Thursday, May 25, 2006
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 7, No. 35

June 5 Chancellor's Forum
to Explore Diversity Issues

A Chancellor's Forum, "Diversity Beyond the Large Firms," will be held Monday, June 5 beginning at 1 p.m. at the CLE Conference Center at the Wanamaker Building, featuring (from left) Chancellor-Elect Jane L. Dalton, Charisse R. Lillie and Melissa M. Gomez. This unique conference for small and mid-size firms and public interest practitioners will feature a discussion on the challenges and successes for creating a diverse and inclusive work environment...READ MORE

Chancellor's Forum on Diversity Beyond the Large Firms

A Chancellor's Forum, "Diversity Beyond the Large Firms," will be held Monday, June 5 beginning at 1 p.m. at the CLE Conference Center at the Wanamaker Building. This unique conference for small and mid-size firms and public interest practitioners will feature a discussion on the challenges and successes for creating a diverse and inclusive work environment.

Chancellor Elect Jane L. Dalton will open the event, followed by keynote speaker Charisse R. Lillie, vice president of human resources for Comcast. Trial consultant Melissa M. Gomez will present "The Journey Continues: Understanding What It Means to Have a Diversity-Friendly Workplace."

The panel discussion "Creating a Model for Progress: Diversity Challenges and Successes From the Front Lines" follows, with moderator Karen Jackson Vaughn and panelists Carl G. Cooper, former Chancellor Deborah R. Willig, Roosevelt Hairston Jr., Louis Rulli and James A. Pabarue. A reception with federal and state judges follows from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m.

Three CLE credits are available for this program. The program is free to those who don't want CLE credit. The tuition is $149 for Philadelphia Bar Association members who wish to receive CLE credit; $150 for non-members of the Association admitted after Jan. 1, 2002 and $170 for non-members of the Association. To register for this event, visit or call (800) 247-4724.

Discussion on Minority Judicial Candidates May 25

The Minorities in the Profession Committee will host a panel discussion, "Judicial Merit Selection: How Will it Affect Minority Lawyers Who Aspire to the Bench?" on Thursday, May 25.

Panelists include Pennsylvania state Sen. Anthony H. Williams; Pennsylvania state Rep. Thomas Blackwell; Lynn A. Marks, executive director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts; Allison Anderson Acevedo of the National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division; Christopher B. Sheridan, policy director of the Committee of Seventy; and Michael Coard, host of 1340 AM's "The Radio Court Room" and "Judging the Judges."

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 event.

Lawyers' Death Row Case Becoming Movie

J. Gordon Cooney, Jr. and Michael Banks will discuss their 15 year life-altering pro bono case at the Wednesday, May 31 meeting of the Professional Responsibility Committee. Their story is soon to be a Hollywood movie starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Cooney and Banks will reflect not only on the need and benefit of large firm participation in pro bono work but also their insights on the Louisiana criminal justice system, and how such a significant case is transformed into a Hollywood movie.

Fifteen years ago, Cooney and Banks agreed, on a pro bono basis, to represent a young man on Louisiana's death row. Their client was facing execution for a 1984 murder he said he did not commit. Critical evidence had been withheld from the defense at the first trial. Seemingly against all odds, they succeeded in obtaining a stay of execution just weeks before their client was scheduled to die by lethal injection. After extensive litigation, they won a new trial for their client and ultimately an acquittal at that new trial in 2003. Their client had been incarcerated for 18 years.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 10th floor Board Room of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. A complimentary lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to Dawn Burger if you plan to attend this event.

Specter, Nutter on YLD Ethics Panel June 9

U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (left) and Philadelphia City Councilman Michael Nutter will be panelists as the Young Lawyers Division presents "Ethics in Government and Politics" on Friday, June 9.

The roundtable discussion, part of the YLD's 2020 lunchtime seminar series for young lawyers, will be held at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute's CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wannamaker Building. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. and the panel discussion will begin promptly at 12 p.m. and will conclude at 1 p.m. A third panelist will be named in the future.

YLD Chair Michael B. Hayes and YLD Executive Committee member Jocelyn Gabrynowicz will serve as moderators. The event is open to all members of the Philadelphia Bar Association. The first 50 members of the YLD to register for the event at will receive a free lunch. All YLD members after the first 50 and all general members of the Association who wish to purchase lunch can do so for $7.50. Click here to register for this event.

62 Firms Donate $1.1 Million to Raising the Bar Campaign

With the addition of The Weinstein Firm, 62 law firms have pledged more than $1.1 million in support of Chancellor Alan M. Feldman's Raising the Bar Campaign to support legal services. The latest law firms to join the effort are Lindy & Associates, P.C. and Haines & Associates.

The 62 law firms, representing more than 3,500 attorneys, have pledged $1,146,120. Campaign organizers remain confident that many more firms will agree to participate in the weeks and months ahead, according to Feldman. The Raising the Bar Campaign is a joint effort by the Philadelphia 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. Seventeen of the firms are among the 20 largest as listed in PaLAW 2005. To contribute, contact Maureen Mingey, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation.

Click here for a list of the participating law firms and for more information about the Raising the Bar campaign.

Brandeis Law Society to Mark Jewish Law Day June 7

All members of the legal community are invited to join The Louis D. Brandeis Law Society when it kicks off a yearlong observance of the 150th birthday of Justice Brandeis by welcoming Virginia Commonwealth University Prof. Melvin I. Urofsky (left) for its 24th Annual Jewish Law Day, Wednesday, June 7 at 4:30 pm. at the Jewish Community Services Building, 2100 Arch St.

Prof. Urofsky will discuss "Louis D. Brandeis: Educator Extraordinaire" at the free session which includes a one-hour substantive law credit granted by the Pennsylvania CLE Board. The event also honors Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas President Judge C. Darnell Jones II and Judge Frederica A. Massiah-Jackson, immediate-past president judge.

Complimentary valet parking will be provided on-site and the event will be preceded by a Mincha service and followed by a reception. Dietary laws will be observed. Reservations can be made at

Jewish Law Day is sponsored by the Brandeis Society, the Committee of Lawyers and Judges and VAAD, the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia. The event is co-chaired by Harris T. Bock, Judge Abraham J. Gafni and Rabbi David L. Gutterman.

Legends of the Bar Nominees Sought

The Philadelphia Bar Association has reconvened its Legends of the Bar Committee and is inviting members of the Bar to nominate deceased members of the Bar for consideration.

Nominees are required to have a record of extraordinary skill and service to the bar, the profession and the community in a career of at least 30 years at the bar, unless the candidate came late to the law, or retired early, and some or all of the following qualifications:

A breadth of achievement rather than a single accomplishment;
An enduring contribution to the law;
A deep commitment to achieving equal access to justice for all citizens;
A profound respect for the ethical principles that govern the profession;
A leadership role in advancing the interests of the community;
or a recognized ability to mentor, lead or inspire others in the pursuit of law and justice.

The period involved is stated in the following Resolution by the Legends Committee: "The consideration of the Committee for Legends shall cover a period from June 1, 2000 until the termination of this Committee with the exception that nominations can be referred for individuals outside this period for exemplary reasons and provided that the nominees named had not been considered by the previous Legends Committee."

Written nominations should be sent to Kenneth Shear, Executive Director, Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107. Individuals are encouraged to have nominations sent no later than Monday, June 19 by the close of the business day.

Ethics in Family Law CLE June 5

The Family Law Section will present "Ethics in Family Law: Sticking to the Straight and Narrow When the Case Takes Twists and Turns" on Monday, June 5 beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Panelists for the program include Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Family Court Division Judge Idee C. Fox; former Family Law Section Chair David I. Grunfeld; and Paul Kazaras, assistant executive director of the Philadelphia Bar Association, and staff counsel to the Professional Guidance and Professional Responsibility Committees. The panel will address ethical issues that family lawyers regularly face, including defining the attorney-client relationship, dealing with difficult clients in emotionally charged circumstances and negotiating with and litigating against pro se parties.

Registration and lunch begin at 11:30 a.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. The program has been approved for 1 ethics CLE credit. Participants wishing to receive the CLE credit will be required to pay $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 at 1-800-932-4637.

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

Probate Section Quarterly Meeting June 6

The Probate and Trust Section will hold its quarterly lunch/CLE program "Fiduciary Law in the First State: What a Pennsylvania Practitioner Should Know About Delaware's Law, Practice and Procedure" on Monday, June 6.

Speakers for the program include Steven R. Director, The Bayard Firm; Todd A. Flubacher, Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell, LLP; Thomas O. Hiscott, Heckscher, Teillon, Terrill & Sager, P.C.; and Anne L. Stallman of J.P. Morgan Trust Company.

The program begins at 12:30 p.m. A demonstration of the Register of Wills newly developed computerization program will be held at 11:30 a.m. The program will be held at the CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building. Two substantive CLE credits are available for this program. Click here to register for this program.

Bar, PBI Offering Discounts for CLE

Section members are now eligible to receive discounts for CLE programs presented by their sections under a new agreement between the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.

The new discount program only applies to programs proposed and presented by the sections and the various committees of those sections. It does not apply to stand-alone Bar Association committees. The discount program became effective on May 1.

For a standard 2-hour CLE program that regularly costs $99, both PBI and the Bar Association will offer $9.50 discounts. The final cost paid by a registrant will be $80, a savings of nearly 20 percent. Young lawyers who normally pay $79 for a two-hour course will receive $9.50 discounts from both PBI and the Bar Association, making for a final cost of $60, a savings of 24 percent.

For 3- to 4-hour CLE programs regularly priced at $169, both the Bar Association and PBI will offer $15 discounts, making the final price $139, a savings of 17.8 percent. Young lawyers enrolling in 3- to 4-hour courses regularly pay $149. With the $15 discounts offered by the Association and PBI, the final cost drops to $119, a savings of 20 percent.

The new discount policy does not apply to programs that are less than two hours and likewise does not apply to programs longer than four hours.

One-hour "Lunch and Learn" programs sponsored by sections and committees of the Association that qualify for CLE credit are available. The cost of these programs is $25 for attorneys who have been in practice for more than five years and $20 for attorneys who have been practicing for less than five years. There is a seperate fee for lunch for these programs.

Federal Bench-Bar Conference June 16 at Loews

The Federal Courts Committee's annual Federal Bench-Bar Conference moves back into the city on Friday, June 16 with a full program of seminars and a keynote luncheon address from U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Marjorie O. Rendell.

The Federal Bench-Bar Conference will be held at Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 1200 Market St. A total of 3 CLE credits, including .5 ethics credits, are available. Seminars for the conference include "Managing Multi-District Litigation," "How Focus on Ethics and Professionalism Improves the Relationship Between the Bench and Bar," "Addressing Requests to Waive Attorney-Client Privilege in Criminal Matters" and "Pending Rules Changes on Discovery of Electronic Documents."

Tuition, which includes breakfast, a course book and lunch, is $175 for members of the bar admitted before Jan. 1, 2002 and $155 for members admitted after Jan. 1, 2002. Registration and breakfast begin at 7:45 a.m. Click here to register for this event.

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.

Organizations Schedule Spring Fund-Raisers

The SeniorLAW Center will host a Happy Hour at Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St., from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 15, followed by a comedy show starting at 8 p.m. featuring national headliner Greg Warren. Proceeds benefit the work of SeniorLAW Center. For ticket information, call 215-701-3203 or e-mail

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 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.

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.

Bike-a-Thon Training Rides on Saturdays

The Association's team for the American Cancer Society Bike-a-Thon will begin training rides this weekend. Riders will meet every Saturday at 7 a.m. and leave from Spring Mill train station on the Schuylkyll Bike Path.

Riders of all abilities are welcome and the training sessions will go only as far as the riders are comfortable. If you will be riding on Saturday please send a confirming e-mail to Jeffrey Abramowitz.

This year's Bike-a-Thon is scheduled for Sunday, July 9 and begins at 7 a.m. at the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia and stretches 62.5 miles to Lenape Park in Mays Landing, N.J. There are also starting points at Cherry Hill High School East on Kresson Road in Cherry Hill, N.J. and Mazzas Furniture on 12th Street in Hammonton, N.J.

The ACS Bike-a-Thon Expo is set for Friday, July 8 at Dave & Busters on Columbus Boulevard. For more information, contact Jeffrey Abramowitz at (215) 568-4980 or visit

Expansion of Public Interest Endowment Sought

Temple University Beasley School of Law's Public Interest Scholar Program is being renamed as the Rubin-Presser Public Interest Scholars Program in memory of Stefan Presser, who passed away in October 2005. The program was founded by Presser to help support law school students who shared his passion and devotion to the cause of equal rights for all. The program is being funded with an estate gift from Leonard Rubin (Temple '49).

Each year, through Temple's Public Interest Scholars Program, three-year full tuition scholarships are awarded to three or four entering law students who have demonstrated exceptional ability and a longstanding commitment to public interest work and who will pursue a career in public interest law. Approximately 40 to 50 admitted students apply. To date, 19 scholarships have been awarded.

Students and graduates are involved in a range of activities, representing clients around immigration law; legal advocacy and representation for the elderly and patients with serious diseases; mediating or litigating family law matters; representing community non-profit organizations, and representing criminal defendants sentenced to death.

Presser's memory can be memorialized by expanding the endowment to produce additional scholarships for those who will follow in his career. Members of the Philadelphia Bar Association can contribute to the Scholarship Fund. If you would like to do so, please forward your contribution to:

Temple University
Beasley School of Law
1719 N. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6002
Attn: Stefan Presser Scholarship Program

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.
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