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Eugene Orlando, Jr., President G. Thompson Bell, III, President-Elect Jesse L. Pleet, Vice President James m. smith, Secretary eden r. bucher, Treasurer tonya A. butler, Director andrew f. fick, Director karen h. cook, Director Alisa r. hobart, Director Jill Gehman Koestel, Director Elizabeth A. Magovern, Director Frederick K. Hatt, Past President Justin D. Bodor, President YLS
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DONALD f. SMITH, JR., Esquire, Executive Director andrea j. stamm, Lawyer Referral/Secretary Karen A. Loeper, Law Journal Secretary Paula j. ziegler, Communications Manager Eric J. Taylor, Law Journal Editor Roarke Aston, Law Journal Assistant Editor Matthew M. Mayer, Barrister Editor
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My Memories of Merion The Birthplace of America’s Frontiersman Deserves Our Support
Dictation Software...What’s Available? What’s Easy? What’s Free? A Giant of the Bar to be Honored by the Law Foundation for His Community Service Four BCBA Members Certified as Work Comp Specialists The Grandparents’ Advocate Women in Crisis 2013 Law Day Luncheon Annual Picnic & Golf Tournament
President’s Message: Contemplating the Story at the End of a Long
Summer Day........................................................................................................... 3
Book Review: “Schroder”........................................................................................ 14
Miscellaneous Docket ....................................................................................... 18 Restaurant Review: No need to go south of the border..........................................24 Crossword........................................................................................................... 25 Spotlight on New Members .............................................................................. 26
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President’s Message Eugene Orlando, Jr., Esquire, 2013 President
Contemplating the Story at the End of a Long Summer Day.
ave you ever thought about the process of habituation? Because we are all creatures of habit, we E IT are also subject to habituation. Why you might ask is this the topic of this issue’s n president’s message? Well, I originally e l lSTR c E ndwiintended THs to publish a portion of my five e a r volume treatise on the history of Western e gen civilization, but frankly that draft is not yet ready, and since Don Smith told me he could no longer delay publishing The Barrister, and since it’s summer and I sometimes spend my free time musing about such arcane things, I hope you will & allow me to share some random thoughts PJ Ge about it.
H GT S E P O
I came home late last week after a very long township meeting. As I tried to unwind with my favorite brew in hand, my mind began to drift into the abstract. Like a character in a William Faulkner novel, my thoughts drifted in “stream of consciousness” mode from issues great and small, like a pinball bouncing from bumper to bumper, thinking about a plethora of topics as they popped into my head. Then, my mind wandered to again think about our human capacity for habituation. Briefly, let me define terms. The word “habit” is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary (1969) as “an established trend of the mind or character...” a “...customary
manner or practice.” That dictionary also defines “habituate” as “...to accustom by frequent repetition or prolonged exposure.” Wikipedia defines “habituation” as “... the repeated presentation of any eliciting stimulus that results in the decline of the elicited behavior. This can be rooted from one becoming accustomed to a stimulus to such an extent, that one is simply less responsive or reactive to the stimulus.” The obvious difference between “habit” and “habituation” is that the former is developed by each individual, and the latter is “installed” by external forces or third parties, perhaps to achieve a particular goal. I’ve been thinking about the effects of this capacity of human nature ever since reading the book by Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free. Milton Mayer was an American newspaperman of both German and Jewish descent. After World War II when the horrors of Nazi atrocities became fully and widely known, many struggled to understand how ordinary people came to willingly cooperate with Hitler’s maniacal actions. Mayer felt compelled to try to understand this. He knew that ordinary German citizens were generally good, even religious people. How could they not only know about these persecutions, but willingly join the Nazi party and have been part of
such evil? He moved to Germany and lived among seven former Nazis for an extended time. They talked about their lives and their experiences before the war, during the rise of National Socialism, and their feelings and responses thereafter. It’s a fascinating and revealing book that cannot be summarized in a few lines. But a key insight Mayer gleaned is that those “Nazis” were as people, not any different from the men and women Mayer grew up with in the midwest America. His insight regarding the human capacity for habituation captured my thinking about this process in things great and small. All
Berks Barrister | 3
of the Nazis Mayer came to know after the war explained that small gradual changes led to other gradual changes, worse than the last one but only a little worse. These former Nazis revealed a gradual habituation in their lives to accepting things little by little but increasing by degrees. The failure to speak up early over little things led to continued silence as things worsened. Mayer quotes one of his Nazi friends describing another friend’s experience as German society changed under Hitler in the 1930s: ...when the Nazis attacked the communists he was a little uneasy, but after all, he was not a communist, and so he did nothing; and then they attacked the Socialists, and he was a little uneasier, but, still, he was not a socialist, and he did nothing; and then the schools, the press, the Jews, and so on, and he was always uneasier, but still he did nothing. And then they attacked the Church, and he was as Churchman, and he did something-but then it was too late.” (They Thought They Were Free, Milton Mayer copyright 1955, page 169).
Habituation is intrinsically neither good nor evil, although it certainly can be used either way. It’s simply a fact that human beings are susceptible to changing behavior through its use. Many good trial lawyers use an aspect of habituation in every trial presentation to help persuade the fact finder in part, by trying to set the dialogue, the choice of terms, the characterization of conduct, in a way that favors the client’s desired result and leads the fact finder to adopt the client’s premise. Looking at the bigger picture in current events, anyone who takes even a moment to think about it can see the efforts of many different groups both political and cultural regularly pursuing advantage through this process by media manipulation. In addition, policy makers in the media itself regularly further their slant on issues and mold acceptance of ideas through the embedding of their particular bias or the slanting or characterization of facts in ways designed to mold view-
4 | Berks Barrister
point over time. Because of my dad’s professional career working for our hometown newspaper, he always had a keen sense for spotting this. One of the truly great insights I learned from him was to be on the lookout for ‘editorial slant' in every news article and every report, and especially in “entertainment.” Although I won’t delve into specifics, those with eyes to see and ears to hear can certainly see this process at work in today’s media. And, let me clearly emphasize that Nazi Germany has absolutely nothing to do with constitutional law. But, as I cracked my second beer that evening I thought I saw a form of habituation at work in connection with today’s dialogue, in contrast to some early commentary about the First Amendment that I recently encountered. Though I’m no constitutional scholar, I do enjoy reading about the founding fathers and the history and development of our constitution. Recently I was looking for some information on early interpretations of the First Amendment and came across Justice Joseph Story’s original Commentaries. As most of you know, Justice Joseph Story was a Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1811 to 1845. Some scholars say his influence on the development of American law would be hard to overstate. But, as influential as he was in early judicial decisions, he was also widely known as a prolific writer and in his day and until modern times he was recognized as a constitutional commentator without equal. Justice Story’s seminal work on the constitution was a three-volume
set published between 1828 and 1833 entitled, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States. Many considered Story’s treatise the authority on understanding and interpreting the Constitution, at least until modern times. Whatever relevance it may have today in constitutional jurisprudence, it certainly remains a window on what those closest to the authors of the constitution understood about its meaning and interpretation. Regardless of your own views on this issue, I think you will agree that Story’s analysis stands in stark contrast to today’s parlance. Beginning at section 1865, he writes: Indeed, the right of a society or government to interfere in matters of religion will hardly be contested by any persons who believe that piety, religion, and morality are intimately connected with the well-being of the state, and indispensable to the administration of civil justice. The promulgation of the great doctrines of religion, the being, and attributes, and Providence of one Almighty God; the responsibility to him for all our actions, founded upon moral freedom and accountability; a future state of rewards and punishments; the cultivation of all the personal, social, and benevolent of virtues;these never can be a matter of indifference in any well ordered community. It is, indeed, difficult to conceive how any civilized society can well exist without them. And at all events, it is impossible for those who believe
in the truth of Christianity as a divine revelation to doubt that it is the special duty of government to foster and encourage it among all the citizens and subjects. Section 1866. The real difficulty lies in ascertaining the limits to which government may rightfully go into fostering and encouraging religion”... Section 1870. But the duty of supporting religion, and especially the Christian religion, is very different from the right to force the consciences of other men or to punish them for worshiping God in the manner which they believe their accountability to him requires... Section 1871. The real object of the amendment was not to countenance, much less advance, Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects, and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment which should give to a hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national
government. It thus cut off the means of religious persecution (the vice and test of former ages), and the subversion of the rights of conscience in matters of religion which had been trampled upon almost from the days of the apostles to the present age... Section 1879. It was under a solemn consciousness of the dangers from a ecclesiastical ambition, the bigotry of spiritual pride, and the intolerance of sects, thus exemplified in our domestic as well as in foreign annals, that it was deemed advisable to exclude from the national government all power to act upon the subject.” Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States Vol. III, p.729-731 (1833). Where is there even a hint of the impermeable “wall of separation between church and state” which is a phrase one hears today in every first amendment discussion? That phrase originates from
30 + Year Experie s nce
a letter written by our third president Thomas Jefferson (who was in France as our French ambassador when the constitution was written) to the Danbury Baptists in 1801. The phrase first entered American judicial decisions in the 1947 case of Everson v. Board of Education 330 U.S. 1 (1947) and has been habitually repeated in articles, cases, and commentaries ever since as the talisman for the meaning and the application of the first phrase of our First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...” This is not an argument for a return to Justice Story’s understanding of the First Amendment, but only a very small example of powerful change through long term habituation as seen through the eyes of a tired lawyer at the end of a long summer day, wondering about the journey from then to now.
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MY MEMORIES OF MERION By Francis M. Mulligan, Esquire
The media craze leading up to the U.S. Open at Merion earlier this summer brought back memories of Merion–not all pleasant memories.
n 1953 when I arrived at Merion through the basement door of the caddy shack, the members still talked about Ben Hogan’s incredible one iron tee shot on what should have been his final hole of the 1950 Open. I prayed that none of the members I caddied for took anything but a driver to the 18th tee. If one of my Hogan wannabes screwed up that tee shot, I’d have to carry his stuffed golf bag down into the valley floor below. Details of Hogan’s incredible shot went in one ear and out the other. It was the $20 to $24 dollars I could make on a good weekend that interested me. I had no interest in golf. If golf made the members the way they were, I wanted to stick with basketball. Merion remains
6 | Berks Barrister
the snobbiest place I have ever been. I felt more welcome in the Kremlin as an adult than at Merion as a teenage caddy. Sucking it up, however, for some caddies had its rewards.
Unlike today, in 1950 the tour professionals did not travel with caddies whose celebrity status overshadows many of the current professional golfers. They picked up their caddies at the golf courses they played. One young man, a few years my senior, parleyed his caddying experience at the U.S. Open into the presidency of Manufacturers Insurance Company. Fred Anton, III caddied for Lawson Little at the 1950 U.S. Open because Norman Winterbottom, the full- time Merion caddy assigned to
Francis M. Mulligan, Esquire
Little, (anxious to spend his 10% of the winnings)insisted Lawson Little, who played only irons at that stage of his career,
buy a driver and a three wood to keep range instructor from Upper Darby, Bob Home Improvement &DeHaven, Maintenance up with the long distance hitters who whoTips pounded the ball with the qualified to play in the U.S. Open. to draw best them.than moreofpower
intended to make caddies for golf 's handicapped miserable.
Caddies, unlike the undersigned, who of the house’s George Fazio, described by a member complained, always mentioned the failure Little, the 1940 U.S. Open winner, the design fusefrom the wrong side of “a littlethe Dago of the No. 6 greatest course in America settled the dispute with a trip to the electricalassystem thetracks,” breakermade trips.the cut and earned far to delay the turn around the clubhouse caddy shack. He made an oft quoted blows orthe you until the 13th hole. Hiking the long last moreItinlets a successful second career as a statement: “Give me the stupidest kidThis is good. know there is a problem golf course designer. The member, a man 5 holes felt like another 9 holes. It was you got who can keep his mouth shut.” with a nicked extension all designed to torture the anonymous supported by his sister’s husband, meant Gibby, the assistant, who knew the caddies cord or broken vacuum caddies from Philadelphia’s row house theon remark as a compliment to instruct the better than Joe Markey, his boss, yelledcleaner. If, the other society. caddies at the annual Christmas Dinner downstairs, “Fred Anton!” Smiling Fred hand, it happens frequently, how we too could rise above our station Anton, a fourteen-year-old, turned hisyou are trying to draw more We had to memorize the members’ the mastery the system will of the fairways. closed mouth stupidity into a numberpower than through impressive and not so impressive Main allow. You will need to get of profitable activities. Unlike his caddy, Line names, but they called us “caddy,” if Unfortunately, for the caddies, the your panel upgraded and/ Lawson Little did not make the cut. Little we were lucky. I learned that lesson early members did not play like the pros. As a was not the only one who did not. or circuits added or existing in my caddying career. A member who hit matterout of fact, circuits broken intomost two of them just played. a grounder to 3rd on the first tee yelled The longtime pro at Merion, Fred or more. But, unlike children, playing did not Malsnee specializes in stone counter residential/ that, to out my name. I wastops, so impressed Austin, crossed the Atlantic and flamed-Unlessmake happy. I shared their misery. usingthem a dedicated commercial tile and hardwoods assist him, I walked over to him on the out before the weekend. He did not make I hated zigzaging circuit (meaning an outlet across the fairway from Largest selection of granite counter tops and tile in Berks tee with his stuffed golf bag. His response: the cut but found a better gig. With his rough the opposite side rough on that has aone wire that to goes Serving Berks and surrounding counties for “What the hell are you doing? Get back very polished upper class British accent, all the way the theback par to 5 ascending grade hole No. 2. My over 75 years there.” My fellow caddies, waiting with panel withthe nothing onMerion. it) for appliances and window air geologists, more times he became head else pro at amateur member conditioners, youanwill likely your electrical system Austin never hit errant teeovertax shot again. than not, without the benefit of a dowsing their duffers to tee off, had a good laugh. causing breaker to trip. When this only thing It seems that my last name is famous for In all thethe years I caddied at Merion, I happens, rod,the twitched when water came malsnee.com into protecting a cartoon character, and the Irish version never saw Fred Austin hit a golf ball. If a view. They seldom missed an opportunity 1106 Stinson Dr. / Leesport, PA your life and of Southern Comfort also has a golf member wanted to play a round with the to drown a golf ball 610.916.7621 / firstname.lastname@example.org preventing a in the universal pro, Merion employed a former driving solvent.burned The genius Continued on page 15 out who designed Merion
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The Birthplace of America’s Frontiersman Deserves Our Support By Julie J. Marburger, Esquire
ucked in the countryside off Route 422 in Birdsboro lays 579 pristine acres of the Daniel Boone Homestead. The site gets it name from the king of all adventurers and idol of many boyhood dreams, Daniel Boone. Squire Boone, Daniel’s father, moved his family to the Oley Valley in 1730, purchasing 257 acres of land and building a one-room log cabin and spring cellar. Four years later, Daniel was born on the site and lived there until moving to North Carolina in 1750 when Squire was “read out of meeting.” Two of Squire’s children had married outside of the Quaker faith, resulting in disciplinary action from the local Friends’ meeting at Exeter. In fact, Squire Boone, a former yeoman, was “shunned” for the actions of his children, and only his wife Sarah was able to request a certificate to transfer to another Meeting. The Homestead was then sold to William Maugridge. In 1752, Berks County was established and Maugridge was appointed one of the county’s first judges—a post he held until his death. From the time of his appointment, he attached “Esquire” to his name. Maugridge was part of a small group of literate Englishmen who held much of the political power in the county at that time. In addition to hearing court cases, Maugridge was responsible for locating land for a new county courthouse, and during the French and Indian War, he signed letters (along with Conrad Weiser) requesting military aid from the Province for the county—then subjected to Indian raids.
soon sold to John DeTurk (1770). DeTurk’s family had settled in the Oley Valley as early as 1712—one of the earliest European settlers in the area. The DeTurks were of French Huguenot (Protestant) descent , having fled to Germany in the early 1600s because of religious persecution in France.
The third family to leave a lasting mark on the site was the DeTurk family. After Maugridge’s death in 1766, the property was
One of the first buildings constructed on the site after the state acquisition was the Wayside Lodge. This structure was
8 | Berks Barrister
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania acquired the property of the Daniel Boone Homestead in early 1937 as a shrine to American youth. In November 1938, the Pennsylvania Historical Commission, now the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), assumed management of the land and dedicated the site as a “Museum of the Pennsylvania Pioneer.”
built in the early 1940s by the National Youth Administration to provide overnight accommodations for youth groups to “rough it”- as Daniel Boone had done on his many excursions. It is a log building that resembles a colonial tavern that could have been found along roads between towns. Other areas of the site have been specifically developed to benefit visitors. The Visitor Center, a log building constructed in the 1950s and repaired in 2004, welcomes the guests to the site and provides a home for the book store, an ever popular stop for kids (including those young at heart) to view and purchase furs, 18th century toys and books. Information on tours of the Boone House and a guide to the property, in addition to various other pieces of literature, may be obtained at the Visitor Center. Recently, a new exhibit opened in the Visitor Center highlighting myths surrounding Daniel Boone. For example, did you know Boone did NOT wear a coonskin cap? In addition, there are three separate picnic areas, Daniel Boone Lake, walking and equestrian trails, for the visitors’ enjoyment. Today, several historic buildings are also part of the grounds. The Boone House is the two-story stone structure that was built on the site of Squire Boone’s log house. The Blacksmith shop, which stands north of the Boone House, is an eighteenth century building similar to the shop that Squire Boone had on this property. The Blacksmith Shop building was moved to the site in 1947 from Amityville and the equipment came from the Spohn blacksmith shop in the Oley Valley. John DeTurk or his family constructed the Homestead Barn in the early nineteenth century. Overlooking the historic area is the Bertolet Log House and Bake house, both moved to the site in 1967. The Bertolet Sawmill (moved to the site in 1972) and the DeTurk family cemetery are located south of the Boone House. The Friends of the Daniel Boone Homestead (FDBH), a 501(c)(3), was formed and incorporated in 1989 as a support organization for PHMC at the Homestead. The FDBH were responsible for funding special events, programs, and interns, as well as providing volunteers for events and programs. In 2009, it was announced that PHMC intended to close the Homestead, citing budgetary reasons for the decision. Two state maintenance employees would remain, however, all museum staff were permanently furloughed or transferred. Rather than
see the site close, the FDBH decided to hire professional staff to facilitate historic site operations. In June 2011, the FDBH and the PHMC signed a management agreement outlining each group’s responsibilities pertaining to the site. Today, the FDBH administers the historical operations of the Homestead, offering yearlong educational programming, special events and recreational opportunities to Berks County residents and visitors. These range from Charter Day, a day where the site is open to all for free in honor of William Penn's 1681 Charter from King Charles II, to Children’s Day (which as the name indicates is a special event geared toward children), to Evening on the Green, one of two “after hours” events. In addition, families can celebrate Easter, Fourth of July or Christmas at the Homestead. Teachers can bring school groups during Hands on History Days or visitors from around the world can visit the Homestead during regular business hours to get a tour of the site and the house. As is common with many non-profits, the FDBH has had to resort to resourceful ways to maintain the site. Fundraising has become a key component of the FDBH’s bags of tricks. In the 2011 fiscal year, the FDBH raised no revenue through fundraising. This past fiscal year, through diligent effort and a lot of begging, the FDBH increased their fundraising income to over $6,000. The FDBH added a golf tournament, a 5k (in which, Daniel C. Nevins, Esq., a member of the Berks Bar Association, won 3rd in his age group this past April), an Applebee’s Breakfast and Boscov’s Friends Helping Friends to boost their income. Unfortunately, the site still operated at a loss for the year. Grand plans loom in the horizon for the Homestead. The FDBH plan to host all of the same fundraisers (mark your calendars for the Homestead Open golf tournament at Green Acres on September 21, 2013!) and add a beer festival in April 2014. Fingers are crossed that Hillbilly Shakespeare, fronted by Berks Bar Association member Matthew Thren, Esq., will infuse the historic site with a dash of rock and roll. The FDBH are always looking to add a few esquires to the list of sponsors and will throw in a t-shirt with your firm’s name on the back or other advertising to sweeten the bargain. The FDBH hosted Battles at Boone in August featuring a Revolutionary War reenactment. Many other special events are in the works for the fall. Special thanks to Amanda Machik, Museum Director, for her help in writing this article. Background information came from the Friends of the Daniel Boone Homestead’s Interpretative Manual. For more information on the Daniel Boone Homestead or the Friends of the Daniel Boone Homestead visit the website at danielboonehomestead.org, friend the Homestead on Facebook, follow on Twitter, email at email@example.com OR stop by. Editor’s Note: Ms. Marburger is an associate with Ebner, Nevins & McAllister, LLC, and sits on the Pottstown Historic Architecture Review Board as well as the board of directors for the Daniel Boone Homestead. She has a master’s degree from the University of Georgia in Historic Preservation.
Berks Barrister | 9
Dictation SOFTWARE What’s Available? What’s Easy? What’s Free?
At a recent meeting of the Berks County Bar Association’s Technology Committee, members discussed the various options that are available for dictating documents. Here three members share their thoughts and recommendations below. time-intensive process for assistants to find the specific job that needed immediate processing. With BigHand for iPhone, I am able to submit work throughout the day and my assistant can address urgent matters immediately, decreasing turnaround time. Most importantly, I can track the status of all submitted work instantly within the BigHand app. The technology has ultimately helped my firm streamline the dictation and document production process and eliminated the expensive, less reliable analog equipment.
Jeffrey A. Franklin I used to have a big, expensive Dictaphone® tape recorder for dictation. Dictaphone is now gone (part of Nuance Communications, Dragon) as are the tapes and recorders. With the approaching extinction of analog tapes, firms are increasingly moving to digital dictation systems that combine sophisticated workflow capabilities and smartphone dictation application (“apps”). My firm purchased BigHand, a leading dictation and voice productivity provider that has over 170,000 users worldwide. With BigHand, I can now dictate and submit work from anywhere, directly from my iPhone.® Previously, tapes would need to be physically delivered to the office, delaying the turnaround of documents. Additionally, higher priority work would be embedded within a tape creating a
10 | Berks Barrister
There are other ways attorneys are using BigHand to be more productive while on the move or in the office. It’s no longer for just traditional dictation. Lawyers are using BigHand to offload administrative tasks that can eat up a lot of your time.
You can use BigHand to:
Record time and billing for entry by support staff Submit instructions (e.g., book travel, meetings, generate template letters) Capture data via the BigHand photo feature (e.g., new client info, receipt expenses, business cards) Record meetings and depositions for future transcription All of these submissions can be tracked instantly from the BigHand app, something not done via email or voicemail.
On April 15, 2013, BigHand released a “Professional” hosted version of their software for smaller firms. Cost per a Professional license is $240 per year ($20 a month) and is limited to 20 users.
Benefits of the new Professional Edition include:
Quick and easy to implement (no IT staff required) No server required (cloud based means lower costs) Removes the cost of on-site implementation services Compatible with any iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile device/operating system
Compatible with any professional recording hardware currently on the market (including Philips, Olympus, and Grundig)
Multiple work-sharing options, live progress updates and multi- step document workflow High data security standards with 256-bit AES file encryption and ISO 27001 certification It is simple, secure, and reliable The attorney’s smart phone looks like this:
You can add photos or files for context, but it is not required. You will want a foot pedal for your assistant to transcribe efficiently, which can be purchased via BigHand. No other special hardware is needed. Free alternatives? I recommend Dragon Dictation Free (Nuance Communications).
to recognize words correctly. I admit the software struggles to recognize proper names. As a result, I tend to dictate most portions of the software and revert to the keyboard to type things the software does not handle as well. The primary benefits of the software are it is low-cost and its ability to integrate with other software like Microsoft Word and Outlook. Given that other digital dictation equipment is much more expensive and does not integrate with other software, the Dragon software is a very cost-effective alternative, even if you find it somewhat quirky.
your dictation files for increased data accuracy. The display shows all recording functions and the main interface allows the user to record and navigate within the recordings. Additionally, users can prioritize recordings to find a keyword and a category, or simply edit past recordings. The app also has an express mode which allows you to shake, record, and send with just a few shakes of the wrist. Philips recorder for smartphones turns your smartphone into a wireless digital dictation recorder. Record dictation at home, in the office, on a plane, or anywhere you need to record and send voice files. The ability to send dictation files through wireless transfer decreases turnaround time and dramatically increases personal productivity.
William R. Blumer I have been using Dragonâ€™s NaturallySpeaking software for the last 18 months in lieu of traditional dictation equipment. Overall, I have been pleased with the software. However, I have not noticed the significant increase in productivity that Dragon promises in its marketing materials. There is some improvement in productivity but not as much as I had hoped. When I use the software to dictate short emails and correspondence, it clearly saves time. In handling documents and long correspondence, I have to spend a fair amount of time proofreading Dragon's work product to catch speech recognition errors. So, while I may be able to create a draft faster using the software, the additional proofreading time certainly reduces productivity gains.
There is a knack to dictating with the software that takes a little time to master. However, my investment of time learning the software was relatively small. Other people in my office, however, felt it was too difficult to use when they tried it out. Some felt the software could not keep up with the speed of their dictation while others had difficulty getting the software
Charles Rick Philips Recorder for Smartphones (iOS, Android, and Blackberry compatible) is an efficient way to meet your transcription needs. Recording, editing, and sending dictation files from your smartphone offers mobile flexibility and reduces document turnaround times. The smartphone software is easy to use, has touchscreen controls for intuitive operation, includes file encryption for maximum security, and offers an express recorder mode. The software is location-independent, making it possible to send your dictation files anywhere in the world. It is a snap to use. The simple click of a red button starts and stops dictation while the familiar arrow keys of any remote control allow for rewinding and fast-forward features. There is a flag in the upper left corner for processing urgent jobs first. You can also attach photos directly to
The files can be sent across a network or emailed to anyone in an audible format. With the Philips recorder for smartphones, you can send recordings through this smartphone app via email, FTP or directly to your company network. The smartphone app also gives customers a choice of either hosting their own server or taking advantage of the Philips dictation hub service which provides a mobile server hosted by Philips. To avoid people accidentally getting access to your audio files, the highly secure Philips recorder for smartphones optionally offers the capability of SSL encryption of the dictation files. The SpeechExec Pro Dictation software for transcription services is approximately $340.00. The smartphone dictation app for the phone is $149.00 per phone, less discounts for multiple license purchases. I certainly believe everyone should give it a try.
Berks Barrister | 11
Boys and Girls Club. He is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of The Reading Hospital and Medical Center and the Berks County Community Foundation. Through his involvement with the Greater Berks Development Fund and the Berks Community Foundation, Mr. Kline was instrumental in the creation and development of the Sovereign Center and the Sovereign Performing Arts Center. He is a graduate of Dickinson College and the Dickinson School of Law. For over 20 years, Mr. Kline was a member of the Board of Trustees of Dickinson College and served as its Chair for eight years. He also served for more than 25 years as a member of the Board of Trustees—and then Board of Governors—of The Dickinson School of Law of The Pennsylvania State University. He is a past Chair of Stevens & Lee, a past president of the Berks County Bar Association and a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. “Sid was one of the giants of our bar. He earned the respect of his clients as well as his fellow attorneys. His ethics, integrity and community service remain a model for all of us to emulate,” says Terry D. Weiler, immediate past president of the Law Foundation of Berks County and who first proposed the idea for the Award.
A Giant of the Bar to be Honored by the Law Foundation for His Community Service
he Law Foundation of Berks County is pleased to announce it has established the Sidney D. Kline, Jr. Award for Outstanding Community Service to honor a person who has made a difference in the Berks community. For its inaugural presentation, the Award will be given to its namesake, Sidney D. Kline, Jr., 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 6, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Wyomissing, PA. Mr. Kline epitomizes outstanding community service. He has been highly active in the Reading and Berks County communities, serving on numerous charitable and community development organization boards, including the Berks County United Way, the Richard J. Caron Foundation and the Olivet
12 | Berks Barrister
Invitations to the December 6th luncheon will be sent in early fall.
International Reputation Personal School & College Counseling Assessment Enrichment Placement i nformed e ducational
Sarah Reese, Director
informededucationalsolutions.com 610.670.7441 / Carter Reese, Director
Federal Law Day The Berks County Bar Association helped host a group of Reading High students visiting the Federal District Court in celebration of Law Day 2013. They participated in a program highlighting Gideon v. Wainwright, which was presided over by now Federal District Judges Jeffrey L. Schmehl and F. Felipe Restrepo.
Four BCBA Members Certified As Work Comp Specialists
n 2012, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted accreditation to the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Law Section to serve as a certifying organization in the area of workers’ compensation law. It was the first bar association entity in Pennsylvania to receive such approval as a certifying organization.
Those practitioners seeking certification had to take a four-hour examination that included 100 multiple-choice questions (each worth one point) and two essays (each worth 10 points). Passage of the exam required a score of at least 80 points. In addition, each applicant had to document that he or she is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, is actively engaged in the practice of law for a minimum of five years, devotes a minimum of 50 percent of his or her practice to the specialty field of workers’ compensation and participates in Mandatory Continuing Legal Education in work comp and related fields.
Elizabethanne D. McMunigal
Adam K. Levin
Thomas A. Rothermel
Karl Peter Voigt IV
155 attorneys took the examination, and the passage rate was 96.2 percent. Among those who have now been certified as specialists in the practice of workers’ compensation law are four members of the Berks County Bar Association: Adam K. Levin, Elizabethanne D. McMunigal, Thomas A. Rothermel and Karl Peter Voigt IV. Adam and Tom serve as Co-Chairs of the Berks Bar’s Workers’ Compensation Section. Certification is for five years.
Berks Barrister | 13
Schroder By Amity Gaige
Reviewed By Susan E. B. Frankowski, Esquire
he novel Schroder is a poignant story of love, marriage, the end of a marriage and the relationship between a young child and her father, all set against the intriguing backdrop of an assumed identity. It is the third novel written by Amity Gaige, daughter of Austra Gaige and the late Frederick H. Gaige, both wellknown and widely respected members of our community. Schroder was dedicated by Amity Gaige to her father, and interestingly enough is the story of a husband and father that is written by a woman and told through the eyes of a man.
Upon the demise of a marriage, and in the midst of a painful custody battle, a child custody evaluation is ordered. In the presence of the custody evaluator, at a playground in a park, a moment of benign inattention by the father allows the child to get herself in a potentially dangerous situation by climbing a tree. No harm actually comes to the child, but a report is made by the custody evaluator to Children Services. The ultimate result is an Order requiring supervised visitation which, while in place, eviscerates the relationship between the child and her father.
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This incident will strike a chord with any family law practitioner who has ever heard a parent complain that, because of a situation which arises in which there is the potential for harm to a child during visitation, the other parent is completely and utterly lacking in the ability to safely and properly parent and supervise the child. The parent will further argue that this is an urgent matter requiring immediate intervention by the court. In response to this, of course, the other parent says that the incident complained of was a harmless occurrence, the likes of which is bound to happen in the course of raising any child, and is obviously as meaningless and inconsequential as a skinned knee, if that.
Upon being released from the bonds of supervised visitation, the father sets out on a journey with the child, which is at first a mostly innocent celebration of the relationship between a father and his daughter. Reality hits home, however, when their faces flash across a television screen during a news report, and an odyssey then begins. The reader never does find out what happens at the fatherâ€™s trial on charges of kidnapping, etc., but the story is riveting
and tragic regardless of the outcome in court.
Schroder is beautifully written by Amity Gaige and needs to be digested slowly for full effect but is eminently readable and will be of interest to anyone who has ever been the parent of a young child or in love, or an attorney representing parties in a custody dispute. I highly recommend it.
Susan E. B. Frankowski, Esquire
Editorâ€™s Note: Ms. Frankowski is a solo practitioner in Wyomissing, and her practice includes family law.
Merion...continued from page 7
connection dear to hackers the world over.
The names of the Main Line aristocrats continued being a problem. Gibby, not a master of elocution, said the name once and the caddy better remember it or he would be sent downstairs without bags to carry. “Chasin Balls” caused me a big problem. It did not sound like a name I heard before. You had to append Mr. or Mrs. when you asked for the bags in the pro shop. The boys in the pro shop never forgot the dumb kid who asked for Mr. Chasin Balls’ golf bag. How did I know that Merion’s East Course did not have a driving range, and that the members hit balls onto a grass field adjacent to the first tee? The caddy then collected the golf balls [chasing balls] after the member sprayed them in the grass field. As the years went by, I, who did not make the high school varsity basketball team, gathered sympathy for my high school, college and post graduate income providers. A few of them, like J. Howard Pew, III, I admired not for his stake in Sun Oil/Sunoco but for wearing charcoal gray golf pants. The Presbyterian Sunday School teacher, the only member with a
chauffeur, played with his hacker friends from Haverford College in recycled suit pants and button down white shirts.
Unlike Augusta, ladies played at Merion’s West Course. A few like Jackie Smith, who embarrassed me with the muscles in her arms, and who could out hit most of the men, played from the men’s tees on the East Course. There was also an older very dignified woman I caddied for on a pleasant summer afternoon on the East Course. Gibby called her Mrs. Harrison Flippin. At Merion, married women were called by their husband's name.
Her bag was not stuffed. She played from the seldom used East Course Ladies Tees. I thought judging by her size and her age that it would be a long afternoon. I've made other mistakes in life, like telling Judy Kay Newton’s brother that she should not change her stage name to “Juice.” Mrs. Harrison Flippin hit every shot straight and followed up with impressive approach shots. Unlike the men of Merion, the woman could putt. It took her two straight shots on a par 3 water hole to get on the green, and she
drained a 10 foot putt for par.
Fifteen years later, I could not believe my eyes when I saw Mrs. Harrison Flippin walking on Penn Street. I stopped to tell her how much I enjoyed caddying one time for her. I think it was the only time I enjoyed caddying.
I started playing at Galen Hall at the bar association picnic. My best tee shot of the day, a line drive, landed in the golf cart between two thirds of the law firm that had recently hired me. I missed hitting Ryan and McConaghy, of Ryan, Russell & McConaghy by an inch. I put golf on hold after the picnic but, I fell into the trap well into middle-age. I developed all the shots the members had-duck hook, slice, ground ball, pop-up, O.B., etc. I now understand why so many golfers drink. My best scores are behind me. Now, my handicap is right up there with the members I caddied for. Editor’s Note Mr. Mulligan is a past president of the Berks County Bar Association and a solo practitioner. Without his golf handicap, at this year’s BCBA Golf Tournament, Mr. Mulligan placed first in the second flight and recorded the longest drive. Rumor has it that he never took a mulligan!
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Berks Barrister | 15
Pro Bono Profile
THE GRANDPARENTS’ ADVOCATE By Donald F. Smith,Jr., Esquire
Saylor, writing for the majority, concluded: “Given the statute’s focus on protecting the child upon the breakdown of a marriage, and the limited circumstances in which it applies, that are directed toward promoting the welfare of the child and limiting the intrusion upon the parent, we find that the classification under Section 5312 is valid, upon the application of strict scrutiny.” Schmehl v. Wegelin, 592 Pa. 581, 594, 927 A.2d 183, 190 (2007).
The reversal resulted in her receiving front page coverage in The Legal Intelligencer. “Pretty good for a new attorney.” But there was to be no resting on her laurels. The losing side then petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari. Preparing the answer to the petition was incredibly stressful. Complying with the High Court’s technical pleading rules was quite a challenge. “The printer seemed to be calling every day with questions” as her work was being proofread. In the end, she succeeded when SCOTUS refused to entertain the appeal.
hen represented by Sharon L. Gray, grandparents have more than an attorney by their side. They have a passionate advocate.
Due in large part to the passion she displays in all that she does, Sharon Gray is being honored with the 2013 Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Award for Berks County. The presentation will be made on October 23 during the local Bar’s Pro Bono Thank You Celebration luncheon at The Abraham Lincoln—A Wyndham Historic Hotel.
In one of her first cases as a new attorney, Sharon had petitioned on behalf of her clients to enjoy visitation with their grandchild for one weekend per month where the parents of the child were divorced. The petition was filed under Section 5312 of the Domestic Relations Code that enables grandparents to seek partial custody or visitation of their grandchild when the child’s parents are divorced, engaged in divorce proceedings or have been separated for six months or more.
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Judge Scott D. Keller held that Section 5312 violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution and denied her petition. He reasoned that there was “no compelling governmental interest for classifying married parents or parents residing together differently than separated or divorced parents, when the government is clearly interfering with the parent’s fundamental right to care, custody and control of their children.” Schmehl v. Wegelin, 97 Berks L. J. 393, 397, 76 D & C 4th 569, 576 (2005). “I felt horrible.” Sharon’s father had died when she was young. Her maternal grandparents became a big part of her life and helped raise her. “I think grandparents are very important people.” Following entry of Judge Keller’s order, Sharon took a direct appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Having to handle such an appeal so early in her career was not easy, but she convinced the Court by a narrow margin, and Judge Keller was reversed. As Justice Thomas G.
Sharon grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts, but she and her immediate family moved to Berks County in time for her to start her senior year at Wilson High School. Following graduation, she worked in the outlets and went to Reading Area Community College, paying her own way. Initially, her degree was in liberal arts but continued her studies at RACC in nursing. On successfully becoming a registered nurse, she matriculated at Kutztown University and went year around for the next two years to attain a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing but never took a break from employment. After completing her studies at RACC to become a RN, Sharon was hired by Spruce Manor in West Reading and named nursing supervisor for the second shift. However, her work duties never ended at 11:00 pm. Instead, she was not able to return home until between 1:00 and 2:00 am. Yet she was attending classes at Kutztown. Burning the candle at both ends “was rough.” She began working at the Highlands because they were willing to work around her schedule. Once she attained her Kutztown degree, she continued to work fulltime at the Highlands but also on a per diem basis at Spruce Manor.
After working twelve years as a nurse, Sharon looked for challenges beyond nursing, and along the way, having witnessed “a lot of injustice,” she became a fulltime student at Widener University School
of Law, commuting to Harrisburg while working 12-hour shifts on the weekend as an occupational nurse at Lucent.
Upon earning her Juris Doctor, she drafted a business plan and set up a solo practice, with the intention of developing a custody and criminal defense practice. To ease into the practice, for the first three years she worked the night shift as a nurse in the Highlands. To this day, her nursing license continues to be current, but she has not worked in any nursing capacity for the past five years. It is clear Sharon Gray is not afraid of hard work and putting in long hours. At the same time, though, she is not reluctant to put in hours for no compensation.
“It was so adorable. I could tell he really treasured this child, and I said, ‘I have to win this case!’”
“This past year, Sharon has performed an incredible number of pro bono hours,” says Carrie Bowmaster, manager of the MidPenn Legal Services office in Reading and the person who nominated her for the PBA Award. “She just doesn’t put in the hours, she is passionate on behalf of her clients.” Why so much pro bono? “I feel lucky, proud, and privileged to be an attorney, and so I feel compelled to help people.” Most of her pro bono cases involve custody disputes, and she is not reluctant to go to trial on behalf of the indigent. When asked for her favorite pro bono matter, she cited the case of the father, a former heroin addict who had successfully completed rehab and now was seeking full custody of his toddler-son. However, the father was living in Florida. Therefore, Sharon asked that he provide her with pictures of his home. Later, the packet of pictures arrived in the mail and, as she reviewed them, the not “usually sappy” Sharon Gray began to cry. The pictures
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showed a beautiful home, the child’s room with lions painted on the walls, boy’s clothes hanging neatly in the closet and little shoes all lined up. “It was so adorable. I could tell he really treasured this child, and I said, ‘I have to win this case!’” The custody trial was before Judge Mary Ann Ullman. Testimony from the grandmother and live-in girlfriend went well, as did the showing of a video of a family gathering that demonstrated the level of support the father had from his family. However, a potential fatal blow came along when the drug testing of the former
addict returned with a positive result. Not long before the trial had commenced, the father was treated in the emergency room following a work-related back injury. The treatment included a shot of Demerol. While the trial progressed, Sharon called the Florida hospital who then faxed to her the record, documenting the nature of the drug administered. Custody was awarded to the father. The family was so grateful that they gave Sharon a pair of earrings. Passion backed by preparation prevails!
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The Berks County Estate Planning Council recently elected Law Foundation of Berks County trustee, Frances A. Aitken, president, and Eric J. Fabrizio of Bingaman Hess as vice president.
Past President of the BCBA and Law Foundation of Berks County, Heidi B. Masano, has been renamed chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Judicial Independence Committee, which protects the integrity of the court system and promotes the fair administration of justice.
Michael J. Cammarano, Jr. and his wife, Erin, had a daughter, Abigail, on June 10, 2013. From Facebook we learned that, during Erin’s contractions, Mike asked his wife if he should “boil water or something?” Her response: “Only if you throw it on yourself.”
Receiving yet another deserved honor for helping others, C. Thomas Work, chair of the estates and trusts practice group at Stevens & Lee, was inducted into the Hamburg School District’s inaugural Alumni Academic Hall of Fame.
Amy B. Good, Co-Chair of the BCBA’s Bankruptcy Section, has been doing a lot of running this year, more than 540 miles on foot since January 1. She placed first in her age group in the “Run for Corey 5K” which raises funds for the playground at Alsace Park in memory of Corey Stump who died at 8 years of age. In June she did the TriRock Philadelphia Sprint Triathlon, and the 200 mile Ragnar Relay in Ontario, Canada. Whew!
Taking top honors for the individual raising the most pledges in June’s Walk A Mile In Her Shoes® held by Berks Women in Crisis was Masano Bradley’s James “Papa Duck” Gavin, who is a BWIC board member. How long did it take for the blisters to heal, Jim? On July 3, 2013 Terrie and Eric J. Taylor welcomed Saoirse Gail into this world. Her first name is pronounced “seer” (rhymes with beer) + “sha.” It is Gaelic, meaning “liberty” or “freedom.” Earlier this spring, Eric was elected to the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Berks County. Eric is an Assistant Public Defender and Editor of the Berks County Law Journal.
Matthew J. Crème, Jr., a BCBA associate member whom we see more often than many regular members, has been appointed chair of the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Now that Matt is no longer Immediate Past President of the Pennsylvania Bar Association he needed something to fill his plate.
BCBA’s Executive Director Donald F. Smith, Jr. was elected in May to the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, and then in June he was elected vice president of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the highest position a lay person may hold in the synod.
Jill E. Nagy has been selected by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute to chair its Diversity Committee. She is a member of the PBA’s Board and is with Summers Nagy Law Offices. Publishing his first novel is Michael J. Restrepo. Consensual Crime will be reviewed in the next issue of The Berks Barrister.
Charles A. Haddad was recently elected to the Berks County Community Foundation’s Board of Directors. He joins fellow BCBA members Thomas D. Leidy, Latisha Bernard Schuenemann, Jay R. Wagner and J. William Widing, III.
Berks Barrister | 19
each year and this staggering number does not include those women who are emotionally abused, or those who do not speak up.4 While men can also be victims of domestic violence, typically at the hands of another male family member, the majority of victims are females who are being victimized by intimate partners. Nearly 85% of the casualties and 86% of the incidents reported last year were against women.
These acts of violence occur all over the country, including right here at home, and across all racial, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. Pennsylvania has the largest rural population in the nation, and although half of the state’s domestic violence programs serve rural areas like Berks County, public awareness in this area remains very low. This lack of recognition and attention to the problem only serves to further isolate the victims and inhibit change.5
Last year the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania reported 141 domestic-violence related deaths. Of those, 110 were victims of abuse, the remaining casualties were perpetrators. Six of these deaths, including an 11-year-old girl, occurred in Berks County. These grisly statistics reflect the lowest number of casualties in the state in the last five years. The Keystone State has reported approximately 1320 deaths since 6 2000, and Berks County has reported 60 in 7 the last ten years.
From Sleeping on Floors to Sleeping on Beds in a Modern Facility, But No Need for Shelter Would be Best. By Ali Bechtel
o you think you know what the leading cause of injury among adult women in the United States is? If you do, you’re probably wrong. It is not breast cancer, heart attack or stroke; it’s domestic violence. More women will be abused by an intimate partner each year than in car accidents, muggings and rapes combined.1 One in four women will be victimized in her lifetime.2 Yet, despite the magnitude of this problem, it goes largely unrecognized.
20 | Berks Barrister
Domestic violence is any pattern of physical, sexual and/or emotionally abusive behavior used by one individual to assert power or maintain control over another. By definition it must involve parties who are related by blood or marriage, who currently or formerly resided together, are current or former sexual partners or are the biological parents to the same child.3 An estimated 1.3 million women are physically assaulted by an intimate partner
Unfortunately, these numbers only reflect the most severe acts of violence. Thousands of other women report abuse every year, and countless others suffer in silence. According to a national survey of domestic violence programs conducted by the National Networks to End Domestic Violence, in 2012 nearly 65,000 people across the country sought assistance from local programs, and nearly 21,000 more called in to hotlines. Victims from Pennsylvania accounted for 8 over 3200 of these requests for help.
Safety. Life. Hope. In spite of these grim statistics, there is a safe haven in our county where women can seek refuge, counseling and advocacy; and, where they will find a voice to speak up for them against their abusers. Berks Women in Crisis is the area’s most respected domestic violence organization. Its hard-working and dedicated staff strives to eliminate domestic and sexual violence in Berks County, provides supportive services to victims and creates awareness of this growing issue so that others can feel safe seeking help. Berks Women in Crisis (BWIC) offers a number of services to help women in
trouble. Hotlines are available in English and Spanish, providing a safe and confidential way to report abuse and to seek help. The agency also offers emergency shelter as well as temporary to long-term housing for threatened women and their children. BWIC even has a specially trained staff available to accompany victims to local hospitals and to provide individual counseling and group support. But the program not only helps women to recover from their trauma, it also fights alongside them to ensure the abuse does not continue. It employs a legal team that provides advice and representation in obtaining Protection from Abuse Orders to prevent future violence. Berks Women in Crisis has been helping local women get the support they need for over 30 years. The organization was started in 1976 in the homes of the founding mothers, and has grown exponentially to become the area's largest and most recognizable safe place for women in need. The non-profit organization currently employs nearly 40 staff members, round-the-clock security, English and bilingual counselors, prevention educators and legal counsel. It has grown to include 50 safe house beds on site and six bridge house, or longer term, apartments. But this sizable organization has a very grassroots history.
The Founding Mothers
Linda K. M. Ludgate
Four prominent local women determined that there was a need for this service over 30 years ago. In 1974, Linda K. M. Ludgate – now Berks County Court of Common Pleas Senior Judge, Louise Grim – wife of now Senior Judge Arthur Grim, Judy Henry – now owner of Judy’s On Cherry, and Barbara Hart – then an attorney with Central Pennsylvania Legal Services and now Director of Strategic Justice Initiatives with the Muskie School of Public Service in Portland Maine, recognized the overwhelming issue of domestic violence in our county and decided to do something to help.
They initially began by meeting in the Reading YWCA and opening their homes as emergency shelters. Judge Ludgate explained that “it was people from different philosophies of life who came together” to form the early Women in Crisis organization. Women from religious backgrounds, some who played a role in the Women’s Rights movement, even a few men, began to speak out against physical and sexual violence against local women.
They decided to do a needs assessment to determine whether more help was needed in our area. They reached out to the leaders of a number of local churches to ask whether any women in their congregations had indicated that they may be victims of domestic violence. Over 80% responded that they had. From there the women expanded the organization, joining forces with 13 other small state agencies to form the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and eventually also absorbing Louise Grim’s fledgling organization People Against Rape, to become the area’s top agency for women in need.
Before the organization formalized and moved into its first shelter in Reading, Judge Ludgate and some of the other founding women took at-risk women and children into their homes and personally worked with the authorities to get them the help they needed. Judge Ludgate recalled having children sleeping on her living room floor.
While she was opening her home to women and children in need and meeting with others at local churches and the YWCA to establish a more permanent shelter, Judge Ludgate was also attending Alvernia University in pursuit of her undergraduate degree. She was also volunteering with another program that worked with women and girls in prison and raising her
four children. She recalled it being a period of tremendous change, with the adoption of the Pennsylvania Protection from Abuse statute as well as the congressional Violence Against Women Act occurring within a few years of her local efforts, but she said it was also very difficult because people were not as accepting of these changes as they are today. Berks Women in Crisis became the third domestic violence organization to form in the state of Pennsylvania, after only programs in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania has since become the leader in awarded protection from abuse orders. In 2006, the founding mothers were honored with the Voices for Change Award, an annual recognition of those who make a significant contribution to or further the mission of the agency for their efforts in the development of BWIC.
While Judge Ludgate’s involvement decreased when she began law school at Temple University, and then ceased altogether when she began her political career, she has continued to attend fundraisers and events to increase the public’s awareness of domestic violence. She maintains that the foundation of Berks Women in Crisis is her greatest accomplishment and that she had a wonderful time doing it. “I felt a passion about it, that no should be treated this way and it was wrong.” She recently visited the new facility and said, “My proudest moment was when I walked into the new building.” Despite the pressure of the staggering number of women who are affected by, and seek help for, domestic violence, BWIC is growing and thriving. What was once a primarily volunteer-run organization has become the area's leading resource in the fight against violence. “It’s so accepted now, I'm thrilled by that. Everyone knows what it is and that it’s a safe place,” Judge Ludgate said of the organization’s success. Each member of the organization works diligently every day to help the women who reach out to them for guidance and support, legal advice, and housing. The judge shared her feelings on the hardworking team at BWIC who have picked up the cause where she left off. “I’m so proud of the staff there and the work they do, understanding as best anyone can without living it how difficult it is to break that cycle of violence.” Among those who share her passion are three other distinguished members of the Berks County Bar Association. These three women - Mary Kay Bernosky, the organization’s CEO, and Diane Ellis and
Continued on page 22
Berks Barrister | 21
and shelter. As the leader of the organization, she is responsible for all programming, including ensuring program availability when it is needed and obtaining and incorporating feedback into new programs as they are developed. She also oversees the organization’s marketing and public relations, personnel relations, and training and supervising the evergrowing staff. With the support and expertise of the staff and volunteers, BWIC has been able to increase its presence in the Berks Community.
Ellie Sarno, its legal team – work hard every day, drawing on their legal experience to help local women and to strengthen the organization.
At the Helm A successful legal career and a desire to help others led Mary Kay Bernosky to join BWIC as its CEO in 2005. She attended law school at the College of William and Mary and then returned home to Schuylkill County to practice at a private firm in Pottsville. After a few years in private practice she earned a position in the County Solicitor’s office where she continued to practice law for several more years. Throughout her early career she often volunteered her time as a supervisory attorney at Schuylkill Women in Crisis, where she also served as President of the Board for a number of years.
In what little spare time she had, Mary Kay earned a Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management from Alvernia University. Her education, coupled with her drive to help others and the enjoyment she got from working with Schuylkill Women in Crisis, led her to BWIC. While Mary Kay still occasionally represents individuals who seek legal counsel, most of her efforts now to go handling the many duties and functions that are required to successfully manage the area’s largest women’s advocacy program
22 | Berks Barrister
Additionally, Mary Kay manages the non-profit’s budget. This includes managing state and federal funding, securing new grants and seeking new relationships with community and state-wide donors. Thanks to the generosity of the Berks County community and the agency’s efforts, BWIC has been successful despite a recent decrease in state and federal funding. “We have been fortunate. As state and federal sources have decreased, and they have, we have been able to get private donations through individuals, corporations and foundations that have been able to plug in those differences.”
Part of the actions taken to combat a decrease in funding is streamlining services and costs with a recent move into a new facility that puts the entire staff and all of the business functions under the same roof as the safe house beds. But the CEO’s work does not stop with balancing the books. One of the goals of domestic violence programs is to create awareness of the problem in the community. Mary Kay works tirelessly to build awareness in Berks County through campaigns, education programs and other outreach events. BWIC recently concluded a capital campaign to help build a reputation in the community as more than just a shelter, and through their efforts were able to confirm that the program is well known and highly respected throughout the area.
In addition to this campaign, a number of other awareness events organized each year. This past June, in connection with Art on the Avenue in West Reading, BWIC sponsored the third annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” Walk. This event encouraged members of the local community, men in particular, to walk a stretch of Penn Avenue in high heels to garner attention for the program. The next scheduled event is the Silent Witness Walk in October. This walk is to remember and memorialize all those who have lost their lives as a result of domestic violence, and includes a silent march on Penn Avenue with the participants bearing silhouettes of the victims and signs sharing their tragic stories. Mary Kay’s goal is to bring attention to
the issue of domestic violence. Her message to the legal community, and to family law attorneys in particular, is that, “It is important for practitioners to realize that, even if their clients didn’t come to them through the PFA program, that there is a potential for them to have these issues,” and that having an understanding of this problem is important so they can ask the right questions to ensure the victims get the help they need.
The Legal Team One of the many services available at BWIC is legal counsel for victims who wish to obtain Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders against their abusers. The organization’s legal team works as diligently as its CEO in order to ensure that each victim understands the process of obtaining a PFA order and has the representation they need in court. Many people are referred to BWIC every year by law enforcement or by private practitioners who recognize that their clients may need specialized help. In order to reach those who have not had contact with the police or an attorney, legal advocates employed by BWIC go to the courthouse twice daily to disseminate information about the program and its services. This ensures each person who wishes to file for a PFA order has the opportunity to obtain the representation of a BWIC attorney. The advocates make contact with nearly everyone who files, and Attorneys Diane Ellis and Ellie Sarno ultimately represent the portion of those who elect to go forward with the process and who do not hire a private attorney or decline representation. The two BWIC attorneys represent 650 to 750 people every year in PFA court, handling nearly half of all filings made per year in Berks County. And they do it all at no cost to the client. Attorney Ellis has been a part of the BWIC legal team since 1999. She earned her Juris Doctorate at the Dickinson School of Law and worked in private practice in Harrisburg as a real estate and bankruptcy attorney until securing her position at BWIC.
She admitted to knowing very little about this area of the law at first. “I didn’t know much about domestic violence, just like most people don’t. I had the same thought process as everyone else does when I started here - if a woman was being abused why wouldn’t she just leave? But luckily for me they must have seen something in me that they thought they could work with.” And they were right. In a short time Diane realized that her
new position was very different from her previous life as a real estate and bankruptcy attorney. In her role as counsel to people who are experiencing incredible hardship, she feels like she can actually make a difference. “It’s challenging because these women really are in crisis, but by the same token it’s incredibly rewarding.” Diane also came to realize that the question is not, and never should be, “Why doesn’t she just leave?” It is a complex situation, complicated by the fact that a large percentage of domestic violence occurs after separation. Dickinson School of Law Associate Professor Jill C. Engle recently wrote: “Separation violence is real. Abusers 9 use it as a threat every day.” She cites two examples, both occurring this past spring. A woman, after filing for divorce several days before, was shot by her husband in a murdersuicide while she was at work in a Centre County grocery store. That same week, in Huntingdon County, during a custody exchange, a father shot his two-year-old son, the mother and then himself. Only the mother survived. Are PFA orders effective in curbing such domestic violence? Although there are exceptions, Diane believes that they are. She explained that, in her experience, the mere possibility of being arrested for violating a PFA is enough of a deterrent to keep the majority of defendants from violating it. However, there is still a percentage of individuals who will test the waters and make contact, believing that a simple piece of paper cannot stop them. If the order is enforced at that point and the person is arrested, or at the very least given a warning by law enforcement, that often stops the behavior. “Very few men are willing to go to jail over it.” This is what she tells her clients, who often come to her with this concern.
Of course, as Diane pointed out, “There is that small percentage who really don’t seem to care whether they suffer any legal consequences for violating an order.” These repeat offenders do not respond to anything short of significant jail time before they stop violating the order. However, the PFA system is in place to make sure that members of that small percentage of repeat offenders are incarcerated so that they cannot continue to harass their victims.
Diane’s hope is that other members of the legal community can recognize when a client is in danger. The question to ask is, “Do you feel safe at home?” While Diane believes any system that can be abused will be, most of the time the threats being made are very real. People should not be dissuaded from filing for a PFA order if they truly fear for their own safety, even if the facts they are presenting might not seem to rise to the level of conduct addressed by the PFA statute. The system works, and it is a very helpful tool in combating domestic violence. Ellie Sarno has spent nearly her entire career working for BWIC. She, too, attended the Dickinson School of Law, and she practiced family law privately for only two years before joining the organization's legal team. Ellie explained what drove her to BWIC, “I went to law school to help people, so it seemed like a good fit for me, and it has been.” Like Attorney Ellis, Ellie handles obtaining PFA orders. She admitted that it can be very stressful working every day with women who are experiencing a very low point in their life, but when the client tells her she has made them feel better or helped them in some way it makes it all worthwhile. And despite the stress, she returns each day knowing that at the end of the day she tried to help someone in need. Attorney Sarno also has an enormous amount of faith in the PFA system, and believes that it is a deterrent for most offenders because of the indirect criminal contempt component of breaking the order. However, as she tells people all the time, “if someone really intends to hurt or kill someone else, the PFA is not bulletproof. That's where the safety planning and counseling [services at BWIC] are very helpful.” Her message to the area’s private practitioners who may come into contact with women in abusive situations is that no one invites abuse. It is difficult and dangerous to leave an abusive relationship. Often the women are concerned for their children or are so emotionally beaten down that they don’t have the self-esteem or strength to leave. It is during this time that she hopes local attorneys can recognize the signs of abuse in their clients and can refer
them to the experts at BWIC to help guide them through this most difficult period.
Take a Stand The dedicated founders and staff members of Berks Women in Crisis are taking a stand in an effort to end domestic violence. It is an issue that goes unrecognized by many despite the overwhelming statistics. The greatest hope for change lies in exposing the truth about the problem and getting more people involved so that those who are being abused do not feel so isolated and alone. Judge Ludgate sees a change coming in the patterns of local violence, but hypothesizes that there will continue to be an unfortunate need for its services for years to come. “I’m hopeful there won't be a need anymore, but I think there will always be the people in society who think that they can bully and hurt someone. The personalities that want to do that are still going to be there.” The greatest defense is knowledge, and Judge Ludgate hopes that all young women in the area have someone they can talk to in order to better understand the danger of domestic violence and rape, so that they may be better prepared to protect themselves in the future.
It is important for everyone to get involved, men and women, in order to curb the violence. As Ellie Sarno points out, “This is not just a women’s issue. One in three women in Berks County will be assaulted by an intimate partner. Those are mothers, sisters, daughters. It you don't want domestic violence to happen to your loved ones, take a stand so that it doesn't happen to anyone else’s.”
The most important message of all is that the women who are being abused understand that they are not alone. Diane Ellis recognizes that "the problem is so much more widespread than people generally realize. No matter whom you are, somebody you know is a victim of domestic violence.” Whether they turn to their friends and family or to Berks Women in Crisis, there is help, and hope, to be found. Editor’s note: Ali Bechtel is a freelance writer and editor of http://EditorAli.com.
1 "Domestic Violence Facts: Pennsylvania." www.NCADV.org. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Web. 26 May 2013. 2 “Domestic Violence Facts: Pennsylvania.” 3 “Berks County Domestic Violence Unit." http://www.co.berks.pa.us. County of Berks, Pennsylvania . Web. 28 May 2013. 4 “Domestic Violence Facts: Pennsylvania.” 5 “Domestic Violence Facts: Pennsylvania.” 6 “Domestic Violence Fatalities in Pennsylvania 2012." www.PCADV.org. Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Web. 30 May 2013. 7 “Domestic Violence Fatalities in Pennsylvania 2003-2012.” 8 “Domestic Violence Counts Census 2012 Report." www.NNEDV.org. National Network to End Domestic Violence. Web. 4 Jun 2013.” 9 Jill C. Engle, “Bring Scourge of Domestic Violence into the Light.” Centre Daily Times, July 16, 2013.
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No need to go south of the border... for authentic Mexican food By Susan N. Denaro, Esquire
extras as kids just seem to come out of the woodwork on weekends when I enter the house with a bag from El Puente. The tacos are authentic, featuring just seasoned pulled chicken with a little diced onion and some cilantro leaves on two small, warm and soft corn tortillas. A squirt of lime juice and a dash of the red chili sauce raises this peasant dish to perfection. I suspect the kids around my house like them because there is no
Although there are about six tables, I always carry out. The tacos are $1.50 each and about three make a substantial meal. Despite this, I have learned to order lots of
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All the locals seem to dive into the pickled radishes on the counter while waiting for their orders but I always go into the attached grocery store to shop instead. The limes, cactus leaves, poblano peppers and jalapenos are always tempting. On a recent trip, fresh fava beans were a surprising find.
My main purchase every time, however, is a bag of the El Ranchito corn tortillas still warm from the factory. Just look for the cardboard boxes of them stacked on the floor in an aisle near both the cash register and the baked goods case. Although the tres leches cake is as authentic as it gets, I tend to ignore it and the other baked goods, particularly since the churros are usually greasy and more than a little stale.
hen cruising through the City of Reading, it is easy to drive past some great places to eat without recognizing them. When I’m in the mood for tacos or quesadillas, my favorite spot in Reading is El Puente, located on Sixth Street, just off Buttonwood. It looks a little scary on the outside, and I have been panhandled there on more than one occasion. Despite this, the food keeps me coming back. For the uninitiated, El Puente is a little dine-in/carry-out restaurant located beside a Mexican grocery store, which is across the street from the tortilla factory that makes some of the best corn tortillas to be found this side of the Mexican border. The main person who works the counter speaks no English so you need to know the difference between pollo (chicken) and bistek (beef ). Despite my fearlessness on the parking lot, I must admit that I feel anything but brave when I go there as I have never tried the cabeza (cow’s head), the lengua (cow tongue) or the chicaron (pork skin). I tend to stick with the pollo and I am quite happy in my little chicken rut.
sauce or green sauce—both of which are supposedly made on the premises. The red chili sauce is outstanding. While it has a lot of kick, it is not nearly as hot as the green chili sauce which will scorch the bravest of taste buds.
lettuce or tomato on them and the onions are easy to pick off. Another favorite is the quesadilla that sells for $5 each. Although they feature very little cheese, they have generous slices of avocado, tomatoes and chicken. They are large and so tasty that they really do not need any chili sauce. Their over-stuffed burritos and tostados are also worth the trek downtown. Admittedly, I have been tempted but have yet to try the pozole, a hominy-based stew I learned to enjoy in New Mexico. The corn is dried with lime and then rehydrated in the cooking process. I have neither tried, nor ever been tempted by, the menudo, which is rumored to be an excellent hangover remedy. I’ve just never hurt enough to want to try a tripe soup to verify the rumor. When ordering, one has a choice of red
A new favorite in the grocery store is the tropical fruit-flavored popsicles from El Paleton. They come in all types of flavors and boast lots of fruit pulp. They make a perfect end to a spicy meal in the summer months. So far we have tried the yellow cherry, the coconut and the pistachio. We have yet to pick a favorite flavor as we still have a lot more “research” to perform before we have tried them all.
In addition to boasting a meat counter and just about every variety of dried peppers imaginable, this eclectic little food store also sells colorful cowboy boots. It can take a long time to see all there is for sale. Usually by the time my shopping is done, the carry out is ready. Next time you are up for a south of the border adventure, stop in at El Puente for a satisfying and authentic Mexican meal. Editor’s Note: Susan N. Denaro, Esquire, is a partner with a Wyomissing law firm.
“IS THAT HOW THAT SAYING GOES?” ©George M. Lutz, Esquire
1. Skunk's defense 5. Briefly, the application of computer graphics to create images 8. ___ Kong 12. Draws up using capillary action 17. Got on 19. "What ___ God wrought?" 21. Brainstorm 22. Bonehead 23. Turning aside the Plaintiff 's argument with humor 26. ______ firma 27. Treated with horizontal parallel slats 28. Wrestler's destination 29. Generous one 30. The defendant's skeptical opinion of his publicly provided advocate 35. Fence parts 38. Atmospheric pressure meas. 39. Dad Vail competitors 40. Arabian Peninsula country 41. Dentist's directive 42. Ham it up 43. Untouchable serve 46. Wilkes-Barre institution of higher education 51. Farm female 52. Implore 53. Reading to Allentown dir. 54. Repelled 55. Crossed (out) 58. Handout 59. Mandela's org. 60. Conversant with 61. Tolerates 63. The condition of many bankruptcy clients 71. Be that as it may 72. 11,000-foot Italian peak 73. Without exception 74. Apple variety 75. AT&T rival 76. A colorless, volatile, water-soluble liquid used in the manufacture of perfumes 79. Jerry Lewis charity (abbrev) 82. Just manage, with "out" 83. Reddish brown 86. Farmer, romantically 89. Half a score 90. Plumbing fixture 93. Often before the horse 94. Child's roller coaster cry 95. Lady Liberty in NY Harbor, or Abe on the National Mall 96. Ornamental vase 97. Floor cover 100. The newly married couple both wanted to monitor their checking account, so they decided on ____________ 105. What the imbiber needed 106. Morse bit 107. As above (Latin)
110. San Diego baseballer 111. The enthusiastic litigant's most effective weapon 116. Fits 117. Nose-in-theair type 118. Iron Chef Cat ______ 119. One of three women running for Berks County judge 120. Has to have 121. Type of crime 122. Squealer 123. Attorney Bucher
1. Frequently, in poetry 2. Willy Wonka's creator 3. After-lunch sandwich 4. Concentrating the flavor by boiling 5. Boston bar 6. Popular summer drink (abbrev.) 7. Part of T.G.I.F. 8. To go quickly somewhere (archaic) 9. Has too much, briefly 10. After expenses 11. The tiger in your tank 12. No longer represented the party in court 13. Worthy principles 14. Wispy clouds 15. "M*A*S*H*" setting 16. Fab Four drummer 18. Site of Chester County horse show 20. Nutritionally beneficial whole grain 24. '60s dance 25. Jesting 29. Address 31. Microsoft competitor 32. Anger 33. ______ de plume 34. How Noah assembled his passengers: In _____ 35. Pig's location 36. Brutal president for life 37. Where the barber showed photographs: Penny _____ 41. Ancient 43. Residence 44. Famous person, slangily 45. Get rid of 47. Some trumpeters 48. "No problem" 49. Shamu, for one 50. Really big show 56. Long, long time 57. Genetic stuff 58. The City of Reading's attempt to spruce up
(Answers on page 26)
the place (abbrev) 60. Common Olympic cheer by Yanks 61. To whom a Muslim prays 62. Ball girl 63. Prince's was raspberry 64. Bring to mind 65. Red Sea borderer 66. The loneliest number 67. Sleep phenomenon 68. And more 69. French cordial flavoring 70. Wool fiber wadded into rolls 76. Lacking order or control 77. Bony protuberance 78. Lizard, old-style 79. Jay _____, American actor 80. A Parisian's God 81. Some arguments don't have this to stand on 83. Support 84. To the rear 85. This guy is abominable 87. Visual 88. Location of some high performance artists 91. Fraternity letters 92. Holiday mo. 95. Kept your spouse awake 97. Besides 98. Wine choice 99. Draw forth 100. Part of the Axis 101. Plains Indian 102. ___ time 103. Material that a Pueblo Indian used to construct his 43 Down 104. Kama ___ 108. Felt bad about 109. United States Secretary of Education 111. Baseball bat wood 112. More genetic stuff 113. Period, in Web addresses 114. ___'easter 115. Like some ears
Berks Barrister | 25
Spotlight on New Members By Donald F. Smith, Jr., Esquire
Excited about re-starting her practice in estate planning and business organization, Mary Ellen Wells is an Associate Professor in the Business Department of Alvernia University. Her undergraduate degree in accounting was earned at the University of Massachusetts, while her law degree and LLM in taxation was earned at Boston University. After working with law firms in Massachusetts and New Jersey, Mary Ellen and her family moved to Berks County. She started at Alvernia in 2000. She and her husband, Greg Wells, have two children, Brian, 20, and Abby, 17. The Professor’s outside interests are hiking, numerous craft projects and reading. She has earned this writer’s admiration by taking for the first time and passing the Pennsylvania Bar Exam in 2012, twenty-five years after passing the one for the Bay State. Professor Wells co-authored an article, “Supreme Court as Prometheus: Breathing Life into the Corporate Supercitizen,” which was recently published in the American Business Law Journal. Robert T. Mills retired from the United States Navy in January 1999 and from that time to the present he has been a small business entrepreneur. In the meantime, he did earn an undergraduate degree in business from Albright College and a law degree from the Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg. He is currently self-employed with an office at Dautrich and Dautrich, working with family law, summary/minor felony criminal offenses and collection cases. Bob is widowed and has four children—Brenda (deceased), Ashley Mills-Seaman, Grace Mills and Summer Mills, as well as three grandchildren and one on the way! He describes his hobbies as “travel, law, raising children and living the dream.”
Answers to Crossword puzzle from page 21
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Berks Barrister | 27
2013 law day luncheon April 30, 2013 Held at the Reading Crowne Plaza Hotel on April 30, 2013 BCBA members gathered to celebrate and reflect the role of law in the foundation of the country and to recognize its importance for society.
Color guard from Wilson High School JROTC program Peter Schuchman with Father Thomas Bortz of Berks Catholic High School who delivered the invocation
The essay winners with (L-R) Law Day Co-chair Dominic DeCecco, President Lincoln portrayed by James Getty and BCBA President Gene Orlando The local press cannot pass up an opportunity to interview a past US president
Chris Hartman, Russell Farbiarz, Joe Antanavage, Ryan Kennedy, Brett Fegely and Michelle Mayfield
28 | Berks Barrister
Judge Parisi, Bankruptcy Judge Fehling, Retired Judge Stallone, Senior Judge Ludgate and Senior Judge Grim
Board members and ADAs Alisa Hobart and Justin Bodor, Immediate Past President Fred Hatt and his assistant, Michelle Kauffman
Bonnie Hartman and Kathleen Dautrich
L, H & P FAMILY (L-R): Adam Levin, assistant April Smith, John Badal, retiring assistant Nancy Connor, Bookkeeper/Receptionist Carol Wentzel, Ed Houseman and assistant Lydia Strobel
Mock Trial Chair and ADA Jason Glessner announcing the winner of the county championshipâ€”Conrad Weiser
Judge Lieberman, President Judge Yatron, Judge Keller and Amber Moll
President Lincoln shared his thoughts on the Emancipation Proclamation, celebrating its 150th anniversary this year
Judge Parisi and Lisa Siciliano Dan Rabenold, Susan Denaro, Prothonotary Marianne Sutton, Register of Wills Larry Medaglia and Jill Koestel
Berks Barrister | 29
ANNUAL PICNIC & GOLF TOURNAMENT Galen Hall Golf Club / Wednesday, JUNE 19, 2013
Rick Long, Kevin Moore, Andy Howe and Ron An impaled Scott Jacobs will not distract Frank Cirba Mulligan from his serious approach to the game (Frank did place first in the second flight). Aaron Bell cannot bear to look at his law partner, but Jesse Pleet enjoys a good laugh over it.
Eleni Geishauser and Mike Restrepo
Tony Distasio, Phil Edwards (second place winner overall) and Bill Blumer A talented member of the wait staff, our own Chuck Phillips
Doug Rauch and Steve Buck
30 | Berks Barrister
Bob Ullman and Jack Mancuso
Ben Leisawitz and Thad Gelsinger
Jesse Pleet (R) is no doubt hoping for golf pointers from BCBA member Paul Marrella, who is with the eventâ€™s sponsor, Marrella Financial Group, and who placed third overall in the golf tournament
Judges Parisi and Keller
Those lingering after dinner included (L-R) Ben Nevius, Mike Gombar and Valeen Hykes.
Joe Blackburn, Matt Setley and Mike Wieder
Three Past Presidents (L-R): Matt CrĂ¨me (Lancaster and PBA) and Berks PPs Jill Scheidt and John Bradley
Jestyn Payne and Joan London
Berks Barrister | 31
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Published on Aug 28, 2013