Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009

Young Lawyers Division Seeks Award Nominees

The Young Lawyers Division is seeking nominations for its annual Craig M. Perry Award and Sean Peretta Service Award.

The Sean Peretta Service Award is given annually to a member of the legal community who exhibits exceptional community service. Legal and non-legal community service activities will be considered by the selection committee. There is no age limit on the Peretta Service Award. Current members of the YLD Executive Committee are not eligible to receive the award.

The Craig M. Perry Award is presented annually to a young lawyer, 37 years old or younger or within the first three years of practice, who has devoted substantial time and energy to community-oriented activities, including, but not limited to, pro bono and charity work. Leadership, initiative and commitment to the community are factors that will be considered by the selection committee. Current members of the YLD Executive Committee are not eligible to receive the award.

Craig M. Perry was a member of the YLD Executive Committee who suffered an untimely death. He was very involved in community service and active in student-related and other YLD programs.

Nominations are encouraged and should include the individual's name, address and a brief statement describing his or her qualifications and reason why they should receive the award. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Jan. 16. All nominations should be submitted to Dawn Petit at the Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107 or via email at dpetit@philabar.org.


Chancellor's Reception Jan. 6

All members of the legal community are invited to attend a complimentary reception on Tuesday, Jan. 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. in honor of Sayde J. Ladov, 82nd Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

The Chancellor's Reception will be held in the Grand Ballroom at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue, Broad and Walnut streets. No reservations are necessary.

This is the event at which even the city's busiest and most successful legal luminaries patiently wait in line to wish their leader and each other good luck in the year ahead.

Basic Tax Law, IRS Volunteer Certification CLE Jan. 8

The Tax Section and The Campaign for Working Families will hold a CLE training in basic tax law and IRS volunteer certification on Thursday, Jan. 8 beginning at 3:30 p.m. at the offices of Pepper Hamilton LLP, 3000 Two Logan Square (18th and Arch streets), 31st Floor.

This three-hour CLE training completes the requirements for volunteering with the Campaign for Working Families at our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites across Philadelphia. The campaign provides free high quality tax preparation for low wage families eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Space is limited, please visit phillyfreetaxes.org to register to volunteer and indicate this as your training date. For more information or with Questions please contact Elly Porter-Webb at 215-851-1759 or epwebb@gpuac.org.

Ethics, Campaign Reform Public Hearing Jan. 10

The Task Force on Ethics and Campaign Finance Reform will hold a public hearing on Saturday, Jan 10 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St.

The Task Force anticipates that each witness will have up to five minutes to testify about campaign finance reform, political activity restrictions, ethics/conflict of interest rules, outside employment of city employees and lobbying.

The Task Force encourages anyone wanting to testify to preregister by sending an e-mail to Task Force Chair Michael Schwartz at schwartzma@pepperlaw.com. Please include, if possible, the topics about which you would like to testify.

The Task Force also encourages the submission of written testimony by witnesses who are appearing to testify and by those unable to appear. Please submit all written testimony to Task Force Chair Michael Schwartz by email at schwartzma@pepperlaw.com, by fax at (800) 615-2315, or by mail to 3000 Two Logan Square, 18th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

Barristers to Honor Judge Giles Jan. 19

The Barristers' Association of Philadelphia will honor James T. Giles, former U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Of Counsel at Pepper Hamilton LLP, at its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast at the Doubletree Hotel on Monday, Jan. 19 at 8 a.m.

Judge Giles will receive the Honorable William F. Hall Award, which recognizes an attorney who has made a significant contribution in the areas of social justice, peace, education, civil rights or public health, and will offer the keynote speech at the event.

The Barristers will also recognize Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Jacqueline F. Allen with the Outstanding Woman of the Year Award, presented to an outstanding woman attorney of color, who has helped to advance the education or careers of other minority women within the profession and beyond; Scott W. Reid, an associate at Cozen O'Connor, with the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, which is given to a young attorney who has demonstrated both competence in the practice of law and concern for his community; and the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, Inc., a consortium of more than 33 law firms, corporations and legal organizations, with the Barristers' Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Outstanding Service to the Community, which recognizes an organization that has identified and met the need for diversity and inclusion within the legal or business community.

Tickets for the breakfast are $30 for individuals at for-profit organizations, $350 per table of 10 for law firms and for-profit organizations, $25 for individuals at nonprofit organizations, and $250 per table for nonprofit organizations. All tables include a page-sized ad in the Breakfast Program. Additional ticketing information is available on the Barristers' web site, phillybarristers.com. For tickets please contact Rachel Branson, (215) 751-2438 by Jan. 5.

A Rental Deal Worth Praying For

by Harper Dimmerman

Are any of you or your penny-pinching clients looking for the world's greatest rental deal? Here's a little teaser about what can be yours for the unbelievably low price of $1 per year, what I like to refer to as the quintessential rent-controlled bachelor (widower's rather) pad: "Every 500- to 700-square-foot apartment has its own entrance leading to a lane or a courtyard, giving it the feel of a house. The buildings are pretty, the architecture elaborate. The handles on the iron doorbells have different shapes such as a cloverleaf and a pine cone – a holdover from when there was less lighting and residents needed help at night to recognize their doors." If you're still not enticed, what if I told you Mozart's great-grandfather once hung his embroidered and feathered cap there?

These little beauts, part of a gated community in Augsburg, Germany, are obviously very much in demand, making getting your hands on one "like winning the lottery," according to one resident quoted by The Wall Street Journal. There's one other small catch – putting aside your tolerance for trans-Atlantic commuting. Appropriately enough, one of the key conditions for entrée into this veritable renter's paradise is prayer. That's right – prayer. To be more precise, all of the tenants in this Roman Catholic housing settlement must pray for its very deceased benefactor, Jakob (that's with a "K") Fugger "The Rich" (and his descendants of course) to enter the Pearly Gates. So who is this Fugger character anyway and what in God's name would've ever prompted him to bankroll this heavenly housing village, with thousands of grateful tenants served since 1520. Let's put it this way. From the sound of it, he was bling way back in the day, kicking it Renaissance style, of course, whatever that entailed. Venison by the ton, tipping in gold bricks, eunuch of choice for the weekly Bacchanal feast and festivities. Whether he was minting coins for the Vatican, bankrolling the Holy Roman Empire or steering Europe's spice trade, he rose to astounding prominence as one of the world's most powerful financiers. Of course when you’re an altruist with obscene amounts of money (think Donald Trump) there are always haters waiting in the wings, eagerly awaiting your fall from grace.

Interestingly, Fuggerei was established by Jakob the Rich as a settlement for the indigent, upon criticism by Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, claiming that the banker's massive fortune was somehow sacrilegious. Clearly that was not God's will, not to mention the fact that charging any interest during that time was considered usurious. Luther would've been pleased to know that Fugger's empire took a serious hit over the next 150 years or so, thanks in large part to a string of wars and significant loan defaults. Even so, over the centuries, the family has ensured that Fuggerei remains, a symbol of the benevolence which has eluded far too many for far too long. I'll eat my words if anyone can apprise me of an investment banker in these parts worth praying for.

Harper Dimmerman, principal in the Law Office of Harper J. Dimmerman, can be contacted at harper@hjdlaw.net.