May 18, 2010

NAACP Chair Rosyln Brock to Speak at June 28 Quarterly

Rosyln M. Brock, the youngest person ever to chair the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and only the fourth woman to hold the position, will deliver the A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. Memorial Public Interest Lecture at the Philadelphia Bar Association's Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon on Monday, June 28 at noon at The Hyatt at the Bellevue, Broad and Walnut Streets. READ MORE

THURSDAY: Mock Oral Argument with Judge Rufe

The Labor and Employment Law Committee and the Federal Courts Committee will present a mock oral argument on motion for summary judgment on a complaint alleging discrimination and retaliation on Thursday, May 20. READ MORE

Chance to Win Dinner for Two at The Palm Ends THIS THURSDAY

"Like" the Bar Association's Facebook page by this Thursday, May 20, and be entered into a drawing for dinner for two at the Palm Restaurant.


NAACP Chair Roslyn Brock to Speak at June 28 Quarterly

Rosyln M. Brock, the youngest person ever to chair the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and only the fourth woman to hold the position, will deliver the A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. Memorial Public Interest Lecture at the Philadelphia Bar Association's Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon on Monday, June 28 at noon at The Hyatt at the Bellevue, Broad and Walnut Streets.

Registration is $55 for Bar Association members and $60 for non-members. CLICK HERE to register.

Brock succeeded Julian Bond in February 2010 as Chair of the National Board of Directors of the NAACP. Bond announced his retirement from the position last year after 12 years of service.

Over the past 25 years, Brock has served the NAACP in several leadership roles. She made history in February 2001 when she was unanimously elected Vice Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors at the age of 35. She was the youngest person and the first woman elected to the post in the organization’s history.

A Diamond Life Member of the NAACP, Brock joined the organization while a freshman at Virginia Union University where she was elected President of the Youth and College Division from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

One year later, she was elected as a Youth Board Member from Region 7, representing the District of Columbia, Maryland and the Commonwealth of Virginia. During her tenure as a Youth Board Member and Vice Chairman of the NAACP Board Health Committee, Brock led the fight to recognize healthcare as a civil rights issue, resulting in the National Board's inclusion of a Health Committee as a Standing Committee for all NAACP Units in the NAACP Constitution.

Brock is Director of System Fund Development for Bon Secours Health System, Inc. in Marriottsville, Maryland. Prior to working at Bon Secours Health System, she worked 10 years as a Program Officer for Health Programs at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan.

She graduated magna cum laude from Virginia Union University and earned a master's degree in health services administration from George Washington University, an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and a Master of Divinity degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.

A committed community advocate who works on behalf of vulnerable populations, Brock has served on the boards of community mental health, family and children's services, senior services and faith-based community ministries. She has been a volunteer elementary school instructor for Junior Achievement and host of Community Voices, a cable access program.

Brock has received numerous healthcare, community service and leadership awards. Her leadership skills have been recognized by several national publications and organizations, including The Network Journal's 40 Under Forty Achievement Award (2004); Ebony magazine's Future Leader Award (1989), and Good Housekeeping magazine's 100 Young Women of Promise Award (1987). She received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal for Human Rights from George Washington University, and was voted Outstanding Alumna of Virginia Union University.

She has served as a Young Leaders Fellow for the National Committee on United States-China Relations (2003-05) and Honorary Chairperson of the National Black Family Summit.

Brock created the Leadership 500 Summit in 2005 with several other young adult members of the NAACP. The Summit's goal is to recruit, train and retain a new generation for the NAACP. Leadership 500 has contributed more than $800,000 to the NAACP National Treasury to support 2009 Centennial Activities.

She is a member of several professional and civic organizations, including the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, American Public Health Association, American College of Healthcare Executives, National Black MBA Association, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and The Links, Incorporated.
Brock's goal in life is embodied in an African proverb: "Care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical and expect more than others think is possible."

Also at the luncheon, the Association will present its Sandra Day O'Connor Award to Stephanie Resnick, Chair of the Litigation Department at Fox Rothschild LLP and Chair of the Association's Board of Governors in 2008. Established in 1993 by the Women in the Profession Committee, the Sandra Day O'Connor Award is conferred annually on a woman attorney who has demonstrated superior legal talent, achieved significant legal accomplishments and has furthered the advancement of women in both the profession and the community.

Resnick served as Chair of the Federal Courts Committee in 2004, the liaison between the federal bench and its practitioners. She was responsible for program planning, communication between the bench and bar on strategic initiatives, and professional development and education. In 1997, she served as Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention, having served as a member of the Commission from 1995 through 1998. From 1988 through 1994, she was a member of the Investigative Division of the Judicial Commission. In that role, she investigated the background of judicial candidates seeking election and reported those findings to the Judicial Commission.

Resnick was appointed Trustee of the Campaign for Qualified Judges in 1996 and was also appointed by the then president judge of the Court of Common Pleas to the Task Force on Gender Fairness in the Courts. She also served as Co-Chair of the Women's Rights Committee, and as a member of the Professional Responsibility, Professional Guidance and Fee Disputes Committees.

Tip of the Month: Get the Most Out of Your Mentor

In March, the Young Lawyers Division launched this year's mentoring program with a reception at the Crystal Tea Room. The program matched over 100 law students with a young lawyer for mentoring throughout the year. This month, I'm providing tips for making the most out of a mentoring relationship.

As a mentee, it may be a little intimidating to make contact with your assigned young lawyer mentor. First, do not be shy about emailing or calling us - we volunteered because we enjoy the program! Second, while it's easy for both of us to get busy, it's important to communicate and meet regularly. If you're going to be downtown, feel free to ask your mentor if he or she has time for coffee or lunch. If you're interested in going to a YLD event but are afraid you won't know anyone, ask your mentor if he or she plans to attend. We're happy for you to attend events with us and it's a great way for you to meet new people. If you do attend a happy hour or party, relax and enjoy yourself, but remember not to drink too much alcohol.

Maintaining communication is also good advice for mentors. Most likely, you were selected to mentor a law student who is interested in one of your practice areas. If you're involved with a section or committee that regularly conducts lunch programs or networking events, invite your mentee to attend. This is a great way for your mentee to learn more about a practice area or legal issue, to network with attorneys, and to become familiar with the Bar Association. Finally, if your mentee has a break from class or is between semesters, invite him or her to attend court with you.

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: Summer Movie Manta: Everything 80s and 90s is New Again

A curious sight along the Market Street corridor - home to many Philly law offices - is a row of cabs, buses and other vehicles with NYC markings. If you haven't noticed, maybe you will next time you walk by. They are all props for a movie being shot starring Robert De Niro and ubiquitous Hollywood "it" guy Bradley Cooper. While their film, "Dark Fields," isn't scheduled to be released until 2011, the annual summer mega movie blitz will soon be underway.

Even though it is sure to be a big hit, I’m going to ignore the latest "Twilight" film. I'm about as familiar with that franchise as I am with any current show on Nickelodeon. So I'll keep this column limited to movies I plan on seeing.

Ridley Scott teams up with Russell Crowe to bring you "Gladiator 2: The Sherwood Forrest Boogaloo," aka "Robin Hood." The movie features an exceptional cast and will likely be full of plenty limbs being torn off using various metal instruments.

"Inception" is Christopher Nolan's ("Memento," "The Prestige," and the last two "Batman" movies) latest thriller. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio along with numerous actors from Nolan's "Batman" franchise. The plot has been fairly secretive, but essentially involves a future where technology allows people to enter others' dreams. I'm sure there are spoilers around but I'll leave that for you and Google.

The granddaddy of them all, from my perspective, is "The Expendables". I'll just point out the cast and let it do the talking: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis and the governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. I'm not sure what the premise is; I'm hoping it's a combination of all their movies, like an arm wrestling cop that's forced into travelling back in time to fight in some sort of karate tournament to avenge a dead Russian nephew. It really doesn't matter what the plot is, that cast includes all the action stars from the 80s and 90s in one place. Sure, the Washington Redskins try to do the same thing and fail on the football field, but c'mon folks, in movie land it's gotta work.

Honorable mentions for the summer include: "The A-Team", starring the aforementioned Bradley Cooper remaking the classic 80s show; "A Nightmare on Elm Street," remaking the classic 80s horror movie; "Prince of Persia", a spinoff of the popular 90s and 2000s video game franchise; and the locally filmed "The Last Airbender", by M. Night Shyamalan.

Aneesh Mehta is an associate at Volpe and Koenig, P.C. and is one of the nation's leading experts on cheesy action movies. He can be reached at

THURSDAY: Mock Oral Argument with Judge Rufe

The Labor and Employment Law Committee and the Federal Courts Committee will present a mock oral argument on motion for summary judgment on a complaint alleging discrimination and retaliation on Thursday, May 20.

U.S. District Court Judge Cynthia M. Rufe will preside over the argument and will present her analysis and ruling at the end of the argument. Kelly Dobbs Bunting of Greenberg Taurig, LLP and Robert Davitch of Sidkoff Pincus & Green will co-present and co-moderate. Arguing for the plaintiff are James Duttera of Console Law Offices LLC and Ronald Surkin of Gallagher, Schoenfeld, Surkin, Chupein & DeMis. Arguing for the defendant are Andrew Allison of Post & Schell, P. C. and Terry Johnson of Blank Rome LLP. At the conclusion of the argument, a vote will be taken of those in attendance as to whether summary judgment will be granted or denied. The judge will then provide her analysis and ruling.

The program begins at 4 p.m. in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the U.S. Courthouse at 6th and Market streets. CLICK HERE to RSVP.

TODAY: Help Needed to Ensure a Clean and Fair Election

Volunteers are needed today, Election Day, to join Committee of Seventy's nonpartisan Voter Protection Program and help resolve problems at polling places and answer voters' questions. The goal of the program is to help solve issues that could prevent registered voters from voting and to collect data to improve future elections.

Volunteers will be trained on election laws and work throughout the Philadelphia region on Election Day helping voters in the field or staffing the 866-OUR-VOTE voter protection hotline. Volunteers are asked to work a 4 1/2 hour shift in the morning, afternoon or evening in a part of the city of their choosing.

Learn more about this important and exciting opportunity HERE.

TODAY: 8th Annual Nonprofit Institute CLE Program

For seven consecutive years, the Nonprofit Institute has been a dynamic source of information and a must attend for anyone involved in the nonprofit sector. This year's program takes place today from 9 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. at the PBI CLE Conference Center and offers 5 substantive and 1 ethics CLE credits.

The program is not just for lawyers! Attendees can design their own program from among 18 topics to meet the needs of their profession. The day promises to offer stimulating discussion and the opportunity to network with a diverse group of people involved in the nonprofit sector.

Workshop choices include: Charities That Planned Well to Survive Challenging Times; Copyright Issues for the Nonprofit; Starting and Running an Effective Nonprofit Organization; Time Tested Models of Nonprofit Innovative Management; The Prudent Investor Rule, Endowments and Fiduciary Duty; Don Kramer’s Annual Legislative and Caselaw Update; Risk Analysis for the Nonprofit - Examining Liability Exposure, Indemnification and Insurance Coverage; Community Foundations - Issues and Opportunities; Becoming a Charitable Organization - Completing and Filing IRS Form 1023; Commercial Co-Venturing; Lobbying Versus Advocacy - Understanding the Difference; Compensation Reporting on the 990; and Legal Advice for the Grassroots and Small Nonprofit Organization, among many others.

For more information on the program, standard tuition fees and registration, please call 1.800.932.4637 or CLICK HERE.

Federal Circuit Chief Judge Michel to Speak June 8

Retiring Federal Circuit Chief Judge Paul R. Michel will be the speaker for "Unplugged: First Thoughts Post-Retirement", at a Tuesday, June 8 free event presented by the Association's Intellectual Property Committee.

The event will be held at The Union League of Philadelphia, 140 S. Broad St., beginning at 5:30 p.m. and is co-sponsored by the Philadelphia Intellectual Property Law Association.

Sponsors for the program (as of May 14) include Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP; Benjamin Franklin American Inn of Court; Caesar Rivise Bernstein Cohen & Pokotilow, Ltd.; Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz LLP; Cozen O'Connor; Dechert LLP; Dilworth Paxson; Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP; Duane Morris LLP; Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC; Feldman Gale, P.A.; Fish & Richardson, P.C.; Fox Rothschild LLP; Harding, Earley, Follmer & Frailey P.C.; Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP; Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel LLP; Pepper Hamilton LLP; Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP; RatnerPrestia; Saul Ewing LLP; Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP; Volpe and Koenig, P.C.; Woodcock Washburn LLP; and Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP.

Judge Michel was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in March 1988. He became chief judge on Dec. 25, 2004 and since then has served as one of 27 judges comprising the Judicial Conference of the United States, the governing body of the judicial branch. In 2005 he was appointed by the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court to serve on the seven-judge Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference.

Admission to the event is free, but registration is required. To register, CLICK HERE.

Volunteer Now for Ronald McDonald House Dinner, June 29

On June 29, the YLD has been invited to cook and serve dinner to residents at the new Ronald McDonald House, Front and Erie streets, as part of its Family Meal Program. The Ronald McDonald House is a home-away-from-home for families and their seriously ill children who are being treated at area hospitals. The dinner that the YLD will provide supplies the families with a nutritious meal that might otherwise be skipped and also creates an opportunity for families to share their stories and experiences.

Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. YLD volunteers are invited into the kitchen anytime after 2 p.m. to start meal preparations. The suggested menu is a salad, bread/rolls, a protein entree, a starch side dish, a vegetable side dish, and dessert, prepared for 25 to 30 people.

If you are interested, please contact Dave Koller at or (215) 545-8917 or Matthew Laver at or (215) 686-7097. Once the group is finalized, you will be contacted to discuss logistics. Suggestions and recipes are welcome!

The event is absolutely free, but space is extremely limited, so advanced registration is required. Gated parking is available directly on the house property, and directions will be provided.

Lawyer-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program-Volunteer Mediator Training, June 14

On Monday, June 14, the Bar Association's Fee Disputes Committee will present the free "Lawyer-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program - Volunteer Mediator Training" from 12-3:30 p.m. at Bar Association headquarters.

Featuring Cheryl Cutrona, Esq., Executive Director of the Good Shepherd Mediation Program, the program will prepare attorney mediators to volunteer for the Bar Association's Lawyer-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program. If you are interested in mediation as a form of dispute resolution, would like to gain some valuable training, and would be willing to serve a few hours each year to help resolve a couple of lawyer-client fee disputes, then the Fee Disputes Committee would like you to consider becoming one of its volunteer mediators.

The Bar Association's Fee Disputes Committee offers a neutral forum for the resolution of disagreements between clients and lawyers over fees charged for legal services. Both mediation and arbitration are offered. This is a free service of the Bar Association.

Attendance at this program will qualify you to serve as a volunteer mediator for the Lawyer-Client Fee Disputes Resolution Program at the Bar Association. (Must be a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association to participate.)

This program will be held from 12:00-3:30 p.m. at Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, and include topics such as: Lawyer-Client Fee Disputes; Pre-Mediation Logistics; The Mediation Process and Follow-Up; and Confidentiality and Standards of Conduct.

CLICK HERE to register. Any questions, contact Amy Seefeld.