Oct. 19, 2020 | Vol. 21, No. 39
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 

Deadline Extended to Oct. 22: We Want YOU to Run for Board of Governors

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The deadline to complete nomination forms for Board of Governors members and officers has been extended until October 22. This extension is a result of the challenges that accompany collecting signatures without the ability to have in-person meetings at the Association.

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 22 for the December 8 Annual Meeting.

Each elected position requires a written nomination accompanied by the signatures of Association members:

  • Five seats on the Board of Governors - each requires 25 signatures
  • Secretary - requires 35 signatures
  • Assistant Secretary - requires 35 signatures
  • Treasurer - requires 35 signatures
  • Assistant Treasurer - requires 35 signatures
  • Assistant Treasurer - requires 35 signatures
For election materials, including signature forms, and the full election calendar, click here.

Registration is Open!

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 Honorable Arnold L. New
  • Hosting Keynote Speaker - Jeffrey Rosen, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Constitution Center

Hon. Lisette Shirdan-Harris and Hon. Sheila Woods-Skipper Appointed Administrative Judges

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has announced the appointments of the Honorable Lisette Shirdan-Harris as Administrative Judge of the Trial Division, and the Honorable Sheila Woods-Skipper as Administrative Judge of the Orphans' Court Division, effective November 2. Read the order.

Check the Coronavirus Response page for updates as they develop.

Latest Updates

  • October 5, 2020 – Philadelphia Municipal Court President Judge Dugan has issued an Amended Administrative Order extending the ban on service of alias writs of possession in residential cases until November 8, 2020.

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.

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.

Nominations Open for Citizens Bank Achievement Award

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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.

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.

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

Public Interest Executive Committee Virtual Meeting

Monday, October 19 at 12 p.m.

This meeting is open to any section member that would like to attend. You do not need to be a member of the Executive Committee to participate. Register Here

Employee Benefits Committee Virtual Meeting

Tuesday, October 20 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

Wellness Wednesday

Wednesday, October 21 at 8 a.m.

The Wellness Committee is here for you during this period of great uncertainty and invites you to break up your week 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 held via Zoom and 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

State Civil Litigation Section Virtual Town Hall

Wednesday, October 21 at 12 p.m.

Join us as we continue our conversation from the previous town halls during this two-week check in. If you have any questions regarding the new protocols or anything related to the judicial emergency, please email jim.tolerico.uc1r@statefarm.com and jordan@actionafterinjury.com directly. We will do our best to provide answers at this meeting. This remains an evolving situation and we value all contributions to the discussion. Register Here

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

Friday, October 23 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

Discounts for Members

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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.

Philadelphia Bar Foundation Access to Justice Awards Benefit, Oct. 20

On Tuesday, October 20, the Philadelphia Bar Foundation will celebrate their supporters and honor the outstanding achievements of their 2020 award recipients at a virtual Access to Justice Awards Benefit, at 5:00 p.m. Kelly J. Gastley, Esq., and David Keller Trevaskis, Esq., will each receive the 2020 Philadelphia Bar Foundation Award. Comcast NBCUniversal and Dechert LLP will each receive the 2020 Pro Bono Award. For more information and to register, visit their website.

Philadelphia VIP Family Law Practice Group Meeting, Oct. 21

On Wednesday, October 21, Philadelphia VIP’s Family Law Practice Group will meet via Zoom, from 12:00 – 1:00 pm. Strategize about VIP cases, connect with fellow attorneys, and deepen your commitment to expanding access to justice with Philadelphia VIP. For more information and to register, visit their website.

Legal Clinic for the Disabled Fall Celebration, Oct. 22

On Thursday, October 22, the Legal Clinic for the Disabled will be holding its annual Fall Celebration virtually this year in conjunction with a new Campaign for Inclusion, at 7:00 p.m. The interactive, virtual event will include pre-recorded and live opportunities for sponsors and attendees to participate. The event will also include a silent auction. To sponsor the event, donate auction items, or for more information, contact Michael O'Brien at michael@lcdphila.org or call 215-587-3395. You may also visit their website.

Philadelphia VIP Virtual Training, Oct. 28

On Wednesday, October 28, Philadelphia VIP will hold a Virtual Training: The Nuts and Bolts of Representing a Tenant in Municipal Court, from 9:00 – 10:00 am. Led by VIP Staff Attorney, Liz Tarloski, and one of the experienced landlord-tenant attorneys from Community Legal Services, this training will offer an overview of landlord-tenant law and practical information for representing a client in a landlord-tenant dispute in the Philadelphia courts. Click here to RSVP today.

Philadelphia VIP Virtual Legal Panel, Oct. 28

On Wednesday, October 28, Philadelphia VIP will host a Virtual Legal Panel: Maintaining Your Business in a Pandemic, from 12:00 – 1:30 pm. VIP’s panel of legal experts will address several challenges small businesses are facing during the COVID-19 crisis: insurance coverage, commercial leases, unemployment, and compliance with COVID-19 safety regulations. Click here for more information.

Philadelphia VIP Virtual Training, Oct. 28

On Wednesday, October 28, Philadelphia VIP is hosting a Virtual Training: Practices and Procedure for Virtual Probate, from 12:00 – 1:30 pm. Hosted by VIP Staff Attorney, Mike Jones, and a special guest from the Philadelphia Register of Wills, this training will walk attendees through the probate process, answer questions about handling a VIP case virtually, and empower volunteers to help clients overcome their tangled title issues. Click here to register today.


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

When: Monday, October 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, October 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, October 27 and Wednesday, October 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, October 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, October 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, October 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, October 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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Timing Is Everything: Response Time is Essential for Converting Law Firm Leads

Nobody has ever liked waiting. But there has never been a point in recorded history where people have liked waiting less. Cave people, I suppose, never had the benefit of the internet and smartphones. But I'm not even talking about the Neanderthals; heck, people are far less patient than they were even 10 years ago, since things like Netflix have pumped urgency addition up on steroids. No one wants to wait for anything anymore, because no one has to wait for anything anymore. Except for hiring law firms.

Despite the fact that consumers are simultaneously less patient and have more choices than ever before, attorneys still make those consumers wait. They call; you wait to call them back. They want engagement; you give them online forms. They text; you ignore their texts. Converting leads starts at first contact; and, if you're not the first contact back, you've already lost the game. Everything you do in marketing your law firm is centered around getting return on calls to actions you've carefully crafted as part of your marketing plan. It doesn't make sense to go through all of that effort and expense, and then drop the ball at the goal line.

Make sure that everything you do for client engagement is centered around immediacy. If you cannot actively communicate with a client, figure out a way to provide immediate engagement for that client in ways that are aligned with your marketing strategy. If you want people to call you, use a virtual receptionist service. If you want people to text you, create an autoresponder. If you want people to visit your website, consider a chatbot.

The old saying is that good things come to those who wait; that's unless you're running a law firm.

. . .

If your response time is suboptimal, we can show you how to speed things up.

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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