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Dec. 11, 2017 | Vol. 18, No. 53
 |  An e-Newsbrief from the Philadelphia Bar Association  | 
Philadelphia Bar Association Membership 2017

The Philadelphia Bar Association thanks the following for their 2017 membership renewal and continued commitment and support:

  • Law Office of Clair Stewart
  • McCann Law, LLC
  • Sirlin Lesser & Benson, P.C.

Judge Snyder Elected
Vice Chancellor;
5 Gain Board of Governors Seats

Judge Snyder

Judge A. Michael Snyder (Ret.), a Distinguished Neutral at The Dispute Resolution Institute, chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association PNC Achievement Award Committee and vice-chair of the Campaign for Qualified Judges, will serve as Vice Chancellor of the Association in 2018 after running unopposed in the Association's 2017 Annual Election, which culminated at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 5, 2017.

Judge Snyder will serve as Vice Chancellor in 2018, Chancellor-Elect in 2019 and Chancellor in 2020…READ MORE

Greet Incoming Chancellor at
Jan. 4 Reception

Chancellors Reception

All members of the Philadelphia legal community are invited to a complimentary reception in honor of Mary F. Platt, 91st Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, on Thursday, Jan. 4 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of Hyatt at The Bellevue, Broad and Walnut streets. No RSVP is necessary.

This is the event where even the city's busiest legal leaders patiently wait in line to wish the new Chancellor and each other good luck in the year ahead.

Business Law Section Annual Meeting Dec. 19

The Business Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association will hold its annual meeting on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at the Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St. 10th Floor, Philadelphia, PA. All members are welcomed to attend this meeting. In addition to its normal business, the Section will elect officers and at-large members to serve on its Executive Committee in 2018. The slate of nominees is:

  • Sarah Gelb, as the last retiring Chair
  • Eric Siegel, Chair
  • Marcel Pratt, Vice-Chair
  • Anne Aaronson, Secretary and Treasurer
  • Evan Miller, Communications Officer
  • Geneva Brown, at-large member
  • Joseph Hamill, at-large member
  • Ernest Holtzheimer, at-large member
  • Peter Jaslow, at-large member
  • Odia Kagan, at-large member
  • Michael Zanan, at-large member

2017 End-of-Year Celebrations!

State Civil Litigation Section Annual Reception and Award Presentation Dec. 13

Join the State Civil Litigation Section at Estia on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 5:30 p.m. The Honorable Alex Bonavitacola Award will be presented to Ronald A. Kovler and Rudolph Garcia, inaugural Section cochairs. Register here by Dec. 8.

2017 Public Interest Law Day, Annual Awards Ceremony and Reception Dec. 14

*Attendees MUST register for each event separately.

Register for Public Interest Law Day at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP on Thursday, Dec. 14 and earn up to six total CLE credits including ethics while focusing on current issues in the practice and advocacy of Public Interest Law. Register here.

Following Public Interest Law Day, join the Public Interest Section for its Annual Awards Ceremony and Reception at The Westin Philadelphia at 5 p.m. featuring presentation of the The Bending the ARC Award will be presented to Amy E. Hirsch and the Honorable Louis H. Pollak Award will be presented to U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth T. Hey. The ceremony will also include the selection of the Higginbotham Fellowship and the presentation of the 2017 Law Student Awards. Register here by Dec. 12.

Criminal Justice Annual Reception and Award Presentation Dec. 20

Join the Criminal Justice Section at McCormick & Schmick's on Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 6:15 p.m. The Thurgood Marshall Award will be presented to Hon. Theodore A. McKee, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Registration includes open bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres. Register here by Dec. 15.


Experienced Mass Tort Attorneys Needed for LRIS Referrals

The Philadelphia Bar Association's Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) has expanded its Product Liability panels in order to better meet the needs of clients requiring assistance with injuries resulting from the use of Paxil, Reglan, Risperdal, Xarelto, Yaz, pelvic mesh or talc.

If you have significant experience litigating any of these matters, we invite you to join LRIS. Attorneys wishing to receive referrals for claims involving Paxil, Reglan, Risperdal, Xarelto, Yaz, pelvic mesh or talc must represent, or have represented, at least 12 plaintiffs in civil actions involving the same product brought in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and must have completed a minimum of five hours of CLE in trial tactics, products liability or class actions within the past three years.

For more information on LRIS, please click here.  You may also contact Charles J. Klitsch at or 215-238-6326.

Philadelphia Bar Foundation – Funding the Future of Legal Aid

Did you know that more than 60,000 clients are served annually by organizations funded by the Philadelphia Bar Foundation? There are tens of thousands more who benefit from impact litigation and advocacy. We all have an obligation to recognize the gaps in access to justice, and to ensure that wherever we can break down barriers, we do. Help the Foundation advance its mission with a financial gift that will strengthen the provision of free legal services in our justice system.


Legislative Action Center: Support the Expansion of Protections Under the Pa. 'Hate Crimes' Law

It is important for the legal community to take action to support the rule of law and condemn hatred and bigotry. One important way is to advocate. Alarmingly, Pennsylvania Senate Bill 96 and Pennsylvania House Bill 505 seek to expand the definition of ethnic intimidation and have been languishing in Harrisburg. A crime motivated by hatred toward these protected classes would be graded higher than specified under current law…READ MORE

Upcoming Philadelphia Bar Association CLE Courses

The Philadelphia Bar Association, a statewide Continuing Legal Education (CLE) provider in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, offers CLE courses to lawyers and members of the business and legal communities throughout the region. Lawyers and other professionals can turn to the Philadelphia Bar Association for convenient, high-quality, low-cost CLE courses on the latest issues, legislation and regulations.


Last FREE CLE of 2017 for Philadelphia Bar Association members in good standing.

*Hosted by the Professional Responsibility Committee*

*Or "There, but for the Grace of God, go I"*

Many excellent lawyers have identified the "client" too late, or incorrectly, resulting in dire consequences. Panelists will identify lessons to be learned from a number of courts decisions, enabling attendees to determine WHO is the "client" and WHEN an individual may become a "client."



VIDEO ENCORE - Cybersecurity: The Top 10 Things Attorneys Need to Consider Dec. 11

With the "Petya" attack that infected and affected DLA Piper's operations for nearly a week, it is clear that cybersecurity for law firms cannot, will not and should not be ignored. Unlike other threats to our clients that are more sporadic, cybersecurity is a daily threat and the law firm is the front line of the assault on our client's data. This Video Encore CLE will address the top 10 tips law firms should consider when assessing whether their systems are "secure" enough to satisfy their ethical obligations and how to approach cybersecurity…READ MORE

Defensive Document Drafting: Driving Isn't the Only Time to Keep Your Guard Up Dec. 12

Words are used to advocate, inform, persuade and instruct. Drafting documents that accurately reflect what you mean requires planning, clarity, correct word choice, precise use of technical terms and as much simplicity as possible. Don't let your documents raise questions later and put your client at risk! In this CLE program, panelists offer tips and techniques for drafting documents in all practice areas…READ MORE

VIDEO ENCORE - The Million Dollar Sentence and Other Recent Trends in Employment Background Check Litigation Dec. 13

In this educational and practical Video Encore CLE, panelists will provide insights from the plaintiff and defense perspective to explore the federal, state, and municipal consumer laws governing employment background checks, recovery of damages in class action and individual contexts, and an overview of trending theories as to both claims and defenses…READ MORE

Nuts & Bolts of Pennsylvania's Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA): Practice and Procedure in Philadelphia Dec. 13

*Representing individuals in Post Conviction Review in Philadelphia*

Any experienced criminal law attorney knows there are different types of review possible following a conviction. Pennsylvania state law and federal laws both give a convicted defendant such options. One such method is to file a petition under the Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA)…READ MORE

2017 Public Interest Law Day Dec. 14

REGISTER NOW – Seating is limited!

Hosted by the Delivery of Legal Services Committee of the Public Interest Section

Experienced panelists will present a wide array of hot topics in public interest law for public interest attorneys, pro bono practitioners, judges and private practice attorneys who are interested in learning more about cutting edge issues affecting the pro bono legal community…READ MORE

Medical Marijuana: Business and Tax Issues for Growers, Processors, and Dispensaries Dec. 15

This Video Encore CLE program will address the ethical obligations associated with counseling clients whose business is legal under Pennsylvania law but whose activities may violate federal law. Rule 1.2(e) of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct provides that "[a] lawyer may counsel or assist a client regarding conduct expressly permitted by Pennsylvania law," but it requires that the lawyer advise "the client about the legal consequences, under other applicable law, of the client's proposed course of conduct." Panelists will also examine some of the unique tax issues growers, processors, and dispensaries face…READ MORE

Full course calendar here.

Latest Pennsylvania Supreme Court Public Committee, Board & Advisory Group Vacancies

  • Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee: Deadline Dec. 31

For more information on the available vacancies, click here.

Opportunities for Natural Disaster Relief

Hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes and wildfires – we are heartbroken to see the images of the destruction and devastation unleashed upon California, Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, the Virgin Islands, the Caribbean and Mexico. As natural disasters continue to strike, it is important now, more than ever, to mobilize our communities and help however possible

If interested in donating or volunteering your services…READ MORE

The Challenge Ahead: Access to Justice - Public Interest Organization Volunteer Opportunities

The Philadelphia Bar Association's new pro bono volunteerism initiative "The Challenge Ahead: Access to Justice" provides opportunities for Association members and beyond to help people in need by providing limited legal representation, education, advice and advocacy. This one-stop-shop allows the city's legal-aid nonprofit organizations to know who is interested in assisting by giving volunteers the opportunity to add their name to a list for these groups to access if they need additional support for a particular cause.

For a list of volunteer and pro bono organizations and opportunities, click here.

Mighty Writers Wanted!

Mighty Writers, a nonprofit whose mission is to teach kids to think and write with clarity, is looking for mentors! Studies have shown that having a mentor results in improved outcomes for youth, yet two-thirds of young people don't have one. Mighty Writers wants to change that, and they're hoping to partner with the Philadelphia Bar Association to provide students with the caring and committed mentors they seek…READ MORE

Deadline Dec. 14: Support Center for Child Advocates Annual Toy Drive

Throughout December, Support Center for Child Advocates will host its Annual Toy Drive, culminating on Saturday, Dec. 16, with Toy Drive Delivery Day. Volunteer opportunities include coordinating a toy drive, volunteering at the Toy Drive headquarters, sponsoring a needy family or teen and delivering toys on Dec. 16. The deadline to bring toys to the Toy Drive Headquarters is Thursday, Dec. 14. For more information or to sign-up to participate contact or visit

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