September 11, 2007

Bench-Bar to Feature Two CLE Courses Sponsored by YLD

This year's Bench-Bar Conference will feature two CLE courses sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division. The first course, Unforgiven, is at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28 and will cover internet and defamation law. This course is worth 1 substantive CLE credit.

The second course, Young Guns, is at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29. The discussion will center around procedures for motion practice in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. This course is worth 1 substantive CLE credit. Also, those who attend this CLE will have a chance to win an iPod. In addition to these two courses, attendees have the chance to earn 5 other CLE credits during the conference.

Register now for the Bench-Bar Conference here.

Bally's is now accepting hotel reservations for attendees. Book early for the best rates: rooms on Thursday, Sept. 27 are $99 and rooms Friday night are $144. Call 1-800-345-7253 for reservations and mention you are attending the Philadelphia Bar Association Bench-Bar Conference to get these special room rates. Please note these rates are based on availability.

Association Members Invited to Advance Screening of "Michael Clayton"

width=85, height=135, align=left vspace=3, border=0 Warner Brothers Pictures invites you and a guest to a special, free advance screening of George Clooney's new film, "Michael Clayton."

The screening will take place Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the Ritz At The Bourse and will be followed by a Q&A with writer/director Tony Gilroy. Please RSVP to Katie Green at 215-246-3435 by Friday, Sept. 21 to reserve your seat.

Plaintiffs' Firms to Speak on Hiring Sept. 27

Representatives from plaintiffs' firms will discuss hiring practices and the promotion of diversity at the Thursday, Sept. 27 meeting of the Minorities of the Profession Committee.

Speakers for the program include Mark W. Tanner, president of Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association; Ruben Honik, immediate-past president of Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association; Laura Feldman, co-chair of Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association's Diversity Committee; Bernard W. Smalley, co-chair of Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association's Diversity Committee; Shanin Specter, co-chair of Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association's Diversity Committee; and Nadeem A. Bezar, member of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $7.50 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this program.


Successful Interviewing CLE Program for Women Sept. 18

The Women in the Profession Committee and Flex-Time Lawyers LLC will host "Successful Interviewing And Beyond: Learning to Effectively Navigate Your Way as a Woman Lawyer to Ensure Success" on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 4 p.m. at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building.

This program will offer in-depth discussions of how women law students and practitioners can develop the necessary skills to succeed and how employers can achieve more diversity in the legal profession. The first panel will discuss how women law students can select a woman-friendly employer and how practitioners and employers can create and ensure more gender diversity. The second panel will share interview tips and information about what employers want. It will also uncover how women practitioners successfully conduct themselves professionally and navigate their way in the profession. A cocktail reception will follow.

The first panel, "The Cheat Sheet: Strategies to Select, Create & Ensure a Woman-Friendly Employer," which is available for one ethics credit of CLE, includes panelists Deborah Epstein Henry (moderator), founder and president, of Flex-Time Lawyers LLC, and of counsel, Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis; Heather Herrington, an associate with Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, LLP; Linda Dale Hoffa, assistant U.S. attorney, assistant chief, Criminal Division, Eastern District of Pennsylvania; Roberta D. Liebenberg, co-chair of the Women in the Profession Committee and a partner with Fine, Kaplan and Black, R.P.C.; Elaine Petrossian, assistant dean for career strategy and advancement, Villanova University School of Law.

The second panel, "Interviewing Tips to Learn What Employers Want and Proven Methods on How to Conduct Yourself Professionally," includes Kathleen D. Wilkinson, a partner with Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP; Sarah E. Davies, hiring partner with Cozen O'Connor; Katherine Hatton, vice president, general counsel and secretary, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Sunah Park, a partner with Thorp Reed & Armstrong, LLP; Molly Peckman, special counsel and director of professional development at Pepper Hamilton LLP; and Peggy Simoncini Pasquay, manager of attorney recruitment and relations, Duane Morris LLP.

Participants wishing to receive the CLE credit will be required to pay a fee of $25 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for more than five years, and $20 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for less than five years. If you wish to register in advance please visit or call PBI Customer Service at 1-800-932-4637.

If you would like to attend the program and cocktail reception, but are not interested in receiving CLE credit, please contact Dawn Burger.

Sponsors include the Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, Abelson Legal Search, Coleman/Nourian, Oxford Legal Associates, Sacks Legal Search, Temple University School of Law, Villanova University School of Law and Right Management.


Option 1 vs. Option 2 &mdash The Property Home Inspection Contingency by Lisa Getson

When purchasing a home in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, buyers and sellers enter into a contract by signing an Agreement of Sale. One of the contingencies in the agreement is the Property Home Inspection Contingency.

In this clause there are a specific number of days in which a buyer has to complete the property home inspection. If not otherwise specified in the Agreement of Sale, it is fifteen days. However, this is usually too long for a seller since their home is off the market during this time. Therefore, buyers and sellers often agree to anywhere from seven to ten days to conduct a home inspection.

In the property inspection contingency in the Agreement of Sale a buyer must choose the option of how they will be negotiating upon completion of the actual inspection. There are two options &mdash Option 1 and Option 2 &mdash and each has their own pros and cons.

Under Option 1 if the inspection report specifies defects, the buyer has the choice to accept the property as is, terminate the Agreement of Sale or enter into a mutually acceptable written agreement with the seller, providing for repairs and/or credits. All of this must be done within the agreed upon time period, unless the buyer and seller agree in writing to extend such time. The advantage of Option 1 to a buyer is that if there are any defects in the home inspection report, no matter how big or small, they can walk away and receive back any and all deposit monies previously paid. This is obviously a disadvantage to the seller for the buyer to have this "out." Sellers prefer that the number of days in which to perform the home inspection be as short as possible so that if the buyer does decide to exercise the right to walk away at least the seller can get their house back on the market quickly.

Option 1 can also be a disadvantage to a buyer. If a buyer really wants a property then electing an option which gives them the right to walk away and be refunded their deposit money can be a turnoff to a seller. For example, if a buyer is competing for a property in a multiple bid situation then choosing Option 2 is preferable, as a seller is unlikely to sign an Agreement of Sale and take their house off of the market for a buyer who can simply use the property home inspection contingency as a way out of the deal.

If a buyer really wants a property they should select Option 2. Option 2 states that within a certain number of days, the buyer must perform the home inspection. They must then either accept the property, or if they are not satisfied with something in the home inspection report, present the report to the seller with a written corrective proposal listing corrections and/or credits desired. The seller then has a certain number of days, seven if not otherwise specified, of receiving the buyer's proposal, to inform the buyer in writing of their choice to satisfy the terms of buyer's proposal or to credit the buyer at settlement. If the seller and the buyer agree, then the buyer accepts the property. If the buyer and the seller do not agree, or if the seller fails to respond to the buyer's written proposal, then at that point in time, the buyer has a certain number of days, five if not otherwise specified, to exercise the option to accept the property as is, to terminate the Agreement of Sale and be refunded any and all deposit monies, or to enter into a mutually acceptable written agreement with seller for repairs or credits. If the buyer and seller do not reach a written agreement during the total time specified, and the buyer does not terminate the Agreement in writing, then buyer is deemed to accept the property as is.

The advantage to a buyer choosing Option 2 is that since it gives the seller an opportunity to make repairs or credit for such repairs before having the Agreement terminated, it shows the seller that the buyer has strong interest in their property. Knowing that a buyer cannot just walk away and get their deposit money back before trying to work things out is comforting to a seller who is removing their home from the marketplace during the inspection period. It is for this reason that this option can be more favorable to a seller. Furthermore, a buyer can elect to fill in a dollar amount of which they are willing to absorb should anything be defective in the home inspection. This will allow the buyer to convey to the seller their serious interest in the property. The disadvantage of Option 2 to the buyer is that unlike Option 1 they cannot walk away at first blush as they must first give the seller an opportunity to correct or give a credit for any defects in the property. It does not take away the opportunity for a buyer to get out of the deal should the buyer and seller not agree on a credit or repairs to be made by the seller, however. Last, the disadvantage of Option 2 to both the buyer and the seller is that there are so many extra days for negotiating back and forth. During this time period not only is the property under contract so that the seller cannot sign another Agreement of Sale, but the buyer is also under contract and thus cannot purchase another home without breaching their existing contract.

Deciding between Option 1 and Option 2 is not easy, and can often depend on the individual situation of a particular property. I suggest that when purchasing a home you review each option carefully with your real estate professional.

Send your real estate-related questions to Lisa Getson at

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