Montgomery Bar Association | Montgomery County, PA
Find Your Next Big Idea at the Delaware Valley Legal Expo
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the delaware valley legal expo: find your next big idea
Montgomery Bar Association | Montgomery County PA
SIDEBAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS Co-Chairs Robert R. Watson, Jr., Esq. Gary J. Friedlander, Esq.
Regular columnists: Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq. Cynthia L. Brennan, Esq. Richard E. Cohen, Esq. David H. Comer, Esq. Jack Costello Charles V. Curley, Esq. Lindsay Hanifan, Esq. Mary Kay Kelm, Esq. Jim Mathias Dennis R. Meakim, Esq. Kelley L. Menzano, Esq. Craig Oppenheimer, Esq. Gerald L. Shoemaker, Jr., Esq.
17 Interviewing CHildren IN EVERY ISSUE... President’s Message............................4 Bits & Bytes..........................................8 Restaurant Review.............................22
FEATURES Senior Judge Ditter Addresses Bench and Bar at Annual Summer Dinner......5
Montgomery Bar Foundation.............24
Judge Bertin Set to Retire.....................6
Criminal Investigations in the Employment Process............................12
Wiretaps.............................................34 Young Lawyers...................................36
Claims Against the Securities Industry................................14 MBA Leadership Academy.................16 Annual Clambake..................................20
Serving the Profession and the Community since 1885
Volunteers Step Up!..............................23 Book (P)review......................................26 Speakers Bureau Visits Luther Woods.........................................27 2014 Bench Bar Conference................28
Judge Bertin Set to Retire
The SIDEBAR Committee invites articles and news information of interest. Please send content to: MBA, c/o SIDEBAR Committee, P.O. Box 268, Norristown, PA 19404-0268 or email: email@example.com. The SIDEBAR Committee reserves the right to edit any material submitted and/or to omit the same from publication. Most articles are written by members for members.
Meet New NPD Chief Mark Talbot....15
George Cardenas IT Manager Jack Costello Marketing Manager Jim Mathias Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs Nancy R. Paul Executive Director
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman’s “Wheels of Justice” Team........................................30 A Message from USI Affinity...............32 MBA Fantasy Football League 2014...33 MBA Member Quick Tips....................38
Montgomery Bar Association 2014 Officers
Michael F. Rogers, Esq., President Bruce Pancio, Esq., President-Elect Carolyn R. Mirabile, Esq., Vice-President Eric B. Smith, Esq., Treasurer Wendy G. Rothstein, Esq., Secretary Publisher Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc. 2921 Windmill Road, Reading, PA 19608 610.685.0914 x201 | HoffPubs.com Advertising Contacts Andrea Krantz 610.685.0914 x205 | Andrea@HoffPubs.com Karen Zach 610.685.0914 x213 | Karen@HoffPubs.com
A SALUTE TO THE BENCH OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY By Michael F. Rogers, Esq., MBA President
his year, as President of the Bar, I have seen firsthand how the citizens of Montgomery County, and particularly the Montgomery Bar Association, have benefited from the hard work and efforts of our judiciary. As I approach the end of my presidency, I would like to take the opportunity to thank and salute all the members of the Bench of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County. By impartially deciding matters of great significance to those who appear before them, these men and women provide a great example of a modern judicial system that attorneys, as well as the average citizen, should expect. As important as the impartial decision making role is, our judges also participate in a very wide range of activities. One recent example was evident at the annual Bench Bar Conference in Cambridge, Maryland, this past September. At that meeting, as has been the tradition, President Judge William J. Furber, Jr. spoke on the state of the judiciary, which updated those in attendance on the most
significant activities of the Court over the past year. All who were present had to be tremendously impressed by the sheer volume of cases handled by our jurists. Equally impressive are the new initiatives that have been undertaken by the Court to improve efficiency, which will provide long range benefits to all the citizens of Montgomery County and particularly to the lawyers who practice before the Courts. In addition to the initiatives instituted by the Court, I have also been impressed by the wide range of activities in which the judges of Montgomery County are willing to assist the Bar Association. Most judges will willingly present a continuing legal education program, and will attend and actively participate in committee meetings, all in the interest of advancing the cause of justice. In addition to that, many of the judges give their time to the High School Mock Trials in which students are exposed to the legal system. Our judges also willingly participate in the Liberty & Law Civics Education Program in which members of the Bar Association and many of our judges help teach civics classes to each and every sixth grade student in the Norristown Area School District. One of the most important partnerships our Bar Association has with the judges is the willingness of
the Bench to include Bar Association members in appropriate task forces and other projects. The Bench recognizes that the joint efforts of the Bench and the Bar Association can incorporate a wide range of viewpoints on issues of concern to both groups, with the goal of producing a result that is comprehensive in terms of all users of the judicial system. Our judges also serve on many statewide panels in which laws and court rules are drafted and apply throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The men and women who serve in these positions rarely seek the limelight — in spite of the benefits we all realize from their efforts. The above examples are only some of the many areas in which our judges go beyond the call of duty. We also know and appreciate that behind the scenes is a professional judicial administration that supports our judges to help the system run as efficiently as possible. In closing, I thank all the members of the Bench of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County for your extraordinary service. We recognize that you are among the best in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and perhaps in the nation.
MBA / FEATURE
Senior Judge Ditter Addresses Bench and Bar at Annual Summer Dinner The following words were spoken by the Honorable J. William Ditter, Jr. at the Annual Summer Dinner Meeting of the Board of Directors on June 25, 2014. Mr. President, honored judges, and my fellow members of the Montgomery Bar Association: My father, who was a great orator and much in demand nationwide as a public speaker, once said there are three things a man cannot do: he cannot climb a fence that leans towards him, he cannot kiss a girl who leans away from him, and he cannot gracefully thank and acknowledge words of praise said in public. He was right, of course. So, rather than try, I will reminisce a bit and then ask of you that which you may already do. Shortly after I became a Common Pleas Judge, I was invited back to the Ambler Rotary Club to speak at the 50th anniversary of its founding. Lou Stefan was the master of ceremonies. Lou and I had always been friendly rivals in Ambler and good social friends. I started off by saying that I am often asked about the difference between being a judge and a lawyer. I said, “I use the same books, I write as I did before, read briefs as I did before, but there is one difference – all the lawyers now laugh at my jokes.” After I finished the rest of my talk, it was Lou’s turn and he said, “The lawyers not only laugh at Judge Ditter’s jokes – they laugh at everything he says.” Shortly before the Puritans were to disembark from the ship Arbella that brought them to the new world in 1630, John Winthrop told them their new
community would be a “city set on a hill” and that the eyes of all people would be upon them and that they dare not deal falsely with God in the work they had undertaken. Three hundred thirty-one years later, President-elect John F. Kennedy referred to Winthrop’s sermon to his Puritan followers and said that Winthrop’s challenge had been realized; that America was indeed a city set on a hill; the eyes of the world were upon us; and that we, as a nation, dare not falter in our responsibilities. In his farewell to the nation in 1989, President Ronald Reagan said of America: I have spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I do not know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind, it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace...and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and doors were open to anyone with the will and heart to get here. And that brings me to you. You have been most kind and generous to me tonight and I am grateful beyond all measure. But there is more. It is my hope that despite her many faults and shortcomings, you share with me the belief that America is indeed a city set upon a hill, that John Winthrop’s prediction has come true, that President Kennedy was correct when he said the eyes of the world are upon us and we dare not falter in our responsibilities, and that you share President Reagan’s
vision of America. Many years ago, Justice Brewer observed that the mystic force that has bound our nation together and made possible its success and glories is the Law and those who have ministered at its shrine and kept alive its sacred fires. Bear that in mind – the mystic force that has made possible our nation’s success and glories is its lawyers. And that imposes a duty upon you and me and all of us whose forebearers have bound our nation together and made possible its success and glories. And so, what I am asking of you is this: when you have finished speaking to the Rotary Club, the Kiwanis, or some other civic group, and after you have told them about the Rule in Shelly’s Case, or, the mysteries of the Rules Against Perpetuities, you will pause so they will know that you have finished with the law. Then, end your talk by reminding your listeners of the goodness and greatness of America – tell them the part lawyers have played and continue to play in making our nation a city set upon a hill. It is a worthy closing, and one that you should be proud to make. Thank you – and God Bless America. The Honorable J. William Ditter, Jr., Senior Judge with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, is celebrating his 50th anniversary as a member of the Bench this year.
MBA / FEATURE
Judge Bertin SET TO RETIRE By Gerald L. Shoemaker, Jr., Esq.
udge Bertin will be retiring at year end. He has a storied career and will be missed by both the Bench and Bar. His strong commitment to helping attorneys and litigants never faltered and he is and always will be known for his judicial temperament and courtroom demeanor. He and his wife Roslynne (“Roz”) have been married 47 years. He first saw Roz at a junior high school dance when he was 14 years old and has had a crush on her ever since. They graduated Cheltenham High School together in 1962. After graduating from Moravian College, Judge Bertin attended the University of Richmond Law School. Roz and Judge Bertin were married the summer before his second year of law school and Roz worked as a teacher in Virginia to help put “hubby through.” Following graduation from law school, Judge Bertin began working with the Department of Defense in its litigation department. Thereafter, he went into private practice, practicing family law with the Norristown firm of Moss, Rounick and Hurowitz, which later merged into Pechner Dorfman. He then practiced law with Abrahams and Lowenstein before becoming a sole practitioner from 1988 until 1996 when he took the Bench. Judge Bertin assumed his judicial duties on the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County on January 1, 1996.
In addition to serving in the Civil and Family Divisions, he served as Administrative Judge of Family Court for 3 years from 1996 to 1999. Judge Bertin has regularly served as a Lecturer in Family Law at the Pennsylvania Judges School for newly elected judges and has lectured on Family Law to judges at the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges. He also has lectured and authored articles for the legal profession on behalf of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and Pennsylvania Bar Association. Judge Bertin has received statewide appointments as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission Domestic Relations Advisory Committee and to the Commission for Justice Initiatives in Pennsylvania, Changing the Culture of Custody Committee. Judge Bertin was the recipient of the 2011 Eric Turner Memorial Award in Family Law and the recipient of a PBA Special Achievement Award for Custody Law Legislation. Before becoming a Judge he was listed in all editions of,The Best Lawyers in America; served as President of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (PA); Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Bar Association, Family Law Section; Chairman of the Montgomery Bar Association, Family Law Committee; Editor-In-Chief of the Pennsylvania Family Lawyer; author of the law book entitled Pennsylvania Child Custody Law, Practice and Procedure; was a three-time recipient
of the Pennsylvania State Bar Special Achievement Award; Legal Counsel, International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, U.S.A. Chapter; and Diplomat, the American College of Family Trial Lawyers. Judge Bertin was a pioneer in the 1987-88 changes to the Divorce Code, as he and others in the Family Law Section helped develop rules and statutes to modernize family law. He also did this with his service as chair of the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission Domestic Relations Advisory Committee, which committee was successful in laying the foundation for the amendments to the Divorce Code in 2005 and in overhauling the custody statutes in 2010.
Judge Bertin’s book, Pennsylvania Child Custody Law, Practice and Procedure, in publication since 1983, is now co-authored with his son, Michael E. Bertin, Esquire. Judge Bertin and Roz intend to travel upon his retirement. They intend to travel to Europe, as they both love history, sightseeing and museums. Aruba is also on their list. They will also do short trips to New York City for theater, museums and dining. Most importantly, they will travel to spend more time with their grandchildren. Their daughter Beverly and her husband, Lee, live in Pittsburgh with their triplets, Alexis, Amanda and Ashley. He will also be able to spend more time with his son Michael and his daughter-in-law Sarah’s children, Julia and Jake who live in
for making a mark in Montgomery County.
Montgomery County. There is one thing that is certain and will not change upon his retirement – you will always be able to find Judge Bertin at every home Eagles game. “It’s been a great run for 19 years.” And he “can’t believe it’s time to retire.” He was and is honored to have been elected as a judge. His final words of wisdom before retirement are that “we should all treat everyone with dignity and professionalism.” One of his favorite memories of being on the Bench was seeing lawyers mature, develop and evolve over their careers. He will miss his other members of the Bench, who he considers his comrades. We will all miss Judge Bertin, and we wish him and his family the best upon his retirement.
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BITS & BYTES
Bits By Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq.
With all the
1. Your computer
The first thing everyone should do is use a personal password to lock your computers. This applies to home and work. Check with your employer for work policies. Most of us use a unique “log-in” to access the company system. Another level of security is to use a personal password to secure your individual identity when you turn on your computer. This especially applies to your home or personal computers. If more than one person uses the computer, give each one a unique password to log on to the computer. This will keep your basic settings and data reasonably safe. If there are multiple users, make sure you log out from your account after use to maintain privacy. Another quick tip is to apply a password to a screen saver. Check the settings on your computer, but most allow this feature. This will keep prying eyes from your data.
about privacy and security breaches at Home Depot, Target, e-mail accounts and Internet scams, it’s a good time to review 5 Tips to help you be safer online.
2. Phones, tablets, etc. Locking your mobile device is not an option — just do it. Every device has this feature and though it will require an extra step to before you can use your device, it is well worth it. Newer models are using fingerprint identification, which gives a
greater degree of security. Leaving your device “open” is asking for someone to steal your personal data and leaves you vulnerable to identity theft. Take a second and think about the amount of personal data stored on your mobile device as well as gateways to data stored elsewhere.
3. E-mail Now that you’ve secured your gateways, it’s time to protect the most serious security problem to all of us. Many of us started out by using AOL and its e-mail. “You’ve got mail” became ubiquitous. The problem was our e-mail box settings usually left our messages open and available to anyone using the computer. If you do nothing else, use a unique password for your e-mail and change it periodically. This should be mandatory on any public or multi-user computer. Use a spam filter and keep it up to date. Most e-mail programs contain spam filters which do a good job. Delete, don’t reply to spam. Unsubscribing may or may not work. Help your e-mail client and mark e-mails as spam and delete them. Clean out your spam folder or mailbox daily. Never open or reply to a suspicious e-mail. Look at the sender’s e-mail address, the source
header, or other identifying information. When in doubt, mark as spam and delete! Avoid e-mail chain messages. Unless you can verify every e-mail address, don’t reply or forward. These can contain spam, viruses or other security flaws.
4. Social media Remember, what you put online, stays online...forever. Never post personal information, including pictures, that can be used to cause you harm. Boasting about your vacation plans...why not put a sign on your front lawn that your house is empty for two weeks? Do not indiscriminately add “friends” or connections to your social media accounts. Make sure you know who they are and periodically review and purge them. Read and adjust the privacy rules for every social media account and internet subscription. This is a prime source of spam and a security flaw. Clean out your internet browser history after use. Review your password settings, especially on multi-user or public computers. A “save password” setting can be helpful, but could cause a security flaw.
You take care of your clients, but who takes care of you?
5. Passwords I saved the best for last. Passwords are a pain to remember, but they are a necessary evil. The best passwords contain letters, numbers and symbols. Never use obvious information like your dog’s name, birthday or any other readily available related personal identifier. If you keep them on a list on your computer, please protect the list. Don’t save it as “Passwords” as some people have done. I know it is hard to remember all the passwords for your apps, websites, accounts, etc. There are many password apps or programs that will act like a protected portal. They will generate random passwords, remember them and insert them into your applications. See if your operating system (Windows or OS X) either has this type of application as part of the system or for purchase for download. Examples of this application include 1Password and LastPass. Your passwords are golden; protect them and change them periodically.
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MBA / FEATURE
The Delaware Valley Legal Expo:
Find Your Next Big Idea
reat ideas can come from anywhere. Have you noticed that there are certain times and certain places that seem to generate ideas more than others? It’s difficult to think “big picture” when you have your nose in a case file or if you’re transcribing a deposition. Sometimes, you need to get out of the office in order to think about your practice. These days, the practice of law is as much a business enterprise as it is a profession. Law school, as it should, focuses more on legal education than business education. Many firms defer to legal administrators and office managers to handle the day-to-day business operations, while other attorneys prefer a more “hands-on” approach. For small firm practitioners and solos, there’s often no choice but to roll up your sleeves and embrace it. Regardless of where you are today, attorneys need to understand upcoming trends and new legal products
and services that could impact their practice. Nineteen years ago, the Association of Legal Administrators – Independence Chapter, along with the Montgomery Bar Association, identified the need to bridge the gap between business enterprise and legal practice. The Delaware Valley Legal Expo was born. In the years since, the Expo has grown into the region’s preeminent legal trade show and networking event. It’s the one annual event, FREE to all members of the legal community, where connections are made, new suppliers are found, trends are discovered and the future of the legal workplace is revealed. Nearly 100 knowledgeable vendors will be on hand to help provide solutions and advice on ways to improve your practice. Learn about the latest in emerging technology, cost saving strategy, practice management platforms, and so much more. Talk to the vendors. Let
them know about your struggles. Ask questions. More often than not, you’ll find a resolution – or at least a pathway to one.
New this year
is the OMEGASYSTEMS Cloud Hosting Experience — a mobile tech playground where you can test-out powerful new mobile devices from industry leaders such as HP, Dell, and Lenovo, while experiencing the robust capabilities of the OMEGASYSTEMS’ private cloud. A team of tech professionals will be there to answer questions, guide you through the process, and explain what all the “Cloud Hosting” buzz is about. More importantly, they’ll explain and demonstrate for you what all of this can mean to your practice. You’ll even be given an opportunity to experience the latest and greatest tech gadgets first-hand and in real time. Who knows, maybe this is where you’ll find that big idea.
Even the location of the Legal Expo can be conducive to idea generation. The first thing you’ll notice when arriving at the Expo is the warm, welcoming lobby of Presidential Caterers in East Norriton. After a quick registration, you’re free to leisurely stroll two exquisite ballrooms populated with friends, colleagues, and vendors. Enjoy free hors d’oeuvres served by a friendly wait-staff. Head to one of two bars, drink ticket in hand, for a cocktail or a cold soda. The laid-back, free-flowing atmosphere is sure to get your creative juices flowing. If that’s not enough to convince you, attendees have a chance to win dozens upon dozens of valuable door prizes. By simply dropping off a pre-completed raffle ticket at the MBA booth, you’ll be entered to win one of two Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet devices. Each vendor will be giving away a door prize as well so there are ample opportunities to win. The Delaware Valley Legal Expo is free to attend for anyone and everyone working in a law office, corporate legal department, our courts, or any law-related profession. Plan on closing the office a little early on Wednesday, November 19th and insist that your colleagues join you to experience this once-a-year event. Don’t miss this opportunity to find your next big idea. Presidential Caterers is conveniently located at the corner of Dekalb Pike and Germantown Pike in East Norriton, PA and is easily accessible from many major highways, including the PA turnpike, 202, 76, and 476. Ample parking is available.
Start your Legal Expo experience early. Follow the MBA on Facebook and Twitter (links on www.montgomerybar.org) for exciting news from exhibitors regarding prizes and promotions. Get a sneak peak at some of the products and services that you’ll find at the Expo. Use and follow hashtag #DVLegalExpo to participate!
Delaware Valley Legal Expo Date: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 Time: 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM Place: Presidential Caterers, 2910 Dekalb Pike, East Norriton, PA 19401 Register for free at www.montgomerybar.org
MBA / FEATURE
The Use of Criminal Investigations in the Employment Process By Robert W. Small, Esq.
make it unlawful to ask about or consider arrest records. The EEOC and these jurisdictions take the position that because arrest records do not establish that any criminal conduct occurred, they should not be used in and of themselves to make a job related decision. The EEOC recognizes, however, that an arrest might be a basis for further inquiry into whether or not there are facts which would justify an adverse hiring decision. The EEOC acknowledges that the conduct underlying the arrest (but not the arrest itself) might be a basis to refuse employment. Employers are best advised not to conduct a criminal background investigation until it has offered employment; making the offer subject to the offeree passing a criminal background check after the offer is accepted. As a practical matter, there is no benefit to an employer in spending the money to conduct criminal background investigations before an offer has been made and accepted.2 Conviction of a crime in and of itself will usually serve as sufficient evidence that a person engaged in the conduct supporting the conviction. That conduct, however, might not necessarily establish a legitimate basis for denying or terminating employment. Employers must determine that the conviction is job related and that denial of employment is consistent with business necessity. This is an individualized determination that must be made with regard to each applicant as opposed to a global assessment made with regard to the job itself. To determine that a criminal conviction is job related and that denying employment as a result of that conviction is consistent with business necessity, the employer must link the specific criminal conduct and the danger it creates with the risk inherent in the duties of the job in question.
he United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and many state equivalent agencies take the position that making employment decisions, including the initial decision to offer employment, based on an individualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s criminal history can constitute discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and state analogues. This concern arises particularly with regard to race and national origin discrimination. Private litigants have filed suits against employers alleging violation of these anti-discrimination laws. In the area of criminal background investigations, disparate treatment claims arise most frequently when African-American or Hispanic individuals have asserted that they were denied employment because of a criminal history while Caucasian employees with a comparable criminal history have been employed by the employer. Disparate impact claims arise where an employerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s facially neutral policy of not hiring any individual with a criminal history disproportionately and adversely impacts minorities. The argument is, that a facially neutral policy of not hiring anyone with a criminal history has a disproportionately adverse effect on minorities because they have a disproportionately higher criminal arrest and conviction experience. Because of an increase in these types of lawsuits, well advised employers have abandoned policies which preclude the hiring of anyone with a criminal history and are using criminal background investigations much more carefully and in a time-sensitive manner when considering criminal history as part of the hiring decision.1 As a general proposition, employers should never ask about and should ignore arrest records. Some jurisdictions actually
Undertaking an individualized assessment consists of providing notice to the individual that he or she has been screened out of being hired because of the criminal conviction. The individual must be given an opportunity to prove to the employer with additional information that an exception is warranted by showing that the policy as applied is not job related and consistent with business necessity. The EEOC’s guidelines provide examples of relevant considerations in individualized assessments (see below). If an employer can show that its screening is “narrowly tailored to identify criminal conduct with a demonstrably tight nexus to the position in question,” the screening may, itself, be used to screen out applicants for employment. However, unless the employer is confident that it can show a narrowly tailored screen and tight nexus to the position in question, the Guidance recommends that employers utilize an individual assessment to screen out applicants based on a criminal conviction record. In performing an individual assessment, the EEOC recommends that employers consider each of the following factors:
into consideration any factual import provided by the affected individual. If, after the individualized assessment the employer intends to not hire, it should send the individual affected a “notice of adverse action” notifying that it has made a final decision not to hire. In sum, employers intending to use criminal background investigations should not make decisions based merely on arrest records, and in using conviction records be certain that a decision not to hire takes into consideration the issues raised by the EEOC’s individual assessment Guidance and can meet the tests of job relatedness and business necessity. Under both federal and state statutes, employers in certain industries are required to undertake criminal background investigations as part of the employment process. This article does not address those situations but are related only to employers who are not under such statutory mandates. 2 The United States Equal Employment Opportunity commission has published enforcement guidelines with regard to the use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions. These can be found at www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm. 1
• The facts or circumstances surrounding the offense or conduct; • The number of offenses for which the individual was convicted; • Age at the time of conviction or release from prison; • Evidence that the individual performed the same type of work, post-conviction; • Employment, with the same or a different employer, with no known incidence of criminal conduct; • The length and consistency of employment history before and after the offense or conduct; • Rehabilitation efforts such as education or training; • Employment or character references and any other information regarding the individual’s fitness for the particular position; and • Whether the individual is bonded under a federal, state or local bonding program.
Robert W. Small, Esq., is an attorney with Reger Rizzo & Darnall in Philadelphia.
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In addition to the EEOC’s Guidance, employers must be aware that background checks might be subject to the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). Under FCRA, if a criminal background check is prepared by a consumer reporting agency (“CRA”), it is deemed a “consumer report” and subject to the Act’s safeguards. Under the Act, the employer must notify any individual who is subject to a criminal background report that one is being obtained and give the individual a copy of the report and a summary of the individual’s FCRA rights before refusing to employ them. Employers should withhold making a hiring decision for at least five days to accord the individual time to review and dispute the accuracy of the report or to explain any conduct identified in the report. The employer should then conduct the individualized assessment discussed above, taking
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MBA / FEATURE
A Primer on Bringing Claims Against
Stockbrokers and Brokerage Firms
By Benjamin R. Picker, Esq.
n elderly couple who have been retired for years walks into your office and tells you that their stockbroker at a mid-size brokerage firm – a person they had trusted for several years – invested their entire nest egg in high-commission, closed-end mutual funds without their permission, and did so shortly before a major “correction” in the stock market. As a result, these good people lost half of the money they intended to live off of during their golden years. Would you know how to handle such a matter? Where would you bring suit? What types of claims would you assert? Handling disputes between members of the securities industry and their customers is a specialized area of the law. A customer who has been harmed by the acts or omissions of a securities brokerage firm (known as a broker-dealer in the securities industry) and/or by a stockbroker (known as a registered representative) are ordinarily required to adjudicate their claim in arbitration before the dispute resolution arm of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The arbitration process is governed by the FINRA Rules of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes, which are available on FINRA’s website. The arbitration process is initiated by the filing of a Statement of Claim, which FINRA serves on the respondent(s). A fee, which is determined by the amount of the claim asserted, must be paid by the claimant to initiate the arbitration process. The respondent(s) then have forty-five days after service to file an Answer. Motions to dismiss are discouraged in FINRA arbitration. The respondent(s) must also pay a fee to FINRA. After the arbitrators are selected and an initial pre-hearing telephone conference is held, the parties proceed with discovery. Discovery is generally limited to the exchange of relevant documents (FINRA provides a list of documents that are presumptively discoverable in all cases), with information requests being very limited, and depositions being prohibited unless a party or crucial witness is near death. At least twenty days prior to the hearing, the parties must exchange lists of the witnesses they intend to call and the documents they intend to introduce at the hearing. The arbitrators have the power to issue “notices to appear” to members of the securities industry, and the arbitrators may also issue subpoenas to those who are not members of the securities industry. The arbitration hearing is usually held at a FINRA hearing site nearest to where the claimant resided at the time of the transactions in question. Typically, a customer in FINRA arbitration is complaining about unsuitable investments, excessive trading, or unauthorized SIDEBAR
trading, although there are many other types of actionable conduct. While it is not necessary to set forth legal causes of action in the Statement of Claim, such claims are often framed as causes of action for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, conversion, violation of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, and violation of the Pennsylvania Securities Act. Expert witnesses are often necessary to prove wrongdoing and to accurately calculate damages. Whether a particular investment is “unsuitable,” or whether a particular investment portfolio has been “unsuitably” invested, is a highly factual determination that depends on factors such as the customer’s risk tolerance, investment objectives, needs, time horizon, age, income level, and net worth. An investment is generally “unauthorized” where it has not been sanctioned by the customer in advance. If a customer has given his or her stockbroker “discretion” to manage the investments in an account, a trade can nonetheless be “unauthorized” if it does not comport with the customer’s written instructions or stated investment objectives. Excessive trading, also known as “churning,” is frequent trading by a broker in a customer’s account largely to generate commissions. Churning does little to meet the client’s investment objectives and often results in substantial losses and trading costs in the client’s account. There are two generallyaccepted benchmarks for churning: cost-to-equity ratio and turnover rate. Cost-to-equity ratio is the annualized ratio of the costs (fees, commissions, etc.) associated with an account divided by the average equity in the account during a given period of time. A cost-to-equity ratio of 10 means that an account must earn a 10% return before the customer will actually make any money because 10% of the account is being eaten up by fees, commissions and other charges. Turnover rate is the ratio of the annualized amount of securities purchased in an account over a period of time divided by the average equity in the account during that same period of time. The higher the turnover rate, the greater the indicia of churning. Although securities litigation can be complicated, when that elderly couple walks into your office, you will now hopefully have a starting point for evaluating the case and understanding the procedure that will govern when arbitrating the dispute. Benjamin R. Picker is a senior associate with the law firm of McCausland Keen & Buckman in Radnor, PA.
MBA / FEATURE
An Interview with
Chief Mark Talbot of the Norristown Police Department By William John Newman, Esq.
ecently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Norristown’s new Police Chief, Mark Talbot, to discuss his upbringing and inspirations, what he has accomplished in less than a year as the Chief of Police and what he hopes to accomplish in the months and years to come. Chief Talbot grew up in Oxford, Chester County as the middle of three children. His first step towards law enforcement was as a corrections officer with the Chester County Prison. In 1994, he moved up to the Reading Police Department where he was promoted to lieutenant in 2005 and Deputy Police Chief in 2007. On top of all of those accomplishments, he was then appointed as the director of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation in 2011. He held that position until he was appointed Norristown’s Police Chief in November of 2013. It was Reading’s Chief of Police, William Heim, who proved to be a big inspiration to Chief Talbot in terms of police work. Chief Heim mentored Chief Talbot when Talbot became a lieutenant and showed a lot of confidence in him. Chief Heim also helped open Chief Talbot’s eyes as to what it takes to be successful in policing the community. He credited Chief Heim in saying he wouldn’t be where he is today without Chief Heim’s leadership within the Reading Police Department. In just 11 short months since joining Norristown’s police force, Chief Talbot believes Norristown is a lot like Reading in that he has the opportunity to put his philosophy regarding policing
into practice. One of those ideals is community policing. He wants to engage with residents as often as possible and wants police investigations to be more evidence-based than anything. Chief Talbot believes the residents of Norristown should expect quality service from the police force with an inverse correlation of lowering crime while raising the quality of life. In short, he wants the Norristown Police to be effective with the support of the residents rather than at the will of the residents. As the new Police Chief, Chief Talbot has instituted some changes in order to best serve the residents of Norristown. One very positive change is regarding Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers. Chief Talbot told me that only he has the authority to decide whether to work with ICE on any particular case. He also told the Norristown police officers which conditions need to be present in order for officers to ask someone for citizenship status. He stated victims and witnesses of crimes will never be asked to provide proof of citizenship, in order that more victims and witnesses can come forward without fear of possible deportation or displacement. Chief Talbot has also agreed to work with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office to patrol the trails by the Schuylkill River in the Norristown area. While Chief Talbot acknowledged most issues center around juvenile matters, it is his hope to have an increased perception of safety in that area. Chief Talbot stated one of the hardest parts of his job is having to deal with personal frustration regarding progress SIDEBAR
implementing new policies in the community. In such a short time, Chief Talbot has taken part in numerous town hall meetings and interviews. However, one of the easiest parts of his job is the fact that he gets to take the lead regarding strategies and tactics of the Norristown Police Department, and that the Department has embraced his new ideas and has shown a willingness to adapt to new policies quickly and effectively. It’s clear that Chief Talbot has been working hard in the past year to improve the quality of life in Norristown, but he doesn’t want lower crime in Norristown to come at the cost of the surrounding area. “Displacement is not a big factor in crime reduction. However, the dispersion effect can create a ripple effect in the surrounding communities.” Chief Talbot pointed to the statistic of when New York City experienced crime reduction in the 1990s, which lead to a reduction of crime across the country. In the months and years to come, Chief Talbot said while adjustments may need to be made regarding certain policies and ideals within the Department and community, the framework is in place and that no major changes will be made. Chief Talbot acknowledged while the Norristown Police Department has been busy the past ten months, he has never felt the Department has been “swamped.” And while he has been working hard, he stated the work was nothing he couldn’t handle without the support of the rest of the Department. However, don’t expect him to rest on his laurels anytime soon. “No matter how fast we’re moving, it’s not fast enough.” Chief Talbot said. “There’s always more that can be done.”
MBA / FEATURE
INTERESTED IN LEADERSHIP?
New program helps members become better leaders in their professions and communities
ook no further than your favorite little league, charity, committee, community campaign or non-profit and odds are pretty good that there’s a lawyer on their board or at the helm. Surprised by this? You shouldn’t be. After all, no other occupation accounts for such a large number of leaders in our governments, communities and businesses than the legal profession. Oddly enough, many of the decision making, organizational, interpersonal, and ethical skills needed to excel in leadership are not something we’ll find highlighted on the folded pages of our law journals, text books or employee handbooks. No doubt leadership is important. So if you have the passion and drive to lead, where then or from whom do we acquire these necessary skills? Where do we as lawyers go to become better at what we’re expected to do best? After some significant behind the scene dialog and planning, these and other questions hope to be answered by the MBA Leadership Academy — an important new program aimed at helping our members become better leaders, both in their professions and respective communities.
Parameters and benchmarks for the MBA Leadership Academy were takeaways of a spring planning retreat held at the ACE Conference Center under the leadership of MBA President Michael F. Rogers, Executive Director Nancy R. Paul and Donna M. Branca — a consultant from SJL Shannon Legal Career Management. Retreat attendees included officers, board members, communications staff, and a diverse focus group of ten (10) pre-selected member attorneys from varying practice areas and backgrounds. First-year Leadership Academy curriculum, led by prominent subject matter experts, will serve as a pilot for next year’s curriculum. The first course offering will be a one-hour program delivered by Montgomery County Commissioners Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards on November 13th entitled Leading Successful Meetings. This particular program will be open to all member attorneys in good standing on a first-come basis and anyone interested in becoming a better leader is highly encouraged to attend. The aforementioned focus group of ten from the spring planning retreat will serve as the program’s inaugural Leadership Academy class.
These individuals have been asked to participate in a one-hour pre- and post-event program to complete formal assessments and weigh-in on measurable objectives as a means to establish and improve future programs. For these individuals, the introductory session will be followed by monthly programs on topics such as Building your Professional Brand through Relationship Building, Communicating to Lead, The Art of Influence and more. The MBA Leadership Academy, while still in its infancy, aims to run annually and hopes to target a new group of approximately ten member attorneys from Montgomery County each year. Attendees wishing to be considered for next year’s program must request an application in writing to apply for acceptance into the program. Applicants should have at least three years of experience as a practicing lawyer, remain members in good standing, and must be willing to commit to the time involved to complete the program. Applicants must include documentation indicating that their employer supports the program. Interested applicants should contact MBA Executive Director Nancy R. Paul for more information and/or to request an application.
MBA / FEATURE
By Melissa M. Boyd, Esquire
iewers of the recently released “Judicial Interview of the Child” video, produced by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Family Law Section, will have the opportunity to see some familiar faces and places to MBA members. Filmed on location in Norristown, the 70 minute video prominently features the Montgomery County Court House and, in the opening sequence, the line up of law offices on the first block of Swede Street. The video was one of several initiatives undertaken by Weber Gallagher attorney Daniel J. Clifford during his term as Chair of the PBA Family Law Section this past year. “Filming at our courthouse was a no brainer,” Clifford said. “The large marble stairway and the courtrooms, particularly D and C with the colorful and majestic murals, provided the perfect backdrops.” The video premiered at the Section’s annual Conference in July to great reviews and a copy has been provided to each county, all of the appellate judges and numerous Family Court Judges in Pennsylvania. Clifford also presented a trailer of the video at the summer conference of Family Court Judges in Hershey and is hoping it will be included in instructional materials for Judges new to family court.
“I started a CLE program many years ago, when I was Chair of the MBA Family Law Section, in which we highlighted the different interview styles of children in custody cases. We ended up repeating it a number of times for our members here and discovered that there was no other comparable program out there. As I approached my year as Chair of the PBA Section, I knew I wanted to ‘take it up a notch’ to the next level.” Last fall, Clifford submitted a budget request for the project to his Section’s Council then set about hiring a videographer and drafted fellow MBA lawyer Ann M. Funge to direct the video. Together they would shoot about 20 hours of footage of Judges from across the state over several days. Clifford’s Norristown law office in One Montgomery Plaza, painted a rich blue, provided a soothing background for the interviews. “It was an extremely ambitious undertaking and consumed a great deal of time and personal attention, as we wanted to make sure it was a quality product,” said Clifford. “We were basically shooting our own movie. In the end, we are extremely proud of the result and it is now also accessible to the public on YouTube as a public service of our Section.” Continued on next page
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In all, eight judges from across the state respond to questions posed by Funge in a fast moving segment on various aspects of the child interview. Funge, who remains off camera intentionally in order to keep the flow of the interviews moving, said, “The responses vary, so that viewers will quickly determine for themselves that there is ‘no set answer’ and there is room for different perspectives.” Chester County Custody Master Carolyn Zack also appears in various courthouse locations in an instructional segment that addresses why and how the interview is to be conducted. Chester County Court of Common Pleas Judge Karen Platt, one of the seasoned family court judges who participated in this project, summarized the need for this video as follows: “It is incumbent on us as Family Court
judges — at the very least — not to worsen the plight of the children we deal with, and ideally, to effect a positive influence. When judges aren’t sensitive to the emotional needs of the children before them, or are unable to allow those children to be relaxed enough to provide meaningful information, then we have failed: children are traumatized and valuable insights may be lost. Anything we can do to improve the odds of protecting children and discerning the truth is valuable.” Delaware County Court of Common Pleas Judge Barry C. Dozor, another major participant in the project, opined, “The judicial interview project helps both the trial judges and the practicing attorneys polish and improve upon their own role in interviewing a child.” Judge Dozor further reasoned, “Rarely do judges have the opportunity to watch each other. The video and the supporting material provide a
helpful tutor to improve our own interview techniques and trial protocol.” Local Judge Kelly C. Wall was also one of the judges interviewed. After seeing the video in its final state, Wall reflected, “I learned that every judge has his or her own style, approach and philosophy with regard to child interviews. However, one consistent thread through all of the interviews was that we all ultimately have the child’s best interest at heart. Additionally, I even learned a few new tricks to add to my own interviewing technique.” The written materials that accompany the video include the results of a survey that was sent to all sitting judges in Pennsylvania. “We knew that we could not possibly interview every judge in person, but we wanted to offer every judge that cares about this subject the opportunity to participate,” Clifford said. To take up this part of the project, Clifford tapped Blue Bell attorney Christina M. DeMatteo, herself a former MBA Family Law Section Chair, who developed the survey, assembled a team of local lawyers to tabulate the results and then presented an excellent summary of the findings. “Christina was perfect for this,” said Clifford, “because she devotes her practice to
We Wear Our Hearts on Our Sleeves (OK, our wrists.)
custody issues and I knew she would really care about this project.” DeMatteo and fellow MBA members Christian V. Badali and Carol L. Cornelison also appear briefly on screen as actors in the footage of Courtroom scenes. Even DeMatteo’s family got in on the act: her husband, David, and their two children, Emma and Jake, also took part in the filming. “We had some fun with it,” said DeMatteo. “We joked that the video could be subtitled ‘the DeMatteo Divorce’ because of all the roles we ended up playing in the video.” The children’s voices are used at the beginning of the video in a very effective voiceover that immediately places the viewer in the children’s shoes. “I wanted the viewer watching the video to really think about all the stuff that must be going through the child’s mind on the car ride to the courthouse,” said Clifford. “Christina’s kids were perfect for this part as their voices still sound like the kids in the Charlie Brown programs and the things they say in the opening really tug at your heart and make you think.” How will the video impact how judges interview children in the future? Funge, the director, offers, “If the video can show judges and lawyers how to lessen the emotional impact of going to court on a child by showing how to do a ‘better’ interview, then we helped.” Clifford, the producer, thinks it could have an even broader impact: “Perhaps some parents watching the video will take a minute to pause and really think hard about what they are about to put their child through. It is one day from their childhood that they are certain to remember.” According to Allegheny County Judge Kim Eaton, also one of the judges interviewed, the reaction from the Bench has been extremely positive. “I attended a CLE program for judges in western Pennsylvania recently and they were all begging for a copy” said Eaton. “It’s a hot commodity among the family court judges, and rightly so.” The video is available on YouTube by searching “PBA Family Law Section Judicial Interview” or by using the following link: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=xRZDfziqe7Y.
Mark F. Himsworth
Steven H. Lupin
Bernadette A. Kearney
Joseph J. McGrory Jr.
Congratulations to our attorneys selected to 2014 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers*. We salute the great work of the American Heart Association and have made a donation in memory of our partner, Robert E. Slota**.
* Not shown is Edward Rubin. ** Pennsylvania Super Lawyers honoree six years since 2007
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MBA / FEATURE
Annual Clambake September 18, 2014
The MBA recently held its annual Clambake at The Barn at Mermaid Lake in Blue Bell, PA. One of the associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s longest running annual events, the Clambake once again featured a highly competitive softball game between Montgomery County District Attorneys and Public Defenders. Players then joined fellow members, judges, and local dignitaries for food, drink, and fun.
The Courthouse Café “Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted” - Aldous Huxley
($8.95) – lightly breaded chicken breast with house-made marinara and topped with melted provolone cheese on a soft roll. Those looking for something lighter can build their own salad, or choose from a number of healthy options, including: Whole Wheat Vegetable Wrap ($9.95) – roasted red peppers, zucchini, squash and asparagus, portabella mushrooms, spinach, lettuce & tomato brushed with red pepper hummus; Skinny Chicken ($9.95) – grilled chicken tenderloins served with fresh grilled portabella mushrooms, zucchini, squash, asparagus and roasted red peppers; and the brand-new Fish Tacos ($9.95) – grilled Tilapia dusted with taco seasoning and topped with cilantro slaw, fresh salsa and sour cream nestled in a soft tortilla wrap. View the full menu at www. montgomerybar.org. Can’t make up your mind? The staff at the Courthouse Café will do their best to accommodate special orders and requests. Call-ahead, pick-up, and local delivery are available and all major credit cards are accepted. J & L Catering also offers a variety of off-site catering options anytime/anywhere: graduation parties, birthday parties, bar/bat mitzvahs, even holiday dinners. Just one of the many benefits of membership is access to the Courthouse Café, which also happens to be one of the best lunch options in Norristown. Take one less thing for granted: utilize your membership and enjoy a meal at the Courthouse Café.
e have it good here in Montgomery County. Travel around the state, perhaps even neighboring states, and you will be hard-pressed to find a county bar association building that houses its own full-service restaurant. A quiet respite from the chaos of the courthouse; a sanctuary for those serving jury duty; a friendly neighborhood café in which to meet colleagues or clients; a site for committee meetings, dinners, and other bar functions throughout the year – the Courthouse Café is all of these. Since 2008, the Courthouse Café (Montgomery Bar Association Building, 100 W. Airy St., Norristown, PA) has been run by Jerry Milice and Lawrence Randle, collectively known as J & L Catering. Years of expertise in the catering and restaurant industry have equipped Milice and Randle with the skills and know-how to run a successful operation. Any visitor, be it member, invited guest, courthouse employee, or juror, is greeted by friendly MBA staff and directed to the restaurant, where they’ll be promptly seated by your waitress/hostess. Visiting attorneys from neighboring counties are also welcome. Guests enjoy a diverse and recently revamped menu, including appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and more. Favorites include the Lump Crabcake Sandwich ($10.95), which features lump crab cake seared and served with lettuce, tomato, onion, tartar sauce, fries & slaw on a soft roll; the Chicken Parmesan Sandwich SIDEBAR
MBA / FEATURE
Thank you to the following members who have volunteered their time to participate in the Liberty & Law Civics Education Program, which provides legal and civics education to middle schools in the Norristown Area School District. Hon. Cheryl L. Austin Christian V. Badali Michael L. Barbiero Joel B. Bernbaum Rochelle N. Bobman Melissa M. Boyd Adam N. Bram Hon. Thomas C. Branca Cynthia L. Brennan Robert W. Cardwell, Jr. Hon. Carolyn T. Carluccio Kristy Castagna Michael Drossner Hon. Andrea H. Duffy Steven F. Fairlie David A. Feldheim Paulyne A. Gardner-Smith Maria Etzrodt Gibbons Shelly R. Goldner Stewart J. Greenleaf, Jr. Hon. Keir Bradford Grey Hon. Richard P. Haaz Sharon N. Harvey Carole Hendrick John R. Howland Mary Beth Hughes Marcia Binder Ibrahim Laurie R. Jubelirer Steven Kapustin Mark A. Kearney Patrick J. Kurtas
Samuel D. Miller, III Jill M. Moffitt W. Christian Moffitt Robert F. Morris Elaine Moyer Hon. Lois E. Murphy Karl S. Myers Bethann R. Naples Amy S. Newman Hon. William T. Nicholas Hon. Garrett D. Page E. Nego Pile Mary C. Pugh Hon. Cathleen Kelly Rebar Michael F. Rogers Hon. Thomas P. Rogers Hon. Maurino J. Rossanese Wendy G. Rothstein Keri A. Schantz Lisa A. Shearman Marc Robert Steinberg John M. Stevens Stephen P. Taylor Pamela M. Tobin Hon. Steven C. Tolliver Sireen Ivielle Tucker Hon. Kelly C. Wall Joseph P. Walsh Melissa Murphy Weber Seth D. Wilson
And thank you to the following volunteers, who will participate in the MBA Diversity Committeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Teach Law Program by visiting local high schools and teaching a substantive area of the law or courtroom practice and procedures. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volunteers will visit Harriton High School and Lower Merion High School in the Lower Merion School District over the course of the school year. Marilou E. Watson (Coordinator) Daniel J. Clifford Colleen F. Coonelly Gregory J. Eck Todd Eisenberg Jennifer Ellis Steven F. Fairlie Harold M. Goldner Hon. Richard P. Haaz Hon. Garrett D. Page E. Nego Pile Gail P. Roth Marc Robert Steinberg Leno P. Thomas
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J.D. TEMPLE UNIVERSITY PH.D. UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA 1.610.328.3215 email@example.com
MONTGOMERY BAR FOUNDATION
By Steven H. Lupin, Esq.
n November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m., central standard time, in Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was fatally shot by a sniper while traveling with his wife, Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connelly, and Connelly’s wife, Nellie, in a presidential motorcade. A ten-month investigation from November 1963 to September 1964 by the Warren Commission concluded that Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, and that Jack Ruby also acted alone when he killed Oswald before he could stand trial. The Warren Commission Report consisted of 888 pages and was largely authored by a young lawyer later to be Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. In reviewing the Kennedy assassination, we are able to glean how perception changes. For our purposes, perception is defined as the way that you think about or understand someone or something. Although the Commission’s conclusions were initially supported by the majority of the American public, that perception today has largely changed. As you may recall, the central thesis of Specter’s analysis was specifically that the President was shot from behind. The bullet had gone through the President’s neck and into Texas Governor John Connolly in front of him, where it penetrated his back, smashed his right wrist, wounded his thigh, and then ended up on a gurney in a Dallas hospital in pristine condition. Remember, the Commission was led by then Chief Justice Earl Warren and had an all-star panel on it. For the most part, in 1964, the American public accepted the report’s findings. Again, the Warren Commission’s conclusion was that the
assassination was the work of Oswald – and only Oswald. According to reports, Dr. Malcolm Perry, the Parkland Hospital doctor who cut into President Kennedy’s throat wound for a tracheotomy, said that the wound could have been caused by an exiting bullet. This was crucial to Specter’s analysis that a bullet entering from behind Kennedy had come out his throat. Before Specter questioned him, Perry had already said publicly that the throat wound was an entrance wound; and years later, it is reported that he regretted his testimony to the Commission because he had no doubt Kennedy had been shot from the front. It’s hard to accept the one bullet theory. The perception in 2014 is quite different than it was in 1964. Consider this – In 1964 the Commission’s conclusions were initially supported by a majority of the American public. Later polls conducted between 1966 and 2003 found that as many as 80% of Americans have suspected that there was a plot or cover up. In 1998 a CBS news poll showed that 76% of Americans believed that the President had been killed as a result of conspiracy. A 2013 AP Poll showed that more than 59% of those polled still believed that more than one person was involved in the President’s murder. A Gallup Poll in midNovember 2013 showed 61% believed in a conspiracy and 30% thought Oswald did it alone. Here is an interesting footnote. In 1978 the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. They found the original FBI investigation and the Warren Commission Report to be seriously flawed, and they found that there was “a high probability that two gunmen fired at the President.”
So, think how perception has changed in the intervening 50 years.
Foundation has awarded more than $420,000 to law-related and humanitarian causes serving victims of crime, abuse, and mistreatment. These monies came directly from private contributions, mostly lawyers. The mission of the Montgomery Bar Foundation is to improve, facilitate and support justice and fair treatment for all. The Bar Foundation has distributed on average more than $25,000 each year to organizations that support our mission. These organizations provide critical legal assistance and counseling to victims of crime and abuse. The need for these services far exceeds the capacity to provide them, and public support for legal services has dwindled in this economy, threatening their availability to all that need them. Help correct the perception of lawyers; and please contribute to the Montgomery Bar Foundation.
There is a perception about lawyers that they prosecute, defend, try civil and criminal cases, form corporations, etc., yet perhaps they are not as concerned about charitable endeavors in the community as they should be. This is an incorrect perception. I was elected as the President of the Montgomery Bar Foundation two years ago, and then again re-elected as President this January for another two-year term. The Montgomery Bar Foundation is the charitable arm of the Montgomery Bar Association. Since 2001, the Bar
MBA / FEATURE
Book (P)review By Dennis R. Meakim, Esq.
endangers Cross’s family. Patterson’s website hints that this story may conclude the drama which started in Cross My Heart. Readers of the website Above the Law should note that founder and editor David Lat has published Supreme Ambitions: A Novel in which a recent Ivy League law school graduate accepts a clerkship with a California appeals court judge only to discover the high costs of ambition. Release date December 7, 2014. Lisa Scottoline, local lawyer-turned-author and weekly contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, presents the 13th installment in her line of books featuring the lawyers at Rosato & Associates. In Betrayed, scheduled to be released November 24, 2014, the lawyers of the all-female firm are sure to hold the reader in suspense until the final pages. For the more “traditional” reader with a “modern” device (Kindle, Nook or tablet), Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is being released as an e-book in an “enhanced version” on October 21, 2014. Often required reading for high school students, a re-read of the 54-year old story by any lawyer should be well worth the time.
n anticipation of holiday book purchases for yourself or others consider the following novels. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. It is simply gift-giving advice for those attorneys that like to read about other attorneys or fictional crime. These authors of note have written books that are about to be released and include legal thrillers, courtroom dramas, and detective/crime sagas. I offer my apologies to those authors whose books came out over the summer or whose names do not appear. No gratuities or advance copies of these books were received. John Grisham’s Gray Mountain is due out October 21, 2014. It is the story of a third-year associate at a New York firm who loses her job in the economic downturn of 2008 and accepts a position as an unpaid intern at a legal aid clinic in a small town in the mountains of Appalachia. Michael Connelly reprises Heironymus “Harry” Bosch with a new young female partner in The Burning Room. This, the nineteenth novel featuring the LAPD homicide detective, is sure to keep all Connelly fans up at night racing to the final chapter. Be at the bookstore on November 3 to be the first reader. Detective Alex Cross returns on November 24, 2014, in James Patterson’s new book Hope To Die (The Return of Alex Cross). The psychologist/detective faces a genius nemesis that
MBA / FEATURE
Speakers Bureau in Action!
A Visit to Luther Woods
he MBA Speakers Bureau hosted a free speaking engagement at Luther Woods Nursing Home & Rehabilitation Center on August 12, 2014. Michelle C. Berk, Esq., ViceChair of the Elder Law Committee, spoke to residents and their families about a variety of legal topics such as estate planning, guardianships, and other elder law topics. Ms. Berk also informed the attendees about the many resources and outreach activities of the Bar Association, including the Lawyer Referral Service, Courting Art, and the Elder Law Handbook (free copies were provided to all who attended).
The event was part of Luther Woods’ Continuing Education Program, in which various professionals discuss their background and experiences in a variety of fields. Randie Duretz, Director of Activities and Volunteers, had this to say about the program: “The residents were genuinely interested and enthusiastic – asking many questions and listening intently as Ms. Berk spoke about balancing her career and home life, unique legal cases, and the many services offered by the Bar Association.”
For members of the public interested in hosting a speaker, please request a Speakers Bureau Request Form by calling (610) 279-9660, ext. 232 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For MBA members interested in speaking to the public, please contact either Jim Mathias at 610-279-9660, ext. 232 or Speakers Bureau Chair Karl S. Myers, Esq., at 215-564-8193.
MBA / FEATURE
Bench Bar Conference By Dennis R. Meakim, Esq.
he MBA recently hosted the annual gathering referred to as the Bench Bar Conference at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, Maryland. It would be more aptly named “A Great Way to Spend a Weekend with Your Peers and the Judges.” The three-day event was held September 12-14, 2014, and was attended by numerous members of the Bar and more than half of the members of the Bench. Current MBA President Michael F. Rogers is congratulated on his selection of the Hyatt Regency as the backdrop for this year’s edition. Although the conference had visited this same property ten years ago, the view of the Choptank River and the property itself was worth enjoying once again. For nearly eighty years, the site was the home of the Eastern Shore State Hospital which relocated in the early 1990s. The marshlands adjacent to the Choptank were the perfect spot for a beautiful resort hotel and championship golf course. The festivities started on Friday evening with an outdoor cocktail reception featuring a raw bar and other food items. Attorneys, judges and family members all enjoyed some good food, the crisp air, and ample camaraderie. Later in the night, many of the attendees could be found in Michener’s Library, the hotel bar appropriately named in honor of the author of Chesapeake. Saturday morning started with a light breakfast followed immediately by an address given by President Judge William J. Furber, Jr. Judge Furber updated the assembled Bar members and fellow judges as to the “State of the Judiciary.” Notable issues included the recent and ongoing purge of the civil docket and the Supreme Court imposed “court-driven” calendaring system. Judge Furber reminded those present that the Montgomery County Bench is committed to complying with the high court’s mandate. Thanks and congratulations were extended to those judges required to retire in the next year. Recognized with some additional accolades were the many judges of our Bench who serve in significant roles on rules committees and other state-wide organizations. Clearly, the membership should be proud of the quality of our judges and the reputation that they impart on the membership simply by association. Following Judge Furber’s comments, an informative CLE was presented by Stephen A. Sheller and Joseph Trautwein in which
they each recounted their roles as counsel in numerous whistleblower lawsuits against the pharmaceutical industry and others. Finished with the more “formal” part of the conference, all attendees were free to spend the rest of the day at leisure. Some played the River Marsh Golf Club course that surrounds the hotel. Unexpected squalls cancelled the round for all but the truly enthusiastic golfers. Many others chose to make the short drive to the town of St. Michaels. Shopping and eateries dominate the quaint downtown area. Mother Nature spared the shoppers but for a little mist. One adventurous group chose the ferry (nine car maximum) to get across the mouth of the Tred Avon River separating Oxford from Bellevue. Saturday evening brought the “Taste of the Bay” dinner featuring succulent crabs to be picked along with flank steak and other assorted offerings. The wind really picked up and the thin-blooded in the group had to run back to their rooms for a jacket. There was DJ music and great sharing out among the breeze. Later, many people enjoyed a second evening in Michener’s Library. Mixed amongst some wedding guests, the MBA and judges exchanged war stories and enjoyed each other’s company. I am sure the bar tab is a closely guarded secret. Sunday morning has the sad air that usually accompanies the end of a really good weekend. Breakfast was heavily attended, indoors rather than in the brisk morning as previously planned. Goodbyes were plenty — mixed in with a few “I can’t wait until next year’s.” If you have not attended the Bench Bar in the past or if it has been a while, mark your calendar for next year. The event is a terrific way to spend time with old colleagues and to meet new ones. Of course, a special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, USI Affinity, and our CLE Sponsor, LawCatalyst.
MBA / FEATURE
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman’s
“Wheels of Justice” Team Rides in 27th Annual Irish Pub Tour De Shore
n Sunday, July 27th, while most of Philadelphia was still sleeping, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and her team, “Wheels of Justice,” were among over 2,000 enthusiastic cyclists taking over the streets of Philadelphia and winding roads of South Jersey for the 27th Annual Irish Pub Tour de Shore. At 235 riders strong and raising over $61,000, “Wheels of Justice” won the John Timoney Award at the Irish Pub Tour de Shore for the largest and highest fundraising team to benefit the Irish Pub Children’s Foundation. This 65-mile bike ride to Atlantic City benefits the Irish Pub Children’s Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated
to raising funds for Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey-based police and children’s charities. A primary focus of the foundation has been to support the families of fallen heroes. This year marks the largest Irish Pub Tour de Shore to date, with registration closing in June due to the overwhelming number of riders hoping to take part in this popular fundraiser. The Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey area, like so many others, have been struck with the tragedy of losing police officers in the line of duty. For the past 27 years, the IPCF has hosted the Irish Pub Tour de Shore to honor these fallen heroes and their children. With a tradition of tremendous success, raising over $500,000 in 2012, over $600,000 in 2013 and nearly $700,000 in 2014, the Irish Pub Children’s Foundation
will again donate to local police and children’s charities. For the last six years, the Montgomery County law enforcement community has been united on one team: Wheels of Justice. “Wheels,” along with her sister team, Team G-Riders, represent Montgomery County law enforcement, from the District Attorney’s Office, the Montgomery County Sheriff, Montgomery County Public Safety Department, Montgomery County police departments to the friends and families of law enforcement. We ride in honor of so many heroes, but the ride has taken on a very special meaning since we lost Plymouth Township Police Officer Brad Fox in 2012. We ride in Brad’s memory in honor of our fallen hero. Since the team started in 2009, Wheels of Justice has raised over $250,000 to support our fallen heroes. The event was created in 1987 when Cathy Burke and Mark O’Connor, owners of the Irish Pub, were looking for ways to give back to the community and bridge the gap between the Irish Pubs in Philadelphia and Atlantic City. “27 years ago, this ride started out with 20 riders,” says Mark O’Connor, coowner of the Irish Pub and President of the Irish Pub Children’s Foundation, “and has now exceeded our wildest expectations.
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What was once a casual ride of 20 has now become a can’t miss Delaware Valley event every summer.”
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MBA / FEATURE
Solutions Small Employers Need to Evaluate Before Renewing Medical Insurance for 2015
t’s that time of year again where employers need to evaluate their options on how they are going to handle their medical benefits in 2015. Insurance companies tell us all of the things they are doing to keep increases to low double digits. Employers have been almost conditioned to accept 12% medical renewal as the cost of doing business. Before you accept the “trend” renewal, you need to make sure all options have been evaluated and understood. The implementation of Health Care Reform and Age Banded rates has made the evaluation process for employers more complicated and forced the industry to evolve the solutions available for employers. We will quickly introduce five solutions that all small employers should understand before they make their decision. Move to a High Deductible Plan: The higher deductible will reduce premiums and give employers flexibility to invest the savings in reducing the employee’s contribution or help the employee fund the additional deductible. If employers do not generate enough savings to help the employees offset the additional deductible they can help the employees by offering certain voluntary benefits. Defined Contribution: In the simplest terms this is the employer giving employees a set dollar amount to spend towards benefits and the employees paying any additional cost above the defined amount. While the concept is simple, the implementation presents employers with many questions to consider. Is the contribution just for medical or do you include ancillary benefits? Is this going to be a paper or electronic enrollment? If electronic, does the technology provider offer decision support and the carrier you prefer? How do employees get the help they need to make decisions? These questions are not unanswerable, but employers need to give themselves time to answer these questions. Individual Policies: Does it still make sense to offer a group plan? What are the options in the individual market? With Health Care Reform and no medical underwriting, the individual market has become a viable option for employees, even those with pre-existing conditions. While the individual market does not offer employees the same tax advantages as buying group insurance through a section 125 plan, some employees may find cheaper coverage when you factor in federal subsidies and cost sharing.
The last two options have become more viable with the pricing changes due to Health Care Reform. Now that all employers in a particular area pay the same rates for the same plan, we have an environment where employers who are a better “risk” to insurance carriers are looking to find ways to find pricing below the market rates. Professional Employer Organization (PEO): allows an employer to outsource employee management tasks, such as employee benefits, payroll and workers’ compensation, and training and development. The PEO does this by hiring a company’s employees, thus becoming their employer of record for tax purposes and insurance purposes. The advantage to small employers from a health insurance perspective is that since the PEO is not a small group, they can base the medical rates on preferred demographics and medical underwriting. Many employers can save money on their health insurance as well as consolidate additional administrative functions. Self-Funding: The concept of self-funding is not new but the options available to small employers under 100 lives has never been greater. From insurance carriers to TPAs it seems there is a new self-funded platform introduced every week. The advantage here is that groups with better risk factors can get preferred pricing by going through underwriting and will pay their claim costs, hopefully save money instead of their excess premium being used to subsidize less healthy groups. When looking at these options, employers need to make sure they maximize downside if claims are high. What is the liability if there is a catastrophic claim? Many times, this maximum cost can still be lower than a traditional plan but the employer needs to make sure they understand the risk. There is no one solution for every employer and the solution in 2015 may not be the right solution in 2016. The key to navigating Health Care Reform for employers is making sure you find the resources to educate yourself on the options and make an informed decision. Brian McLaughlin (Brian.McLaughlin@usiaffinity.com) is vice president of USI Affinity’s Benefit Solutions Group. For more information about health insurance, you can access the MBA Insurance Exchange at www. usiaffinityex.com/MBA. For Lawyers’ Professional Liability and other business coverages, you will still use the MBA Insurance Program website at www.mybarinsurance.com/MBA. If you want to talk to someone about insurance and benefits options for MBA members, call USI Affinity Benefit Specialists at 855-874-0267.
MBA / FEATURE
Upcoming MBA Events November-January 2014-15
MBA FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE 2014 By Christopher M. Horn, Esquire
MBA Fantasy Football Commissioner
Nov. 7, 2014
n 2010, the MBA’s Young Lawyers Section introduced its Fantasy Football League (FFL) event to the MBA. In its fledgling year, the FFL started with three leagues of MBA members and sponsors. That season, the pilot program took home a special recognition award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Conference of County Bar Leaders. In 2014, the FFL is in its fifth year and has grown to four leagues comprised of MBA members. The FFL’s primary goal has been to bring attorneys from different fields and experience together and, in this, the FFL has been a resounding success. Today, the FFL counts retired and active judges, partners and young associates among its members. First time fantasy player participation has grown significantly as positive word of mouth has spread. It has become a fantastic activity for our members to enjoy while also making new connections with other members they might not have had an opportunity to meet otherwise. Kicking off with a live Draft Party Happy Hour on August 28th at the Bar Building, the league encourages its members to stay in touch throughout the year with their divisional owners via emails and league message boards. In addition, this year the FFL is working to set up a Thursday or Monday night football happy hour. Over the next fourteen weeks, the MBA competitors will pit their fantasy squads against each other in friendly competition. The current iteration of the divisions includes brand-new teams to increase parity and allow participants to interact with new opponents during the season. FFL members also receive a weekly report from the Commissioner. The Report announces the weekly winner of the Strehlow Court Reporting Happy Hour gift card for a case of libations of the winner’s choosing. The Report also provides deep intellectual guess work by the Commissioner concerning his observations and opinions regarding fantasy prospects of players and teams. The YLS and MBA would like to thank the MBA staff who continue to provide amazing technological administration of the FFL website where any MBA member, whether playing in the league or not, can tune in to see how their colleagues are faring throughout the year. A special thanks is also extended to the FFL’s other sponsor, Umami Umami Restaurant. Good luck to all of this year’s MBA members participating in the YLS MBA Fantasy Football League! SIDEBAR
Annual Membership Dinner – Rivercrest Golf Club & Preserve, Phoenixville, PA
Nov. 13, 2014
MBA Leadership Academy Presents: Leading Effective Meetings, featuring County Commissioners Leslie S. Richards and Joshua D. Shapiro
Nov. 19, 2014
MBA 101 CLE Series: Representing Ch.7 or 13 Clients in Bankruptcy
Nov. 19, 2014
Delaware Valley Legal Expo – Presidential Caterers, East Norriton, PA
Holiday Events – Check montgomerybar.org for dates and times
Dec. 5, 2014
MBA 101 CLE Series: Divorce 101
Jan. 9, 2014
Annual Business Meeting – Normandy Farm, Blue Bell, PA Visit MBACLE.org for the latest schedule of upcoming CLEs Visit montgomerybar.org for the latest schedule of events and to register for any of the above-mentioned events.
Members in the News Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, P.C. is pleased to announce that John J. Iannozzi has been voted 2014 Reader’s Choice Awards Best Lawyer and the law firm was voted 2014 Best Law Office. The contest is sponsored by The Reporter, the daily newspaper of Lansdale, PA, and gives the community the opportunity to name their favorite businesses throughout the area.
Daniel J. Clifford was appointed as a Hearing Committee Member serving the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. The Blue Bell law firm of the Law Offices of Jennifer J. Riley has expanded to larger offices to better serve its clients. The firm is now located at the Office Court of Blue Bell, 585 Skippack Pike, Suite 200, Blue Bell, PA 19422. Shemtob Law, P.C. is pleased to announce that Andrew D. Taylor has joined the firm. His addition makes Shemtob Law, with 6 full-time attorneys practicing exclusively family law, one of the largest practices of its kind in the region. Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, P.C. is pleased to announce that Nathan M. Murawsky has joined the firm’s Personal Injury department. With his arrival, the firm’s personal injury practice includes 7 highly skilled lawyers—making it one of the largest in Montgomery County.
Robert Connell Pugh, a partner at Kane, Pugh, Knoell, Troy & Kramer, LLP won the Carey 1.2 mile ocean swim race in Ocean City on July 19th, beating all 200 participants including all the young guns and three former South Jersey lifeguard swim champions.
Robert C. Gerhard, III received the Excellence in Elder Law Award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Elder Law Section. The award recognizes Gerhard for “superior professional efforts in the field of elder law, significant contributions to the legal profession and noteworthy service to the elderly.” The award was presented during the 17th Annual Elder Law Institute in July 2014 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia. High Swartz LLP is pleased to announce that partner Melissa M. Boyd has completed the rigorous process to become a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Pennsylvania Chapter. Shemtob Law, P.C. attorney
Christina M. DeMatteo was recently elected to the Council for the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section. She will serve a three-year term.
Marc D. Jonas, shareholder and co-chair of the Land Use and Zoning practice group at Eastburn and Gray, P.C., was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in
America® 2015 edition. Mr. Jonas was honored in two fields — Land Use and Zoning Law as well as Litigation in Land Use and Zoning. Kaplin Stewart, with offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, welcomes Jessica A. Kubisiak and Stephen P. Taylor as Associates in their Blue Bell, Pennsylvania office. Ms. Kubisiak is a member of the Business & Commercial Litigation group and Mr. Taylor is a member of the Estate Administration & Planning and Tax groups. Obermayer, Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP is pleased to announce David L. Ladov’s recent appointment as a Chair to the Supreme Court Pennsylvania Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee.
Stephen G. Yusem presented at the Pennsylvania Inside-Outside Counsel Summit in September at Gettysburg on the topic of “Protocols for Expeditious, Economical and Flexible Commercial Arbitration.” Mr. Yusem is an independent Neutral Arbitrator engaged primarily in commercial and construction dispute resolution.
Daniel J. Sherry, shareholder in the King of Prussia office of Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin, was inducted into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL) at the organization’s recent international meeting. Mr. Sherry is a member of the firm’s Health Care Department.
A Lawyer to Lawyer Consulting Service Under a September 30, 2014 Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Elliott Greenleaf distributed residual settlement funds under Pa.R.Civ.P.1716 to worthy charities in Eastern Pennsylvania, including $3,400 to Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Elliott Greenleaf’s Timothy T. Myers, Mark A. Kearney and Aimee L. Kumer successfully petitioned the Court for distribution of the cy pres funds from a class action trial. Members of the law firm of Wells, Hoffman, Holloway & Stauffer, LLP support Pottstown Cares, a community initiative to improve the quality of life in Pottstown. On Oct. 24th, members of the firm joined students, staff, police officers and others in celebration of Pottstown Cares Day by participating in organized food drives and blood drives.
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Donald J. Martin, 2012 President of the Montgomery Bar Association, and his companion of 35 years, Richard Repetto, were married October 11, 2014 at their home in Philadelphia. The ceremony was performed by the
Honorable Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio,
2011 President of the Montgomery Bar Association.
Daniel J. Clifford was recently honored by the MBA Family Law Section for having served as Chair of the Family Law Section for both the MBA (2004) and PBA (2013-2014). Mr. Clifford joins a prestigious group of MBA members who have also served as chairs for both associations (from left to right): Jack A. Rounick, Harry M. Byrne, Cheryl L. Young, Daniel J. Clifford, Hon. Emanuel A. Bertin, David L. Ladov. (not pictured: Mary Cushing Doherty and Mark B. Dischell)
MBA Young Lawyer Andrew J. Levin, Esq. (left), assists recipients of the Wills for Heroes program.
Young Lawyers Host Wills for Heroes Event
n Saturday, September 20th, fifteen (15) volunteer attorneys from the Montgomery Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, along with non-attorney legal professionals, teamed up with the Pennsylvania Bar Association to host a local Wills for Heroes event at the Centre Square Fire Company (1298 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell). Volunteers Ethan R. Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Shea, Esq. (right) and Joseph Catuzzi (second from right), assist first responders.
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(from left to right): PA Wills for Heroes Director Lisa A. Shearman, Esq., volunteer Joseph Catuzzi, MBA Young Lawyers Section Chair William G. Roark, Esq., and Centre Square Fire Department Deputy Chief Rich Smith.
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Wills for Heroes is part of an innovative statewide pro bono effort led by the Pennsylvania Bar Association (Young Lawyers Section) and national effort led by the American Bar Association. The program provides Wills, Powers of Attorney and health care directives to first responders so that their families will be protected in the event of a tragedy. According to PA Wills for Heroes Director Lisa A. Shearman, Esq., approximately 30 notarized legal documents were prepared for members of the Centre Square Fire Company and other area first responders. Ms. Shearman, an attorney with Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, P.C. in Lansdale, had this to say about the day’s event: “Through the efforts of the Montgomery Bar Association and MBA Young Lawyers Section, we were able to provide free estate plans to the Centre Square Fire Company and other local first responders who risk their lives every day to protect Montgomery County and other local communities. All the attorneys, paralegals and other volunteers who came out on a beautiful Saturday to provide these free services embody the spirit of the Wills for Heroes program and pro bono service.” Information about upcoming Pennsylvania Wills for Heroes events can be found at the PBA website: http://www.pabar.org/public/yld/Projects/ willsforheroesyld.asp or at the Wills for Heroes website: www.willsforheroes.org. Anyone interested in volunteering for upcoming events in Pennsylvania should contact Lisa Shearman, Esq., at 215-661-0400 or at email@example.com.
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John B Henry is an established dealer of fine antique (pre 1898) firearms and rare collectibles that celebrate the history and artistry of exceptional discoveries from around the globe. We are actively seeking to purchase single pieces or entire estates for inclusion in our collection. We are interested in firearm collections of all kinds, with a focus on military and antique items. Our team of skilled experts is equipped to provide qualified evaluations, and we are happy to provide professional references upon request. Referrals are appreciated and valued. Please call on us for a further discussion of how we can work together successfully.
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MBA / FEATURE
MBA Member Quick Tips You can now sign up for committees and sections online. You will no longer receive the Committee/ Section renewal letter through the mail. Please see below for step-by-step instructions to sign up for committees and sections, as well as update your member bio, practice of law area, and education through www.montgomerybar.org.
HOW TO SIGN UP FOR COMMITTEES AND SECTIONS ONLINE
IMPORTANT: You will no longer receive a letter in the mail for committee or section sign-ups. You will now need to register online. 1. Go to www.montgomerybar.org and select the “Members Only” tab. Enter your USER ID, which is the email address registered with us and your password. If you have not registered or you have forgotten your password, please use the links on the page “Register Now” or “Did you forget your password?” 2. Select the link “CLICK HERE” below to visit the MBA Committee Sign Up
3. Your Committee and Section Sign Up for the New Year (2015) will display. For your convenience, your current-year committee selections will auto-populate. You can change or add more committees if you would like. Click the arrow in the fields to display all committees.
4. If you are interested in chairing a Committee in 2015, click in the link shown to start an email. Include the Committee Name, Position (chair; co-chair) and Initiatives for 2015. If the link does not automatically open an email, send an email to email@example.com with your request(s).
5. Select the Sections on which you would like to serve. The section registration fees will be included with your dues invoice that will be mailed by mid-December.
HOW TO UPDATE YOUR BIO, PRACTICE OF LAW AREA, AND EDUCATION 1. Go to www.montgomerybar.org and select the “Members Only” tab. Enter your USER ID, which is the email address registered with us and your password. If you have not registered or you have forgotten your password, please use the links on the page “Register Now” or “Did you forget your password?”
Appeals and Briefs
2. Select the link “CLICK HERE” to visit your Membership Profile and edit the new fields as indicated below:
Anthony J. Vetrano 3. Your Public Membership Profile page will display as shown below.
4. Select the “Edit” link on either the Education, Primary Practices of Law or Member Bio to change or enter new information in any of these new areas.
630 Freedom Business Center, Suite 215 King of Prussia, PA 19406 TonyVetrano@VetranoLaw.com www.pennsylvaniaappealslawyer.com
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If you have any problems, difficulties, or questions along the way, contact the Help Desk at 610-279-9660, ext.230 during regular business hours, or email support@ montgomerybar.org.
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