Monday, May 8, 2006
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 7, No. 28

Bar Association 5K Run/Walk May 21

The Association's 5K Run/Walk returns for its 27th year on Sunday, May 21 along the Schuylkill River on Martin Luther King Drive (fomerly West River Drive) adjacent to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The event benefits the Support Center for Child Advocates.

The race features several competition divisions: open-individual, Bar Association members, company teams, legal teams and male and female divisions. Runners are also divided into age groups. Awards are presented to participants in all divisions.

For more information, or to learn more about becoming an event sponsor, contact Eric S. Marzluf at (215) 567-2010, extension 130 or by e-mail at; Tom Bell at (215) 887-2050, extension 107 or by e-mail at; or Sandra Lavini at (215) 925-1913, extension 126 or by e-mail at

Click here to print out a registration form, or visit to register online.

Committee to Review Supreme Court Term

University of Pennsylvania Law School Professor Kermit Roosevelt and Elise Bruhl of the City Solicitor's Office will present "Review of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2005-06 Term: What's Happened and What's On Deck" at the Wednesday, May 10 meeting of the Appellate Courts Committee.

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 event.

48 Firms Donate $1 Million to Raising the Bar Campaign

Forty-eight major law firms have pledged donations of nearly $1 million, heeding Chancellor Alan M. Feldman's call to action by committing to the Raising the Bar campaign, a joint effort by the Bar Association and the Philadelphia Bar Foundation to increase funding for Philadelphia public interest law centers.

Each firm made a pledge of at least $300 per attorney in its Philadelphia office, with a number of firms committing to as much as $400 per attorney. Fourteen of the firms are among the 25 largest as listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal's 2006 Book of Lists. Click here for a list of the participating law firms and for more information about the Raising the Bar campaign.

CLS Breakfast of Champions May 10

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas President Judge C. Darnell Jones II will be the keynote speaker at Community Legal Services' 17th Annual Breakfast of Champions on Wednesday, May 10, at the Westin Philadelphia, 99 S. 17 St., from 8 to 10 a.m.

The annual Breakfast of Champions also honors individuals and institutions that have made outstanding contributions to the cause of justice for all. Barbara T. Sicalides of Pepper Hamilton LLP will receive CLS' Champion of Justice Award.

The Breakfast of Champions serves as a launch event for CLS' annual Bar Campaign. In 2005, members of CLS' Leadership Council raised a record amount of $322,000 through individual and law firm contributions. This year, Leadership Council co-chairs Joe Tate and Leslie A. Miller hope to get a boost from Chancellor Alan M. Feldman's Raising the Bar initiative, which seeks to raise contributions to legal services and public interest law firms in Philadelphia to at least $300 per attorney.

CLS anticipates law firm supporters will designate a significant portion of their contribution to CLS. New and increased donations will be matched this year by a generous grant from the Independence Foundation.

CLS will present the Equal Justice Award to the following honorees: Deborah L. Freedman, managing attorney of the Family Advocacy Unit at CLS; Langer & Grogan P.C. attorneys Howard I. Langer, John J. Grogan and Edward Diver; Thomas Burke, intake paralegal at Philadelphia Legal Assistance; and Renee Reese, intake paralegal at CLS. This event is sponsored by the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association. Admission is free. To RSVP, contact Anna Perng at or call 215-981-3732.

Reception for Commerce Court Judges May 11

The Business Litigation Committee will hold its annual reception for Commerce Court judges on Thursday, May 11 at the Westin Philadelphia, 99 S. 17th St., beginning at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $80 per person or $750 for a group of 10. Cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served. Click here to purchase tickets for this event.

Workers' Comp CLE Program on Gardner Case May 17

The Workers' Compensation Section is sponsoring a lunchtime CLE seminar "A Review of the Gardner Case" on Wednesday, May 17.

Speakers for the program include Timothy P. Bulman, George Martin and Peter J. Weber. 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 Bar Association admitted for more than five years, and $20 for members of the Association admitted for less than five years. If you wish to register in advance please visit, call PBI Customer Service at 1-800-932-4637.

Lunch will be available for an additional fee of $7.50 per person. Click here to purchase lunch for this event.

Judges to Examine Differences Between Courts

U.S. District Court Judges Lawrence F. Stengel, R. Barclay Surrick and Petrese B. Tucker will discuss practice differences between state and federal courts at the Wednesday, May 17 meeting of the Federal Courts Committee.

The meeting begins at 12:30 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.

Bike-a-Thon Committee to Meet May 16

The Association's Bike-a-Thon Committee will meet on Tuesday, May 16 at 12:30 in the 11th floor Committee Room South of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St.

The ACS Bike-a-Thon takes place Sunday, July 9 and begins at the base of the Ben Franklin Bridge and ends in Lenape Park in Mays Landing, N.J. Click here for more information about the event.

Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor should contact Jeffrey Abramowitz at 215-568-4980. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

Workers' Comp, Real Property Sections Plan Spring Events

The Workers' Compensation Section will hold its annual spring party on Wednesday, June 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant, 4120 Main St., in Manayunk.

Tickets are $45 per person and includes two drink tickets and heavy hors d'oeuvres. Click here to order tickets online.

The Real Property Section will hold its Annual Spring Reception on Thursday, June 8 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Maggiano's Little Italy, 1201 Filbert St.

Tickets to the event are $5 and are available by clicking here.

Bar Association Night at the Phillies June 14

Join your colleagues and friends at Citizens Bank Park at Bar Association Night at the Phillies on Wednesday, June 14 when the Phillies take on their National League East rivals, the New York Mets at 7:05 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here. Tickets are $36 and $28. The login name for the electronic ticket purchase is BARN and the password is 0614. The log-in is case sensitive, so make sure the items are entered correctly.

Mfume to Address Bar at June 19 Quarterly Meeting

Kweisi Mfume, former president and chief executive officer of the NAACP and candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland, will deliver the annual Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. Memorial Public Interest Lecture at the Philadelphia Bar Association's Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon on Monday, June 19 at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue.

A lifelong champion of individual rights, Judge Higginbotham had a legal career that spanned nearly half a century. Since Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, delivered the first Higginbotham lecture in 1999, notables such as Juan Williams, Charles J. Ogletree, Chaka Fattah and Cornel West have filled the role. Tickets to the luncheon are $50 for Association members and $55 for non-members. Click here to purchase tickets online. New members of the Association's 50-, 60-, 65- and 70-Year Clubs will also be honored.

After serving five terms in Congress, Mfume resigned in 1996 to take over as the leader of the NAACP, a post he held for nine years. He is credited with restoring respect to the Association as well as instituting management and financial structures that led to an increase in endowment funds as well as a budget surplus. In March 2005, Mfume announced his candidacy for the Senate seat currently held by Paul Sarbanes, who will retire this year after serving in the Senate since 1977. Mfume, a member of the Democratic Party, seeks to become the first African American to represent Maryland in the Senate.

Organizations Schedule Spring Fund-Raisers

The ACLU of PA will hold its 24th Annual Defending Freedom event on Thursday, May 11, featuring cartoonist Tom Tomorrow with a slideshow of civil liberties-related cartoons and commentary, from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Downtown Marriott, 1201 Market St. For ticket information call (215) 592-1513, extension 122 or e-mail

The Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights will hold its 10th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, May 13 from 7 to 10 p.m., at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 19 S. 22nd St. For ticket information contact Alicia Williamson at (215) 731-1447, extension 13 or e-mail

The Support Center for Child Advocates will hold its Annual Champions of Children Benefit Reception and Volunteer Celebration on Wednesday, May 24 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Main Banking Lobby of Wachovia, Broad and Walnut Streets. For more information, call (215) 925-1913.

Friends of Farmworkers will hold its 30th Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, June 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, 11th and Arch streets. Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Frederica A. Massiah-Jackson, Immediate-Past Chancellor Andrew A. Chirls and Efren Diego will be honored at the event. Tickets are $75. For more information, call (215) 733-0878 or e-mail

Bar Foundation Golf Classic June 26

The 18th Annual Philadelphia Bar Foundation Golf Classic will be held Monday, June 26 at Philadelphia Cricket Club in Flourtown. The 18-hole tournament, which benefits the Foundation, will begin at 12:30 p.m. with a shotgun start on both the Wissahickon and Militia Hill courses. Click here to register online.

The 2005 tournament raised more than $100,000 for the Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Bar Association. During 2005, the Foundation funded 29 law-related programs with grants ranging from $2,000 to $100,000.

Prizes will be awarded for team low net, individual low net and individual low gross. A new prize for law-firm (defined as a foursome with at least three members from the same firm) low gross will also be awarded.

The tournament is open to the public with a general fee of $375 that includes greens fees, golf cart, lunch, refreshments on the course, and cocktails and dinner. Members of the Association's Young Lawyers Division may participate for a discounted fee of $295. Event and hole sponsorships are also available. For more information on sponsorships or playing in the event, contact Melissa Engler at (215) 238-6347. Click here to register online.

Legal Directory 2006 Now Available for Purchase

The Legal Directory 2006 is now available. If you've ordered your copy, it will soon arrive; if not, place your order now for this indispensable resource – and receive free access to The Legal Directory Online.

This year's edition includes listings for more than 1,500 law firms and 17,000 attorneys in Philadelphia and the surrounding Pennsylvania counties, Delaware and New Jersey, in addition to Bar Association contacts and committees; information on federal, state and county courts and government agencies; a judges index; alternative dispute resolution resources; and a special business-to-business section tailored to the legal community.

New for 2006, each copy of The Legal Directory includes complimentary access to The Legal Directory Online. So information will be only a few mouse clicks away and accessible wherever you go.

Over the coming weeks, new features will be available on The Legal Directory Online. You can still search for firms and attorneys; but you'll also have information on local courts and court rules, area bar associations and breaking legal news at your fingertips.
Click here to order The Legal Directory 2006 today!

Police Athletic League to Honor D.A. Abraham May 11

District Attorney Lynne Abraham, along with fellow honorees Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson and Larry Magid of Electric Factory Concerts, will receive the Police Athletic League Award at the PAL Award Dinner on Thursday, May 11 at the Wyndham Philadelphia.

To learn more about supporting the PAL Award Dinner, the honorees and the young people of Philadelphia or for more information, please contact Eric Cushing at the Police Athletic League at (215) 291-9000, extension 109 or visit

Weekly Snapshot: Education Law Center

The Education Law Center, with its primary office in Philadelphia, just celebrated its 30th birthday. ELC has spent those decades working for better and fairer public schools for Pennsylvania's school children, and especially those most at risk of school failure such as students with disabilities, English language learners, poor children, immigrant children, and children in foster care.

Although the ELC's focus is on achieving district and statewide reform, there is a substantial direct service component. Through its Parents HelpLine, ELC staff answers questions from families and child-serving professionals about students' education law rights. ELC's many "family friendly" publications, and lots more, can be downloaded from ELC trains hundreds of parents, health and legal professionals, and others about education law each year.

Philadelphia's schools educate some of the state's neediest children, and the district must improve student performance despite the state's failure to provide the necessary funding. Here are some of the stories from those who call the center for help:

A teenager with Tourette Syndrome has been constantly bullied by classmates at his high school. He has threatened suicide and refuses to return to school.

An 11-year-old is threatened with a disciplinary transfer for allegedly using a broken plastic pencil sharpener to threaten another student.

An elementary school student who has had a kidney transplant has not been reliably able to get in-home services whenever he is absent.

ELC can advise - but cannot represent - all of these families. To fill this gap, more than 40 private attorneys have been recruited to represent low-income families pro bono in education law cases. ELC staff provides technical assistance to these volunteers. If you are interested in helping, contact

Environmental Law & Practice Book with CD-ROM Available

The Pennsylvania Environmental Law & Practice Book with CD-ROM, 4th Edition, is now available. The CD-ROM includes full text. This comprehensive practice guide offers not only detailed information about major areas of environmental law but also tips about Environmental Hearing Board and DEB litigation, plus highlights environmental considerations in business transactions. To order your copy, call 800-932-4637.

Upcoming CLE

The following courses are cosponsored by the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. All courses are at The CLE Conference Center in the Wanamaker Building, except as otherwise noted. Registration begins 30 minutes before course start time.

Tuesday, May 9
Compulsory Arbitration Seminar
2 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
8:30 to 11:45 a.m.

Equitable Distribution of Municipal, State and Federal Pensions
5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits (Must attend the entire class to receive ethics credit)
8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 10
Your First Auto Case - Learning the Essentials
6 substantive CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 11
How to Try a Rape Case
4 substantive CLE credits
12:30 to 4:45 p.m.

Monday, May 15, 2006
Working with Inside Counsel
3 substantive CLE credits
9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

How to Handle a Child Abuse Case
5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits (Must attend entire class to receive the ethics credit)
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

More information is available on the PBI Web site at, on the page devoted to Philadelphia programs, by calling 1-800-247-4724, or by e-mailing Note: some events sell out; before walking in, call PBI to confirm that space is still available for the program that interests you.

Earn up to 4 credits on your computer, at your convenience, at PBI's Online Campus, at More than 300 classes are available, including nearly 50 one-hour ethics programs. 24/7 CLE.