May 25, 2010

Diversity Scholarship Reception and CLE, June 17; Registration Now Open

On June 17, the YLD will honor several outstanding individuals with scholarships at its annual Diversity Scholarship Reception. This year's event takes place at the Crystal Tea Room Atrium on the ninth floor of the Wanamaker Building, 100 South Penn Square, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and is free of charge, although registration is required. REGISTER NOW and stay tuned for more details, including news on the possible addition of a CLE to the event.

5th Annual Comedy Night Full of Fun, Laughs and Charity

YLD Chair-Elect Carolyn Chopko, Chair Albertine DuFrayne, headline comedian Dan Cummins, and opening act Sidney Gantt (pictured above, from left) joined 150 other attendees of the YLD's 5th Annual Comedy Night & Silent Auction on May 22 at the Franklin Institute. Laughs were shared and much-needed funds were raised for the Philadelphia Bar Foundation. View more pictures 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.

Pro Bono Corner: Protecting Civil Rights...Even When It Isn't Easy

by Marieke J. Tuthill

As a volunteer attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, I've learned a lot about what it means to practice the principles that are important to me. At the ACLU, principle and practice are sometimes hard to reconcile because everyone has civil rights that deserve protection, but it's simply not possible to like what every person does with them. However, confronting the gap is where you learn and grow as a young attorney. One experience comes to mind that illustrates the point.

Shortly after starting at the ACLU, I was assigned to a case involving a group of animal rights activists. They wanted to protest the use of horses to pull tourist carriages around Independence Park, but the Park Service refused to let them stand on the public sidewalks where the carriages lined up to solicit customers. I was thrilled to be on the case. I love horses! I love protesters! What's more, freedom of speech was under attack right across from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell!

I researched how the area had been treated in the past for protest purposes and found a very recent federal district court opinion holding that the Park Service could completely close the sidewalk outside the Liberty Bell to all speech. The defendant was arrested protesting on the sidewalk and his case was on appeal to the Third Circuit. My supervisor decided we would submit a brief as amicus curiae against the district court’s holding and I would help write it. The problem? The defendant was an anti-abortion activist arrested while decrying the reproductive freedoms of women through a megaphone. My feminist sensibilities went wild with rage that I would defend this man's right to speak. But, of course, if he lost so would my beloved horse-lovers. So I worked hard to help brief our First Amendment arguments. The experience underscored that even the most fundamental civil rights need constant protection, including from me.

Working with ACLU clients is often like skipping dinner for ice cream one day and eating your legal brussels sprouts the next day. As we all know, the ice cream is yummy, but the veggies are what make you stronger. Volunteering for the ACLU is a great experience involving interesting, complex issues of constitutional law, colorful clients, and a great deal of fun. I recommend it to any attorney interested in volunteering her time.

Marieke J. Tuthill is Philadelphia Bar Foundation Legal Fellow at the ACLU of Pennsylvania and can be reached at

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.

"Changing Firms: Ethical Guidance for Law Firms and Attorneys," June 17

On Thursday, June 17, the Law Practice Management Committee will present "Changing Firms: Ethical Guidance for Law Firms and Attorneys", featuring Ellen Freedman, founder and president of Freedman
Consulting and the Pennsylvania Bar Association Law Practice Management Coordinator.

The program will outline the ethical, legal and practical issues these situations raise, and provide advice on how attorneys can address such matters while fully complying with their ethical obligations to the firms and their clients.

The program begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $8 for those members who register in advance. CLICK HERE to RSVP.

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 event co-sponsored by the Association's Intellectual Property Committee the Philadelphia Intellectual Property Law Association.

The event will be held at The Union League of Philadelphia, 140 S. Broad St., beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Sponsors for the program (as of May 21) include Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP; Ballard Spahr 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.; Flaster Greenberg P.C.; Fox Rothschild LLP; Harding, Earley, Follmer & Frailey P.C.; Mannino Law Firm; 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.

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.