Golfing and Picnicking
.Com is Dead? Long live .Law! President, Police and Judge on Collision Course
Is giving through Berks County Community Foundation right for your clients? Seven questions for estate and financial advisors. 1. Do I have clients who care deeply about their local community? 2. Do they give to more than one charitable cause? 3. Are they interested in creating a personal or family legacy in their community? 4. Are they considering creating a private foundation? 5. Would they like to stay personally involved in the use of their gift dollars? 6. Do they want to receive maximum tax benefit for their charitable contributions? 7. Do they place a priority on sound financial management of their contributions? ÂŠ 2002 COF & CFA
If you answered yes to any of these questions, your clients would benefit from
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS
JESSE L. PLEET, President
JILL GEHMAN KOESTEL, President-Elect KURT ALTHOUSE, Vice President LISA A. SICILIANO, Secretary JUSTIN D. BODOR, Treasurer ELIZABETH A MAGOVERN, Director HONORABLE TIMOTHY J. ROWLEY, Director GEORGE A. GONZALEZ, Director PETER F. SCHUCHMAN, Director MARY KAY BERNOSKY, Director MICHAEL A. SETLEY, Director G. THOMPSON BELL, III, Past President THAD M. GELSINGER, President YLS
BAR ASSOCIATION STAFF
DONALD F. SMITH, JR., ESQUIRE, Executive Director ANDREA J. STAMM, Lawyer Referral/Secretary KAREN A. LOEPER, Law Journal Secretary PAULA J. ZIEGLER, Communications Manager RAINY LEONOR-LAKE, Community Outreach Coordinator ROARKE ASTON, Law Journal Editor JOHN E. REIGLE, Law Journal Assistant Editor MATTHEW M. MAYER, Barrister Editor
Please submit materials or comments to: Berks County Bar Association 544 Court Street, P.O. Box 1058 Reading, PA 19603-1058 Phone: 610.375.4591 Fax: 610.373.0256 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.berksbar.org
Our thanks are extended to the numerous people who have contributed to The Berks Barrister. Your time, energy and efforts are sincerely appreciated.
P U B L I S H E D
Memories of 70 Years Ago
Illegals Receiving Workers’ Compensation
Contempt and Love for the Law: President Nixon, Philadelphia Police, Protestors, and Judge Huyett on Collision Course
East Penn President to be Recognized by the Law Foundation
Pro Bono Profiles
Law Day Celebrated: The Magna Carta
Fun Time Golfing and Picnicking
Law Foundation: Book ’Em
Departments: 1 President’s Message
6 Technology - Frankly Speaking
21 Restaurant Review
16 Book Review
22 Miscellaneous Docket
18 Spotlight on New Members
Reading, PA | 610.685.0914 x201 hoffmannpublishing.com For advertising information contact Tracy Hoffmann at email@example.com
The cover features (L-R): Kelsey Frankowski, Susanna Fultz, Matthew Setley and Michael Commarano, Jr.
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The Berks Barrister
has been read in high places!
President’s Message Jesse L. Pleet, Esquire, 2015 President
Finding Balance. Staying in the comfort zone. Considering change. Riskutility assessment. And as Past President Fred Mogel once remarked, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” Once we find that something is working for us, is more of the same a good thing? Are we like water, seeking the path of least resistance, coasting along waiting for opportunities to cross our paths instead of actively planning the next steps in our family, social, and career pursuits? All of us in practice have experienced the challenge to maintain our sense of balance between our personal and professional lives. The hackneyed expression that “the law is a jealous mistress” is probably no longer politically correct, but makes the point how a career in the law as licensed attorneys can be all-consuming. For young lawyers just getting started, looking for clients, learning the law, and establishing themselves, the process can be daunting. For some lawyers getting married and starting their own families, the pressure to devote enough quality time at home is immense. Certain practice areas demand evening hours to meet with our clients. Some of us have experienced that the best time of day for catching up on our legal research, review of correspondence, and quiet
time to think is after hours. Showing up late for dinner at 8:00 pm with young children at home can be stressful. We trade completing our professional obligations at the expense of missing important opportunities to fulfill our roles as spouses, parents, nurturers, and role models for our children to sufficiently be there for them. We kid ourselves that much work can be done at home in the midst of trying to provide attention to our spouses, significant others, children, family, and friends. There does not seem to be such a thing as an “8 to 5” job for many practitioners. Many of us who have been in practice for decades feel we are working harder, longer, and with more challenges than we ever envisioned. The comments thus far could apply to anyone in any profession, of course, but for those of us with membership in the Berks County Bar Association, we share a unique sense of community. We strive to help each other meet the challenges of maintaining balance. Our mission as lawyers can more easily be realized if we continue to help each other understand the demands of our careers with the fulfillment we desire when we go home after work. Much has been said about our Berks County Bar Association strategic planning process. We are devoting resources and creating opportunities to reach out among each other for professional development, affordable continuing legal education provided by our peers, the sharing Continued on page 2
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Finding Balance. Continued from page 1
of information at section meetings, the latest technology to assist our production, including listservs and socializing opportunities to laugh among friends. All of us recognize a shared value of supporting our careers and our families in pursuit of our dreams of a successful life and lifestyle. Part of that strategic assessment has included guidance from the American Bar Association with its framework for evaluation of how we operate to serve the needs of our members and the public for whom we serve. On a national scale, we measure remarkably well compared with other associations, whether large, medium, or small. We know from attending annual Conferences of County Bar Leaders under the aegis of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, that our Berks County Bar Association stands alone and without comparison for a bar of our size, considering the level of member programming, public outreach to improve the community, networking with other professional organizations, collaborating with local colleges for presentations on topics of legal interest, and general socializing to enjoy each other’s company. We also have maintained a unique, special relationship with our state and federal judiciary. Our judges are active, participating members of our association. Our judges attend all of our events and social functions. They help us provide and promote continuing legal education. Our bench desires our voices be heard in developing court policies and procedures to more effectively serve the courts, our clients, and the community. We are all in the legal system together. Regardless of whether you work in a larger firm, have a small office with one or two attorneys, maintain a practice out of your home, or render public
service employed by the government, only lawyers and judges can best protect our own interest at meeting our mission to provide access to courts and justice in our community. So what is it about the Berks County Bar Association that makes us so unique and different? For those of us who already “get it,” the networking among each other within the Berks County community has been vital to our personal growth and success. We understand that our future depends upon the continued acceptance of our association by new members who will be the custodians of our future. For those of us who have been around for a while, we can remember a time waking up realizing we have now been in practice be it ten years, twenty years, thirty years, or more, and appreciating that the common thread, year in and year out, has been the relevance of our membership in the local Berks County Bar Association. That membership has sustained a feeling of professional growth and achievement while we experienced other mile markers in our lives that include our families, our friends, our hobbies, and interests. There are very few relationships which end up being lifetime pursuits. Our relationship with the law is on the short list. Our membership in the Berks County Bar Association plays a special, valuable support role for those of us who consider Berks County our home, and the source of our livelihood. It helps us stay in the zone.
So….please accept my best wishes for you and your families to be enjoying a very pleasant summer. And I look forward to seeing you at the Bar!
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Memories of 70 Years Ago By Francis M. Mulligan, Esquire The blackout shades, the sirens, and the air raid wardens became less important as the tide turned. The victory gardens alongside the bridal path in Cobbs Creek Park continued, but the metal toys collected for war conversion ended. After the Normandy invasion and the Battle of the Bulge, the Allies in Europe suffered no major setbacks. Children sensed it. Housewives, weary of the war, looked forward to the end of rationing. No one had all the ration buttons and stamps they needed. Grocery clerks to please unpleasant customers sometimes deliberately miscounted. America had more important issues to worry about. On April 12, 1945, while I was looking for kids with whom to play on Ludlow Street in West Philadelphia, a woman across the street from our rented house hollered at me, “Get off the street. No playing today. Go home,” she said. “The president’s dead. No playing.” I didn’t talk back to her. I went home and told my mother what the woman said. Roosevelt’s death didn’t cause a public panic. Americans counted on Ike to insure victory in Europe. The new president didn’t have the same respect. Few had confidence in, as they called him, “the little man from Missouri.” They knew so little about the recently elected vice-president who became the unexpected commander in chief. Germany surrendered shortly after Truman went into the White House. The long school year drew to a close. This eight year old third grader still wore a child’s version of an army uniform as his Sunday best. Going into the summer one more enemy had to be defeated. Our play time now concentrated on the Japs- Tojo and Hirohito. This child knew what “Remember Pearl Harbor” meant. Sneak attack and Jap became entwined in our vocabulary. We didn’t say Japanese. We said Japs. In mid-June 1945 the family took a train to Atlantic City.
My mother’s aunt, the woman my older brother, sister and I called “auntie”, rented an apartment for the summer on Ocean Avenue. Auntie paid for the train tickets. My sister, brother and I had to sit beside each other. On the train, our auntie, who cursed and prayed in Gaelic, worked her magic with the Irish train conductors. She made us squeeze down in the seat before she insisted that we qualified for “half fare.” That summer Americans, with few exceptions, knew nothing about the invasion force gathering on islands across the Pacific. The multi-national assembly, including my U.S. marine cousin, Marty didn’t know that the war planners in Washington estimated a million casualties from the assault on the Japanese home islands. Emperor Hirohito in his palace wouldn’t or couldn’t surrender. By August the Atlantic City section of the ocean warmedup. I could splash in the surf much longer than in July, and I didn’t shiver when I came out of the water. Even the jelly fish cooperated. The hot beach sand coupled with the many blankets spread by tourists crowding the beach that August scorched my bare feet when I dodged them running from the surf to the shade under the boardwalk. At night when I walked the boardwalk with my brother and sister we were constantly reminded by the many soldiers and sailors we saw on the boardwalk that America had one more enemy to be conquered. The servicemen we saw hospitalized at Haddon Hall / Chalfont wouldn’t be part of the invasion force. The service personnel pushing their wheelchairs on the boardwalk wore skirts. During the days in the hot sun, I have no recollection of what the newspaper sellers hawking the Atlantic City Press on the beach yelled before the fateful day. “Read all about it” or Continued on next page 4
Berks Barrister | 3
Memories of 70 Years Ago Continued from page 3
“Extra…Extra, read all about it” I heard all summer but, I don’t remember what the hawkers asked us to read until that day. On that day, August 7, 1945, the loud voices became louder. It came out of the blue. Sitting on the beach in the hot sun I heard the newspaper seller. He wasn’t a boy. The man I heard screamed the same thing over and over again. “JAP CITY DESTROYED BY SINGLE ATOMIC BOMB. Read all about it.” The beach goers read all about it. He never stopped screaming. “Read all about it. Greatest bomb in history destroys Jap city.” The paper seller mentioned Hiroshima- a name that meant little to the beach sitters. What grabbed the beach crowd? The words “Jap city (America wasn’t politically correct back then) destroyed by one bomb” gripped them. The news hawker stood still and beach sitters became beach walkers. The Atlantic City Press sold out. They needed more sellers on the beach. The entire beach, not the usual few who read the news, bought the Press that day. One bomb /one city. Japan’s surrender the beach sitters assumed would be announced the following day. That night, like most nights, the WAVES and WACS pushed their casualties of war on the boardwalk. I have one recollection of the man hawking the Atlantic City Press for the next two days- he wore work boots. I remember the third day. Another Jap city, Nagasaki had been destroyed by a second atomic bomb. The beach sales spiked again. “Read all about it. Second Jap city destroyed. Atomic bomb impact equal to 20,000 tons of TNT.” Still no mention had been made of an unconditional surrender. I remember nothing about what adults all around me said. I rode the waves and raced across the hot sand. Two words had been burned into my consciousnessHiroshima and Nagasaki. The beach traffic picked up as it always did for the weekend. Would the next bomb be dropped on Tokyo? This eight-yearold and the beach goers thought that might happen. No one considered the possibility that the U. S. had a very small arsenal of A bombs and that Tokyo had already been fire-bombed to near destruction. The weekend passed waiting for news which didn’t come. No mention had been made of the Japanese contact with neutral Sweden. I started the mid- August holy day at St. Nicholas Church on Pacific Avenue. When I got to the beach the Atlantic City Press had it covered. “Read all about it. Japs surrender. Unconditional Surrender.” That headline came on Wednesday, August 15. I can’t remember anything else about that day. My cousin, Marty, like his father, Pat Mulligan, a U.S. marine in World War I, would be coming home. What I remembered happened that hot night. Servicemen, many on crutches, crowded the deck above the boardwalk at Haddon Hall / Chalfont. No doubt many of them
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had been drinking since the announcement. The servicemen had a microphone, and those passing by on the boardwalk stopped to listen. One young serviceman supported by his crutch, close to his limit on liquid refreshment, held up small flags from allied and neutral countries and told those on the boardwalk the name of the country the flag represented. When he finished with the flags he held up a dollar bill. He said, “This is the Jewish flag.” It wasn’t the perfect ending to a wonderful day. The microphone was taken away from him, and the crowd on the boardwalk disbursed. Like the rest of America with few exceptions, the young man didn’t know about Einstein’s 1939 letter to Roosevelt advising the president on the use of uranium to create a bomb more powerful than the world had ever seen. Germany’s closing of a Chech uranium mine to outside commerce triggered the letter. Aware of the brain power still inside Germany in 1939 Einstein, the pacifist reasoned that Hitler’s Germany might be working on an atomic bomb. How fortunate for America that Roosevelt acted on the letter. The summer ended and “Jake’s candy store” (what the kids called it) at 62nd and Ludlow became busier in the fall. The neighborhood soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines returned. One tall well-built thirteen and a half year old boy who went missing during the war came home. A marine chaplain may have saved Nelson Ritchie’s life. The boy who joined the marines, went through boot camp, and waited in the pre-dawn to go ashore on one of the Pacific islands obeyed the chaplain who said “Anyone under seventeen step forward. I’m obliged to tell you that not all of you who leave this ship will come back.” A relative of a neighborhood boy told his family of his intense desire to kill a German soldier to make up for the Waffen SS’s massacre of American P.O.W.’s during the Battle of the Bulge. When his chance came, he pointed his rifle at a wounded German soldier but could not pull the trigger. Rosary beads in the hand of the wounded German spoiled his plan and probably contributed to the American boy’s future sanity. Reading resident, Jim Hubbard, a young marine at the time, didn’t know why he waited on Guam in July and August of 1945. He remembers the B29s taking off from Guam, on a daily basis, to bomb the home islands. I’m sure he suspected where he would be going when the bombing stopped. Years later my first legal employer, Sam Russell, a staunch Republican, knew at the time why he waited in August 1945 in a Pacific island staging area. The former World War I artillery captain, who made the atomic bomb decision, became one of the few Democrats Sam didn’t criticize. My cousin Marty came home but, he left too much of himself on Pacific islands invaded by his marine unit. Too many Japanese
prisoners of war suffered for the remainder of their lives from the mental and physical torture inflicted on them. The Philadelphia Inquirer on a VJ remembrance date detailed how one former Japanese prisoner from Philadelphia’s Cavanaugh Clan watched as his captors marched past him on a dock after the surrender. Cavanaugh grabbed a chain and wrapped it around his principle torturer before he threw the prison guard into the Sea of Japan. Years later, a metallurgist from Boyertown, an MIT graduate near the end of his days, came to a conclusion as did many of America’s scientists and engineers who had been exempted from military service. He told me, “I think I worked on the bomb.” The Manhattan Project carried out in research labs across the country and field tested in the New Mexico desert involved many pieces that only a few knew how the parts fit together. Hitler’s Germany utilizing the Chech mine’s uranium had the capacity to construct an atomic bomb. In spite of Goebbels promise of secret weapons being developed, the geniuses in Berlin considered the psychics involved in the bomb making process to be engaged in “Jewish science” and wanted no part of it. How fortunate for the United States that, in the 1930’s, Roosevelt listened to the Joint Chiefs who bothered him on a Sunday morning by asking him to appoint a man, about to be discharged from the army, as the commanding general of the Illinois National Guard. Roosevelt had never heard of George Marshall. The generals told FDR that, if war comes, Marshall should be in charge. How fortunate that the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941 did not include destruction of the three carriers on maneuvers. Having them in active use turned the Pacific war in our favor, clearing the way for the Enola Gay. Was it luck or had God shed his grace on thee. Author’s Note: Thanks to Bruce Posten of the Reading Eagle for giving me the headlines in the two Reading dailies for the days in question. Thanks also to Heather Perez at the Atlantic City Public Library for the Press of Atlantic City headlines. Until the censorship ended there was only one news story written by a New York Times reporter. The same story appeared in every U.S. newspaper. I assume no one will be shocked to know that our ally, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan after Hiroshima and before Nagasaki.
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Berks Barrister | 5
TECHNOLOGY FRANKLY SPEAKING
.Com is Dead? Long live .Law! By Jeffrey A. Franklin, Esquire
Is .Com really dead? No, but smart lawyers and law firms worldwide will be focusing on a new top level domain, “.law” in 2015 and beyond. Minds + Machines Group Limited (LSE:MMX referred to as “M+M”), a leading owner and operator of generic top level domains (gTLDs) is launching the new .Law top level domain when the Sunrise period begins July 30, 2015. During the Sunrise period, trademark owners can register their names in .law. Names in the .law domain will then go on sale to credentialed practitioners on a first-come, first-served basis when the .law domain enters General Availability on October 12, 2015. M+M is a publicly traded operating company on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. M+M participates in and provides services in all facets of the domain name industry, from registry ownership and operations to consumer sales via its ICANN-accredited registrar. The company is focused specifically on the new top level domain space. Top level domains are organized and controlled by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
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ICANN is expanding the number of generic top-level domains, and M+M will manage and operate over two dozen of them. M+M also operates a registrar selling directly to the public. M+M’s strategy is to limit availability of the .law domain to help it gain traction in the increasingly crowded field of gTLDs. This scarcity combined with a credentialing requirement are designed to instill trust in the new .law extension. If successful, it is more likely to be widely adopted by lawyers and potential clients seeking legal counsel. M+M took a leap towards wide-spread adoption of the .law domain when it recently announced its partnership with legal publishing giant ALM Media, LLC (ALM). ALM agreed to collaborate on advertising and marketing content for the new .law domain across ALM’s legal media publications, conferences, and digital platforms. ALM’s legal publications include The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, The National Law Journal, The New York Journal, and Law.com. In addition, ALM will adopt over 100 .law URLs for its existing legal properties and new product rollouts. The announcement was made at LegalTech West Coast this summer.
M+M announced that .law is dedicated to lawyers worldwide. It will require validation of legal credentials upon application and renewal. It intends to develop .law into a trusted and memorable URL to stand out from overcrowded, generic, and unvetted domains. .law CEO Lou Andreozzi is former Chairman of Bloomberg Law and CEO of LexisNexis North American Legal Markets, Martindale Hubbell and lawyers.com. He said, “We are very happy to be working with ALM, whose broad reach and global reputation as legal media powerhouse is unparalleled. We designed the new domain to provide the legal community with opportunities to grow their practices and brands, while also providing a way for the public to identify legitimate legal sources, and just like .edu or .gov, it is our goal that .law will signal a vetted and trusted organization.” ALM CEO Bill Carter said “.Law promises to provide the legal marketplace with a much-needed dedicated URL, backed by strict registration criteria. We are looking forward to being an early adopter of the .law domain, which will help us to stand out as a reliable and high profile resource for the legal community. We are delighted to be working with Lou Andreozzi and the .law team as they bring this significant opportunity to market.” The .law leadership team also includes COO Carl Jaeckel, founder of Lawyer Central and CMO of Morgan & Morgan law firm and Chairman John Morgan, Founder of Morgan & Morgan, renowned Florida businessman, philanthropist, and political power broker. What will a .law name cost? We don’t know yet. Other gTLDs have been touted as less expensive and more available alternatives to .com domains. Often other gTLDs cost about $25. That seems optimistic for .law domains to me. Are you ready to join ALM as an early .law adopter? More information on the .law launch will be available at http://nic.law. Feel free to contact me with questions. Let the frenzy begin. Jeffrey A. Franklin, Esquire, is chair of BCBA’s Technology Committee. He is with the Prince Law Offices, P.C. and is a principal of Brightline Tech Solutions, LLC.
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Berks Barrister | 7
Illegals Receiving Workers’ Compensation – Is that Legal? By Levi S. Wolf, Esquire
Our national political conversations are flooded with talk of immigration reform. The fact is that many undocumented aliens are working here with us every day. These people are no more immune to work injuries than citizens or legal resident aliens. What rights does an illegal worker have when he or she suffers a work injury in Pennsylvania? The law in this area has been adapting and changing over time. In 2002, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Reinforced Earth Company v. W.C.A.B. (Astudillo), 570 Pa. 464, 810 A.2d 99 (2002), held that a claimant’s status as an undocumented alien worker does not preclude him from receiving total disability benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act. However, the injured worker must be completely disabled from working. When the worker is released to return to modified duty, the situation changes radically. Normally, a workers’ compensation carrier or employer seeking to suspend a claimant’s wage loss benefits in Pennsylvania must demonstrate: (1) evidence of a change in medical condition and (2) evidence that there is an available job the claimant is capable of performing that would pay wages equal to or greater than his pre-injury wage, or show job availability through a labor market survey. Interestingly, the courts have sanctioned the suspension of partial disability benefits from illegal aliens even when they have in fact returned to the workforce and are earning less than their preinjury wages due to the effects of the work injury. Where a documented worker would be entitled to a partial disability benefit in that circumstance, an undocumented worker is not. Most recently, our Commonwealth Court in Ortiz v. W.C.A.B. (Rodriguez) clarified the law on whether a partial disability benefit is available to undocumented workers. In Ortiz, the Commonwealth Court found that to suspend the weekly wage benefits of an unauthorized alien, an employer
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need only demonstrate that a claimant’s medical condition has improved enough to work at some job, even one with restrictions. Ortiz, 60 A.3d 209, 212 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2013). The employer need not show job availability, because the irrebuttable presumption is that the illegal alien cannot work anywhere (even if he finds another job and is actually working at lesser wages), and thus the wage loss is due to his status as an illegal rather than the effects of the work injury. One might wonder why an illegal alien is entitled to any wage loss benefits at all. Firstly, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act itself does not distinguish between legal and illegal workers. Employees are defined as including “[a]ll natural persons who perform services for another for a valuable consideration, exclusive of persons whose employment is casual in character and not in the regular course of the business of the employer…” 77 P.S. § 22. All injured workers in PA, for instance, are entitled to reasonable and necessary medical treatment which is causally related to their injuries. One reason why total disability wage loss benefits are available to injured illegal aliens is that disallowing any disability compensation to an unauthorized worker might cause employers to actively seek out and hire illegal workers so as not to have to pay them workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured. The fact that undocumented workers are entitled to total disability but not entitled to partial disability once they are released to return to some level of duty leaves open the question of how the employer proves that a particular worker is undocumented. It is a sticky wicket for the employer who hired the undocumented worker to stand before the court and argue that the employee was never legally hired in the first place. This issue was addressed by our Supreme Court in Cruz v. W.C.A.B. (Kennett Square Specialties), 99 A.3d 397 (Pa. 2014). The Court in Cruz held that to obtain a suspension of a
claimant’s disability benefits on the basis of a claimant’s status as an undocumented worker, the employer bore the burden of proof to demonstrate that claimant was ineligible to take other such jobs, by virtue of his lack of U.S. citizenship and lack of other legal employment authorization. In that case, the sole “evidence” regarding the claimant’s employment eligibility relied upon by the Workers’ Compensation Judge was his invocation of his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in response to questioning from employer’s counsel. The Court concluded that the adverse inference drawn by the judge from the claimant’s invocation of his Fifth Amendment right against selfincrimination did not, by itself, constitute substantial evidence to support the judge’s finding that the claimant was not a United States citizen, and was not otherwise authorized to work in this country. The Court was persuaded that the employer has an affirmative burden to prove the claimant’s lack of work authorization, and must present evidence to meet its burden. The requirement to present evidence places defense attorneys in a conundrum. Setting aside the potential conflict of interest between the insurance company client and the employer client, how does one prove the lack of authorization to work when the employer client is very much at risk of fines and penalties if testimony is offered as to the illegality of the working arrangement? The answer lies, most likely, in documentary evidence. Defense counsel must be creative in offering persuasive evidence based on Social Security numbers, or turn to an outside source such as the immigration authorities. Some readers will bristle at the idea of providing any kind of workers’ compensation benefits to illegal aliens. But remember that workers’ compensation laws provide an exclusive remedy to injured workers, and workers’ compensation is a shield against personal injury lawsuits targeting the employer. Without workers’ compensation coverage, an undocumented worker might be able to sue the employer for negligence instead of being restricted to the remedies of the Workers’ Compensation Act. Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation is a specialized area of practice, and is filled with unexpected twists and turns. Employers are typically provided lawyers by their insurance companies who only practice workers’ compensation law. Injured workers, citizen or undocumented, should always consult experienced workers’ compensation claimant’s attorneys when they have had a work injury.
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Levi S. Wolf, Esquire is a shareholder in the law firm of Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C. with offices in Pottstown, Reading, and West Chester.
Berks Barrister | 9
Contempt and Love for the Law: President Nixon, Philadelphia Police, Protestors, and Judge Huyett on Collision Course By Daniel B. Huyett, Esquire It was October 1972. President Richard M. Nixon was planning to come to Philadelphia to sign one of his signature legislative programs into law. His visit would set into motion a series of events at Independence Square in Philadelphia, and the federal courthouse, blocks away, involving the mayor, the police commissioner, protestors, and one federal judge. The President’s visit would test the meaning of dissent in wartime, just months after the Watergate break-in and during the calm before the storm, which would gather steam and break the following year. Also planning for Nixon’s Philadelphia visit was a group of war protestors. The Vietnam War was still raging. The United States had just bombed North Vietnam airfields. That July, Jane Fonda had visited Hanoi and broadcast anti-war messages over Hanoi Radio. Earlier that year, Frank Rizzo had been elected mayor of Philadelphia, riding his campaign slogan “firm but fair” into office. Unlike his rivals, Rizzo had refused to issue position papers. Previously Philadelphia’s police commissioner, Rizzo earned a reputation for his unstinting commitment to law and order. Outspoken and flamboyant, Rizzo was famously filmed leaving a black-tie event to quell a neighborhood riot, armed with a night stick that was nestled in his cummerbund. 1972 was a presidential election year. And just two months after his mayoral election, as a Democrat, Rizzo-in an unprecedented move--endorsed Nixon, a Republican, over the Democratic nominee and anti-war candidate, Senator George McGovern. A New York Times article noted that Rizzo “pledged to hold Mr. Nixon’s losing margin in heavily Democratic Philadelphia to no more than 100,000 votes to insure a Nixon victory in Pennsylvania.” In June 1972, several months before Nixon’s visit to Philadelphia, Nixon’s “White House Plumber’s Squad” had
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broken into the Democratic National Committee’s Watergate office in Washington, D.C., and planted a bug, a crime that would unravel over the next year and a half, lead to sixty-nine indictments, and drive Nixon from office. Selecting Philadelphia for this campaign stop in the midst of the controversial Vietnam War was not serendipitous. John Dean, White House Counsel during the Watergate break-in and later-turned government witness against Nixon, testified in June 1973 that one of the major preparations for a presidential visit was to ensure that the demonstrators were neither seen nor heard by Nixon. Dean testified that both legal and illegal means were employed to deal with demonstrators. With Rizzo at the helm of the City of Brotherly Love, Independence Square was perfect for Nixon’s October 1972 visit. The presidential election was just under three weeks away. Turbulent times these were. It was the baby-boomer generation, the hippie generation-long-haired and tie-dyed. In 1972 the Rolling Stones released “Exile on Main Street.” “Dirty Harry,” starring Clint Eastwood, was a box office hit; and M*A*S*H, the Korean War situation comedy, helicoptered onto TV screens each week. In September 1972, just a month before Nixon’s visit to Philadelphia, eleven Israeli athletes and coaches, along with a German police officer, were murdered at the Olympic Games in Munich, West Germany, by a Palestinian terrorist group calling itself “Black September.” For his Philadelphia appearance on October 20th, Nixon selected Independence Hall as the backdrop for his speech, where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and signed. Only the Liberty Bell and a small park called Independence Mall separated Independence Hall from the twenty-two-story United States Federal Courthouse looming at 6th and Market Streets. Daniel H. Huyett, 3rd, was commissioned a United States
Though thoroughly partisan as a lawyer and politician, Judge Huyett always had a high regard for the judiciary. In 1968, as Party Chair, he arranged for Republican Governor Raymond Shafer to nominate Frederick Edenharter—a Democrat—to the Berks County Court of Common Pleas. The next year, facing his first election to the bench, Judge Edenharter—still a Democrat—ran on the Republican ticket as the Republican candidate, and with Judge Huyett and the Berks County Republican Party’s endorsement, was elected. He is today recognized, along with Judge Eshelman, as among Berks County’s foremost jurists. On the day of President Nixon’s visit to Philadelphia, October 20, 1972, and with just two years on the federal bench, Judge Huyett was the emergency judge tasked with hearing emergency matters, such as requests for injunctions. Early that morning, protestors were flashing anti-war and anti-Nixon placards on the north side of Chestnut Street, across from Independence Hall where Nixon was to speak in the early afternoon. At 7:00a.m., Philadelphia police ordered the protestors to either relinquish their signs or leave the area. When they refused, sixteen of them were arrested, taken into custody, and hauled to a cell room in the police administration building. No charges were brought against them, nor would there ever be. At 11:00 a.m., the sixteen protestors filed a lawsuit in federal court along with an emergency motion for a temporary District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on October 15, 1970, after being nominated by President Nixon. Born in Reading in 1921, a World War II veteran and a University of Pennsylvania Law School graduate, Judge Huyett had been active in Berks County Republican politics for years, serving as Chairman of the Berks County Republican Party from 1962 until he was nominated by President Nixon to serve on the federal bench. Judge Huyett’s qualifications for judicial appointment, as it turned out, were a unique blend of legal skills and character born out of the rough and tumble politics of Berks County in the 1950s and 1960s. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s Law School in 1948, he was admitted to practice law in 1949 in Berks County. Politics was his passion, though, and as a young lawyer in Reading he dove into the local scene. But as a Republican in Berks County—then overwhelmingly monopolized by the Democratic Party—he found himself more on the losing side than the winning one. 1952 proved to be an aberration, when a Republican was elected Mayor of the City of Reading. Judge Huyett’s work on behalf of the winning candidate earned him an appointment as City Solicitor, at age 31, with just three years’ experience as a lawyer. In 1963, only a year after his election as Chairman of the Berks County Republican Party, Judge Huyett staged one of the greatest political upsets in county history. Democrats still monopolized county and city government, holding all possible elected offices. But, after federal prosecutors uncovered systematic political corruption in Berks, Judge Huyett’s “Sweep Clean” campaign resulted in the election of every single Republican then running for office, except for City Treasurer. Included in this group was W. Richard Eshelman, later a judge on the Court of Common Pleas, who was elected District Attorney.
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Berks Barrister | 11
Contempt and Love for the Law... Continued from page 11
restraining order, asking the federal court to stop the Philadelphia police immediately from interfering with their First Amendment right to protest President Nixon’s visit. As a matter requiring immediate attention, the lawsuit was assigned to Judge Huyett. After he read the court papers in his chambers on the 12th floor of the federal courthouse at 6th and Market Streets, just blocks from the protests, Judge Huyett summoned each side’s lawyers for an immediate hearing. At 12:40 p.m., he issued a TRO forbidding police interference with any protestor’s peaceful exercise of his or her First Amendment rights, including the right to carry signs, in areas open to the public near Independence Hall. Shortly later, the Philadelphia City Solicitor and police were informed of Judge Huyett’s TRO. At 1:00 p.m., Gary Thomas, a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, showed police officers a certified copy of Judge Huyett’s court order, but because he was carrying his organization’s sign, police denied him entry to Independence Mall. Dale Cunningham entered Independence Mall with a sign protesting the President’s policies in Vietnam, only to have police seize his sign. He was arrested and taken into custody when he began to photograph police officers seizing other similar signs. Isaac Stetson, leaflets tucked under his arm, was refused entry
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to the Mall by police, and after he protested, he was arrested, searched, and placed in a police car. Lawrence Manuel was refused entrance with his sign, and was kept out even after he gave up his sign. When he challenged the authority of the officers blocking the steps, he was taken into custody, fingerprinted, photographed, and searched, and finally released at 8:00 p.m. without any charges filed against him. Testimony later showed that many other protestors with anti-war signs and leaflets were denied access to Independence Mall by Philadelphia police, notwithstanding Judge Huyett’s restraining order. A number were arrested and put into custody without the city pressing any criminal charges. Many were released at 4:00p.m., well after President Nixon had left the Independence Hall area. Judge Huyett later found that the police’s policy to restrict signs to areas outside President Nixon’s eyesight was “disturbingly successful.” Seven days later, on October 27, 1972, a group of protestors filed a Petition for Civil Contempt for violation of Judge Huyett’s TRO against Police Commissioner Joseph O’Neill and Police Lieutenant George Pencil, commanding officer of the Philadelphia Police Disobedience Squad, among others. A Philadelphia Inquirer editorial on November 2nd described the scene under the heading “An Ominous Kind of Politics”: “October 20 was, as we have said before, a sad day for constitutional liberty in Philadelphia. In indisputable violation of the First Amendment and in specific defiance of a restraining order by Federal District Judge Daniel H. Huyett, 3’d, Philadelphia policemen arrested and detained 40 citizens. . . . [The Mayor’s actions were] an out-of-hand police force caught violating the law.” The editorial also commented on Mayor Rizzo’s remarks during an October 23rd press conference, observing that “[t]he tone and style of Mr. Rizzo’s ... press conference were vindictive and contemptuous of the very essence of dissent.” The editorial underscored Police Commissioner O’Neil’s pre-visit remarks that on October 20 “his men would arrest all placard carriers even if someone carried a sign ‘Christ is King.”’ On November 10, 1972, Judge Huyett convened hearings on the contempt petition, entertaining testimony for several days. On June 22, 1973, he decided the civil contempt petition, holding in “contempt for the law ... those officials charged with maintenance of the law.” He determined that the police had a policy to exclude sign- carrying protestors from the area across from Independence Hall, and that this policy was not intended to protect the President, but was “an attempt to limit visible dissent to an area where it would be inconspicuous and, thereby, ineffective.” The protestors, according to Judge Huyett, “assert[ed] the right to peacefully demonstrate by means of inoffensive signs against certain governmental policies. The display of these signs was to take place in a public square, open to the public on that occasion.” The First Amendment of the Constitution, according to Judge Huyett, guaranteed these protestors the right to
margin in Philadelphia for a Republican presidential candidate to its lowest margin since 1948. Below the fold, in the same article, the Times recounted the tale of Judge Huyett’s TRO, the confiscations and arrests, and the contempt of court hearings, noting that three days after the arrests, “When Senator George McGovern spoke in Philadelphia, an equal number of protestors were on hand. None were detained, fingerprinted, photographed or moved to protect the Democratic candidate, who the mayor had denounced as a ‘radical.”’ It was traditional for the President who appointed a federal judge to provide the judge with a personally signed photograph. When Judge Huyett later requested the favor of President Nixon, Nixon refused. Ironically, within a year, the United States Supreme Court would order President Nixon to turn over tape recordings of sixty-four White House conversations as evidence in the unfolding Watergate scandal. On August 8, 1974, Nixon resigned from office. Daniel B. Huyett, Esquire, is co-chair of the Stevens & Lee’s litigation department. His father, Judge Daniel H. Huyett, 3rd (1921-1998), never spoke about the events in this article to his son, who was away at law school—with the sole exception of the anecdote about Nixon’s photograph. The Honorable Daniel H. Huyett, 3rd served as a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from October 15, 1970 until his death on May 1, 1998, having assumed senior status on May 1, 1988
peacefully express their ideas. Judge Huyett spoke of the irony of the location of the constitutional violations: “Persons were arrested that day while peacefully demonstrating with antiwar signs in an event open to the public. . . . These actions transgressed the spirit of The Declaration of Independence and the letter of The Bill of Rights, which documents are also closely associated with the buildings on Independence Square.” Later that week, on June 27, 1973, the Philadelphia Inquirer printed excerpts of Judge Huyett’s opinion and echoed his remarks that the police transgressions took place “literally in the shadows of the buildings” that birthed the Unites States’ foundational documents. While Judge Huyett found the police defendants in contempt and liable for compensatory damages, he did not impose any damages at the time of his June 22nd decision. Later, the damages issues were settled out of court. Three weeks after Nixon’s Philadelphia visit, Nixon won a second term. The New York Times recounted Mayor Rizzo’s jubilation under the heading “Rizzo Bolstered By Nixon Victory, President Sends ‘Warmest Thanks’ to Democrat”’: ‘”I’m thrilled,’ [Rizzo] told newsmen and friends in his gold-carpeted office Tuesday night. ‘This is a bigger night for me than my own election.”’ Nixon carried all but two wards Rizzo had won the previous year, cutting the losing
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Berks Barrister | 13
Chris Pruitt on being named the
2015 Sidney D. Kline, Jr. Award Recipient for Outstanding Community Service
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East Penn President to be Recognized by the Law Foundation East Penn Manufacturing has been described as the “sleeping giant of Lyon Station.”
While that may be true, its President is far from being a “sleeper.” Christopher E. Pruitt is the President of this, the world’s largest privately held battery manufacturer, having held various financial positions, including that of chief financial officer, since joining East Penn in May of 1994. Despite his work at East Penn, Mr. Pruitt has time for the community. Currently, he is the treasurer and a board member of the Wyomissing Foundation, as well as being the Audit Committee chair and board member of the Berks Community Foundation and is a board member of the Shippensburg University College of Business Advisory Board. In the past, Mr. Pruitt served as a board member of the YMCA, chair and board member of the United Way of Berks County, president of The Children’s Home of Reading, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Children Advisory Center and treasurer and board member of the Reading Area Community College Foundation. To recognize his commitment to the community, Mr. Pruitt is receiving the 2015 Sidney D. Kline, Jr. Award for Outstanding Community Service at the annual Holiday Benefit Luncheon hosted by the Reading Chapter of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Law Foundation of Berks County. The luncheon will be held Friday, December 4, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Wyomissing, PA. Law Foundation President John J. Speicher describes Mr. Pruitt as “being active in various not-for-profit organizations helping to make Berks County a better place to live and work.” Following graduation from Shippensburg University with a Bachelor of Science Business Administration degree in accounting, Mr. Pruitt was employed by Ernst & Young for ten years, holding the position of a senior manager in the audit division. He continues to hold his CPA license today. Chris and his wife, Robin, have two children, Kelly and Lindsay.
I nv i tat i o n s to t he D e c e m be r 4th l uncheo n w i l l be s ent i n ear l y fall. Berks Barrister | 15
Book Review Chasing Gideon By KAREN HOUPPERT Reviewed By Eric J. Taylor, Esqurie
When I agreed to write a review of the book Chasing Gideon, I was intrigued upon reading the book’s introduction. The book focuses on how the United States is doing in enforcing the landmark decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963), which provided indigent people charged with crimes the right to competent legal representation. It is probably not a coincidence that I was asked to review this particular book. The decision in Gideon essentially gave birth to my job, a public defender, which I have been doing for nearly a decade. I am proud of my job and enjoy it, despite having had numerous clients tell me they want a “real lawyer” (and trying not to take offense to that slur), and having had other clients question the prerequisites for becoming a public defender (e.g., some truly believe that an Associate’s Degree at Reading Area Community College is sufficient to get the job). Unfortunately, Chasing Gideon gives a poor report of what has happened since the Court’s ruling, and explains how the lawyers representing the poor are overworked and underfunded. The book argues that the promise of Gideon v. Wainwright, that the poor must be provided competent counsel in criminal cases, routinely goes unfulfilled. Early on, the author explores some of the backstory leading up to Gideon v. Wainwright. Before I had read the book, I had believed that Clarence Earl Gideon was pro se in not only his initial trial, but also in his habeas petition to the United States Supreme Court, wherein he asked the Supreme Court to rule that he should have been given an attorney and to remand his case and order a retrial with a court appointed attorney.
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The author interviewed one of the lawyers who argued Gideon v. Wainwright. During this interview, the lawyer said something that takes away from the uplifting story of this pro se litigant battling the system all on his own. Apparently an actual jailhouse lawyer named Joseph Peel helped Gideon greatly. Peel had previously been a dishonest lawyer who (somehow) later became a municipal judge, where he signed search warrants and then took money in exchange for tipping off the people who were going to be searched. Peel was later convicted of hiring people to murder the judge who discovered this illicit practice. Following his conviction, Peel was incarcerated at the same prison as Gideon, and he may have been Gideon’s cellmate. The author was told that Peel may have stood over Gideon and dictated what Gideon should write in his petition to the Supreme Court, and that Peel had left Gideon’s misspellings and grammatical mistakes intact so that it would indeed appear that Gideon did not have counsel. The rest of the book focuses on modern post-Gideon cases set before a backdrop of indigent representation in the states of Washington, Florida, Louisiana, and Georgia. In at least two of the cases, the author argues that the criminal defendant was poorly represented and had to live with the consequences of this representation, whether that was a juvenile adjudication for a sex offense or a case where the sentence was years of incarceration, positing, but for the incompetent representation, the results would not have occurred. A few of the other cases show that the lawyers who represent the indigent are both underfunded and overloaded with cases.
Even a (rare) successful case has a sad postscript – an eighteen-year-old defendant was found not guilty of vehicular manslaughter charges after the court granted the defense’s request for a continuance. The motion argued that the public defender was not ready for trial as she could not provide adequate assistance of counsel, stating that she was overwhelmed with the work in her 101 cases, especially compared to the prosecutor who had 28 cases. The court was resistant at first but the lawyer refused to try the case, and she thought the court might hold her in contempt and put her in jail. However, the court eventually granted the continuance, and the defendant was acquitted at his subsequent trial. The postscript is that the young defendant is struggling to pay the $450,000 damages he owes for the underlying car accident, and now police encounters cause him to have panic attacks. His attorney, a zealous and hard-working public defender, who was subsequently fired (which she attributed to judges complaining about her), has had to borrow money from her parents to survive, and she was thinking of getting entirely out of the field of law. The cases that are used as examples show poor criminal defendants being short-changed and their lawyers as uncaring, incompetent, overworked, and/or ultimately burnt out, with one of them having left the law to become a bartender, claiming, nevertheless, that he drinks a lot less now than he did as a lawyer. Getting beyond the particulars of the specific cases and people, Chasing Gideon contends that in the 50 years since Gideon was decided, states fail to allocate the proper financial resources to fund representation of the indigent. This is in part because the number of criminal prosecutions has increased exponentially, especially with the drug offenses, which were fewer than 50 per 100,000 people in 1963 to 750 per 100,000 in 2000. But it is also because governments, be they state or local, are unwilling to provide the necessary funding for proper public defender representation. On its face, it may make political sense - in ranking spending priorities, the average citizen and the average legislator are not going to want a large amount of tax dollars spent on criminal defense. It is much easier to provide money for the prosecution of the criminals than to give it to those who defend the criminals. In one study, $1.9 billion was spent on prosecution services, whereas just $1.1 billion was spent on indigent defense services. And in another study, $14 was spent on prison for every $1 spent on indigent defense. Governments spend the bare minimum of what is needed to secure representation for the indigent in criminal cases, without concern as to the quality of the representation. Of course, this disproportionate funding for prosecutors and public defenders affects caseloads and how much time is spent working on and preparing for cases. The difference in spending can be seen in the staff here in Berks County - the District Attorney’s Office has 31 attorneys, 31 detectives, and 24 support personnel on its payroll, compared to the Public Defender’s Office which has 25 attorneys, three investigators, and seven support personnel.
As I initially stated, this is a depressing book and one that calls for change. Its conclusion is that by failing to make the necessary changes and allowing this underfunding of indigent defense to continue, we as a society are delivering on an empty promise of competent representation that the Supreme Court made in Gideon, which can result, among other things, in innocent indigent defendants being convicted and incarcerated. Eric J. Taylor, Esquire, is an Assistant Public Defender and former editor of the Berks County Law Journal.
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Berks Barrister | 17
Spotlight on New Members By Donald F. Smith, Jr., Esquire
Samantha Phillips is an associate with the Summers Nagy Law Offices where she is practicing in the areas of litigation, municipal and employment-related law. She had previously served as judicial law clerk for Judge Steven T. Oâ€™Neill of Montgomery County and President Judge Timothy S. Searer of Mifflin County. Samantha graduated from West Chester University and Claude W. Pettit College of Law of the Ohio Northern University. When not working she enjoys reading, writing, spending time with family and friends and being engaged in community activities. SAMANTHA PHILLIPS
SANDRA M. LIBERATORI
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In-house counsel for Brentwood Industries is Alison Palmer, who earned her bachelor degree in political science and international relations at West Chester University and her law degree at the Wilmington campus of Widener University School of Law. She has been at Brentwood for over ten years, initially working in project management and contract management and then earned her JD while working fulltime at Brentwood. Alison is married to Matthew and they have two sons, Timothy (5 years old) and Nicholas (8 weeks old at the time of this writing). Her hobbies include spending time with family, kayaking and going to the beach.
Sandra M. Liberatori is a new partner at Rick | Linn, where her practice includes family law, estate administration, estate planning, contract review and negotiation and general litigation. A graduate of Elizabeth College and Temple University School of Law, she previously worked for a Delaware County law firm. There she represented banks, corporations and was solicitor for several municipalities. At the time she also served as guardian ad litem and parent attorney in matters involving Children and Youth Services. Sandi is married to Eric S. Steckerl and they have two daughters Sarabeth (age 27) and Amanda (age 23). Her free time is spent with family, playing the piano, watching and participating in musical theater as a singer/actor and as a member of the pit orchestra for Community Theaters. She also enjoys online and video games, movies and sci-fi.
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In Memoriam Lee E. Sapira Lee E. Sapira, 52, passed away on May 3, 2015. Mr. Sapira graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School, the University of Pittsburgh in 1986 and the University of Pittsburgh Law School, cum laude, in 1989. Following law school, Mr. Sapira began his legal career with Kozloff, Diener, Payne & Fegley, P.C. Mr. Sapira later partnered with Ronald Cirba in the law firm or Cirba & Sapira, P.C. and finally he went into private practice on his own. Mr. Sapira was an avid golfer and a longtime member of Moselem Springs Golf Club. One of his career highlights was having the article “How Golf Taught Me To Deal With Cancer” published in Golf Digest. In this article Mr. Sapira analogized golf and cancer in saying that cancer is “… a crappy lie…OK, it’s deep in the trees on a root with no look at the green and a restricted backswing, but I know the more attention I pay to hitting the next shot, the better the rest of my round, my life, will be”. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer.
Honorable Forrest G. Schaeffer, Jr. The Honorable Forrest Schaeffer, Jr., 87, passed away on June 19, 2015. Judge Schaeffer graduated from William Allen High School in 1945 and immediately entered the Army Air Corps and served until 1947. After the service, Judge Schaeffer graduated from Lehigh University in 1950 and Harvard Law School in 1953. Upon graduation he set up his private law practice in the same building where his father was born, his grandfather, Daniel N. Schaeffer, and his uncle, Paul N. Schaeffer practiced law. With his private practice in Reading and Kutztown, Judge Schaeffer formed a partnership with Paul D. Edelman, whose practice was in Boyertown and Bally and they later formed the firm of Edelman, Schaeffer, Saylor, Readinger & Poore in Reading, where Judge Schaeffer practiced until he was elected to the bench in 1976. Judge Schaeffer served on the Berks County Court of Common Pleas from 1976 until his retirement in 2007, during which time he served as President Judge for 15 years. In 1982, although he was a Democrat, he was nominated by the Republican Party to be their candidate for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Judge Schaeffer was a member of St. John’s UCC Kutztown where he was President of the Consistory, deacon, elder and taught Sunday School. He was the Mayor of Kutztown from 1963 through 1967, during which time he wrote the legal documents to establish, and threw out the first pitch to open, the Little League Association of Kutztown. He was also an active member of the Jaycees, Kiwanis and the Kutztown Lions Club. Judge Schaeffer was a member of the Kutztown University Board of Trustees for 10 years and served as the Chairman for many years. He also taught courses for banking personnel for the American Banking Institute and was a passionate fan of antique Hudson cars. He is survived by his wife, Dorothea, his children, Andrew, Katharine, Elizabeth, Phillip and Forrest III and 11 grandchildren.
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True Tour de France inWest Reading By Susan N. Denaro, Esquire
It’s very rare that I go back to a restaurant where I’ve had two disappointing experiences. Any place can have a bad night but when it’s two, usually the die is cast and I write the place off without a chance for a third strike. The other night, however, I broke with tradition and went back to Papillon Brasserie in West Reading, and I am glad I did. I had two bad lunch experiences there shortly after it opened and then wrote it off. I heard lots of similar stories from friends. But recently I was hearing a better buzz about the food. I went in expecting to be less than impressed again, especially after seeing only two indoor tables of customers and one outdoors. I suspected the emptiness of the place was not a good sign, particularly since it was the Second Friday of the month and West Reading was jammed with people enjoying the fact that the shops were open late and there was a new exhibit at the Art Plus Gallery. Other than the emptiness of the place, my next negative impression was that the music was way too loud and the prices looked a little steep. But then we met the waiter—just one for the whole place— and things started to look up. He deftly handled the troubled cork of our dusty and rather old bottle of Haut Medoc we brought along and he decanted it perfectly to avoid the sediment. It was an impressive start as it was a challenge and one wrong move would have ruined the wine. Next we shifted through the menu. Wanting a traditional experience, I opted for the Steak Frites. It was a generous, eight ounce serving of hangar steak that had a thin blanket of sauce béarnaise on it. I was drawn to it in part because it was the first time I remembered seeing sel gris on a menu in Berks County. This is a grey sea salt that can have a strong mineral taste if over used in a dish. The amount used to finish my plate was perfectly balanced against the herbs du Provence. It was a lovely serving and amazingly, the hangar steak was not as tough as it can be—
probably because it was cooked to a perfect medium temperature. The only other item on the plate was the frites, which were thin and crispy and a great match for the beef. My son would have loved the fact that there was not a green vegetable in sight on the plate and frankly, I didn’t miss them either for a change. Papillion Brasserie 615 Penn Avenue West Reading, PA 610-376-0601 Hours: Monday 5:30 7 pm to 9:00 pm Tuesday – Thursday 11:30 am to 9:00 pm Friday 11:30 am to 11:00 pm Saturday 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm Farmers’ Market Sunday Brunch 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
My husband and I have a rule that we never order the same dish which sometimes leaves one of us in a quandary. Fortunately, our waiter suggested the pork chop Milanese. It was a spot on suggestion and possibly the best pork chop I have tasted in years. Like the steak, it was perfectly cooked and more tender than expected. Instead of dredging the chop in flour, egg and then breadcrumbs, this one was just lightly coated with bread crumbs which helped keep it lighter tasting. The dish was dotted with capers, the brine from which helped perfectly balance the plate. One advantage to the restaurant being so empty was that we were able to see our meals being prepared and they barely had a moment to rest before they were delivered to us. The perfect temperature of our dishes helped heighten our enjoyment of the same. Another advantage was that the waiter had a little more time to give us his attention. His understanding of wines for a young man working in a BYOB restaurant was
impressive but his knowledge of the menu was even more so. The coffee served with our desserts merits a mention. It was perhaps the best coffee we’ve had in Berks County. It was rich and dark and whatever the blend, it matched the richness of the almond tart perfectly. We tried the clafoutis as well as the chocolate soufflé but the almond dessert was the ticket. The clafoutis was tasty but heavier than most. The soufflé was a little dry but still very enjoyable, particularly because of the coffee. Maybe it was having spent days watching the Tour de France that made us want a traditional French meal like we enjoyed off the beaten path in France years ago. After pulling the rental car over to watch a bike race go by on the narrow country road, we found a little bistro and enjoyed a bottle of Haut Medoc and local fare that was soul satisfying. I’m pleased that Papillon did not disappoint in helping us recreate that memory. If our next experience is as good, I think it has the potential to be one of my true local favorite places. Susan N. Denaro, Esquire, is a principal in the Wyomissing law firm of Rabenold, Koestel, Goodman & Denaro.
Berks Barrister | 21
Law Foundation of Berks County Trustee Frances A. Aitken has been elected president of the Reading chapter of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She is senior vice president for finance and operations at the Berks County Community Foundation. Celebrating the birth of their second child on Christmas Eve were Joe Guillama and wife Danielle. Anna Noelle joins brother Alexander.
This spring BCBA Past President Charles J. Phillips served as a celebrity bartender to benefit the Reading Public Library. From the looks of the tip jar, the managing partner of Leisawitz Heller did a terrific job!
On July 16, 2015 County Solicitor Alan S. Miller was recognized by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania as the Outstanding Solicitor of the Year. Presenting the award was Douglas E. Hill, Executive Director of CCAP, who was joined by the three Berks Commissioners.
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Charles A. Rick (L) married Stephanie Reese on May 15, 2015. Gregory A. Shantz (R) served as one of the groomsmen.
The new president of the Home Builders Association is James E. Gavin, a partner at Masano Bradley, LLP.
Assistant District Attorney Pamela L. VanFossen and her husband, David, welcomed their first child, Sophia Elizabeth, on December 5, 2014. BCBA Past President Heidi B. Masano has been named vice chair of the board of directors for Penn State Health St. Joseph. She is the managing partner of Masano Bradley, LLP.
Also welcoming their first child are Gabriela Raful and her husband, Lenin Agudo. Julian was born on March 24. Gabby is with the Galfand Berger firm.
Bernardo Carbajal, II married Moira Alvarado-Ching on January 31, 2015 in Lima, Peru. Bernardo is with Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith, P.C.
On May 8, 2015 Assistant Public Defender Julianne Danchak (formerly Julianne Oliver) married John Danchak at Monterre Vineyards, Orefield.
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Pro Bono Profiles
Overwhelming but Tremendously Rewarding Work By Donald F. Smith, Jr., Esquire
Bridget Cambria, Esq.
Carol Anne Donohoe, Esq.
Jacquelyn M. Kline, Esq.
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Bridget, Carol Anne and Jackie have become thorns in the side of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as well as the staff at the Berks County Residential Center. Without the devoted and passionate efforts of BCBA attorneys, Bridget Cambria, Carol Anne Donohoe and Jacquelyn M. Kline, many of the mothers and children seeking asylum and who are being detained at the Center would have no voice, no attorney to exercise due process on their behalf. The Berks County Residential Center is a county-owned and operated facility in Bern Township with its operations being overseen by ICE. It is one of only a few facilities in the country housing families seeking asylum. In recognition of these three attorneys undertaking hundreds of hours of pro bono representation for detainees at the Center, they are the recipients of the 2015 PBA Pro Bono Award. The presentation will be made on October 27 during the Berks County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Celebration taking place at the Inn at Reading. Joe Cackley, former Protection Advocates Initiative Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center, has written in support of their nomination for the Award: “These three Berks attorneys have represented many families in immigration removal proceedings and have won many asylum and withholding cases. The sheer volume of cases and the pace at which they have worked is breathtaking. “The families at the Center fled danger in their home countries by undertaking perilous journeys only to end up in a US detention center. They are surely some of the most vulnerable families in Pennsylvania. The three Berks attorneys have stepped up to the plate in a way that I think most people would find inconceivable.” Bridget and Jackie are the principals of the Cambria & Kline, P.C. law firm, formed in early 2014. Prior to opening their own firm in Reading, the two had practiced immigration law in Philadelphia. Bridget is a graduate of Albright College and Roger Williams School of Law. Prior to going to law school, she had worked as a Shelter Care Counselor at the Center, working first hand with ICE. She notes that that “experience offered me a unique perspective to those dealing with the immigration system and compassion for those families trapped in the difficult process of becoming legal residents and citizens of the United States.” Her resume of accomplishments includes establishing in 2013 a legal precedent when she successfully argued in Matter of Zeleniak, 26 I & N Dec. 158 (BIA 2013) that, in light of the US Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor same-sex marriages had to be recognized under the immigration laws. Thus, same-sex couples are legally entitled to petition for their spouses.
Carol Anne Donohoe being interviewed about the Residential Center for the cable television show, America Tonight
Jackie’s undergraduate degree is from Eastern University, and she was a member of Drexel University School of Law’s inaugural class. During law school, Jackie was a Public Interest Law Fellow at the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia. She also had received a fellowship to work on immigration issues for the Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia, where she continues to volunteer as an immigration attorney. Carol Anne, a solo practitioner, is chair of the Bar Association’s Immigration Law Committee and is president of the Greater Reading Immigration Project (GRIP), a coalition of community and church activists, as well as immigration attorneys. She did her undergraduate work at Northern Arizona University, and then earned a master’s degree at the University of New Hampshire before earning her juris doctorate at Temple University, where she completed an internship in immigration law. The three can point to much success but the volume of cases is exhausting and the facts can be heart-breaking. They admit to having to be careful not to burn out. But in the end, saving individuals, especially children, from deportation and almost certain death in their native country “is the most rewarding work we have ever done,” says Carol Anne. Bridget adds, “Not only are we saving a life, we are saving generations.” A sampling of cases demonstrates the good they are doing against tough odds since each case requires research and obtaining documentation supporting the client’s alleged fear to return to the country of origin, thereby justifying the need for asylum. Also, the Obama Administration is not as receptive to granting asylum since last summer’s surge of unaccompanied children. In May, Bridget and Jackie won asylum for a Nigerian family persecuted in their home country by Boko Haram, a fundamentalist Islam terrorist group. Bridget explains, “Think of it as ISIS in Africa.” Their clients are Christian and own a school in Nigeria teaching Christianity, and the student body includes girls. Boko Horam members believe females are to remain in the home and are not to be educated. The persecution sought to close the school and included a sexual assault on the mother. Documentation of the police contacts as well as medical documentation of the assault was obtained. The research and
preparation made for a rather easy case. A few weeks earlier, they had won asylum for a Syrian man who had fled his war-torn country with his 15-year-old daughter. He is a human rights activist who was smuggling medical supplies into Syria for use in “pop-up” clinics to treat the injured after hospitals were closed. Government soldiers tortured his brother hoping to set a trap for the client, who was in Jordan with his daughter at the time. Realizing his return to Syria would mean certain death, he and his daughter fled to the US and were detained at the Center. Since emails to Syria are monitored by the government, documentation needed to be sought elsewhere. The attorneys were able to receive supporting documentation by email from his friends in Sweden and Dubai. They also lined up the support of the Syrian Human Rights Committee, who confirmed that their client was to be tortured by the Syrian government because of his humanitarian efforts. Over 1,000 pages of evidence were received. After the favorable decision, the attorneys have now petitioned for the client’s wife and their two other children to enter the US as refugees.
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Pro Bono Profiles Overwelming but Tremendously Rewarding Work Continued from page 25
Mr. Cackley points out that the work of the three attorneys “is not limited to direct representation of asylum seeking families in immigration court, before the Board of Immigration Appeals and up to the Third Circuit, but also includes work that has brought attention to the plight of immigrant families locked up in the Center. Their advocacy has extended to Congress, members of the Obama Administration and the media, bringing pressure to bear on ICE. “You go in as a lawyer but you quickly need to become a life counselor and then a medical advocate,” explained Jackie. “You are an advocate on so many levels.” In January it came to the three’s attention that the Center was detaining a mother and her 14-day-old baby. The mother had crossed the border pregnant seeking asylum because of domestic violence. She then gave birth in a Texas drop house. The smugglers she was with left her for ICE agents to find. She lied to them about the baby being born in the US since, as a citizen, the
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agents would have taken the child from her. She endured three days in an “ice box” with an aluminum foil blanket, subsisting on bologna sandwiches. She was unable to breast feed. The three Berks attorneys joined forces to contact politicians, the ACLU, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission and the US Civil Rights Commission. Finally, the Democratic counsel to the House Judiciary Committee convinced the head of ICE to release the mother and baby. Officials at the Center told the mother, “Go wherever you want to take the baby.” Another case succeeded with political intervention but only after a tremendous amount of background research and litigation was carried out by Carol Anne. Her Guatemalan client, a mother of a two-year-old daughter, was nine months in detention, after seeking asylum due to domestic violence, including beatings and a rape in the only home in which she could live. At the Center she was suffering from extremely bad headaches and seizure-like symptoms. “I cannot tell you the number of hours it took to get her medical records in order to learn her diagnosis because of the stonewalling being done by ICE and the Center’s staff,” said Carol Anne, who ultimately learned that the client had a congenital brain malfunction, post-traumatic stress disorder, glaucoma and was considered legally blind. Nevertheless, the request for asylum was denied in immigration court. An appeal was taken and Carol Anne worked nights, weekends and early mornings (which is when she could carve out pro bono time) on the appellate brief she then had to drive to Virginia so that it was timely filed with the Board of Immigration Appeals. At the same time she was reaching out to the House Judiciary Committee counsel who went to Jeh C. Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security. His response: “We should not be detaining persons with serious medical-mental conditions.” As a result, Carol Anne was able to obtain a humanitarian parole for her clients. They were placed on a bus to Minnesota, and it is the only time ICE has paid for a detainee’s transportation from the Center. Mr. Cackley concluded in his letter of support, “Bridget, Jackie and Carol Anne have made a crucial and enormously positive difference in the lives of many, many families trapped in detention. And they have done so gracefully and professionally with very little support and scant public recognition. ‘Above and beyond the call of duty’ does not do justice to what they have accomplished and continue to do.” Well said. It truly is about enjoying the reward, not of financial gain, but of knowing your advocacy has saved lives and made future generations of the family possible.
Law Day Celebrated
the Magna Carta
On April 30, 2015 the Berks County Bar Association hosted more than 200 guests at our annual celebration of Law Day. This year the theme was “Magna Carta: Symbol of Freedom Under Law” on the occasion of its 800th anniversary. It was in 1215 that King John sealed the initial Magna Carta. It and subsequent versions were to become the basis for our Bill of Rights, and the Magna Carta has been cited in over 170 United States Supreme Court opinions, most concerning due process of law and trial by jury.
King John with the County Mock Trial Champion team, Schuylkill Valley High School
PRESENTATION OF HOWARD FOX MEMORIAL LAW SCHOLARSHIP AWARD (L-R): Helen Fox, Law Day Chair Alexa Antanavage and Robert Moore, accepting the award on behalf of Sarah Lieberman. Mr. Moore, in 1978, was a colleague of Howard Fox in the Public Defender’s office at the time of his death.
The keynote speaker was King John, portrayed by actor Bob Gleason of the American Historical Theatre in Philadelphia.
Assistant Public Defender Jessica Brown, of the Mock Trial Committee, announcing the results of the County Championship round between Fleetwood and Schuylkill High Schools
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Golfing and Picnicking
Mike McGuckin and John Badal Ben Leisawitz, YLS President Thad Gelsinger, Latisha Schuenemann and Barrister Editor Matt Mayer
FOURTH PLACE FOURSOME (L-R): Mark Merolla, Kurt Geishauser, Jack Mancuso and John Stott. Kurt and John took closest to the pin honors on Holes 4 and 13, respectively
Jim Potter, winner of the longest drive competition among the men (not with that iron, though)
TERRIFYING THREESOME (L-R): Chris Garrell, Past President Frank Mulligan and Rick Long
Dan Degler, Julie Marburger, Mike Wieder, and Past Presidents Dick and Dan Bausher
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Greg Henry and Judge Rowley
Sue Fultz, Matt Setley (wearing the white pants) and Mike Cammarano, Jr. have the hole surrounded
Ron Cirba and Mike Monsour
Quite a group! John Muir, Ben Nevius and Mike Gombar
Kristen Doleva-Lecher took the prize for outdriving the women on Hole No. 12
Phil Edwards collected the prizes for him and his teammates who finished tied for first in the scramble but officially came in second after a â€œmatch of cardsâ€?
Dave Sobotka recorded the longest putt
Bernie Mendelsohn enjoying the everpopular ice cream bar
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L AW FOUN DAT ION
For a week in May attorneys and friends of the Law Foundation of Berks County infiltrated the Reading School District to read to 82 pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes and to provide a book to each student. The students are so grateful, but the experience is most gratifying for those who read and those who financially support the project.
Thanks to the following: Volunteer Readers David Beane G. Thompson Bell, III Timothy Bitting Steve Buck Jeffrey Bukowski Tonya Butler Melissa Cammarano Michael Cammarano Laura Cooper Margaret Dâ€™Amico Michael Dautrich Susan Denaro Renee Dietrich Linda Epes Andrew Fick Brian Forsyth Kelsey Frankowski Honorable Victor M. Frederick IV Ruth Galanos Thad Gelsinger Andrew George Susan Gernert Jennifer Grimes Alisa Hobart Konrad Jarzyna Jesse Kammerdeiner Robert Katzenmoyer Molly Kleinfelter Lauren Marks Britt Kobularchek Christin Kochel Jill Koestel Jay Kurtz Angie Lattanzio
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Sandra Liberatori Benjamin Leisawitz Doris Leisawitz Lee Levan James Mancuso Nicole Manley Julie Marburger Michelle Mayfield Ryan McAllister Elizabeth McMunigal Larry Miller, Jr. Kenneth Millman Robert Mills John Miravich Denise Mogel Keith Mooney Kevin Musheno Daniel Nevins Scott Painter Dawn Palange
Jesse Pleet James Polyak Daniel Rabenold Randy Rabenold Douglas Rauch Anthony Rearden, III Michael Restrepo William Rush Peter F. Schuchman, Jr. Drew Schwartz Lisa Siciliano Donald F. Smith, Jr. James Snyder Deborah Sottosanti John Speicher Honorable Jeffrey Sprecher Eric Taylor Michael Wieder Bridget Winter
Financial Contributors Christopher R. and Ellen R. Adams Frances A. Aitken, CPA Antanavage Farbiarz, PLLC Jana R. Barnett Mary Ellen Batman Richard A. and Carol A. Bausher G. Thompson Bell, III Michael J. Bradley and Jennifer Lukach Bradley Eden R. and Barton K. Bucher Steven D. and Nancy L. Buck Lisa M. Ciotti Connors Investor Services, Inc. Stuart R. and Rosalynda M. Crichton Customers Bank (Angie Lattanzio and Bridget Winter) Michael D. and Robin M. Dautrich Renee Dietrich Pamela A. and John M. Demartino John Cullen, Jr. and Susan N. Denaro Michael A. and Diane V. Duff Merlin R. and Wendy L. Dunkelberger Emkey LLC Michael Febres and Amy Nieves-Febres Lynn E. Feldman Brian Forsyth Susan E. B. Frankowski Honorable Victor M. Frederick, IV and Joan T Frederick Honorable Madelyn S. Fudeman Dr. Steve and Elizabeth B. George Thad and Sara Gelsinger Georgeadis Setley James A. Gilmartin John A. Goldstan Honorable Arthur E. Grim Barry and Joanna Groebel Kenneth A. Hartman and Bernice Hoffer Hartman Christopher R. Heslop and Jill M. Scheidt Charles W. and Alisa R. Hobart Robert D. Katzenmoyer Chris G. and Ann B. Kraras Dr. Elliot G. and Doris P. Leisawitz LeRoy G. Levan Howard and Joann Lightman John (Chip) F. Lutz Lauren M. Marks Thomas F. and Heidi B. Masano Masano Architects Group, Inc. Larry W. Miller, Jr. J. Randall Miller Kenneth and Debra L. Millman John J. and Patricia J. Miravich Robert L. Moore
Frederick R. Mogel Kenneth C. Myers David and Joni Naugle Daniel C. and Jennifer L. Nevins Frederick M. and Nancy L. Nice Michael J. and Mary Jean Noon Omega Builders, Inc. Paul E. Oppenheimer and Joanne M. Judge Joseph and Dawn T. Palange Scott C. Painter Charles and Sharon Phillips Jesse L. Pleet James M. Polyak Precision Medical Products James S. Rothstein and Sharon M. Scullin Peter F. and Mary H. Schuchman Betsy Hawman Sprow James M. and Kathryn S. Snyder Honorable Mary Ann Ullman Terry D. and Patricia H. Weiler Honorable Paul M. Yatron Gary W. and Karen A. Rightmire William R. A. Rush John and Lisa Siciliano Sodomsky & Nigrini Carl and Deborah A. Sottosanti Edwin L. Stock Stanley J. and Paula M. Szortyka Honorable Eugene F. Wisniewski Dr. Gust Zogas and Doris Zogas
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Published on Aug 12, 2015
Published on Aug 12, 2015
The Berks Barrister is the official publication of the Berks County Bar Association. www.berksbar.org. The Berks Barrister is published by H...