Dec. 7, 2020 | Vol. 21, No. 46
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 

TOMORROW: Virtual Annual Meeting, 12 PM

Virtual Annual Meeting | Celebrating Our Community and Looking Ahead to 2021 | Introducing our 94th Chancellor Lauren P. McKenna, Esq. partner at Fox Rothschild LLP


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

Introduced by NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg

Citizens Bank Achievement Award Recipient

Robert S. Tintner

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Award Recipient

Hon. Kathryn Streeter Lewis

This event is complimentary to the entire community.


Presenting Sponsor

Citizens Bank


Chancellor Snyder Testifies in Support of Extending Philly Eviction Diversion Program

Philadelphia's Eviction Diversion Program is a powerful tool to keep tenants housed and landlords financially secure, writes Hon. A. Michael Snyder (ret.), Chancellor, in recent testimony urging City Council to extend the program. City Council is expected to vote on whether to extend the program through March 2021 at its December 10 meeting. Read the rest of Snyder's testimony here.

Free CLEs For Members in Good Standing in December

Sponsored by LawPay

This 2-hour CLE program, FREE to Philadelphia Bar Association members in good standing, provides exceptional guidance and practical advice for attorneys preparing for trial. Detailed examples offer insights on how to prepare efficiently and effectively argue in a compelling manner. Featured speaker, Claude Ducloux, will address the topics below to help you develop the elements of proof, the message, and organize your case for trial. Then he will examine various ethical situations involving trial procedure, pleadings, motions, and discovery; as well as examine the related responsibilities of lawyers during proceedings, the rules guiding the advocate's conduct, and will look at the results of a survey of both state and federal judges' opinions when such conduct occurs in their courtrooms, including advice and discussion.

Register today for the remaining dates:

Monday, December 14
Wednesday, December 30 – VIDEO ENCORE

POTENTIAL JUDICIAL CANDIDATES FOR 2021: Fill Out Our Evaluation Questionnaire

An informed electorate is more important than ever. That's why we ask all potential judicial candidates to complete a questionnaire for the Philadelphia Bar Association's Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention.

The Judicial Commission's work has been cited as an authoritative source for information on judicial candidates, providing unbiased and fair ratings about candidates' abilities to serve on the bench. In the 2019 primary elections, three "Highly Recommended" candidates and four "Recommended" candidates won positions on the ballots for judicial races. Read more.

Check the Coronavirus Response page for updates as they develop.

Latest Updates

  • November 30, 2020 – Phila. Administrative Judge Shirdan-Harris and Supervising Judge Anders have issued an Order extending the Stay of Litigation Involving SEPTA through January 15, 2021. See Order for details.
  • November 30, 2020 – Phila Courts have announced plans to resume in-person jury trials starting January 21, subject to public health guidance, in the Arbitration Appeal, Major Jury, Mass Tort and Commerce programs.

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


Sip & Speak – Charitable Giving 2021

Wednesday, December 16 at 4:30 p.m.

Bring your favorite refreshment to our online forum and be prepared to engage in lively and intelligible conversation with subject matter specialists!

Join Paul J. Brahim, CFP®, AIFA®, Managing Director & Financial Advisor in the Pittsburgh office of Wealth Enhancement Group, this month to learn about charitable giving during a changing political environment. We'll also cover the basics of charitable giving—when it makes sense, how much should be considered, how taxing works, how insurance trusts work—and when you should think about accelerating gifting in light of potential tax increases.

You must be registered through the Association's site to receive the video conference ID and password.
Registration will close 30 minutes prior to each meeting start time and you will receive the link to join immediately after registration closes.


Family Law Section Virtual Holiday Lunch Presentation

Monday, December 7 at 12 p.m.

Presenting the Herbert R. Weiman Sr. & Jr. Award to Molly Callahan, Esq., Women Against Abuse Legal Center

Take a break, grab some lunch and join your friends and colleagues from the Family Law Section, virtually, as we reflect on this past year, celebrate one another and enjoy some comic relief from Comedian Joe Conklin. Register Here.

Solo and Small Firm Committee

Tuesday, December 8 at 4 p.m.

Please join us for our last meeting of the year as we connect with each other to have a fun and always informative meeting to close out 2020! Register Here.

Wellness Wednesday

Wednesday, December 9 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.

Appellate Courts Committee

Wednesday, December 9 at 12 p.m.

Appellate Practice Amid the Pandemic: A Forum for Discussion of the Virtual Oral Argument Format and Substantive Issues Arising from Virtual Litigation. Register Here.

State Civil Litigation Holiday Celebration

Thursday, December 10 at 5 p.m.

Presenting the Honorable Alex Bonavitacola Award to The Honorable Arnold New. Register Here.

Custody Committee Meeting

Friday, December 11 at 12:30 p.m.

Register Here.

Chat and Chew with the Wellness Committee

Friday, December 11 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 homemade or takeout cuisine while we all discuss (or listen to) topics of interest, whether legal or non-legal. 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

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.


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.

USI logo

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

USI logo

Site Gags: 3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Website Designer

For my money, unless you have actually been a real-life, honest-to-goodness website designer at some point in your career, and if you're a lawyer, it's never a good idea to design and maintain your own website. It's kind of like performing open heart surgery on yourself, and it can have the same negative effects on your business that it would on your body—including the potential for flat-lining. Even otherwise traditional law firms are drawing more and more business from the web; and so, the law firm website, as the online hub for your business, continues to be vital to generating law firm revenue.

So, let's start at the beginning, and I'll tell you three things to watch out for when you're choosing a website design firm:

  1. Own Your Own Domain. The cheesiest website design scam is when the vendor buys your domain name for you and sells it back to you for an exorbitant rate before the vendor will release you from your contract. No reputable provider does this. There is, of course, an easy fix to this: buy your domain name(s) before you hire a web designer.
  2. Don't Pay for Simple Updates. I hear from so many attorney who tell me they're paying their website designers hundreds of dollars an hour to make basic page updates to websites: things like revising contact information or publishing a blog post or adding a photo. By and large, with modern CMS systems, you should be able to make basic changes on your own by accessing the backend of your site. Now, if you truly don't want to make any changes to your website, but want to farm that out instead, that's cool: just make the choice consciously, and understand the cost.
  3. Subscription Maintenance Plans. Most everything you pay for (especially in the realm of technology) is moving toward a subscription payment model. (This is mostly because it stabilizes income for vendors; it's the closest thing a business owner can get to a salary.) And, the subscription model is becoming more prevalent in website design, as well. The majority of vendors are now charging monthly maintenance fees. But, if you don't want that—maybe you want an annual review instead, or the opportunity to call your vendor to troubleshoot if an ad hoc issue arises—make sure you–re clear about that with your vendor, and that you negotiate the term out of the contract. Understand the risk, though. It–s like buying home heating oil in the Northeast on a monthly basis versus when the tank is empty: If the winter is unseasonably cold, you win out with the former strategy, and if the winter is unseasonably warm, you win out with the latter strategy. If your contact form breaks, do you want to be left out in the cold?

. . .

If you want more (or less) out of your relationship with your website designer, 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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