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December 04, 2002

Bar Association to Present Top Awards at Annual Meeting

The Philadelphia Bar Association will honor its trailblazing members with top awards at the Association's Annual Meeting and Luncheon on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at noon in the Marriott's Crystal Tea Room on the 9th floor of the Wanamaker Building in Philadelphia. Chancellor Allan H. Gordon will present the 2002 First Union Fidelity Award to Barbara T. Sicalides, a partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP and chair of the board of Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program, in recognition of her fidelity to improving the administration of justice and the legal profession. At that same meeting, Gordon will also present the Bar's coveted Bar Medal to Judge Charles R. Weiner of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in recognition of his lifetime of service to the region, the state and the nation.

The First Union Fidelity Award is annually presented by the Bar Association to an individual who has made significant accomplishments in improving the administration of justice. Chancellor Allan H. Gordon said Sicalides' nomination stood out from other worthy nominations by showing how she has led positive and dramatic changes in the way in which Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program serves the profession and the low-income community.

"As president of the Board, Barbara Sicalides has revamped and re-energized the program. Her activities have restored and increased enormous confidence of the organized bar in this signature pro bono effort created by the Philadelphia Bar Association," Gordon said. "For her ongoing and creative efforts on behalf of the lawyers and citizens of the City of Philadelphia and her continuous commitment in advancing the cause of the poor and under-represented, the Philadelphia Bar Association gratefully acknowledges Barbara and her dedication in the highest tradition of the Philadelphia lawyer."

Sicalides, a member of her firm's antitrust litigation practice group, is a graduate of Barnard College in New York City and Temple University Beasley School of Law.

The Bar Association's highly coveted Bar Medal is given at the discretion of the Chancellor and only when it is felt that someone has contributed to the justice system and/or the community in a manner that is sustained, obviously extraordinary and worthy of emulation.

"We are honoring Judge Weiner for his extraordinary service to the justice system and for upholding the highest ideals of our profession," Gordon said. "We are honoring him as a citizen, a public servant, a jurist and a friend. He is a most worthy recipient of this high honor."

A native Philadelphian, Judge Weiner earned his A.B. from the University of Pennsylvania and his LL.B. from Temple University Beasley School of Law. Judge Weiner represented Philadelphia for 15 years in the Pennsylvania State Senate where he served as both minority and majority floor leader. After being appointed to the U.S. District Court in 1967, Judge Weiner received his M.A., and later his doctorate, in political science from the University of Pennsylvania. He assumed senior status on the court in 1989.

Previous winners of the Bar Medal have included Gov. Tom Ridge, Mayor Edward G. Rendell and the late Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr.

Tickets for the Bar's Annual Meeting and Luncheon are $40 for Association members and $45 for non-members. For more information, call (215) 238-6300.

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