April 12, 2011

THURSDAY: Win Two Phillies Tickets at YLD Annual Meeting Featuring Michael Barkann, Community Service Awards

This Thursday's YLD Annual Meeting just keeps getting better. All attendees will be entered into a raffle for the chance to win 2 tickets to the YLD Phillies night on July 22 which includes a pre-game reception at McFadden's. Michael Barkann, the host of Comcast SportsNet's "Daily News Live," will speak and answer questions from the audience, including thoughts on Game 1 of the Flyers/Sabres series (Thurs. night), the Phillies taking on Werth and the Nats, or many other sports matters. READ MORE

Chance to Win Prizes, Support a Worthy Cause at Casino Night, May 14

Play exciting games of poker, blackjack, craps and roulette at the YLD's brand-new Casino Night and Annual Fundraiser benefiting the Philadelphia Bar Foundation. Also at the event will be a big ticket raffle, an open bar, a dinner buffet, and a DJ. Casino Night will take place May 14 at the Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel from 7-10:30 p.m. READ MORE

Law Week Poster, Essay Contest Submissions Due April 18

Parents, relatives and friends of Philadelphia students: less than a week remains for 5th, 6th and 7th graders and high school seniors to enter our Poster and Essay contests in celebration of Law Week, May 2-6. The deadline for submissions is April 18. Prizes will be awarded. Click here for more information.

Feinberg to Speak at April 28 Chancellor's Forum

Kenneth R. Feinberg, President Obama's compensation chief and administrator of the federal 9/11 fund, which distributed nearly $7 billion to more than 5,000 survivors and families of victims, will be the featured speaker at a Thursday, April 28 Chancellor's Forum presented by the Business Law Section. READ MORE


THURSDAY: Barkann to Speak, Community Service Awards to be Conferred at YLD Annual Meeting

A dedicated advocate for the transgender community, the founder of a program that offers marathon training to help improve the lives of Philadelphia's youth, and a general practice law firm with a long history of supporting the Young Lawyers Division will each be honored with a YLD community service award at the Division's Annual Meeting, this Thursday, April 14 from 12-2 p.m. at the Crystal Tea Room in the Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East, 9th Floor.

Comcast SportsNet's Michael Barkann, a seven-time Pennsylvania Sportscaster of the Year and a five-time Philadelphia Sports Emmy Award winner, will present the keynote speech at the event and answer audience questions. Carolyn Chopko will also speak and present a plaque to Immediate-Past YLD Chair Albertine DuFrayne in recognition and appreciation of her dedicated service to the Division in 2010.

Natalie Hrubos will receive the Craig M. Perry Award for her pro-bono work representing low-income transgender individuals; Heather McDanel, the Director of Students Run Philly Style, will receive the F. Sean Peretta Award; and the law firm of Ciardi Ciardi & Astin will receive the YLD Vision Award.

CLICK HERE to register for the event, which is sponsored by TD Bank. Lunch is included.

Natalie Hrubos, who will join the law firm of Greenberg Traurig as an associate in mid-April, focuses her practice in all aspects of labor and employment law representing clients in a broad range of labor and employment matters. In 2010, as a first-year associate, Natalie engaged in significant pro bono work representing low-income transgender individuals seeking legal name changes and corrections to their identity documents. Hrubos is an active member of the Planning Committee for the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference, a three-day event that promotes health and wellness within the trans community through workshops and other educational opportunities. She planned the Conference's first-ever CLE program and walk-in legal clinic. Hrubos serves on the Legal Advisory Board for the Legal Services Department at the Mazzoni Center, the only agency in Philadelphia that provides direct legal services to low-income LGBT individuals facing legal obstacles related to sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Heather McDanel founded and serves as the director of Students Run Philly Style, the only program in Philadelphia offering marathon training to help young people succeed in life that is operated out of the National Nursing Centers Consortium (NNCC). The organization has served over 2,500 students from all over the city. In addition to ongoing mentoring through running, Students Run Philly Style includes extensive leadership, academic and civic engagement opportunities. Under McDanel's leadership, Students Run Philly Style was named by the Surgeon General as the Local Best Practice in addressing childhood obesity, recognized by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams as a "valuable investment in our youth," and selected as the launch for Michelle Obama's "Let's Read, Let's Move" 2010 summer campaign in Philadelphia. McDanel has been a long distance runner for 25 years and has completed six marathons, including the Boston Marathon.

Ciardi Ciardi & Astin is a general practice firm focusing in the following areas: bankruptcy and business restructuring; commercial and general litigation; commercial real estate; and maritime and transportation. The firm focuses its bankruptcy practice primarily in Philadelphia, Wilmington, Dallas, Manhattan and New Jersey. CC&A's senior partner, Albert A. Ciardi, Jr., has more than 40 years of bankruptcy litigation and transaction experience, and the firm's attorneys have participated in a number of significant bankruptcy cases in Philadelphia and Wilmington. The firm has consistently supported YLD programming and is integral to the success of the Division's mission.

Michael Barkann has hosted a myriad of programs on Comcast SportsNet since 1997, including "Daily News Live" - CSN's sports roundtable - and the Philadelphia Eagles', Phillies' and Flyers' pre- and post-game shows.

He began his on-air career with the New Jersey Network as a weatherman before he moved to KYW-TV in Philadelphia. In 1991, he joined the USA Network where he covered U. S. Open Tennis, World League Football and the boxing series "Tuesday Night Fights." He gained major television exposure working for CBS Sports at the Winter Olympics in 1992 at Albertville, France, in 1994 at Lillehammer, Norway, and in 1998 at Nagano, Japan.

In 1992, Barkann became sports director at WLVI-TV in Boston. He spent five years in Boston and also hosted sports radio programs on WEEI-AM.

Barkann joined Comcast SportsNet for its maiden season in 1997 and was the first person to appear live on the fledgling network. He quickly became known for his offbeat interview style and upbeat demeanor. Along with his hosting duties, some of his favorite assignments include the Phillies' 2008 World Series Championship, Super Bowl XXXI featuring the Patriots versus the Packers, Dan Jansen's dramatic speed-skating gold medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics, and Stefan Edberg's final tournament at the U.S. Open.

Barkann's charitable work includes the ALS Association of Greater Philadelphia, Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education, Quilts for Kids, and Bringing the Outside World Inside Foundation. He is also Master of Ceremonies for the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremonies.

Ticket prices to the YLD Annual Meeting vary; click here for more details.

Play exciting games of poker, blackjack, craps and roulette at the brand-new Casino Night and Annual Fundraiser presented by the Young Lawyers Division for the benefit of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting access to justice for all people, particularly those struggling with poverty, abuse and discrimination. The event takes place May 14 at the Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel from 7-10:30 p.m. and also features an open bar, a generous dinner buffet, a DJ, and a big ticket raffle.

Each Casino Night attendee will get $200 worth of chips to use at 7 Blackjack tables, 3 poker tables, 2 craps tables and a double roulette table. Additional chips will be available for purchase at the event. Chips can be exchanged for tickets toward a host of items to be raffled off at the event. Registration is $75 per person and $135 for two.

All proceeds benefit the Philadelphia Bar Foundation. Since 2006, the YLD’s annual fundraiser - which traditionally featured a renowned comic and a silent auction - has raised more than $140,000 for the Foundation.

Click here to register. Sponsorship is also available; click here for details.

Current sponsors are The Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University (Fellowship Sponsor) and the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association (Fellowship Sponsor).

Current raffle items include: a $100 gift certificate to Devon Seafood Grill; a $100 gift certificate to The Field House; a one-night stay in the presidential suite with champagne at the Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel; a one-night stay with a gourmet dinner for two at one of Caesars Entertainment-Atlantic City Properties; admission for six at Helium Comedy Club; an 8-guest party at Lucky Strike Lanes; and a one-night deluxe weekend stay at The Westin Philadelphia with breakfast for two. Click here for full list.

Casino Night Primer: Blackjack

by Michael Petitti

Last week, I told you about my first run-in with Texas Hold'em and reviewed the rules. This week, we'll focus on blackjack.

The concept is pretty simple: get the total value of your cards as close to or equaling 21 without going over. If this value beats the value of the dealer's cards, you win. Nothing to it, really.

Blackjack starts with each player betting at least the table minimum of chips. Once all the bets are on the table, each player is dealt two cards. All numbered cards equal their value. All face cards equal ten. Aces equal 11 or 1, depending on how the player wants to combine an ace with the other card he or she has. The dealer also gets two cards, but only one is displayed to the players during the game.

After a player receives his/her initial two cards (assuming he/she has not received an ace and a face card which automatically equal 21), the person to the left of the dealer either "stands," meaning he/she keeps the cards he/she has and adds no more cards, or "hits," meaning he/she will get another card from the dealer in hopes to bring the total of his/her current cards closer to 21. Should the result of a player's "hit" be a card that makes his/her total card value exceed 21, that person "busts" and loses that hand.

Strategies like "Double Down" (which will forever remind me of the movie "Swingers") and "Split" are options for each person's first decision on his/her hand, but let's just stick with the basics for now. Should you want to test the more advanced waters at Casino Night, I'm sure the blackjack dealers would be happy to help you swim.

Once all the players have stood, hit or busted, it's the dealer's turn to hit. Unlike the players, unless the dealer's initial cards total 17 or higher, he/she has to hit until his/her cards total 17 or higher. Once the dealer's cards total 17 or higher or bust, the dealer compares his/her card value with each player and each player with a higher value than the dealer who hasn't busted wins double their initial bet.

See, couldn't be easier. Now you're ready to put your skills to the test in about a month at the YLD's Casino Night & Annual Fundraiser. Be sure to check back next week for the rules of craps and roulette.

Michael Petitti is communications manager for the Philadelphia Bar Association. He can be reached at mpetitti@philabar.org.

Small Bite from Patti: Spring is Here! Get Out and Eat!

by Patti Klein

Finally Spring has arrived! Pack up those mittens and get out and enjoy this wonderful weather and all of these fun things to do in the City. I am pleased to bring you the most exciting restaurant events and the hottest dining deals in the city of Philadelphia. I look forward to serving you some of the tastiest offers in town! Read on and Bon Appetit!

Upcoming Events at Le Bec-Fin

Attention Wine and Cheese Lovers! Mark your calendars for the upcoming Wine & DiBruno Bros. cheese events, every second Wednesday of the month:

  • Wednesday, April 13, Featuring Rhone Wines: 2009 Roussanne, Chateau du Trignon; 2006 Rasteau, Chateau du Trignon; and 2007 Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Domaine de Durba.
  • Wednesday, May 11, Featuring Sauvignon Blancs from Around the World: 2010 Auntsfirled Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough New Zealand; 2009 Domaine Bel Air, Pouilly Fume; and 2009 Chatteau Ste. Michelle, Sauvignon Blanc, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington. Wine selections are expertly paired with DiBruno Bros. cheese selections and cost $35 per person plus tax and gratuity. The event starts promptly at 6 p.m. and seating is limited.
  • Le Bec-Fin also hosts a wine dinner the last Wednesday of every month. On Wednesday, April 27 at 6 p.m. enjoy a four course dinner prepared by Executive Chef Nicholas Elmi and paired with Madeira Wines. The price is $118 inclusive of tax and gratuity.

Call 215-567-1000 or visit www.lebecfin.com for more information or to make reservations for any of these upcoming events. 1523 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.

Easter Sunday at Tavern 17

On Sunday, April 24, celebrate Easter with family and loved ones and enjoy a three course dinner from 3-10 p.m. Entree options include Stout Braised Lamb Sheppard's Pie ($21), Crab-Crusted Salmon ($24), Roasted Airline Chicken Breast ($20), or Twin Roasted Tomatoes ($18). All dinners come with a choice of Soup or Tavern House Salad and a selection from the dessert menu.

220 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, 215.790.1799 www.tavern17restaurant.com.

Eat. Stay. Love.

Head to The Coffee Bar for some of the best brewed coffee in town and make sure to sign up for their brand new frequent coffee drinker card. For every nine cups of coffee (any style) you purchase receive the tenth cup complimentary. Sorry folks, alcoholic coffee drinks are not included. Start your morning or end your day with the Coffee Bar and start earning that free cup of coffee today!

Come by on Signature Sunday when Bloody Mary's and Mimosas are $5. Other deals in April: Order any breakfast sandwich and receive a complimentary large coffee; order any lunch item and receive any complimentary non-alcoholic beverage (hot or cold); and order any alcoholic beverage and receive a complimentary order of truffle buttered popcorn.

1701 Locust Street (corner of 17th and Locust), 215-789-6136, modworldwide.com/coffeebar/.

The Prime Rib BYOB and $35 Dinner

Every Sunday, Monda, and Tuesday enjoy BYOB nights at one of the best steakhouses in Philadelphia! Bring your favorite bottle of wine and enjoy no corkage fee and the $35 three course dinner available all night. Enjoy a choice of one appetizer; Roasted Tomato Soup, Salad, Clams Casino, or Oysters on the Half Shell and one entrée selection: Roast Prime Rib, Half Rack of Lamb, Imperial Crab, Grilled Scottish Salmon, or Roast Chicken. Complete your meal with a choice of Creme Brulee, Key Lime Pie, or Chocolate Mousse Pie. By far one of the best meals and deals in town!

1701 Locust Street, Philadelphia, 215.772.1701, www.theprimerib.com.

Patti Klein is a 26-year veteran of the Hospitality Industry. She is the owner of the Restaurant Collection, a public relations firm specializing in Restaurants. Her philosophy is "life is to short not to eat dessert." She can be reached at plkstar@comcast.net or www.therestaurantcollection.com.

Think Like a Client to Grow a Healthy Practice

by Kimberly Alford Rice

You may feel like you're the low man on the totem pole now, but you won't always be. One day, you will have clients of your own, if you really want to.

With so much emphasis placed on research, document review, and shadowing occurring in the first years of a lawyer's career, it is imperative for the lawyer to take the initiative to increase her exposure and interaction with clients. Often, young lawyers hear their supervisors say they should focus primarily on doing "good work." In other words, the last thing they would want you to do is to spend time building relationships with clients and potential clients. That thinking works until the economy tanks and those firms lay off associates and income partners who "just do good work."

Clearly, there is a disconnect between what is taught in law school and what is expected in law
practice. With little or no emphasis on building relationships with clients (new and prospective), it is no wonder that lawyers are unsure how to actually attract new clients. The "best" way--begin to think like a client. Here are a few tips:

  • Put yourself in clients' shoes; they have budgets to meet, business problems to solve, create a plan of how you can make their lives easier in your current situation. Take the initiative and propose to a responsible partner an "off-the-clock" meeting with a client to better understand their struggles.

  • Bone up on your interpersonal and relationship building skills. Survey top partners in your firm to learn how clients select their lawyers and what is most important to them.

  • Observe and learn how more senior attorneys in your firm interact with clients. Take note of the thought-provoking, open-ended questions they ask to signal to clients that they are genuinely interested in the client’s issues and business.

  • Take special care to learn to actively listen to others. This skill is so key to fostering solid relationships and developing better relationship-building skills. It is essential in developing
    trust and rapport.

Lobby for your firm to train associates in client development skills to kick start an institutional approach to building a book of business. Studies show that when associates have the opportunity to learn client development skills, they are more energized about their billable work. They also appreciate that their firm has invested in them. Many associates I have coached have become partners in their firms and they are passing down what they have learned to the young associates in their offices.

The worst action you can take is no action. Get out from behind your desk, get out among business
professionals, and take charge of your career.

Kimberly Alford Rice is Principal of KLA Marketing Associates, a business development advisory firm focusing on servicing the legal sector. Kimberly helps law firms and lawyers develop practical business development and marketing strategies which lead directly to new clients and increased revenues. She can be reached at 609-458-0415 or at kimberly@klamarketing.net.

Help Us Present a Successful Law Week 2011, May 2-6

Volunteer lawyers of all ages are needed to offer free legal advice, visit high school classes, guide children on tours of the city's courtrooms, and present mock criminal trials for grade school students in celebration of Law Week 2011, an annual occasion marked by the Philadelphia Bar Association and presented by its Young Lawyers Division through a host of special events and services reaching thousands of citizens. This year's theme is "The Legacy of John Adams: From Boston to Guantanamo."

The weeklong fest, taking place May 2-6, is one of the most ambitious public outreach efforts of its type in the nation. All of the Law Week activities are under the direction of Bar Association Chancellor-Elect John Savoth and are coordinated by the Association's Young Lawyers Division with the help of scores of lawyer-volunteers. The Law Week 2011 co-chairs are Roxane Crowley and Matt Laver.

CLICK HERE to view the official Law Week 2011 webpage.

The following is a schedule of Law Week activities and contact information for those interested in volunteering:

Legal Advice Live!, Monday, May 2

LAL! kicks off the week with dozens of Philadelphia attorneys gathering to provide free, in-person legal advice from 12 to 2 p.m. at various branches of the Philadelphia Library, including the Central branch. Attorneys will provide answers to legal questions on a broad range of topics including personal injury, medical malpractice, landlord/tenant law, divorce and child custody matters, wills and estate planning, real estate law and employment law.

If you are interested in volunteering for this event, please contact Christopher Guth or Christopher Sharp.

Lawyer in the Classroom, Tuesday, May 3, through Thursday, May 5

This program features lawyers enthusiastically visiting different schools throughout the week to address students' concerns about the law and the legal issues that affect them as they enter adulthood and answer questions about the legal profession.

If you are interested in volunteering for the Lawyer in the Classroom program, please contact Eileen Carroll.

LegalLine, Wednesday, May 4

Free legal advice will be given to those who call the Legal Line hotline from 5 to 8 p.m. on May 4. The program is being sponsored by the Barristers Association of Philadelphia. Area residents can call lawyers at 215-238-6333 and have their legal questions answered confidentially without a fee. The lawyers will staff a phone bank at the headquarters of the Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market Street, 11th Floor.

If you are interested in volunteering for Legal Line, please contact Roxane Crowley.

Lawyer for a Day, Friday, May 6

Volunteer attorneys and judges pair with high school students and "show them the ropes" of their jobs by taking them into the courts during the Lawyer for a Day program. Several city courtrooms will be open to allow the participants to observe the proceedings. The students will meet the lawyers and judges and will participate in a concluding lunch, during which the students will recount their experiences and hear from the event's special guest speaker, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.

If you are interested in volunteering for Lawyer for a Day, please contact Matt Laver or David Walker.

"Goldilocks" and "The Big Bad Wolf" Mock Trials, Friday, May 6

Volunteer attorneys will use the facts of the well-known fairytales "Goldilocks" and "The Three Little Pigs" as the basis for mock criminal trials during the "Trials of Goldilocks" and the "Big Bad Wolf" program, taking place at seven different City Hall courtrooms. Volunteers will act as prosecutors, defense attorneys and witnesses in the criminal trials, which include opening statements, examinations and cross-examinations of witnesses, closing arguments, and instructions of the juries. At the conclusion of each trial, the students act as the jury and determine whether the Big Bad Wolf or Goldilocks is guilty of a crime.

If you are interested in volunteering for the "Trials of Goldilocks" and the "Big Bad Wolf" program, please contact Ryan Gatto or Justin Moriconi.

Poster and Essay Contests

The 2011 Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest is named former Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Edward F. Chacker and offers a $1,000 college scholarship to High School Seniors who attend public, parochial, charter or private schools in Philadelphia.

The 2011 Poster Contest is open to 5th, 6th and 7th grade students from Philadelphia public, private, charter and parochial schools.

For more information on both contests, click here.

Feinberg to Speak at April 28 Chancellor's Forum

Kenneth R. Feinberg, President Obama's compensation chief and administrator of the federal 9/11 fund, which distributed nearly $7 billion to more than 5,000 survivors and families of victims, will be the featured speaker at a Thursday, April 28 Chancellor's Forum presented by the Business Law Section.

Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Rudolph Garcia will welcome attendees, and Albert S. Dandridge III, past chair of the Business Law Section, will introduce Feinberg.

The Chancellor's Forum will be held at the Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, 10 Avenue of the Arts, at 12:30 p.m. Tickets for this plated-lunch program are $35 for Business Law Section members, $45 for non Section members who belong to the Philadelphia Bar Association and $55 for non-members. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets.

Feinberg was named by President Obama in June 2010 as the independent administrator of a $20 billion fund set up by BP to compensate victims of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He was appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury in 2009 to serve as the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation.

Feinberg was the fund administrator responsible for the design, implementation and administration of the claims process for the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund following the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech University in April 2007.

SATURDAY: Volunteers Needed for Wills for Heroes Event

The Wills for Heroes program has an event scheduled on April 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Northeast Campus of Community College of Philadelphia located at 12901 Townsend Road and is in need of attorneys, paralegals, law students, notaries and witnesses to help out.

The Wills for Heroes is a pro bono program that provides free wills, living wills and financial powers of attorneys to first responders and their spouses/partners. At the conclusion of their one-hour appointments, first responders and their spouses/partners are able to leave with notarized, legal documents.

You do not need to practice trust and estate law to volunteer. A mini-course will be offered from 9 to 11 a.m. that morning to familiarize you with all the information you'll need to know.  2 free CLE credits will be given to all who attend the training. During the day, several lawyers well-versed in estate planning will also be on hand to answer questions that may arise.

If you are able to volunteer or for more information, contact Lisa Shearman at las@plotnickellis.com or 215-576-1730.