Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008

Evening of Private Shopping at Tiffany's Nov. 13

The Young Lawyers Division will present an evening of private shopping for holiday gifts at Tiffany & Co., on Thursday, Nov. 13.

The event, which will include cocktails, begins at 5:30 p.m. at Tiffany & Co., 1414 Walnut St. Please register online by clicking here.

Thursday, Dec. 4 - YLD Holiday Party

The Young Lawyers Division will hold its Annual Holiday Party on Thursday, Dec. 4 at Finn McCool's, 118 S. 12th St., beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 for YLD members, $25 for YLD student members and $35 for non-members.Click here to purchase tickets.

The YLD is collecting toys and gifts for Rubye's Kids and the People's Emergency Center in conjunction with the Holiday Party. Please bring new unwrapped basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, stuffed animals, games, arts and crafts kits, umbrellas, hats, gloves, scarves, books, Bath & Body Works products, etc. Contact Kelly Gastley at kgastley@phillyvip.org or Carey Chopko at cchopko@feldmanshepherd.com for more information.


Nine Seek Seven Seats on YLD Executive Committee; Board Candidates Forum Nov. 12

Nine candidates are running for seven seats on the Young Lawyers Division Executive Committee. The election will be held Monday, Dec. 8.

The candidates are Alexis Arena, Brandon S. Bruce, Alicia A. Garcia, Edward Scott Goldis, Christopher M. Guth, Rachel Kopp, Justin S. Moriconi, Alyson Oswald and Richard Vanderslice.

The Elections Committee will hold a forum for candidates seeking seats on the Association's Board of Governors on Wednesday, Nov. 12.

The candidates for Bar Association offices include Vice Chancellor, Rudolph Garcia; Secretary, Kathleen D. Wilkinson; Assistant Secretary, Sophia Lee; Treasurer, Jeffrey M. Lindy; and Assistant Treasurer, Joseph A. Prim Jr. The following candidates are running for three-year terms on the Board of Governors. Danielle Banks, Jeffrey Campolongo, Phyllis Horn Epstein, Regina Foley, Michael Shaffer, Sean Sullivan and Stacey Tees. A total of five new members will be elected to the Board of Governors in the Monday, Dec. 8 election.

The Candidates Forum begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $5 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this event.

Ballots will be mailed to regular, voting members on or before Nov. 24. Those members who wish to vote by mail must have their ballots received (not postmarked, but received) at Bar Association headquarters by 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 5. Ballots received after that time will not be counted. Anyone not returning their ballot in a timely fashion may still vote in person on Dec. 8 at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue in conjunction with the Association's Annual Meeting Luncheon from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Annual Meeting, beginning at 12 p.m., will feature remarks by Chancellor-Elect Sayde J. Ladov with her plans for her year in office.Click here to purchase tickets to the Annual Meeting.

Nominees Sought for Chancellor's Diversity Award

Nominees are being sought for the inaugural Chancellor's Diversity Award. The award will recognize a law firm, legal organization or individual who has made a substantial contribution to diversity and inclusion in the legal field. Nominations for the award will be accepted from any member of the Philadelphia Bar Association and must be submitted by Friday, Nov. 14. The Chancellor's Diversity Award will be presented at the Annual Meeting Luncheon on Monday, Dec. 8.

Potential awardees may be an individual attorney, law firm of any size, legal services organization or law school. The nominee must reside in Philadelphia. Nominees should demonstrate a sustained and continuous appreciation of and contribution to diversity and inclusion in the field. However, nominations will be accepted for a single outstanding contribution.

If the nomination is for a law firm, law school or organization, may include an outstanding or innovative programmatic activity that has highlighted diversity, increased diverse representation or supported inclusion efforts in the legal field. These activities should support the areas of commitment to diversity mentioned in the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Statement of Diversity Principles.

If the nomination is for an individual, that person must demonstrate a sustained commitment to the tenets of diversity through activities that should support the areas of commitment to diversity mentioned in the Philadelphia Bar Association's Statement of Diversity Principles. For more information about the Chancellor's Diversity Award, contact Dr. Sean Kathleen Lincoln at (215) 238-6340. Click here to download nomination forms.

Symposium on Norris Law Firm Nov. 19

The Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, in association with Temple University and the Philadelphia Bar Association will host the symposium "Creating Access – The Norris Law Firm and the Liacouras Committee" on Wednesday, Nov. 19.

More than 50 years ago, a time when African-Americans had few, if any, options to practice in majority law firms, a courageous and talented group of African-American lawyers formed what is considered by many to be Philadelphia's first African-American law firm – Norris Schmidt Green Harris Higginbotham & Brown. The firm's in-court victories, as well as its out of court influence, created access for countless persons across the region and nation. The firm never numbered more than a dozen lawyers at a given time, and still produced many of the superstars of the profession. A number of the firm's lawyers partnered with others in the Philadelphia legal community in an effort to increase the number of African-American lawyers in the Commonwealth by reforming Pennsylvania's bar examination procedures.

Responding to their efforts, the Philadelphia Bar Association appointed a special committee chaired by Peter Liacouras to determine whether Pennsylvania's bar examination procedures were in fact biased against African-American candidates. The committee published its findings in December of 1970, and changes were made in the Commonwealth’s examination procedures that substantially increased the number of African-American lawyers practicing in Philadelphia and statewide. Lawyers from a cross section of the Philadelphia bar, including fabled African-American lawyer and civil rights activist Austin Norris, worked together to bring about the report and these changes, which have forever altered the face of Philadelphia's legal community.

"Creating Access" will tell the story of how these Philadelphia lawyers came together to change our profession, primarily through the recollections of a panel of witnesses to and participants in these events. By retelling their story, we celebrate the achievements of the Norris Law Firm, the Liacouras Committee, and the other diversity pioneers who contributed to making a legal career accessible to a more diverse group of lawyers, providing an example of professional courage and commitment to principle that continues to inspire today.

Symposium participants include William H. Brown III, Robert L. Archie Jr., Peter J. Liacouras, Hon. Paul A. Dandridge, Hon. Ricardo C. Jackson, W. Bourne Ruthrauff, Professor Robert Reinstein and moderator JoAnne A. Epps, dean of Temple University Beasley School of Law.

The program will be held at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St., beginning at 6 p.m. RSVP by Nov. 14 by calling 215-751-2237 or e-mailing sbender@schnader.com.

Leopard on my left. Lion on my right. Yada yada . . .

By Harper Dimmerman
I never thought I'd be saying this, being the dog lover that I am. But our close friend's canine can be a royal pain in the rear. The border collie mutt (and I don't mean that pejoratively) whose name shall remain anonymous (for fear of retaliation) looks like an inquisitive gremlin, with a skunk's body and Pepe Le Pew stripe down the center. His triangular ears are constantly stuck at attention, frozen in that let-me-see-how-much-trouble-I-can-get-into position. And then there's the wet, matted 80s hair, looking as if his female companion just him brushed out en route to a Poison concert. As if the stench wasn't enough (the smell of cannibalized rodents seeping through his pores), his hair falls off in circular black clumps, adhering to every sanitary little nook in my house, few and far between as you might imagine.

As my daughter taunts him and belly laughs, blissfully ignorant of how close she is to getting snipped, my wife and I marvel at how our friends tolerate the little terror. Of course they probably say the same about us, which is more than fair. Even my Labrador retriever, too kind for his own good, decided last year that he'd endured enough gum licking and harassment. Sadly, he stoically resigned himself to the reality that things would just never been the same. No more afternoons filled with puppy diversions. Long runs in the park frolicking and ganging up on standard poodles. They were both older now. Jaded. A few years had passed. And as with everything in life, age brings with it additional obligation, mainly devoting our limited time to doing things we don't necessarily want to do. Or refraining from things we really want to do.

Of course there are those amongst us who refuse to compromise for anyone. These are the modern-day non-conformists, the rebels. For them life is not like a box of chocolates, but rather like a starring part in The Doors movie. They spend their weekends, after nine-to-fiving it at some humdrum desk job, in the desert (or the Wissahickon) searching for that divine cactus. Leopard on my left. Lion on my right. Yada yada. These are the people who just can't be content with a conventional domesticated little friend. A kitty. A mischievous border collie. They crave more. Only danger can quench their thirst for life, or death as the case may be. And as a recent ABC News column pointed out, there is certain allure associated with keeping exotic pets at home.

Take Cathie Ake for instance. For her, a brood of Pomeranians (still considered dogs to most) just wasn't enough. She didn't stop until her dining room was a veritable zoo. Monkeys, miniature horses, llama, wallabies. Even a camel for God's sake. Her decision to walk on the wild side proved tragic though. A visit from a local Florida television news crew got under her camel Polo's hump, prompting her exotic companion to crush her. All two tons. Needless to say, Polo's cameo in the Ake's much-anticipated nativity scene, was nixed. I sure hope she wasn't renting. And then there was the Virginia Beach woman, who just last week or so, was strangled by her reticulated tiger python. The snake's name was Diablo. Go figure. I think the moral of the story is that you truly never know the type of friends one keeps. And in the privacy of their own home, forget about it.