Thursday, March 22, 2007
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 8, No. 24

Oscar-Winner Richard Dreyfuss to Speak March 26

Don't miss a rare opportunity to hear from Oscar-winning actor and social activist Richard Dreyfuss, who will be the keynote speaker at the Association's Monday, March 26 Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue. Tickets are $50 for Bar Association members and can be purchased online by clicking here.

Dreyfuss won the Academy Award for best actor in 1977 for his performance in "The Goodbye Girl." He was nominated for Best Actor in 1996 for his role in "Mr. Holland's Opus." He has appeared in dozens of films, including Stephen Spielberg classics "Jaws" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Three of his films were recently included in the American Film Institute's list of the greatest 100 films.

Immediate-Past Chancellor Alan M. Feldman will be honored at the event. Feldman will be presented with a gold snuff 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."

Chancellor's Forum for Mayoral Candidates April 10

The Philadelphia Bar Association will host a Chancellor's Forum for mayoral candidates on Tuesday, April 10 beginning at 11:45 a.m. at The CLE Conference Center in the Wanamaker Building.

Each candidate will have an allotted time to answer questions concerning main issues of interest to Philadelphians. During the second portion of the forum, the audience will have the opportunity to submit questions in writing on any topic. The moderator will then select several audience questions and direct them to the candidates as time permits. All declared candidates have been invited to participate in this forum. The program will be moderated by Joseph C. Vignola, co-chair of the Association's Legislative Liaison Committee. The candidates set to appear at the forum include (top row, from left) Chaka Fattah, Tom Knox (bottom row, from left) Michael Nutter and Al Taubenberger.

The program is co-sponsored by the Criminal Justice Section and Young Lawyers Division, the Barristers' Association of Philadelphia, the South Asian Bar Association, the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley, the Hispanic Bar Association and the National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division.

The event will begin at 11:45 a.m. on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, Juniper Street entrance (between 13th and Broad Streets, opposite City Hall). Seating is limited. For more information, call (215) 238-6305.

Developing Rewarding Mentoring Relationships March 27

Former Chancellor Audrey C. Talley, Board of Governors Vice Chair Stephanie Resnick and Sharon L. Caffrey will be the panelists for the March 27 Women in the Profession Committee program "How to Develop a Rewarding Mentoring Relationship."

Talley is a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP; Resnick is a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP and Caffrey is a partner at Duane Morris LLP. 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.

Program on ADR and Employment Law March 27

The Labor and Employment Law Committee and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee will hold a joint meeting "Appreciating the Benefits of ADR in an Employment Law Context" on Tuesday, March 27.

Michael A. Marra, district vice president, American Arbitration Association, and Phil Goldman, ADR coordinator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, will discuss the application of alternative dispute resolution as it relates to employment law matters.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th Floor Committee Room South 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.

Philadelphia Prisons Update CLE March 27

The Criminal Justice Section will present the lunchtime CLE program "Philadelphia Prisons Update: Practices and Procedures on Tuesday, March 27.

Speakers for the program include Thomas Innes, chief of prison services, Defender Association of Philadelphia; Maj. James DiNubile, deputy warden and commanding officer of Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility; Michael Resnick, chief of staff and director of legal affairs, Philadelphia Prison System; Christopher Thomas, director of classification, movement and records, Philadelphia Prison System; and Lt. Ernest Webb, movement coordinator, Philadelphia Prison System.

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 1-800-932-4637.

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.

Lawyers Coach to Address Committee March 29

Lawyers coach Phyllis Sisenwine will present "Choices: You are What You Choose" at the Thursday, March 29 meeting of the Minorities in the Profession Committee.

Sisenwine is a master certified coach and has an international practice providing coaching services to law firms and lawyers who want to increase profits and improve performance.

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.

Chancellor's Forum on Diversity Best Practices April 30

A panel of chief diversity officers will discuss what they've learned over the years at an April 30 Chancellor's Forum on Diversity Best Practices.

The panelists will focus on issues involving recruiting, retention and promotion. One ethics CLE credit will be available for the program, which begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St.

Exelon to Help Bar Members with Pro Bono Cases

The Philadelphia Bar Association, as trial project in coordination with Exelon Corporation, will offer pro bono opportunities to Association members whose corporate legal departments do not have pro bono programs.

Exelon's Philadelphia-area pro bono coordinator is aware of and continually seeks pro bono opportunities for corporate counsel. If you are interested, you can be advised of opportunities, some of which may be one-time occurrences, others being recurring opportunities in conjunction with ongoing programs sponsored by law firms. The recurring programs may provide you the opportunity to team with a lawyer in a firm and handle defined aspects of a case or to take a more primary lead in a case.

Opportunities will be provided in areas such as veterans, seniors, children, the homeless, real estate title issues or obtaining guardianships. If you have a specific interest, the coordinator will attempt to help you find projects that suit your desire. Contact Kevin Stepanuk at (215) 841-5848 or via e-mail at

Public Interest Groups Schedule March Events

The Edward V. Sparer Symposium "Judicial Responses to International Violence," will be held at the University of Pennsylvania Law School today (Thursday, March 22) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The keynote speaker will be Juan Mendez, United Nations special adviser on the prevention of genocide. Panel discussions will feature leading human rights activists, academics, and practitioners and include domestic judicial remedies for torture, international criminal tribunals and universal jurisdiction, and the transitional justice for war-affected children. This event is free and open to the public. Six CLE credits are anticipated.

Rutgers Law School Association for Public Interest Law will hold the Rutgers Law School 2007 Public Interest Auction on Wednesday, March 28 from 12:30 to 2 p.m., at Rutgers Law School, 217 N. 5th St., Camden, N.J. Proceeds from the auction support grants to law students working for non-profit legal organizations during the summer. This event is free. For more information contact Eve Biskind Klothen at 856-225-6608.

Nationalities Service Center will be hosting an Open House at its new office on Thursday, March 29 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at 1216 Arch Street, 4th Floor, Philadelphia. Nationalities Service Center provides services to immigrants and refugees from around the world. This event is free and open to the public.

Browning Fund 10th Anniversary Dinner Tonight

The Peggy Browning Fund, which provides fellowships and internship opportunities for law students interested in workers' rights, will celebrate its 10th anniversary tonight (Thursday, March 22) with a dinner honoring John Sweeney, president of the national AFL-CIO.

Local labor leaders, educators and attorneys involved in the employment field will congregate at 6 pm at the Penns Landing Caterers, 1301 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, to support the fund that perpetuates the memory of one of the city's most accomplished labor lawyers.

Margaret "Peggy" Browning was a partner with the law firm of Spear, Wilderman in 1994 when President Bill Clinton named her a member of the National Labor Relations Board. At the time she was the only union-side attorney on the board, which regulates relations between management and organized labor.

After Browning died in 1997, her husband, Joseph Lurie, also a labor lawyer, along with others, established the Peggy Browning Fund. The fund is a nonprofit corporation with a " provide law students with diverse, challenging work and educational experiences in the area of workers' rights.'

Since its founding the fund has established internships and fellowships for nearly 200 law students allowing them to work in various agencies, including, including the U.S. Department of Labor, the NLRB, labor unions, worker centers and legal aid organizations.

In choosing to to honor John Sweeney, president of the 10-million-plus member labor federation, on its 10th anniversary, the Peggy Browning Fund recognizes the partnership role the federation has established with the nation's law schools and the fund in providing actual working experience for law students who seek to establish careers in labor law.

Tickets to the event are available by calling (215) 665-6815 or by visiting

YLD Happy Hour April 19 at RumBar

The Young Lawyers Division will host a happy hour on Thursday, April 19 at RumBar, 20th and Walnut streets, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The first 60 people in attendance will receive free drink tickets. Butlered hors d'oeuvres, discounted drinks and $2 draft beer will also be available. The restaurant will be closed to the general public until 6:30 p.m. The YLD Happy Hour is sponsored by Best Rate Mortgage Company.

Help Available for Disabled Senior Attorneys

Senior attorneys who become disabled or families of disabled or deceased attorneys can now receive emergency assistance on practice issues from the Senior Lawyers Professional and Public Service Committee.

"Anyone in need of assistance to handle an emergency in a practice or to wind down a practice is eligible," said Louis W. Fryman, chair of the committee.

"A widow of a single practitioner, a partner burdened with his own files, or an attorney who is disabled either for the short or long term can receive assistance. It may be necessary to contact clients or the court concerning the problem or to review files in order to put the legal house in order," he said.

Parties needing the committee's help should call a Bar Association hotline at (215) 238-6391.

YLD Comedy Night with Ty Barnett May 12

Ty Barnett, stand-up comedian and finalist on NBC's hit "Last Comic Standing," will fill the Academy of Natural Sciences with laughter when he headlines the Young Lawyers Division's 2nd Annual Comedy Night at the Academy on Saturday, May 12.

In addition to a night filled with entertainment, attendees will join together to raise money for the Philadelphia Bar Foundation - the charitable arm of the Bar Association, supporting legal agencies assisting the indigent, elderly and disabled, as well as abused women and children. The event, which runs from 7 to 11:30 p.m., features comedy, dancing, an open bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres and a silent auction.

Comedian and Philadelphia-native Chris Coccia will open for Barnett and serve as emcee for the night.

YLD Comedy Night is part of an annual mission to raise money for the Philadelphia Bar Foundation by promoting access to justice for all people in the community, particularly those struggling with poverty, abuse and discrimination. That mission is accomplished by providing grants and technical assistance in support of quality legal services, addressing unmet legal needs and providing education on matters in the public interest.

Tickets are $65 per person and the show is open to the public. All tickets are general admission. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Submissions Sought for Law Week Poster, Essay Contests

The Young Lawyers Division is now accepting submissions for the Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest and the 2007 Poster Contest.

The YLD invites all high school seniors who attend public, private, charter and parochial schools in Philadelphia to participate in the 8th annual Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest. Named for former Chancellor Edward F. Chacker, the 2007 contest asks students to write an essay of at least 1,000 words on the question: Do lawyers have more responsibility as citizens to protect and/or promote democracy? Why or why not?

The winner will receive a $1,000 college scholarship. Submissions should include the student's name, address, telephone number and school on a cover sheet accompanying the essay.

All 4th-, 5th- and 6th-grade students who attend Philadelphia public, private, charter and parochial schools are invited to participate in the 2007 Poster Contest. Students are asked to draw a picture which best illustrates what democracy means to you. Posters should be produced on standard 22 x 28 inch poster board and students should include their name, address, telephone number and school on the back of the poster. First, second and third prizes will be awarded.

All entries for the Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest and the 2007 Poster Contest must be received by 12 p.m. on Monday, April 23, 2007. Please submit entries to Amy Muldoon, Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Applications Sought for YLD Minority Scholarship Program

Applications are now being accepted for the Young Lawyers Division Minority Scholarship Program. The scholarship, established in 2006 by the YLD Executive Committee, awards $500 for deserving minority law students who desire to practice law in Philadelphia upon graduation.

Applications should be submitted as soon as possible to the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley, the Barrister's Association of Philadelphia, the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania, the South Asian Bar Association of Philadelphia and the National Bar Association, Women Lawyers Division, Philadelphia Chapter. Each group will forward three applications to the YLD for consideration on April 16, 2007. The YLD will award the scholarship based on academic achievement; demonstrated commitment to community service and involvement; financial need; and career aspirations and goals.

Interested candidates should submit to the appropriate minority bar association named above, a resume, transcript, and a brief essay (not to exceed 850 words) addressing (at the candidate's discretion) the scholarship criteria set forth above. Any questions regarding the scholarship should be directed to Sozi Tulante at or at 215-496-7073 or to the individual minority bar association to whom a law student is interested in applying.

Order Your Copy of The Legal Directory 2007

The Legal Directory 2007 will be available in early April, and you won't want to miss the newest, most comprehensive resource for the Philadelphia-area legal community. This is your last chance to order your copy at a special pre-publication price.

This year's edition includes listings for more than 1,600 law firms and nearly 18,000 attorneys in Philadelphia and the surrounding Pennsylvania counties, Delaware and New Jersey.

But The Legal Directory 2007 also 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; a judges index; corporate counsel listings; alternative dispute resolution resources; and a special business-to-business section tailored to the legal community.

Once again this year, each copy of The Legal Directory will include complimentary access to The Legal Directory Online. So the information you need will be only a few mouse clicks away. Online firm and attorney listings are updated throughout the year, so you'll always have access to the most up-to-date addresses and phone numbers.

Order The Legal Directory 2007 now for the discounted pre-publication price of $57.95 (plus shipping and tax). Order today at

Reappointment of Bankruptcy Judge

The current 14-year term of office of Stephen Raslavich, United States Bankruptcy judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, is due to expire on Oct. 28, 2007. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is considering the reappointment of Judge Raslavich to a new 14-year term of office. Members of the bar and the public are invited to submit comments for consideration by the Court of Appeals regarding the reappointment of Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Raslavich.

All comments should be directed to one of the following addresses: by e-mail at or by mail to the Office of the Circuit Executive, 22409 U.S. Courthouse, 601 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19106-1790. Comments must be received no later than Tuesday, April 10, 2007.

LPM Hotline Can Help Improve Your Practice

The Association's Law Practice Management Division offers committees with programs to help you manage your law office as well as a hotline to help you with staffing, bookkeeping and other issues. Contact the Law Practice Management Hotline at (215) 238-6314.

Whether you are just starting your own firm or trying to grow your established practice, the LPM Division is available to help. The program features a bank of consultants available to counsel Bar Association members with both innovative and practical information on topics including marketing, management, technology and finances.

The Association's Law Practice Management Division is offering programs designed to help members in many different areas. For more information on any of these subcommittees, contact the committee chairs listed below:

Vendor and Consultant Referral Program Committee - Mary Platt at and Marla A. Joseph at

Financial Management Committee - Joel D. Feldman at and Thomas A. Brophy at

Technology Committee - Carl G. Roberts at and Daniel J. Siegel at

Business Management Committee - Margaret Klaw at and Jeffrey A. Lutsky at

Marketing Committee - Merritt A. Cole at and Harper J. Dimmerman at

The Law Practice Management Division is chaired by Joseph A. Prim Jr. and Carl G. Roberts.

If you need help with staffing, bookkeeping or developing your Web site, we have the consultants to assist you! Contact the Law Practice Management Hotline at (215) 238-6314.

City Hall Security ID Application Program Expanded

Attorneys who do business at Philadelphia City Hall are urged to apply for their new security cards. A new security system is being implemented for City Hall within the next several months.

Attorneys can go to Room 112 near the northeast corner of City Hall Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. for the next several weeks to fill out an application and have a photo taken for the new badge. The photo and application process takes just 10 minutes. Click here to download the application form.

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