Sidebar Summer 2013
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Doing what counts™. | susquehanna.net Member FDIC contents summer 2013 Montgomery Bar Association / Montgomery County PA MAGAZINE SIDEBAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS Co-Chairs Robert R. Watson, Jr., Esq. Gary J. Friedlander, Esq. 10 The Evolution of Gideon Regular columnists: Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq. Richard E. Cohen, Esq. Lindsay C. Hanifan, Esq. David R. Jacquette, Esq. Dennis R. Meakim, Esq. Elaine Moyer, Esq. William J. Newman, Esq. Douglas I. Zeiders, Esq. MBA Staff 18 Bench Bar 2013 A Long-Awaited Return To Annapolis IN EVERY ISSUE... President’s Message............................4 Bits & Bytes..........................................6 Wiretaps.............................................26 George Cardenas 14 Healthcare Reform Update Certified Specialist In Workers’ Compensation Law.................................21 Communications and Public Affairs Duty to Retreat or Stand Your Ground?............................................22 Executive Director Upcoming Events...............................35 Restaurant Review.............................39 Norristown’s own Theatre Horizon.....25 MBA Diversity Committee launches Summer 1L Program..................................7 Federal Courts Committee hosts three federal judges............................................8 Council of Past Presidents......................9 The Evolution of Gideon.........................10 Courting Art Update................................12 What is the Cloud all about?.................13 Healthcare Reform Update from USI Affinity.......................................................14 Bench Bar 2013........................................18 Marketing Manager Jim Mathias Volunteer Lawyers Prepare Wills for Heroes.......................................................24 FEATURES IT Manager Jack Costello Women’s Center First Annual Fundraiser.................................................28 Firm has Three Generations by the name of Vangrossi...................................29 Diversity Committee Hosts a Day in Court...........................................................30 Right-to-Know Law.................................32 Reception Honoring MBF Fellows......33 Director of Marketing, Nancy R. Paul The Sidebar Committee invites articles and news information of interest to the membership to be sent to: MBA, c/o Sidebar Committee, P.O. Box 268, Norristown, PA 19404-0268 or email: email@example.com The Sidebar Committee reserves the right to edit any material submitted and/or to omit the same from publication. Most articles are written by members for members. Montgomery Bar Association 2013 Officers Serving the Profession and the Community since 1885 HOT OFF THE PRESS...............................34 Paul C. Troy, Esq., President Lawyer Referral Service Delivers.......36 Michael F. Rogers, Esq., President-Elect My Experience as Potential Juror Number 14.................................................37 Carolyn R. Mirabile, Esq., Treasurer Bruce Pancio, Esq., Vice President Eric B. Smith, Esq., Secretary President’s Message Celebrating all the ages By PAUL C. TROY, ESQ., MBA President R ecently I was talking to an older lawyer and he said something which I have heard before. He indicated that he was glad that he was retiring because “the practice of law wasn’t the same,” and “the younger generation of lawyers aren’t as courteous as when I started practicing law”. He actually went on to describe younger lawyers and the practice of law today in words that I can’t really described here. I didn’t debate the point, because I could tell that it wasn’t a debate worth having. I wasn’t going to change his mind. However, I really disagree with him. I heard the same sorts of things when I started practicing law 23 years ago. I will probably be hearing the same thing 23 years from now. While I’m sure that every year there are some younger lawyers who are not as courteous as they should be, I am equally sure that the same can be said for a few older lawyers. Halfway through my career, I have not noticed any generational trend with regard to courtesy. People are people, and I am willing to bet that any young lawyer who isn’t as respectful to opponents as he or she should be was probably taught some of that by an older lawyer, or at least was allowed to act that way (if not encouraged to do so) by an older lawyer. Whether it be on cases, or in bar activities, I have had the opposite experience of my client. I have found the younger lawyers who are my opponents in cases to be extremely professional, and well prepared. When I look at the young lawyers who are active in our Montgomery Bar Association, I am particularly proud of their achievements. Our Young Lawyers Division recently hosted two “Wills for Heroes” events where they spent Saturdays volunteering to write wills for free. One event was for sheriffs. Twenty attorneys volunteered and thirty wills were drafted. More recently at a second event for the Pennsylvania State Police Skippack Barracks, these young lawyers prepared thirty-nine wills. They also put an incredible amount of time into our Mock Trial Competition this spring. As I’ve dropped in on different Committee and Section meetings at the MBA this year, I am excited to see some younger lawyers in the room each time. Some of our most active volunteers in the MBA are our younger lawyers. So while I’m very grateful for the professionalism and work of our younger lawyers, I would also like to make you aware of a few of the great things I have seen at the MBA this year being done by lawyers of all ages. One thing I’ve tried to do this year is to visit as many Committee meetings SIDEBAR 4 SUMMER 2013 as possible. One Committee I visited on a couple of occasions was our Real Estate Committee led by Marc Jonas and Bernadette Kearney. I am a trial lawyer. What I know about real estate law you could fit in a thimble. I attend different Committee meetings just to keep the lines of communication open and see if there is anything they needed from our Officers or Board of Directors. What I saw at a Real Estate Committee meeting was something I didn’t expect, and was pretty extraordinary. Apparently real estate lawyers had been having some difficulty recently because the Recorder of Deeds had been rejecting some filings, and the lawyers either didn’t understand why the papers were rejected, or thought they should have been accepted. To work on this issue our Real Estate Committee invited the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds, Nancy Becker to their meeting. Nancy came to the meeting and brought her Second Deputy Tonya Butler. What followed was a frank discussion of what each side thought about the filings. A subcommittee was set up to meet regularly with Nancy Becker and Tonya Butler to work on these issues. As I listened to the discussion, I couldn’t help but wonder how anyone could practice real estate law in Montgomery County, and not be an active member of the Real Estate Committee, and attend their meetings. Attendees at the meeting were getting lots of great advice as to what should be done with their filings so they would be accepted. This would in turn reduce their costs, and those of their clients, as less money is spent on couriers taking documents back and forth between the lawyer’s office and the Recorder of Deeds office. I had never met our Recorder of Deeds before that day, but came away from the meeting with tremendous admiration for both Nancy Becker and Tonya Butler for the effort that they were ready and willing to devote to solving these problems. As I write this article I understand that the work of the committee is not yet finished, but that the subcommittee remains active. The work of that committee and the Recorder of Deeds office will be of great benefit to our real estate lawyers, their clients, and the Recorder of Deeds office. It was heartening to see that this was happening at our Bar Building and that our Real Estate Committee was the forum in which that progress was made. Another highlight was a visit to some Community Outreach Committee meetings. I attended one last December and they were thinking about a project called “Courting Art,” to see if some senior citizens in Montgomery County might be willing to submit paintings. The paintings would then be judged by a panel, and the winning paintings, or reproductions thereof, displayed in the Courthouse. Lead by Judge Carolyn Carluccio and Missy Boyd, the committee really got to work in a hurry. There was a press conference on Valentine’s Day in Courtroom 3 announcing the project. One of the members of the media questioned whether much art would be submitted, or whether it would be very good. Jim Mathas and Jack Costello of our MBA staff got right to work on publicity. The theme of the Inaugural Contest was “What I Love About Montgomery County.” The results were incredible. 113 works of art were submitted and displayed at a gala event in May at the Montgomery County Community College. All of them were terrific, and the panel of judges worked well into the night picking the winners. The grand prize winner was 85 years old, and the artists ranged in age from 55 to 101 ½. The average age of the artist was 69.8 years young. 39 works of art, either originals or reproductions of the originals, will end up being displayed in our Courthouse. All of this began with one idea at a committee meeting. A lot of hard work by all of the committee members and MBA staff followed. The result was a packed gala event at the Montgomery County Community College. A lot of Montgomery County seniors received well deserved recognition that night. These are just two examples of some of the extraordinary things being done by our members this year. There are a lot of great things being done at the MBA this year by great lawyers – and great people – of all ages. Please get involved in a committee or section that interests you, and be a part of it. Technology solutions to keep your business running. No one knows technology solutions like Stratix. SIDEBAR 5 SUMMER 2013 BITS & BYTES Easier Navigation Through MBA Web & Mobile Apps By Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq. T he Montgomery Bar Association continues to be at the forefront regarding its member benefits, which include the Association’s website and mobile apps. I urge all of you to visit www.montgomerybar.org and look around. If you haven’t been to the site recently, you will see many enhancements and improvements. The MBA homepage is cleaner and redesigned to allow faster access to members and the public. For members, sign in and you will be able to register, order and pay for publications, events and CLE courses. You can see the latest headlines from The Legal Intelligencer, The Times Herald, Patch, The Philadelphia Business Journal and others. “ The MBA homepage is cleaner and redesigned to allow faster access to members and the public. ” You’ll be able to read The Law Reporter. Search and read published opinions, The Sidebar, Local Rules, the new MBA Civil Practice Manual and other handbooks. A treasure trove of invaluable information is literally at your fingertips. The Members Marketplace is constantly being updated and should be your first stop when looking for vendors to assist or help in your practice. Over 200 vendors are listed and more are added each month. This should be your first stop when seeking anything from adjusters to work flow management. Not quite A to Z, but they are getting there. The Member Resource Center was developed to help us find and use the many resources of the Montgomery Bar in one place. With easy to navigate links that include member discounts, links to affinity partners, free member research tools, and other features, the Members Resource Center should be on your “Legal Links.” Finally, iPhone and other smart phone users will find information SIDEBAR 6 SUMMER 2013 and detailed instructions to add the Montgomery Bar Association resources to your phone mobile web browser. This allows you to use many of the tools, links, etc. as you would from your desktop computer. These instructions are also applicable to iPad and other tablets. Again, the Montgomery Bar Association homepage should be on your “Legal” bookmarks and accessed regularly. A terrific resource overlooked by many members. Please send me your comments and suggestions for topics. I want this column to be user friendly and instructive to your needs. Send them along to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to respond. MBA / FEATURE MBA Diversity Committee Launches Its Fifth Year Of Summer Internship Program By: Wendy G. Rothstein, Esq. O n June 3, 2013, the Montgomery Bar Association Diversity Committee launched its fifth annual Summer 1L Program, which provides paid internships to first year students of diverse backgrounds. Participation and interest in the program has grown steadily from year to year. This summer, ten highly qualified students will be placed with law firms throughout Montgomery County. The program runs for eight weeks, with each student receiving a stipend of $500 per week, paid by the law firm. In 2012, the MBA also awarded a $1,000 scholarship to each of the participating interns. The Summer 1L Program sprang from an effort of the MBA to increase diversity throughout the Montgomery County legal community. The MBA partners with the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group in locating students to participate in the program. This year, the following firms will again be participating in the program and sponsoring a student: Flamm Walton PC; Fox Rothschild, LLP; High Swartz LLP; Kane, Pugh, Knoell, Troy & Kramer, LLP; Miller Turetsky Rule & McLennan, P.C.; Nelson Levine de Luca & Hamilton, LLC; Portnoff Law Associates, Ltd.; Snyder & Verbeke; Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby LLP; and, Wisler Pearlstine, LLP. The MBA and the Diversity Committee thank the law firms for their sponsoring of a student. Throughout the internship, the Diversity Committee sponsors a weekly breakfast event with a speaker. This year the speakers and topics will be: Marilou Watson, Esquire – Working at a Law Firm; the Honorable Cheryl Austin – Clerking For a Court of Common Pleas Judge; the Honorable Susan Peikes Gantman – Clerking for an Appellate Court Judge; Public Defender Keir Bradford-Grey – Working in a Public Defender’s Office; District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman – Working in a District Attorney’s Office; and Eric Meyer, Esquire – Working as In-house Counsel. The events are SIDEBAR 7 SUMMER 2013 made possible through generous donations from the law firms of Cozen O’Connor; Fox Rothschild, LLP; Kaplin Stewart; Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin; Morris and Clemm, PC; Powell, Trachtman, Logan, Carrle & Lombardo, PC; and, Rudolph, Clarke & Kirk, LLC. In addition to the weekly breakfast, the students will also have an opportunity to participate in the following activities: observing Superior Court arguments and a pre-session with the Honorable Susan Peikes Gantman; bowling; reception honoring Donald Martin, Esquire at the Law Offices of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, PC; MBA clambake; and a closing reception at Lai Lai Garden. The Diversity Committee is currently chaired by Mohammad Ghiasuddin with Lindette C. Hassan serving as vice chair. If you are interested in participating in next year’s program, please contact Mohammad or Lindette. MBA / FEATURE Federal Courts Committee hosts three federal judges providing significant legal education on Supreme Court Term By Mark A. Kearney, Esq., Vice President, Pennsylvania Bar Institute O n May 29, 2013, our Federal Courts Committee hosted the Pennsylvania Bar Federal Practice Committee in a continuing education sponsored by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute on the significant cases, issues and developments presented by the United States Supreme Court’s 2011-12 term. The seminar also focused on the interesting cases being raised in the 2012-13 term as a preview. With over seventy attendees, the Honorable D. Michael Fisher of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Honorable Lawrence F. Stengel and the Honorable Joel H. Slomsky of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania led the analysis. Each judge offered significant input on the long range importance of a dozen decisions, particularly on qualified immunity, criminal procedure, evidentiary privileges, and the widely publicized statutory facial challenges in federalism issues raised in the immigration and health care areas. Nancy Conrad, Vice Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar’s Federal Practice Committee, also provided insights on the panel. Our Federal Practice Committee’s chair, Gregory S. Voshell, offered insights into the cases being decided this term as a preview, and continues to send email updates to attendees on the newly decided cases. We also provided a copy of a recent best seller on the Court as a door prize. Montgomery Bar is the only site in the Delaware Valley selected for this presentation. Over seventy lawyers, judges and summer law clerks participated, and joined an informal reception where the judges and speakers shared their insights. The Federal Courts Committee continues to provide MBA members with unique insights into significant developments in federal practice. Its next major effort will be the Supreme Court Admission Ceremony in Washington, D.C. on December 16, 2013, followed by a private Pennsylvania exhibition in the Library of Congress. Montgomery Bar expresses its gratitude to Judges Fisher, Stengel and Slomsky and to the over seventy members of the Bar who participated in this ground breaking seminar. Pictured above from left to right: Mark A. Kearney, Esq., Hon. Joel H. Slomsky, U.S. District Court, Nancy Conrad, Esq., Hon. Lawrence F. Stengel, U.S. District Court, Hon. D. Michael Fisher, U.S. Court of Appeals, Gregory S. Voshell, Esq. SIDEBAR 8 SUMMER 2013 MBA / FEATURE Council of Past Presidents By Marc Robert Steinberg, Esq., MBA Council of Past Presidents Chair O n Tuesday, April 26, 2013, an event took place at the Montgomery Bar Association that lacked wide notoriety, but remained an important meeting that occurs usually once a year without fanfare or trumpets blaring. Together under our one roof, a crowd of three ladies and eighteen gentlemen of varying ages, but with one shared experience, met to consider the state of the Montgomery Bar Association. At the invitation of President Paul Troy, and with the current Bar leaders in attendance, the Council of Past Presidents of the Montgomery Bar Association convened to share where the association has been, and listen to our President explain where we are headed into the future. This is a tradition that has gone on for many years to ensure the continuity of leadership, events and collegiality that mark our Association as the premier bar association in the Commonwealth. President Troy asked for and was given the advice and collective wisdom of those past presidents assembled. He took some time to explain all of the technological advances the Bar was embarking upon and the many affinity relationships established to provide our membership with an array of benefits to make our membership dollars worth spending. And just as importantly, the dinner provided another opportunity for what the Bar does best. It brought together a group of friends to share a night of camaraderie at the Montgomery Bar Association. Get SIDEBAR 9 SPRING 2013 involved, work for the common good, and one day, we look forward to having you join us at the table. MBA / FEATURE The Evolution of Gideon By Michael Drossner, Esq., Deputy Chief Public Defender, Montgomery County T his year marks the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, the landmark case that created public defender offices around the country. As stated by Justice Hugo Black in the Gideon opinion:...Any person hauled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him. This seems to us to be an obvious truth.” GIDEON’S STORY Clarence Earl Gideon was born in 1910 to a poor family in Hannibal, Missouri. His father died when Gideon was only three years old; he rebelled against his religious mother and stepfather by quitting school after eighth grade and running away to live as a railroad vagabond. The next three decades would be marked by poverty, prison stints, alcoholism, and health problems. On June 3, 1961, a pool hall in Panama City, Florida, was burglarized and the culprit stole about five dollars in change, a few bottles of beer and soda, and about $50 from the jukebox. An alleged witness who lived nearby told police that he had seen Gideon exit the pool hall and catch a cab, a bottle of wine in his hand and his pockets bulging with coins. Gideon was arrested in a nearby bar a short time later. Gideon’s request for counsel was denied and, after deliberating for ten minutes, the jury returned a guilty verdict; Gideon was sentenced to five years in prison. In January of 1962, Gideon mailed a five-page, handwritten petition to the Supreme Court of the United States, and the high court agreed to hear his appeal. Attorney Abe Fortas, a future Supreme Court justice himself, was assigned by the court to represent Gideon, and he argued that a common man with no training in the law could not go head-to-head with a trained attorney and win. “It was impossible,” said Fortas, “to have a fair trial without counsel.” Interestingly, when Gideon’s case reached the Supreme Court, 22 state attorneys general joined Gideon in urging the court to establish an absolute constitutional right to counsel in criminal cases. Of course, those prosecutors understood the value in legal representation for all criminal defendants, that is, lawyers act as a check on the government’s power, protect against unjust verdicts, provide certainty to the outcomes by ensuring that defendants receive a fair trial, and present the Court with important SIDEBAR 10 SUMMER 2013 mitigating evidence at sentencing. The nine Supreme Court justices agreed, ruling unanimously in Gideon’s favor on March 18, 1963. Gideon was granted a second trial and appointed a public defender, and the jury acquitted him after deliberating for one hour. Gideon’s case would go on to become the catalyst of a right to counsel revolution in the United States. While some states already had a public defender system in place, the ruling ensured court-appointed counsel for poor people across the nation. Fifty years after the Gideon decision, the focus has evolved from merely the right to counsel to the right to effective representation. In fact, based on recent Supreme Court decisions, that representation has turned from insuring a fair trial to providing effective assistance on matters such as plea bargaining and the collateral consequences of convictions. GIDEON TODAY Unfortunately, Gideon’s promise has not been entirely fulfilled. While public defender offices exist throughout the country, and our Commonwealth, many of them are substantially underfunded and attorneys deal with increasing caseloads at stagnating salaries. Surprisingly, accordingly to a 2011 legislative report, Pennsylvania is the only state that does not appropriate funds for indigent defense systems. However, in order to properly support the important mission of public defenders, MBA member State Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf has introduced legislation to create the Pennsylvania Center for Effective Indigent Defense Legal Representation (S.B. 979-13). This funding would certainly help because both the direct and collateral consequences of convictions have continued to increase over the years. As for direct consequences, the war on drugs and “tough on crime” policies have created an overload of offenses which carry mandatory incarceration at a significant expense to taxpayers. In addition to the direct consequences of sentencing, there are oftentimes collateral consequences to conviction, which include: loss of and/or inability to find employment, even for minimum wage positions; ineligibility for public housing and/or public assistance; ineligibility to carry firearms; ineligibility for student loans; loss of voting rights; and ineligibility for jury duty. Along with all of these rights, which may be sacrificed upon conviction, a defendant also risks feeling disenfranchised from society, which could lead to further anti-social behavior. Importantly, these collateral consequences are not imposed directly by the Court and are beyond the terms of a sentence itself for the actual crime. Of course, the greater the potential consequences, direct or indirect, the more time and effort a public defender needs to spend on each case attempting to avoid a conviction or mitigate its consequences. As Justice Black so eloquently stated: “[T]here are few defendants charged with crime, few indeed, who fail to hire the best lawyers they can get to prepare and present their defenses. That government hires lawyers to prosecute and defendants who have the money hire lawyers to defend are the strongest indications of the wide-spread belief that lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries. The right of one charged with crime to counsel may not be deemed fundamental and essential to fair trials in some countries, but not ours.” That is an obvious truth. A & A Interpreting/Translation Services, LLC Languages and dialects provided are from Arabic to Zulu, including American Sign Language and Notary services. One phone call, does it all. 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SIDEBAR 11 Phone: 215-853-8255 Fax: 775-371-5483 firstname.lastname@example.org www.PatentsTrademarks.com SUMMER 2013 MBA / FEATURE Courting Art Update T he cover story in our last issue of SIDEBAR helped pave the way for Courting Art – an exciting new community arts initiative aimed at relieving stress, promoting healing and bringing justice to the walls of our county courthouse without dependence on tax dollars. In the shadow of cuts to organizations like Legal Aid and the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project, members of our legal community showed some creativity of their own by collaborating with local artists, adult communities, and local media in an effort to bring some justice to the tired walls of our County Courthouse. Thanks to our Community Outreach Committee, its members, sponsors and community partners – we all pulled together and accomplished a remarkable first. To our knowledge, Courting Art was and is the first initiative of its kind to place juried art “of the people, by the people and for the people” in a county courthouse with zero dependence on taxpayer dollars. This year’s two-day exhibition and VIP Awards Event played out before rave reviews – so much so that our generous partners at Montgomery County Community College have offered to host a full, monthlong feature exhibition for us on next year’s Fine Arts Center gallery schedule! Our inaugural Awards Event included appearances by some of Montgomery County’s top artists, our county commissioners, nearly a dozen members of our bench, and dozens of bar leaders, community leaders, business leaders, dignitaries and legislature. In total, 113 pieces of original artwork were on display in our inaugural exhibition. $4,500 in prizes were awarded in total to amateur and professional artists throughout Montgomery County, ranging in age between 55 and 101½. Thanks to our generous sponsors (appearing on page 38 of this issue and in dozens of newspapers throughout the Delaware Valley courtesy of our presenting sponsor, Digital First Media), all winning work is now immortalized as part of a permanent exhibit on the walls of the Montgomery County Court House. Thanks to their support and the creativity of local artists and our Community Outreach Committee, the 40+ award-winning pieces on the Plaza level hallway mark the beginning of a renaissance in our county courthouse. Be sure to visit our Media Center on CourtingArt.com to catch up on front page news articles, video highlights and some very exciting news about next year’s contest and month-long feature exhibition! All photos courtesy of Montgomery County Community College, photographer: Sandi Yanisko SIDEBAR 12 SUMMER 2013 MBA / FEATURE What is the Cloud all about? The Montgomery Bar Association has asked TechWise Group to cover cloud technologies over the next few months in this newsletter. This initial article is a basic introduction to the cloud. The purpose is to help readers form a conceptual model of how the cloud works. In future articles, we will cover specific cloud technologies, how to prepare your organization for a move to the cloud and a discussion on cloud security. S uppose you have a huge vinyl collection and love music. The only problem is that you can’t listen to it at work because it’s silly to bring your collection back and forth from work to home. Luckily you have a friend who’s a radio DJ. You give him all your vinyl and he plays your music on a special radio station just for you. Now you can listen to your music at home, at work, in your car, anywhere. You don’t even have to worry about scratching or losing your records. This is working pretty well, so you give your friend your DVD collection. He also happens to work at a TV station and sets up a special channel just for you. So now you can watch all your movies from anywhere you want just as well. Your friend is like the cloud. Instead of having your stuff at your house, he stores and broadcasts it to you, wherever you are. If your house burns down, no problem, your stuff is safe. Let me relate this back to a business environment. You have a collection of documents stored locally on your computer. You want to go on vacation and still have access to these files. The cloud is just like your radio friend. You put all these files in the cloud, and now you have remote access from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Now that you have these documents stored, you can start to incorporate work email, calendars, project files, even your legal software. You have your cloud with all your information, but now you would like to have your work colleague access these files as well. You just let them know the ‘radio station’ that your files are on, your cloud location. Now you have the ability to have real-time updates of shared information. Now that you have an idea of what the cloud is and how it works, there are three main models regarding how the cloud operates – the public cloud, the private cloud and the semi-private cloud. The public cloud passes the responsibility and associated risk for an IT infrastructure from the business to a third-party in a public cloud-sourcing model. Some of the cloud services that are publicly available are Microsoft’s Office 365, Google’s Gmail, Dropbox file storage, or Amazon Web Services (AWS). The private cloud infrastructure is provided virtually via the Internet, but from designated facilities, whether owned by the client or the vendor. The semi-private cloud service is a hybrid of the first two. The current shift to cloud computing presents enormous opportunities for businesses. Companies are moving away from continued investment in their own infrastructure to sourcing and developing IT services externally. There are many ways that cloud computing makes businesses more agile and flexible. The real power of cloud computing is that it is a flexible, pay-as-you-use SIDEBAR 13 SUMMER 2013 • Organizations can manage their investment risk by rapidly implementing and trialing new solutions before making long-term commitments. • The flexibility offered by cloud computing enables businesses to increase or decrease their IT infrastructure costs as their business needs change. • It’s easier to buy in extra services and capacity to reach new customers and expand your market footprint quickly. • New technology can be implemented faster, arming your people with the best tools and increasing their productivity. business model. It allows companies to manage their technology costs more efficiently, enables deployment of new technology faster and easier than other models, and allows management to focus on delivering business value – that can only be good for business. Healthcare Reform Update from USI Affinity Information on Exchange Notices, HSA Limits T wo important things to focus on in this month’s article: additional information on the Exchange Notices which were delayed earlier this year, and new limits for Health Savings Accounts. The Affordable Care Act creates a new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) section that requires employers to provide each employee at the time of hiring, as well as current employees, a written notice that includes information regarding the new Health Insurance Marketplace. Earlier materials referred to this notice as the “Exchange Notice,” however, it is now referred to as the “Notice of Coverage Options.” All employers subject to the FLSA are required to provide the Notice of Coverage Options, regardless of whether a health plan is offered by the employer. Employers subject to the FLSA include employers that employ one or more employees who are engaged in, or produce goods for, interstate commerce. For most firms, a test of not less than $500,000 in annual dollar volume of business applies. Other entities covered by the FLSA and subject to this notification requirement include hospitals, schools, federal, state and local governments. Employers will need to determine if they are subject to the FLSA. General guidance relating to the applicability of the FLSA (which includes an Internet compliance assistance tool to determine applicability of the FLSA) can be found through the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (www.dol. gov/elaws/esa/flsa/scope/ screen24.asp). It is important to note that employers must provide the Notice of Coverage Options – insurance carriers and third-party administrators of group health plans are not responsible for providing the Notice on behalf of an employer. The Notice must be provided to each employee, regardless of plan enrollment status or of part-time or full-time status. Employers are not required to provide the Notice to spouses or dependents who are not employees. For new hires, employers must provide the Notice to each new employee at the time of hiring beginning October 1, 2013. For 2014, the DOL will consider a Notice to be provided at the time of hiring SIDEBAR 14 SPRING 2013 if the Notice is provided within 14 days of an employee’s start date. For employees who are current employees prior to October 1, 2013, employers must provide the Notice no later than October 1, 2013. The Notice is required to be provided automatically, free of charge. The Notice is required to be provided in writing in a manner calculated to be understood by the average employee. It may be provided by first-class mail but also may be provided electronically if the requirements of the DOL’s electronic disclosure safe harbor are met. The Notice must inform employees of the existence of a new Marketplace, in addition to contact information and a description of the services provided by a Marketplace. The Notice must also inform the employee that the employee may be eligible for a premium tax credit if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the Marketplace. Additionally, the Notice must include a statement informing the employee that if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the Marketplace, the employee may lose the employer contribution, if any, to any health benefits plan offered by the employer and that all or a portion of such contribution may be excludable from income for federal income tax purposes. With the Exchange Notice the DOL also updated the model COBRA Notice. Some qualified beneficiaries may want to consider and compare health coverage alternatives to COBRA continuation coverage that are available through the Marketplace. The DOL’s model COBRA election notice has been revised to help make qualified beneficiaries aware of other coverage options available in the new Marketplace. The DOL provides two model Notices that will satisfy this requirement. One Notice applies to employers that offer a health plan to some or all employees. The other Notice applies to employers that do not offer a health plan. Employers will need to complete Part B of the applicable notice with the requested information. If the employer offers a health plan, the employer must provide some basic information about the health plan coverage, including who is eligible for coverage and whether the coverage satisfies minimum value and is intended to be affordable based upon employee wages. The model Notices can be found on the DOL website. Also the IRS has released the 2014 limits for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). The HSA contribution limits and High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) out-of-pocket maximums are up slightly over 2013. The HDHP minimum required deductibles for a plan to be considered a “high deductible health plan,” is still $1,250 for single coverage and $2,500 for family coverage (no change from 2013 levels). The maximum out-of-pocket maximums for HDHPs for 2014 will increase to $6,350 for single coverage and $12,700 for family coverage (2013 levels are $6,250 single/ $12,500 family). This limit is also important as it sets the maximum Out of Pocket for Health Care Reform Compliant plans in 2014. Annual Individual Contribution Limit to the HSA on behalf of an individual increases slightly to $3,300 for an individual with single coverage and $6,550 for an individual with family coverage (2013 levels are $3,250 single/ $6,450 family). For those age 55 or older, the catch-up contributions will continue to be $1,000. SIDEBAR 15 SUMMER 2013 After being rescheduled for three weeks due to rain and another threat of severe weather, the Legal Aid Golf Classic took place at Bellewood Golf Club on Friday, June 28th in the midst of what has become the Mid-Atlantic monsoon season. Participants enjoyed rare pleasant weather, a beautiful and challenging course, a continental breakfast and a buffet luncheon immediately following the outing. Proceeds in the amount of $34,000, which includes matching funds from MBA, were raised from the event and will be donated to Legal Aid of Southeastern PA. (l-r) Donald Belfie, Jr., Paul C. Troy, Andrew M. Lamberton, Ashley V. Trotter Group photos courtesy of Fleisher Forensics Prize Winners: Lowest Score – 60 Craig Kellerman David Harrington James Harrington Greg DiPippo (l-r) Brian D. Kent, Seth D. Wilson, Mark C. Clemm Longest Drive (Women) Julie Van Duyne-King Longest Drive (Men) Mason Avrigian Closest to the Pin Justin O’Donogue (6’3”) Straightest Drive Michael Barlow (l-r) John A. Iannozzi, J. Edmund Mullin, l-r) Mark C. Schultz, Rick Giles, Robert Iannozzi, Sr., Thomas Mullin Robert F. Morris SIDEBAR 16 SPRING 2013 (l-r) Maribeth Blessing, John P. Attiani, Sean McCusker, Andrew D. Taylor (l-r) Shawn Huston, Jack Costello, Joe McNamara, Tom Pellegrino Two decked out Wisler Pearlstine Beverage Carts take a pit stop in preparation for a busy day on the course with thirsty golfers. (below) Golfers enjoy a tasty continental breakfast, courtesy of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, P.C. A special thanks to the law firm of Kane, Pugh, Knoell, Troy & Kramer, LLP who again served as Presenting Sponsor for this yearâ€™s Legal Aid Golf Classic and Awards Luncheon. (l-r) Carl N. Weiner, Joshua Ganz, Ethan R. Oâ€™Shea, H. David Spirt Golfers practice their puts on the Elliott Greenleaf Putting Green SIDEBAR 17 SPRING 2013 Bench B A LONG-AWAITED RET I t’s a tradition each year at our fall Membership Dinner for our 50-year members reflect on their years in the profession and the fond memories that go along with their half-century of bar membership. Not surprisingly, the annual Bench Bar Conference is a perennial favorite as there is arguably no better way to get to know colleagues, judges, other attorneys and yes, sometimes even opposing counsel than on a long weekend away with friends and family. This eventful weekend leaves lasting memories and forges relationships that endure for decades. Of course, the right destination is essential to the success of any Bench Bar Conference. Selecting the location of the annual conference is a rite of passage for every MBA president. Hosting a memorable Bench Bar SIDEBAR 18 SPRING 2013 Conference like President Troy’s law partner did back in ’06 is one surefire way to keep your presidential legacy in check, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that Troy is planning a return visit to one of our most popular destinations in recent history: the Bar 2013 TURN TO ANNAPOLIS Loews Annapolis Hotel in the heart of downtown Annapolis, MD. According to Troy, his decision to return to Annapolis came after considering several options, but admittedly, it was an easy one. For time-starved members and their families, he wanted a destination that was relatively close and easily accessible for members and guests. Finding the right balance of recreation, culture, entertainment and collegial nightlife (all within walking distance) was also important. So when Troy learned Nancy Paul was able to secure a favorable room block and “throwback” rates for a return to Annapolis, all other options quickly went out the window. Troy added, “We had so much fun in ’06 when Bill and Mary hosted that I remember wishing we had more time there.” SIDEBAR 19 SPRING 2013 Many who attended back in ’06 have already expressed their enthusiasm for our long-awaited return to Annapolis. For those joining us for the first time, you and your families will be a welcome addition and, rest assured, there’s something there for everybody. Best known as America’s Sailing Capital, Annapolis is a quaint yet vibrant maritime town boasting miles and miles of picturesque Chesapeake Bay exposure. Just outside the hotel are brick-lined streets, hundreds of oneof-a-kind shops, galleries, renowned restaurants and over four centuries of history, which might explain why Annapolis is affectionately referred to as “a museum without walls.” Of course, no visit to Annapolis is complete without a visit to the United States Naval Academy. New this year is a free, 2,500 square foot exhibition on the War of 1812 in the Hart Room at Mahan Hall. There’s a great selfguided walking app you can download or traditionalists may opt for the new Watermark tour, where guides dressed in 1812 period attire will escort you to ten different sites on a tour that wraps up at the U.S. Naval Academy’s new Seas, Lakes & Bay exhibition. Those who were with us in ‘06 should remember all the fun we had at Saturday night’s Crab Fest at the historic Charles Carroll House. We’re rolling out the paper and rolling up our sleeves again this year – and bringing back the live music for a steak and seafood bash you won’t soon forget. Wherever your interests may lie, September is the perfect time to sail into Annapolis for a nice, long, intimate weekend with friends and family. Learn more about this year’s Bench Bar on our Bench Bar 2013 website – easily accessible from our homepage at montgomerybar.org. Be sure to register early—our last visit to Annapolis was a sell-out and with this year’s early-bird rates and popular venue, we have every reason to believe we’ll have a repeat. We hope to see you there so don’t delay, after all, it just wouldn’t be the same without you there! 2012 Minute presentations for Montgomery Bar Association Memorial Service (Pictured left to right) Samuel J. Trueblood, Esq. for Cassin W. Craig, Steven H. Lupin, Esq. for Harvey E. Little, Joseph B. Finlay, Jr., Esq. for Axel A. Shield, II, Robert J. Kerns, Esq. for John E. Landis, Hon. Stanley R. Ott for Elvin E. Souder, Christopher P. Mullaney, Esq. for Gerald J. Mullaney, Sr., Mary Kay Kelm, Esq. for Terence K. Heaney and Barry M. Miller, Esq. for Hon. Richard J. Hodgson SIDEBAR 20 SPRING 2013 MBA / FEATURE Certified Specialist In Workers’ Compensation Law By Thomas C. Lowry, Esq. U nder Article 5 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is authorized to oversee the practice of law in this Commonwealth. In 2012, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for the first time ever approved a recommendation of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Review and Certifying Board to grant accreditation to the PBA Workers’ Compensation Law Section as a certifying organization in the area of Workers’ Compensation Law. An attorney must have successfully completed the certification process by submitting a variety of documents showing that at least 50% of his/ her legal practice is in the specialty field of Workers’ Compensation Law, that the attorney has practiced in the field for more than 5 years and that the attorney has participated in Continuing Legal Education in Workers’ Compensation Law. After meeting these stringent qualifications, the attorney is permitted to take a four-hour comprehensive exam that measures the attorney’s expertise and knowledge of Workers’ Compensation Law. The first annual test was administered by the PBA Workers’ Compensation Law Section on Friday, March 8, 2013 at three locations throughout Pennsylvania. On May 3, 2013, 149 attorneys successfully passed the certification exam and became certified as a Specialist in the practice of Workers’ Compensation Law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Section on Workers’ Compensation Law as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Their certification lasts for 5 years. “This new opportunity to become certified in the area of workers’ compensation is beneficial for experienced lawyers in the field and their clients,” said Forest N. Meyers, Esq., PBA President. “Certification is going to give those in need of legal services in the workers’ compensation field valuable guidance when seeking counsel, and it is going to offer legal practitioners the ability to highlight their knowledge and expertise.” Recently certified Joseph T. Forkin, Esq. of Plymouth Meeting, PA stated, “Such certification will quickly become the gold standard for excellence.” Lou Lombardi II, Esq., Co-Chair of the MBA Workers’ Compensation Committee predicted that “more workers’ compensation practitioners will seek certification in the future to enhance their qualifications and expertise.” Twelve attorneys have achieved certification as Specialists in Workers’ Compensation Law in Montgomery County. They are: Thomas C. Lowry, Esq. and Joseph T. Forkin, Esq. of Plymouth Meeting, PA; James Monaghan, Esq. and Jeffrey Matteo, Esq. of Norristown, PA; James B. Mogul, Esq., Diane Fenner, Esq. and Kenneth Brodsky, Esq. of Bala Cynwyd, PA; Daniel E. McCabe, Esq. and Levi S. Wolf, Esq. of Pottstown, PA; James C. Veith, Esq. of Willow Grove, PA; Marc H. Snyder, Esq. of Jenkintown, PA and Terence S. McGraw, Esq. of Blue Bell, PA. Congratulations to all! MBA / FEATURE Duty to Retreat or Stand Your Ground? Self Defense in Pennsylvania By Steven F. Fairlie, Esq., MBA Criminal Defense Committee Co-Chair T he general concept of selfdefense is well-understood in Pennsylvania, but the devil is in the details. The Trayvon Martin case has turned legalisms such as “duty to retreat” and “stand your ground” into household phrases, but these phrases are more complex than they sound. This primer will define the relevant terms and educate you about the basics of self-defense. For specific information about Pennsylvania’s selfdefense statute refer to 18 Pa. C.S.§ 505. WHAT IS SELF-DEFENSE? Self-defense is an affirmative defense, meaning that once the defendant raises that defense, the burden of proof shifts to the Commonwealth to disprove it beyond a reasonable doubt. If the jury finds that the defendant lawfully used selfdefense, then he is found not guilty of the criminal charges and is granted immunity from any civil liability stemming from the incident. An individual may use deadly force in selfdefense to protect himself from death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping, or rape. DEGREE OF FORCE An individual may defend himself with a degree of force necessary to repel the attack, but no more. That is, you may use a gun to repel an attacker wielding a bowie knife, but may not use a gun to repel an attacker wielding a butter knife. Similarly, the threat perceived must be legitimate. It would hardly be considered self-defense to shoot an elderly woman in a wheelchair making threats with a knife, but that same knife could constitute a legitimate threat in the hands of an enraged patron at a bar. DUTY TO RETREAT “Duty to retreat” and “retreat to the wall” are concepts that obligate an individual to remove himself as far as possible from the threatening situation, and only after he can go no further may force be used. If there is nowhere that provides “complete” safety, an individual has no duty to retreat. CASTLE DOCTRINE Historically, one’s dwelling is the only place that there is no “duty to retreat” in Pennsylvania. This is called the “castle doctrine,” stemming from the phrase “a man’s home is his castle,” and dictates that an individual may use deadly force to repel an attacker from his home. STAND YOUR GROUND Recent changes to Pennsylvania’s self-defense statute provide for the use of deadly force without retreating when outside the home; not just inside. Such changes come in the form of “stand your ground” laws. These new laws provide that an individual has no duty to retreat and may use deadly force against an assailant provided three criteria are satisfied: the person has a right to be in the place where he was attacked; the person believes it is immediately necessary to use force to protect himself against death, serious injury, kidnapping, or rape; and the attacker possesses or uses a firearm, firearm replica, or other weapon capable of lethal use. The issue here is apparent; If a small woman carrying a gun for protection were to get in a confrontation with an unarmed but massive professional boxer, the plain language of the statute states that her only remedy is to run away from the assailant to complete safety, and only SIDEBAR 22 SUMMER 2013 then may she use her gun. However, if the boxer brandishes a knife, she may use her gun immediately. The difference between the two scenarios is negligible, since such a person’s fists are as dangerous as a knife at close range, but only in one situation may the woman “stand her ground.” Scenarios where the shooter alleges that an unarmed attacker was the aggressor are not uncommon – think of the Trayvon Martin case. The “stand your ground” doctrine does not permit standing ground in this situation until the attacker gains control of the gun, at which point choosing a legal defense may no longer be of assistance to the gun owner, who may have to choose between being deceased or being charged with a crime. Pennsylvania lacks a “disparity of force” clause in its self-defense statute, so these issues are complicated to navigate. DEFENSE OF OTHERS You may defend others using force, as long as both you and the person whom you are defending are lawfully allowed to use force in self-defense. The defender essentially steps into the shoes of the person he is defending. CONCLUSION Pennsylvania’s self-defense laws are not as clear as many think. You should be cautious when using self-defense – it should always be a last resort. MBA / FEATURE WHEN YOU MAY NOT USE SELF-DEFENSE Even more important than knowing when you may use self-defense is knowing when you may not use self-defense. Below are some examples of when self-defense is not an affirmative defense: • If you are committing an illegal act • If you are defending yourself with an illegal weapon • If you are somewhere that you are not lawfully allowed to be • If you instigated the incident • If the person from whom you are defending yourself is defending his own property • If you are defending yourself from a police officer lawfully executing his duties SIDEBAR 23 SUMMER 2013 MBA / FEATURE Volunteer Lawyers Prepare Wills for Heroes Volunteers for this year’s Wills for Heroes program. O n Saturday, April 13th, twenty-two area attorneys, and over a dozen law students, paralegals, and non-attorney legal professionals donated their time and services at the Montgomery Bar Association Building (100 W. Airy St. Norristown, PA) for a special Wills for Heroes event. Wills for Heroes, supported locally by members of the Montgomery Bar Association (MBA), is part of an innovative statewide pro bono effort led by the Pennsylvania Bar Association (Young Lawyers Section) and national effort led by the American Bar Association. The program provides Wills, Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives to first responders so that their families will be protected in the event of a tragedy. At the conclusion of their one-hour appointments in Norristown, MBA Young Lawyers Irina Volk Rabovetsky, Esq. and Colin O’Boyle, Esq. assist a recipient of the Wills for Heroes program. 90 notarized, legal documents were prepared for members of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department and other area first responders. Regional Wills for Heroes coordinator Lisa Shearman, Esq. had this to say about the day’s event: “Through the efforts of the Montgomery Bar Association and MBA Young Lawyers Division, we were able to provide free estate plans to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department and other local first responders who risk their lives every day to protect Montgomery County and other local communities. All the attorneys, paralegals and other volunteers who came out on a beautiful Saturday to provide these free services embody the spirit of the Wills for SIDEBAR 24 SUMMER 2013 Heroes program and pro bono service.” Information about upcoming Pennsylvania Wills for Heroes events can be found at the PBA website: http://www.pabar.org/public/yld/ Projects/willsforheroesyld.asp or at the Wills for Heroes website: www. willsforheroes.org. Anyone interested in volunteering for upcoming events in Pennsylvania should contact Lisa Shearman, Esq. at 215-661-0400 or at email@example.com. MBA / FEATURE Theatre Horizon is downtown... Downtown Norristown! By Dennis R. Meakim, Esq. T heatre Horizon just completed its inaugural season of theatrical productions at its permanent and new home in Norristown. The 2012-13 season included Pretty Fire, An Infinite Ache, and Spring Awakening, which wrapped up its run on June 9, 2013. Tucked behind the Courthouse dome and the Post Office building, Theatre Horizon enjoys space in what was once a red-brick Bell Telephone building at 401 DeKalb Street. A 120 seat, professionally lit, comfortable theater with good sound and great sightlines was purpose-built for this theater group which was co-founded by Matthew Decker and Erin Reilly, two Philadelphia-area theater veterans. After ten years of producing shows without a base location, the cofounders were able to secure enough community and financial support to create a wonderful home. Here they can build upon their prior efforts of producing quality performances and providing educational opportunities in a professional theatrical setting. The opening night performance of Spring Awakening was May 23, 2013. The location of the theater comes as a surprise when one turns left off of DeKalb onto Penn Street. The theatre is right there hiding in plain sight. Parking is available but limited in the parking lot across from the main entrance to the theater. Ample street parking is available on DeKalb Street. An exhibit of paintings by a local artist was on display in the lobby area of the theater. There is also a small concession area serving baked goods and other refreshments. Spring Awakening, a musical adaptation of the 1891 drama written by Frank Wedekind, is a comingof-age story about teenage students in late 19th Century Germany balancing the educational expectations of their teachers and parents with their own educational expectations of sexual exploration and gratification. The cast alternates between dramatic scenes in school or home settings and raucous musical numbers in which each character expresses his/her naivete, worry, guilt and frustration. The proximity of the audience to the stage provided a unique perspective. Throughout the performance, the actors not actively involved in the particular scene either remained still or transited the stage in preparation for the following action, all while remaining in character and moving with grace and purpose as if the spot light were actually upon them. The acting was great, the voices were strong, the costumes were on point and the physical space made it all terrific. A theater-going regular and novice should both appreciate what Theatre Horizon has put together. Summer 2013 will be full of classes offered by Theatre Horizon in Acting, Musical Theater, Clowning and Improv. In addition, through an outreach program offered in conjunction with 11 townships in Montgomery County, the staff of Theatre Horizon will provide one- SIDEBAR 25 SUMMER 2013 week Summer Drama Camps for children of all ages. See the web-site theatrehorizon.org if you know a child interested in theatrical arts. The upcoming 2013-14 season will begin with the production of I Am My Own Wife slated for November 2013. This play relates the story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a German man who survived the Nazis and subsequent Communist regimes by dressing as a female. Circle Mirror Transformation will be performed in March 2014. It traces the lives of four New Englanders during a six week community-center drama class. The closing performance of the 2013-14 season will be Hitchcockâ€™s The 39 Steps, an Alfred Hitchcock inspired spy thriller with comedic overtones is set to be performed in May/June 2014. Why travel by train or car to Center City when one can enjoy professionally produced and acted shows right here in the county seat, Norristown? Theatre Horizon offers something for everyone right here at home. WIRETAPS Members in the news Sarah N. Ponzio and her husband John welcomed their son, Brooks Nicholas Tharan on Saturday, May 18th weighing in at 8 lbs. 15oz, 22 in. Merle R. Ochrach, a principal with Hamburg, Rubin, Maxwell & Lupin’s Real Estate Law Department, was recently re-elected as treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Montgomery County Development Corporation. David L. Ladov, Stephanie H. Winegrad and Scott Matison has joined the Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel’s Family Law Department. The three attorneys will work out of Obermayer’s newly opened office in Conshohocken. Kenneth P. Milner, Special Counsel to Kraut Harris, P.C., Blue Bell, received the 2013 Special Achievement Award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Ken chairs the PBA Solo & Small Firm Practice Section and Dues Review Subcommittee of the Membership Development Committee. Ken was recognized for commitment to reinvigorating the PBA Solo and Small Firm Conference, and his dedication toward assisting solo practitioners facing financial difficulty. Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. chosen as the Industry Choice winner of the 2013 Corporate Intl. Magazine Legal Award for the “Litigation Law Firm of the Year in Pennsylvania”. Steven F. Fairlie was honored with the “Client Distinction Award” from Martindale-Hubbell. This honor was made possible by clients who took the time to compliment the following areas: Communication Ability, Responsiveness, Quality of Service and Value for Money. He has also been named to the Super Lawyers list for the Top 100 Lawyers in PA and the Top 100 Lawyers in Philadelphia. James V. Monaghan has formed his own law office located at 25 West Airy Street, Norristown, PA 19401. He will continue to represent individuals in bankruptcy, workers’ compensation, personal injury and other matters. Mark E. Weand Jr., of the Timoney Knox LLP law firm in Fort Washington, was honored May 10th in Pittsburgh as a 50-year-member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Weand of Whitemarsh Township, is the Telford Borough solicitor. James J. and Fay Heffernen recently came back from a twelve-day trip to Cuba on a Treasury Department licensed visit. While there they visited the cities of Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad in a Chinese manufactured bus. Peter E. Bort was appointed to the Board of the Dunwoody Village, a non-profit continuing care retirement community. Marilou Watson with the law firm of Fox Rothschild, LLP in Blue Bell, PA was the Keynote Speaker for the Temple University School of Pharmacy Commencement Ceremony on May 17th. J. Edmund (Ed) Mullin recently joined the American Land Title Association’s Title Action Network, a group formed to communicate with legislators, statewide and federal, on issues affecting the land title industry. The American Land Title SIDEBAR 26 SUMMER 2013 Association(ALTA), founded in 1907, is the national trade association and voice of the abstract and title insurance industry. ALTA members search, review and insure land titles to protect home buyers and mortgage lenders who invest in real estate. Mr. Mullin also participated as a panel member at Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation’s Commercial Real Estate Breakfast Meeting and Panel Event: “Real Estate Road Blocks and Opportunities.” The law firm of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, PC is pleased to announce that Ethan R. O’Shea was recently named Partner in the firm. Robert A. Korn and Karin Corbett, members of the Construction Law group of Kaplin Stewart in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, are contributing authors of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s recently published “Pennsylvania Construction Law: Project Delivery Methods, Execution, and Completion,” having authored the Chapter titled “Tort Actions Arising on Construction Projects” which focuses on tort claims against the design professional and others involved in the construction process. Neil A. Stein, co-founder and principal of Kaplin Stewart in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, recently presented a program for the Dean’s Forum at Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law. The program was designed to introduce first-year law students to the “Nuts and Bolts of a Land Use Practice.” Also, Mr. Stein has been elected to the governing Council of the Pennsylvania Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association for a three-year term. Carl N. Weiner, of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, PC. Mr. Weiner, the co-chair of the firm’s Real Estate Department, recently addressed the PA House Urban Affairs Committee during an informational session on the topic of community associations. Jennifer J. Riley, has opened the Law Offices of Jennifer J. Riley in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. The office is located at 920 Lenmar Drive. Ms. Riley will continue to practice Family Law, and to provide high quality, compassionate legal services for clients and their families in the Greater Philadelphia area, including Montgomery County, Bucks County and Chester County. She received the 2013 Friend of Education Award from Souderton Area High School. Ms. Riley, a graduate of Souderton High School, is the coach of the Mock Trial Team and provides internships to students who are interested in a career in law. Ms. Riley has been selected and named as a 2013 Rising Star by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Magazine, as published in Philadelphia Magazine. This is the second consecutive year that Ms. Riley has been awarded this honor. Marc D. Jonas, Kellie A. McGowan and Robert R. Watson from Eastburn and Gray were selected to the 2013 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list. David E. Stern was recognized as a 2013 Super Lawyer for his Bankruptcy practice. Mr. Stern is the chairperson of Friedman Schuman’s Creditors’ Rights Practice. SIDEBAR 27 SUMMER 2013 Sean P. Kilkenny has been named to the 2013 Rising Stars list for his Government practice. Mr. Kilkenny is the chairperson of Friedman Schuman’s Municipal Law Practice. Marshal S. Granor, a principal of Granor & Granor, PC in Horsham, has been re-elected Secretary of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Marshal is also serving a term on the Legislative Action Committee of Community Associations Institute and is principal author of Pennsylvania’s Uniform Planned Community Act. Daniel J. Ely participated in the American Cancer Society Bike-a-thon. This was Dan’s thirtieth consecutive year riding in the Bike-a-thon, which started at the Ben Franklin Bridge and ended in Buena, NJ.” MBA / FEATURE Women’s Center First Annual Fundraiser By Melissa M. Boyd, Esq. O n Wednesday, June 12, 2013, the First Annual Fundraising Cocktail Party for Family Lawyers and a Silent Auction benefiting the Women’s Center of Montgomery County was held at the Montgomery Bar Association. With funding significantly reduced from all levels of government this year, the Women’s Center has found itself scrambling to raise funds to sustain the organization which provides advocacy and supportive services for 4,000 victims of domestic violence each year. The Women’s Center of Montgomery County is a volunteer, community organization with a primary focus on freedom from domestic violence and other forms of abuse. Each year, the Center is able to reach out and identify victims in need of assistance, educate potential victims and train community members to empower victims of domestic violence to tax a step toward living safely. Every day in the Court of Common Pleas for Montgomery County, volunteers from the Women’s Center assist with the filing of protection order and accompany victims to court in Protection from Abuse and criminal matters.The collective sentiment from both the Bench and the Bar in this County is that the volunteers from the Women’s Center are integral participants in assisting in the administration of justice in domestic violence cases within our court system. As such, the Family Law Section, led by the efforts of the special event co-chairs, Mark Dischell, Larry Pauker, Leslee Silverman Tabas and Amy Stern, along with a host committee of over 20 attorneys, organized a wonderful event to raise money for the Women’s Center. Due to a Challenge Grant, contributions of $1,000 or more to the event were matched dollar for dollar up to $15,000. Four people/firms participated in this grant. Donated silent auction items included gift baskets catering to all interests. An Atlantic City prize package, tours of Washington, DC, donated by Senator Robert Casey, and a tour of Harrisburg, donated by State Representative Kate Harper were Picture from left to right: Maria Macaluso, Amy R. Stern, Esq., Mark B. Dischell, Esq., Lawrence Pauker, Esq., Leslee Silverman Tabas, Esq., and Josh Shapiro, Montgomery County Commissioner. SIDEBAR 28 SUMMER 2013 auctioned. Tickets for sporting events and memorabilia, gift certificates to local restaurants and for goods and services were also up for bidding along with other baskets of other goodies and treats (including jewelry, home items and gourmet cupcakes). The call to help sustain the Women’s Center does not end with this event and all are encouraged to contribute to Women’s Center so they can continue with their great work in our legal community. For more information on giving and the full array of services provided by the Women’s Center, please visit www.wcmontco.org MBA / FEATURE Firm has Three Generations by the name of Vangrossi T he late Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said something like, “Three generations of [expletive removed] is enough.” That is exactly how I find myself, practicing law with three generations by the name of Vangrossi. Bill Pugh who finishes his moniker with IV and has a law firm full of heirs and their spouses, introduced a resolution at the Montgomery Bar Board of Directors Meeting recognizing the active participation of three generations of Vangrossi as members of the Montgomery Bar. It is interesting to note that the trio went to three different law schools, and each had a different life experience path on the way to becoming a lawyer. Paul C. Vangrossi, my partner for more than 40 years and an acquaintance since 1961, was born in Chestnut Hill Hospital but was raised in South Philadelphia. During World War II, he left school to work at the shipyard and then became a soldier in uniform as soon as he was old enough, and was part of the successful defense of Florida from the Japanese invasion. Upon discharge, he finished high school, and accepted admission and spent four years at Franklin & Marshall receiving a degree in football and accounting and then went to work as a field auditor, rising to a chief field auditor and finally district manager before entering Villanova Law School in 1959 and graduating in 1962, a year behind Bill Pugh, IV. The patriarch’s son, Vincent M. Vangrossi, was born in Jacksonville, Florida and upon graduating from Wissahickon High School went to work as a journeyman union carpenter, becoming a foreman and taking courses at Montgomery County Community the Pennsylvania Borough Solicitor’s College. He transferred to the School Association in addition to being an of Engineering at Drexel University Assistant District Attorney early in where he received a degree in same, was his career. awarded a fellowship and has a Master’s Vincent, who is both the father Degree in Environmental Engineering. and the son, in addition to being He went to work for A.W. Martin and available for general practice, also Associates and during the time that he served as the Norristown Waste was working in the field, after a few Authority’s solicitor saving them years, he started law school at night many dollars as a result of his area and finally finishing full time at the of expertise in the management of Widener University Delaware School its sewage plant. He has become of Law and has been a member of the the resident construction and Montgomery Bar since 1993. environmental engineering guru, Vincent’s son, Paul C.’s grandson, especially with oil spills and tank Paul E. Vangrossi graduated from cases, of the firm. Norristown High School, floated Paul E., who holds down the around in certain jobs in the food social title of grandson and son lawyer industry and then entered college, has brought his modern applications earning an undergraduate degree in of technology in lawyering to the firm history from the University of Scranton in order to keep it alive for the 21st in 2009. He then attended and Century. Grandfather and patriarch, graduated from Dickinson Law School at Penn State University in Paul C., will be celebrating 50 years Carlisle, and was admitted to the Bar at the Montgomery Bar at the next this year. Member’s Dinner, and I can assure Having briefly reviewed the law anyone who cares to know, that his firms of Montgomery County, there proudest accomplishment has been are a number of father and son firms to have both his son and grandson and even firms in which there have practice together with him at been three generations who practiced, Vangrossi and Recchuiti in but not at the same time, so that Norristown, PA. presently Vangrossi and Recchuiti is the only place where three generations are practicing at the same time. The INVESTIGATIONS & CORPORATE SOLUTIONS, INC. eldest Vangrossi Comprehensive Resolutions With Discretion And Integrity who formerly • Computer Forensics • Cellular Forensics distinguished • Voice Stress Analysis • Accident Investigations himself as • Electronic Discovery • Forensic Hypnosis Norristown’s solicitor more Office PO Box 377 610 • 277 • 9125 on than off for SAFE@VANCE.US.COM 212 Cherry Street 40 years, was also www.VANCE.US.com Norristown, PA 19401-4708 a Past President of SIDEBAR 29 SUMMER 2013 MBA / FEATURE Diversity Committee Hosts a Day in Court T he Montgomery Bar Association’s Diversity Committee, in partnership with Springfield Township School District, hosted the second annual Day in Court program on Monday, April 29, 2013 at the Montgomery County Court House. The Honorable Cheryl L. Austin welcomed the group of thirty high school students from Springfield into her courtroom to observe live court proceedings. Afterward, Judge Austin entertained questions from the students about court procedure and family law. The students were then given the opportunity to meet with such dignitaries as The Honorable Garrett D. Page, Chief Public Defender Keir Bradford-Grey, Deputy District Attorney Thomas W. McGoldrick and retired Chief Detective Oscar Vance. Each speaker shared their success stories, in addition to lessons learned along the way. While each speaker’s road to success was unique, their stories shared a common thread – the value of hard work, courage and perseverance in achieving your dream. The students then enjoyed lunch at One Montgomery Plaza, where they were joined by Montgomery County Commissioners Leslie S. Richards and Josh Shapiro, who educated the students about local government. Throughout the day, students partnered with mentor attorneys Marilou Watson and Lindette Hassan of Fox Rothschild LLP, Shelly Smith of the Law Offices of Charles Daly, Mohammad Ghiasuddin of SIDEBAR 30 SUMMER 2013 Kaplin Stewart, E. Nego Pile, a solo practitioner in Plymouth Meeting, Leno Thomas of Solomon, Berschler, Schatz & Monaghan, PC, and ShaVon Savage of the Lower Merion School District. The PBA award-winning Day in Court program is part of the Montgomery Bar Association’s efforts to promote diversity within the legal community. Other initiatives include the 1L Summer Internship for diverse first year law students. In the fall, members of Montgomery Bar Association’s Diversity Committee will teach courses in the law to high school students throughout the Springfield Township School District, with hope of extending the program to other school districts in Montgomery County. Law Day Celebration May 1st, 2013 | Montgomery County Courthouse | Courtroom “A” MBA New Admittees Law Day Awards Public Service Award to Citizens Mock Trial Award Mount St. Joseph Academy Paul C. Troy, Esq. and Geoffrey Brandon Henry Stuckert Miller – Public Service Award by Lawyers Courthouse Employee Award Paul C. Troy, Esq. and Cary L. Flitter, Esq. Paul C. Troy, Esq. and Betty “Lee” Montowski Paul C. Troy, Esq. and John L. Walder, Esq. SIDEBAR 31 SUMMER 2013 MBA / FEATURE Right-to-Know Law New Case Provides Relief for Municipalities Responding to its Requests O By Michael E. Peters, Esq. and Michael J. Savona, Esq. n April 24, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued what will undoubtedly prove to be a landmark decision affecting how municipalities are required to respond to requests under the Rightto-Know Law (RTKL). In Levy v. Senate of Pennsylvania, No. 44 MAP 2012 (Pa. 2013), the Court clarified the appropriate use of attorney-client privilege as an exemption for public disclosure under the RTKL. More importantly the Court reversed the per se waiver rule promulgated by the Commonwealth Court in Signature Information Solutions, LLC v. Aston Township, 995 A.2d 510 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2010). In Levy, a reporter sought documents relating to the representation of certain members of the senate and senate staff by outside counsel from the Pennsylvania Senate, including billing records from the outside attorneys. The Senate initially denied the request and claimed the requested documents were exempt from disclosure as attorney-client privileged. On appeal from the denial of the initial record request, the Senate claimed the requested documents were subject to additional exemptions, including attorney-work product, grand-jury secrecy and the criminal investigation exemption. On direct appeal from the determination of the Senate Open Records Appeal Officer, the Commonwealth Court applied its per se waiver rule, and held that the Senate had waived any additional exemptions by not raising them in its initial written response. The Commonwealth Court ordered that certain documents, not otherwise within the scope of attorney-client privilege, be produced in response to the request. The Senate sought review in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court first reaffirmed the general rule that client identities are not protected by attorney-client privilege, but added that this rule is abrogated if exposing an identity will divulge otherwise protectable information. Similarly, the Court held that general descriptions of legal services included in attorney invoices are not protected by attorneyclient privilege unless, again, a particular description would reveal protectable information. More importantly, the Court addressed the per se waiver rule created by the Commonwealth Court in Signature Information Solutions. Under the per se waiver rule, an agency defending a challenge to its Right-to-Know response was precluded from raising exemptions that, although applicable, were not raised by the Right-to-Know Officer in the initial written response. Under the Commonwealth Courtâ€™s rule, the failure to cite an applicable exemption in the initial written response served as a waiver of that exemption for appeal purposes. The Supreme Court disagreed, ending the short-lived reign of the Signature Information Solutions per se rule. Instead, the Supreme Court made clear that a failure to state an applicable exemption in an initial response does not act as a waiver of SIDEBAR 32 SUMMER 2013 such exemptions on appeal. The Levy decision relieves some of the heavy burden borne by public agencies in responding to requests for records under the RTKL. The RTKL generally requires a local agency to respond to a request for information within five days of receiving the request, unless a legal review is necessary or another extraordinary circumstance is created by the request. Local open records officers often respond to routine requests without any advice from counsel, and often such responses are not exhaustive. Previously, the simple omission of a legitimate basis to deny a record request in the initial response, notwithstanding that the omitted reason may be that the document is exempt from disclosure (and thus not a public record at all), rendered the record disclosable because of the omission. Under the rule announced in Levy, if a public agency fails to include an exhaustive list of the applicable exemptions, it will not preclude the opportunity to raise any applicable exemption on appeal. Public agencies should, nevertheless, still include any and all exemptions that may apply in their initial Right-to-Know responses and are encouraged to include language stating that the response is without waiver to assert other exemptions that are not listed but may be applicable. Agencies are also encouraged to consult legal counsel in responding to Right-to-Know requests, to ensure that a response appropriately excludes protected and exempt materials. MBA / FEATURE Reception Honoring MBF Fellows Honoring the members of the Montgomery Bar Foundation Fellows Program. A reception was held on Tuesday, May 21st at the Elmwood Park Zoo honoring the members of the Montgomery Bar Foundation Fellows Program. The Bar Foundation Fellows Program was founded in 2008 by then-MBF President William H. Pugh V, (currently serving as Vice-President of the Pennsylvania Bar Association), for the purposes of creating a dedicated stream of funding for the Foundationâ€™s grants program. Members of the Fellows Program have each made the commitment to contribute a total of $1,250. The program has raised over $110,000 to date. These monies have been used by the Montgomery Bar Foundation to support a variety of law-related causes. In recent years, the MBF has increasingly shifted its support to those organizations providing free legal services to the most vulnerable members of our community. As public and private funding for legal aid continues to dwindle, the MBF is committed to stepping up its efforts to broaden the base of support for legal aid, so the doors of justice remain open to all. For more information about the Montgomery Bar Foundation Fellows Program, and to become a member, visit www.montgomerybarfoundation.org. Alan E. Boroff, Esq. and Stephen G. Yusem, Esq. Hon. Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio and Maria Macaluso, Womenâ€™s Center Exc. Director. Carol McClain and Bonnie Mullin Kim and Seth D. Wilson, Esq. and David A. Feldheim, Esq. SIDEBAR Mark A. Kearney, Esq., Hon. Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio, Paul C. Troy, Esq., Steven H. Lupin, Esq., William H. Pugh, V, Esq. and Abigail Silverman Leeds, Esq. 33 SUMMER 2013 MBA / FEATURE HOT OFF THE PRESS: Updates from MBA Publications 2013 Elder Law Handbook All new for 2013! This popular, award-winning, free publication is widely recognized as the go-to resource for area seniors and their caretakers as they plot a course through our ever-changing legal system. The Elder Law Handbook is distributed to law firms, local government and state congressional offices, agencies, libraries, senior centers, community organizations, and at various senior expos throughout the year. For your free copy, please call 610-994-3669, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that bulk orders of five or more must be picked up directly from the Montgomery Bar Association (100 W. Airy St., Norristown, PA 19404). and local government information. This attractive, spiral-bound, tabbed desktop reference is a staple for court administrators and legal professionals county-wide. All 2,100+ members of the Montgomery Bar Association have already received their complimentary copy. If you would like to order a copy, please call 610-279-9660, ext. 210. Updates to the 2012 Civil Practice Manual The most comprehensive edition of the Montgomery County Civil Practice Manual just got better! The newly-revised edition now includes a completely updated section on Motion Practice. The manual is available in both print and electronic versions. To 2013-2014 Montgomery County Legal Directory The Montgomery County Legal Directory is the “who’s who” publication for local attorneys. It is the only directory that the MBA publishes with up-to-date information on judges, attorneys, lawyer-tolawyer networking, courthouse, SIDEBAR 34 SPRING 2013 order your copy, visit montgomerybar. org/publications/civilPractice Manual. Montgomery County Law Reporter Did you know that your print subscription to the Montgomery County Law Reporter, comes with an online, fully-searchable electronic version? The electronic version of the official publication of the 38th Judicial District of Pennsylvania is fully indexed and contains a convenient electronic table of contents, which makes browsing a breeze. The Montgomery County Law Reporter provided free-of-cost to MBA members. Non-MBA members may subscribe to both print and electronic versions by going to: www. montgomerybar.org/publications/ lawRep/subscribe.php upcoming events MBA august-NOVEMBER Upcoming Events August 6, 2013 Old vs. Young Lawyers Softball Game August 28, 2013 Fantasy Football Draft Party September 11, 2013 Enduring relationships are built on integrity, service and performance. Enduring relationships are For more than 40 years, Connors has attracted clients built onstandards. integrity, service with the highest That’s why we go above and beyond to meet your needs—and strive to exceed your and performance. expectations. Our personal, disciplined approach to Annual Clambake September 20 22, 2013 Annual Bench Bar Conference in Annapolis long-term investing means we treat you as a unique specific goals—and always put For individual more thanwith 40 years, Connors has attracted clients your interests with the highest standards. That’sfirst. why we go above and beyond to meetnothing your needs—and strive exceed your You deserve less than our fulltoattention. expectations. Our personal, disciplined approach to To learn more, give us a call. long-term investing means we treat you as a unique individual with specific goals—and always put your interests first. November 1, 2013 Annual Membership Dinner You deserve nothing less than our full attention. To learn more, give us a call. November 13, 2013 Legal Expo Integrity, Service, Performance 1210 Broadcasting Road, Suite 200 Wyomissing, Pennsylvania 19610 610-376-7418 • www.connorsinvestor.com Visit MBACLE.org for the latest schedule of upcoming CLEs; and visit montgomerybar.org for the latest schedule of events and to register for any of the above- mentioned events. SIDEBAR Registered Investment Advisor Integrity, Service, Performance 1210 Broadcasting Road, Suite 200 Wyomissing, Pennsylvania 19610 610-376-7418 • www.connorsinvestor.com 35 Registered Investment Advisor SPRING 2013 MBA / FEATURE Lawyer Referral Service Continues to Deliver Value for Businesses and Consumers Seeking Legal Representation F or many residents in Montgomery County, choosing the right lawyer for their personal or business matters among the barrage of for-profit 800 numbers, websites, directories and advertising outlets can be a daunting task. Thanks to our members, several thousand individuals in our community each year can count on their bar association for a qualified referral to an attorney who can help. And the truth is in the numbers. Over the past year, our courts, government agencies, chambers of commerce and neighboring bar associations alone have referred over a thousand residents seeking legal counsel to our Lawyer Referral Service. Over 1,000 more have found their ways to us via online directories, the yellow pages, search engines and various websites. Of course, there are those “in the know” whose families have turned to us for generations and find comfort knowing that participating attorneys in our program must qualify first as regular members in good standing with one of our country’s oldest and most respected bar associations. This may not come as news to many Sidebar readers, but consider what it means to be a regular member of the MBA and all that’s involved in getting there. Now consider the fact that for a lawyer to be eligible to participate in our Lawyer Referral Service, they must first meet the relatively stringent criteria of full MBA membership. While it’s voluntary to participate, attorney enrollment is an exclusive privilege of regular membership and consistently ranks among the top member benefits. Annual enrollment takes place in July and participation is exclusively open to attorneys who are fully licensed and actively engaged in the practice of law in Montgomery County, PA. At this time, eligible attorneys may select one or more panels they wish to be considered for based upon geographic considerations and demands. Participants who qualify may also elect to participate in the SIDEBAR 36 SUMMER 2013 MBA’s Legal Access program at this time – a discount fee program serving lower income families and individuals that don’t qualify for Legal Aid. Participants in both programs must be fully insured, in good standing with the Bar and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and agree to act in compliance with the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct. With this in mind, if you or a loved one needed legal representation outside your comfort zone, who would you turn to these days for help? Your Montgomery Bar Association has been serving the needs of our profession and community since 1885, and while our service does not directly employ attorneys or provide free legal advice, we have dedicated staff here to assist you and familiarize you with the program during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. Of course, we also have a fairly sophisticated online system that’s proven to be quite popular among leading search engines and it’s available here at MontgomeryBar.org (free of charge 24/7/365) to help consumers find the right attorney to help with their legal matters. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the Lawyer Referral Service, or give Sherry Sutton a call at 610.279.9660, Ext 200. MBA / FEATURE My Experience as Potential Juror Number 14 By Jamie Ryan Hall, Esq. M any of us are taught in elementary school that the trial by jury process is the bedrock of American society. Despite our training, however, the first thought most experience after receiving a jury summons is “how can I get out of this.” After avoiding jury duty multiple times while in college, I finally received a Court of Common Pleas summons last April. My initial assignment had a conflict, and I was provided a new date. After parking in the jurors’ garage and taking the only working elevator to street level, I reported to the courthouse with book and iPhone in hand promptly at 8:15 a.m. The potential jurors waited near the jury room for several minutes, taking turns asking the lady at coat check what would happen next. Patiently, she advised each of us in turn that we would receive instructions shortly. Shortly thereafter, the jury room was occupied by individuals quietly asking one another ‘how long does this take’ and ‘what happens next,’ with most sharing the experiences of their friends concerning the best and worst case scenarios. Others simply began reading their books or returning e-mails, awaiting the next step. Next was a video on the importance of the jury system, causing flashbacks to my 10th grade Social Studies class. Discussion of the judicial process competed with the aforementioned iPhones and books, but would be beneficial to those inclined to listen. This was followed by a Q&A presentation by one of the judges with the energy and light humor necessary to gain the morning crowd’s attention. The first question, of course, was when would jurors get a break. Also, the judge shared that no person is above being called for jury duty in Montgomery County, and that even a judge must appear if he receives a notice. This helped appease some of the attendees who were less than enthusiastic about their service. We were also advised that there were two trials on this day, one civil and one criminal. The general tenor of the group was in favor being picked for the civil matter. After several more minutes of waiting, we were assigned a case and new numbers to replace our summons numbers. Throughout the course of the day, this change in numbers would vex potential jurors. I was assigned to the criminal pool. Much like in elementary school, the jurors lined up in the hallway in groups of ten, and were taken to their respective courtrooms by a line leader. Before walking to the courtroom, however, we were compelled to check our books and mobile phones, bringing about separation anxiety for many members of the pool. Upon arriving in the courtroom, we discovered that the courtroom chairs – defendant’s seat excluded – are extremely comfortable. Throughout the pool, conversations regarding the weather and other topics developed and continued over the course of the two-hour voir dire process. Surprisingly, another attorney was seated next to me. We were both aware that there is no merit to the SIDEBAR 37 SUMMER 2013 rumor that attorneys are never selected as jurors, and that our respective practices – she in-house for a bank, and myself a disability attorney – were unlikely to excuse us from jury duty in a criminal matter. Nevertheless, it quickly became apparent that, due to knowledge of the case and officers, I would not be serving on this jury. Jury selection was a lengthy process in this matter, and those not selected were held until approximately 1 p.m. Upon release, we rushed to the holding room once again – expecting to leave immediately – and were advised that we might be needed for another panel. We all waited for an additional ten minutes, then were advised that we would not be needed for another panel after all. After signing out and gathering our belongings, we were free to enjoy our day (or return to work). All in all, it was an interesting experience, that only increased my respect for the time commitment made by jurors as part of their civic duty. Or, as I later found out, both as part of their civic duty and for a $9.68 check (or $1.94 per hour). MONTGOMERY THE MONTGOMERY BAR ASSOCIATION COMMUNITY OUTREACH COMMITTEE WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE 113 TALENTED ARTISTS OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY (AGES 55+) WHO ENTERED THEIR ORIGINAL WORK IN OUR INAUGURAL COURTING ART CONTEST & EXHIBITION. THANKS TO YOUR SUPPORT AND THE SUPPORT OF OUR SPONSORS, OVER 40 PIECES OF AWARD-WINNING ART WERE SELECTED FOR EVERYONE TO ENJOY ON THE PREVIOUSLY BARE WALLS OF OUR COUNTY COURTHOUSE. WE CAN ALL TAKE PRIDE IN KNOWING THAT THE RENAISSANCE THAT’S TAKING PLACE BEFORE OUR EYES COMES AT NO COST TO TAXPAYERS, THANKS TO THE GENEREOUS SUPPORT OF OUR SPONSORS. LEARN HOW YOU CAN TAKE PART IN THIS IMPORTANT INITIATIVE ON OUR PROJECT WEBSITE, WWW.COURTINGART.COM. PRESENTING SPONSORS MORE NEWS MORE PLATFORMS MORE AUDIENCE EXHIBITION & VIP SPONSORS The Honorable Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio and Thomas E. Carluccio, Esq. WINNING ART SPONSORS DONORS and FRIENDS OF THE ARTS ACLAMO FAMILY CENTERS • ARTIST AND CRAFTSMAN SUPPLY • BLICK ART SUPPLIES • CAROLE D. GREEN, J.D. • CHELTENHAM CENTER FOR THE ARTS • COLIN O’BOYLE, ESQ. • CONSHOHOCKEN ART LEAGUE • CREATIVE MONTCO • DAVID A. FELDHEIM, ESQ. • GREATER NORRISTOWN ARTS LEAGUE • JOHN R. HOWLAND, ESQ. • MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PA • MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMMUNITY LIBRARIES • MONTGOMERY COUNTY INTERMEDIATE UNIT • MONTGOMERY COUNTY SENIOR GAMES & EXPO • MONTGOMERY BAR FOUNDATION • NORRISTOWN MUNICIPALITY • NORTH PENN ARTS ALLIANCE • OFFICE OF AGING & ADULT SERVICES • ROSANNA LICHTENSTEIN • HON. GARY S. SILOW • UPPER MERION TOWNSHIP • WHITPAIN TOWNSHIP Flavours of India – Fine Indian Cuisine W hat used to be New Bawarchi has now become Flavours of India. Located at 79 E. Germantown Pike in East Norriton, Flavours of India had its grand opening on October 24, 2012. The restaurant features authentic South Indian food, with some modern influence. I had heard about Flavours of Indian because they hosted a benefit honoring Officer Brad Fox on June 9, 2013. Then, when a friend of mine mentioned that she had never tried Indian food, I thought that Flavours of India would be the perfect place to introduce her to the cuisine. Although the large dining area was not busy when we visited, I was not surprised because it was a Tuesday night. As soon as we were seated, we were greeted by a friendly server who gave us complimentary papadum (crisp lentil flatbread) along with red and green chutneys, which we tasted while we read over the menu. We decided to start with the vegetable samosas ($4), which are savory, fried turnovers. The vegetable filling was flavorful, and the pastry was crispy and flaky, but not greasy. The three samosas were more than enough for two people, but they were too delicious not to finish. For our main course, I chose the navratan korma ($10), which is mixed By Lindsay C. Hanifan, Esq. vegetables in a creamy, cashew-based sauce. My guest decided on the chicken kadai ($14), a mix of chicken, peppers, onion and tomatoes. Both dishes came with rice, and we were able to choose the level of spiciness for our meals – mild, medium or hot. We elected the medium spice level, and although it was not too spicy to enjoy, we did go through a few glasses of water each. Both main dishes were well prepared. The vegetables were fresh and the chicken was moist, and neither was overpowered by the distinctly flavorful sauces. We also ordered garlic naan ($3), the traditional Indian flatbread that is perfect for dipping in the sauces. After the delicious appetizer and entrées, we did not have room for dessert, but I had ordered a mango lassi ($4) to drink, and that was sweet enough to be dessert. The mango lassi is a smoothie-like drink made with puréed mango and yogurt. It was very refreshing and offset some of the spice in the food, but it was a little heavy to have as a drink. They offer several other flavors as well, including strawberry and saffron pista (pistachio). The menu at Flavours of India is large and varied. It is perfect for vegetarians, with many meat-free dishes, but it also features some choices for the more adventurous, such as goat biryani ($16). The atmosphere is family friendly and the food is affordable. You can also order take-out, and they even cater large events. Whether you already love Indian food, or you want to give it a try, you should visit Flavours of India. They are open for dinner Tuesday to Sunday, from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and they feature a lunch buffet Tuesday to Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from noon to 3:00 p.m. To view the menu online, visit flavoursofindiapa.com. SIDEBAR 39 SPRING 2013 An uncommon willingness to help. It’s how we build uncommon trust. CHARLIE BERNARD President Eagle Brass Company The economy was hard on Eagle Brass in 2001. But one thing made it even harder: “Our bank dropped us,” says CEO Charlie Bernard. “They wouldn’t even return my calls.” When Charlie called VIST Bank, he got a different response. “They were here the next morning,” he says. “They believed in us when no one else would.” Since then, Eagle Brass has doubled in size. Charlie now does all of his banking with VIST. And he uses Tompkins Insurance—a sister company—for workers’ compensation and medical insurance. ”My back was against the wall, and VIST was there for me. You’re just loyal forever to a place like that.” To learn more, call VIST Bank at 1-888-238-3330. Or visit www.vistbank.com . . Member FDIC . . . .