Monday, June 12, 2006
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Vol. 7, No. 40

Mfume to Address Association
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...READ MORE

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 spoken at the annual lecture. 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, with attorney Paul N. Minkoff speaking on their behalf.

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.

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.

Professional Announcements Available in Bar Publications

The Philadelphia Bar Reporter and The Philadelphia Lawyer are excellent resources for any sort of professional announcement by your firm. Tell the legal community of greater Philadelphia about special new hires, associates ascending to partner level, career advancements, special awards and more.

A professional announcement in The Philadelphia Bar Reporter and The Philadelphia Lawyer will be placed in a publication with more than three times the circulation of any other legal publication in Philadelphia!

A professional announcement has tremendous impact and will benefit your firm in the increasingly competitive environment in which we work. Your firm will stand out as a fertile breeding ground for outstanding legal talent when placing a professional announcement.

The individuals recognized in the announcement will have a tangible piece of history that will serve as a keepsake that he/she will never forget. For rates and information, please call Howard Hyatt, senior account manager, at (410) 902-5797 or (800) 466-8721, extension 250.

Discussion Forums Debut at

Philadelphia Bar Association members have a powerful new tool for exchanging information with their colleagues on practice-related issues and other topics of interest with the launch of the Association's new Discussion Forums network at

The Association created Discussion Forums for members of every Section and the Young Lawyers Division. Forums soon will be launched for the Association's Committees, as well as Committees within Sections.

Any Association member in good standing of one of these groups can instantly access the Discussion Forum for that group by logging in to their personalized homepage at, and clicking "My Discussion Forums" at the bottom of the page. Members can also access the Forums through a link on the right side of Section and YLD homepages. For more information, visit

Judge to Address Bankruptcy Committee June 12

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Eric L. Frank will discuss his recent transition from lawyer to judge at today's (Monday, June 12) meeting of the Business Law Section's Bankruptcy Committee.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. at the offices of WolfBlock, 1650 Arch St., 22nd floor. Lunch will be provided to all in attendance.

Nominations Sought for Sandra Day O'Connor Award

The Women in the Profession Committee is seeking nominations for the 2006 Sandra Day O'Connor Award. Deadline for nominations is Friday, Aug. 11.

The award is conferred annually on a woman attorney who has demonstrated superior legal talent, achieved significant legal accomplishments and has furthered the advancement of women in both the profession and the community. The award presentation will be made during the Association's Quarterly Meeting in October.
The committee established the award in 1993 to recognize the important contributions that women attorneys in Philadelphia have made to the legal profession.

That year, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor presented the first award to U.S. District Court Senior Judge Norma L. Shapiro. The award has since been presented to the late Juanita Kidd Stout, former justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court; Deborah R. Willig, first woman Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association; Professor Marina Angel, of the Temple University Beasley School of Law faculty; Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Dolores K. Sloviter (former Chief Judge); U.S. District Court Judge Anita B. Brody; Leslie Anne Miller, first woman president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association; Lila G. Roomberg of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP; the late Judge Judith J. Jamison; Ellen T. Greenlee, chief defender of the Defender Association of Philadelphia; former Chancellor Audrey C. Talley; U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Marjorie O. Rendell; and Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Phyllis W. Beck.

Click here to download a nomination form for the 2006 Sandra Day O'Connor Award.

Authors to Meet with Committee June 29

Authors Gregory P. Miller, Sheilah D. Vance and Tonya M. Evans-Walls will discuss how they became published at the Thursday, June 29 meeting of the Minorities in the Profession Committee.

Miller, the founding shareholder of Miller, Alfano & Raspanti, PC, is the author of Becoming His Father's Son: A Novel. Vance, head of The Elevator Group, penned Chasing the 400. Evans-Walls, managing attorney of TME Law and owner of Legal Write Publications has writen SHINE! Inspirational Poetry, Seasons of Her, Literary Law Guide for Authors Copyright, Trademark, and Contracts in Plain Language and Contracts Companion for Writers. The authors will also be available to sign copies of their work. 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.

79 Firms Donate $1.27 Million to Raising the Bar Campaign

The law firms of Rawle & Henderson LLP, Shaffer & Gaier, LLC, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP and Layser & Freiwald have joined the growing list of law firms that have pledged more than $1.27 million in support of Chancellor Alan M. Feldman's Raising the Bar Campaign to support legal services.

The 79 law firms, representing nearly 4,000 attorneys, have pledged $1,272,720. 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.

VIP Training Opportunities Available

Paul Feldman will present an overiew of guardianship practices in Pennsylvania focusing on how to handle a guardianship proceeding on Tuesday, June 20 from 12 to 2:15 p.m. at the offices of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, 1701 Market St.

The seminar will define who may be appointed a guardian, how a guardianship proceeding is initiated, and what a court considers when determining whether to appoint a guardian. Two CLE credits are available for this program. Please call VIP at (215) 523-9550 to reserve your space.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Anne E. Lazarus will teach a VIP training session "Probating Estates and Alternatives to Probate in Philadelphia - Homeownership Issues" on Tuesday, June 27 from 3 to 4:15 p.m. at the offices of WolfBlock, 1650 Arch St., 22nd Floor.

Judge Lazarus will talk about the probate process and the alternatives to probate that are used to convey title to low-income clients. It covers the legal grounds, procedures and forms for probating an estate and, alternatively, for filing a petition in Orphans' Court for determination of title, with an emphasis on the issues that low-income clients frequently encounter in obtaining title to a property. This discussion will also address how volunteer attorneys can utilize the financial assistance of the Tangled Title Fund project in representing these low-income clients. Attorneys can earn one (1) Substantive CLE credit if they accept a VIP case. Please contact Philadelphia VIP at (215) 523-9550, to reserve your space.

Section, Committees Plan Social Events

• The Family Law Section will hold a reception to welcome new Family Court judges and honor new Family Court Administrative Judge Kevin M. Dougherty on Thursday, June 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 1200 Market St., on the 33rd floor.

Tickets are $45 for Section members; $40 for employees of the First Judicial District and $50 for non-members of the Section. Tickets include one drink. Hors d'oeuvres, a carving station, a pasta station and dessert will be available. Click here to purchase tickets.

• The Solo and Small Firm Committee will hold a networking reception on Thursday, June 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at PNC Bank, 1600 Market St., in the Center Hall on the 3rd Floor. The event, sponsored by PNC Wealth Management and Thomson West, includes cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and is open to the first 60 members who reserve a place. Contact Dawn Burger at or call (215) 238-6360 to RSVP.

• The Association's Committee on the Legal Rights of Lesbians and Gay Men will host a reception for summer associates on Thursday, June 22 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the offices of WolfBlock, 1650 Arch St. The reception, which will feature wine and other beverages as well as hors d'oeuvres, is free of charge. To RSVP contact Larry Felzer at (215) 701-3203 or by e-mail at or Michelle M. Marx at (215 864-6289 or by e-mail at

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.

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 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.

YLD Summer in the City Party July 13

The Young Lawyers Division will host its annual Summer in the City party on Thursday, July 13 at The Print Center, 1614 Latimer St., from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This annual event is a great opportunity for summer associates to network with young members of the legal community.

The cost of admission is $25 and will include an open bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres. All young lawyers and summer associates are encouraged to attend.

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 Saturday, July 8 at Dave & Busters on Columbus Boulevard from 12 to 5 p.m. For more information, contact Jeffrey Abramowitz at (215) 568-4980 or visit

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.
Click here to order The Legal Directory 2006 today!

Weekly Snapshot: Custody and Support Assistance Clinic

The Custody and Support Assistance Clinic is an incorporated entity housed in the office of Philadelphia Legal Assistance. Although it is not a clinical program, CASAC is administered and staffed by law students attending the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. CASAC's mission is to provide child custody and support litigation assistance to low-income residents of Philadelphia. CASAC was founded in 1992 by five Penn students who saw a void in the legal services available for single parents struggling to support their children. Almost 15 years later, more than 175 law students have logged thousands of pro bono service hours while assisting clients at CASAC. About 30 law student volunteers are chosen and trained as CASAC advocates. This year 25 students were chosen to work ten hours a week during the school year and four students, from a variety of law schools, were recruited to work full-time.

Throughout the year CASAC enjoys a symbiotic relationship with PLA. Currently Susan Pearlstein, an attorney from the Family Law Unit at PLA, serves as the students' Legal Supervisor. CASAC and PLA conduct new client intake to income-eligible individuals on afternoons, Monday through Thursday. The bulk of CASAC's work involves explaining the workings of the legal proceedings that clients are facing as well as helping them prepare court pleadings and documents. Though CASAC's primary goal is to serve clients, it also gives law students practical legal experience while exposing them to public interest law and pro bono service such that participating in CASAC is both a rigorous and rewarding experience. Since its inception, CASAC students have provided intense pro se legal services to more than 7,000 clients.

Approximately 80 percent of the Philadelphia Family Court's litigants cannot afford counsel. Many of these same litigants, who are often minority women and children of the poorest of the city's residents, often struggle to escape family violence and financial instability. CASAC advocates draft pleadings and advise and prepare these individuals to represent their own interests in court. Through CASAC's valuable work, many of Philadelphia's citizens in crisis are able to more effectively gain access to the help they desperately need. If you are interested in providing pro bono assistance for CASAC's clients please contact Susan Pearlstein, at 215-981-3800 extension, 861.

Explore Commerce Case Program June 13

A panel of Commerce Case Management judges and business litigation experts will review, in detail, the operation of the Commerce Case Management Program as well as discuss assignment of cases to the program, procedures and alternative dispute resolution at PBI's Handling Business Litigation in the Philadelphia Commerce Case Management Program. This 3 substantive credit hour program will be held in Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 13, 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 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Registration begins at 8:30 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, June 13
Anatomy for Lawyers: A Primer
6 substantive CLE credits
8:25 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Handling Business Litigation in the Philadelphia Commerce Case Management Program
3 substantive CLE credits
9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Wednesday, June 14
General Practitioners' Update 2006
5 substantive, 1 ethics CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.

Thursday, June 15
Representing the Senior Housing Industry
6 substantive CLE credits
8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Business Valuation
4 substantive CLE credits
9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Friday, June 16
2006 Federal Bench Bar Conference
Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 12th and Market Streets
2.5 substantive, .5 ethics credits
8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

More information is available on the PBI Web site 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 up to 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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