April 5, 2011

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

Michael Barkann, a 5-time Philadelphia Sports Emmy Award winner and the host of Comcast SportsNet's "Daily News Live," will speak and answer questions from the audience at the Annual Meeting of the Young Lawyers Division, April 14 from 12-2 p.m. at the Crystal Tea Room. Three YLD community service awards will also be presented. 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

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


NEXT 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, 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.

Casino Night Primer: Texas Hold'em

By Michael Petitti

I remember my first time playing Texas Hold'em, a variation of poker. Some friends and I were visiting a buddy of ours in Manayunk and he suggested getting a game started. Some of us, including myself, resisted. Like most beginners, we were intimated by the rules. They had to be complicated, we thought. We didn't want to look stupid.

He promised learning was easy. He was adamant about this, insisting that just two rounds were needed to pick up the game. We were still skeptical. Finally, we relented and decided to give it a try.

Turns out not only was my friend right but I won the second of those two hands - and ended up taking home the pot at the end of the night.

For those of you unfamiliar with gaming or slightly intimidated, the YLD's Casino Night (May 14, 7-10:30 p.m., Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel) presents the perfect opportunity to get your feet wet, whether you want to play Hold'em, blackjack, craps or roulette. The dealers and pit boss staffing the event are ready for beginners and eager to help you understand the rules. No need to worry about a bunch of Borgata high rollers staring you down for asking what a "full house" means. Hey, you may even end up really enjoying yourself like I did. And you'll be supporting a worthy cause - the Philadelphia Bar Foundation - to boot.

So, what is that "full house" thing anyway? Glad you asked. Below are the rules for Texas Hold'em. The next few EZines will feature the rules for blackjack, craps and roulette as well. This way, you can put what you learn to use on May 14. And no matter your level of expertise, you could be the one going home with the biggest prize. Just like I did during my first night at the table.

Texas Hold'em Rules

Up to ten players sit at the table. The two players to the left of the dealer put out "blind bets" - designated amounts from each player's chip stack according to the rules of the table. The player directly to the dealer's left puts out the "small blind," while the player two to the dealer's left puts out the "big blind" (double the amount of the "small blind").

Every player is dealt two cards, face down. These are called "hole" or "pocket" cards. Players look at the cards they were dealt and decide if they feel the cards are good enough to continue playing (i.e., is one or both of the cards a face card?; do the cards have matching suits?; are they in sequential order?).

The action, or the first move, falls on the player to the left of the big blind. He/she can either call the bet (take the exact amount of the big blind from his/her chip stack and place it the betting area), raise the bet, or fold (turn his/her cards in and quit that round). Betting continues around the table, clockwise.

After the betting is completed, three cards are dealt face up in the center of the table. These cards are called the "flop" and are "community cards," meaning everyone can (and will) use them in combination with their own hole cards to make the best hand.

From the flop on, betting begins with the player to the dealer's left. This player can "check" (choose not to bet) or bet.

Once all players have had a chance to bet, check or fold after the flop, a fourth card is dealt face up onto the board. This is called the "turn" card. Another round of betting takes place.

The fifth and final card is dealt face up. This card is called the "river" card.

A final round of betting occurs. The remaining players show their cards and the person who can make the best five-card hand by combining their holes cards with the cards on the table wins the entirety of the bets made during the game.

Texas Hold'em Hands

From highest to lowest:

  • Royal Flush: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten, all in one suit
  • Straight Flush: Five sequential cards in one suit (for example, a ten, nine, eight, seven, and six, all clubs)
  • Four-of-a-kind: Four of the same card
  • Full House: Three of the same card and two of another card
  • Flush: Five cards of the same suit, no matter the order (for example, a king, ten, six, three, and two, all hearts)
  • Straight: Five sequential cards in any suit (for example, a king of hearts, queen of spades, jack of spades, ten of clubs and nine of diamonds)
  • Three-of-a-kind: Three of the same card
  • Two Pair: Two of the same card and two of another card
  • One Pair: Two of the same card
  • High card: When you have none of the above, the highest card in your hand determines your hand.

Check back next week for the rules of blackjack.

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

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.

Entertainment Corner: Let's Go Phils!

Opening Day! These two beautiful words have taken on a new meaning in recent years. My beloved Phillies are no longer underdogs in the baseball landscape. We Phillies fans now have something new to deal with...meeting expectations.

The 2011 season begins with most fans expecting the Phillies to appear in the World Series, or at the very least to win the NL East for an amazing 5th straight year. At $168 million, the Phillies have one of the highest payrolls in baseball. This is an increase of approximately 70% since winning the World Series in 2008. Citizen's Bank Park is selling out every night and averaging over 45,000 fans a game (second highest in baseball).

During the offseason, the Phillies shocked the baseball world with the signing of Cliff Lee. After spending a year in Seattle and Texas that ended in another World Series appearance, Cliff Lee shunned the Yankees and signed as a free agent with the Phillies. Within days of this news, R2C2 shirts were being printed for baseball season. With Roy, Roy, Cliff and Cole, the Phillies have four legitimate aces in the pitching rotation. It seemed as everything was falling into place perfectly.

Unfortunately, everything has not gone according to plan during off-season. Dom Brown struggled to replace Jayson Werth before a broken hand ended his spring training. Look for Ben Francisco ("Benny Fresh") to get an opportunity to be an everyday starting player. Chase Utley and Brad Lidge will both begin the season on the disabled list for extended periods of time. Look for Wilson Valdez and Jose Contreras to keep the second base and closer spots warm until their return. If the Phillies are going to get back to the World Series, the pitching is going to have to carry them until they're back at full strength. Boy, do we have the right men for that job...

If there's one thing to expect in baseball, it's the unexpected. On this day last year, I bet no one foresaw a Giants-Rangers World Series. It's great to be the frontrunners, but anything can happen. So close your eyes and imagine warm weather, get your grills and hot dogs ready, and settle in for a long and exciting season!

Joseph P. Gushue is an associate at Volpe and Koenig P.C. and can be reached at jgushue@volpe-koenig.com.

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.

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.

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.