consulting services through Red Cave Law Firm Consulting. Click here, to access consulting services, and start running your law firm like a business.

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Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, Philadelphia, Pa. 19107, 215-238-6300.


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