June 15, 2020 | Vol. 21, No. 23
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 

Check the Coronavirus Response page for updates as they develop.

Latest Updates

  • June 11, 2020: Philadelphia courts set protocol for Compulsory Arbitration Program cases during COVID-19 Judicial Emergency.
  • June 11, 2020 – Philadelphia Municipal Court sets procedure for criminal court status hearings beginning June 15, 2020.
  • June 10, 2020 – Philadelphia President Judges Fox and Dugan issued an order setting the guidelines for public access to preliminary arraignment hearings.
  • June 4, 2020 – Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas President Judge Fox has issued an order postponing the June 23 Tax Sheriff Sale to September 22.
  • June 1, 2020 – President Judge Fox has ordered that, consistent with the PA Supreme Court order of May 27, the Judicial Emergency in the First Judicial District shall continue pursuant to the terms and conditions as set forth in Administrative Orders No. 06 through 35 of 2020, as applicable.
  • June 1, 2020 – President Judge Fox has issued an order setting for the Orphans’ Court citation procedure for the remainder of the local Judicial Emergency.

PA Supreme Court Adopts Rule to Prohibit Bias, Discrimination, Harassment

In a major step forward, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has amended Rule 8.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct to identify bias, discrimination and harassment in the practice of law as professional misconduct. New Rule 8.4(g) reads as follows…Read More

Philadelphia Bar Association Statement on George Floyd's Death

Chancellor Hon. A. Michael Snyder (Ret.) has issued the following statement on George Floyd's death…Read More

Phila. Courts Set Protocol for Compulsory Arbitration Program

Given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 emergency, and with the safety of the parties and their attorneys in mind, as well as the directive from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the Arbitration Center is going to rely heavily on technology to move the docket forward…Read More

Re-Opening Task Force

Re-Opening Task Force has been created to provide a set of resources and best practices as law offices re-open their doors and work places after the shutdowns mandated by the pandemic. Read More

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg "Pursuit of Justice" Legal Writing Competition

The Philadelphia Bar Association is pleased to announce the 2020 Legal Writing Competition in honor of the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court…Read More

Young Lawyers Division to Receive Young Scholars Corporate Partner Award

The Philadelphia Bar Association is pleased to announce that its Young Lawyers Division has been selected by the Philadelphia Young Scholars Charter School (YSCS) as this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Corporate Partner Award…Read More

2020 Annual Affinity Bar Association VIRTUAL Quizzo Championship

2020 Affinity Bar Association VIRTUAL Quizzo Championship

Love trivia? Possess a wealth of knowledge about all things obscure? Join the Young Lawyers Division for the
2020 Affinity Bar Assn. Quizzo Championship! Register Here

Mindful Mondays Presented by the Wellness Committee

Monday, June 15 at 8 a.m.

Start your week off with a short, guided mindfulness meditation. There are a number of ways in which mindfulness can be beneficial, especially given the challenges we are currently facing during the Covid-19 pandemic, such as the reduction of stress, anxiety and depression. The sessions will be led by Courtney Schulnick, Esquire, who has completed both the Mindfulness Based Stress-Reduction (MBSR) teaching practicum and internship at Jefferson University’s Mindfulness Institute. Guided meditation will be followed by optional group sharing and processing. Feel free to bring your morning coffee, tea, or healthy breakfast options…Register Here

Public Interest Executive Committee

Monday, June 15 at 12 p.m.

This meeting is open to all Public Interest Section members. You do not have to be a member of the Executive Committee to participate…Register Here

Legislative Committee of the Probate and Trust Section

Monday, June 15 at 12 p.m.

At the meeting, we will discuss potential options for legislative reform to modernize execution formalities in estate planning documents…Register Here

Employee Benefits Committee

Tuesday, June 16 at 12:30 p.m.

The committee will discuss qualified plans, health and welfare plans, executive compensation plans, ERISA litigation, and other employee benefit matters…Register Here

State Civil Litigation Section Town Hall

Wednesday, June 17 at 12 p.m.

This will be an open discussion about ongoing protocols with The Philadelphia Civil Trial Division. If you have any questions regarding new protocols or anything related to the judicial emergency, please email Jim Tolerico (jim.tolerico.uc1r@statefarm.com) and Jordan Strokovsky (jordan@actionafterinjury.com) directly. We will do our best to provide answers at this Town Hall Meeting. This remains an evolving situation and we value all contributions to the discussion…Register Here

Federal Courts Committee Town Hall

Wednesday, June 17 at 1 p.m.

This town hall is for members of the Federal Courts Committee to check in and discuss how practitioners have been navigating the federal courts landscape over the last 3 months, and what they expect in the months ahead. Members can discuss the use of video-conferencing technologies for mediation/settlement discussions, civil court hearings, appellate arguments, and other matters in ongoing cases, and how various judges in EDPA, DNJ, and other jurisdictions have been managing their dockets given the stay-at-home orders. The chairs of the Committee would also be happy to collect questions and feedback to share with the Clerk of Court, Kate Barkman, and Chief Judge Sanchez. Questions that you’d like to bring up during the Town Hall? Please contact Sara Solow (sara.solow@gmail.com), Dexter Hamilton (DHamilton@cozen.com) and Ryan Becker (rbecker@foxrothschild.com)…Register Here

Law School Outreach Committee Brown Bag Panel

Thursday, June 18 at 12 p.m.

Summer series for law students. This week's topic, "Immigration Practice and Immigrant Rights"…Register Here

Chat and Chew with the Wellness Committee

Friday, June 19 at 12:30 p.m.

The Wellness Committee, in coordination with Chancellor Snyder, is happy to invite you to a weekly lunch-time “Chat and Chew” forum to enjoy your favorite home-made or take-out cuisine while we all discuss (or listen to) topics of interest, whether legal or non-legal. Each Chat and Chew will also include a short "Conversations with Chancellor Snyder" segment. We sure hope you will join us!…Register Here

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Discounts & Offers for Members; Membership Extension

For those who have already renewed your membership, we thank you! If you have not yet renewed, we're happy to extend your active membership to June 30.

Our colleagues, clients, and referral sources are now facing unprecedented disruption to their work and home lives. Philadelphia Bar Association benefits provide unique discounts and offers on products and services that you can use to help maintain business continuity in this challenging climate.


Writers Wanted

How would you like to see your byline in a publication that regularly reaches audiences throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey?

The Philadelphia Bar Association is looking for volunteer writers for its Philadelphia Bar Reporter.

Receive monthly assignments or propose your own topics.

To learn more, visit philadelphiabar.org, or contact Brittany Robertson at brobertson@philabar.org.

Philadelphia Bar Foundation: Coronavirus Response

The Philadelphia Bar Foundation has been an anchor institution for civil legal aid for more than 50 years. We extend our thoughts and best wishes to colleagues, friends, and families who are being negatively affected by the virus and the current crisis. The disruption to business operations in the U.S. and the economic downturn created by the COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant and damaging impact on the Foundation's fundraising activities. We have taken immediate action in response to budget concerns, but we need your help. Please donate today to help us continue providing unrestricted funds and technical support to legal aid agencies on the frontlines of this crisis.


Transforming Access to Justice: Philadelphia Equal Justice Center

The Philadelphia Bar Foundation is leading the Equal Justice Center (EJC) project, which will permanently transform the capacity of the city's legal aid system to sustain its operations and improve the delivery of services to clients. At the EJC, a shared physical location will create efficiencies and collaborative program opportunities, freeing up much-needed resources. Organizations in the EJC will collectively confront interlocking issues, which will be life-changing for Philadelphians seeking multiple vital supports. Help support this important project by learning more and donating today!



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Barristers' Association of Phila. Inc. Seeks Volunteer Attorneys

The Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, Inc. is seeking volunteers with criminal law experience to provide representation to individuals arrested since Saturday, May 30 in connection with exercising their First Amendment rights to assemble, speak, and petition. Barristers is also seeking volunteers to provide pro bono legal assistance to the small, Black businesses devastated or otherwise disrupted by the recent riots. Volunteers may sign up using this Google Form.

Upcoming Philadelphia Bar Association CLE Courses

All CLE programming, until further notice, will be offered via webcastCLE video icon. For course offerings, dates, and times, please visit:

Philadelphia Bar Association Calendar List

Then, type "CLE" in the search box and hit "Go."

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order temporarily modifying Rule 108 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Continuing Legal Education to eliminate the six credit cap on CLE credits earned through distance learning with respect to credits needed to satisfy all 2020 compliance deadlines.

Full course calendar here.

Philadelphia VIP Annual Awards Ceremony, September 17

On Thursday, September 17, Philadelphia VIP is hosting its Annual Awards Ceremony from 5:30 - 7:30 pm - save the date! VIP volunteers provide the highest quality legal representation to low-income clients in need of legal assistance; please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of these volunteers and honoring the top individual volunteers and partner organizations. As the event date approaches, our team will monitor the COVID-19 situation and assess whether this event will be held at Philadelphia City Hall or conducted virtually.

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The Importance of Choosing a Beneficiary

article image You know you need life insurance. At this point, you may have planned out what kind of policy is best for you and have calculated how much insurance your loved ones need to not only cover your final expenses but also to live without your income. The final question to answer is: who should you name as your beneficiary?…Read More

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