July 19, 2011

People's Law School Offering New
Early-Bird Rate of $35

One of the YLD's most popular public service efforts kicks off on September 13 as People's Law School returns for six weeks of legal education open to all area residents. The program, which features courses on a range of legal topics, takes place every Tuesday night through October 18. For the first time in its history, the program will offer an early-bird rate of $35 to registrants who sign up by August 30. The cost is $40 after that date and registration closes September 6. Stay tuned for more details.

TOMORROW: Fraudulent Conveyance Task Force Sponsored LegalLine

Philadelphia-area residents in need of legal advice on matters involving real estate fraud, including properties stolen through the recording of fraudulent deeds and mortgages taken out against homes without the owner's knowledge, can speak with a volunteer attorney by calling LegalLine P.M. at 215-238-6333 from 5 to 8 p.m tomorrow, July 20. The session is sponsored by the Bar Association’s Fraudulent Conveyance Task Force. Callers with other legal issues are also welcome to call for advice.

Ogletree to Moderate Opening Session at Bench-Bar

Professor Charles J. Ogletree, the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard University, will be the moderator of the opening session of the 2011 Bench-Bar & Annual Conference at Harrah's Atlantic City on Oct. 14-15. Click here to save $80 on your registration fee. But hurry, this offer ends on Sept. 16. READ MORE


Tip of the Month: Addressing Security Risks When Going Paperless

by Stephanie Mensing

One of the concerns many lawyers have when considering transitioning to a paperless practice is security. There are two key security requirements that all firms must address when storing digital documents - storage security (how users access the data) and user security (who can access the data). If addressed properly, you can mitigate the risk of losing your information or having it fall into the wrong hands.

In a paperless office, files are stored locally and/or on the cloud. If you are only storing your files locally, you should make sure you regularly back up your data. I recommend using an external drive that is set to back up numerous times throughout the day. Other attorneys use both an external drive and a cloud solution.

Cloud solutions allow users to access data from anywhere with an Internet connection. If you are using a cloud solution, you should understand how the service secures your data in transport and how it stores your data so that you can ensure industry standard security for your documents. For example, Dropbox uses 256 bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption (military and bank grade level encryption), which is the standard security level for transporting sensitive data. SSL encrypts the data being transported from your computer to the storage location making it safe for transportation over the Internet. Once transported to Dropbox, the files are stored on Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) in multiple locations across the United States. If one location's servers go down, you still have access to your data.

Some people are still concerned about security in the cloud. These services are not perfect. For example, Dropbox recently suffered a temporary security glitch that allowed access to accounts using any password. Overall though, I think cloud solutions are safer than traditional paper files - once a paper file is lost, stolen, or destroyed, there is no back up.

Regarding user security, firms with multiple users should ensure that users on their networks only have access to the data required to do their jobs. Firms can achieve this by creating a dedicated folder that users can access and, in some cases, setting file level access permissions based on the specific role the users play in the firm. Clearly establishing who can access the dedicated folder or specific files will significantly reduce the risk of compromising your data internally.

Password security is also a concern. Proper credentialing guidelines that force a user to create a strong password will reduce the chance of data being compromised either internally or through a hacker's "dictionary attack." For example, a reasonable policy may require that all passwords include a capital letter, a special character, and a number. A stricter policy may prevent the password from including any word in any language.

While this may sound complicated, going paperless can actually improve file security and, certainly, access to your data. Next month I will discuss accessibility and some ways going paperless can help your practice.

Note: Special thanks to Dan Francis (Flying Triangle Software) for helping me with the technology discussed in this column.

Stephanie Mensing is in private practice at Mensing Law LLC. She can be reached at stephanie@mensinglaw.com.

Ogletree to Moderate Opening Session at Bench-Bar

Professor Charles J. Ogletree, the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard University, will be the moderator of the opening session of the 2011 Bench-Bar & Annual Conference at Harrah's Atlantic City on Oct. 14-15.

Ogletree will be the moderator of the opening plenary "I'm Not Saying That to Any Judge! The Lasting Implications of Luzerne County." Panelists for that program, which will explore the implications for the bench and bar of the Luzerne County "kids for cash" scandal, will be announced at a later date.
Enjoy early-bird savings when you register for the 2011 Bench-Bar & Annual Conference Oct. 14-15 at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City. Click here to save $80 on your registration fee. But hurry, this offer ends on Sept. 16!

The Bench-Bar & Annual Conference provides attendees with the opportunity to earn CLE credit while networking with colleagues and members of the bench.

Registration for members is $349 if booked by Sept. 16. For non-members, registration is $399. Members of the Young Lawyers Division and public interest and government attorneys can attend for $199. For those wishing to attend only the Grand Reception at The Pool at Harrah's on Friday, Oct. 14, tickets are $150 for all members and $175 for non-members. Tickets will be an additional $25 if purchased at the door.

For those wishing to attend Friday's session only, tickets are $299 for members, $149 for the Young Lawyers Division and government or public interest attorneys and $349 for non-members. Members and guests wishing to attend without receiving CLE credit will pay $200. For non-members, the cost is $225. Admission includes all sponsored meals and events. Those wishing to attend programs on Saturday, Oct. 15 will only pay $229, while YLD members and government and public interest attorneys can attend for $79 and $279 for non-members.

Click here to register.

Sponsors for the 2011 Bench-Bar & Annual Conference include The Legal Intelligencer, Iron Mountain and JAMS.

National Symposium on Diversity in the Legal Profession, Nov. 8

Chief Legal Officers and Law Firm Managing Partners from across the nation will assemble for the Philadelphia Bar Association's National Symposium on Diversity in the Legal Profession on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at The Union League of Philadelphia.

The half-day symposium will begin with a luncheon featuring keynote speaker Robert J. Grey Jr., executive director of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. Grey is a past president of the American Bar Association.

Three concurrent breakout sessions may focus on topics such as the role(s) white men can play to advance diversity and inclusion in corporate legal departments and law firms; generational diversity and its impact in the workplace; successful pipeline initiatives and mentoring programs; and an employment law update. The symposium runs from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. and a VIP networking reception begins at 5:30 p.m. The VIP networking reception will provide a forum for discussion with remarks from a prominent speaker.

Speakers for the National Symposium on Diversity in the Legal Profession include Thomas E. Cabaniss, managing partner, McGuireWoods LLP, Richmond, Va.; Mark Hershey, senior vice president, general counsel & secretary, Armstrong World Industries, Inc., Lancaster, Pa.; H. Eric Hilton, senior vice president, secretary and general counsel, H. J. Russell & Company and Concessions International, LLC, Atlanta; Alan J. Hoffman, co-chair and managing partner, Blank Rome LLP, Philadelphia; Curtis L. Mack, partner, McGuireWoods LLP, Atlanta; Robert A. Nicholas, partner and global director of legal personnel, Reed Smith LLP, New York; Karl A. Racine, managing partner, Venable LLP, Washington, D.C.; Robin Sangston, vice president, legal affairs, Cox Communications, Inc., Atlanta; Mark S. Stewart, Chair, Ballard Spahr LLP; LeRoy J. Watkins, Jr., partner, Jackson Lewis LLP, Morristown, N.J.; Gerry L. Williams, partner, DLA Piper, Atlanta; Sherry D. Williams, senior vice president, chief ethics and compliance officer, Halliburton, Houston; and Sandra S. Yamate, chief executive officer, Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, Chicago.

For additional information on the National Symposium on Diversity in the Legal Profession, contact Naomi K. McLaurin at 215-238-6340 or nmclaurin@philabar.org.

Take Part in VIP's 30 for 30 Challenge

Matthew S. Olesh and Martha F. Reilly, co-chairs of Philadelphia VIP's 30th Anniversary Engagement Committee, are calling upon the members of Philadelphia's legal community to participate in the "30 for 30 Challenge." They are asking all Philadelphia-area attorneys to commit to 30 hours of pro bono service this year with an organization of their choosing in honor of Philadelphia VIP's 30th anniversary.

The "30 for 30" pledge form is available on Philadelphia VIP's website at phillyvip.org. All pledge signers will be recognized at a special 30th Anniversary ceremony during National Pro Bono Week this October. Philadelphia VIP will also track all participation and provide special recognition to practices of varying sizes with the highest rates of participation.

Herron to Receive Brennan Distinguished Jurist Award

Judge John W. Herron, considered to be an architect of the First Judicial District's Commerce Case Management Program, has been selected as the recipient of the Association's 2011 Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Distinguished Jurist Award.

Judge Herron will be presented with the award, which recognizes a jurist who adheres to the highest ideals of judicial service, at an upcoming quarterly meeting.

"I am truly delighted that Judge Herron is being recognized for his exemplary service to our Philadelphia courts over many years, and for his extraordinarily accomplishments and devotion to our justice system," said Brennan Award Committee Chair Maria A. Feeley.

"The Justice Brennan Award is a terrific honor and I feel quite shocked and surprised to be this year's recipient," said Judge Herron. "It has been a wonderful privilege creating the Commerce Court and witnessing its growth and acceptance by the bar due in large part to the efforts of the core group of lawyers involved and Judge Albert W. Sheppard Jr. I am quite proud to share this award with all of them and with all members of the bar and the judges of this court who have supported the Commerce Program over the years."

Judge Herron, who now sits in Orphans' Court, is a graduate of Duke University and Dickinson Law School. He is a former assistant district attorney as served as chief disciplinary counsel for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court from 1973 to 1985. He was first elected to the bench in 1987 and has been retained twice since then. He was administrative judge of the FJD's Trial Division from 1996 to 2002.

Previous winners are Justice Brennan, U.S. Magistrate Judges L. Felipe Restrepo and Timothy R. Rice, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Annette M. Rizzo, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Albert W. Sheppard Jr., Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Sandra Mazer Moss, Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Louis Presenza, U.S. District Court Judge Edmund V. Ludwig, U.S. Magistrate Judge James R. Melinson, U.S. District Court Judge Louis Pollak, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Russell M. Nigro, U.S. District Court Judge James T. Giles, U.S. District Court Judge Louis C. Bechtle, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Edward R. Becker, Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Phyllis W. Beck and Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Alex Bonavitacola.

Combating Human Trafficking CLE, Aug. 2

The Women's Rights Committee will present the CLE program "Human Rights in Crisis: Combating Human Trafficking" on Tuesday, Aug. 2. The program is co-sponsored by the YLD.

Faculty for the program includes moderator Krista Hoffman, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape; James Dold, policy counsel, Polaris Project; Sen. Daylin Leach; Lisette McCormick, executive director, Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness; Hugh Organ, associate executive director, Covenant House; and Daniel A. VĂ©lez, assistant U.S. Attorney.
The program is also co-sponsored by the Civil Rights Committee, Criminal Justice Section, and Family Law Section.

This 2 substantive CLE credit program includes a course book and lunch and begins at 12:30 p.m. at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, Market and Juniper streets. Registration and lunch begin at 12 p.m. Click here to register.