Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 9, No. 81

Election Forum for Bar Candidates Nov. 12

The Elections Committee will hold a forum for candidates seeking Bar offices on Wednesday, Nov. 12.

The candidates for Bar Association offices include Vice Chancellor, Rudolph Garcia; Secretary, Kathleen D. Wilkinson; Assistant Secretary, Sophia Lee; Treasurer, Jeffrey M. Lindy; and Assistant Treasurer, Joseph A. Prim Jr. The following candidates are running for three-year terms on the Board of Governors. Danielle Banks, Jeffrey Campolongo, Phyllis Horn Epstein, Regina Foley, Michael Shaffer, Sean Sullivan and Stacey Tees. A total of five new members will be elected to the Board of Governors in the Monday, Dec. 8 election.

There are nine candidates running for seven seats on the Young Lawyers Division Executive Committee. The candidates are Brandon S. Bruce, Alicia A. Garcia, Alexis Arena, Richard Vanderslice, Rachel Kopp, Christopher M. Guth, Justin S. Moriconi, Edward Scott Goldis and Alyson Oswald.

The Candidates Forum begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $5 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this event.

Ballots will be mailed to regular, voting members on or before Nov. 24. Those members who wish to vote by mail must have their ballots received (not postmarked, but received) at Bar Association headquarters by 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 5. Ballots received after that time will not be counted. Anyone not returning their ballot in a timely fashion may still vote in person on Dec. 8 at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue in conjunction with the Association’s Annual Meeting Luncheon from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Annual Meeting, beginning at 12 p.m., will feature remarks by Chancellor-Elect Sayde J. Ladov with her plans for her year in office.Click here to purchase tickets to the Annual Meeting.

Chancellor's Diversity Training Series Today

The Chancellor's Diversity Training Series continues today (Thursday, Nov. 6) with a session on navigating the partnership track. This workshop is intended to help attendees learn about the legal and other professional skills and abilities needed, as well as the practical steps that can be taken to advance to the partnership level.

Chancellor A. Michael Pratt will be joined by panelists Solomon Hunter Jr., John A. Nixon, Eunice F. Trevor, Larry L. Turner and Kay Kyungsun Yu.
Pepper Hamilton, LLP

The program will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. in the 11th Floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Click here to register. There is no charge to attend this program.

Upcoming seminars in the Chancellor's Diversity Training Series include:

• Transitioning from Government to Private Practice - Thursday, Nov. 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. This workshop is intended to help attendees learn about legal and other professional skills and abilities needed, as well as the practical steps that can be taken to move from practicing law in the public sphere to a private firm.

• Life at a Mid-Size Firm - Dec. 16 from 4 to 6 p.m. This workshop is intended to help attendees learn about working at mid-size firms. Of particular interest are the benefits of mid-size firms, as well as how mid-size firms contribute to an attorney's growth and development in the legal profession.

Criminal Justice Mentoring Summit Nov. 7

The Criminal Justice Mentoring Summit will combine the methods of standard lecture on pre-trial and trial related practice and procedure (including, but not limited to cross examination and direct questioning techniques, pre-trial witness techniques and how to enter evidence at trial issues) with an open forum question-and-answer period enabling the newer, young attorney and third-year law students to pose detailed questions to our experienced panelists, each of whom represents a different field of criminal expertise. Attendees will also benefit from an hour on ethical issues in criminal practice.

Attendees of this Summit will have the unique opportunity to participate in an e-mentorship program, which will allow the younger attorneys to be matched with a mentor. By signing up for this mentorship program at the seminar, you will have access to an experienced criminal practitioner to ask questions and advice from time to time.

The program will be held Friday, Nov. 7 beginning at 12 p.m. at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building. Three substantive and one ethics CLE credits are available. Click here for more information.

Workers' Comp Medical Records CLE Nov. 7

The Workers' Compensation Section will present the lunchtime CLE program "Interpreting Medical Records: Survival Tips" on Friday, Nov. 7.

In this CLE program, attendees will learn what to look for in medical records, how to know what is missing, and what it all means. The fea-tured speaker is Lori Nied, RN, BSN of German, Gallagher & Murtagh, P.C.

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 ad-mitted for more than five years, and $20 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for less than five years. To register in advance please visit or call PBI Customer Service at 1-800-932-4637.

Lunch is available for an additional $7.50 per person. Click here to purchase lunch for this program.

YLD Harvest for the Homeless: Donate and Volunteer

The Young Lawyers Division is seeking volunteers for the annual Harvest for the Homeless. Through the Harvest the YLD collects clothing, blankets, towels, dry non-perishable goods and toiletries from local law firms and donates the items to Philadelphia homeless shelters.

Volunteers are needed to sort and distribute donated items on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 8:30 a.m. at Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, 1735 Market St. Volunteers of all ages are welcome.

Firms participating in the collection of items include: Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP; Ciardi Ciardi & Astin, P.C.; Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP; Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC; Feldman, Shepherd, Wohlgelernter, Tanner, Weinstock & Dodig; Kolsby Gordon Robin Shore & Bezar; Margolis Edelstein; Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, LLP; Rawle & Henderson, LLP; Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP; and Willig, Williams & Davidson.

If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information, please contact Carey Chopko at or Tom Bielli at

Judge DeFino to Receive Beccaria Award Nov. 12

The Criminal Justice Section and The Justinian Society will host a reception presenting the 15th Annual Beccaria Award to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Anthony J. DeFino (Ret.) on Wednesday, Nov. 12.

The Beccaria Award is presented annually to a legal jurist, scholar or practitioner for outstanding contributions to the cause of justice and the advancement of legal education. Cesare Beccaria was an 18th century Italian scholar whose writings presaged the dawn of the modern penal system.

This free reception will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 5 p.m. in the Mayor’s Reception Room (202) in City Hall. Light fare will follow the program until 7 p.m. Please RSVP by Friday, Oct. 31 to 215-545-1013 or

Real Property Section Annual Meeting Nov. 13

Prof. Wendell Pritchett of University of Pennsylvania Law School will be the keynote speaker at the Real Property Section Annual Meeting and Luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 13.

The Section will present its annual Good Deed Award to Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas President Judge C. Darnell Jones II and Court of Common Pleas Judge Annette M. Rizzo.

The program begins at 12 p.m. at Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 1200 Market St. Tickets are $45 for members of the Real Property Section and $50 for non-members. Tickets for a table of 10 are $425. Click here to purchase tickets online.

An Evening of Private Shopping at Tiffany's Nov. 13

The Young Lawyers Division will present an evening of private shopping for holiday gifts at Tiffany & Co., on Thursday, Nov. 13.

The event, which will include cocktails, begins at 5:30 p.m. at Tiffany & Co., 1414 Walnut St. Please register online by Monday, Nov. 10 by clicking here.

Nominees Sought for Chancellor's Diversity Award

Nominees are being sought for the inaugural Chancellor's Diversity Award. The award will recognize a law firm, legal organization or individual who has made a substantial contribution to diversity and inclusion in the legal field. Nominations for the award will be accepted from any member of the Philadelphia Bar Association and must be submitted by Friday, Nov. 14. The Chancellor's Diversity Award will be presented at the Annual Meeting Luncheon on Monday, Dec. 8.

Potential awardees may be an individual attorney, law firm of any size, legal services organization or law school. Note of correction: The nominee's place of business (not residence) must be in Philadelphia County. Nominees should demonstrate a sustained and continuous appreciation of and contribution to diversity and inclusion in the field. However, nominations will be accepted for a single outstanding contribution.

If the nomination is for a law firm, law school or organization, may include an outstanding or innovative programmatic activity that has highlighted diversity, increased diverse representation or supported inclusion efforts in the legal field. These activities should support the areas of commitment to diversity mentioned in the Philadelphia Bar Association's Statement of Diversity Principles.

If the nomination is for an individual, that person must demonstrate a sustained commitment to the tenets of diversity through activities that should support the areas of commitment to diversity mentioned in the Philadelphia Bar Association's Statement of Diversity Principles. For more information about the Chancellor's Diversity Award, contact Dr. Sean Kathleen Lincoln at (215) 238-6340. Click here to download nomination forms.

Meet Newest Members of Federal Bench Nov. 19

The Women in the Profession Committee and Federal Courts Committee will host the program "Meet the Newest Members of Our Federal Bench" on Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Guests include Judges Mitchell S. Goldberg, C. Darnell Jones II, Joel H. Slomsky and Lynne A. Sitarski with special guest and moderator, Judge Anita B. Brody.

The program begins at 12:30 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.

Improving Your Bottom Line Dec. 2

The Financial Management Committee of the Law Practice Management Division will present "Maximizing Economic Performance: Tactics to Improve Your Bottom Line" on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

Speakers for the program will be Alan Badey, CPA, and Kevin Ryan, CPA, partners, Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP. They will discuss facets of your business that drive profitability; how to manage your partners' profitability; how to increase your bottom line in other ways; and how to turn the ship around.

The program 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.

Symposium on Norris Law Firm Nov. 19

The Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, in association with Temple University and the Philadelphia Bar Association will host the symposium "Creating Access – The Norris Law Firm and the Liacouras Committee" on Wednesday, Nov. 19.

More than 50 years ago, a time when African-Americans had few, if any, options to practice in majority law firms, a courageous and talented group of African-American lawyers formed what is considered by many to be Philadelphia's first African-American law firm – Norris Schmidt Green Harris Higginbotham & Brown. The firm's in-court victories, as well as its out of court influence, created access for countless persons across the region and nation. The firm never numbered more than a dozen lawyers at a given time, and still produced many of the superstars of the profession. A number of the firm's lawyers partnered with others in the Philadelphia legal community in an effort to increase the number of African-American lawyers in the Commonwealth by reforming Pennsylvania's bar examination procedures.

Responding to their efforts, the Philadelphia Bar Association appointed a special committee chaired by Peter Liacouras to determine whether Pennsylvania's bar examination procedures were in fact biased against African-American candidates. The committee published its findings in December of 1970, and changes were made in the Commonwealth’s examination procedures that substantially increased the number of African-American lawyers practicing in Philadelphia and statewide. Lawyers from a cross section of the Philadelphia bar, including fabled African-American lawyer and civil rights activist Austin Norris, worked together to bring about the report and these changes, which have forever altered the face of Philadelphia's legal community.

"Creating Access" will tell the story of how these Philadelphia lawyers came together to change our profession, primarily through the recollections of a panel of witnesses to and participants in these events. By retelling their story, we celebrate the achievements of the Norris Law Firm, the Liacouras Committee, and the other diversity pioneers who contributed to making a legal career accessible to a more diverse group of lawyers, providing an example of professional courage and commitment to principle that continues to inspire today.

Symposium participants include William H. Brown III, Robert L. Archie Jr., Peter J. Liacouras, Hon. Paul A. Dandridge, Hon. Ricardo C. Jackson, W. Bourne Ruthrauff, Professor Robert Reinstein and moderator JoAnne A. Epps, dean of Temple University Beasley School of Law.

The program will be held at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St., beginning at 6 p.m. RSVP by Nov. 14 by calling 215-751-2237 or e-mailing

Attorneys Needed to Help Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

Pro bono attorneys are needed to help low-income homeowners facing foreclosure in a new pilot program requiring conciliation conferences.

Through the Residential Mortgage Foreclosures Diversion Pilot Program, instituted in April by Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas President Judge C. Darnell Jones II and Judge Annette M. Rizzo, hundreds of homeowners will be offered free housing counseling in advance of this conciliation conference and an opportunity to negotiate to save their homes.

This diversion program has garnered national attention but will need the involvement of pro bono attorneys to help clients work out an affordable loan modification or payment arrangement.

There are two ways to get involved. Volunteer attorneys who want to participate in the limited representation of borrowers (These volunteers should expect to spend one morning or afternoon per month at a conciliation conference session at court assisting walk-in clients. Volunteers may choose to continue to assist the client they have met that day);and volunteer attorneys who want to assist clients in mortgage foreclosure litigation cases from start to finish.

A training session will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at Blank Rome LLP, 130 N. 18th St., in the Comisky Conference Center, and will include Judge Rizzo as well as borrowers' and lenders' attorneys. The training for limited representation runs from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Full representation training runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attorneys will receive two or five hours of free substantive CLE credit if they participate in the conferences or take a case. Breakfast will be provided through the support of the Blank Rome LLP. Lunch is on your own.

Please RSVP your attendance at the training, including your contact information, to Philadelphia VIP at or call 215-523-9550. For more information, contact Stefanie F. Seldin at 215-523-9564 or

Public Interest Section Law Student Nominees Sought

The Public Interest Section is seeking nominees for its 2008 Law Student Award. Click here to download a nomination form.

The 2008 Public Interest Section Law Student Award recognizes one third-year student from each of the six Philadelphia area schools with a demonstrated commitment to public service. This commitment can be shown in various ways, including but not limited to:

Involvement in school pro bono programs

Membership in school public interest groups, including leadership roles

Public interest summer employment

Participation in academic clinics or externships One student from each school will be selected for the Award by their school representative. Students will be honored at the 2008 Public Interest Section Reception on Tuesday, Dec. 9. Click here to download a nomination form.

Public Interest Calendar, Training Events

• Homeless Advocacy Project will present a pro bono CLE training program, "How to Prepare for an SSI Hearing," on Monday, Nov. 17, from 12 to 1:30 p.m., at DLA Piper, One Liberty Place, 1650 Market St., Suite 4900. This course is open to current and prospective HAP volunteers and will provide 1.5 CLE credits. To register, contact Michele Levy at 215-523-9585 or Deadline for registration is Wednesday, Nov. 12.

• Support Center for Child Advocates will present "How to Handle a Child Abuse Case," a Volunteers Training CLE Program, on Wednesday, Nov. 19, from 8:30 a.m. (registration/breakfast) to 4:30 p.m., at the CLE Conference Center, Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East, Suite 1010. Six CLE credits are available. To register, contact PBI at or 1-800-932-4637.

• The SeniorLAW Center will host a Pacific Northwest Wine Tasting Party on Wednesday, Nov. 19 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Marvin Comisky Conference Center at the offices of Blank Rome LLP, One Logan Square, 18th and Cherry streets. Tickets are $55 and two for $99. The event benefits the SeniorLAW Center. To order tickets, call (215) 701-3203 or e-mail

• AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a cocktail reception and program featuring Jonathan Demme, director of the film "Philadelphia," on Thursday, Nov. 20, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at City Hall. For ticket and sponsorship information, please visit or contact Ronda Goldfein at or 215-587-9377.

• Philadelphia VIP will present a CLE program on Ethics of Pro Bono Program, on Friday, Dec. 5, from 12 to 2:15 p.m., at the Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 10th Floor Board Room. For more information about this program, contact VIP at 215-523-9550.

• The Annual Public Interest Law Day CLE Program will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 9, from 8:30 a.m. (registration/breakfast) to 4:30 p.m. (lunch included), at the PBI CLE Conference Center, Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East, Suite 1010. Six CLE credits are available. This program is sponsored by the Delivery of Legal Services Committee, Public Interest Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association. To register, contact PBI at or call 1-800-932-4637.

• Homeless Advocacy Project will present a Veterans Law Pro Bono CLE Training on Wednesday, Dec. 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., at Dechert LLP, Cira Center, 2929 Arch St., 21st Floor. Michael Taub, Esq., will present this training. This training is open to current and prospective HAP volunteers Three free CLE credits will be provided in exchange for taking a pro bono case referred by HAP. To register, contact Marsha Cohen at

FJD Seeks Pro Bono Roll of Honor Nominees

The First Judicial District of Pennsylvania will present the Third Annual FJD Pro Bono Publico Award to members of the bar who have provided exceptional pro bono service to the underprivileged in Philadelphia in cases before the FJD. The judges of the FJD nominate candidates and a committee of judges selects the recipients of the Pro Bono Publico Award. The awards ceremony to honor these recipients will be held on Thursday, Jan. 22.

At the ceremony, the FJD will also recognize all attorneys on the Pro Bono Roll of Honor who have provided pro bono services to litigants in the Philadelphia courts in 2008. Attorneys may become members of the Roll of Honor through a self-nominating process whereby attorneys submit their names along with a log of their pro bono services. The criteria for eligibility are as follows:

• The attorney must practice in Philadelphia County and must have provided services to a client or client group for a case before the FJD during 2008.

• The attorney must not be employed by an organization that has, as its primary purpose, the provision of free legal services to the underprivileged.

• The attorney must have provided direct delivery of legal services with no expectation of receiving a fee, to a client or client group that does not have the resources to employ compensated counsel, or the attorney must have worked to facilitate such effort by other attorneys.

The self-nominating form is available at under "News and Announcements." The deadline for nominations for the 2008 Pro Bono Roll of Honor is Nov. 24.

The form should be sent to the attention of Deborah Dailey, Deputy Prothonotary, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, by e-mail at, by facsimile at 215-567-7380, or by mail addressed to Room 284 City Hall, Philadelphia, Pa., 19107.

Update Listing for The Legal Directory 2009

Listings updates for The Legal Directory 2009 are now under way! Act promptly to ensure that your current contact information is correct in the most comprehensive resource covering the Philadelphia-area legal community.

Firm updates, the first step in the annual process, must be completed by Friday, Nov. 21. If you are responsible for updates at your firm, and have not received your update packet, please call 443-909-7843. Once firm updates are completed, solo practitioners and any firm-based attorneys who have not responded will be contacted; the deadline for their updates is Monday, Jan. 12.

The Legal Directory 2009 features hundreds of new listings, part of the most complete database of metro area firms and attorneys available. It also includes the indispensable information you've come to rely on – Bar Association bylaws, contacts and committees; information on federal, state and county courts and government agencies; an index of judges; a special section devoted to corporate counsel; alternative dispute resolution resources; and a business-to-business section specially tailored to the legal community.

Once again, each copy of The Legal Directory 2009 will include free access to The Legal Directory Online (good through March 31, 2010).

The Legal Directory 2009 will be available in early April, but you can order now to take advantage of the discounted pre-publication price of $59.95 (plus shipping and tax), which is good through April 1.

Don't be confused by imitators – this is the only official publication of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Order today at

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

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