Monday, Aug. 4, 2008
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 9, No. 58

Time is Running Out; Register
for 2008 Bench-Bar by Aug. 15
to Save with Early Bird Discount

Association members and non-members have until Friday, Aug. 15 to take advantage of the early bird discount and save on registration for the 2008 Bench-Bar and Annual Conference at Bally's Atlantic City on Sept. 19-21...READ MORE

Register for Conference By Aug. 15 to Save

Association members and non-members have until Friday, Aug. 15 to take advantage of the early bird discount and save on registration for the 2008 Bench-Bar and Annual Conference at Bally's Atlantic City on Sept. 19-21.

This year's conference is expected to bring together more than 500 lawyers and judges from the Philadelphia area for three days of CLE programming that lets practitioners and the judiciary share ideas and best practices. The theme of this year's conference is "The Sound of Philadelphia."

Registration for the full three days of the conference is $549 for those members who register by Aug. 15. That rate includes all meals and CLE. For public interest attorneys, government attorneys and members of the Young Lawyers Division who register by Aug. 15, the full conference registration fee is $399. Other one-day and two-day registration packages are available. For those prices, visit

Bally's is now accepting hotel reservations for attendees. Book early for the best rates: rooms on Thursday, Sept. 18 are $99; rooms Friday, Sept. 19 are $144, and Saturday, Sept. 20 rooms range from $189 to $209. A limited number of rooms are available for the $189 rate on Saturday night. Call 1-800-345-7253 for reservations and mention you are attending the Philadelphia Bar Association Bench-Bar Conference to get these special room rates.

Bench-Bar Conference Scholarships Available

Scholarships to the 2008 Bench-Bar and Annual Conference, to be held Sept. 19-21 at Bally's Atlantic City, are available by lottery to Association members who are public interest or government service attorneys.

Scholarship winners will be drawn and announced on Thursday, Sept. 4 during a reception beginning at 5 p.m. at the Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor Conference Center.

To enter the lottery, please submit your name and organization to Dawn Burger at by Wednesday, Aug. 13. Scholarships include hotel accommodations for two nights at Bally's as well as all conference fees, CLE credits and meals.

You must be a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association to participate in the scholarship lottery.

Scholarship donations are also being sought. To donate a scholarship, please contact Conference Co-Chair Rosemary Pinto at 215-546-2604.

Meet Zoning Commission Attorneys Today

Attorneys from the Philadelphia Zoning Code Commission will speak at today's (Monday, Aug. 4) meeting of the Zoning, Land Use and Code Enforcement Committee.

The meeting 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.

Board Approves Bylaw Amendments

The Board of Governors has approved a resolution to amend the Association's bylaws following a review and recommendations by the Charter and Bylaws Committee.

Committee Co-Chair Rudolph Garcia said Chancellor A. Michael Pratt asked the Committee to conduct a comprehensive review of the bylaws to see if there were any provisions that needed to be improved. "Our goal was to try to improve the way the Association works and clarify things. We wanted to make the bylaws better to the extent that they could be made better. It's as simple as that," Garcia told the Board at its July 31 meeting. Garcia was joined in presenting the changes by Committee Co-Chair Bruce Franzel.

The changes to the bylaws included Section 104 (expulsion or suspension of members); 208 (makeup of the Board of Governors); 210 (Board procedure and quorum); 211 (general powers of the Board); 213 (the Cabinet); 215 (vacancy in office); 304 (quorum at meetings); 504 (indemnification and limitation of liability); 602 (Commission of Judicial Selection and Retention); 1002 (representation of the Association, committees and sections). The amendments will go to the Association membership for a vote at the October Quarterly Meeting.

The Board also appointed the following members to the Elections Committee: Jane Leslie Dalton (chair), Ronald Kovler, Harold Datz, Albert Dandridge, Karen Detamore, Nadeem Bezar, Vernon Francis, Jacqueline Segal, Danielle Banks Spearman, May Mon Post and Marsha Levick. Ex-officio members appointed to the committee include Chancellor Pratt, Chancellor-Elect Sayde J. Ladov, Vice Chancellor Scott F. Cooper, Board Chair Stephanie Resnick and Secretary Kathleen Wilkinson.

The Board also approved the appointment of James Backstrom to the editorial board of The Philadelphia Lawyer magazine.

Bar Night at the Phillies Aug. 5

Join your colleagues and friends at Bar Association Night at the Phillies on Tuesday, Aug. 5 as the Phils take on the Florida Marlins at Citizens Bank Park at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are $38 and can be ordered by clicking here.

Seating (subject to availability) with fellow Philadelphia Bar Association supporters will be located on the Field Level Baseline (Sections 108 & 109). There is a special $2 discount off the cost of these tickets.

To order your tickets for this special event, click here and enter the promotion code BAR.

Disaster Planning Committee Learns of Emergency Access

The July 27 Chinatown power outage, which affected nearly 300 homes and businesses, brought the issue of emergency management to the forefront for Philadelphia's Center City community. Now, thanks to a new public-private partnership, local businesses have an important emergency management tool at their disposal.

The Corporate Emergency Access System allows designated employees access to restricted areas following a disaster or serious emergency by using a secure identification card, recognized by police, through a partnership and formal agreement with state and/or local government authorities. A cardholder can enter to perform essential tasks, such as assess damage, power down networks, and remove critical business assets, said Liam O'Keefe, the assistant managing director of emergency management in the city's office of the managing director, during a July 31 presentation before the Association's Disaster Planning Committee.

"The card is meant for you to get into [your] facility, do what you have to do, and get out," said O'Keefe, who is working to increase enrollment in the program throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. READ MORE

Trial of a Felony Case CLE Aug. 13

The Criminal Justice Section will present the CLE program "Trial of a Felony Case," a brand-new seminar that will allow you to take a seat in the courtroom and watch the masters try a felony case on Wednesday, Aug. 13.

Presiding over the trial will be Philadelphia Common Pleas Court President Judge C. Darnell Jones II. Presenting the case for the prosecution will be Peter Hobart, Kenneth L. McDaniel, Judith Frankel Rubino and Kevin R. Steele. Presenting for the defense will be Frank DeSimone, Byron Houston, Barbara Ann McDermott and Jack McMahon. The course planner is Troy Wilson.

After the jury reaches their verdict, they will return to the classroom to answer your questions. The faculty of master litigators will be joined by Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, the jury consultant who coached the “dream team” in the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. Dr. Dimitrius will share some insights on the jury process and how your selection of jurors can impact the outcome of your case.

If you are a civil or commercial litigator, you will finally have the opportunity to see how top-notch criminal practitioners approach direct and cross exam and opening and closing statements. Don't miss this great new PBI program!

The program will be held on The CLE Education Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. A total of 6 substantive CLE credits are available. For more information on standard tuition fees and registration, please call (800) 932-4637or click here.

Brennan Award Nominations Being Accepted

Nominations are being accepted for the Philadelphia Bar Association's prestigious Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Distinguished Jurist Award. The award will be presented at the Association's October Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon.

The 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.

This year's Brennan Award Committee is chaired by Rhonda Hill Wilson. Nominations for the Justice Brennan Distinguished Jurist Award should be forwarded to: Brennan Award, Attn: Tracey McCloskey, Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107. All nominations should include the full name, address and telephone number of both the nominee and the person submitting the nomination, a summary of the nominee's accomplishments, and any pertinent supporting material the committee should consider. All nominations must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5, 2008.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr. was the first recipient of the award in 1995. Other recipients of the award, which is now named in honor of Justice Brennan, include the following: President Judge Alex Bonavitacola of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas (1996); Judge Phyllis W. Beck of the Pennsylvania Superior Court (1997); Chief Judge Edward R. Becker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1998); Judge Louis C. Bechtle of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (1999); Chief Judge James T. Giles of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (2000); Justice Russell M. Nigro of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (2002); U.S. District Court Judge Louis H. Pollack (2003); Judge James R. Melinson, retired U.S. Chief Magistrate (2004); U.S. District Court Senior Judge Edmund V. Ludwig (2005); Philadelphia Municipal Court President Judge Louis J. Presenza (2006); and Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Sandra Mazer Moss (2007). The Brennan Award was not given in 2001.

Buying a Vacation House CLE Aug. 20

Radio host Jay Lamont will be among the panelists for the CLE program "Buying a Vacation House" on Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Lamont, host of Philadelphia's longest-running real estate program, "All About Real Estate," will be joined by panelists Blair H. Granger, Tonna Gruber and Maury B. Reiter.

The program begins at 9 a.m. at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, Juniper Street entrance, between 13th and Broad streets, opposite City Hall. Click here for more information.

Philly Attorneys Rock JC Dobbs Oct. 2

Join the YLD on Thursday, Oct. 2, as attorney musicians play at the legendary JC Dobbs on South Street.

If you are an attorney musician and are interested in performing, please contact Stephanie Mensing.

Senior Lawyers, YLD Team Up for Mentoring

Young attorneys will once again have the opportunity to gain valuable insights from senior practitioners under the Young Lawyers Division's Attorney Mentoring Program.

More than 20 senior lawyers have agreed to serve as mentors to members of the Young Lawyers Division. These distinguished lawyers come from diverse backgrounds and include solo practitioners, attorneys from large firms and attorneys who have been in government service.

If you are interested in being matched with a mentor through this program, please contact Michael B. Hayes at

Order The Legal Directory 2008 Now

The Legal Directory 2008 and The Legal Directory Online are now available. We've added hundreds of new attorneys, making this edition the most comprehensive ever produced.

As in past years, 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 an ever-changing, useful resource. The Legal Directory Online also features links to court rules, area bar associations and more. All are only a mouse-click away.

The printed edition of The Legal Directory 2008 includes 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; a section devoted to law-related organizations, organizations and nonprofits serving Greater Philadelphia; the judges' index; corporate counsel listings; and a special business-to-business section tailored to the legal community. You'll have at your fingertips more than 18,000 attorney listings and nearly 1,700 law firm listings.

If you've ordered your copy, it will soon arrive; if not, place your order now for this essential resource - and receive free access to The Legal Directory Online. Order today at

Attacking the Expert’s Opinion Aug. 8

The focus of PBI’s Attacking the Expert’s Opinion is on the one, right, logical method the trial cross-examiner must understand to most effectively attack the "scientific merits" of the expert's opinion, no matter the field of expertise. This 6.5 substantive CLE credit hour program will be held Friday, Aug. 8, at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, Juniper Street entrance (between 13th and Broad streets, opposite City Hall), from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. For additional information, or to register, click here.

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, Aug. 5
A Day on Real Estate – East
8:30 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.

Simulcast - Current Military Legal Issues Facing Civilian Attorneys
8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Video - Ethics Potpourri: Lawyers Advertising Ethics Issues in a Web 2.0 World
12 to 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 6
Video - Dogfighting: Canines, Criminals and Consequences (Part of PBI’s Public Policy Series)
2 to 4:15 p.m.

Video - Ethics Potpourri: Motivational Interventions
1 to 2 p.m.

Fundamentals of Civil Practice
9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Simulcast – PLI-Securities Arbitration 2008
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 7
Video – Family Caregiver Contracts and Use of Real Estate for Elder Law Attorneys
10 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Managing Intermittent Leave & Other Hot Family and Medical Leave Act Issues
12:30 to 3:45 p.m.

The Art and Law of Witness Impeachment
9 to 11 a.m.

Friday, Aug. 8
Attacking the Adverse Expert
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 11
Literature and the Law (The Law as Viewed Through Literature from Other Countries and Cultures)
12:30 to 4:45 p.m.

Video – Using Technology in Your Law Practice
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

More information is available 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 as many as 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.

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