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November 05, 2003

Annual Meeting and Luncheon to Welcome New Bar Chancellor Bevilacqua

The Philadelphia Bar Association will usher in its 77th Chancellor at its Annual Meeting and Luncheon on Tuesday, Dec. 9 at noon at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia when current Chancellor Audrey C. Talley passes the torch to incoming Chancellor Gabriel L.I. Bevilacqua. Bevilacqua, whose term officially begins on January 1, will also serve as keynote speaker for the event.

Gabe Bevilacqua views the Philadelphia legal community and the world beyond it as a vast, interdependent network of people whose differences are relatively inconsequential compared to all they have in common. The roots of Bevilacqua's optimistic global view probably lie in his own trans-national journey. Arriving in Philadelphia from Italy with his family at age seven, Bevilacqua faced the same upheaval and daily struggles as other immigrants. But in less than ten years he went from not speaking a word of English to being ranked among the top high school orators in America.

Bevilacqua became a U.S. citizen, worked his way through St. Joseph's University and Temple University Beasley School of Law and landed a job in the Philadelphia City Solicitor's Office. "It was an incredible experience for a young lawyer," he remembers. "Within a relatively short time I was arguing major cases."

The future Chancellor stayed in the solicitor's office for ten years, rising to the post of Chairman of the Litigation Department. In 1984 Bevilacqua joined the law firm of Saul Ewing LLP where he gravitated toward health care law and began his involvement with the bar association. A partner at the firm since 1986, Bevilacqua concentrates his practice in the representation of medical certifying boards, as well as the representation of elected officials and state agencies.

At the bar association, Bevilacqua was elected to the Board of Governors in 1991 and later served as Assistant Treasurer and then as Treasurer of the Association. In 2001 he became President of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation and was elected Vice Chancellor of the Association. He is now completing his one-year term as Chancellor-Elect.

Bevilacqua is a former member of the Appellate Rules Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, a member of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association and a former Chancellor of The Justinian Society of Philadelphia. He is a founding member of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce, has served on the boards of several area hospitals and providers, has chaired the Social Justice Commission of the order Sons of Italy in America, is a member of the council of 1000 of the National Italian American Foundation, and has been honored for his work by the OSIA, the City of Altoona, the Philadelphia City Council and the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives.

Also at the Annual Meeting, three of the Bar Association's top honors will be awarded. The Association's William J. Brennan Distinguished Jurist Award will be presented to U.S. District Court Judge Louis H. Pollack for his high ideals of judicial service. The 2003 Wachovia Fidelity Award will be presented to Lawrence J. Fox, a partner at Drinker Biddle and Reath LLP and in recognition of his fidelity to improving the administration of justice and the legal profession. The Bar's highly coveted Bar Medal will be presented to former Chancellor Harold Cramer, a retired partner with Schnader Harrison Segal and Lewis LLP, in recognition of his lifetime of service to the region, the state and the nation, especially his dedication to ensuring the vitality of Jenkins Law Library.

The Bar's Annual Election will be held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting. Bar members who have not yet voted by mail may do so in person, Tuesday, Dec. 9 from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue, Grand Ballroom level.

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