August 17, 2010

THURSDAY: Volunteers Needed for Law School Orientation

Local law schools are holding orientations and activity fairs for students in the coming weeks and the YLD needs volunteers to spread the word about the Division and the benefits of getting involved as a law student.

The next event is at Rutgers School of Law - Camden this Thursday, August 19 from 2 to 3:45 p.m. The YLD is looking for two people.

To volunteer, contact Rachel Kopp at

The YLD welcomes submissions from all members of the Bar Association for "Eyes on the Environment," a late summer photography contest in which the winning image will be featured in The Philadelphia Lawyer, the Association's magazine. READ MORE

Keep Spreading the Word: The People's Law School Kicks Off in Just Over a Month

Tell family, friends and others who might benefit about The People's Law School, a six-week legal education program featuring 11 courses on a range of topics and open to all area residents. The program takes place every Tuesday from 6:15-8:30 p.m. beginning September 21 through October 26 in the Jury Assembly Room at the Criminal Justice Center, 1301 Filbert St and costs $40, which includes access to all sessions and the course materials book. To ensure all attendees have a copy of the course materials book for the first session, registration is required by September 10. READ MORE


All Members Welcome to Enter YLD's 2010 Photography Contest

The Young Lawyers Division welcomes submissions from all members of the Bar Association for "Eyes on the Environment," a late summer photography contest in which the winning image will be featured in The Philadelphia Lawyer, the Association's quarterly magazine.

Entrants are asked to consider the following: "As you embark on late summer vacations or enjoy the remainder of the season here in Philadelphia, the Young Lawyers Division asks you to capture particularly compelling images of environmental awareness and natural conservation. What did you witness during your travels that showcases nature's untouched beauty? What efforts did you see toward preserving it?"

One submission per entrant can be emailed to in JPG format. A professional panel of judges will select the winner. The deadline for entries is September 20. Stay tuned for more details, including additional prizes.

Keep Spreading the Word: The People's Law School Kicks Off in Just Over a Month

Area residents can receive basic information about areas of the law most likely to impact daily life at The People's Law School, a six-week legal education program presented by volunteer attorneys from the Young Lawyers Division.

The program, which features 11 unique courses on a range of legal topics, takes place every Tuesday from 6:15-8:30 p.m. beginning September 21 through October 26 in the Jury Assembly Room at the Criminal Justice Center, 1301 Filbert St. The cost is $40.00 and includes access to all seminars and the complete course materials book.

The course schedule for The People's Law School is:

September 21
Social Security and Disability (6:15-7:15 p.m.)
Trusts and Estates (7:30-8:30 p.m.)

September 28
Small Claims and Landlord/Tenant (6:15-7:15 p.m.)
Consumer Credit (7:30-8:30 p.m.)

October 5
Personal Injury (6:15-7:15 p.m.)
Criminal Law (7:30-8:30 p.m.)

October 12
Real Estate (6:15-7:15 p.m.)
Employment Law (7:30-8:30 p.m.)

October 19
Bankruptcy (6:15-7:15 p.m.)
Workers' Compensation (7:30-8:30 p.m.)

October 26
Family Law (6:15-8:30 p.m.)

The People's Law School is open to all citizens. Registration and more details are available by clicking here, calling 215-238-6393, or through email at To ensure all attendees have a copy of the course materials book for the first session, registration is required by September 10, 2010. Those registering after this date cannot be guaranteed the immediate availability of the course materials.

Please note that while The People's Law School will provide attendees information on different areas of the law, the program is not accredited and no degree or certificate will be conferred upon its completion.

Tip of the Month: New Mandatory CLE Requirement in New Jersey

As many of you have hopefully heard, New Jersey now has a mandatory CLE requirement (see New Jersey Court Rule 1:42). At first, I had a difficult time locating information about the new requirement, so I did a little research and thought I'd share my findings with you.

In short, New Jersey requires all attorneys to complete 24 hours of CLE every 2 years, 4 hours of which must be in ethics or professionalism.

Fortunately, CLE courses taken through PBI will count towards New Jersey CLE credits. Unlike Pennsylvania, however, New Jersey requires attorneys to "self-report" CLE credits. Instead of certifying attendance at the conclusion of each CLE course attended, attorneys will complete one form at the conclusion of the compliance year. As of now, the exact reporting details have not been fleshed out, but attorneys will probably report CLE attendance on their annual registration forms. Attorneys should also keep their own records documenting CLE taken for a period of 3 years from the date of attendance because the New Jersey CLE Board reserves the right to audit compliance with the new requirement.

While Pennsylvania has three different compliance groups, New Jersey has two compliance groups, which are assigned based on the attorney's birthday. For example, if your birthday falls between January and June, you are in Compliance Group 1 and must earn your CLE credits by December 31, 2011. If you were born between July and December, you are in Compliance Group 2 and must earn half of your CLE credits by December 31, 2010. Pennsylvania attorneys are allowed to count CLE taken as far back as January 1, 2009 towards their first compliance periods.

For more information about New Jersey's CLE requirement, including Rule 1:42 and the Board's Regulations, visit the Supreme Court of New Jersey Board on Continuing Legal Education online here.

Stephanie Mensing is a partner at the law firm of Wisniewski & Mensing, LLP and a member of the YLD Executive Committee. She can be reached at

Entertainment Corner: Add a Little Spice to Your Dinner with Some Indian Food

It seems like any time anybody I know goes to an Indian restaurant, the story must be relayed to me personally: "Hey Aneesh, I went to this Indian restaurant when I was back Montana." I'm never quite sure what to say. "Uh, thanks, I have no affiliation to that place, but thanks." I also feel compelled to respond in kind, "You know I went to Olive Garden." That's usually followed by the question, "So where do you go to get Indian food?" It's really a quite simple answer: "Everywhere." Because any food I eat is by definition Indian food. Sometimes my Indian food is Mexican-flavored, Italian-flavored, sometimes even Wawa-flavored. But I fear that is not as helpful an answer as people would like.

There is actually a large selection of Indian restaurants in Philly. Mumbai Bistro opened on 9th and Locust, and I recently discovered a great little spot for late night noshing in University City called Sabir's Market, which is open 24 hours and has samosas and other Indian treats. The owner of Tiffin is planning a new high end restaurant over at the 777 Broad building, and Philadelphia Chutney Company is slated to open later this year.

When I go with friends to Indian restaurants, I notice they usually stay in their safe haven of Indian food - the tikka masalas or biryanis - and other foods hailing from the Punjab region of India. However, Indian cuisine offers a diverse tastes for the palate from other regions of India. For that reason I offer the following suggestions.

Desi Chaat House. Located in University City, this restaurant serves chaat, a popular Indian snack food that you'd typically find at roadside carts or huts in India. Usually, it involves some sort of fried vegetable along with sides of yogurt, green chutney and tamarind chutney.

Tiffin. Indian food lovers may have long been aware of Tiffin, which appears to be opening a new restaurant around various areas of Philly every month. But did you know that Tiffin recently unveiled a South Indian menu? Because it's not as widely known as the standard fare, usually you have to ask for this menu, but I'd highly recommend trying the masala dosa, which is a giant rice crepe filled with seasoned potatoes. On the side, you have a coconut chutney and sambar. Alternatively, you can try the uthappam, which is rice pancakes with fresh onions, also served with sambar.

Sitar India Cuisine. This restaurant offers not only south Indian food, but one of my favorite dishes, bhel puri (sometimes referred to as just bhel) which is a dish made of puffed rice and noodles made from chick peas flour along with a tamarind chutney. I personally like to mix in a little sour cream as well.

I'm not sure if it's an acquired taste, so if my recommendations are a complete failure, at least you can impress an Indian person by saying, "You know, the sambar there is not up to snuff."

Aneesh Mehta is an associate at Volpe and Koenig that often enjoys taco-flavored Indian food for lunch. He can be reached at

Register Now for Bench-Bar 2010, Featuring a Grand Reception at Newly-Revamped MIXX Nightclub

Register now for the Bar Association's 2010 Bench-Bar and Annual Conference at the Borgata in Atlantic City, on Friday, Oct. 15 and Saturday, Oct. 16. The event features 14 distinct CLEs and a Grand Reception at newly-remodeled MIXX nightclub. YLD member costs remain at 2007 prices. Early bird pricing registration is available if tickets purchased by Sept. 17.

The 14 CLE programs, in which attendees can earn up to eight hours of credit (including the opportunity to earn two ethics credits), will feature judges and some of the city's most well-known practitioners, who will use their expertise and experience to enlighten attendees.

A dramatic re-enactment commemorating the 275th anniversary of Andrew Hamilton's historic 1735 defense of printer John Peter Zenger will be offered for CLE credit as the opening program on Oct. 15. The case established the concept of freedom of the press and coined the term "Philadelphia lawyer."

A state-of-the-court program will also be offered for CLE credit as the closing program on Saturday, Oct. 16. Vice Chancellor John E. Savoth and Board of Governors Vice Chair Regina M. Foley are co-chairs of the 2010 conference.

Full-conference admission is $349 for members and $399 for non-members, if reserved by the early bird deadline of Friday, Sept. 17. For members of the Young Lawyers Division and government and public interest attorneys, admission is only $199. CLICK HERE for a complete registration form and pricing guide.

Sponsors for the 2010 Bench-Bar and Annual Conference include Iron Mountain and Kaplan, Leaman and Wolfe Court Reporters. For information on becoming a sponsor, contact Michael Petitti at 215-238-6342 or

TOMORROW: 10 Commandments of Avoiding Ethical Problems CLE

Sean Carter, legal humorist and founder of Lawpsided Seminars, will present his CLE "Ten Commandments of Avoiding Ethical Problems as a Lawyer" tomorrow, August 18.

The program will be held at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, Market and Juniper streets. Four total CLE credits are available, two of which may be applied toward ethics.

Lunch and registration begin at 11:15 a.m. The seminar runs from 12 to 4:15 p.m. Click here to register online.

Contribute to a Great Cause by Joining the YLD of the Andrew Hamilton Circle

In 2001, the YLD partnered with the Philadelphia Bar Foundation to launch the Young Lawyers Division of the Andrew Hamilton Circle, a group of young lawyers who pledge to donate to the Bar Foundation for at least 3 years.

To become a member, one pledges to donate $100 per year for three years, a contribution that benefits local public interest agencies including the Support Center for Child Advocates, Philadelphia VIP and the Senior Law Center, to name a few. For your generous donation, your name will be listed on the Bar Foundation's website and in a variety of print publications.

Click here to learn more.