Thursday, March 16, 2006
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 7, No. 13

NPR's Mara Liasson to Speak at March 23 Quarterly

Mara Liasson, the national political correspondent for National Public Radio, will be the keynote speaker at the Association's March 23 Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon. Click here to order tickets online.

Liasson's reports can be heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazine "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition." She provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, D.C., focusing on the White House and Congress. Liasson also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway. During her tenure she has covered the 1992, 1996 and 2000 presidential elections. Prior to her current assignment, Liasson was NPR's White House correspondent for all eight years of the Clinton administration. She has won the White House Correspondents Association’s Merriman Smith Award for daily news coverage in 1994, 1995, and again in 1997. From 1989 to 1992, Liasson was NPR's congressional correspondent.

Also, Immediate-Past Chancellor Andrew A. Chirls will be honored by the Association at the event, which begins at 12 p.m. in the main Ballroom at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue, Broad and Walnut Streets. Tickets are $50 for Association members and $55 for non-members and can be purchased online by clicking here.

Program on High-Profile Trials March 22

U.S. District Court Judges Michael M. Baylson and John E. Jones III, along with George Anastasia, veteran crime reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, will be the panelists when the Federal Courts Committee presents "High Profile, High Publicity Trials: Observations from the Bench and the Press" on Wednesday, March 22.

Judge Baylson presided over the much publicized Philadelphia corruption and bribery trial that involved Philadelphia city officials and the "pay-to-play" attitude prevalent in the city. In 2003, Baylson issued a decision that ordered election officials to begin printing all election materials in both English and Spanish for any precinct where registered Hispanic voters constitute more than 5 percent of those on the rolls.

Judge Jones issued his decision in the landmark case of Kitzmiller v. Dover School District in December 2005, holding that it was unconstitutional to teach intelligent design within a public school science curriculum. In 2003, he struck down portions of Shippensburg University's speech code on the basis that they violated First Amendment free speech guarantees. He also issued a decision affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Milk Mustache/got milk campaign did not infringe the free speech rights of the producers.

Anastasia has been covering organized crime and various criminal prosecutions throughout the country for 35 years. His work also has appeared in Penthouse, Playboy and The Village Voice, and he has served as a consultant for ABC’s Primetime, the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. Anastasia is the author of several books, including The Last Gangster, the story of Ron Previte, "Skinny" Joey Merlino and Philadelphia organized crime.

This luncheon event begins at 12 p.m. at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building. Click here to register for this program.

Equal Justice Conference March 30 - April 1

U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Theodore A. McKee and U.S. Rep Chaka Fattah will deliver the keynote addresses at the American Bar Association and National Legal Aid and Defender Association's 2006 Equal Justice Conference in Philadelphia from March 30 to April 1. Click here to register for the conference.

The Equal Justice Conference brings together all components of the legal community to discuss equal justice issues as they relate to the delivery of legal services to the poor and low-income individuals in need of legal assistance. The emphasis of this conference is on strengthening partnerships among the key players in the civil justice system. Through plenary sessions, workshops, networking opportunities and special programming, the conference provides a wide range of learning and sharing experiences for all attendees.

The 2006 Equal Justice Conference is being hosted by the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Staff Work Force Issues to Be Discussed

Attorney Deborah Weinstein, vice chair of the Association's Board of Governors, will present an update on anti-harassment and other work force compliance issues at the Thursday, March 16 meeting of the Solo and Small Firm Committee.

The program, "Sex(ual Harassment) and the Single Attorney Anti-Harassment and Other Workforce Compliance Issues Every Solo or Small Firm Lawyer Needs to Know," 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 event.

Judges to Meet with Social Security Committee

U.S. Social Security Administration Chief Judges Linda M. Bernstein, Joseph M. Davidson and Margaret A. Lenzi will be the featured speakers at the Friday, March 17 meeting of the Social Security and Disability Benefits 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 register in this meeting.

YLD Happy Hour March 17 at The Pyramid Club

The Young Lawyers Division is hosting a happy hour celebrating St. Patrick's Day on Friday, March 17 at The Pyramid Club, 1735 Market St., 52nd Floor, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The happy hour is a joint event with the Young Executives of the Pyramid Club and the Young CPAs. There will be drink specials and free appetizers.

As an added incentive, The Pyramid Club has agreed to reduce its initiation fee by almost 50 percent for individuals who are 35 years of age or younger. On the day of the happy hour only, the initiation fee will be $260. Twenty-five percent of that initiation fee ($65) will be donated to the Philadelphia Bar Foundation.

Please note that The Pyramid Club has a business casual attire policy prohibiting any member or guest from wearing denim or sneakers in the club. Space is limited for this event. Please RSVP for the happy hour by e-mailing Maureen Coyle at

Judges to Offer Views on Litigation, Trial Practice

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy J. Savage and Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Albert W. Sheppard Jr. will discuss "Practical View on Litigation and Trial Practice from the Judges' Perspective at Wednesday, March 29 lunchtime CLE program sponsored by the Business Litigation Committee.

The judges will offer practical advice and working insights as to what they find effective, as well as ineffective, in lawyers' pre-trial and trial practice.

The program has been approved for 1 substantive CLE credit. Participants wishing to receive the CLE credit will be required to pay $32.50 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for more than five years, and $27.50 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.

If you would like to attend the meeting and not receive CLE credit, you may purchase lunch for $7.50 per person at the door. Lunch will only be provided for those who have registered in advance. If you wish to purchase lunch only, please RSVP to Tara Phoenix at or (215) 965-5526.

U.S. Supreme Court Induction Deadline April 5

The Philadelphia Bar Association will move 50 of our members for admission to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court on Monday, May 22. The admission ceremony will be made to the full Court sitting in session in Washington D.C. The day's events will include a continental breakfast, the swearing in ceremony and then a group photograph and tour of the court. Each inductee is able to bring one guest only.

The court's requirements for a group admission ceremony are very rigid. To review these requirements and to download the forms for admission please visit the Supreme Court's Web site at Select the bar admissions tab on the left-hand side and this will bring you to the link for bar admission instructions and bar admission forms. Please read the bar admission instructions carefully. Once you have determined that you are eligible for admission, please print out and complete the admission forms. The instructions and guidelines are very specific and must be followed scrupulously. Do not fold the application and do not use staples. Use paper clips only.

Once you have successful completely the admission forms, please mail them with your check for $100 made out to the Philadelphia Bar Association to: David Burt, Director of Meetings & Special Events, Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107. Do not send the application directly to the Supreme Court. This event will be on a first-come, first-serve basis and all applications must be received by 12 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, 2006. If you have any questions regarding this event, please do not hesitate to contact David Burt at 215-238-6360 or via e-mail at

Civil Gideon Symposium March 28

The Philadelphia Area Law School Consortium, in collaboration with the ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference sponsored by the Philadelphia area law schools and the Philadelphia Bar Association, will host the 23rd Annual Edward V. Sparer Symposium "Civil Gideon: Making the Case" on Tuesday, March 28. Click here for more information.

The symposium begins at 9:30 a.m. with several substantive sessions and a luncheon with keynote speaker American Bar Associaiton President Michael Greco. The closing plenary session begins at 2:45 p.m. at the National Constitution Center, followed by a wine and cheese cocktail hour (sponsored by the Philadelphia Bar Association) and optional tours of the NCC.

The Law School Consortium will partner with National Public Radio for their award-winning "Justice Talking" radio program, beginning at 5 p.m. at the National Constitution Center discussing the Civil Gideon movement. Following the taping of "Justice Talking," all are invited to a reception beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the NCC honoring the efforts of the Philadelphia area public service community and sponsored by the Philadelphia area law schools. Click here for more information.

Program to Teach Client Development Skills

The Training Resource Group will offer a four-week program designed to help those at the associate level with client development skills on March 27 at Bar Association headquarters. Click here to register.

TRG will help attorneys create an individual business development plan, develop strategic partners, better cross-sell current clients and build account relationships at a higher level. For more than 10 years, TRG has worked with companies and individuals to teach them the skills necessary to increase sales, profits and productivity.

For more information about The Training Resource Group, visit their Web site at

Law Week Events Need Volunteers

The Young Lawyers Division needs volunteers for its annual Law Week celebration that runs from Monday, May 1 through Friday, May 5.

Events in which volunteer attorneys work with Philadelphia students will take place throughout the week including Lawyer in the Classroom and Lawyer for Day. In addition, there will be a Law Fair at the Gallery at Market East mall at which volunteer attorneys counsel area residents, free-of-charge.

Volunteers are needed for all Law Week events. For more information on these events, and how to volunteer, visit

Ginsburg Essay Contest Entries Due by April 28

The Philadelphia Bar Association is pleased to announce the Fourth Annual Legal Writing Competition in honor of the Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In so doing, the Bar Association recognizes the importance of excellence in legal analysis and writing skills, and seeks to award a student enrolled in a Philadelphia-area law school for authoring a top-quality competition submission. The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 28.

This competition is open to full- and part-time law students who are in their second or third year of study during the 2005-06 academic year at one of the following five institutions: University of Pennsylvania School of Law, The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers (Camden) School of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law, Villanova University School of Law, Widener University School of Law (Delaware Campus). Students must be in good standing at their institutions. The submission may not have been published previously, although it may have been prepared in connection with a law school course. The submission also may not have been submitted for any other competition during the time when it is under consideration for this Competition, until after the time when awards are announced. The submission must be the work of one author alone (joint submissions will not be considered), and the author must certify that the submission has been prepared without substantial editing from others.

Candidates may submit a law review quality submission on any topic relating to rights, privileges and responsibilities under federal law.

The author of the first place submission will receive a cash award of $2,500, the publication of the winning submission in The Philadelphia Lawyer magazine, on the Bar Association’s Web site and/or in an appropriate Bar Association publication. The winner of the First Place award will be invited to the Quarterly Meeting of the Bar Association in October 2006, at which time the award will be presented. Click here for more information.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judgeship Vacancy

Chief Judge Anthony J. Scirica has announced the application process for a bankruptcy judgeship in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Bankruptcy judges are appointed to 14-year terms pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 152. Current annual salary is $151,984. Applicants must be members in good standing of the highest court of at least one state, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and in every other bar of which they are members. Applicants should have engaged in the active practice of law for at least five years; demonstrate outstanding legal ability and competence and a commitment to equal justice under the law; and indicate by their demeanor, character and personality that they would exhibit judicial temperament if appointed.

The designated seat for the new appointee shall be Wilkes-Barre of Harrisburg. Should a vacancy occur five or more years after this appointment, it is anticipated that the new appointee will sit in the division vacated by that sitting judge. Until such time, the position will require substantial duties in Harrisburg, Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport, along with associated travel. Every consideration will be given to the appointee’s preference of sitting in either Wilkes-Barre of Harrisburg, pending the aforesaid vacancy.

Qualified candidates will be considered equally and without regard to race, sex, age, disability, religious affiliation or national origin. An extensive background in bankruptcy practice is not required. The name of the candidate selected for the positions will be published for public comment prior to appointment. The application process is entirely automated. To apply, please e-mail your request for an application to

No paper applications or attachments will be accepted. Applications and attachments must be submitted electronically by noon on Thursday, April 6, 2006. For your information, after reviewing the applications, the Merit Selection Committee plans to conduct interviews of selected candidates on May 10, 2006.

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