w w w.BERKSBAR.org SUMMER 2016
Great Day for
Golf and Picnic
The Nuts and Bolts of the New Overtime Rule
The Orphansâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Court Rules Have Been Overhauled The Who,What,When, Where & How of
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Content for Summer 2016 Cover Story:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
HONORABLE JILL GEHMAN KOESTEL, President KURT ALTHOUSE, President-Elect LISA A. SICILIANO, Secretary
20 Great Day for Golf and Picnic
JUSTIN D. BODOR, Treasurer GEORGE A. GONZALEZ, Director PETER F. SCHUCHMAN, Director MARY KAY BERNOSKY, Director MICHAEL A. SETLEY, Director DAWN M. L. PALANGE, Director DANIEL C. NEVINS, Director JESSE L. PLEET, Immediate Past President
CHRISTIN L. KOCHEL, 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 BRITT KOBULARCIK, Bookkeeper/Events 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
For advertising information contact Tracy Hoffmann at email@example.com
4 | Berks Barrister
The Who, What, When, Where & How of Prenuptial Agreements
The Ophans’ Court Rules Have Been Overhauled Past Presidents’ Special Evening
Reading, PA | 610.685.0914 x201 hoffmannpublishing.com
The Nuts and Bolts of the New Overtime Rule
28 Law Day 2016 30 Summer of ‘66 34 CPAs and BCBA Together 35 Temporary Advantages
Our thanks are extended to the numerous people who have contributed to The Berks Barrister. Your time, energy and efforts are sincerely appreciated.
Law Foundation: Book ’Em
P U B L I S H E D
Are MDJS, CCP Judges and Court Administrators Required to Provide Interpreters?
26 Miscellaneous Docket
14 Technology — Frankly Speaking
27 Restaurant Review
17 Spotlight on New Member
32 Pro Bono Profiles
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Honorable Jill Gehman Koestel, 2016 President
President Koestel welcomed nineteen new citizens at the Naturalization Ceremony on July 20. With her is the keynote speaker, a son of immigrants, our very own Bernardo Carbajal, Esquire.
2016 is turning out to be the best year of my life! First, for the past two years, I have known my son was planning to get married in July of this year. Lots of planning for a great event, but well worth it in the end. The new Jessica Beisswanger Koestel works in our Courthouse under the direction of our colleague and my good friend, Linda Epes. I am proud of Jonathan’s choice of bride and look forward to their wonderful future. Second, I was presented with the opportunity to serve our great Berks County Bar Association as President. My term has created an exciting and fulfilling year for me so far. The Bench Bar Conference was better than could be imagined. Although the 2016 Bench Bar Retreat did not generate the interest that it deserves, I know that we will have a wonderful time in Aruba, and those of you that thought about going and didn’t will be sorry! I have thoroughly enjoyed the two Naturalization ceremonies in which I participated as your representative and find it very moving to have these immigrants become citizens in our community. Everything that I’ve done as your public representative has been inspiring and enjoyable. I could do this for another year, but I don’t think Kurt Althouse will let me! Finally, I have been gifted with another prestigious opportunity to serve the people of Berks County with my appointment to fill the vacant seat on the Berks County Court of Common Pleas. What a whirlwind June and July were with that process! So many people supported this appointment and did all they could to make it happen. I thank you all. Transitioning clients to my new firm affiliation of Georgeadis Setley and getting ready for my transition from lawyer to judge was a huge undertaking. I am glad that the process is complete, and I now view the practice of law from the other side of the bench, the one with the robe. It is an interesting adjustment to be the neutral fact finder as opposed to the vigilant advocate, but the law is the law after all and must be applied to every situation, taking into account the facts presented. It is surreal to achieve this long-time goal of becoming a judge in this very unexpected Continued on page 6 Summer 2016 | 5
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Continued from page 5
President Koestel throws a strike to open the
playoff round of the BCPS Softball Tournament
way. And it just confirms my long-held belief that giving back to your profession and community provides unimaginable rewards. As a young lawyer, I was encouraged to participate in the bar association, and I was raised to believe that giving back to my community was natural and expected behavior. My mother was a long-time volunteer in the community, serving on an endless list of non-profit boards and committees, not the least of which was to serve as a trustee on the board of St. Joseph’s Hospital. She made it clear that these opportunities to serve were important and needed to be embraced. She literally required me to do volunteer work at St. Joe’s as soon as I returned to Reading from a few years of living in Washington, DC, in the 1970s. And I enjoyed it. So I joined the Junior League of Reading through which I received several very meaningful volunteer opportunities. I served on the boards of the Berks YWCA, Women’s Counseling Service, Berks Women in Crisis, and other local non-profit boards throughout the years. I recently completed twelve years of service on the Board of Directors of the Governor Mifflin School Disrict. Everything I did added a new dimension to my life and my legal career. While volunteering within the community, I became more active with the Berks County Bar Association. I not only participated in social activities that helped me create lasting and treasured friendships, but also served on committees which led to leadership opportunities. I chaired the Law Day Committee, the Family Law and Women’s Sections, the Bench Bar Committee and the Public Relations Committee. All of those positions provided experiences that enhanced my insight into the overall functioning of our association. First working with executive director Barbara Kittrell and then with our current ED, Don Smith, I learned what 6 | Berks Barrister
various committees contributed to the overall agenda of the association. Joining the board in 2013 gave me even more experience in understanding the management and function of our organization. Then being Vice President, President Elect and now President of this association provided the ultimate opportunity to serve the rest of you and with the help of your board and our unflappable executive director, to continue to provide educational, social and professional activities for our members. And who was the person who got the most from all of this work and effort? Me. I made friends, cultivated clients and provided my children with an example of the best way to live in this world, the same as my mother did for me. And ultimately, somebody has got to do the work to keep our organization vital and relevant to our profession and to our community. It might as well be me doing it. Or you. When asked to serve, whether our organization or our community at large, don’t say no. Take the opportunity to feel good about yourself and your talents. Take the opportunity to add something to our association or another organization that only you can add. Every one of you has unique abilities, viewpoints and value that you can share with the rest of us to make our profession, community and association more productive and viable. I have gotten more out of my service to this community and our association than I ever gave. And that was the exact message my mother drilled into me from the time I was a teen. Thanks, Mom. My mom’s been gone for many years, but I hope somehow she knows that I took her advice with a vengeance and am proud of the results.
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ARE MDJS, CCP JUDGES AND COURT ADMINISTRATORS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE INTERPRETERS? By Gabriela Raful, Esquire
The number of United States residents who are deemed to be Limited English Proficient (LEP) has substantially increased in the recent decades. A LEP person is one who does not speak English as his or her primary language, and who has limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand the English language. According to the Migration Policy Institute, as of 2011, LEP individuals represented nine percent of the U.S. population, or more than 25 million individuals.1 Pennsylvania and Berks County are not the exception to this substantial increase of LEP individuals in the last decades. In Berks County, there are 24,600 LEP individuals.2 Berks is the county with the fifth highest number of LEP individuals in Pennsylvania.3 The significant number of LEP individuals in our county raises the question of whether Magisterial District Judges, Court Common Pleas Judges and Court Administrators are required to provide interpreters in all court proceedings? The short answer: YES. Federal and State law mandates that LEP individuals must be given meaningful access to the courts. Both Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 19644 and the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Street Act of 19685 prohibit national origin discrimination by recipients of federal assistance. The United States Supreme Court has held that failing to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access for LEP persons is a form of national origin discrimination prohibited by Title VI
regulations.6 The Department of Justice (DOJ) has also made clear that court systems receiving federal financial assistance, directly or indirectly, must provide meaningful access to LEP persons in order to comply with Title VI and other regulations.7 This requirement to provide language access to LEP individuals applies despite conflicting state or local laws or court rules.8 Executive Order 13166 further emphasized this requirement by directing federal agencies to publish LEP guidelines.9 The DOJ has made clear that language assistance to LEP individuals must be provided even when proceedings are handled by officials such as magisterial district judges, masters, commissioners, hearing officers, arbitrators, mediators and other decision-makers. Failure to do so constitutes a violation of Title VI, The Safe Street Act, the Pennsylvania Interpreter Act 172, Executive Order 13166, and regulations implementing the same. As a recipient of federal funds, all courts in Pennsylvania have an obligation to provide equal access to all persons, including LEP individuals. As a result, Pennsylvania has enacted Act 172 which provides that it is “the policy of this Commonwealth to secure the rights, constitutional or otherwise, of persons who because of a non-English speaking cultural background or because of an impairment […] are unable to understand or communicate adequately in the English language when they appear in court or are involved in judicial proceedings.” 10 Despite federal and state law mandating access to interpreters
1 Joseph Russell et al., Limited English Proficient Individuals in the U.S.: Linguistic Diversity at the County Level, MIGRATION POLICY INSTITUTE, available at www.migrationpolicy.org/sites/.../LEPstate-countyData.xlsx (last visited Jun. 6, 2016). 2 Id. 3 Id. 4 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.
5 42 U.S.C. § 3789d(c). 6 Lau v. Nichols, 414 U.S. 563 (1974). 7 67 Fed. Reg. 41, 455. 8 Id. 9 65 Fed. Reg. 50, 121. 10 42 Pa. Const. Stat. § 4401; See also, 204 Pa. Code § 221.101-311.
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ARE MDJS, CCP JUDGES AND COURT ADMINISTRATORS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE INTERPRETERS? Continued from page 7 for LEP individuals, a recent report revealed that MDJ courts in Pennsylvania often operate in violation of these laws.11 Problems included litigants being told to bring a friend as interpreter and court clerks who could not communicate with LEP individuals about court proceedings and about how to request an interpreter. 12 Berks County, unfortunately, is not the exception. Too often we hear stories of LEP pro se litigants who are unable to obtain interpreters in civil cases, especially before MDJs. This is a clear violation of state and federal law. Interpreters must be provided in all court proceedings, without distinguishing among criminal cases, civil cases, or administrative matters and regardless of whether the LEP is indigent. 13 “Every effort should be taken to ensure competent interpretation for LEP individuals during all hearings, trials, and motions, including administrative court proceedings.”14 Moreover, it is mandatory in Pennsylvania to provide interpreter services free of costs in all proceedings where an LEP individual is a principal party in interest, which includes when the LEP individual is a named party, a defendant, a direct victim in a criminal proceeding or in a juvenile proceeding.15 The costs for an interpreter are to be treated as a basic and essential operating expense, not as an ancillary cost.16 Pennsylvania law also prohibits the use of family or other interested parties as interpreters. 17 The Bar Association received several complaints that interpreters were not provided in civil cases. The Bar Association and its Minority Law Section have taken several steps to resolve the problem. The Minority Law Section held several meetings with Court Administrators and court personnel and explained the need — and the requirement by law — to provide interpreters. The Bar Association also, as part of last year’s Pro Bono Celebration, held a CLE on this issue in an effort to provide awareness of this situation. Recognizing that there is a shortage of certified court interpreters, BCBA President Jill Gehman Koestel undertook an initiative to develop a curriculum to “teach to the test” for certification. She has led promising meetings with representatives from the Intermediate Unit, the Career Technology Centers and Reading Area Community College. Nevertheless, even with such a shortage, noncompliance with the law should not be happening in our county. Berks County 11 Alicia Anguiano et al., Barriers to Justice: Limited English Proficient Individuals and Pennsylvania’s Minor Courts, STEPHEN AND SANDRA SHELLER CENTER FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE, Temple University Beasley School of Law (Jan. 2015). 12 Id. 13 67 Fed. Reg. at 41, 462. 14 67 Fed. Reg. at 41, 459 and 471. 15204 Pa. Code § 221.107(b); 42 Pa.Const. Stat. § 4402. 16 Letter from U.S. Assistant Attorney Gen., Thomas E. Perez, to State Court Chief Justices and Administrators (Aug. 16, 2010). 17 204 Pa. Code § 221.203(e).
8 | Berks Barrister
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has a Language Access Plan, which provides a framework for the provision of timely and effective language assistance to LEP persons within the 23rd Judicial District. 18 Once the court staff receives a request, in writing or verbally, or realizes that an individual is LEP, he or she should record the LEP individual’s primary language in the case file and court’s case management system so that the court will be prepared to provide language services for future hearings and court contact. Immediately, the court staff should request an interpreter from the County Access Coordinator. The interpreter request form should be available in every court, including magisterial district courts, and available online. 19 Should the case be scheduled for a hearing and no request for interpreter was previously made, the presiding judge must determine if the individual is LEP. The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts has a Model Voir Dire for determining the need of an interpreter. 20 If the presiding judge determines that the individual is LEP, a request for interpreter must be made, and the hearing or proceeding must be postponed. Again, Pennsylvania law prohibits the use of family or other interested parties as interpreters. 21 Act 172 requires preference to be given to the appointment of a certified interpreter. However, when a certified interpreter is not available, a qualified interpreter may be appointed. In-person interpreter is the preferred method. Under special circumstances, such as emergency PFAs, remote interpreting may be allowed. Under no circumstances should a proceeding, whether civil or criminal, take place where an individual is LEP and there is no interpreter available. This would be considered a violation of the individual’s Civil Rights and can lead to action against the presiding judge. The Berks County Language Access Plan provides that any LEP individual has the right to file a complaint against the 23rd Judicial District and the presiding judge when he or she believes that the district did not provide the necessary LEP services. In short, Magisterial District Judges, Court of Common Pleas Judges and Court Administrators are required to provide interpreters in all court proceedings, whether civil or criminal, free of cost. Failure to do so constitutes a violation of federal and state law. Attorneys are encouraged to report any instances when an LEP individual is not provided an interpreter even if said attorney was not a representative. We hope that the steps that our Bar Association and its Minority Law Section have taken will alleviate this problem. As a society, we cannot ensure due process and fair, efficient and adequate access to justice if LEP litigants are unable to have access to interpreters. Ms. Raful is an associate attorney with Galfand Berger, LLP and serves as Chair of the Berks County Bar Association’s Minority Bar Section.
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18 See, Berks County, Pa., Language Access Plan, available at, http://www.co.berks.pa.us/Dept/Courts/Documents/BERKS%20 COUNTY%20LANGUAGE%20ACCESS%20PLAN.pdf (last visited Jun. 8, 2016). 19 See, Berks County, Pa., Interpreter Request Form, available at, http://www.co.berks.pa.us/Dept/Courts/Documents/Interpreter_ Request_Form-Eng_Spa-rev_3-2015.pdf (last visited Jun. 8, 2016). 20 See, Model Voir Dire for Determining the Need for an Interpreter, SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA, available at, http://www. pacourts.us/assets/files/setting-1700/file-229.pdf?cb=942e36 (last visited Jun. 8, 2016). 21 204 Pa. Code § 221.203(e).
Summer 2016 | 9
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L AW FOUN DAT ION
For a week in May attorneys and friends of the Law Foundation of Berks County visited the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes of the Reading School District to read to the students and provide each with a book of their very own. While the students are very grateful, it is most gratifying for those who read and for those who financially support the project. The Foundation thanks the following:
Beth Auman has the students enthralled.
VOLUNTEER READERS Alexa Antanavage Beth Auman G. Thompson Bell, III Timothy Bitting Tina Boyd Mahlon Boyer Tonya Butler Pamela Cala Abraham Cepeda Sara Haines Clipp Thomas Coleman Laura Cooper Osmer Deming Susan Denaro Renee Dietrich Eric Diggan Ann Endres Eric Fabrizio Kevin Feeney Kelsey Frankowski Honorable Victor M. Frederick IV Ruth Galanos Andrew George Barrie Gehrlein Thad Gelsinger Susan Gernert 10 | Berks Barrister
Jennifer Grimes Scott Hoh Scott Jacobs Jesse Kammerdeiner Robert Katzenmoyer Molly Kleinfelter Judith Kline Britt Kobularcik Jill Koestel Melissa Krishock Brian Kulp Frederick Lachat Jesse Leisawitz LeRoy Levan Nicole Manley Carl Mantz Matthew Mayer Michelle Mayfield Ryan McAllister Sara McCahon Zarin McLeod Larry Miller Kenneth Millman Denise Mogel Keith Mooney Christopher Muvdi Daniel Nevins Benjamin Nevius
Maxwell Nice Scott Painter Dawn Palange Jesse Pleet James Polyak Douglas Rauch Michael Restrepo Josephine Rice William Rush Christine Sadler Peter F. Schuchman, Jr. Latisha Schuenemann Vistoria Gallen Schutt Sharon Scullin Matthew Setley Louis Shucker Donald F. Smith, Jr. James M. Snyder Deborah Sottosanti Honorable Jeffrey Sprecher John Stott Rose Torres Eric Taylor Pamela VanFossen Terry Weiler Naomi Whitford Michael Wieder
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FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTORS Anonymous Frances A. Aitken Antanavage Farbiarz, PLLC Beth M. Auman Jana R. Barnett Carol A. & Richard A. Bausher G. Thompson Bell III Boyd & Karver Jennifer M. Lukach Bradley & Michael J. Bradley Brennan & Associates, P.C. Heather E. & Kenneth Brown II Eden R. & Barton K. Bucher Debra A. & Mark S. Caltagirone Lisa M. Ciotti Connors Investor Services, Inc. Karen H. & Ralph W. Cook III Customers Bank Renee L. Dietrich Law Offices of Derr, Hawman and Derr Emkey LLC Kathleen & Kevin Feeney Honorable Richard E. Fehling & Marcia A. Binder Lynn E. Feldman Debra R. & Jeffrey A. Franklin Susan E. B. Frankowski Honorable Madelyn S. Fudeman Ruth A. & James E. Gavin James A. Gilmartin Amy B. Good Jessica R. Grater Joanna & Barry D. Groebel Sara R. Haines Clipp Bernice Hoffer Hartman & Kenneth A. Hartman Frances & Darlington Hoopes, Jr. Robert D. Katzenmoyer LeRoy G. Levan Joann & Howard M. Lightman Jack A. Linton Joan E. London Heidi B. & Thomas F. Masano Timothy D. McLeod Miller Law Group, PLLC Debra L. & Kenneth Millman Frederick R. Mogel Robert L. Moore Jennifer L. & Daniel C. Nevins Nancy L. & Frederick M. Nice Amy Nieves-Febres & Michael Febres Mary Jean & Michael J. Noon Scott C. Painter Dawn M. L. & Joseph Palange
Jesse L. Pleet James M. Polyak Douglas Paul Rauch Michael J. Restrepo Karen A. & Gary W. Rightmire William F. Roberts William R. Rush Lori J. Sandman Bonnie K. & Fred. S. Savage Jill M. Scheidt & Christopher R. Heslop Mary H. & Peter F. Schuchman, Jr. Latisha B. Schuenemann Sharon M. Scullin & James S. Rothstein Vicki M. & Allen R. Shollenberger Louis M. Shucker Lisa & John Siciliano Kathryn S. & James M. Snyder Sodomsky & Nigrini Deborah A. & Carl Sottosanti Edwin L. Stock Collen L. & John M. Stott Honorable Mary Ann Ullman Patricia H. & Terry D. Weiler Honorable Eugene F. Wisniewski Honorable George C. & Shirleen D. Yatron Summer 2016 | 11
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The Nuts and Bolts of the New Overtime Rule By G. Thompson Bell, III, Esquire
On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor finalized a new rule that will make several million additional workers eligible for overtime pay. The rule takes effect December 1, 2016. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay employees 1½ times their hourly rate for each hour they work in excess of 40 in a work week, unless the employee either is exempt from the overtime provisions of the FLSA or falls within one of the FLSA’s exceptions. To be exempt, employees must perform duties that fall into one of the exempt categories: executive, administrative, professional (sorry lawyers, unless you’re under the salary threshold, you’re not getting overtime pay), outside sales, highly compensated, and certain IT positions. Each of these categories has a somewhat complicated definition against which the duties an employee performs must be analyzed to determine eligibility for exemption. These categories and definitions are not affected by the new rule. 12 | Berks Barrister
Exempt employees also must satisfy the “salary test.” The salary test has two requirements. The first is that the employee must be entitled to receive a predetermined amount of compensation each pay period regardless of how much time the employee works during that period, with a few exceptions. The second is that the predetermined amount of compensation must exceed a weekly threshold. That’s where the new rule comes in. Since 2004, the threshold has been $455 per week or $23,660 per year. The new rule raises the salary threshold to $913 per week or $47,476 per year, just about twice the prior threshold. And, unlike the prior rule, the new threshold will be adjusted every three years to account for wage inflation. The Department of Labor estimates that about 4.2 million workers, who were not previously eligible for overtime pay, will become eligible under the new rule. Millions of other workers also will benefit from the new rule because it is expected that employers will increase the salaries of some workers to satisfy the new threshold and, thereby,
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avoid paying overtime. In response to the new rule, you and your clients should take the following steps: • Review your workforce to determine which currently exempt employees are paid between $455 and $913 per week. • Identify which of these employees work more than 40 hours in a work week. You do not need to be concerned about employees who never work more than 40 hours in a work week because they will not be entitled to overtime even if they do not meet the new rule’s salary threshold. • Determine how to deal with employees who: (i) will no longer be exempt due to the new rule’s salary threshold and (ii) sometimes work more than 40 hours in a work week. These are the employees who will be affected by the new rule. Generally, an employer has three choices. It can simply pay overtime pay to employees who are no longer exempt. It can increase employees’ salary to the new threshold. Or, it can limit the number of hours employees work to less than 40 in a work week. Which of these options is preferable will depend on a variety of circumstances, including the number of overtime hours each affected employee works, and the employees’ respective salaries. During the comment period for the new rule there was a great deal of discussion about possibly excluding non-profit companies from the new rule. The comments focused on the fact that non-profits are likely to be particularly hard-hit by the new salary threshold because their salaries are typically lower than those paid by for-profit companies. The final version of the new rule does not exclude non-profits per se. However, non-profit organizations with annual revenues from “ordinary commercial activities” of less than $500,000 are not covered by the new rule. While it is not entirely clear what constitutes an “ordinary commercial activity,” it is clear that revenues from fund raising, membership fees, and other charitable activities are not the result of an ordinary commercial activity. There are numerous questions raised by the new rule that will need to be addressed by the courts and administrative rule making over the next several years. Stay tuned. Mr. Bell is a past president of the Berks County Bar Association and a shareholder of Stevens & Lee, P.C., where his area of practice is commercial and employment litigation and counseling.
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Summer 2016 | 13
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TECHNOLOGY FRANKLY SPEAKING
Apps for Lawyers – the Android List
By Jeffrey A. Franklin, Esquire
Jeffrey A. Franklin, Esquire, is chair of the BCBA’s Technology Committee, practices law with Prince Law Offices, P.C. and is a principal of Brightline Tech Solutions, LLC.
Most lawyers today carry iPhones and/or iPads, but many prefer Android powered smartphones or tablets. If you are looking for Apps for Lawyers – the Apple List, see the Spring 2016 issue of Berks Barrister https://issuu.com/nhgi/docs/barrister_spring_2016_ issuu/1. While my day-to-day phone and tablet are Apple devices, I also keep an Android phone and tablet around for special purposes and experimentation. Often lawyers ask me about an app for this or an app for that. Below is a list of some of the apps I use and some that other attorneys have recommended as well. In the electronic version of this article I have included links for many apps available in the Play Store and I also recommend App reviews on one of my favorite sites, The Droid Lawyer by Oklahoma attorney Jeffrey Taylor. Do you have a favorite app not on the list? Drop me an e-mail at JFranklin@BrightLineTechSolutions.com. Tips for Android • Keep your Android operating system up to date. • Add a PIN code, fingerprint, or design and then enable device encryption. • Install Android Device Manager for free tracking of your lost or stolen device: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.adm&hl=en • Select your favorite antivirus software; Lookout is the one I have used for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lookout&hl=en • The general Google apps are great. Give them a try: https://play.google.com/store/apps/dev?id=5700313618786177705&hl=en
14 | Berks Barrister
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Above the Law $0.00 Adaptxt Legal Keyboard $3.99 AgileLaw Paperless $0.00 Deposition American Arbitration $0.00 Association Bloomberg Law $0.00 Casemaker $0.00 CaseManager $20.00 CaseSync $0.00 Cite-Checker $1.99 Clio $0.00 Courtlink $0.00 Depose $7.99 DroidLaw $0.00 Docket Launcher $0.00 Fastcase $0.00 Federal Courts $2.99 iJuror $9.99 iTimeKeep $0.00 Law Dictionary $0.99 Law Practice Magazine $0.00 Law Dojo $0.00
Short Description of the Application
Google Play Link
Legal news and views. A keyboard with built-in legal terms. Deposition app. Install this app on your tablet, hand the tablet to the deponent, and navigate through the deposition without using a printed exhibit. American Arbitration Association rules, codes, protocols, and contact information. News and analysis. Free legal research. You can also email yourself documents you find. Manage cases and matters. Practice management. Bluebook citation form with plain English explanations of Bluebook rules and clear examples illustrating those rules. Popular practice management software. Subscription required. Free trial. Review recent court docket Alert and Track activity on the go, and set up Alerts and Tracks on the CourtLink® site so you can monitor them from anywhere. Subscription required. With Depose you can edit and rearrange questions, attach exhibits, take notes on specific questions, copy questions, and save template questions. FRE, FRCP, Criminal Procedure, Bankruptcy Procedure, Appellate Procedure and Google Scholar free in one app. Currently unavailable. Hopefully will be back soon. Provided access to Pennsylvania court records, including criminal charges, traffic offenses and more — complete with comprehensive weekly updates. Legal research on the go. Full text of all of the federal rules of procedure and the local rules for every federal court in the country — including district, bankruptcy, and appellate courts. Also provides access to PACER. Jury selection assistant. Mobile Time Entry requires firm back-end. Law Dictionary. ABA Law Practice magazine. $5.00 to $20.00 in-app purchases. A law quiz game.
google.com goo.gl google.com
goo.gl goo.gl goo.gl goo.gl goo.gl goo.gl
goo.gl google.com goo.gl google.com google.com Continued on page 16 Summer 2016 | 15
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TECHNOLOGY FRANKLY SPEAKING Application Name
LawTorch $0.00 Lawyer ON Go $19.99 Lawyers Case Diary $0.00 Legal Plex $0.00 Legal Talk Network $0.00 MyCase $0.00 Oyez $0.00 PacerMonitor $0.00 PAeDocket $0.00 Picture It Settled $0.00 Pocket Topics $2.99 PocketJustice $0.00 Push Legal $0.00 Rocket Matter $0.00 Symantec eDiscovery $0.00 Exchange TCDLA $0.00 The Law Guide/Dictionary $0.00 Time Master + Billing $9.99 TouchTax $4.99 TrialWorks App $0.00 Viewabill for Android Beta $0.00 WestlawNext $0.00 16 | Berks Barrister
Apps for Lawyers
Continued from page 15
Short Description of the Application
Google Play Link
LawTorch Legal Planner. google.com Quick and easy way to track client information. goo.gl Lawyers Case google.com • Manage clients • Manage contacts • Manage your cases • Maintain case notes • Create appointments • Follow up cases with reminders • Import clients / contacts. Legal Plex is a full fledged law firm google.com management system. The Legal Talk Network app provides listeners goo.gl an easy way to listen and consume their favorite legal shows on Legal Talk Network. Practice management. Subscription required. goo.gl US Supreme Court decisions. App being retired soon. goo.gl See Oyez website. Federal Court case dockets and filings. Currently google.com supporting District Court Civil cases and Bankruptcy Court cases. Pennsylvania Courts. Official app. google.com Picture It Settled™ Lite helps you visualize the goo.gl negotiation dance and calculate your next steps. Various codes and regulations for California, Texas, goo.gl Missouri, New York and Florida. No Pennsylvania, yet. US Supreme Court decisions. App being retired soon. goo.gl See Oyez website. Research cases and statutes. goo.gl Practice management. Subscription required. goo.gl Veritas eDiscovery-specific digest from the industry’s top goo.gl thought leaders, instant access to over 5,000 eDiscovery experts, and a comprehensive set of action-oriented eDiscovery tools, users are empowered to get smart, save time, and share insights. Research application for members of the Texas Criminal goo.gl Defense Lawyers’ Association. Has some Federal too. Dictionary and guide from Law.com. goo.gl Time and billing software. goo.gl TouchTax provides easy access on your Android goo.gl phone and tablet to all 7,700+ sections of the latest edition of the Internal Revenue Code. TrialWorks App allows existing TrialWorks Case Management goo.gl Software users to review and/or edit notes, contacts, docket, add time to timekeeper, review and add new intakes, case history and review attachments in TrialWorks on their Android devices. Viewabill is a new way to work with your attorneys, account- goo.gl ants and other hourly service providers on billing matters. Beta. Westlaw’s legal research application. goo.gl
Berks Barrister Trust Ad C Zanis_Layout 1 7/28/16 7:57 AM Page 1
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The Who,What,When, Where & How of
Prenuptial Agreements By Jill M. Scheidt, Esquire
You might think prenuptial agreements are only for the rich and famous, the Hollywood elite, or heirs to the largest fortunes of old money dynasties. But prenuptial agreements have a place in almost any marriage and can benefit members of the middle class tremendously. Simply put, prenuptial agreements are contracts that add order to the economic consequences in the event a marriage ends in divorce or the death of a spouse. For those of us who cannot cash flow years of litigation, these contracts provide an efficient and inexpensive framework to avoid legal fees. It is a legal tool that clearly exemplifies where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Now letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s discuss what a prenuptial agreement is not. Child support and custody cannot be resolved in advance with certainty, as agreements for both are always subject to modification by a Court. So if you try to set an agreement for future support or custody, please know both are modifiable.
A prenuptial agreement is also not a once and done proposition. What I mean is that after marriage, spouses have to consider future purchases, debt and restructuring of asset choices they make. Did the decisions they made comport with the intent of the prenuptial agreement? For instance, if the prenuptial agreement provides that individual assets remain the sole asset of those individuals but joint assets are subject to division in a divorce, the parties have to remember that when they sell or use individual assets for the purchase of a joint asset. I have seen situations where the parties execute a prenuptial agreement, put it in a drawer, and then get divorced 15 years later only to have commingled or purchased new assets without a further written agreement reflecting their intentions. 18 | Berks Barrister
Another reason to execute a prenuptial agreement is to provide for an orderly transition of assets upon death. In Pennsylvania, you cannot disinherit your spouse without a written agreement. The prenuptial agreement satisfies this requirement. In a second marriage situation, where the spouses wish to leave their estate to their children from the first marriage, a prenuptial agreement is crucial to fulling this intent. When I draft estate plans, I ask if the parties have a contract for this very reason.
Who? Anyone who is getting married. What? Probably most of you know that a prenuptial
agreement is essentially a contract between two parties as they embark on their happily-ever-after. Either or both spouses may wish to memorialize the smooth exit from the marriage caused by either divorce or death.
There are many reasons, all of them being important, that motivate people to seek a prenuptial agreement. Ownership interest in a privately held business such as a family business is a driving factor for many. In fact, some parties who are engaged to be married are encouraged by other members of their family, with whom they are in business, to obtain a prenuptial agreement to request that the new spouse disclaim any interest in the family business. Avoiding litigation over the value of a family business in a divorce eliminates a very difficult and costly obstacle. If a spouse has to buy out another spouse from a family business and there is no liquidation, it can devastate the businessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; finances.
Ideally, both parties should be afforded
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ample time to consider all of the issues. Ideally, both parties should be able to have time to consult with their own counsel and not be doing so at the last minute while in the hustle and bustle of final wedding planning. In actuality, many people put this off and I see prenuptial agreements executed within days of the wedding. This causes hard feelings and resentment and can subject the agreement to challenge years later.
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How? Pennsylvania law requires that there be a full disclosure of all assets and liabilities. This can be a sticking point for some as, especially in the second marriage situation, parties tend to be more private about their affairs. However, if full disclosure is not made by one or both parties, the agreement is not enforceable. The first step is to sit down with a lawyer months in advance of the wedding. Your lawyer will gather your financial picture and educate you on the process and the laws. Then your lawyer will draft the agreement to reflect what you would like. Then the agreement can be provided to the other spouse for review and negotiation. Because this process is “adversarial,” both parties need their own lawyer; it is a conflict of interest for the same lawyer to represent both. I recognize that this is a diffcult conversation. Who wants to pre-plan her own divorce or death, especially in the midst of wedding planning? However, I have handled many divorces where valid, well-designed prenuptial agreements were prepared and executed, and my clients are always well-served because of it.
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Great Day for
Golf and Picnic Ken Millman, Eric Fabrizio, Board Director George Gonzalez and Ben Leisawitz
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Current President Jill Koestel with Immediate Past President Jesse Pleet MIDPENNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S TEAM: Judy Kline, Mike Chabitnoy, Chris Hoffmann and Amy Good
ENJOYING THE PATIO (L-R): Bill Blumer, Thad Gelsinger, Allen Shollenberger, Past President Fred Mogel, Board Director Pete Schuchman and Past President John Speicher 20 | Berks Barrister
Lining up for freshly steamed clams
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Kelsey Frankowski, Mike Cammarano, Matt Setley and Sue Fultz Adam Levin and Mike Boland BLUES BROTHERS: Mike Monsour and Frank Mulligan
Judge Lillis, Kevin Musheno, Alex Elliker, Mike Wieder and Past President Lisa Ciotti
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The Orphans’ Court Rules Have Been Overhauled By H. Daniel Degler, Jr., Esquire
On December 1, 2015, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court adopted new Orphans’ Court rules – the first major overhaul of the rules since 1975 – that go into effect September 1, 2016. These rules have a profound effect on all local rules, except Chapter XV, Adoptions – they are all deleted! Any judicial district wishing to have local rules must not only re-draft and publish them, but first have them reviewed by the PA Orphans’ Court Rules Committee to ensure there are no inconsistencies with the new state rules. As of this writing, Berks County’s new O.C. Rules are still under review by the state committee. This article highlights the major changes from the existing Berks County rules and guides you on what you need to know. Hopefully by the time you are reading this, the rules will have been approved and published and you can reference rules as cited; otherwise, be on the lookout for rules and concepts contained herein to have been renumbered or reformatted. If you practice in Orphans’ Court or before the Register of Wills, READ THE RULES! Start with the PA rules – there are plenty of new ones, and the subject matter is reorganized. Then look to the corresponding local rules. Keep in mind Chapter I, which contains a variety of preliminary, miscellaneous, “attention22 | Berks Barrister
to-detail” rules that apply to all O.C. matters. Make sure your contact information is on everything you file. See Rule 1.7A. If you practice before the Register and want out of a matter you must now have other counsel to fill your void or file a petition. See Rule 1.7B. If your papers, parties, witnesses, or other involved persons are not presented to the court in English, see Rules 1.9E & F regarding translation requirements and notice to the court. To avoid delay, arrange interpreter services as early as you know you need them. Filing a formal account for adjudication? Planning to file objections to an account? WAKE UP! Audits will now be held at 9:00 a.m., not 9:30. There are also new rules governing the selection of the audit date and the procedure for dealing with supplemental receipts and disbursements. When filing an account, objections to an account, or preliminary objections to a pleading, be sure to attach the newly required proposed order. See Rules 2.7A, 2.8A, & 2.9A. If you need to file a petition that requires a citation, see Rule 3.4A. You will need to file a proposed preliminary decree that includes spaces for the setting of a return date and also a hearing date. Rules regarding publication of notice of a petition and the
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filing and presentation of emergency petitions have been adapted from our local civil rules. See Rules 3.5A & B. Filing an answer or preliminary objections to a petition obligates the respondent to attach an order for the scheduling of a status conference, hearing or argument. See Rules 3.6A and 3.9A. In Chapter V, Specific Types of Petitions, the rules regarding petitions to approve the sale of real property have been enhanced with some new additions and some borrowings from the civil rules. See Rules 5.10A through 5.10E and 5.11A through 5.11C. A brand new rule that has no counterpart in the Pa. O.C. Rules is Rule 5.16A, Assisted Conception Birth Registration. This rule sets forth the required contents of a petition seeking to name a child’s intended parents on the birth certificate of a child born to a surrogate mother. Per the state rules, matters regarding discovery shall conform to the practice of the local Civil Division. Berks County has a fairly new civil rule, B.R.C.P. 4001, that provides for discovery disputes to go to a master. B.C.O.C.R. 7.1A overrides that rule. Rule 7.1B directs that subpoenas for O.C. matters shall be obtained from the Register of Wills/Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, not another row office. Rules pertaining to motions for judgment on the pleadings and for summary judgment were added and adapted from B.R.C.P. 1034(a) and 1035.2(a). See Rules 7.2A & 7.3A. These
rules govern the timing for answers and briefs, argument scheduling, and the need to provide proposed orders and proof of service. Motions practice generally is governed by Rule 7.5A unless overridden by a specific rule. There is no state counterpart to this rule. Be careful with your professional relationships and referrals when doing guardianship work. New rule 14.2A prohibits a person filing a guardianship petition and any person alleged to have been acting against the best interests of an alleged incapacitated person from attempting to obtain counsel for the alleged incapacitated person. For those petitioners lacking the evidence to support their belief a person is incapacitated, Rule 14.2B requires that requests for a court-ordered evaluation name a proposed evaluator. If at the time of hearing incapacity is not contested, expert testimony may be provided by way of answers to written interrogatories rather than live testimony. See Rule 14.2C. Rules 14.2D and 14.2E require prompt filing of Mental Health Commitment and Guardian Acknowledgment forms that have been in use for years without a formal rule. Although Chapter XV, regarding petitions for the termination of parental rights and adoptions, has not been part Continued on page 24
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The Orphans’ Court Rules Have Been Overhauled Continued from page 23 of the statewide rules overhaul (for now), there are a few new local rules. A separate petition is required for each parent whose rights a petitioner seeks to terminate. Rule 15.4A. The parents or other persons entitled to notice of the hearing may execute a revocable waiver of notice. See Rule 15.6A. For confidentiality reasons, termination of parental rights should be done by a decree separate from an adoption decree. See Rule 15.4C. In cases where an “open adoption” with an agreement for continuing contact with a child’s biological family is presented to the court, notice will be required to the child’s guardian ad litem, if any. See Rule 15.10A. The most significant changes to the adoption rules are that all petitions for adoption shall be accompanied by an affidavit that is signed by the petitioner(s) and acknowledges financial responsibility for the adopted child(ren), see Rule 15.5C, and all petitions for the involuntary termination of a father’s parental rights shall have “appended thereto an affidavit of paternity signed by the child’s birth mother that contains” information regarding the identity of the child’s biological father. See Rule 15.4B.
So these are the major changes to the local Orphans’ Court rules in a nutshell. Fortunately for Berks County practitioners, several of our “old” rules have found their way into the Pa. O.C. Rules, which will make for easier transition. Still, like I said at the beginning, you will want to READ THE RULES before you do anything in Orphans’ Court or the Register of Wills office on and after September 1. Mr. Degler is a judicial law clerk for Berks County’s senior judges and a member of the Berks County Bar Association’s Orphans’ Court Rules Committee.
WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITIES!
24 | Berks Barrister
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Pa s t Pr eside n t s’
On May 26 a number of the Berks County Bar Association’s past presidents came together to enjoy a special dinner on the third floor of the Bar Building.
Fred Mogel sharing his “gift”
David Kozloff, Jesse Pleet, Howard Lightman and Daniel Bausher
Eugene Orlando, Terry Weiler and Edwin Kershner
Francis Mulligan and the Honorable Eugene Wisniewski
Lisa Ciotti and Charles Phillips
Jill Scheidt with the evening’s host
Current President Jill Gehman Koestel toasting the esteemed assemblage Summer 2016 | 25
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M i s c e l l a n e o u s
RHS Class of 1998, was a featured speaker at the Superintendent Scholastic Banquet in early June. He is with Leisawitz Heller.
On July 6 Eliana was born to Jacob and Jennifer Gurwitz, joining siblings Gabriella (4 years old) and Isabella (2 years old). Jacob is a partner at Feeney & Gurwitz.
Elizabeth Magovern and Christopher Hartman are
the proud parents of Isaac Acker Hartman, born on May 24. Liz and Chris are shareholders at Hartman, Valeriano, Magovern & Lutz, P.C.
Leisawitz Heller’s Thad Gelsinger, the current president
of the Greater Reading Young Professionals, threw out the first pitch at the Reading Fightin Phils/GRYP Night. Thad is on the right.
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26 | Berks Barrister
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The Winning Trifecta at 4th & Cherry By Susan N. Denaro, Esquire
The on-line Oxford Dictionary defines the adjective PLEIN-AIR as denoting or in the manner of a 19thcentury style of painting outdoors, or with a strong sense of the open air, that became a central feature of French Impressionism. I define the noun PLEIN AIR as the most charming restaurant in downtown Reading. This vibrantly colorful gem of an outdoor restaurant is indeed reminiscent of an impressionism painting and features modern twists on classic French café fare. It is the brain-child of Judy Henry, another one of Reading’s gems. Upon entering the courtyard she has converted into a cozy café, you will be instantly struck by the cerulean blue that is painted everywhere. Quaint touches and plants appear at every turn and help hide what could have been a very unattractive space in anyone else’s less experienced hands. But creating inviting atmospheres that diners want to return to again and again is part of what Judy does best. Creating delectable dishes is just another part of her charm. My favorite dish is one of the small plate items that includes beautifully prepared asparagus topped with a fried egg served over arugula. The plate is dotted with tasty lardoons and is tossed with house-made lemon vinaigrette and is finished with shaved parmesan cheese. It is truly a small plate so I suggest ordering a double serving and adding chicken to it to make a complete meal. Another favorite dish offered there, as well as at its British-inspired counterpart, The Speckled Hen, is the fried Brussel sprouts. It features ponzu sauce and I always order it on the side as I find that a little of the salty ponzu goes a long way. These are not your mother’s Brussel sprouts. Instead, they are salty and crispy and all that a fried vegetable should be.
Judy’s on Cherry 332 Cherry Street, Reading, PA 610-374-8511 Lunch: Tue. – Fri. 11:30 am to 2:00 pm Dinner: Tue. – Sat. 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm Plein Air 30 South 4th Street, Reading, PA 610-374-8511 Lunch 7 Wed. - Fri. 11:30 am to 2:00 pm Dinner Wed. - Sat. 4:30 pm to 9:00 pm The Speckled Hen 30 South 4th Street, Reading, PA 610-685-8511 Dinner Wed. – Sat. 4:30 pm to Midnight
Although the menu is small, it has a lot of variety, offering tartines (open-faced sandwiches), burgers and salads at lunchtime and swordfish, tuna, chicken, roast pork and flat iron steak at dinnertime. The market jar salad is a delightful option. Served in a large mason-type jar, it features mixed greens and spinach that is colorfully layered with black beans, avocado, corn and tomatoes. The salad dressing options include basil buttermilk, the lemon vinaigrette that is served on my favorite item, and blue cheese vinaigrette. This dish is as picture perfect as every nook and cranny of this tiny little café. There is an indoor seating area at Plein Air we used one evening when an unexpected rainstorm tried to spoil our plans to dine there. It is located in what I would describe as the breezeway between Judy’s and the Speckled Hen.
If I had to complain about anything regarding Plein Air it would be the hours. Since this is a seasonal restaurant, I would prefer it be open six days a week. Instead, it is open for lunch and dinner Wednesdays through Fridays. Not realizing it wasn’t open on Tuesdays, I called for a reservation for dinner before a show at the Santander Arena and a very pleasant person took the reservation. We were surprised to find that it was not open that Tuesday, but, fortunately, they were able to accommodate us at Judy’s on Cherry that night instead. Apparently, the phone operator did not know the schedule either. We were not disappointed with our meals at Judy’s. I enjoyed the Moroccan spiced salmon which was served with roasted lemon wedges and a silky saffron beurre blanc. The sides were broccoli rabe and fruited couscous, which they allowed me to swap out for spinach. The salmon was moist and tender and the vegetables paired very well with the warm Moroccan flavors on the fish. The back dining room of Judy’s has been freshened, and it is just as colorful and inviting as always. Judy’s staff is so efficient that there is no pressure to make a downtown performance if you let them know your schedule when you make your reservation. With the addition of Plein Air, Judy Henry has created the trifecta of restaurants at the corner of Fourth and Cherry Streets. Whether you are looking for a brew and a hearty stick to your rib meal at the Speckled Hen, a glass of wine and the lighter French countryside fare at Plein Air or a serious cocktail and a more classic European dish on offer at Judy’s on Cherry, you won’t be disappointed and you won’t leave hungry. Ms. Denaro is with the Wyomissing law firm of Georgeadis\\Setley. Summer 2016 | 27
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On May 3 the Berks County Bar Association celebrated Law Day with a special luncheon at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The theme, Miranda: More Than Words, recognized the 50th Anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision that gave us the Miranda warnings.
The Mogel Speidel table
The Fleetwood High School mock trial team was recognized as the County Champion!
The District Attorneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s table
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT FRONT: BCBA President Elect Kurt Althouse, Judge Lillis, Senior Judge Grim, Judge Barrett, Judge Parisi, Senior Judge Lieberman, Retired Judge Antanavage and Senior Judge Keller
28 | Berks Barrister
Placing second in the essay contest was Elise Kirwin with parents Attorney and Mrs. Robert Kirwin
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LSSA CLE Coordinator Lois Savage Essay Gold Medalist Lauryn Massengill with Law Day Chair Alexa Antanavage
Table hosted by Senior Judge Ludgate, Judge Ullman and Judge Sprecher Keynote speaker President Judge Paul Yatron, who received the Liberty Bell Award for his many years of public service
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Law Day Committee member Kevin Moore with Elsayed Elmarzouky, who delivered the invocation 2307 Penn Ave, West Lawn, PA 19609 •
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SUMMER of ‘66 By Francis M. Mulligan, Esquire
I gave up my full time job at the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority for law school. Temple University’s job placement office found me a spot for the summer between 1L and 2L. They had very few legal spots. They placed me at the Germantown Settlement House (GSH). Don’t look it up. They liquidated the establishment years ago. Like so much of Philadelphia, Germantown had been going through changes. It wasn’t a German town in 1966. Parts of the white establishment still resided in mixed race neighborhoods. Kevin Bacon’s father, Ed, couldn’t leave. He ran the Philadelphia Planning Commission. When I worked at the Redevelopment Authority a Germantown Project existed — mainly sprucing-up a section of the city that needed an infusion of federal money. I’m still not sure why they hired me. Maybe, to tell a story about events that recently flooded my consciousness. Concern about grandchildren. There’s a reason no one bullied me. I had forgot about it until my brother Jack told stories about me at my daughter’s wedding. I rarely lost a fistfight, and, as a child, I had a lot of fights. In the summer of ‘66, Sam Bratton, one of the executives at GHS, told me about a Germantown High school boy who used the Settlement House as a way station. He had been chased most of the summer by a gang of neighborhood boys. Sam explained the boy’s problem. A gay boy who spent the summer outrunning the neighborhood boys. When he ran to the GSH to escape his pursuers, he had been asked if he wanted police protection. He didn’t. He’d figure out a way to level the playing field. Up to this point in his life his foot speed protected him. The executive at the Settlement House gave me the boy’s name in case he dropped by when I minded the store. It happened one time. The boy asked to speak with me. It wasn’t a long conversation. “Are you gay?” That’s how the conversation began. I asked why he asked. He told me that I was old and not married. Someone at the Settlement House told him that. My answer disappointed him. He asked, “Why aren’t you married?” I told him. “I want to finish law school without entangling alliances.” I disappointed him. He was looking for someone to help him on his life’s journey. When I told him I wasn’t gay, he had no further interest in me. I knew that sooner rather than later he’d be grabbed by the ones chasing him. Summer ended and law school and law review took over. I didn’t like the demands the editors of the law review placed on 30 | Berks Barrister
me. In mid-September I began my days at the Linton’s across the street from the former synagogue that served as the law school. Someone left the Philadelphia Inquirer on the counter. I think the headline read, TEEN AGE BOY MURDERS PURSUERS. When I saw the boy’s name, I kept reading. It happened during an evening chase in Germantown. The boy who had outran his pursuers all summer ran into a dead-end alley. They had him for their sexual gratification at last. So, it seemed. He didn’t run into a dead-end alley by mistake. As his pursuers approached he picked up the shotgun he had hidden in the alley. He killed two of his pursuers. The gay boy came under the jurisdiction of juvenile authorities. I sat at the counter, and reread the article. No mention in the Inquirer article about what really happened. “Just the facts” as Joe Friday would say. As if the “facts” tell the story. I don’t know what happened to the boy. The Inquirer records can’t be easily accessed. The Germantown Settlement House records found a home at Temple University. My inquiries haven’t been answered. I emailed a writer who advertises himself as Gay, Black, and Old. He graduated from Germantown High in 1966. He didn’t respond to my inquiry. I won’t have the success I had after the Barrister published BACK AFTER LABOR DAY. Berks lawyer Kevin Feeney called me after reading it. Our conversation about the Papieves family [parents of the boy buried alongside the Darby Creek] helped me finish Swamp Boat — a novel that needed an ending. It doesn’t help that I forgot the boy’s name. With bullies once and awhile there comes an awakening. It didn’t happen for the two boys killed in the alley. Maybe, some of the pursuers who weren’t gunned down learned a lesson that night. Mr. Mulligan is a past president of the Berks County Bar Association, frequent contributor to The Berks Barrister, and whose latest book, Swamp Boat, is on sale at Amazon.com.
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Pro Bono Profiles
to Help Those in Need By Donald F. Smith, Jr., Esquire
One word describes Julie J. Marburger — ACTIVE!
Her life is family law practice, certified title insurance agent, planning commission, historical architecture review board, YLS softball, member of BCBA’s Law Day and Strategic Planning Committees, a fixture at BCBA events and as a pro bono volunteer. Julie’s volunteering to take on pro bono cases at MidPenn Legal Services has been exemplary, and, thus, she is the recipient of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s 2016 Pro Bono Award to be presented at the Pro Bono Celebration Luncheon on October 25. An associate at Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P. C., Julie is a 2011 graduate of John Marshall Law School in Atlanta, Georgia, where her family had lived since Julie was a kindergartener. Her father served in the Marines, and they had moved around the country until settling in Atlanta. Julie was actually born in Illinois. Prior to law school, she graduated from the College of Charleston where she did a double major—Historic Preservation with Community Planning and Art History. As if that were not enough academics, she minored in psychology as well. After attaining her undergraduate degrees, she matriculated at the University of Georgia where she earned a Masters’ degree in Historic Preservation.
On St. Patrick’s Day Julie is the center of the line-up at the BCBA’s March Madness Party
32 | Berks Barrister
Why the interest in historic preservation? Both of her parents are Berks County natives, and growing up she would spend summers with her grandparents. “I really like the beautiful houses and the architecture here and thought about being an architect but believed there would be too much math. So I decided on historic preservation instead. Same principles but not the math. I went to college with that as my passion.” Well, why law school then? As part of her masters’ curriculum she took a course on preservation law, and “I loved it!” Combining law and historic preservation seemed the way to go. Even in law school her favorite courses were environmental and property law, but it is the summer internships that stand out. The summer after first year was spent clerking for an appellate justice in Saipan, one of the Northern Mariana Islands and a U. S. Commonwealth in the Western Pacific. “I was literally living in paradise, 88 degrees every day.” The second summer internship was much closer to home— the District of Columbia. She worked in the legal department of the National Trust for Historic Preservation doing research. However, she took frequent field trips to check on homes of historic significance or notable architectural style for which the owners had given the Trust an easement. It was Julie’s task to make certain no changes had been made to the property by comparing the current view to prior pictures.
Julie connects! Returning to school after that summer, Julie was able to graduate a semester early. To study for the Georgia bar exam, she stayed with her grandparents in Berks County, and, while studying, she helped take care of her grandfather who was having health issues at the time. After taking the exam in Atlanta at the end of February, Julie returned to Berks, whereupon she met Berks County Bar Association member Elizabeth M. Ebner, who hired her, first as a clerk and then, after she passed the Pennsylvania bar exam, as an associate with Ebner, Nevins & McAllister, LLC. At first, her practice was criminal law but migrated thereafter to family law and DUI defense. The partners “were great mentors and encouraged me to be active in the Bar Association. Dan Nevins told me I needed to be on the softball team. I don’t know where I would be otherwise; the networking grew from there.” Julie thinks, without any prodding from the author, that “our Bar Association is the most valuable resource for the practice of law.” While partaking of what the Bar Association has to offer, Julie also gives back in a big way. She has been a very active participant in the Bar Association’s pro bono program. Filling in for others, as well as taking her turn to meet with clients at MidPenn, Julie has set the bar for meeting the professional responsibility of providing access to justice for those in need. Amy B. Good, manager of the Reading office of MidPenn, had nominated Julie for the PBA award. “Julie arrives at our office with a smile on her face. She is very pleasant and patient with clients. Quite often she agrees to take on cases for full representation where others may provide advice only. Our clients receive a great benefit because of her giving spirit.” One pro bono case stands out in particular. She came to represent a father who had not seen his child in a long time. Initially, the mother could not be found, but it was learned she was in rehab and the child was with the grandmother. After multiple court appearances and countless hours devoted to this one case, Julie successfully brought the client and son together. “When you can re-unify a family under those circumstances, it is very rewarding.” Since September of last year Julie has been practicing family law with Wolf Baldwin in their Reading office. Recently, she
passed the exam to be a title insurance agent, adding that to her portfolio of practice. Despite her full plate of activity, including devotion to pro bono representation, Julie has not lost the passion that inspired her undergraduate and masters’ degrees. She finds time to serve on the Amity Township Planning Commission and the Pottstown Historic Architectural Review Board. Until recently, she was the fundraising chair for the Daniel Boone Homestead.
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CPAs and BCBA Together On May 31 the Berks County Bar Association hosted a seminar for attorneys and accountants at the DoubleTree Hotel. The subject was the “Business of Baseball.”
Herb Karasin The DoubleTree’s comfortable amphitheater
Attentive group Dave Roland and Walt Frankowski
Marc Sigal and Foundation Trustee Jim Snyder Sue Palmer and Bob Hobaugh
34 | Berks Barrister
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Keith Mooney and Foundation Trustee Franki Aitkin, CPA Judge Barrett, Paula Barrett, CPA, and Doug Rauch
Law Foundation Trustee Mark Caltagirone, CPA, and Mike Wolfe
Steve Frank, CPA, and Todd Cook
Temporary Advantages We live with no chance of snakes in winter. But there is a chance of ice in summer, as hail; and other unlikely atmospherics, like a waterspout from the sea, full of little fishes, that, like a serpent, rises up, and casts them far inland. We live with no chance of snakes in winter. As warm blooded beasts, we are free to bask in the bracing blast of the season, its empty clear sky repose and fruitless breeze, the land leafless as a tomb, and our advantage snakebit, withering in the wind. William W. Runyeon
Summer 2016 | 35
Helping you achieve your goals has always been ours Congratulations to Mark A. Maggs for being recognized on the Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors list.
Maggs & Associates Mark A. Maggs, CIMA®, CRPC® Senior Vice President – Wealth Management Wealth Management Advisor 610.320.5462 firstname.lastname@example.org
Merrill Lynch 985 Berkshire Boulevard Suite 200 Wyomissing, PA 19610 fa.ml.com/maggs
Life’s better when we’re connected® Source: Barron’s magazine, March 7, 2016, America’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors list. Advisors considered for the “America’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors” ranking have a minimum of seven years financial services experience and have been employed at their current firm for at least one year. Quantitative and qualitative measures used to determine the advisor rankings include: client assets, return on assets, client satisfaction/retention, compliance records and community involvement, among others. Barron’s does not receive compensation from advisors, participating firms and their affiliates, or the media in exchange for rankings. Barron’s is a trademark of Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, a registered broker-dealer and Member SIPC, and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation. Investment products:
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The Bull Symbol, Life’s better when we’re connected and Merrill Lynch are trademarks of Bank of America Corporation. CIMA® is a registered certification mark of Investment Management Consultants Association, Inc. CRPC® is a registered service mark of the College for Financial Planning. © 2016 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. AR37CQNC | AD-04-16-1312 | 471003PM-1215 | 04/2016