Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 9, No. 15

Professional Services Tax Plan Defeated

A proposal that would have expanded the state sales tax to professional services, including legal services, has been defeated in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

The amendment, introduced by Republican state Rep. Sam Rohrer of Berks County, was defeated by a vote of 148 to 47, with eight leaves on Jan. 29. The plan would have cut property taxes for all residents while increasing the state sales and income tax, said Anthony Crisci, the Bar Association’s lobbyist in Harrisburg.

Crisci said an amendment from state Rep. John M. Perzel, a Philadelphia Republican, that would take existing gaming revenue and provide further property tax cuts for seniors, passed with an overwhelming majority. Crisci said after the vote, the bill was rereferred to committee and it appears the issue has lost momentum.

Getting to Know City's African-American Media Feb. 25

The Bar-News Media Committee will present "Getting to Know Philadelphia's African-American Media" on Monday, Feb. 25.

Panelists include (from top left) Bobbi Booker, Philadelphia-based journalist, radio personality and blogger; Michael Days, Philadelphia Daily News; Harold Jackson, editorial page editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer; Sheinelle Jones, news anchor, Fox29 Good Day Philadelphia; Karin Phillips, community affairs reporter, KYW Newsradio 1060; Lehronda Upshur, news anchor and public affairs director, Power 99, Q102 and My 106.1 FM; and Rhonda Hill Wilson, co-host, "The Morning Team," WURD 900 AM. The program will be moderated by Bar-News Media Committee Chair Gina Furia Rubel.

The program begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $7.50 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this program.

Panel Discussion on Working In House Feb. 26

A panel of in-house counsel will discuss "So You Think You'd Like To Work In House" at the Tuesday, Feb. 26 meeting of the Women in the Profession Committee.

Panelists include Sophia Lee of Sunoco, Grace Manno of Comcast and Lori White of CSS Industries. They will discuss how to position yourself for an in-house position; what to expect once you get there; how to make the most of it; and the similarities and differences between corporate and law firm life.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 10th Floor Board Room of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $7.50 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this program.

Appellate Practice, Procedure Update CLE Feb. 26

The Criminal Justice Section will present the lunchtime CLE program Appellate Practice and Procedure Update on Tuesday, Feb. 26.

Panelists for the program are Karen R. Bramblett, prothonotary, Pennsylvania Superior Court; Karl Baker, chief, Appeals Division, Defender Association of Philadelphia; and Natasha L. Lowe, supervisor, Trial Division Appeals Unit, Court of Common Pleas. The course planner is Isla A. Fruchter of the Defender Association of Philadelphia. The panel will provide an update on the practical trials, traps and tribulations of criminal appellate practice.

The program has been approved for 1 substantive CLE credit. Participants wishing to receive the CLE credit will be required to pay a fee of $25 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for more than five years, and $20 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for less than five years. Click here to register in advance or call PBI Customer Service at (800) 932-4637.

The program begins at 12:30 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Registration and lunch begin at 12 p.m. Lunch is available for an additional fee of $7.50 per person for those who register in advance. Click here to purchase lunch for this program.

Diversity on Appellate Courts Feb. 27

Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Cheryl Lynn Allen will discuss diversity on the Appellate Courts of Pennsylvania at a Feb. 27 program sponsored by the Appellate Courts Committee and the Public Interest Section.

The program begins at 4 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. A wine and cheese reception will follow. There is no charge to attend the program, but space is limited. Please register by clicking here.

Corporate In-House Counsel Inaugural Meeting Feb. 29

Join Marilyn Heffley and Doug Gaston, co-Chairs of the Corporate In-House Counsel Committee, for a brown bag lunch meeting on Friday, Feb. 29 to discuss ways to increase corporate in-house counsel membership in the Philadelphia Bar Association.

The discussion will also identify legal and professional issues of particular interest to corporate in-house counsel, identify CLE topics of interest to corporate in-house counsel and identify interested volunteers to join the committee. The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Committee Room South of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St.

Workers' Comp Lunchtime CLE Program March 7

Halmon L. Banks III and Kenneth F. Demarco will present the CLE program "Breaking News - A Review and Discussion of Recent Case Law Relative to Medical Bill Issues in Workers' Compensation Cases" on Friday, March 7.

Banks and Demarco will provide an in-depth discussion of recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Cases involving medical bills issue in Pennsylvania workers' compensation cases. Significant decisions from the last six months will be discussed, including cases involving petitions for review of utilization review, fee review petitions and penalty petitions. The panel also will address possible future trends.

The program has been approved for 1 substantive CLE credit. Participants wishing to receive the CLE credit will be required to pay a fee of $25 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for more than five years, and $20 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for less than five years. If you wish to register in advance please visit or call PBI Customer Service at (800) 932-4637.

The program will be held in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Registration begins at 12 p.m. Lunch is available for an additional $7.50 for those members who register in advance. Click here to purchase lunch for this program.

Probate Quarterly Meeting March 4

The Probate and Trust Law Section will hold its Quarterly Meeting "Trust Situs: Cherry-Picking Time" on Tuesday, March 4.

A trust's situs can have a substantial impact on the growth of the trust assets. A trust's situs can often be selected or changed to take advantage of differences in tax laws across jurisdictions. The issue as to what law applies after situs has changed is different from situs. The "million dollar" question remains, "How is situs itself determined?" If you have not thought about this issue, it is time! Our expert panelists will attempt to answer the "Why, How and What Now!" Step-by-step advice on why to change situs; how to change situs; and what now after change of situs has been made. The speakers for the program are Karen A. Fahrner and Margaret E.W. Sager.

The program begins at 12:30 p.m. at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building. Two substantive CLE credits are available. Click here for more information.

Senior Lawyers Committee to Meet March 12

The Senior Lawyers Professional and Public Service Committee will hold its first meeting of 2008 on Wednesday, March 12 at 12 p.m. in the 10th Floor Board Room of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St..

Lunch will be provided. There is no cost to attend this program, but registration is required. Click here to RSVP for this program.

Mayor Nutter to Speak at March 17 Quarterly Meeting

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter will deliver the keynote address at the Association's Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon on Monday, March 17.

Nutter was sworn in as the 98th mayor of Philadelphia on Jan. 7. He is a native Philadelphian with an accomplished career in public service, business and financial administration. He served as a Philadelphia City Councilman for nearly 15 years representing the city's Fourth District encompassing the communities of Wynnefield, Overbrook, Roxborough, Manayunk, East Falls, Mt. Airy and parts of North and West Philadelphia.

The March Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon will be held at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue, Broad and Walnut streets. Tickets are available online at

Immediate-Past Chancellor Jane Dalton will be honored at the event. Dalton will be presented with a gold box, an exact replica of the one presented to Andrew Hamilton for his defense of John Peter Zenger in 1735. The gold box is presented annually to the immediate-past Chancellor and is inscribed with the message "acquired not by money, but by character."

Drexel College of Law Gets ABA Accreditation

The Drexel University College of Law has received provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association, Drexel President Constantine Papadakis has announced. The seal of approval comes at the earliest point allowed under the ABA's accreditation guidelines.

Provisional accreditation means all Drexel Law graduates will be able to take the bar exam in any jurisdiction. Upon passing the exam, graduates can begin practicing professionally.

"To reach this milestone less than 18 months after welcoming our first law students to Drexel is remarkable and a testament to the vision and commitment of our Board of Trustees and the hard work and passion of the faculty and staff of the College of Law and its founding dean, Roger Dennis," Papadakis said. "Drexel Law has gathered some of the most talented, innovative law faculty, practicing professionals and students anywhere, and it shows in every initiative."

The college is the first law school established by a highly ranked doctoral university in more than 25 years and the first to open in Greater Philadelphia, which now has six law schools, in more than 30 years, Papadakis said. The university is among 25 top-ranked private universities that have both law and medical schools.

7th Annual La Justicia Reception March 11

The Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania will hold its 7th Annual La Justicia Award Reception on Tuesday, March 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Pyramid Club, 1735 Market St.

Andi Perez, executive director of Youth United for Change, will be honored for her advocacy on behalf of the Hispanic community. Additionally, the 2008 boards of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania and the HBA-Legal Education Fund will be inaugurated. The event is sponsored by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

The event is open to the general legal community. To confirm your attendance, e-mail

Latino Elders Pro Bono Project and Celebration March 18

The SeniorLAW Center and PECO will hold a Latino elders pro bono project and celebration on Friday, March 14 at at Somerset Villas, 200 E. Somerset St., from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Contact Karen Buck, executive director of SeniorLAW Center at or call (215) 701-3201 for more information.

Presentation on Museum of History of Polish Jews March 18

The Philopatrian Society, the Jagiellonian Law Society and the Brandeis Law Society will hold a presentation on the Museum of History of Polish Jews currently under construction in Warsaw on Tuesday, March 18.

The primary speaker will be Michael Berkowicz, New York Region Chair and Treasurer of the North American Council of the Museum. The program begins at 6 p.m. at 1923 Walnut St. For information, contact Marian Kornilowicz at (215) 564-1700, or visit

Public Interest Training Sessions Set

The SeniorLAW Center will present the CLE training program for volunteer attorneys "Representing Grandparents Raising Grandchildren," on Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 12 to 2 p.m., at the offices Ballard Spahr LLP, 1735 Market St. Learn how to prepare a custody case for one of the thousands of grandparents in our community who are raising minor children whose birth parents cannot. Help these clients obtain the legal status to make medical, educational and life decisions for children in their care. This training program will be led by Jane E. Lessner, Esq., Fox Rothschild LLP, and Brian Krase, Esq., SeniorLAW Center. The program is open to any attorney. Two free CLE credits are available for attorneys who accept a pro bono custody case. RSVP to or call (215) 988-1244.

Philadelphia VIP, Women Against Abuse and the Legal Clinic for the Disabled will present a pro bono CLE training program on divorce on Friday, March 7 from 12 to 2:15 p.m. The program will be hosted by Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel, One Penn Center, 19th Floor, 1617 JFK Blvd. Please contact VIP at (215) 523-9550 to register. Two CLE credits will be provided in exchange for taking a pro bono case. This program is open to all attorneys.

Law School Public Interest Auctions

The University of Pennsylvania Law School's annual auction is Thursday, Feb. 21. All proceeds from the auction directly fund student public interest work in the summer and after graduation. Auction items include professional sports tickets, concerts, and gift certificates to many Philadelphia restaurants and businesses. Ticket price is only $20, and includes a cocktail party, silent auction and live auction. To RSVP, contact or buy tickets at the door. The auction begins at 5 p.m. in the Law School's Levy Conference Center, 3400 Chestnut St.

• The Rutgers University School of Law-Camden Association for Public Interest Law will hold its 13th Annual Goods and Services Auction on Wednesday, March 5 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., at Rutgers School of Law. 217 North 5th St., Room 106, Camden, N.J. For more information, contact Pam Merstock-Wolfe at (856) 225-6406 or

• Temple University Beasley School of Law Student Public Interest Network will hold its 16th Annual Auction on Wednesday, March 5, at Duane Morris, LLP, 30 S. 17th St., Philadelphia. A reception will be held at 5 p.m., followed by the auction at 5:30 p.m. All proceeds are used to subsidize summer grants for students to volunteer in public interest legal services organizations. This year, SPIN will honor Dean Robert J. Reinstein with the Inaugural SPIN Award for a member of the Temple Law community dedicated to public interest. Click here to visit the SPIN online auction between Friday, Feb. 29 and Friday, March 7. This event is free. No RSVP is necessary.

• Villanova University School of Law will host its 11th annual Public Interest Fellowship Program Auction on Thursday, March 28 at 6 p.m. The evening begins at the law school with a silent auction and lasts until approximately 10 p.m. when the last live auction item is sold. The PIFP Auction provides financial support to law students who commit their summer to doing public service legal work, as well as funding the Villanova loan repayment assistance award.

• The Public Interest Employment Grant Board will hold its Inaugural "Slice of Justice" Public Interest Auction on Thursday, April 3 from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Drexel University School of Law, Behrakis Grand Hall, Creese Student Center, Chestnut Street, between 32nd and 33rd streets. All money raised at the auction will subsidize public interest summer internships for Drexel Law students. The Auction is open to the public and costs $15. For more information, contact Karen Pearlman at or (215) 545-4596.

Copyright Society to Host Google's Patry March 11

William Patry, senior copyright counsel of Google Inc. and author of Patry on Copyright, will be speaking on "The Rhetoric of the Copyright Debates: The Use of Metaphors, Moral Panics, and Folk Devils in the Great Copyright Wars" at the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. Philadelphia Chapter meeting on Tuesday, March 11.

The program will be held at the offices of Woodcock Washburn LLP, 2929 Arch St., on the 12th floor of the Cira Centre beginning at 11:45 a.m. Admission is $10 for Society members and $15 for non-members. Please make payments at the door to The Copyright Society of the U.S.A., Philadelphia Chapter. Click here for more information.

Pa. Minority Prelaw Conference March 12

The Law School Admission Council Office of Minority Affairs will present the Pennsylvania Minority Prelaw Conference on Wednesday, March 12 beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The conference is an opportunity for high school students to learn about college, law school and the legal profession and meet with law students, judges, law professors and admission professionals.

Transportation and lunch will be provided. For more information, please contact
Glenn E. Bell at (215) 968-1387 or

Bar Association Launches Video Podcasts

Up-close video interviews with the city's leading newsmakers are now available on the Bar Association's Web site.

The Association has crafted a new series of quick, sharp video podcasts, which complement an already extensive audio podcast lineup. The Leadership Video Podcast Series features prominent Philadelphians discussing their roles as leaders, revealing who inspired them as leaders, and outlining what kind of leadership the city needs right now.

The series kicks off with an interview with A. Michael Pratt, the Association's new Chancellor, and also features interviews with Mural Arts Program Director Jane Golden, Wireless Philadelphia CEO Greg Goldman and School Reform Commission Chairwoman Sandra Dungee Glenn.

Accessing these videos is as easy as accessing the audio podcasts: Current subscribers to the Bar Association's "Hot Interviews with Very Cool People" audio podcasts will automatically receive these video podcasts. If you are not yet a subscriber, go the Association's Podcast homepage — and sign up.

The videos can be downloaded and viewed on a video iPod or similar handheld device. Of course, with a simple click, Web site visitors can watch the videos directly on their computer.

Don't Delay, Order The Legal Directory 2008 Today!

It's time to place your order for The Legal Directory 2008. With the addition of hundreds of new attorney listings, it's the most comprehensive volume we've ever produced. Now is the time to order to ensure your copy arrives shortly after the April 1 publication date.

Order now at a special pre-publication price of $57.95 (plus shipping and tax) – that's $20 off the regular price. Ordering early ensures you'll have the most current information about the Philadelphia legal community as soon as it's published and distributed, beginning in April. The price will soon increase, so take advantage of the special pre-publication savings!

The Legal Directory 2008 includes all the indispensable information you've come to rely upon – Bar Association bylaws, contacts and committees; information on federal, state and county courts and government agencies; judges' index; corporate counsel listings; and a special business-to-business section tailored to the legal community. You'll have at your fingertips 18,000 attorney listings and nearly 1,700 law firm listings.

Each copy of The Legal Directory 2008 comes with a free subscription to The Legal Directory Online. Online listings for both attorneys and law firms are updated year-round, making this resource an essential complement to your printed Directory. The Legal Directory Online features links to court rules, area bar associations and more! All are only a mouse-click away.

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