March 16, 2010

Law Week 2010 Schedule Set, Volunteers Needed

From April 26-30, the YLD will celebrate "Law Week 2010" with a host of community and student outreach programs and needs volunteers to help present these exciting events. The weeklong celebration precedes national Law Day, May 1, and is one of the most ambitious public outreach efforts of its type in the nation. This year's theme is "Law in the 21st Century: Enduring Traditions, Emerging Challenges." READ MORE

TOMORROW: CNN's John King to Speak at Quarterly Meeting

John King, the former host of CNN's "State of the Union with John King" who was recently announced as host of the channel's new primetime program, "John King, USA," will be the keynote speaker at the Association's Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon, tomorrow, March 17. READ MORE

Entries Now Being Accepted for 8th Annual Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Legal Writing Competition, Due May 10

Entries are being now accepted for the Bar Association's 8th Annual "Pursuit of Justice" Legal Writing Competition in honor of Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. This competition is open to full- and part-time law students who are in their second or third year of study during the 2009-2010 academic year at six area law schools. READ MORE


YLD Seeks Volunteers for 2010 Law Week Events, April 26-30

Volunteer Philadelphia 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 2010", an annual occasion marked by the Philadelphia Bar Association and YLD through a host of special events and services reaching thousands of citizens.

The weeklong fest 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, Rudolph Garcia, and are coordinated by the Association's Young Lawyers Division with the help of scores of lawyer-volunteers. The Law Week 2010 co-chairs are Carey Chopko and Kelly Gastley.

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

Lawyer in the Classroom, Monday, April 26, through Thursday, April 29
Monday kicks off a weeklong series of visits to Philadelphia school classrooms by volunteer lawyers with the Lawyer in the Classroom program. As part of this program, lawyers will enthusiastically visit 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 Aly Oswald or Aneesah El-Amin-Jaamia.

Legal Advice Live!, Monday, April 26
At lunchtime, dozens of Philadelphia attorneys will gather to provide free, in-person legal advice during the Legal Advice Live! program, from 12 to 2 p.m. at five different 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 at the Central branch, please contact Anthony Chwastyk. If you are interested in volunteering at a satellite branch, please contact Rachel Branson.

Also on Wednesday, April 28, free legal advice will be given to those who call the Legal Line hotline. From 5 to 8 p.m., 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, April 30
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 a special guest speaker.

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

"Goldilocks" and "The Big Bad Wolf" Mock Trials, Friday, April 30
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 Heather Herrington or Justin Moriconi.

And on Monday, May 3, a Naturalization Ceremony welcoming dozens of new United States citizens will be held at the U.S. Courthouse, 6th and Market Streets in Philadelphia, at 10:30 a.m. Here the the winner of the Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest will read his or her essay.

For additional information, CLICK HERE.

Sharon Pinkenson, Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, to Speak at YLD Annual Meeting, March 31

On March 31, hear from the woman who has helped bring more than 200 film, television and video productions to the City of Philadelphia. Sharon Pinkenson, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, will share her inside knowledge of the film industry and discuss new projects slated for the city at the Annual Meeting of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division, to be held at Table 31 in the Comcast Center, 1701 JFK Boulevard, at 12 p.m.

The event also features remarks from the 2010 Chair of the YLD, Albertine DuFrayne of Petrelli Law, P.C., and the presentation of three distinct YLD community service awards to Lloyd Freeman from Archer & Greiner, P.C, Djung Tran from Smith & McMaster, P.C. and Ace Reporters, Inc.

Pinkenson has served as the Greater Philadelphia Film Office's Executive Director since 1992. Among her responsibilities is marketing the City of Philadelphia and its surroundings to the film, video, and television industry. The Greater Philadelphia Film Office also coordinates day-to-day production and location details, ensures the hiring of local cast and crew while directing local goods and services to productions, and develops financial incentives while enhancing the region’s reputation internationally. Pinkenson also publishes the "Greater Philadelphia Film & Video Guide" and the popular website as well as advocates for the growth of Philadelphia's indigenous film community through the Greater Philadelphia Filmmakers program.

In 2004, Pinkenson's tenacity resulted in the passage of the $75 million Pennsylvania Film Production Tax Credit program that caught the attention of the entire film industry. As a result, a surge of new production business took place throughout the state, resulting in 2000 new jobs and $500 million for the regional economy in 2009 alone according to the Greater Philadelphia Film Office.

Highlights of Pinkenson's credits include the films "Philadelphia," "12 Monkeys," "Beloved," "The Sixth Sense," "Signs," "Invincible," "Rocky Balboa," and "The Lovely Bones," and the television series' "Cold Case," "Hack" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

Lloyd Freeman, an associate at the law firm of Archer & Greiner, P.C., will be awarded the Craig M. Perry Award, presented annually to a young lawyer who has devoted substantial time and energy to community-oriented activities. Freeman concentrates his practice in commercial litigation and began volunteering his legal skills while a student at Rutgers University School of Law, where he participated in three pro bono clinics and spent a year teaching constitutional law to high school students in Camden, N.J. He currently volunteers as a guest lecturer for Camden County Technical High School on topics such as business life skills and career exploration and, through the Burlington Camden Kappa Foundation, chairs a program for high school males that trains them in etiquette, fiscal responsibility and college preparation. In 2008, Freeman received the Young Urban Leader Award given by the Urban League of Philadelphia and, in 2007, the Rutgers Law School Mary Philbrook Student Public Interest Award.

Djung Tran, an associate at the law firm of Smith & McMaster, P.C., will be awarded the F. Sean Peretta Service Award, presented annually to an individual who has devoted substantial time to an innovative or non-traditional program that serves the community. Tran concentrates her practice on municipal representation, including land use and development. She has worked in family law, including protection from abuse cases, and immigration representation with the legal assistance program of A Woman's Place, a Bucks County nonprofit organization that provides assistance to victims and survivors of domestic violence. Tran is also the editor of the Bucks County Law Reporter, a member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania, where she takes part in community outreach activities and young lawyer programs, and is a member of the Philadelphia School District's Task Force on Racial and Cultural Harmony.

Ace Reporters, Inc., a full service court reporting agency, will be awarded the Young Lawyers Division Vision Award, presented annually to an organization that has provided outstanding support to the YLD in the fulfillment of its mission.

The cost of the YLD Annual Meeting is $35 for Philadelphia Bar Association members and $50 for non-members. CLICK HERE to register.

TOMORROW: CNN's John King to Speak at Quarterly Meeting

John King, most recently the host of CNN's "State of the Union with John King," will be the keynote speaker at the Association's Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon, TOMORROW, March 17.

At the event, Immediate-Past Chancellor Sayde J. Ladov will be presented with a gold box, an exact replica of the one presented to Andrew Hamilton for his defense of John Peter Zenger in 1735. The gold box is presented annually to the immediate-past Chancellor and is inscribed with the message "acquired not by money, but by character."

The Quarterly Meeting begins at 12 p.m. at the Hyatt at The Bellevue, Broad and Walnut streets. Tickets are $55 and are available HERE.

King joined CNN in May 1997 and was appointed chief national correspondent in April 2005. He served as CNN's senior White House correspondent from 1999 to 2005. He is well known for his use of CNN's "multi-touch" board, which allows him to delve into data on election nights.

Tip of the Month: "Marketing on a Budget"

In keeping with two of my professional goals for the year - becoming more effective at networking and developing more business for my firm - I attended the Solo and Small Firm Committee's recent lunch program "Marketing on a Budget" with Kimberly Alford Rice, who helps lawyers develop business and marketing strategies. Kimberly offered some great tips for networking and developing a marketing plan.

Following the program, I asked Kimberly if she had any specific advice for young lawyers and she was kind enough to share some marketing tips. Kimberly suggests developing a marketing mindset early on in your career. While many young attorneys spend most of their time working and seem to have little time to network, this tip makes perfect sense to me. The sooner you get out and meet new people, the sooner you will form relationships with those people, and the sooner those relationships could develop into business opportunities.

It is not, however, enough to simply go to an event and meet new people. As Kimberly suggests, you should always send follow up communications and maintain contact with the people you meet. In my personal experience, I do not connect with each new person I meet. With a little effort, however, I have met plenty of people with whom I connect because we share common interests or know some of the same people. This makes it a lot easier (and enjoyable) for us to maintain contact.

One of Kimberly's main tips that I really like is focusing on how you can help other people, including current clients and people in your network. It can be as simple as forwarding an article about a contact's hobby or a legal issue that affects a client's business, sending a card to a client to recognize an occasion or accomplishment, or inviting a client to an event. These are all inexpensive ideas that do not require much time, yet make people feel appreciated.

Finally, I really like Kimberly's advice regarding developing a marketing plan - write it down, set specific and realistic goals, set deadlines, evaluate your results, and last but not least, do not be afraid to change your plan if it is not working.

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: Let the Madness Begin

by Aneesh Mehta

Several years ago, Forbes published an article that estimated that March Madness costs the U.S. hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity. If you have yet to do your part to share in the waste by filling out a bracket, here is some advice both novices and experts can use prior to the start of the tournament this Thursday.

First off, just accept that you won't be the guy on that picks the winner in all the Sweet 16 matchups. To be honest, despite any interviews or stories to the contrary, that guy didn't know what he was doing. There really is no advantage to spending 50 hours analyzing how a Sun Belt conference team does when wearing red shorts during an away game.

Second, don't believe the myth that guard play wins championships. Sure, you have to have some quality guards, but the last 5 national champions all had big men that were eventually selected in the first round of the NBA draft.

Third, pick a 5 seed verses a twelve seed upset. Yes it's cliche and we all get sick of hearing the announcers repeat it over and over, but it does always happen.

Fourth, your conference isn't as good as you think it is. When picking a bracket, people have a tendency to think that if a team played their team tough then inherently they are better than some other team not from the conference. Your conference is terrible; they all are this year. There is very little competitive advantage to being in the ACC as opposed to the Big 12.

Fifth, pick a champion that has a McDonald's All-American player. Other than Maryland, every team to win the title in the last 30 years has had at least one McDonald's All-American. Most of the higher-powered teams in this year's tournament have one, except Syracuse.

Sixth, all things being equal, go with a team that has a higher seed. There is a reason they are a higher seed, they were probably better during the regular season. Villanova as an 8 seed remains the lowest to win the tournament, so that dark horse 9 seed in the West is probably not going to make it.

And, finally, pick with your heart and not your head. Most of the first six rules can be ignored. Pick your school to go a little farther than anyone else. That way if they go on a magical run, you'll get to enjoy the game and get some extra points that your peers won't.

Aneesh Mehta is an attorney at Volpe and Koenig who once placed 3,498,273 out of 389,573,490,257,409,287 on's bracket tournament. He can be reached at

Soccer Program with Philadelphia Union Launches New Philadelphia Bar Association Academy, March 29

Major League Soccer is coming to Philadelphia and Bar Association members have the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the city's newest professional sports franchise on Monday, March 29 as part of the new Philadelphia Bar Association Academy. Click here to register.

Philadelphia Union President Tom Veit will address Bar Association members at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, Market and Juniper streets, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. In this exclusive session, members will get a virtual preview of the Union's new 18,500-seat stadium in Delaware County and learn the basics of soccer.

The Philadelphia Bar Association Academy, launched this year by Chancellor Scott F. Cooper, lets members register for free or modestly priced courses that will help them greater connect with the city and become better-rounded professionals.

To register for this free program, click here. Lunch is available for $15 for those members who pre-register.

NEXT THURSDAY: Federal Court Discovery Disputes: A View from the Bench CLE

On March 25, at 12:30 p.m., join a panel of distinguished judges for "Federal Court Discovery Disputes: A View from the Bench," a Federal Courts and Young Lawyers Division CLE. The program takes place in the 11th Floor Conference Center at Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St.

Honorable Gene E.K. Pratter, Honorable L. Felipe Restrepo and Honorable Lawrence F. Stengel, all of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, will offer their views on discovery disputes in federal court, including their procedures for resolution of these disputes. They will highlight what is expected of counsel in handling discovery issues, advice for practitioners, as well as offer tips for young lawyers.

Topics to be highlighted include:

-Procedures for resolving discovery disputes

-Expectations of counsel involved in discovery disputes

-Advice for practitioners, including specific tips for young lawyers

-Answers to attendee questions

Course planners are Jonathan Scott Goldman from Blank Rome, LLP and Stephanie J. Mensing from Wisniewski & Mensing, LLP.

The program has been approved for 1.0 Substantive CLE credit. Participants wishing to receive the CLE credit will be charged $25.00 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for more than five years and $20.00 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for less than five years.

CLICK HERE to register for CLE credit. CLICK HERE to register for lunch.

FJD E-Filing Training Session, April 22

The First Judicial District will hold a training session on electronic filing on Thursday, April 22 at 9 a.m. in Conference Room 380 of City Hall.

Electronic filing of all civil matters became mandatory in January 2009. This program will provide in-depth instruction on the use of the electronic filing system. It was designed to allow for the filing of all civil cases and legal document via the Internet from anywhere at any time. The system currently provides attorneys and litigants with unlimited online access to all papers and legal documents filed in their cases.

The faculty for the program includes President Judge Pamela Pryor Dembe, Administrative Judge D. Webster Keogh, Supervising Judge William J. Manfredi, Deputy Court Administrator Charles A. Mapp Sr., Deputy Court Administrator Dominic J. Rossi, Prothonotary Joseph H. Evers, and Deputy Prothonotary Deborah E. Dailey, along with Harold Palmer, director of application systems development and Steven Wulko from quality assurance.

The program begins at 9 a.m. in Conference Room 380 of City Hall. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. CLICK HERE for an electronic fillable registration form. Completed registration forms can be e-mailed to The cost of the program is $125 and includes and electronic version of the e-filing manual. The program has been approved for 3 substantive CLE credits.

Entries Now Being Accepted for 8th Annual Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Legal Writing Competition, Due May 10

Entries are now being accepted for the Philadelphia Bar Association's Eighth Annual "Pursuit of Justice" Legal Writing Competition in honor of the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The competition is open to full- and part-time law students who are in their second or third year of study during the 2009-2010 academic year at one of the following schools: Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Rutgers University School of Law - Camden, Temple University Beasley School of Law, Villanova University School of Law and Widener University School of Law (Delaware Campus).

CLICK HERE for a link to the contest rules. Entries must be received by Monday, May 10 at 4 p.m.

The Bar Association recognizes the importance of excellence in legal analysis and writing skills, and seeks to award a student enrolled in an American Bar Association-approved area law school for authoring a top-quality competition submission.

Part-time law students in their third or later year of study are also eligible. Students must be in good standing at their institutions. The submission may not have been published previously, although it may have been prepared in connection with a law school course or for a law journal. The submission also may not have been submitted for any other competition during the time when it is under consideration for this competition, until after the time when awards are announced. The submission must be the work of one author alone (joint submissions will not be considered), and the author must certify that the submission has been prepared without substantial editing from others.

Candidates may submit a law review quality submission on any topic relating to rights, privileges and responsibilities under federal law. The author of the winning submission will receive a cash award of $2,500, the publication of the winning submission on the Bar Association's Web site and/or in an appropriate Bar Association publication. The winner will be presented with the award at the Association's Quarterly Meeting in October.

The co-chairs of the competition are Kathleen D. Wilkinson, partner at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman and Dicker LLP and Secretary of the Association, and Diane Penneys Edelman, assistant dean for international programs and professor of legal writing, Villanova University School of Law.