Montgomery Bar Association | Montgomery County, PA
IN THIS ISSUE... GET TO KNOW YOUR CANDIDATES FOR JUDGE MONTCO OFFICE OF DOMESTIC R ELATIONS SCORES BIG BAR FOUNDATION SEEKS GRANT A PPLICATIONS
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SIDEBAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS Co-Chairs Robert R. Watson, Jr., Esq. Gary J. Friedlander, Esq.
heed thy 23 attorney: own advice!
Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq. Jack Costello Joshua David Macel, Esq. Carla Marino, Esq. Jim Mathias Dennis R. Meakim, Esq. Jules J. Mermelstein, Esq. Nancy Walsh
THEIR WEIGHT: 10 PULLING JUDGES AND LAWYERS DEDICATE THEIR TIME AND TALENT TO TEACH CIVICS
IN EVERY ISSUE... President’s Message............................4 Bits & Bytes........................................15 Book Review......................................25 Restaurant Review.............................26 Montgomery Bar Foundation..............29 Wiretaps.............................................32 Upcoming Events...............................35
FEATURES Four Things an Independent Law Practitioner Should Know About Retirement................................................8
Get to Know Your Candidates for Judge.................................................17 Paralegals: The GOLD Standard in Your Practice for Profitability......................19 The Member Benefit that Benefits All: MBA’s Lawyer Referral Service/Legal Access Project......................................20 MBA Fantasy Football League 2015..........................................................21 Sheriff Bono nets cash with “Deadbeat” Parent Roundups............22 SIDEBAR: A Look Back........................24 MCAP Updates.......................................27 Montgomery Bar Foundation..............29
Domestic Relations Hits a Home Run for Montgomery County Children for the Eigth Year in a Row!.............................11
The Access to Justice Coordinator: An Idea Whose Time has Come.........30
Recommendations of the MBA Judiciary Committee for the 2015 Election...................................................16
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. The SIDEBAR Committee reserves the right to edit any material submitted and/or to omit the same from publication. Most articles are written by members for members.
Montgomery Bar Association
Serving the Profession and the Community since 1885
Bruce Pancio, Esq., President Carolyn R. Mirabile, Esq., President-Elect Eric B. Smith, Esq., Vice-President Mary C. Pugh, Esq., Treasurer Gregory R. Gifford, Esq., Secretary
Annual MBA Clambake.......................28
Pulling Their Weight............................10
Past President Profiles.........................12
George Cardenas IT Manager Jack Costello Marketing Manager Jim Mathias Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs Nancy R. Paul Executive Director Nancy Walsh Executive Assistant
How the Recent Amendments to Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15 Affect Your Recordkeeping and the Control of Your Trust Accounts.......................................31 Legal Aid Golf Classic..........................34
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The Importance of Judicial Elections By Bruce Pancio, Esq.
on his or her individual merit and not compared with the other candidates. Each candidate submits an application outlining legal education, experience and background. They also provide the names of references who are then contacted by a member of the committee. Each candidate is present before the Judiciary Committee to answer questions and also make a personal statement concerning his or her qualifications. With that information, the committee members make a recommendation of “highly recommended,” “recommended” or “not recommended.” In fairness to the candidates and to increase candor, committee members are bound by confidentiality and are prohibited from discussing the information they learn during the process. During the deliberations, the candidates are judged on the following criteria:
his November the citizens of Montgomery County will return to the polls to elect our local government officials. Included in this election will be the selection of three new judges to the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. The three individuals elected will serve ten-year terms on the Bench and make decisions every day that affect people’s lives. Family Court judges make decisions concerning custody of children and the division of people’s property; Criminal Court judges often try cases without a jury and make a determination of guilty or not guilty; Civil Court judges make decisions affecting property or money. Many of our residents will never appear before a judge, but if you have to appear, you will want a qualified individual deciding your fate. As an attorney practicing in Montgomery County, I want qualified and respected individuals deciding matters for my clients. In our system of elections, the judicial candidates are limited in what they can state about themselves during the campaign. To assist the public and to continue the tradition of having a Bench that is second to none, the Montgomery Bar Association has a Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee is comprised of thirty-four practicing attorneys from Montgomery County. The members’ practice areas cover all aspects of the law. The combined legal experience of the members of the committee exceeds 750 years. The committee is charged with the task of evaluating each candidate. Each individual before the committee is judged
Integrity Good Moral Character Industry Good Health Legal Ability Bench Trial, Jury Trial, or Evidentiary Hearing Experience Judicial Temperament, including Patience, Courtesy, Compassion, Impartiality, Humility, Even Temper, and Sense of Fairness
I did not serve on the Judiciary Committee this year, but I know the members of the Montgomery Bar Association who did serve. I know that they took their responsibility very seriously. Their goal was to educate the electorate when it performs the very important task of electing three new judges. The committee members did not base their decisions on personal relationships with the candidates or the location of the candidates’ primary offices. The decisions were made with the best interests of the citizens of Montgomery County in mind. While the judicial elections are part of the political process, they differ from other elections in that the candidates cannot make promises or take a position on a particular issue. We expect our judges to be impartial and to decide cases after all the evidence is before them. We do not want a biased individual sitting on the Bench – judges are to come to the Bench with open minds. I truly believe that the judicial elections should be above politics. While I realize that it is not entirely possible to remove politics from the equation, the Judiciary Committee, with its recommendations, is trying to bring knowledge and information to the voting booth. It is more important to put a qualified individual on the Bench rather than a candidate from a particular party.
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Our Bench is a credit to Montgomery County. It is comprised of a diverse group of individuals, all of whom have been recommended by the Judiciary Committee. Come Election Day, please take the recommendations of the Judiciary Committee seriously; you will be glad you did if you or someone you know is before our Bench. SIDEBAR
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MBA / FEATURE
Coming Together, Keeping Together, Working Together: 20 Years of Success for The Delaware Valley Legal Expo
enry Ford once said that, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” As the Delaware Valley Legal Expo celebrates its 20th Anniversary, it demonstrates the truth of Ford’s directive, and a commitment to continue to build on that success. In 1995, The Association of Legal Administrators – Independence Chapter and the Montgomery Bar Association came together to bridge the gap between the business and legal communities. Understanding that the practice of law is unavoidably linked with the practice of business, early organizers developed what quickly became the region’s preeminent trade show and networking event. Year after year, attendees representing all aspects of the legal community – lawyers, administrators, judges, and office staff – have come together to explore developing trends, test-drive new technology, happen upon fresh ideas, devise solutions, connect with friends and colleagues, and look beyond the day-to-day details of their busy lives to consider new horizons. As the Expo prepares to celebrate its 20th year, changes and additions befitting the milestone are underway. This year’s exciting new location will set the stage for the most successful event to date. The Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel, minutes from the PA Turnpike and Routes 76, 202, and 422, offers ease of access to and from Montgomery and surrounding counties, as well as a vast, unobstructed exhibit space and a tasteful, modern décor. In addition, you’ll see many new exhibitors and fresh faces. Beyond these opportunities, attendees have the chance to win countless valuable door prizes, including an Apple Watch, Microsoft Surface, AMEX gift cards, gift cards to various local restaurants, tickets to various local events, unique gift baskets, and plenty of other surprises. Add to that free admission, delicious hors d’oeuvres served by a friendly wait staff, refreshing cocktails,
and an atmosphere buzzing with excitement, and it becomes clear why this event is a perennial favorite. Whether you are a part of a solo practice, small firm, or the largest of legal offices, nearly 80 conversant vendors will be ready and excited to offer advice to help you maximize your practice’s efficiency, creativity, productivity and overall success. Talk to them. Share your concerns, problems, and hopes for the future, and allow them to introduce you to the latest strategies, technologies, systems and practices. Take advantage of “the one yearly event where the entire legal community congregates, shares ideas and gains the knowledge necessary to run a large firm or a small/solo practice.” And thoroughly enjoy yourself in the process. For registration and continually updated information from exhibitors regarding prizes and promotions, visit www.dvlegalexpo.com, and follow the MBA on Facebook and Twitter (links on www.montgomerybar.org). In the spirit of coming together, keeping together, working together – plan to close your office early on Tuesday, November 10, gather your colleagues and staff, and head to the 20th Annual Delaware Valley Legal Expo. Be a part of the success.
THE DELAWARE VALLEY LEGAL EXPO IS A JOINT PRODUCTION OF THE
MONTGOMERY BAR ASSOCIATION & ALA - INDEPENDENCE CHAPTER
MBA / FEATURE
Four Things an Independent Law Practitioner Should Know about Retirement Planning By Geoff Brandon, Regional Vice President, TD Bank
savings to retire comfortably. This underscores the importance of envisioning what a happy retirement will entail. Along with your business plan, be sure to work with a financial advisor to discuss a personal retirement savings goal and how you can meet it.
wning a law practice offers undeniable perks – flexible hours, the ability to control your own professional destiny, the chance to seek out clients that inspire or challenge you – but the demands of being a business owner are many. Clients, caseloads, billing, payroll… the list goes on. With so many immediate priorities, it can be difficult to find time to focus on the future, especially a future that may be a decade or more away. A recent survey by TD Bank found that nearly half (47 percent) of small business owners do not have a retirement plan in place. Ignoring the importance of having a 401(k) with an employer match or a pension plan to rely on is a mistake which, with some forethought, can be remedied. To properly tackle retirement, attorneys who run their own practices should consider the following:
• Create a plan: After envisioning your ultimate goal, it’s vital to begin planning and saving immediately, since age contributes to how aggressive your savings plan needs to be. Lawyers of the millennial generation may have more confidence in and flexibility with their retirement savings than baby boomers, possibly because millennial owners started their practices at a younger age on average, allowing more time for them to grow their firms’ profits and create comfortable retirement plans. There are a few factors to consider. If you want to sell your firm at retirement, be realistic about its market value. While it’s impossible to predict how the economy, real estate market and other factors will impact a practice’s future worth, obtaining a valuation range can better prepare you for all outcomes. If you’re relying on selling your practice at retirement and believe you can easily get $1 million only to discover your top potential bid is $800,000, that dip in savings will greatly impact your retirement funds.
• Set a goal: This might seem obvious, but setting a goal for your practice and envisioning what you plan to do at retirement is crucial. Whether you choose to sell the firm or a partnership, hand it down to a family member or colleague, or close the business, this decision will ultimately inform how you prepare for retirement. TD Bank’s survey found that more than one-quarter of small business owners are not confident they will have enough
• Be smart with finances: There are many resources available for practice owners to master their business finances, including bank seminars and videos from the Small Business Administration. Use these resources, which are often free, to gain insight on topics such as when to expand, when to seek credit and the types of loans available to small businesses. In addition, keep retirement goals in mind when making any major financial decisions like taking out a loan. As you build scale in your firm, you can often increase revenue, but a banker or accountant can help you better forecast your business’ potential and help you determine which risks are financially smart. They also can consult on a plan and factor in how debt level can impact your retirement goal. For legal practitioners, preparing for retirement is work – it goes beyond setting aside a percentage of your paycheck into a company’s retirement savings plan. Setting a goal, finalizing a plan and being educated on the best options for you and your practice will all aid in attaining that dream of a postentrepreneur life of luxury. Geoff Brandon is a Regional Vice President with TD Bank serving small, mid-sized and commercial businesses in the Greater Philadelphia area. If you have questions for Geoff feel free to email him directly at Geoffrey.Brandon@TDBank.com.
Lawyers wanting to “cash out” of the business at retirement still need to pay into a retirement account now. It is tempting to put all profits back into a business, especially in early growth years, but doing so shortchanges you in the end. You may need to give yourself a raise to make sure you are able to max out your contributions to an individual 401(k) or IRA. To make it easier to remember to save, consider paying yourself on a quarterly basis as you pay your business taxes.
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• Think about growing your practice: According to TD’s survey, 57 percent of small businesses are sole proprietorships, meaning the owner has essentially replaced his or her income at a large firm with self-earned income. While this is common for attorneys just starting out, if your goal is to sell your business, you need to grow. Unfortunately, sole proprietorships aren’t attractive to buy because they often aren’t making a large profit. If you want to increase the value of your practice, add employees and consider taking on a partner to grow revenue. This means becoming more strategic in managing the business. Don’t just run the whole practice top-to-bottom day in and day out – enlist the outside help of an accountant or banker as you bring on attorneys and grow your billings. Investing now may make a big difference in your retirement nest later.
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MBA / FEATURE
PULLING THEIR WEIGHT
Judges and Lawyers Dedicate Their Time and Talent To Teach Civics By Joseph P. Walsh, Esq.
Rothstein guided the Civics Program through its nascency. Under her leadership, the Program was extremely organized and wellimplemented. Ms. Rothstein strove to improve upon prior lesson plans and shaped the program in response to feedback from the teaching staff, as well as the volunteer judges and lawyers. Wendy found her role “very rewarding,” teaching herself that “you get more than you have to give” when you see the “enthusiasm and eagerness of the students.” She continues to teach the lessons and encourages more attorneys to volunteer. Three years ago, Wendy Rothstein handed the Civics and Law torch to a worthy successor in Pam Tobin, a commercial litigation partner at Kaplin Stewart. Like Wendy, Pam effectively communicates with the school district teachers and administrators, as well as the volunteer judges and lawyers. She demonstrates an infectious enthusiasm for the lessons which she continues to hone in positive response to critiques from all avenues. As a civics instructor herself, Tobin looks forward to “those golden moments when the students are raising their hands with eagerness to give their thoughts on the law.” Pam is very thankful to the judges and lawyers who make the “commitment each year to participate” and “do what we do best.” The personal time commitment to this important endeavor is modest. The classes are taught once per month on a Friday morning with each lesson lasting an hour. At least a week before the scheduled class, the participants receive an email with a Power Point Presentation and a lesson plan. The classroom teachers will have the Power Point loaded on a Smart Board prior to the start of each session. With a well-developed Power Point as a guide, and the students engaged, class time evaporates quickly. For those lawyers who studied history or political science as undergrads, or maybe taught in a prior lifetime; for those interested in giving back to the community; for those who enjoy the humor and inquisitiveness of a young student; for those who enjoy the camaraderie of their peer lawyers outside the courtroom, the MBA Civics and Law Program is a great fit for you. The time to pull your own weight is now. Send an email to Pam Tobin at email@example.com and enter the arena. The school bell tolls for thee.
s the day’s light fades ever deeper into the billing hours, and those summer trial continuances begin to populate the fall calendar, a dedicated group of judges and lawyers will return to middle school for year six of the Civics and Law program. Classes begin on October 9 and will continue once per month into May. Last year, twelve judges and thirty lawyers volunteered to teach eight lessons in fifteen classrooms spanning the three middle schools in the Norristown Area School District. Although this workforce is impressive, there is still room on the assignment sheet for more educators. In his 1883 essay entitled “The Duties of American Citizenship,” Theodore Roosevelt colloquially defined the “ideal citizen in this republic” as “one who is able and willing to pull his own weight.” From a country road in Lexington, through the city streets of Selma, the path to freedom was often the road less travelled. Hall of Fame baseball player Jackie Robinson professed “the right of every American to first-class citizenship is the most important issue of our time.” Six decades later, these most important issues persist. Abraham Lincoln’s advisory that “we cannot escape history” was not lost on retired US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Justice O’Connor founded iCivics whose mission envisions “a nation where all young Americans are prepared for active and intelligent citizenship.” This non-profit provides educational resources with the goal of engaging students to become better citizens and leaders in their communities. Under the leadership of MBA President Steven Lupin, the iCivics prototype was launched in Norristown in 2010. The concept was introduced to our Association by David Trevaskis, the pro bono coordinator for the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Through the efforts of Judge Carolyn Carluccio, Judge Lois Murphy, Attorney Wendy Rothstein and other MBA leaders, the PBA program was reviewed, revised, and molded to meet the curriculum of the local school district. Unwilling to become complacent with early laurels, the Program leaders continue to assess, update and perfect the content of the lesson plans. Fox Rothschild commercial litigation partner Wendy
MBA / FEATURE
Domestic Relations Hits a Home Run for Montgomery County Children for the Eighth Year in a Row!
By The Honorable Kelly C. Wall The expedited process and flexibility of the Court have resulted in collections of $220,516.85 since last July in child support cases that were previously deemed uncollectible. In a further attempt to encourage defendants to pay support, Domestic Relations has partnered with Margarita McKissick, a career development program director with the Community Action Development Center of Montgomery County (CADCOM), to work with non-custodial parents having trouble meeting their support obligations. This partnership will help unemployed obligors obtain gainful employment, which will consequently allow them to meet their child support obligations. This program will also provide job training and advice on how to address criminal backgrounds records, if necessary, to help clients become more marketable to a greater number of potential employers. Montgomery County Sheriff Russell J. Bono has also collaborated with DRO to put pressure on “deadbeat” parents. Sheriff Bono has made it his mission to collect outstanding support arrears. To achieve this goal, Sheriff Bono and his staff routinely conduct roundups which target the obligors with the highest arrears. Sheriff Bono’s hard work has resulted in the collection of arrears totaling $70,270.00 to date. The combined efforts of the Court, DRO staff and the Sheriff’s Department have resulted in financial relief to thousands of Montgomery County families. Congratulations to DRO for its continued success. Way to go team! Finally, for the convenience of law offices and clients, Domestic Relations now accepts applications for support and petitions to modify support electronically. Parties can register on-line at www.childsupport.pa.us and complete the process electronically. A confirmation email is sent to the filing party after submission and a member of the DRO staff will contact the filers shortly afterwards to let them know that all necessary documentation has been received. The staff at Domestic Relations is available to assist with any questions about the new DRO e-filing system.
ontgomery County residents are fortunate to have one of the best Domestic Relations Offices (“DRO”) in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania thanks to the efforts of Gary Kline and his hardworking staff. For the eighth year in a row, DRO has exceeded its federal performance measures which resulted in Montgomery County receiving the maximum possible incentive revenue from the State. The DRO has also recently developed new programs to improve services and reduce defendants’ outstanding arrears that essentially deprive children and families of much-needed financial support. Gary and his staff at DRO are consistently recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s premiere stars in collections and are in the top tier of support recovery. DRO collected over $91.7 million last year (which equals $7.8 million dollars a month!). With regard to bench warrants, Gary was happy to report that Montgomery County currently has the lowest number of DRO bench warrants it has ever recorded and has over 100 less warrants than the closest similarly-sized county in the region. As of the date of this article, Montgomery County has only 267 outstanding warrants, which includes defendants who reside outside of the state, as compared to 800 warrants a few years ago. In July of 2014, DRO initiated an expedited contempt process focusing on obligors who have not made any payments on their court ordered child support. I collaborated with DRO’s Gary Kline and Patrick Brennan to create a new monitoring program to collect arrears from these defendants. The cases selected must meet specific criteria and the program is geared toward encouraging non-payors to become compliant with the terms of their support orders or face incarceration. The cases are monitored monthly, and if the obligors do not pay their monthly support, they must report to court on one of the days scheduled for the monitoring program. Moreover, since the cases remain with the undersigned, I am familiar with the defendants and their financial situations and can work closely with DRO staff and the defendants to negotiate a reasonable payment schedule. SIDEBAR
MBA / FEATURE
Past President Profiles By William H. Pugh, IV, Esq., Council Chair
1998 – SAMUEL D. MILLER, III Bench Bar: White Plains, N.Y.
adly, Past President John P. Knox (1989), long time Timoney Knox partner before his retirement, passed away in July. He was a wonderful Bar leader and exemplified the concept of “Giving Back” through his numerous pro bono and charitable activities.
A well-recognized expert in legal ethics and professional responsibility, Sam was Disciplinary Counsel in charge of the District II office of ODC at the time of his Presidency, a position he held until 2003. Since then he has taught, counseled and served as an expert witness in the field. As President, he hosted the first ever offsite retreat for Officers and Board Members and authored the Officers and Directors Handbook, which is still in use. Sam has been a member of the PBA House of Delegates for over twenty years and was President of CCBL in 2004. He retired from the Army and Army Reserve in 1998 as a Colonel after more than 30 years of distinguished service. He has served as Chair of the Upper Gwynedd Planning Commission for 30 years and is a member of the Vestry at the Church of the Messiah at Gwynedd. Currently he says he is trying to slow down!
1996 – BERNARD J. McLAFFERTY Bench Bar: Gettysburg Bernie maintains a longstanding general practice in Erdenheim, Springfield Township with Jeff Kroberger and Bernie, Jr. After some 53 years at the Bar, he refuses to retire or even to slow down. He was a key player in fostering greater recognition for the MBA in the Pennsylvania Bar Association before, during and after his Presidency. In February 1996, after only one month in office, Bernie was faced with a major crisis: an extensive and destructive fire at the Bar Building. Due to his valiant efforts and hard work, restoration was completed promptly, well ahead of schedule. He is a founding member and Past President of the MBA Trial Lawyers Section and was Solicitor to the Register of Wills for 20 years. He represented Zone 9 in the PBA House of Delegates for nine years, has served on the Villanova Law Board of Consultors since 1993, was President of VLS Alumni Association in 1992, and served 17 years as Director (15 as Chair) of the Free Library of Springfield Township. A founding member of St. Joseph’s Law Alumni Society, he received its Hon. F.X. McClanaghan Award in 1994. SIDEBAR
2000 – MARK C. SCHULTZ Bench Bar: N.Y.C. After his Presidency, Mark continued his involvement in the Bar, serving on the Supreme Court Disciplinary Board, as Chairman of the Judicial Conduct Board, as co-chair of 12
the PBA Multi-Disciplinary Task Force, as a member of the PBA House of Delegates, and as a board member of Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania. He has a national plaintiff’s practice, and has tried product liability and construction cases in 10 states. He recently received a $21,000,000 verdict in Indianapolis, which was cited as one of the top verdicts of 2014 by the National Law Journal. He also works with other lawyers, conducting focus groups and acting as a trial consultant. Mark has a parallel career in music as a banjo player and singer, and has performed in such venues as World Café Live and the Philadelphia Folk Festival with his band – Mark Schultz and the Wayne Rangers. He has the unique burden of enduring both lawyer and banjo player jokes, as our own “Banjo Barrister.”
2002 – KEITH B. McLENNAN Bench Bar: Boston Keith has spent his entire legal career at Miller, Turetsky, Rule & McLennan, becoming a partner in 1988, and maintaining a far-ranging general practice. At the age of 42 he became the second youngest President (after Judge Avrigian) and quite possibly the tallest. He served as Chair of MBA’s General Practice Committee, was founding editor of our Civil Practice Manual, and also chaired the Law Reporter, Sidebar, CLE and Medical Legal Committees, the PBA General Practice Section and the ABA’s General Practice Solo and Small Firm Division. He has served in the PBA House of Delegates for over 15 years and as MBA’s representative to the ABA House for over 10 years.
2001 – J. SCOTT MAXWELL Bench Bar: Lansdowne Resort, Leesburg, VA Scott retired as a shareholder in Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin in 2010, and is now Of Counsel to the firm. He began representing municipal authorities in 1974, and two of the authorities he started with them are still clients of the firm. He was a Zone 9 delegate to the PBA for many years and was heavily involved in our successful effort to establish a Unit County seat on the PBA Board of Governors. Scott was active in obtaining tax free loans through industrial development authorities for various not-for-profit entities. He is most proud of obtaining such a loan for the MBA in order to finance the construction of the addition to the Bar Building, which took place during his term as President. For these pro bono efforts he received the MBA Service to the Bar Award. A former football player at Notre Dame, he is also a former aficionado of Cuban cigars.
2003 – MARC ROBERT STEINBERG Bench Bar: Charlottesville Marc has been the Managing Partner at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford since 1980. He is the longest-tenured Discovery Master, serving since 1997 (18 years) and has taught Trial Advocacy at Temple Law School for the last 25 years. He helped start MCAP, and was the first MCAP advocate in 1999. He has been the President of its Board of Directors since its inception. He is the only Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer in Montgomery County and has been so certified since 1986. A Super Lawyer every year, Marc has recently been named one of the Top Ten Criminal Lawyers in Pennsylvania. He is also an accomplished civil trial lawyer. Currently he serves as Chair of the Bench Bar Committee. Among other accomplishments, he is responsible for the MBA adopting MCAP, the original artwork in the Bar Building and the inscribed brick walkway. continued on page 14 13
MBA / FEATURE
2004 – CHERYL L. YOUNG Bench Bar: Cambridge, Maryland
2005 – JOHN R. HOWLAND Bench Bar: Cooperstown
Our second woman President, Cheryl has achieved iconic status as a super star practitioner of Family law, being named repeatedly as one of the top 100 lawyers in Pennsylvania and one of the top 50 women lawyers. She has chaired both the MBA and PBA Family Law Sections, is a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and has served on the PBA Board of Governors. Married to MBA stalwart and all-around nice guy Glenn Young, Esquire, whom she met in law school, she is half of another MBA power couple. Cheryl is the partner in charge of the Hangley Aronchick Norristown office, and, of course, heads its Family law practice and serves on the firm’s Executive Committee.
Described by Judge Kearney as the most interesting man in Huntington Valley (an understatement), John was President during the lawyer-bashing that accompanied the medical malpractice “crisis” and the anger of the medical profession about insurance costs. The dominant theme of his Presidency was engaging in dialogue with the medical profession, celebrating the good that lawyers do day after day, year after year, both as professionals and as ordinary members of their communities. John has practiced at the same firm, now Howland, Hess, Guinan, Torpey, Cassidy & O’Connell, LLP, since graduation from law school in 1972. He engages in a general practice, with emphasis in real estate and zoning. John has been extremely active in the MBA for decades, chairing and serving on numerous committees. At the State level, John has been a member of the House of Delegates for more than a dozen years, and served for eight years on the Executive Committee of CCBL of which he is immediate Past President. He is also renowned for his cliff diving expertise.
BITS & BYTES
By Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq.
The summer has come and gone in a wave of heat, humidity, vacations and lots of outdoor activities. It’s time for kids to get back to school and for lawyers to get back to work. September brings increased activity in our practices and, as a result, it is a priority to take this opportunity to review your firm’s technology resources and perform maintenance as needed.
he first item on your “to do list” is to inventory your hardware and software. If this is not part of your routine, please start and maintain a current list of these items. What hardware is on the desktop? The more detail the better: model, storage, year purchased, antenna upgrades, location, etc. For software: name of application, licenses, users, and versions, to name a few. This itemization is a must for budgeting, solving potential problems, anticipating conflicts, and most importantly, maximizing the productivity of your practice. I’ve always felt that the support staff should have the most current and highest capacity computers; they are doing the bulk of the production. This has changed over the years. Today, I believe that three years useful life should be the standard for budgeting hardware replacement. For software, the most important issue is that the version you are using is supported and serviced in case of problems. For example, Microsoft and Apple stop supporting versions of their operating system after a number of years when subsequent versions are released. Using outdated software can be a disaster waiting to happen. Any downtime in your practice is money out the door that can’t be recovered. This doesn’t mean you need to upgrade every time there is a new release. Most software is bloated and contains more features than you need or will use. Review with your staff what software you use and what features you need; then see if the upgrade is window (no pun intended) dressing or a practical, cost-efficient upgrade. Before you upgrade hardware or software, back up all of your documents and files in addition to any daily backup routine that you maintain. If you don’t have a daily backup routine, start today. Most, if not all, malpractice carriers require this procedure as well as accepted standard of care in your law practice. Backup today is seamless and, if implemented properly, maintenancefree. SIDEBAR
Most lawyers’ computers reflect their office, but not always. I’ve found messy offices with piles of paper often evidence a computer that has problems. The lawyer who complains that he can’t find anything, often has misfiled digital documents, outdated software, and painfully slow hardware. Now is the time to clean out your files, and archive email, documents and photos. These are all roadblocks to productivity and efficiency. If you can’t do it, then bring someone in to show you — dollars wellspent. Just as an example, if you have a bloated, over-capacity email directory, it will eventually crash and chances are you don’t have a backup. Goodbye email. Your worst, but avoidable, nightmare. Once you have developed a routine, you can relax, assured that your data is not only protected, but accessible as needed for years to come. Microsoft, Apple, Samsung and others take the opportunity, in the fall, to rollout new hardware (phones, tablets, desktops) and software (Windows 10, iOS 9 and El Capitan). Customers flock to the websites and stores like lemmings to the sea. Before you buy or install anything, please try to implement my suggestions to improve your productivity and avoid the problems that come without diligent attention to these simple, but crucial tasks. Be careful out there. I’ve received several comments and questions which I will address in my next column. In the meantime, please email me directly with your experience, problems or suggestions for topics. I appreciate them. Bernbaum Family Law 33 Rock Hill Road | Suite 250 | Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 Phone: Direct: 610-667-7902 | Mobile 484-620-2536 Fax: 610-879-3745 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Recommendations of the Montgomery Bar Association Judiciary Committee for the 2015 Election HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Daniel J. Clifford RECOMMENDED Gregory F. Cirillo Todd Eisenberg Risa Vetri Ferman Stephen G. Heckman NOT RECOMMENDED Natasha Taylor-Smith
he Judiciary Committee of the Montgomery Bar Association is charged with interviewing and rating candidates for the position of judge on the Court of Common Pleas. The Judiciary Committee is composed of 34 lawyers of diverse background, ages, practices and geographic areas of Montgomery County with a combined legal practice exceeding 750 years. Each candidate is evaluated individually and not as compared to other candidates. The purpose of the ratings is to educate the public as to how the candidateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s peers view them as possibly becoming judges, and to assist the electorate in their evaluation of judicial candidates on Election Day. The Committee is charged with the duty to rate a candidate recommended, highly recommended or not recommended. The recommendation awarded the candidate does not speak to the candidatesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ability as a practicing attorney at law. The criteria considered by the Committee to rate the candidates are: A. Integrity. B. Good moral character. C. Industry. D. Good health. E. Legal ability. F. Bench trial, jury trial, or evidentiary hearing experience. G. Judicial temperament including patience, courtesy, compassion, impartiality, humility, even temper, and sense of fairness. Each candidate submits to the Committee a biographical summary of his or her legal experience and background. These submissions are carefully reviewed and considered. The Committee also conducts reviews and discussions with persons each candidate advises so as to become familiar with their qualifications. The Bar Association considers this procedure a public service. SIDEBAR
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Gregory F. Cirillo, Esq.
court and diversity in law practice. He was honored by the Legal Intelligencer as a “2011 Diverse Lawyer of the Year” and the 2014 recipient of the Pro Bono Award from the PBA. A graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law, Clifford currently serves the Pennsylvania Supreme Court as both a Hearing Committee Member of the Disciplinary Board and as one of only 6 attorney members of the Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee. In the Montgomery Bar, Clifford has served on the Board of Directors, the Judiciary, Nominating, LongRange Planning, and Executive Committees and as Chair of the Family Law Section, Diversity, and Membership Committees. He is a Zone 9 member of the PBA House of Delegates. In his community, Clifford has served as Chair of the Springfield Township Zoning Hearing Board since 1997 and on the boards of Adoptions From the Heart and the Equality Forum. Clifford resides in Wyndmoor with his husband Jonathan Weinhold and their son Matthew.
www.facebook.com/CirilloForJudge An accomplished litigator of complex legal cases, Greg has experience unmatched to provide our community with an informed, unbiased perspective on matters that come before the court. Greg’s reputation and body of work have earned him the designation as one of Pennsylvania’s preeminent litigators, recognized with the highest possible rating from his peers in legal ability and ethical standards for fifteen consecutive years. Believing that attorneys must be held to the highest standards, Greg is proud of his role as an experienced Hearing Committee member for the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to hold lawyers accountable for misdeeds. In representing a Commonwealth agency in numerous federal court matters, Greg protected the efficient and appropriate use of our tax dollars. Serving as a Court of Common Pleas arbitrator, he is recognized for making decisive and fair decisions. From cochairing his firm’s litigation department to managing with his firm’s leadership team, Greg’s temperament to serve is wellestablished. Earning bachelor and law degrees from Villanova University, Greg settled in the same Lower Merion neighborhood where he was raised. He is married to his high school sweetheart Dorothy, and they have two children.
Todd Eisenberg, Esq. www.eisenberg4judge.com
Todd Eisenberg is lead claims counsel for PECO Energy Company, handling a significant portion of the company’s civil litigation. He was solicitor for several townships and boroughs, handling all aspects of municipal law concerns. Eisenberg also operated his own law practice, where he handled criminal, personal injury and family law matters. He was a staff attorney for the Defender Association of Philadelphia. A graduate of Boston University, Eisenberg earned his law degree from Widener University School of Law and holds a Master of Legal Letters in Trial Advocacy degree from Temple University. He is an instructor of trial advocacy for Temple University and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.
Daniel J. Clifford, Esq. www.danielclifford.com
Managing partner of the Norristown office of Weber Gallagher, Dan Clifford was Chair of the 1,300-member Family Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association in 2014 and spearheaded the awardwinning “Judicial Interview of the Child” video project. Clifford has advocated for improvements to family SIDEBAR
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MBA / FEATURE Eisenberg volunteers for the Montgomery County Child Advocacy Project, which provides free legal representation to children who are the victims of abuse and neglect. He has represented many children in PFA hearings, dependency matters, and as a witness in criminal cases providing child victims with a voice. Eisenberg resides in Lower Moreland with his wife Elana and their two sons William and Benjamin.
Risa Vetri Ferman, Esq. www.risaferman.com
Risa Vetri Ferman is the first woman elected District Attorney of Montgomery County, earning her seat in November 2007 after working 15 years in the trenches as a prosecutor. In 2011, she was reelected for a second term. As a prosecutor, Ferman specialized in prosecuting homicide, child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault. As District Attorney, she dedicated her office to protecting our most vulnerable citizens. She was the co-founder of both Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center and Montgomery Child Advocacy Project (MCAP). In 2011, she wrote a children’s book The Mouse Who Went Surfing Alone to teach Internet safety to children. Across Pennsylvania, DA Ferman is a law enforcement leader. She is the President of the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association and was Chair of the first Best Practices Committee. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania appointed her Chair of Criminal Procedural Rules Committee. Awards recognizing DA Ferman include: 2015 Montgomery County Black Law Enforcement Officers Association Lifetime Achievement Award; 2014 Girls Scouts “Take The Lead” Award; 2013 Aspen Institute’s Aspen-Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership; 2012 L’Oreal Paris USA National Honoree/Women of Worth; 2012 Alan Lerner Child Advocacy Award-Field Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
Stephen G. Heckman, Esq. www.steveheckmanforjudge.com
As the oldest of five, born into a blue collar family in Pottsville, PA, and the first to go to college, Steve Heckman never dreamed then of the opportunity available to him now – running for the position of Common Pleas Court Judge.
Heckman graduated from Penn State in 1978 and Temple Law in 1981, which led to his first job as Judicial Law Clerk for Judge William H. Yohn, Jr. But his ultimate goal – at that time – thanks to two muggings at Temple, was to be an Assistant DA, which he achieved in 1983. Steve prosecuted numerous jury cases, including murder. In 1986 he joined Wilson, Drayer, Morrow and Furber where his experience broadened to defending individuals in state civil suits and federal civil rights cases, litigating family law matters, and trying capital and non-capital murder case appointments. In 1993 Heckman was appointed to the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel, enabling him to try substantial federal cases. In 1995, he became a part-time Assistant PD in Montgomery County, leading to his 2008 appointment to serve as the Chief Public Defender of Montgomery County. Given this background Heckman believes he has developed the temperament, legal versatility, knowledge and experience needed for the Bench.
Natasha Taylor-Smith, Esq.
www.natashataylorsmithforjudge.com As Assistant Solicitor for Montgomery County, Natasha TaylorSmith provides counsel to several human services departments, including those serving older individuals and people with behavioral health issues or developmental disabilities. She also represents the county in real estate and contractual matters. Taylor-Smith honed her trial skills at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, where she advocated for clients in thousands of adult and juvenile cases. She also operated her own law firm, where she handled criminal, civil and family law matters for clients throughout the surrounding five-county area. A graduate of Hampton University, Taylor-Smith was an adjunct faculty member in the trial advocacy program at Temple Law School, her legal alma mater. She has been a featured Continuing Legal Education presenter for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and the National Bar Association on issues including “Handling the Sexual Assault Case and Prosecuting Protection from Abuse Cases.” A longtime member of Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown, Taylor-Smith teaches Sunday School, leads youth activities, serves on the Board of Activities and volunteers at a homeless ministry. In addition, she manages Little League Softball and serves on the Board of Directors of various non-profit organizations. Taylor-Smith resides in Cheltenham with her husband and they have three children, Christopher, Devon and Trinity.
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The GOLD Standard in Your Practice for Profitability
By Annette M. Long-Tulio, CRP, Pa.C.P.
s the paralegal profession continues to evolve, attorneys have started to realize that much of their substantive work can be performed by qualified paralegals. While the American Bar Association has a Standing Committee and an ABA policy regarding the definition of a paralegal, neither the Pennsylvania Bar Association nor state law currently regulates education, training, certification or employment of paralegals. To become a Certified Paralegal, a paralegal school graduate must pursue credentials through a voluntary certification program offered through the Keystone Alliance of Paralegal Associations and/or the National Federation of Paralegal Associations. Each of these certification programs is designed to ensure a standard of excellence and aid in maintaining a consistent level of competency within the paralegal profession. Paralegals provide stability, along with increasing profits, to firms, particularly when treated as professionals and as part of the legal team. Both paralegals and attorneys need to be trained in the proper utilization of paralegals and the suitable delegation of work. The ABA Rules of Professional Conduct provides that non-attorneys cannot perform tasks that amount to the “practice of law” (unless authorized by the law or jurisdiction to provide particular law-related services). It is generally accepted that a paralegal cannot accept cases, set fees, give legal advice, plan case strategies, make legal decisions, take depositions, or appear in court. However, when utilized correctly, paralegals are a significant benefit to a firm because they are able to handle both routine and sophisticated legal tasks, thus increasing the overall billable hours and
profitability of a firm. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates an anticipated 17% job growth from 2012-2022 in the paralegal profession. As law firms, corporations, non-profits and governmental agencies seek to minimize the cost of providing legal services, paralegals are expected to take on a more substantial role within the legal community. The expansion of the paralegal profession for formally educated and certified paralegals is positive for the coming years. As of May 2014, Pennsylvania law firms and governmental agencies employ 10,120 paralegals across the state. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average salary for paralegals in the state of Pennsylvania is $53,790, while the average attorney salary is reported at $129,460 – a salary increase of 58% for attorneys over paralegals. To the solo practitioner or small law firm, the economic benefit of utilizing paralegals is most evident as the cost of maintaining an associate exceeds the cost of maintaining a paralegal. Just as attorney profitability is measured, employers must recognize that the profitability of paralegals depends highly upon the salary, benefits, overhead, billing expectations and hourly billing rate. The greatest potential for profits seems to lie in the use of paralegals on work that is billed on contingency, or not billed at an hourly rate. Since an attorney’s goal is to minimize the overall economic investment
in a case, every hour of work performed by a paralegal will lower the overall investment and cost. Delegation of work to a paralegal works best when the paralegal has full involvement in the file. Many experienced paralegals are performing tasks historically performed by associates. Drafting pleadings and documents, responding to written discovery and summarizing large volumes of records may be unappealing to the experienced attorney, but well-received by the paralegal. An experienced paralegal brings improved organization in the development of case files, and permits the attorney to focus on legal analysis and case strategy, while still overseeing the work of the paralegal. The added support of a paralegal accustomed to discuss and think through a case increases the overall efficiency of a firm. Client relationships are typically enhanced and strengthened by the effective use of paralegals. Building client confidence in the firm is achieved through access and response time. While attorneys are often out of the office on court business, paralegals are more readily available in the office when clients call during work hours. Client questions and concerns are dealt with more promptly, thus allowing the client to feel the firm is more accessible and, in turn, more likely to provide repeat business and referrals. Firm profits and client savings are paramount when employing paralegals. Paralegals are most profitable to the law firm when the appropriate person is selected for the job, the proper work is assigned, the attorney provides a complete understanding and oversight of the task(s), the attorney and client confer trust upon the paralegal, and the work is priced to return a profit to the attorney.
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The Member Benefit that Benefits All:
MBA’s Lawyer Referral Service/Legal Access Project By Nancy Walsh
in 2006, a complex and intriguing case was sent to High Swartz LLP (Smith’s firm), through the Lawyer Referral Service. Two successful Chinese immigrants, a husband and wife, were in the midst of a property title dispute. The couple was turned away by several lawyers, who did not believe they had a case, and finally went to the Recorder of Deeds, who referred them to the Lawyer Referral Service. Smith admits that even some attorneys in his firm did not see much of a case, but he agreed to take it on. He listened carefully to the couple’s story, thought through the complicated facts, and developed a solid case. Smith faced off with numerous attorneys on several issues through many years, turned down several solid offers in compliance with the wishes of his determined clients, won appeals, and won the underlying case – which led to a second action, which finally positioned the case for a monetary settlement. Two cases, two appeals, and almost eight years later, Smith brought this story to its conclusion: Two satisfied clients, a substantial fee for his firm, and $20,000 back to the Lawyer Referral Service. When asked how this case demonstrates the importance and value of a program like the Lawyer Referral Service, Smith responded, This service matches people in need with lawyers who can help them. These clients were turned away by several lawyers. Who knows what type law those attorneys practiced, or if they had any experience in the area of law necessary to help the clients? This service matches potential clients specifically with someone who is experienced in a particular area of the law so that they can help. These clients had significant claims that were about to be lost; without this service, they likely would have lost those claims, or would have been given advice not to pursue them. In the process of helping
rofessional organizations like the MBA are charged with, among other missions, helping members grow their business. When an organization can accomplish this, while also serving the public-at-large and increasing such services, they are certainly doing something right. The MBA’s Lawyer Referral Service and Legal Access Project are solid examples of this model at work. The Lawyer Referral Service is a program through which any member of the public can contact the Bar Association and obtain a referral to a member lawyer who is, according to location and practice area, an appropriate source of legal service for that individual. For an annual registration fee of just $150 (or $100 if also participating in Legal Access) members will be added to the rotation of one panel (area of law) to begin receiving referrals; additional panel memberships can be added for $30 each. Referred clients will pay a $40 fee for a half hour consultation. Participating attorneys are required to pay the Lawyer Referral Service 10% of their total fees once they have exceeded $1,500 collected from the client. These fees help to increase program exposure and effectiveness, and help fund the Association’s pro bono efforts. Last year, over 2,500 referrals were received, all handled by a trained, experienced staff. These staff members exercise excellent communication skills, patience, and a basic understanding of the law which helps them to calm the frazzled nerves of those seeking assistance and match them to the perfect attorney for their needs. This service has been offered by the Association for approximately 40 years. The Lawyer Referral Service is a member benefit which brings often surprisingly beneficial results to all involved parties, as participating member Eric B. Smith, Esq., can attest. Back
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MBA FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE 2015
these clients, I was able to earn a good fee for my firm and return a good fee back to the program, which will help continue its success. This program is a great member benefit and service to the public and I encourage our members to take advantage of it. This case was a win all the way around, and a clear example of the effectiveness of the service, but all such wins have a cost. When asked if there were any particular challenges or difficulties with participating in the program, Smith noted that sometimes, particularly in a case such as this which extends over such a long period of time, it can be difficult to track that the case was a result of a referral from the service. Tracking is important so as to ensure that fees are paid back to this program, helping to defray its costs, educate the public about its existence, and fund the Association’s pro bono efforts. Smith says that in addition to tracking such cases through his firm’s system, he physically marks the file to ensure that any fees are properly handled. In addition to the Lawyer Referral Service, the Bar also offers the Legal Access Project, an award-winning program through which participating attorneys agree to charge no more than $50 per hour to limited-income clients who have issues in specific areas of the law. There is no charge to join the Legal Access Project and members are highly encouraged to participate. The mission of this project is to serve the segment of the population in need of legal services who do not qualify for legal aid, but struggle to afford legal services at standard rates. Currently, a member of a family of four must earn a total income of less than $30,313 a year to qualify for legal aid, leaving countless individuals unable to afford even the most basic of legal services. Through this program, experienced lawyers are given the opportunity to perform a public service, and Young Lawyers are given the opportunity to be matched with clients who will help them build their experience and their practice. Much like the Lawyer Referral Service, it is a benefit for all involved. The Association works hard to provide members with benefits which help them to develop their practices, nurture their experience, and assist them in their desire to give back, both to their own professional community and to the community-at-large. The Lawyer Referral Service and the Legal Access Project are rare services which meet all these needs. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of them. Join close to 200 fellow members who recognize the value, and register now on the Members-Only page of www.montgomerybar.org or email LawyerReferral@ montgomberybar.org. SIDEBAR
By Christopher M. Horn, Esq.
MBA Fantasy League Commissioner
he MBA’s Young Lawyers Section just celebrated the start of its sixth year of Fantasy Football. Starting as a pilot program that took home a special recognition award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Conference of County Bar Leaders, the FFL continues to thrive with four leagues and forty MBA member participants. With a primary goal of bringing attorneys from different fields and experience together, the FFL continues to welcome first-time members and add them to its growing football family. Today, the FFL counts retired and active judges, partners and young associates among its members. The FFL has become a yearly tradition and one of the MBA’s more popular events. It continues to provide MBA members a fun activity to enjoy while offering the opportunity to make new connections with other members of the Bar. Kicking off with a live Draft Party Happy Hour on August 27th 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. Over the next fourteen weeks, the MBA competitors will pit their fantasy squads against each other in friendly competition. As this is the second year in the cycle, owners from the previous year have returned to avenge last year’s losses while the champions have returned to protect their titles. To enhance each member’s experience, the FFL sends a weekly report from the Commissioner to each player. 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 and analytical strategy by the Commissioner concerning his observations and opinions regarding fantasy prospects of players and teams. The YLD 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 fairing throughout the year. Good luck to all of this year’s MBA members participating in the YLS MBA Fantasy Football League!
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Sheriff Bono nets cash with “Deadbeat” Parent Roundups By The Honorable Kelly C. Wall
ince Montgomery County Sheriff Russell J. Bono was appointed in March of 2014, he has renewed a focus on locating and arresting parents who neglect to pay child support or avoid court dates to resolve their cases. “I am a father and grandfather, so I understand how important it is that kids get what they need, whether it is food, clothing, housing or education,” said Bono. “I think it’s unconscionable that a parent would neglect their fiduciary responsibility to their children, regardless of the relationship to the other parent.” In pursuit of Montgomery County’s “deadbeat” parents, sheriffs assigned to the Warrants Division go out on monthly overnight raids in order to ensure these parents are held accountable for their financial responsibilities to their children. The “deadbeat” parent roundups are part of a collaborative effort between the Domestic Relations Office, the Sheriff’s office and the Court of Common Pleas. DRO Enforcement Unit Manager Rebecca Colantuno supplies the Warrants Division with a list of the “Most Wanted” defendants based on the amount owed, the age of the case and the number of missed court dates. Since May of 2014, 823 warrants have been satisfied as a result of these nightly raids, daily apprehensions, pick-ups
by other police departments and institutions, walk-ins, and probation violations. The obligors rounded up by the Warrants Division since 2014 collectively owe approximately $1.3 million in child support arrearages which means the custodial parents are being deprived of much needed financial support for their children. Thanks to Sheriff Bono and his sheriffs, over $70,000.00 has been collected to date. After the defendants are arrested, they appear before the Honorable Rhonda Daniele who oversees the “deadbeat” domestic relations cases. Despite the ongoing monthly raids, 263 active DRO cases are still outstanding. Moreover, while Sheriff Bono’s sheriffs are doing a fabulous job rounding up these defendants, approximately four to five new contempt cases are activated each day. Hence, a continued need exists for the Warrants Division to apprehend these defendants on a daily basis. One of the main reasons for the success of this program comes from the tips the Warrants Division receives from the public through social media, phone calls and emails. “In addition to traditional media such as television and radio, we launched a new social media strategy back in July 2014,” Bono said. “We post the DRO’s top five most wanted defendants for child support arrearages on our Facebook page and Twitter feed every week.” Adding this new strategy allows the MCSO to reach a wider audience at a faster pace. Though most of the Warrants Division’s efforts are focused on arresting obligors with the highest arrears, Sheriff Bono always encourages defendants to turn themselves in to avoid the embarrassment of seeing their faces on television or on social media. Sheriff Bono was recently recognized for his service to residents of this County when he was awarded the Public Service Award by the Montgomery Bar Association. Congratulations to Sheriff Bono and special thanks to his staff for their hard work!
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By Pamela M. Tobin, Esq.
ike the cobbler whose children lacked shoes, attorneys are notorious for not having wills and powers of attorney (“POA”). Given the recent amendments to the POA statute, we have no excuse but to confront our own POA or lack thereof. A POA, of course, allows us to designate someone whom we trust to take care of our financial affairs in the event we are mentally incapable. The legislature decided to amend the POA statute to reverse Vine v. Commonwealth, 607 Pa. 648, 9 A.3d 1150 (2010). In Vine, the Supreme Court invalidated a POA and the agent’s instructions based upon the POA because the principal lacked mental capacity at the time of signing. The unfortunate result was that third parties could no longer rely upon POAs since they could not know whether the principal was mentally competent at the time of signing. The amendments limit the liability of a third party who relies in good faith upon a POA. In addition, the amendments toughen the requirements for POAs. POAs prepared after January 1, 2015 must be acknowledged before a notary public and the principal’s signature witnessed by two persons. The notice printed in capital letters preceding the POA must now include language that encourages the principal to provide specific instructions to the agent. The notice alerts the principal that the agent may give away all of the principal’s property while the principal is still alive or to change how it is distributed upon death. Notwithstanding this general warning, the agent is not permitted to make a gift of the principal’s property unless the POA explicitly grants that authority. Furthermore, even if the POA expressly grants such authority, the agent cannot exercise the power for his or her own benefit unless the agent is the principal’s ancestor, spouse or descendant or the POA otherwise states. If your aunt gives you power of attorney, can you give the same gift to yourself that you give to your siblings or cousins?
No, since you are neither ancestor, spouse nor descendant, unless the POA or your aunt’s instructions explicitly state that you can. The other day, a friend called to tell me her mother was in hospice care and asked whether she could change the beneficiary on her mother’s bank account to a trust. She had her mother’s POA. According to a checklist retrieved from the Internet, the POA allowed her to make gifts, but it did not specify that she could make gifts to herself. Since she was a beneficiary of the trust, if the trust received the proceeds from the bank account, she could later be accused of having made a gift to herself. To have the necessary flexibility, the POA should clarify that the power to make gifts includes making gifts to the agent if that is what the principal intends. The principal can also instruct the agent to follow the principal’s own custom of giving gifts or estate plan.
If we seize this opportunity presented by the new amendments, at least our children should escape the fate of the cobbler.
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SIDEBAR: A Look Back Dom Perignon and Palm Pilots – a quick look back at the 20th Century Legal Expo.
BOOK review criminal justice system. As those of you involved in criminal practice know, juveniles may no longer be sentenced to death or to life without parole (or as Stevenson states, “to die in prison”). What you may not know is that the two cases which prohibited life without parole for juveniles (one for non-homicides, and the next for homicides) were handled by Mr. Stevenson. I found this memoir to be a fascinating exploration into the underbelly of the criminal justice system. A case I handled during the last century helped me to relate. In a post-verdict motion for a client, I argued that, although the defendant did a lousy job representing himself, the Commonwealth had not presented enough evidence for proof beyond a reasonable doubt, to which a Montgomery County judge replied in open court, “the fact that your client is black makes it worse.” (Yes, I took the case on appeal pro bono, had the conviction reversed, and then the charges dismissed when remanded.) Mr. Stevenson also tackles the issue of over-incarceration in this country due to economic interests. Between 1990 and 2005, a new prison opened in the United States every ten days. Prison growth and the resulting ‘‘prison-industrial complex” — the business interests that capitalize on prison construction — made imprisonment so profitable that millions of dollars were spent lobbying state legislators to keep expanding the use of incarceration to respond to just about any problem. Incarceration became the answer to everything — health care problems like drug addiction, poverty that had led someone to write a bad check, child behavioral disorders, managing the mentally disabled poor, even immigration issues generated responses from legislators that involved sending people to prison. Of course, we in Pennsylvania know the corruption that can occur. We are all familiar with the two juvenile court judges who were bribed by a private prison to send juveniles there rather than receiving normal probation for offenses such as mocking a school principal, trespassing in a vacant building and shoplifting DVDs. Anyone interested in criminal justice in this country, and in particular anyone practicing criminal law, will find this memoir hard to put down. I highly recommend it. Bryan Stevenson, and people like him, deserve our thanks for making the criminal justice system a little less criminal and a little more just.
By Jules J. Mermelstein, Esq. “Love is the motive, but justice is the instrument.” That Reinhold Niebuhr quote is how Just Mercy (published in paperback on August 18th) begins. The book is a memoir of Bryan Stevenson’s fight for justice in the criminal justice system on behalf of those unable to fight, or to finance a fight, for themselves. Mr. Stevenson relates that he was a philosophy major in college when, as a senior, it occurred to him that nobody was going to pay him to philosophize. He looked into graduate schools and decided on law school “mostly because other graduate programs required you to know something about your field of study to enroll; law schools, it seemed, didn’t require you to know anything.” As a result, Mr. Stevenson attended Harvard Law School while dual majoring in public policy at the Kennedy School of Government. Both degrees are evident in this memoir. In his introduction, Mr. Stevenson explains that the book “is about how easily we condemn people in this country and the injustice we create when we allow fear, anger, and distance to shape the way we treat the most vulnerable among us.” Among the most vulnerable that Mr. Stevenson discusses in this book are the poor, the juveniles sentenced either to death or life without parole, and blacks on death row because of bigotry. Sometimes the cases he talks about involve a defendant who fell into all three categories. He carries us through the book with one particular case of an obviously innocent black man in Alabama sent to death row largely because of an extra-marital affair with a married white woman. Each chapter deals with either his work in trying to get this defendant freed or another issue that is a problem in the SIDEBAR
Coming up in the winter issue, a review of The Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham, publication date: October 20, 2015. 25
RESTAURANT review By Carla Marino, Esq.
A neighborhood gem great food and fun times.
was appointed the happy task of sampling the cuisine and experiencing the décor and atmosphere of Taphouse 23 located in nearby Bridgeport. What a great time! Taphouse 23 (“TH23”) offers lunch and dinner with different menus (for the season and for the meals). I, along with my assistants (otherwise known as my family), headed out for a Friday night dinner with many palates and preferences to be wowed. TH23 offers staple foods with a gourmet twist and if you are beer-minded, 23 craft beers are on constant rotation for the tasting. The décor is described as prohibition-style with an old world theme. It hit the mark. You feel the “history, character, and soul that stems back to the 19th century” (as they state on their website). Inside, the décor is high-end and elegant. The rich wood finishes and warm tones make you feel as though you stepped back in time to your private club. On the second floor is another seating area, a lovely area to have celebrations for special occasions. As one patron saw me walking down the steps she was excited to tell me of her upcoming celebration and just how helpful the staff of TH23 was in getting everything in order. The patio is open with a feeling of “just the right amount of people.” You feel as though you are in a festive area yet you have your privacy at your table. The evening began when we drove to the restaurant (a mere 5 minutes) which provides ample parking even on this busy Friday night. As we walked up to the restaurant, it was alive with steady, quiet chatter and live music from a local musician. The weather was perfect for an evening out on the patio with a cool breeze and the sun setting. Be prepared for a 20-30 minute wait on these evenings if you prefer to eat outside. Also, be aware that the waiting area is located next to the designated smoking area. However, you can go inside to the bar for a cool drink to pass the time. I was told that TH23 had a neighborhood feel to it and you truly felt like this was a familiar friend. The staff and other patrons were quick with a hello and recommendations for food and drinks. The menu is divided into: Starters, Soups & Salads; Big Salads; Flats; Burgers & Sandwiches; and Entrees. There is something for everyone. Due to full bellies, we savored Starters and Entrees. The meal began with Ahi Tuna Wontons with Sriracha Aioli ($12), Cheesesteak Egg Rolls with Spicy Ketchup ($8), the Special: Crab & Bacon Stuffed Portobello (with white cheddar cheese, cream cheese and basil cream sauce), Mussels with choice of Spicy Marinara or White Wine with Garlic and Parsley (our choice) ($10), and Crispy Fried Calamari with Italian Long Hots, Sea
Salt and Spicy Marinara ($11). As an initial comment, it was all delicious! The items that were fried were done very lightly and with the perfect amount of crisp. The seasoning, while it varied from spicy/zesty to more traditional, needed no changes. The amount of tuna within the Wonton was a pleasant surprise because the tuna was the focus and not the wonton. The Special, while tasty, did seem to get lost in the flavor of the sauce and cheese. The Mussels were cooked to perfection as was the Calamari and we would have had seconds had we not had the task of sampling entrees. The entrees were, very simply, wonderful. We ordered Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Tuscan style white beans and broccoli rabe (both of my Italian grandmothers would be proud) ($32); Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with rosemary demi-glace and chive-whipped potatoes ($34); Crab Cakes with local heirloom tomatoes, roasted corn, and jicama slaw ($22); and Fish Tacos of lightly blackened Mahi Mahi, pineapple salsa, and jicama slaw ($18). Enough cannot be said about the Chilean Sea Bass. The portion was generous (good for sharing). It was cooked to perfection (golden crisp on the outside and still tender). The broccoli rabe was tasty with no bitterness and the Tuscan beans held their form. They were tender and had a hint of gravy from the beans themselves. The meal was light, yet filling and made you think about ordering “one to go.” The Crab Cakes (and I lived in Maryland for 20+ years) were filled with the lump crab meat (read that as no filler). They were very tasty with just the right amount of kick. The jicama slaw was a nice twist on a traditional side dish. The Rack of Lamb was cooked to perfection. The crisp on the outside enhanced the herbs without being overbearing. The flavor was light, and the side of whipped potatoes will make even the faint of carb want to give them a try. The Fish Tacos had a nice zest to them with a light batter that did not wash out the flavor of the Mahi Mahi and was a pleasant mix with the pineapple salsa. We did not have any room for dessert (although we still considered trying it), but the dessert menu options are enticing. They are your “home-cooked delights” at $7 each. Who doesn’t enjoy a Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, Apple Pie, and Cheesecake (among other options)? Next time… This is a place that you must try to visit. The neighborhood atmosphere, paired with the friendly staff, and delicious menu items are not to be missed. Note that the portions for the Starters were so generous that if paired with a soup or salad, they would have made a meal. This is a definite “must return” for all of us and between you and I, the Ahi Tuna Wontons, Cheesesteak Egg Rolls, and Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass will be on our table (along with 1 or 2 craft beers and a dessert – Shhhhhhh).
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MCAP Updates By Mary C. Pugh, Esq.
hope that you all enjoyed a restful and memorable summer. The summer for MCAP certainly has been memorable and anything but restful. MCAP continues to serve abused and neglected children and to date, has helped more than 4,000 children in over 2,630 cases. One wonders where these helpless children would be without the independent, neutral advocates representing their unique perspectives.
MCAP is busy planning important educational and friendraising events. Please mark your calendars for upcoming events: MCAP CLE- CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES LAW & LEGAL UPDATES Montgomery Bar Association Monday, October 5, 2015 FAMILY FUN HALLOWEEN BOWLING DAY Facenda Whitaker Bowling Lanes Sunday, October 25, 2015
On July 1, 2015, the necessary clearances for MCAP volunteers (and all volunteers for children) under the new provisions of the Child Protective Services Law went into effect. As you probably now know, to be MCAP advocates, all volunteers must complete four items: 1. PA Child Abuse History Clearances (https://www.compass. state.pa.us/CWIS or forms found at http://www.dpw.state. pa.us/cs/groups/webcontent/documents/form/s_001762.pdf );
MCAP CLE- THE ART OF REPRESENTING CHILDREN IN THE LEGAL ARENA Montgomery Bar Association Friday, October 16, 2015 MCAP REFRESHER & REFRESHMENTS Montgomery Bar Association November 12, 2015 MCAP SALUTE TO HEROES Marriott~West Conshohocken Pennsylvania November 21, 2015 Details for all of the events will be on the MCAP website or feel free to call MCAP at 610-279-1219. Thank you all for supporting MCAP and allowing us to give children chances to live in safe and healthy environments. Contact us with any questions or suggestions at info@mcapkids,org.
2. PA Criminal Record Check (https://epatch.state.pa.us/ Home.jsp); 3. FBI Fingerprint Clearance: (http://www.pa.cogentid. com/PA_DOA/PA_DOA_Registration.htm ) or either a signed disclaimer/affidavit of no criminal charges or child abuse charges in other states if they are residents of PA for 10 continuous years; 4. Watching the online Mandated Reporter Training at www. reportabusepa.pitt.edu. Please feel free to contact MCAP to help you obtain these items. On July 25, 2015, MCAP hosted The 28th Annual Run for the Hill of It, a 5 mile run and 1 mile walk at Valley Green, Fairmount Park and Forbidden Drive. Over 250 runners and 50 walkers participated in this unforgettable event with about 70 cheering volunteers helping to make the race a fun event for everyone in the family. The Phillie Phanatic and Santa Claus created an atmosphere of joyfulness and cheer.
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Annual MBA Clambake September 11, 2015
MONTGOMERY BAR FOUNDATION
Bar Foundation Seeks Grant Applications
he word “hero” gets thrown around quite frequently these days. We bestow the title on athletes, celebrities, and virtually anyone who is brought to public attention in a blaze of glory. Often forgotten are the quiet heroes, those who know that, in the words of Arthur Ashe, “[t]rue heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever the cost.” The Montgomery Bar Foundation (MBF) makes it its mission to not only recognize these true heroes in our community, but to support them in their heroic work. Since its formation in 1987, the MBF has awarded over $400,000 in grants to local charities and initiatives. Organizations like Mission Kids, the Montgomery County Child Advocacy Project, Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Laurel House, and many more, are empowered to do their quiet acts of heroism through these contributions. Initiatives like the national Coffee with a Cop program have been brought to our community, making the work of everyday heroes like the Norristown police even more successful. Through the work of the MBF, countless such heroes serving their passion, their communities, and their causes have been strengthened and supported.
This year, the MBF is determined to provide even greater support. As the grant application process begins, the Foundation invites even more organizations to apply than in years past. Continually working to support its mission to “improve, facilitate, and support justice and fair treatment for all,” the MBF hopes to extend its reach even wider and deeper with this year’s grant awards. Organizations involved in law-related educational and charitable initiatives are encouraged to apply. The deadline for applications is October 19, 2015.
As the Foundation opens its annual fundraising campaign, it is reaching out to all MBA members to join the prestigious and growing list of MBF Fellows each fall. Championing the work of heroes can be seen as its own act of heroism. Become part of our fight for justice. Visit http://www.montgomerybarfoundation.org/, or call Hazel Berquest at 610-994-3661 to make a contribution and to learn more. Make quiet heroism a part of your legacy. Become an MBF Fellow today.
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A Recommendation from the MBA Leadership Academy
Legal Aid/Pro Bono Service Committee, Montgomery County Literacy Network, Laurel House, Victim Services Center of Montgomery County, Women’s Center of Montgomery County, and Legal Aid of Southeast Pennsylvania. The Coordinator would also serve as the centralized outreach to members of the Bar, area law firms, law departments, law schools, county courts, county and state agencies, corporate leaders, and other community members who support public interest law. The Academy’s recommendation is that the Coordinator would be responsible for multiple tasks, all supporting the MBA’s endeavor to provide information and legal services to members of the public with low incomes seeking assistance. Specifically, the Coordinator would:
ast November, the Montgomery Bar Association selected eleven members of the Association to participate in a new leadership development initiative known as the MBA Leadership Academy (the “Academy”). As part of the Academy, these members attended numerous leadership skills workshops, training seminars, and one-on-one meetings with Bar leaders and mentors. As a capstone to the program, the Academy members were tasked with collaboratively identifying a specific problem within the legal community and asked to use a newly developed awareness of their respective leadership styles to develop a unified solution. Together they focused on the issue of pro bono legal services and increasing access to the justice system in Montgomery County. For many years the MBA has been a steadfast contributor to pro bono efforts, both financially and as a major source of volunteer attorneys. Each week the MBA receives many phone calls requesting pro bono or low cost legal services. The volume of calls from low-income Montgomery County residents and non-profit members of the pro bono community has become increasingly difficult for the Bar Association to manage. In short, the requests for help exceed the Bar Association’s current capacity to meet demand. After researching the issue and consulting many stakeholders in the Montgomery County pro bono community, the Academy’s recommendation is that the Montgomery Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Montgomery Bar Association, create a new position to be known as the “Access to Justice Coordinator.” The individual serving in this new role would have a clear mission: to help the MBA develop, manage, and support programs that provide free or reduced-cost legal services to low income individuals in Montgomery County.
1) Communicate with pro bono organizations working with the MBA; 2) Work to implement pro bono initiatives of the MBA’s Legal Aid/Pro Bono Committee; 3) Communicate with Montgomery County judges on issues relating to access to justice; 4) Cultivate lists of pro bono volunteers from the Montgomery Bar Association; 5) Implement initiatives to encourage and recognize attorney and non-attorney volunteers; 6) Develop continuing legal education programs to train pro bono volunteers; 7) Seek to increase community awareness of the MBA pro bono and reduced fee efforts; 8) Increase utilization of the MBA’s Legal Access program which provides low cost legal services for those who do not qualify for free services; 9) Participate in fundraising efforts; and 10) Identify ways to use technology to assist with the pro bono effort.
“The Access to Justice Coordinator would have a clear mission: to help the MBA develop, manage, and support programs that provide free or reduced cost legal services to low income individuals in Montgomery County.”
The Academy has identified key qualifications the Coordinator should possess. In addition to a demonstrated interest in providing public interest legal services, a background in family law would be ideal given the great need in that area of law. The Leadership Academy believes, and will advocate to the Board of Directors, that the Access to Justice Coordinator position will enable the MBA to continue its proud and longstanding commitment to providing free and low cost legal services in Montgomery County, but with enhanced synergy and effectiveness.
The Access to Justice Coordinator would act as the MBA’s liaison to the existing programs in Montgomery County, including Montgomery Child Advocacy Project, the MBA SIDEBAR
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By Joshua D. Macel, Esq.
ecent amendments to Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15 and related Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement increased the obligations of lawyers who handle client property. These changes, which took effect on February 28, 2015, are intended to further reduce the risk of large-scale misappropriation of funds by increasing attorney obligations and authorizing additional disciplinary mechanisms. The amendments relate almost exclusively to section (c), and significantly alter a lawyer’s recordkeeping obligations. The following highlights are particularly worthy of notice by the members of our Bar Association: • A lawyer shall maintain the writing required by Rule 1.5(b), relating to the requirement of a writing communicating the basis or rate of the fee, for a period of five years following termination of the client-attorney relationship. • A lawyer’s check register or ledger must indicate the purpose of each transaction. • For accounts used to hold funds of more than one client, a lawyer must maintain an individual ledger for each trust client. • Required records may be maintained in hard copy form or, “by electronic, photographic or other media… provided that printed copies can be produced.” A backup of every record must be maintained so that it is “secure and easily accessible.” Records kept only in electronic form must be backed up to a separate electronic storage device at least at the end of each day on which entries have been entered into the records. • A regular trial balance of the individual client trust ledgers must be maintained. • A lawyer shall conduct a reconciliation for each fiduciary account on a monthly basis, and shall preserve sufficient records to prove compliance with this mandate for five years. • Only a lawyer admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania, or a person under the direct supervision of a lawyer, shall be an authorized signatory or authorize transfers from any account in which Fiduciary Funds are held. SIDEBAR
Several new sentences to the Official Comment provide further guidance on trust account and fiduciary fund management. Notably, if a lawyer fails to maintain the required records or perform the required reconciliations, later claims by the lawyer that a shortfall resulted from negligence, even if credible, will be balanced against the lawyer’s abdication of responsibility to comply with the essential requirements. In addition, Rule 208 of the Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement was amended to provide that the Board or Disciplinary Counsel may seek emergency temporary suspension of any lawyer who has failed to maintain or produce the records required under Rule 1.15 of the Rules of Professional Conduct or Rule 221 of the Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement. Of particular interest is the amendment permitting maintenance of records by “electronic, photographic, or other media.” This provision could ultimately save a significant amount of office supplies and office space by eliminating the need to store records in hard copy form. However, as currently amended, a lawyer desiring to maintain only electronic records must purchase a separate electronic storage device and provide for its independent security. Given the susceptibility of digital networks, in order to effectuate the policy mandating backup copies, the storage device should likely be off-line (meaning files cannot be transferred wirelessly). Considering also that electronic records must be backed up every day that an entry is made, any convenience afforded by the amendment might be outweighed by the added logistical considerations.
Members in the News Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman has been elected President of the Pennsylvania
Sarinia M. Feinman, husband Ken and big sister
Alexis Mia welcomed Isabella Rose Feinman on April 14, 2015, 7 lb. 8 oz., 20 inches.
District Attorneys Association (PDAA) for the 2015-2016 business year. Founded in 1912, the PDAA is comprised of approximately 1,000 members and is charged with providing uniformity and efficiency in the discharge of duties and functions of Pennsylvania’s 67 district attorneys and their assistants.
Colin O’Boyle and wife Melissa welcomed Finnegan Michael Joseph O’Boyle on September 16, 2015, 8 lbs. 4 oz., 21.5 inches. Judge Thomas P. Rogers of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas has been appointed to a 3 year term by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to the Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee. Judge Rogers has previously served on the Supreme Court’s Criminal Procedural Rules Committee, having served as its Chairperson in 2014.
Jennifer J. Riley has been selected and named as a 2015 Rising Star by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Magazine, and as published in Philadelphia Magazine. The Rising Star distinction is an honor awarded to no more than 2.5% of attorneys in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is the fourth consecutive year that Ms. Riley has been awarded this honor.
Kenneth P. Milner, of Counsel to Kraut Harris, P.C., Blue Bell, PA, received the 2015 President’s Award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Milner was recognized for his efforts on behalf of the PBA Solo & Small Firm Practice Section, as well as his work to increase PBA and Section membership. Milner also received a Special Recognition award from the PBA in 2013, for his reinvigoration of the PBA/ PBI Solo & Small Firm Conference, and his commitment to helping solo and small firm practitioners facing financial hardships.
Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin is pleased to announce that William G. Roark recently presented a Pennsylvania Bar Institute webinar regarding the Proposed Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Act. He was joined by copresenters State Representative Tim Briggs, Justin Moriconi, and Peter Murphy. Flaster/Greenberg PC from Cherry Hill, NJ is pleased to announce that attorney Scott C. Hofer has joined the Firm as Shareholder and member of the Construction, Litigation and Real Estate Departments effective June 1, 2015.
Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin is pleased to announce that Joseph J. McGrory, Jr., was recently elected Secretary/Treasurer of the Municipal Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
Friedman Schuman is proud to announce that Jeffrey S. Feldman has joined the firm as a Principal in the
Daniel J. Clifford received a Special Achievement
Award from PBA for spearheading the “Judicial Interview of the Child” video project which provides judges, attorneys and parents with information on the child interview process in custody cases.
Litigation practice area. Jeff has over 17 years of experience representing organizations and individuals in contract development and dispute resolution, as well as the litigation, arbitration, trial and appeal of commercial cases in both state and federal courts.
Melissa M. Boyd, a partner at High Swartz, LLP,
received the Frederick Cohen Award of Excellence for Therapist Privilege in High Conflict Custody Cases. The award was presented by the Doris Jonas Freed American Inn of Court during the April 2015 presentation. Boyd is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and member of the family law sections of the American, Pennsylvania and Montgomery Bar Associations. She is presently Chair of the Family Law Section of the Montgomery Bar Association. Boyd has also been certified as a Family Law Arbitrator by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Effective July 15, 2015, Flamm Walton PC, a Blue Bell business practice law firm, will change its name to Flamm Walton Heimbach & Lamm PC. The reason for the change is the acquisition by Flamm Walton of The Lamm Group, a group of lawyers presently in Center City, Philadelphia. Flamm Walton is a general business practice firm. The Lamm Group is a creditors’ rights and corporate practice. Stradley Ronon Counsel Karl S. Myers has been appointed to the board of directors of American Red Cross Blood Services for the Penn-Jersey region, which serves all of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the entire state of New Jersey. Myers also serves on the board’s donor recruitment committee.
Mannion Prior, LLP is pleased to announce that Jennifer D. Gayle was selected for inclusion as 2015 “Lawyers on the Fast Track” by The Legal Intelligencer, an American Law Journal. Gayle, of Pottstown, is one of 40 attorneys from around the state being honored for their promotion of the legal profession and their outstanding contributions to the legal community and the community-at-large.
David Dormont, an active member of the Montgomery Bar Association, has joined Montgomery McCracken’s Litigation Department as a partner in Philadelphia. For more than 20 years, David has focused on complex commercial litigation and bankruptcy-related litigation, representing a diverse range of clients from individuals and unions to Fortune 500 companies in complex commercial disputes. Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin received the “Distinguished Defense Firm Award” at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute (PDI) on Thursday, July 16 in Bedford, PA. The inaugural award honors a civil defense firm devoted to professionalism, dedication to the practice of law, promotion of the highest ideals of justice in the community and service to the PDI.
Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, PC is pleased to announce that they have relocated their NJ office to THE COMMERCE CENTER, 1800 Chapel Avenue, W., Suite 320, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002. Phone: 856-6751550. Their phone number and email addresses will remain unchanged.
Andrew P. Sonin, the paralegals, and the staff of Brian R. Price & Associates will be started with SOGT Law on September 1, 2015.
The law firm of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin is pleased to announce that three of its attorneys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2016 (Copyright 2016 by Woodward/White, Inc. of Aiken, SC). Steven H. Lupin was selected in the area of Commercial Litigation, and J. Edmund Mullin and Carl N. Weiner were selected in the area of Land Use and Zoning Law.
Mark C. Schultz of Schultz Law in Conshohocken
recently spoke at the 2015 meeting of the Melvin Belli Society in Montreal on the subject of “Defusing Comparative Fault with the Corporate Negligence.” The Melvin Belli Society is an organization of lawyers within the American Association for Justice who have distinguished themselves as trial lawyers and are dedicated to the principles of education on an international basis.
Mr. Lupin’s article entitled “Change of Heart Over Settlement Agreement” appeared in the Western PA Trial Lawyers Association’s The Advocate, Summer Edition.
A seminar entitled “Ethical Questions for Defense Attorneys ‘Truth or Dare’” was taught by Steven F. Fairlie of the North Wales law firm Fairlie & Lippy, P.C., at the 32nd Annual Criminal Law Symposium held at the Hilton Hotel in Harrisburg, PA on June 4-5, 2015. The seminar addressed criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors from across the state and advised them about the ethical dilemmas faced by criminal defense attorneys.
Marc D. Jonas, Shareholder and co-chair of the Land
Use and Zoning practice group at Eastburn and Gray, P.C., was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016 edition. Huntingdon Valley Law Firm, Semanoff Ormsby Greenberg & Torchia, LLC acquires Bucks County law firm, Brian R. Price and Associates. Four
attorneys; Brian R. Price, John T. Ort, Mary Joe Baum, and
MBA / FEATURE
Legal Aid Golf Classic June 26, 2015
AttornEy DiSCiplinAry AnD EthiCS mAttErS
Upcoming MBA Events
StAtEWiDE pEnnSylVAniA mAttErS no ChArGE For initiAl ConSUltAtion
October 2015 - January 2016
Representation, consultation and expert testimony in disciplinary matters and matters involving ethical issues, bar admissions and the Rules of Professional Conduct
October 15, 2015
James C. Schwartzman, Esq.
Synergy Power Summit Normandy Farms, Blue Bell
October 20, 2015
8th Annual Toby L. Dickman Family Law Seminar Montgomery County Court House, Norristown, PA
November 6, 2015
Annual Membership Dinner Rivercrest Golf Club, Phoenixville, PA
November 10, 2015 Delaware Valley Legal Expo Sheraton Valley Forge, King of Prussia, PA
• Member of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board • Former Chairman, Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of PA • Former Chairman, Continuing Legal Education Board of the Supreme Court of PA • Former Chairman, Supreme Court of PA Interest on Lawyers Trust Account Board • Former Federal Prosecutor • Selected by his peers as one of the top 100 Super Lawyers in PA and the top 100 Super Lawyers in Philadelphia • Named by his peers as Best Lawyers in America 2015 Philadelphia Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law “Lawyer of the Year,” and in Plaintiffs and Defendants Legal Malpractice Law 1818 Market Street, 29th Floor • Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 751-2863
A community bank. Funding community projects.
Holiday Events – Check montgomerybar.org for dates and times
Sounds like a good formula to us.
January 8, 2016
Annual Business Luncheon Plymouth Country Club, Plymouth Meeting 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.
Offering a wide variety of business banking services.
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