Oct. 13, 2020 | Vol. 21, No. 38
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Fall Virtual Quarterly Meeting

Join the Philadelphia Bar Association for our Fall Quarterly Virtual Meeting on Wednesday, October 28 at 12 p.m., wherein we celebrate our Members by:

  • Celebrating our Champion of the Bar
  • Recognizing our Section and Committee Bar Stars
  • Honoring Shelli Fedullo – Immediate Past-Chancellor
  • Presenting the Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Distinguished Jurist Award to Hon. Arnold L. New
  • Featuring Keynote Speaker - Jeffrey Rosen, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Constitution Center

2020 Philadelphia Bar Association Election: Petitions Due Oct. 15

picture of ballot box

The Philadelphia Bar Association has formed its Elections Committee, which is chaired by Past Chancellor Rochelle Fedullo and consists of Butler Buchanan, Lisa D. Eldridge, Thomas J. Giordano, Jennifer Lynn Gomez Hardy, Mark M. Lee, Vincent R. McGuinness Jr., Mathieu J. Shapiro, Patrice A. Toland, and Dominique B.E. Ward. Ex Officio members are Chancellor Hon. A. Michael Snyder (Ret.), Chancellor-Elect Lauren P. Mckenna, and Vice-Chancellor Wesley R. Payne IV.

Offices for which candidates are being solicited are Vice Chancellor, Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Secretary, Assistant Treasurer, and five seats on the Board of Governors. Each Board seat carries a three-year term.

Association members may become candidates for any of these offices by filing the nomination form with Tracey McCloskey, Director of Meetings and Special Events, via the approved electronic signature platform on or before October 15. Nomination forms for candidates of the Board must be signed by at least 25 Members who are entitled to vote; candidates for Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Secretary, and Assistant Treasurer shall be signed by at least 35 Members who are entitled to vote; and candidates for Vice Chancellor shall be signed by at least 100 Members who are entitled to vote.

To become a candidate, Association members can obtain the nomination form through Tracey McCloskey at tmccloskey@philabar.org. Nomination forms must be completed with the appropriate number of signatures and returned to Tracey McCloskey on or before this Thursday, October 15 for the December 8 Annual Meeting.

Check the Coronavirus Response page for updates as they develop.

Latest Updates

Philadelphia Bar Association Condemns Resolution Calling for Impeachment of PA Supreme Court Justice Wecht

Chancellor Hon. A. Michael Snyder (ret.) issued the following statement condemning a resolution calling for impeachment of PA Supreme Court Justice Wecht:

The Philadelphia Bar Association has long been committed to the principle of the independence of the judiciary. A resolution such as House Resolution 1044 which calls for the impeachment of Justice Wecht is a repugnant attempt to destroy the doctrine of judicial independence. We condemn this Resolution and the thought processes behind its introduction in the strongest of possible terms.
As such, we are steadfast in our belief that the decisions of a Court must be afforded the full weight of the law. Further, we are committed to the principle that the lawful exercise of judicial independence, which is a necessary and desirable activity, as protected by the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and by the Constitution of the United States must be defended against all challenges to it.
The opinions of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and of its individual Justices, represent a lawful and appropriate exercise of the powers accorded to the Judiciary. Whether one agrees with a particular decision of the Court, or of any of its Justices or not, those Justices have the right and the duty to decide matters independently. Their decisions may not be condemned as unlawful merely because others do not agree with those decisions.
The Justices of the highest Court of this Commonwealth, as well as any other lawfully elected Judges of this Commonwealth, have a right to expect that they will be protected in their exercise of their Constitutionally mandated duties and powers. It would be a chilling invasion of this right of judicial independence if any lawfully elected Judge or Justice of this Commonwealth needed to fear the hanging sword of Damocles if they made a decision with which a legislator, or a legislative body did not agree.
We continue to stand firm in our support of judicial independence.

Workers' Compensation Section 5th Annual Happy Hour – Oct. 30

A Fangtastic Virtual Halloween Happy Hour Event – Dead Men Don’t Speak Easy – A 1920s Themed Murder Mystery

Date: Friday, October 30, 2020
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Place: Virtual Event – link will be provided after registration.

Register here

Registration includes a virtual live comedy performance murder mystery with special guest actors!

Charitable Contribution

The Workers' Compensation Section is pleased to announce that our Halloween Happy Hour Charitable Collection will be for Women Against Abuse. Details for donation will be provided in the near future.

Women Against Abuse, a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency, is Philadelphia's leading domestic violence advocate and service provider and among the largest domestic violence agencies in the country. The mission of Women Against Abuse is to provide quality, compassionate, and nonjudgmental services in a manner that fosters self-respect and independence in persons experiencing intimate partner violence and to lead the struggle to end domestic violence through advocacy and community education. Women Against Abuse strives to provide a continuum of care -- from telephone crisis counseling to long-term supportive housing -- in a manner that promotes victim safety, autonomy and dignity In total, Women Against Abuse serves 15,000 individuals each year in Philadelphia through direct services, education, outreach and advocacy. Women Against Abuse serves a diverse population of survivors of domestic violence and the community at large. The majority of clients receiving direct services (including safe haven, legal aid and transitional housing) earn below federal poverty guidelines.

Nominations Open for Citizens Bank Achievement Award

Citizens Bank logo

Nominations are being accepted for the 2020 Citizens Bank Achievement Award. Nominations should be made in writing. Please include a detailed statement setting forth the reasons why you are recommending the nominee for this Award and any other information you feel is relevant.

The criteria for the award are:

  1. Significant accomplishments in improving the administration of justice (preferably in Philadelphia);
  2. The absence of prior recognition for this work by the Philadelphia Bar Association as a whole;
  3. Distinguished service consistently rendered over a sustained period of time or a single outstanding achievement in a particular year (The fact that this service or single achievement may have occurred some years ago is not material so long as it has not been recognized);
  4. The accomplishment must arise from voluntary activities rather than service rendered for compensation;
  5. It is preferred that the recipient be a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association; and
  6. The recipient must not now be in public office or directly involved with court operations.
The deadline for nominations is Thursday, October 29, 2020. Click here for the nomination form.

Nominations Open for Sandra Day O'Connor Award

The Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Award was named in honor of the first woman Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and is given annually to an outstanding woman attorney in the Philadelphia area. The recipient is expected to exemplify the qualities that Justice O'Connor has demonstrated in her life and work. Therefore, the Award Committee gives preference to those nominees who have achieved prominence and the highest degree of professional excellence in their field over a sustained period and who have openly and visibly used their position and stature in the community to mentor, promote and advance other women lawyers.

Nominations are due by Wednesday, October 21, 2020. Click here for the criteria and nomination form.

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

Voters Guide

Be informed and ready to vote in this year's upcoming elections. Election laws have changed already and are continually being updated. … Read More

Difficult Conversations: How To Facilitate Civil Discourse As Attorneys, Oct. 19

Join the Young Lawyers Division and bestselling author and speaker Kwame Christian, Esq., MBA, for a dynamic workshop on how to engage in difficult conversations in a civil and meaningful way.

Kwame is the Director of the American Negotiation Institute and subject matter expert in the field of negotiation and conflict resolution. Through his unique Compassionate Curiosity framework, Kwame utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to helping individuals overcome the fear, anxiety, and emotion often associated with difficult conversations. Click here to register.

Wellness Wednesday

Wednesday, October 14 at 8 a.m.

The Wellness Committee brings you: Wellness Wednesday. Join us for short, guided mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. The session 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 breakfast. … Register Here

Criminal Justice Section Town Hall

Thursday, October 15 at 3:30 p.m.

We will have as our honored guests:
The Honorable Leon Tucker, Supervising Judge, Criminal Trial Division
The Honorable Patrick Dugan, President Judge, Philadelphia Municipal Court
Richard McSorley, Esq., Deputy Court Administrator, First Judicial District

Join us and get an update on the present state of the criminal courts, the Stout Criminal Justice Center, and the plans for the future in the criminal system in the time of COVID.

This is set up as a TOWN HALL so you can directly ask your questions of the Court Leadership!Register Here

Let's Do Lunch - Chat & Chew with the Wellness Committee

Friday, October 16 at 12:30 p.m.

The Wellness Committee 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. … Register Here

Entrepreneurial Incubator

Friday, October 16 at 1:00 p.m.

Optimizing Retirement Plans for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners featuring Paul J. Brahim, CFP®, AIFA®, Managing Director & Financial Advisor of Wealth Enhancement Group, Pittsburgh.

Entrepreneurs and small business owners face unique challenges when it comes to earning, saving and investing. This session will be focused on improving your financial outcome. Paul will address workplace retirement plans, how to separate personal assets from corporate funds, estate planning concepts that are unique to entrepreneurs and SBOs, risk management as it relates to beneficiary needs, disability—and how to understand your worth and plan how much to save, and when to make changes. … Register Here

Discounts for Members

Benefits Page Image

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.


Get Published in The Philadelphia Lawyer

The Editorial Board welcomes submissions from attorneys and other professionals, who are members of the Philadelphia Bar Association, who wish to share their expertise on law-related topics.

Accepting manuscripts in multiple genres: law-related articles & features, general interest, fiction, practice areas, essays or humor, and book reviews.

Articles must be original and previously unpublished.

As policy, we do not compensate our writers.

For more information, email 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!



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.

HIAS Pennsylvania Annual Meeting, Oct. 16

On Wednesday, October 16, HIAS Pennsylvania will host the 2020 Annual Meeting: A Diverse America is a Strong America, from 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m., live via Zoom. This year’s Annual Meeting will be a virtual Zoom event to honor HIAS PA’s volunteers, meet fellow HIAS PA supporters, and discuss how to best support refugees and immigrants. For more information and to register, visit here. visit their website.


Philadelphia Bar Association CLE Program: Poverty and Practice: Working with Low-Income Litigants

When: Thursday, Oct. 15, from 12- 1:30 p.m.
What: To kick off the National Pro Bono Celebration in Philadelphia, this CLE program aims to better inform attorneys about the challenges experienced by those living in poverty and contextualize some of the decisions people make when they have scarce resources. The program will examine the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), offer practice tips that will include communication strategies particular to low- income litigants, and address the special ethical considerations of doing pro bono work and working with low-income litigants. Hosted by the Family Law Section, Public Interest Section and Young Lawyers' Division. 1 SUB/0.5 ETH CLE credits available. For more information and to register, visit www.philadelphiabar.org.

Philadelphia Bar Association CLE Program: Philadelphia Emergency Housing Protection Act and Eviction Diversion Program CLE Program

When: Monday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
What: Philadelphia Bar Association will hold a CLE– Philadelphia Emergency Housing Protection Act and Eviction Diversion Program. Hosted by the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, this timely CLE program will prepare attendees to serve as volunteer mediators for Philadelphia’s new Eviction Diversion Program (EDP). The EDP provides an opportunity for landlords and tenants to participate in (free) mediation before an eviction complaint is filed in cases where a tenant has been unable to pay rent due to a COVID-related financial hardship. FREE ONLY to those who VOLUNTEER to become a mediator for the Eviction Diversion Program. 2.0 SUB CLE credits available. For more information and to register, visit www.philadelphiabar.org.

Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project: Pro Bono Volunteer Training

When: Tuesday, Oct. 27, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m
Where: Remote via Zoom
What: Please join Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project (CBAP) for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Pro Bono Volunteer Training program. The training will cover the fundamentals of completing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition for a low-income client, including how to represent a client remotely. Given the current economic climate, CBAP anticipates a significant increase in bankruptcy filings in 2021. As a CBAP advocate, you will help a family in need get a financial fresh start during these trying times. We hope you will join us to meet this increased need and to perform this important service. To receive additional information and/or to register for this program, please contact CBAP at info@cbap-phl.org.

Support Center for Child Advocates "How to Handle a Child Abuse Case" Two-Part Virtual Training Program

When: Tuesday, Oct. 27 and Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 8:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m. (*must attend both sessions)
Where: Online!
What: Become a Child Advocates Volunteer Attorney. Join SCCA for this volunteer workshop and learn from dedicated experts in the field of child advocacy about how you can make a difference in the lives of children who have experienced abuse and neglect. Register online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-to-handle-a-child-abuse-case-tickets-11368708713.

The New Pathways to Pardons: The Barristers Pardon Project

When: Wednesday, Oct. 28, 12-1:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 4, 12-1:30 p.m. (optional)
Where: Virtually (Link will be provided to those who pre-register.)
What: THE GOOD NEWS: the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons has made major reforms to the pardon process and is recommending 87% of all pardon applications it hears! In this two-hour program, you will learn about the new pardon process and forms, what the Board of Pardons is looking for, and how you can so easily help someone with a criminal record maximize their chances of receiving a hearing, a pardon, and a second chance.

This training will enable you to immediately start representing private clients. This program is FREE because all attendees will be given their first pro-bono client, pre-screened for legal merit and income eligibility, to help through the application.

Pre-registration required at josephmitchell3@gmail.com.

SeniorLAW Center CLE Training: Assisting Seniors through the Pennsylvania SeniorLAW HelpLine: Volunteer Attorney Training

When: Wednesday, Oct. 28, 12-1:30 p.m.
Where: Virtual Zoom Training (Link will be provided upon registration)
What: Volunteer to help PA’s aging population. Participants will be trained to provide legal advice, information, and referrals to vulnerable seniors across Pennsylvania who call the PA SeniorLAW HelpLine with civil legal issues. The training will focus on common areas of law requested by callers, the logistics of handling a HelpLine call and the professional responsibility requirements of pro bono and helpline service. This is a limited representation opportunity and volunteers will be able to choose the area(s) of law on which they will focus when counseling senior callers. Register with Joanna Jarzebowska at jjarzebowska@seniorlawcenter.org.

Philadelphia VIP: An Introduction to VIP and Our Pro Bono Opportunities

When: Thursday, Oct.29, 12-1 p.m.
Where: Zoom invite will be sent to all registrants; please register at https://www.phillyvip.org/events/introduction-to-vip-2020/
What: This session explores how VIP works, VIP’s client base, and the pro bono opportunities we offer to volunteer attorneys. It will focus on both the logistical and substantive support that VIP staff provides to volunteers, as well as pro bono opportunities particularly well-suited to today’s remote environment. Attorneys with all levels of experience are welcome. No commitment is required; this is an informational session that includes an opportunity for Q&A with VIP staff at the end.

Board Observer CLE Program: Nuts & Bolts of Nonprofit Board Service

When: Thursday, Oct. 29, 10-11 a.m.
What: This CLE will provide attorneys interested in serving on a nonprofit board with an introduction to the role of a Board of Directors and the laws governing nonprofits, including charitable issues raised under state and federal laws. 1 SUB CLE credit available. Hosted by the Young Lawyers Division as part of the Board Observer Program. For more information and to register online, visit www.philadelphiabar.org.

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Cyber Liability Insurance - Checklist for Law Firms

article image With a significant portion of the current U.S. workforce having shifted to a remote environment, many businesses, law firms included, are finding that their employees may not return to the "actual office." This disruption has opened the doors for Cyber Criminals to do what they do best - mayhem. From phishing scams to social engineering scams - the remote environment makes business more vulnerable to these types of events and law firms have been a prime target. …Read More

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Oh, the Horror! Don't Be Left Without a Data Backup System

You know what's really scary? Losing your law firm data. Even so, many law firms don't utilize effective data backups.

Every business needs to back up its electronic data; but the imperative is even more important for law firms, which have ethical and fiduciary duties tied to their client relationships. And, although it's not 2018, many law firms subsist on remarkably thin data backup systems. This is true even though law firm data loss is not an extremely rare or impossible occurrence. Fires, floods, natural, and manmade disasters— those all still wipe out law firm data. So, if you're concentrating on securing your law firm data backup, there's no time like the present to get a handle on it.

This is a three-step method to making sure your data is recoverable:

(1) Set up a physical data backup. It doesn't really matter what it is (some firms still use backup tapes)—just have something in place. (If you're picky, check out an ioSafe hard drive; these things are basically indestructible.) And, whatever physical backup tool you use, don't leave it at your office, with all of your other hardware. Take it to another location at the end of the day—the last thing you want is to have your on-premise data backup unit engulfed in the same disaster that takes down the physical hardware it's supposed to be backing up.

(2) Next, you'll want to supplement your physical data backup drive with an incremental, online backup system, like Carbonite. The idea here is that if the physical drive fails, you have a cloud-based copy; and conversely, if the online copy is unavailable, you have a physical backup. Services also provide physical drives with a cloud-based backup, if you're hunting for a 2-in-1 solution.

(3) And, last but not least, you should always test your data backups in non-emergency situations, just to see if they are working properly. The last thing you want is to be trying to figure out how your data backup works (or determining whether it works at all) in a true emergency.

. . .

If you're not backing up your backup, we can help.

The Philadelphia Bar Association now offers DISCOUNTED law practice management consulting services through Red Cave Law Firm Consulting. Click here, to access consulting services, and start running your law firm like a business.

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