Montgomery Bar Association | Montgomery County, PA
COURTING ART RETURNS
MBA WELCOMES NEW BOARD MEMBERS Susan Peikes Gantman Named President Judge
“Sweet Face of Rolling Meadows” by Suzanne B. Shank One of several prize-winning works of art from last year’s Courting Art Contest and Exhibition. (Read about this year’s event on page 10.)
SPRING 2014 Montgomery Bar Association / Montgomery County PA
COURTING ART RETURNS
President’s Message............................4 SIDEBAR: A Look Back .....................21 Restaurant Review.............................22 Montgomery Bar Foundation.............24 Bits & Bytes........................................28 Young Lawyers...................................35 Wiretaps.............................................36 Upcoming Events...............................39
Young Lawyers Lend a Helping Hand
Robert R. Watson, Jr., Esq. Gary J. Friedlander, Esq.
Regular columnists: Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq. Cynthia L. Brennan, Esq. Richard E. Cohen, Esq. David H. Comer, Esq. Jack Costello Charles V. Curley, Esq. Lindsay Hanifan, Esq. Mary Kay Kelm, Esq. Jim Mathias Dennis R. Meakim, Esq. Kelley L. Menzano, Esq. Craig Oppenheimer, Esq. Gerald L. Shoemaker, Jr., Esq.
Hon. Susan Peikes Gantman Named President Judge of the PA Superior Court
IN EVERY ISSUE...
SIDEBAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS Co-Chairs
FEATURES Meet the New Judges............................5 Student Membership Update................7 Supreme Court Admission.....................8 Insurance Update....................................9 Courting Art Returns.............................10 Financial Observations........................14 New Board Members...........................15 High Swartz – 100 Years......................17 Berman Museum of Art........................19 MBA Welcomes New Leaders...........20 Hon. Susan Peikes Gantman Named President Judge....................................27 MBA’s Social Media Efforts................29 Center for Mediation & Arbitration..........................................30 E-Discovery............................................31 Collaborative Practice.........................32 Hon. R. Stephen Barrett Appointed to Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee...............................................33 2014 Mock Trials...................................34 Young Lawyers Lend a Hand...............35
George Cardenas IT Manager Jack Costello Marketing Manager Jim Mathias Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs Nancy R. Paul Executive Director The SIDEBAR Committee invites articles and news information of interest. Please send content to: MBA, c/o SIDEBAR Committee, P.O. Box 268, Norristown, PA 19404-0268 or email: email@example.com. The SIDEBAR Committee reserves the right to edit any material submitted and/or to omit the same from publication. Most articles are written by members for members.
Montgomery Bar Association
Serving the Profession and the Community since 1885
Michael F. Rogers, Esq., President Bruce Pancio, Esq., President-Elect Carolyn R. Mirabile, Esq., Vice-President Eric B. Smith, Esq., Treasurer Wendy G. Rothstein, Esq., Secretary Publisher Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc. 2921 Windmill Road, Reading, PA 19608 610.685.0914 x201 | HoffPubs.com Advertising Contacts Andrea Krantz 610.685.0914 x205 | Andrea@HoffPubs.com Karen Zach 610.685.0914 x213 | Karen@HoffPubs.com
Cover Artist: Suzanne Borchers Shank, born and raised in Montgomery County, went from being a “city mouse” to a “country mouse” in 1981. Now having a 35 acre farm she decided to raise cattle. One of her favorites was Sweet Face and this painting became a tribute to her as well as the other animals on the farm. The residents of the farm are now horses and her wonderful dog, JAX.
President’s Message MBA is always looking for presenters and new ideas or topics to cover. Please contact either the appropriate Committee or Section leader or Nancy Paul at the MBA, to express your interest.
Cooperation with the Bench
CALLING ALL MEMBERS By Michael F. Rogers, Esq., MBA President
f it’s been a long time, if ever, since you participated in an activity at our bar association, make this the year you try something different. We have a large number of activities in which you can share your talents and enjoy fellowship with other members of the bar. Here is a list of some of the most popular:
Educational Opportunities One of the ways we support our members in their practice areas is by providing approved Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses. Most of the presenters are members of the MBA, who develop and present these courses, which not only educate the participants, but help hone the skills of the presenters as well. Often, these courses are developed into programs that are made available on a state-wide or national level. If you have any desire to present a CLE course in an area of your special interest, please let us know. The
Through our relationship with the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, the MBA conducts several activities working closely with the bench. Examples include the Memorial Service, honoring deceased members of the bar, the Law Day ceremony in which awards are given to worthy recipients, the Ecumenical Service and our Bench Bar Dinners and the Bench Bar Conference (discussed below). These activities are coordinated with the members of the bench and are typically well attended by all. However, there is still room for additional MBA members to join us, so please consider attending at least one such activity this year. You may have the opportunity to get to know a member of the bench you have not previously known. This year’s Bench Bar Conference will be held in Cambridge, Maryland, on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, which features a multitude of family-friendly activities to enjoy along with the camaraderie of friends, and the CLE.
Charitable Activities Our bar association provides various avenues in which to formally participate in charitable activities. If you believe the adage, “those to whom much is given much is expected,” you can appreciate the efforts of many members of the bar who give back, through specific bar activities. The three most obvious charitable activities we sponsor are Legal Aid, through the annual Legal Aid Golf Classic and other fund raising drives, Montgomery Child Advocacy Project
(MCAP), which we support through in-kind contributions and through our attorneys’ volunteer time, and the Montgomery Bar Foundation, which is primarily supported by our members’ financial contributions. In addition to these 3 higher profile activities, MBA also supports Wills for Heroes through our Young Lawyers Section, to which members contribute their time, and various clothing and other drives for less fortunate members of the community. Other charitable activities are undertaken as the need arises. We welcome your active participation in any of the above charitable endeavors.
Social Activities One of the most enjoyable benefits of membership is the opportunity to join fellow bar members at our many social events. Events such as the Dinner Dance and Clambake are spouse/guest friendly and offer a great opportunity to get to know other members of the bar on a more informal basis. Lawyers from all practice areas and ages join other members (including our judges) at these non-business events. Typically, once you attend such an event, you will put it on your calendar as a regular event. Equally enjoyable is our memberonly Annual Membership Dinner held in November of each year. This blacktie preferred event is our most well attended event and typically includes tributes to the 50 year members of the bar and other honorees. Held at different locations throughout the county, this event is open to all members and is very well attended – although there is always room for more members. If this column has achieved its goal of sparking your interest to participate in a new MBA activity, please act on it. Our bar and our profession will be strengthened by your involvement and it will provide unexpected benefits to you for years.
MBA / FEATURE
Meet the Newest Members of the Bench The Honorable Gail A. Weilheimer By Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq.
he Honorable Gail A. Weilheimer was elected to a ten year term in November of 2013. Judge Weilheimer was a trial attorney having litigated hundreds of matters in both the public and private sectors in civil and criminal proceedings. Judge Weilheimer began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia. Prior to being elected Judge, she worked at Wisler Pearlstine, LLP where she represented a multitude of public sector entities including school districts and municipalities.
In addition to her private practice, Judge Weilheimer had been an adjunct professor at Widener University School of Law for more than a decade, as well as an instructor for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy since 1998.
Upon taking the bench, Judge Weilheimer was assigned to Family Court. Though she recognized that her family law background was limited, she has been able to draw upon her skills as a trial lawyer and life experiences to deal with the complexities of the matters that come before her. She is enjoying her assignment to Family Court, in part, because it has allowed her to achieve one of her goals of becoming a Judge: to help people. Being a wife and mother of two school-aged children, Judge Weilheimer can relate to the emotion of divorce, custody and financial matters that she hears. She believes her legal training and practice allow her to “understand and apply the law as needed and make the right decisions.” She feels this allows husbands, wives, mothers and fathers to move on and bring closure to the litigation. She hopes that by scheduling matters and issuing rulings promptly, parties will understand and learn from the proceedings. At the same time, she encourages communication and good faith efforts, including settlement conferences, to amicably resolve the issues. A word of caution to all lawyers who appear before her: Judge Weilheimer believes in being prepared and expects nothing less from the attorneys (including Pro Se litigants) who appear before her. She looks forward to working with the “Family Bar” to help improve the procedures in her courtroom as well as resolve their clients’ interests, all of which will serve her well as a Judge in the Family Division.
The Honorable Steven C. Tolliver By Kelley L. Menzano, Esq.
In November 2013, Judge Tolliver was elected as a Court of Common Pleas Judge for Montgomery County. Judge Tolliver was officially sworn in on January 6, 2014 (after the cancellation of the January 3, 2014 swearing in due to inclement weather) and his term will run for the next ten years. Judge Tolliver brings a diverse legal background to our bench. Upon his graduation from Villanova University’s Garey School of Law, Judge Tolliver went into general practice handling a variety of cases including criminal defense and family law matters. From his general practice, Judge Tolliver became a judicial law clerk for Commonwealth Court Judge
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Robert W. Williams, Jr. After his clerkship, Judge Tolliver moved to the Philadelphia City Solicitor’s Office where he became Chief Assistant City Solicitor. Next, Judge Tolliver moved to Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin where he became a shareholder. Most recently, Judge Tolliver served as Corporate Litigation Counsel for Aetna. In the midst of his various employment pursuits, Judge Tolliver also managed to find time for civic involvement such as founding the Cheltenham Achievers Network and serving as a member of the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board. As a result of Judge Tolliver’s wide-ranging experiences, he has a unique perspective with which to view the cases that will come before him as a Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge. Judge Tolliver explained that he has always had a love for litigation and feels his personality is well-suited to the practice. When asked if he would miss litigating cases as a lawyer he indicated that as a Judge he still feels that he is “trying the case” because “in the end, it is up to me to be sure the record is adequate for the decision I am going to render.” He also expressed his belief that he can help set the tone of a case by managing the attorneys’ and litigants’ decorum in his courtroom. He strongly believes that it is possible to represent clients zealously while also being respectful to the Court and to opposing counsel.
Judge Tolliver’s first judicial assignment is to the Family Division where he presides over Courtroom 6 of the Montgomery County Courthouse. While his background and experience have already proven instrumental in his ability to preside over family law cases, he also speaks enthusiastically of the assistance he has received from the more seasoned family law judges who have made time to meet with him to discuss the Family Division’s policies and procedures and to offer additional views on various issues raised in the courtroom. Additionally, Judge Tolliver has a unique relationship with Hon. Garrett D. Page with whom he attended Central High School. Judge Page recently moved from the Family Division to the Criminal Division. In his first months on the Family Division bench, Judge Tolliver has already identified the difficulties presented by the many pro se litigants who participate in family law matters. He expressed an interest in organizing services to such litigants in order to assist them with procedural issues and the like as they pursue their family law issues without the assistance of counsel. Judge Tolliver intends to work closely with the Montgomery Bar Association in any such future efforts and to be involved with the other initiatives championed by Judge Wall and the rest of the Family Division judges. Judge Tolliver plans to collaborate with the rest of the bench, as well as the Montgomery Bar Association, during his tenure to ensure the administration of justice in Montgomery County. In fact, he has already taken the time to participate in the “View from the Bench” panel organized by the Family Law Section on March 5, 2014. During this panel, Judge Tolliver, and the other family law judges, provided the Section with helpful information regarding each Judge’s particular policies and procedures. Judge Tolliver, his wife and three sons have lived in Cheltenham for over twenty years. Judge Tolliver is quick to give credit to his family and describes his career as a true team effort.
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MBA / FEATURE
Student Membership Program Expanding By Dennis R. Meakim, Esq.
The Student Membership Program at the Montgomery Bar Association is expanding. Initially a pilot program offered to students at Villanova Law, this category of membership is now set to be promoted to Drexel University School of Law students as well. Discussions are underway with administrators at Temple University-Beasley School of Law and Widener Law to promote membership to students attending these schools in the near future. This student membership category was created in 2011 while Hon. Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio was MBA President. In conjunction with then Associate Dean Catherine J. Lanctot at Villanova, Judge Carluccio initiated the program by offering a CLE seminar on professionalism at the school. Shortly thereafter, the student membership was offered and 35 Villanova students joined the MBA. The category was designed to encourage these students to realize the benefits of a local, suburban professional organization which would add to their education. Membership privileges include receipt of MBA publications such as SIDEBAR and the Legal Directory; invitation to social functions including the Young Lawyersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; cocktail hours, the Clambake and Annual Dinner Dance; access to the Bar Building; membership, attendance and participation in committee meetings; and the opportunity to establish relationships with the entire membership. Members of the Montgomery Bar Association looking to encourage a local student to join the MBA should direct that student to contact the career services office at his or her school.
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MBA / FEATURE
Montgomery Barâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Admissions to the United States Supreme Court By Gregory S. Voshell, Esq.
n Monday morning, December 16, 2013, the Federal Courts Committee hosted the admission of eleven attorneys as members of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court. As each new admittee commented, attending the U.S. Supreme Court for this ceremony was one of the most memorable days in their professional careers. Chief Justice Roberts, along with the Bench, granted the motions
for admission. The attorneys were also supported by over a dozen guests and witnessed the delivery of a unanimous opinion of the Court in Heimshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co., upholding a contractual limitations period in an ERISA matter. Following the admission ceremony, the group of 22 persons toured the Capitol and then enjoyed a private luncheon in the Russell Senate Office Building during which Senator Caseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chief
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Counsel and Legislative Director spoke at length concerning issues facing the Senate in 2014. After a full day of activity, the group returned to Norristown. As many attendees commented, they look forward to attending this event again in the future, and will urge their friends to take advantage of the unique privilege of special admission as a member of the Montgomery Bar Association.
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MBA / FEATURE
Open Enrollment is Coming to a Close and Employer Mandate Rules Change, Again
arch 31, 2014 marks the end of the Open Enrollment period for Individual Medical Plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Applications must be submitted by the end of March in order to access subsidized plans through the federal and state insurance marketplaces or qualify for non-subsidized plans in the open market. After March 31st, an individual will need to have a qualifying event in order to qualify for an individual plan. If you are not sure if this affects you, please call one of the Health Care Reform Specialists at USI Affinity at 1.855.874.0267. In other news, the IRS released final regulations implementing the Employer Shared Responsibility provision under the ACA for 2015 (the “employer penalty”). This guidance is lengthy and provides helpful clarification in many areas such as Phasing in Employer Penalty, Extending Transition Relief and Defining Full-time employees. Employers with 50 to 99 full-time employees will not face penalties for not offering coverage to full-time employees and their dependents up to age 26 until the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2016. These employers will need to certify that they are not reducing the size of their workforce to stay below 100 employees. Employers with 100 or more full-time employees and their dependents up to age 26 will not face penalties if they offer coverage to 70% of their full-time employees in 2015. They will need to offer coverage to 95% of full-time employees beginning in 2016. The full-time employee definition remains at 30 hours or more per week. The definition of
dependent has been revised to exclude stepchildren and foster children. Another clarification many employers were waiting for was the extension of transition relief for 2015. The transition relief is welcomed by plans which renew off calendar year. Employers with non-calendar-year plans must comply with the employer mandate as of the beginning of the first plan year commencing after January 1, 2015. The requirement to offer dependent coverage will not apply in 2015 to employers that are taking steps to offer dependent coverage by 2016. Employers can use a six-month “look back” period to determine whether they had at least 100 full-time or full-time equivalent employees in the previous year, which aligns with the phasing in of the penalties. In 2014, employers may use a six-month measurement period to determine the stability period during which employees with variable hours must be offered coverage. However, there was also relief for 2014 allowing employer plans to recognize the individual mandate and the availability of coverage through the Marketplaces as an allowable Section 125 life status event. This particular relief has not been extended into 2015. The regulations clarify the methods employers can use to determine whether employees are full-time and addressed some specific situations. Bona fide volunteer workers for government and taxexempt entities, such as firefighters and emergency responders, are not considered full-time employees. Teachers and other education employees are considered full-time employees even if they don’t work fulltime year-round. Seasonal employees
who typically work six months or less are not considered full-time employees; this includes retail workers employed exclusively during holiday seasons. The regulations confirm that employers can use W-2 wages, hourly rates or the federal poverty level to determine whether the coverage they offer is “affordable.” If using the W-2 safe harbor, full W-2 wages must be used and cannot be reduced for salary reduction elections under a 401(k) plan or a cafeteria plan. Brian McLaughlin (Brian. McLaughlin@usiaffinity.com) is vice president of USI Affinity’s Benefit Solutions Group. For more information about insurance you can access the Montgomery Bar Association Insurance Exchange at www.usiaffinityex.com/ MBA. For Lawyers’ Professional Liability and other business coverages, you will still use the Montgomery Bar Association Insurance Program website at www.mybarinsurance.com/MBA. If you want to talk to someone about insurance and benefits options for Montgomery Bar Association members, call USI Affinity Benefit Specialists at 855-874-0267. For over 75 years, the divisions of USI Affinity have developed, marketed and administered insurance and financial programs that offer affinity clients and their members unique advantages in coverage, price and service. As the endorsed broker of the Montgomery Bar Association and more than 30 other state and local bar associations, and with more than 35,000 attorneys insured, USI Affinity has the experience and know-how to navigate the marketplace and design the most comprehensive and innovative insurance and benefits packages to fit a firm’s individual needs.
MBA / FEATURE
COURTING ART RETURNS Photo by Sandi Yanisko, Montgomery County Community College
f you’re among those who, like thousands of jurors and visitors, have admired the inspired work of Montgomery County artists while visiting our courthouse in recent months, you probably don’t realize the breadth of what’s been accomplished by your Bar Association and its outreach committee volunteers. Since the Courting Art project first took flight around this time last year, tens of thousands of Montgomery County residents have already been touched in one way or another by our award-winning initiative. Thousands more will enjoy the fruits of our labor this year as another wing of our courthouse springs to life with bright, colorful homegrown art, created by
generations of proud, talented residents and fueled with community spirit and stories of familiarity. Chances are, it’s bigger than you think. Collectively, it’s bigger than all of us. Back by overwhelming demand, the MBA’s Community Outreach Committee (COC) has taken to the streets once more to promote the launch of its 2nd annual countywide art contest for Montgomery County artists, ages 55+. This year’s Courting Art contest will again ask Montgomery County’s artists, professional or aspiring, to explore and divulge on paper or canvas, what it is that they love most about Montgomery County. Returning COC Chair Hon. Carolyn T. Carluccio and Vice-Chair
Melissa M. Boyd, Esq., both of whom earned the prestigious MBA President’s Award for the committee’s effort in 2013 and statewide recognition by the Conference of County Bar Leaders, have revealed that even more ambitious plans are in the works for this year’s effort. An initial poke around this year’s project website, CourtingArt.com, reveals some new twists and a newborn spirit to this year’s contest and exhibition. Clearly, there’s a lot more to love here in Montgomery County, and the COC hopes the art community will take their challenge to heart by showcasing even more creative diversity in their highly anticipated sophomore effort.
MBA / FEATURE
“Before the Courting Art program, many of the interior walls in the courthouse were unremarkable. Now we have beautiful artwork as diverse as the artists who created them depicting why they love Montgomery County. Thanks to the Montgomery Bar, its generous sponsors and these talented residents, we now have bright and colorful homegrown scenes, pastoral landscapes, historic sites, and meaningful paintings of local industry and environmental resources without any cost to our county residents.” Hon. Leslie S. Richards Montgomery County Commissioner “For starters, we’re asking this year’s panel of judges to be mindful of original works that explore new landmarks, themes and subjects when considering their winning selections. That’s not to say an original interpretation of a particular theme, scene or landmark won’t be considered for entry into our monthlong exhibition at the Fine Arts Center or even for the permanent courthouse collection,” Boyd explains. “We’re hoping that participating artists will continue to challenge themselves, so that our courthouse collection will continue to expand and grow to reflect all of the unique treasures and diversity that make Montgomery County such a great place to live, work and play.” Photo by Sandi
omery County Com
The program is again being promoted to tens of thousands of older adults and baby boomers in Montgomery County who regularly receive communications and support from Montgomery County’s Office of Aging & Adult Service (MCAAS) as well as to their agency’s extensive network of service and program providers. Joanne Kline, Executive Director for MCAAS and long-time COC member, comments, “I’m delighted to know that the Bar Association will again be utilizing the talents and creativity of older adults and baby boomers here in Montgomery County to create a lasting legacy within our Court House. We can all be very proud of the strong communities which exist here, and who better to tell the stories and create lasting images than the generations of folks who helped to shape our county’s history.”
Several other outreach partners, including our county’s libraries, local non-profits and cultural and economic development catalysts like Creative Montco, have already begun promoting this year’s contest to their constituents. Several additional townships, boroughs and community partners have committed to come on board this year as well in light of favorable reviews from last year’s efforts. Courting Art is being promoted everywhere: in newsletters, on posters and on websites. You can even download promotional materials for this year’s contest and exhibition from the county website, MontcoPa.org, by clicking on the “This Just In” tab and selecting “2014 Courting Art Contest” from the dropdown menu. This, of course, is thanks to the support of our County Commissioners and County Communications Department.
Some of the project’s greatest champions have been community art groups and coalitions, like the Greater Norristown Art League (GNAL) — a non-profit whose primary purpose is to promote public interest in the arts and to teach art and art appreciation to citizens of East Norriton Township and Greater Norristown area. GNAL’s monthly meetings, which are free and open to the public, feature guest artists from a variety of backgrounds. Classes range from watercolor, acrylic, oil, pastel, drawing, to mixed media. GNAL also
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Above: COC Chair Hon. Carolyn T. Carluccio with residents at Luther Woods Nursing and Rehab in Hatboro. Luther Woods A Wing and B Wing seniors ranged in age from 80 to 101 and were the proud recipients of the first ever Courting Art Community Spirit Award.
Photo by Sandi Yanisko, Montgomery County Community College
“Through the years the jury board has worked hard to make the juror experience as pleasant and efficient as possible. For many people, jury duty is the only time people will ever come to the Court House. The beautiful and interesting artwork along the halls has added a most pleasant dimension to their visit. We are very proud to present Courting Art to the many thousands of Montgomery Countians we interact with each year.” Joanne C. Olszewski Montgomery County Jury Commissioner offers a diverse schedule of workshops throughout the year to give its members and others from the community an opportunity to increase and enhance their artistic experiences. In addition to several of its members having awardwinning pieces from last year’s contest on permanent display at the Montgomery County Court House, GNAL provides opportunities for artists to exhibit work at their historic schoolhouse location on Germantown Pike, as well as in other venues like the Braemer Medical Arts Building, Einstein Medical Center, Center on the Hill in Chestnut Hill and other local businesses locations.
GNAL’s members played a major role in the success of last year’s Courting Art launch as did other art groups and alliances throughout the county, like the Cheltenham Center for the Arts, the Conshohocken Art League, the North Penn Art Alliance and ArtFusion 19464 (formerly The Gallery School of Pottstown/Gallery on High). These organizations and others have promoted Courting Art to artists of all levels, from the beginner to the seasoned professional. Active adult communities throughout the county have also played a major role in generating interest and support for the Courting Art project. Shannondell of Valley Forge, now a perennial sponsor of Courting Art, and 2014 Friend of the Arts sponsor Foulkeways at Gwynedd are just a couple of the adult communities in Montgomery County that regularly host world-class exhibitions of their own. With these and other notable continuous care and retirement communities in our area offering art classes and life enrichment programs throughout the year, the quality of work being entered is nothing short of breathtaking. Judge Carluccio reflects on her visit to Luther Woods Nursing and Rehab in Hatboro to present the 2013 Courting Art Community Spirit Award: “Words can’t
express the joy I saw in the faces of the Luther Woods A Wing and B Wing seniors when we presented them their 2013 Community Spirit award. They were especially pleased when they learned their prize was a gift card that could be used to purchase art supplies for next year’s contest.”
Photo by Sandi Yanisko, Montgomery County Community College
“I got into work early and greeted some residents with the great news. Luther Woods A Wing seniors and Luther Woods B Wing seniors got the Community Spirit Award. They are thrilled. And they are telling all that their art work will be displayed at the courthouse. Again thank you. You made a difference in my seniors’ lives. They really shined!” Randie Duretz Director of Activities Luther Woods Nursing and Rehab, Hatboro, PA
MBA / FEATURE Photo by Sandi Yanisko, Montgomery County Community College
According to Judge Carluccio, approximately 120 entries from this art year’s contest are expected to be included in this year’s month-long art juried art exhibition at MCCC’s Fine Arts Center (A/K/A the Art Barn). “Having a month-long exhibition as opposed to just a three-day exhibition last year creates some terrific opportunities for both the bar association and our sponsors,” adds MBA Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs Director Jim Mathias. “Some of our committed sponsors have already arranged to host private, catered client events after hours at the Fine Arts Center. This is just one of many new benefits being offered to our sponsors this year. We’ve even reached out to the Convention and Visitors Bureau this year for their support in promoting the exhibition to visitors and groups as they
year’s contest is that we’re actively seeking art supply retail partner(s) throughout Montgomery County who will be offering special discounts and bundled Courting Art starter kits to encourage artists to participate in this year’s contest. These might include a set of paints, some brushes, and a canvas that meets our size requirements (max. 18" x 24" before framing) or some type of “special offer” for participants who indicate they are buying supplies for this year’s contest. At this time, at least one area art supply store is considering offering workshops for aspiring artists who hope to enter their work into this year’s contest. More information about our retail partners will be available on CourtingArt.com in the weeks leading up to this year’s April 30th entry date, when work will be accepted between the hours of 12 noon and 7:00 p.m. at the Montgomery County Community College Fine Arts Center, located on their Central Campus in Blue Bell. Once entries are hung for the juried exhibition, judges (who will again include sitting judges from our 38th Judicial District Common Pleas Court, among others) will be assigned the difficult task of selecting approximately 30 prize-
Photo by Sandi Yanisko, Montgomery County Community College
kick off National Tourism Week (May 3-11, 2014). Ultimately, we’d like to see additional sponsors come on board so that we can promote the exhibition through reach and broadcast media channels like billboards and radio, but having the folks at Digital First Media on our team is a huge plus for us thanks to the reach and frequency of their newspapers and other media throughout Montgomery County.” Collectively, last year’s sponsors inked over one-million gross impressions, thanks largely to support from local media partners. Organizers and sponsors can expect even more exposure in 2014 as the Art Exhibition will go from a three-day stint to a full, month-long, feature exhibition. Another unique new twist to this
winning works from this year’s exhibition to be professionally printed (giclée) by North Penn Art in Lansdale for permanent display in a new location on the Plaza Level of our county courthouse. These works will also again be featured in a special newspaper insert later this year, courtesy of our sponsors. Last year’s winners will remain at their current location, along the “boardwalk” and jury area on the Plaza level of the courthouse. Clearly, there’s a lot to look forward to as this tried and proven winner takes shape in the weeks ahead. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of it. Plenty of opportunities for law firms, businesses and individuals still exist. For late breaking news and additional information on Courting Art, visit CourtingArt.com. Photo by Sandi Yanisko, Montgomery County Community College
MBA / FEATURE
Financial Observations By Michael J. Foster
opefully Spring will be here shortly as everyone that I know has had enough of Winter. Just like the weather, the financial markets have been somewhat volatile and unpredictable. After a very strong performance in 2013 when equity securities were up more than 25%, investors are concerned that the markets have risen too quickly over a short period of time and are due for a pullback in price. This actually started to occur in January, but the markets reversed course in February with no obvious catalyst and are hovering near all time highs. In reality, earnings have been strong enough and values seem to be fair by all historical measures that stock prices could be stable with low interest rates. The conventional wisdom going into the year was that economic growth would slowly improve and market interest rates would begin to increase. Actually, the economic growth has reflected signs of sluggishness and again the weather has impacted the economy. Intermediate interest rates have actually decreased over the last several months and investment funds have flowed into both stocks and
bonds. Some worldwide geopolitical events have caused some funds to look to US Government bonds for safety but we know from experience that these political events tend to have short lived effects on the markets. I would expect that the coming months will lead to improved economic growth and spending, and will be positive for corporate earnings. Such improvement will be more positive for stocks versus bonds, and intermediate interest rates will increase which will hurt the performance of bonds. The Federal Reserve will continue the reduction of their bond buying program – this seems to be expected by the markets. The new head of the Federal Reserve has been accepted without too much emotion so far, but she is still in the early stages. I would recommend that investors continue to overweight stocks versus bonds, but no one should expect that the 2014 performance could match the 2013 results. Almost all stocks were up in 2013 and I would expect that this year will be more discriminatory towards those companies that are executing and performing better. Thus, stock selection is
more important than ever and the better management teams and business models will win the race. There is a cost for safety and that is the low interest rates being earned on fixed income instruments. There is actually a social concern here as those investors who cannot accept the risk of stocks are being adversely affected by low returns and inflationary issues. We are probably facing several more years of lower interest rates on fixed income instruments that will effectively help stocks to continue to outperform. Everything we consider is on a worldwide basis and we should be happy to see some improvement in the European Union economic condition. Most experts agree that the worst of their economic decline has passed and that slight improvement is being felt throughout the continent. The area of concern should be what appears to be weakness in the growth statistics of China and other emerging markets of India, Turkey and Brazil. These are all very important markets which are going through some political and economic challenges. Overall, there are many reasons to be optimistic that the bull equity market will continue into 2014, although at a slower pace. An investor always needs to be aware of the economic climate and react to risk when it is increasing. At higher stock valuations, volatility is normal. I can always be reached at 610-687-6800.
This article and any other features in SIDEBAR are provided for personal finance and investment information and are not to be construed as investment advice. Under no circumstances does the information in this content represent a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security. The views and opinions expressed are Michael Foster’s own and not necessarily those of Valley Forge Asset Management (VFAM), and there is no implied endorsement by VFAM of any advice or trading strategy. Securities, insurance products, and investment advisory services are offered through Valley Forge Asset Management, an SEC-registered investment advisor and a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC), and a licensed insurance agency. Susquehanna Wealth Management is a registered service mark of Susquehanna Bancshares Inc. (SBI). Valley Forge Asset Management is a non-bank affiliate of SBI. Securities and insurance products are: Not FDIC insured • May lose value • Not bank guaranteed • Not a deposit • Not insured by any federal government entity. SIDEBAR
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MBA Welcomes New Board Members Meet the 2014 Additions to our Board of Directors Alfred M. Abel is the
owner of Alfred Abel Law Offices in Norristown, which he started in 1982. The practice represents individuals and businesses in the areas of: business litigation and transactions; business, personal, and corporate bankruptcy; litigation for personal injury, wrongful death, or property damage. He is an active member of the Montgomery Bar Association and serves on the General Practice Committee, the Bankruptcy and Creditors Rights committee and the Joint Liaison with Accountants committee. For 2014, he is the chair, and for prior years he was also past chair and co-chair of the Bankruptcy and Creditors Rights committee, a vice-chair of the Joint Liaison with Accountants committee and was appointed to serve on the Judiciary Committee of the Bar Association in 2011. He has lectured for industry groups such as the Montgomery Bar Association and National Business Institute on Business, Bankruptcy, Consumer Law and Debt resolution topics. He has also been heard on Executive Leaders Radio. He is a member of the Montgomery and Pennsylvania Bar Associations and also practices frequently in the Federal Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He has been prohoc vice to other Federal District Courts when representing creditors. Mr. Abel obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hofstra University, a Masters
Degree in Communications from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a J. D. from The University of New Hampshire Law School. Prior to entering law school he produced public access and documentary television programming and operated a family business in northeastern Pennsylvania. He has published articles on worker’s compensation, bankruptcy and real estate for the Jewish Exponent.
Christian V. Badali is an as-
sociate with Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby, LLP in Norristown. He is a member of the firm’s Family Law practice group and is resident in the firm’s Norristown office. He has extensive experience in the areas of family and matrimonial law, having practiced in this area for the past 12 years in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. His areas of practice include divorce, custody, alimony and spousal support, child support, equitable distribution and protection from abuse. Mr. Badali has authored two case notes for the Pennsylvania Family Lawyer, a publication of the Pennsylvania Bar Association: “Child Support and Paternity by Estoppel,” Volume 29, Issue No. 3, October 2007; and “Child Support Where Father Was Sperm Donor...,” Volume 29, Issue No. 2, July 2007. Mr. Badali previously taught classes on the divorce process in Pennsylvania in many community school programs in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Mr. Badali is also a certified family mediator. He received his certification from the Seton Hall University School of Law in 1998. A graduate of Temple University and Widener Law, Mr. Badali is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey courts and is a member of the American, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Montgomery Bar Associations. He is an active member of the Family Law Section of the Montgomery Bar Association, serving as chair in 2013. Mr. Badali was also recently appointed as Special Master in Divorce by the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. He is a past member of the Thomas Forkin Inn of Court in South Jersey and the Camden County Bar Association.
Lee M. Koch
has been handling real estate law matters for over 17 years. He has been a sole practitioner in King of Prussia, with the majority of his practice representing homeowner associations, condominium associations, zoning, and land development. In 2014, Mr. Koch was elected Chairman of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors. He received the Celebration of Excellence Award Winner in Chamber Service in 2007. Mr. Koch has served as legal counsel and on the Board of Governors of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and its predecessor chambers of
Continued on page 16
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MBA Welcomes New Board Members
Continued from page 15
Meyer Simon is a member of
commerce since 2001. From 2002 through 2009, he served on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board. Since 2001, Mr. Koch has served on the Board of Directors of the King of Prussia Rotary Club, serving as Club President in 2006-2007. He also was elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Methacton Baseball Association in 2014. Mr. Koch is an active member of the Montgomery Bar Association and was appointed to a four year term on the Judiciary Committee in 2013. He also serves on the Realtor Liaison Committee, Real Estate Law Committee and Joint Liaison with Accountants Committee of the Montgomery Bar Association. Mr. Koch is also an active member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and served as the Zone 9 Co-Chair of the YLD from 2002-2003. He is admitted to the bar in all State Courts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania; U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania; U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania; U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey; U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Affairs; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces; U.S. Tax Court; U.S. Court of International Trade; U.S. Court of Federal Claims; U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Koch is also a licensed real estate broker in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Villanova University School of Law (J.D. in 1995) and Muhlenberg College (B.A. cum laude in 1992 with a double major of political science and history).
the firm Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C. in Lansdale. Mr. Simon graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law and holds a bachelor’s degree from the Pennsylvania State University. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Montgomery Bar Association. He formerly served as an officer and director of Glenside Savings and Loan. He handles all aspects of representation including business planning, acquisitions, sales, and mergers. His practice is very diverse and includes litigation, real estate, corporate and business, estate planning and administration, personal injury and family law. Mr. Simon is admitted to practice before the State and Federal Courts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
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is a partner in the Norristown office of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller. He concentrates his practice in family law. Mr. Shoemaker is the editor of the Sidebar Column which appears in each edition of the Pennsylvania Family Lawyer. He was chosen as a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Bar Leadership Institute Class of 2011-2012. He participates in local, state and national bar associations and the Inns of Court. Mr. Shoemaker has written materials and spoken for the Pennsylvania Bar Association and Pennsylvania Bar Institute.
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High Swartz Celebrates 100 Years with a Year of Charitable Endeavors By Melissa M. Boyd, Esq.
ith great pride and pleasure, 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of High Swartz LLP. When Montgomery Evans, John Dettra and Samuel H. High formed the partnership known as Evans, High and Dettra in 1914, they hardly envisioned the birth of a long-lived institution. These were mature and experienced attorneys: Montgomery Evans had been at the bar for 36 years, John Dettra for 26 years and Samuel High for 18 years. They were also quite notable. Samuel High had been prominently mentioned as a candidate on the Democratic ticket for Judge of the Orphans’ Court in 1911. His former law partner, John Faber Miller, had just been elected a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. The first partners were joined by Aaron S. Swartz, Jr. His father at that time was the President Judge of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. So the creation of the partnership was front page news when reported in the Norristown Times Herald on November 30, 1914. Continuity of the firm was assured when Samuel High’s two sons, Samuel H. High, Jr. and Gilbert P. High, both entered the practice of law in the 1930s and were joined years later by Aaron S. Swartz III and his first cousin, Victor J. Roberts. While the firm retained the image of a family firm for a decade, that was to change in the 1950s when Raymond M. Seidel and Marlyn F. Smith joined the firm as associates, followed in the 1960s by Stephen G. Yusem and Gilbert P. High, Jr. They became the third generation of High Swartz attorneys, and carried the firm into the age of time records, hourly billing rates, fax machines and automatic typewriters. The 1970s was a traumatic decade for the firm, with the death of all of the second generation of Highs and Swartzes. But the mantel had already passed, the firm had grown dramatically in size and the breadth of its practice, and
new partners and associates had joined the firm to carry its practice into the 21st century. A number of the additions to the firm were lateral transfers of experienced practitioners who brought with them new clients and fresh perspectives. But there are additional reasons High Swartz has reached this landmark anniversary. Primarily, most of those who have chosen to practice together at High Swartz have a love for the law. Those associated with the firm over the years have treated one another with respect and shared a common goal of being worthy of that respect. Secondly, the primary measure of success among the firm’s partners has been the degree that their daily tasks have successfully met the needs of the firm’s clients, rather than the extent of individual compensation. Finally, and in consequence of the above, the partners of High Swartz over this first 100 years have dedicated themselves to the firm’s continued existence, that it might provide for future generations of High Swartz attorneys a place where work is fun, and where ambition can be fulfilled with honesty and integrity. To commemorate its 100th year, High Swartz has launched twelve months of charitable endeavors, naming its philanthropic efforts, “Setting the Bar High: 10 Deeds for 10 Decades – High Swartz Gives Thanks for 100 Years in Norristown.” Every year, the attorneys of High Swartz participate in charitable efforts in their communities in addition to donating much of their time to providing pro bono service to indigent clients in Montgomery County. Managing partner Joel D. Rosen explains the focus of High Swartz’s charitable efforts for 2014, “We’ve made a special effort to get the entire firm involved — staff and lawyers are all participating in one or more events, often getting the opportunity to include one of their favorite non-profits.” In addition to providing cash donations to various non-profit organizations, High Swartz employees are volunteering their time to serve the community. Employees have already served at the Grace and Cecil Bean Soup Kitchen housed at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Norristown, and
collected children’s clothing for Childway Pediatric Services, a Lansdale in-patient medical facility dedicated to serving children with extensive medical issues. In March, High Swartz partnered with Dunleavy and Associates, a professional services firm dedicated to providing assistance to non-profit organizations, to present a free program at the Montgomery Bar Association to Montgomery County community and civic leaders entitled “Engaging Younger Generations as Donors, Volunteers and Employees.” Additional philanthropic events are planned throughout the year; the “In the Community” page on the High Swartz website is dedicated to highlighting these efforts, as well as a spotlight on two different High Swartz employees and their favorite charities every month. High Swartz serves many non-profit organizations, and one of these is also featured monthly. High Swartz wishes to carry these efforts into its next centennial and is committed to maintaining its office in Norristown. Gilbert P. High, Jr., an active partner at High Swartz, sums up High Swartz’s commitment to the community and, more specifically, in Norristown, “We made the decision to be committed to the town and we want to stay here…and that’s part of why the charities we’re looking to help are also helping us make a statement confirming that we’re committed to Norristown and helping the folks here.” It is no small feat in this day and age to reach an anniversary such as the one that High Swartz celebrates this year. Eric B. Smith, current Treasurer of the Montgomery Bar Association, reflects on the significance, “I think it is important the firm is reaching this milestone.” Smith continued, “I think there’s a lot to be said for something that has stayed together this long. It has evolved. It continues to hone itself and grow its numbers. It is an institution.” High Swartz will continue to revel in its 100th year and, with its leaders committed to the preservation and success of the firm, High Swartz can look forward to another century cultivating its relationships with its clients, the community, the Bench and the Bar.
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MBA / FEATURE
The Berman Museum of Art By Lindsay C. Hanifan, Esq. 2014 and continuing through May 16, 2014, the museum will display an interdisciplinary exhibit, Diary of the One Swelling Sea, resulting from the collaboration of a poet, a visual artist and a composer. The annual exhibit of student artwork opens on April 16, 2014.
oused in the old, stone-covered library of Ursinus College, the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art boasts over 4,000 pieces of art, including paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures as well as historical objects. The museum, which opened in 1989, is curated by Ginny Kollak and is fully accredited by the American Association of Museums. Its eclectic, permanent collection consists of 19th and 20th Century American landscapes and genre paintings; Japanese woodcuts and scrolls; German cultural artifacts, and even works by Rembrandt, Cezanne, Picasso and Warhol. In addition, the museum maintains a number of contemporary sculptures that are on display throughout the scenic campus of Ursinus, including many sculptures by George R. Anthonisen. Over 30,000 visitors come to view the collections each year. Many items in the museum’s per-
manent collection had previously been on loan from the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, but last year, the daughter of Philip and Muriel Berman, Nancy Berman, who also serves as the President of the Berman Foundation, permanently gifted over 1,300 items to the museum in honor of her parents. Soon after the gift, students in Ursinus College’s Museum Studies class organized and curated an exhibit using over two dozen pieces from the gifted collection. The exhibit, A to Z: Highlighting the Berman Collection, displayed the works alphabetically by the artist’s last name, rather than in chronological order, as a way to defy traditional thinking about how art should be showcased. Other recent exhibitions have presented the paintings of local artists Barbara J. Zucker and Holly Trostle Brigham, as well as the sculptures of Auguste Rodin. Beginning March 21,
The museum is located at 601 E. Main Street in Collegeville, right next to the Ursinus Admissions Office. It is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. There is no charge for admission, but donations are accepted. The entire permanent collection is not always on display, and part of the collection is used for educational purposes in the school’s art program, so if there are particular artists or pieces that you are interested in viewing, you should call the museum ahead of time to make sure that they are on display. The phone number for the museum is 610-409-3500.
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Montgomery Bar Association Welcomes New Leaders On Friday, January 10, the MBA held its Annual Business Luncheon Meeting at Meadowlands Country Club in Blue Bell. Nearly 300 local dignitaries, legal professionals, and community leaders attended the event, which included the election of the MBA’s officers for 2013, and awards presentation to honor area attorneys, members of law enforcement and community leaders, as well as the installation of its 90th president, Michael F. Rogers, Esq., with the ceremonial passing of the gavel. Mr. Rogers is a shareholder in Salvo Rogers & Elinski in Blue Bell, where he is the chair of the Tax and Estates Department. His primary practice areas are Estate Planning & Administration and Business Planning. He has been a member of the Montgomery Bar Association since 1996 and has served on numerous committees. He was a member of the Board of Directors from 2006 through 2009 and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Montgomery Bar Foundation. Mr. Rogers is a frequent lecturer on sophisticated tax planning strategies and techniques.
Committee of the Year Award - Real Estate Committee. Accepting on behalf of the 2013 Real Estate Committee are Marc D. Jonas, Chair (left) and Bernadette A. Kearney, Vice-Chair (right). The award was presented by 2013 MBA President Paul C. Troy (center).
President’s Award – The Hon. Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio (left) and Melissa M. Boyd (right) receive the President’s Award from 2013 MBA President Paul C. Troy (center) for their work as Chair and Vice-Chair (respectively) of the MBA’s Community Outreach Committee and successful launch of the Courting Art Contest and Exhibition.
MBA Past President Paul C. Troy (left) and 2014 MBA President Michael F. Rogers (right)
Montgomery Bar Foundation Milton O. Moss Award - Montgomery Bar Foundation President Steven H. Lupin (left) presents the Milton O. Moss Award to Lisa A. Shearman (right) for her work as National Affiliate Director of the Wills for Heroes Program. Since the beginning of the Bar Foundation in 1987, the Bar Foundation has honored Judge Moss by presenting the award to a Montgomery County resident who has provided exceptional service in support of the justice system.
Outgoing Board of Directors – (left to right) Jane Hackett Fisher, 2013 MBA President Paul C. Troy, Charles J. Meyer, Michael L. Kleiman (Not in picture: Patrick J. Kurtas, Joseph P. Walsh)
Montgomery Bar Foundation Louis D. Stefan Award - Montgomery County Chief Probation Officer Michael P. Gordon (left) accepts this year’s Louis D. Stefan Law Enforcement Award from Bar Foundation President Steven H. Lupin (right). The award is presented annually by the Montgomery Bar Foundation to an individual who promotes the rule of law and the administration of justice in the community. SIDEBAR
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SIDEBAR: A Look Back
n April 1986, the MBA, under President Stephen G. Yusem, published the first issue of the Montgomery Bar Association Newsletter. Shortly thereafter, Mark C. Schultz and Hon. Marjorie C. Lawrence won a contest to name the new periodical. The name stuck. In the years since, SIDEBAR has evolved from a simple black & white newsletter to the full color magazine that you hold in your hands (or see on your computer screen). In this column, we’ll look back at SIDEBAR’s 27+ year history by reprinting select articles, photos, pages and excerpts.
Good Times at the New
By Bob & Ben Watson
t was my turn again to do a restaurant review of one of our county’s notable restaurants, which is usually a great opportunity for us to get out and try a new location that everyone’s been talking about. This time was a little different, because the SIDEBAR deadline was a bit short. Not to mention we have busy weekend sport schedules with our kids, even in the colder months. The question was… where to find a new, trendy restaurant that everyone has been talking about – which is also family friendly? Stuck between soccer games, necessity yielded the perfect solution – the new Shake Shack by the King of Prussia Mall. Enter my 9-year-old son, Ben, who is helping with this issue’s restaurant review: BEN: I was tired from soccer and wanted to eat something very quick. I didn’t want to wait for my parents to look at a big menu or for the waiter to take our orders and bring my parents salads that I wasn’t going to eat. I wanted to pick something easy off the list on the wall, and get my food. The problem was my parents were looking for better than fast food and said something about needing a beer with dinner because me and my brother were driving them crazy. Q: By MR. WATSON: Were your parents able to find a reasonable alternative to keep the entire family happy? A: Shake Shack was close to the movie theater at the mall. The parking lot on Saturday night was full, but the line inside didn’t look too bad, so we went in. When we went in the restaurant looked sort of like a tree house with big glass windows. Everyone seemed to be having fun with their families and friends. There was a menu on the wall and we were in a short line, but my Dad told me to hurry up and pick before we got to the register. Q: Tell me what happened after you ordered. A: My Mom spotted an open table and got it. Then, someone came over and quickly cleaned the table for us. Our buzzer went off and my parents went over to get our food from the counter. It was on a big metal tray with each item in separate
fast food bags and boxes. Q: What exactly did you get to eat that evening? A: I got a regular cheeseburger [$3.75] and a small chocolate milkshake [$5.00]. The cheeseburger was incredible. I liked it because it had a really good bun and the cheese was melted all over. The burger itself was juicy and delicious, it was one of the tastiest I’ve had. The chocolate shake was like it was hand-made and it could still go through the straw. Q: How about your younger brother? What did he eat? A: He doesn’t always like hamburgers, so he had the regular Vienna all beef hot dog [$3.00]. It was cut in half and grilled like the burgers, and he loved it with ketchup. I know you like mustard better, Dad. You and Mom also split the Shack-cago Dog [$4.00], because Mom loves Chicago hot dogs ever since we went to a Cubs game last summer. She said it was a very close second to the original. Q: Is that all your parents had to eat? A: No. Each of you also got burgers – Mom had a ShackBurger, which is a single cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato and their special ShackSauce [$4.75]. She said the tomatoes tasted like they were straight from the farm, but there aren’t any farms growing tomatoes at this time of year. You had the SmokeShack burger with applewood smoked bacon, chopped cherry pepper and ShackSauce [$6.25]. Q: I thought that my burger was delicious, and the chopped cherry peppers were just the right balance of heat
Our Business is to Support your Business! to compliment the fresh ground beef patty. That burger definitely wasn’t your average chain joint sandwich. Enough about my burger, though . . . are you telling me your parents each had a hamburger and split a Chicago dog? A: Yes. You said you were doing a restaurant review and had to try a few things from the menu; but you each only got single burgers – you can also get doubles for about $2 more. And we also got the fries, which were amazing! There are cheese fries [$3.85] and regular fries [$2.85]. They are twice-cooked, and I liked the malt vinegar on the regular fries.
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Q: I have one more question, you said earlier that you and your brother were driving your parents crazy and they wanted to have a beer with dinner. Was that actually possible at the Shake Shack? A: Yes. You each got a ShackMeister Ale, which is brewed specially by Brooklyn Brewery for the restaurant. Q: That was a tasty draught beer. Definitely not too dark or strong, and carefully selected for the food flavors available on the menu. Shack Red or White from Frog’s Leap in Napa is also available to enjoy if you prefer wine with your meal. Did anyone have dessert? A: No, but I wish. The homemade custard ice cream came in chocolate, vanilla and the flavor of the day. Sundaes and mix-ins are also available, and the Liberty Shell that came with a cannoli shell, strawberry and lemon looked good [$4.25/6.50]. I wish you would let us have a dog, so we could get some of the dog treats they have on the menu, like the Pooch-ini peanut butter dog biscuit [$3.85], or you can buy a Bag O’ Bones [$7.50]. We didn’t see anyone with dogs while we were there. Shake Shack is a fun, new restaurant at the King of Prussia Mall in Upper Merion Township. Not exactly fast food, but quick and informal enough to drop in. Everything is prepared to order, so the 5 extra minutes’ wait is worth it. Perfect for families or friends.
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MAKE JUSTICE A PART OF YOUR LEGACY Montgomery Bar Foundation announces new legacy society for estate bequests
By Heather M. Bendit
t can be difficult to contemplate one’s own mortality. However, there is comfort in planning your estate, putting things in order and creating a legacy that reflects your guiding principles. Having dedicated your career to the cause of justice, The Montgomery Bar Foundation encourages you to incorporate this into your estate planning. As the charitable arm of the Montgomery Bar Association, the Bar Foundation is dedicated to advancing the cause of justice by awarding grants to organizations that provide free legal assistance and law-related services to the most vulnerable members of our community. Faced with crime, poverty, abuse and discrimination, these vital services help ensure that these individuals have someone fighting in their corner. The Bar Foundation’s grants are made possible by private charitable donations from individuals who share our commitment to access to justice. The Bar Foundation also manages the Permanent Fund, which is dedicated to ensuring that the Bar Foundation can continue to provide support for these vital services into the future. The Harvey F. Strauss Legacy Society recognizes and honors individuals who have included the Bar Foundation in their estate planning. The Society is named in honor of a friend and colleague who has dedicated his entire career to leveling the playing field for all members of our community. For nearly 40 years, as a staff attorney, then Executive Director of Montgomery County Legal Aid (now Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania), Harvey worked tirelessly to build a cadre of skilled and dedicated advocates and help steer the organization through many storms.
MONTGOMERY BAR FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES 2014 OFFICERS AND TRUSTEES
Organizations such as LASP, which ensure equal access to justice, are chronically under-funded. The situation has become particularly acute in recent years. Funding cuts and declining private support challenge their ability to respond to the need that grows each year. The Montgomery Bar Foundation is proud to serve as one of the few sources of operating support for these organizations, and is committed to increasing its support in the years to come. By providing the Montgomery Bar Foundation in your estate, you will help make this possible. Legacy gifts can be directed to support the Bar Foundation’s annual activities or to the Permanent Fund. Your estate planning professional can advise you regarding how to effectuate your intended gift. Please be sure to advise us of your bequest so we can properly acknowledge it. If you would like additional information or would like to join the Harvey F. Strauss Legacy Society, please contact Montgomery Bar Foundation Development Director Heather M. Bendit at hbendit@ montgomerybarfoundation.org or 610.994.3667.
At the annual meeting of the Montgomery Bar Foundation, the following officers were elected: President – Steven H. Lupin, Esq., Hamburg Rubin Mullin Maxwell & Lupin Vice President – Mark A. Kearney, Esq., Elliott Greenleaf Secretary – David A. Feldheim, Esq. Treasurer – Gary M. Loewenstern, CPA, CVA, Resnick, Amsterdam, Leshner, PC Additionally, the following individuals were elected to serve as Trustees: Jeffrey E. Biernat, Gwynedd Wealth Partners, LLC Geoffrey D. Brandon, TD Bank Edward J. DiDonato, Esq., Fox Rothschild, LLP Shelly Lawson, USI Affinity Annette M. Long, CRP Donald J. Martin, Esq. Barbara M. Smith, Esq., McTighe, Weiss & O’Rourke, P.C. Seth D. Wilson, Esq., Morris, Clemm & Wilson, P.C. The following individuals will serve as Designated Trustees: Bruce Pancio, Esq., Walsh Pancio, LLC Paul C. Troy, Esq., Kane, Pugh, Knoell, Troy & Kramer, LLP The following individuals will serve as Honorary Trustees: Virginia Frantz, Montgomery County Foundation, Inc. Elizabeth Wood Fritsch, Esq., Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania
MBA / FEATURE
Montgomery Bar Foundation Acknowledges Recent Contributors Bar Foundation Fellows Program We gratefully acknowledge the following individuals who either joined (N) or renewed (R) their participation in the Bar Foundation Fellows Program: Justin A. Bayer, Esq. (N) Melissa M. Boyd, Esq. (N) Lisa J. Cappolella, Esq. (N) Edward J. DiDonato, Esq. (N) David Dormont, Esq. (N) Elizabeth Wood Fritsch, Esq. (N) Carole Dotson Green, Esq. (N) John P. Gregg, Esq. (N) Edward F. Kane, Esq. (N) Patrick J. Kurtas, Esq. (N) Robert H. Lefevre, Esq. (N) Samuel D. Miller, III, Esq. (N) Karl S. Myers, Esq. (N) Joseph P. Walsh, Esq. (N) Seth D. Wilson, Esq. (N) Janet E. Amacher, Esq. (R) Robert A. Bacine, Esq. (R) William H. Bradbury, III, Esq. (R) Hon. Carolyn T. Carluccio (R) Amy P. DeShong, Esq. (R) David A. Feldheim, Esq. (R)
Virginia Frantz (R) State Rep. Kate M. Harper (R) Kathleen E. Daniels Imbesi, Esq. (R) Mark A. Kearney, Esq. (R) Robert A. Korn, Esq. (R) Steven H. Lupin, Esq. (R) Donald J. Martin, Esq. (R) Bernard J. McLafferty, Esq. (R) J. Edmund Mullin, Esq. (R) Nancy R. Paul (R) Mary C. Pugh, Esq. (R) William H. Pugh, IV, Esq. (R) William H. Pugh, V, Esq. (R) Michael F. Rogers, Esq. (R) Jack A. Rounick, Esq. (R) Mark C. Schultz, Esq. (R) Richard A. Simon, Esq. (R) Eric B. Smith, Esq. (R) Neil A. Stein, Esq. (R) Marc Robert Steinberg, Esq. (R) Harvey F. Strauss, Esq. (R) Carl N. Weiner, Esq. (R) Marvin L. Wilenzik, Esq. (R) Private charitable contributions are an essential source of support for the Bar Foundation’s annual grants program. We
would like to take this opportunity to thank the following individuals for their generous support. General Donations – We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the following individuals, which include those who contributed on Giving Tuesday 2013: David A. Feldheim, Esq. Cary L. Flitter, Esq. Mark A. Kearney, Esq. Karl S. Myers, Esq. Nancy R. Paul Michael F. Rogers, Esq. Marlyn F. Smith, Esq. Paul C. Troy, Esq. Tribute Gifts - Tribute gifts are a special way to honor the memory of a loved one or mark a celebration with a gift to the cause of justice: Heather M. Bendit, in memory of Louis Paul Heather M. Bendit, in memory of Dr. Gordon Lupin Peter E. Bort, Esq., Elizabether Schaeffer Fund Hon. S. Gerald Corso, in memory of Jay Gross David A. Feldheim, Esq., in memory of Louis Paul David A. Feldheim, Esq., in memory of Robert E. Slota, Jr., Esq. Bernadette A. Kearney, Esq., in memory of Robert E. Slota, Jr., Esq. Elizabeth Simcox, in memory of Louis Paul If you would like to join these generous individuals in advancing the cause of justice in our community, please visit www.montgomerybarfoundation.org to make your charitable contribution.
(List complete as of 3/12/14. We regret any gifts that may have been inadvertently omitted.)
I have been proud to be involved with the Montgomery Bar Foundation since it was founded as the charitable arm of the Montgomery Bar Association in 1987. Over the years, the Montgomery Bar Foundation has distributed nearly half a million dollars in grants to worthy causes that contribute to the quality of life in our community. As a long-time supporter, director and trustee of the Montgomery Bar Foundation, I am proud of what we have accomplished. Bar Foundation grants are made possible by the generous support of members of our profession who believe in giving back to the community in which they live and work.
WHY I GIVE
Donald J. Martin, Esq. SIDEBAR
As a Bar Foundation Fellow, I support the foundation’s activities because I believe the Bar Foundation truly makes a difference. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees recently approved the creation of the Harvey F. Strauss Legacy Society, in honor of our colleague who dedicated his career to seeing that justice is served for the most disadvantaged citizens of this county. The Strauss Society recognizes and honors individuals who include the Montgomery Bar Foundation in their estate planning. Harvey embodies the highest aspirations of the profession. Moreover, his career reflects a responsibility that we all share – justice is best served when it is enjoyed by all. Recently, I revised my will to include a gift to the Montgomery Bar Foundation, so it can continue to advance the cause of justice for years to come. Please join me.
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MBA / FEATURE
Montgomery County’s Own Hon. Susan Peikes Gantman Named President Judge Of The Pennsylvania Superior Court By Gerald L. Shoemaker, Jr., Esq.
n January 7, 2014, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts announced that Hon. Susan Peikes Gantman was elected President Judge of the Pennsylvania Superior Court, succeeding interim President Judge John T. Bender. She will serve a five year term as President Judge. She grew up in Norristown and currently resides in Wynnewood. Judge Gantman received both her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and she graduated from Villanova School of Law in 1977. Upon graduation, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Richard S. Lowe of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. From there, Judge Gantman began working as an Assistant District Attorney in Montgomery County and was Solicitor of Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth and the Montgomery County Housing and Community Development. She began working in the private sector in 1981. Judge Gantman initially practiced in various areas of law, including juvenile, domestic relations and, appropriately so, appellate work. She was chair of the Domestic Relations Section of Sherr,
Joffe & Zuckerman, P.C. beginning in 1991 and then co-chair of the Family Law Section of Cozen O’Connor from 1998 until her election to the bench in 2003. Judge Gantman is active in multiple bar associations, including the Pennsylvania, Montgomery and Philadelphia Bar Associations. She lectures frequently, and she recently participated on a panel at the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section Winter Meeting, which took place in Philadelphia in January. She also lectures for the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, and she is a member of the Pennsylvania Dependency Benchbook Committee. Judge Gantman is a Master of the Villanova University School of Law J. Willard O’Brien American Inn of Court, whose mission is to foster excellence in professionalism, ethics, civility and legal skills among members of the bench and bar. She was first elected to the Superior Court for a 10 year term in 2003. We remember how close the election was. Out of 2,267,000 votes cast, she won by 49 votes. It is the closest statewide election in the country since the Civil War. Judge Gantman was retained in 2013 for an additional 10 years.
Judge Gantman is only the second female to have been elected President Judge. She has been extremely active in promoting women in the profession and her election is a testament to that cause. She has received the prestigious Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession Anne X. Alpern Award and the Montgomery Bar Association’s Margaret Richardson Award. In addition, Judge Gantman has received the Montgomery County Children and Youth’s Outstanding Service Award. One of Judge Gantman’s goals is to make the Pennsylvania Superior Court more accessible. She has mentored law students, permitting them to observe court proceedings, and is engaged with law clerks after sessions. She is an advocate for transparency in the court system, noting that transparency is important so the public has confidence in the judiciary. Judge Gantman wanted to convey her thanks to all her friends at the Montgomery Bar Association for their support when she first ran for Superior Court in 2003 and their continued support during her tenure on the Superior Court.
BITS & BYTES
“APP-TITUDE” By Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq.
he most frequently asked question I hear is, “what are the best apps for fun, work or whatever?”
In the interest of answering the question and keeping everyone happy, here are some of my favorite apps, which are available in most flavors (iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, etc.). Dropbox (https://www.dropbox.com) This is an offline (cloud) storage service that can be accessed from your desktop, phone or tablet. You get a free account and can buy additional storage space. It is invaluable for transferring documents without the need for flash drives, disks, etc. It is secure (password-protected) and easy to use. Goodreader (http://www.goodiware. com/goodreader.html) is a “superrobust” PDF reader and much more. It is a file cabinet for all of my PDFs, which include statutes, rules, and other documents. I store all PBI materials for easy reference. You can annotate, email, print, and much more. It’s easy to use and a must for anyone. Fastcase (https://www.fastcase.com) This legal research service has a free app. You can also install Lexis Advance or WestLaw depending on your subscription. A little tip is to use Google to find a particular case or statute. It’s fast and free.
PA Support (http://www.familylawsoftware.com) For family lawyers, a free app to calculate child support and alimony. While it’s not the full desktop version, it is an excellent tool to use for a quick look at the potential support issue. Docket in Your Pocket (http://docketinyourpocket.com) A great tool for checking offenses ranging from traffic (speeding, DWI, etc.), assault, robbery and other criminal matters on the fly. A must for PFA actions and when a quick background check is needed. Scanner Pro (http://readdle.com/products/scannerpro) turns your device into a portable scanner. Uses your device’s camera to capture the document. You can save, print and email the captured data. Easy to use and also great for copying documents at meetings, etc. Note: there are several similar apps that have the same function. Zillow (http://www.zillow.com) If you ever need a down and dirty fair market value for a case, this is the app for you. It uses public records, so the values are conservative. It also gives plenty of use information for the property including square footage, date of build, estimated taxes, pictures, school district, etc. Now for some fun…
Lumosity (http://www.lumosity.com) A quick, new way to stimulate your mind (and waste a little time). Also, check out Quizup (https://www. quizup.com). It’s like being on a quiz show! Open Table (http://www.opentable. com) Find restaurants and make reservations in the United States and in many countries. It’s free and saves a lot of time and money. Amazon (http://www.amazon.com) This app lets you find anything on Amazon and track your purchases. You can even take a picture of a product and let Amazon send you an email with a link to purchase the product on Amazon. I picture thousands of workers sitting at computers looking up products and sending back emails. It does work and it’s free. Also check out eBay and the Apple Store apps. For news junkies, CNN lets you search for news and even watch CNN live. WatchESPN and MLB at Bat are great for watching live sports and getting up to date scores and news. I want this column to be user friendly and instructive to your needs. Please send me your comments and suggestions for topics. Also, email me the name of your favorite app, explain why and how you use it. It can be for work, play or whatever. Send them to email@example.com and I will be happy to respond and share them in my column.
MBA / FEATURE
MBA Ramps Up Social Media Efforts in Response to ABA Tech Survey
hether we care to admit it or not, social media has infiltrated our legal community. Once a sanctuary of our home lives, social media is now part of our work and professional lives as well. Those practicing family law have seen an increased need for social media discovery in recent years, especially in divorce and child support cases. In fact, social media discovery can be effective in most areas of civil litigation: business, insurance, intellectual property, and many more. A familiarity with social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter is becoming more and more of a necessity for the practicing civil attorney. The practicality of having a social media presence has increased as well. Robert Ambrogi, author of the blog LawSites, states that 81% of lawyers now use some form of social media for professional purposes (according to the 2013 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report). Mr. Ambrogi goes further to mention that 59% of those surveyed indicated that their firm has a social media presence. Professional networking site LinkedIn makes up a majority of this percentage, but lawyers, like the business community before them, are slowly embracing the idea of social media as a potential revenue-generating vehicle. In response to this increase in usage, the MBA has stepped up its social media presence in recent months. Those who follow our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages may have already noticed the increase in posts and content. Followers can get up-to-the-minute event reminders
and cancellation news, photos, law practice tips, local news, and much more. Through our social media accounts, we can filter legal news from throughout the country into what is most interesting to our members. We also offer a connection to media and community organizations as well. Social media has transformed
Still on the fence? Allow us to address some common concerns: I like to keep my personal and professional lives separate. We do not view, share, or comment on personal information or posts. Think of the MBA social media accounts as a “one-way” news outlet. Follow us the same as you would a newspaper or online blog. My newsfeed is too crowded already. We are careful not to clog your newsfeed with useless posts, shares, and retweets. We (most likely) will not post pictures of babies, dogs, or food. Expect no more than one or two posts a day. These posts will be pertinent to your bar association, your profession, and your community.
the traditional public relations model. Stories and news items can be shared among thousands with just a click. For example, if you or your firm would like to publicize a charitable endeavor, simply notify us via Facebook or Twitter, where we can share amongst our followers, who are comprised of MBA members, local attorneys, community organizations, and media outlets. Following us on social media is as simple as visiting www. montgomerybar.org, clicking on the respective Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn button on the top right of the home page, and following our accounts.
I don’t have a social media account. You should! Joining Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is free and is a great way to network, gather news, market your services, and so much more. If privacy is a concern, most, if not all, social networks allow you to modify your privacy settings to allow what other people can and cannot see. As an attorney and member of the MBA, you would be well-served by joining and connecting with us on social media. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, and Join us on LinkedIn. If for some reason you are unsatisfied or if you have suggestions about how we can improve our social media efforts, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MBA / FEATURE
An Update on the
Center for Mediation and Arbitration
hen the Bar Association’s Center for Mediation and Arbitration (CMA) first opened its doors for business last February, it was uncertain how successful the program might be in reducing the growing backlog of cases waiting to be tried in Montgomery County’s courts. After all, the MBA’s original ADR program, the Davenport Dispute Resolution Center, had a nice run at resolving cases in the early part of the century, but the ADR Committee realized some significant changes would need to take place if they were going to effectively respond to increased demand on our courts. Moreover, a shift in the way in which the old program was administered and positioned would need to take place in order to promote the program effectively to insurance companies, lawyers and members of the public with civil matters pending. So with a few challenges ahead and the MBA staff to support them, the ADR Committee concentrated their efforts on streamlining operations and
procedures, retooling, and rebranding the program to better meet the needs of prospective clients. And it seems to be working. Over a 10-month period last year from February through November, the MBA’s Center for Mediation and Arbitration heard over 60 cases from major insurance companies like Allstate and State Farm. 63% of these cases have already been settled via mediation or arbitration with several more presently pending. According to ADR Committee Chair Robert F. Morris, the CMA is attractive to insurance companies, because it’s a low-cost service for the resolution of matters that have been or could be filed in civil court. Ultimately, the goal of the program is to reduce the burden placed on our courts, while providing clients an opportunity for an expeditious resolution of disputes outside the courtroom. In some cases, a stack full of cases can be handled in a single day. Mr. Morris also points to the fact there’s very little overhead, because the Bar Association provides the brick and
mortar, marketing and tech support, staff and meeting facilities. Services of course are provided at significantly reduced rates through an expert panel of ADR specialists, all of whom have been selected by the ADR Committee for their experience in mediation and arbitration of civil matters in Montgomery and surrounding Counties. The Center for Mediation and Arbitration continues to receive favorable reviews from clients and will plan to make its first major outbound marketing blitz later this year. Building on the success of its first year, the Center hopes to have several new mediations scheduled in the near future. Members of our bench are no doubt looking forward to seeing more cases disappear from the court’s back log. To learn more about the Center for Mediation and Arbitration and its wallet-friendly expert resolution services, please visit www. montgomerbar.org/adr/home.htm or call 610.279.9660, Ext. 208.
MBA / FEATURE
E-DISCOVERY: AVOID THE DINOSAUR DEFENSE! By Pamela M. Tobin, Esq.
any of us have faced litigators who refuse to produce their clients’ electronically stored information and instead insist on producing only limited emails and if you’re lucky, the email attachments. Because clients are conducting virtually all of their business electronically, producing only limited emails does not begin to satisfy their discovery obligations. It also calls into question the attorney’s competence. In late 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court amended the Rules of Professional Conduct to clarify that a lawyer “should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology…” Pa. R. Prof. Cond. 1.1 Cmt. 8. In one of my cases, an experienced lawyer defended his failure to produce his client’s electronic records by claiming that he was a “dinosaur” when it came to electronic technology. While that might be true, a lawyer acknowledging “extinction” directly calls his competence and compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct into question. Do not be intimidated by E-discovery; it is really not that difficult to comprehend. It is the collection, processing, review and production of responsive electronic documents. It requires the lawyer to advise the client to preserve all electronic and physical information potentially relevant in the litigation, including disarming automatic delete functions within their computer systems. The “litigation hold” notice must inform all custodians with relevant information that they must preserve their information whether it is housed on their work or home computers and other devices. The duty to preserve is triggered when the client has a reasonable basis to believe litigation will happen.
The lawyer needs to figure out the case quickly to determine the amount of potentially responsive electronic information and devise a plan for producing responsive information in a cost-effective way. The Rules set forth factors for determining the extent to which the burdens of producing e-discovery must be borne. See Pa. R. Civ. Proc. 4009.1 2012 Cmt. Assuming the case satisfies the proportionality standard in the Rules, the lawyer must become familiar with the client’s information technology system and identify all the servers, work stations and remote storage places that might contain potentially relevant information. Through that knowledge, the lawyer can figure out the key places to collect data to avoid collecting too much or too little. An e-discovery expert or in-house IT expert should be utilized to assist in identifying the key places to find responsive data, collect the data and run search terms to locate potentially responsive information. Since search terms can either net too much or too
little, the lawyer needs to analyze the results to remove false positives. The goal is to winnow down the data to a potentially responsive set that the attorneys can then review for responsiveness and privilege. Since attorney review time consumes the lion’s share of e-discovery costs, technology (such as email threading and predictive coding) can be used to streamline the results. Obviously, this article can only scratch the surface and lawyers need to study the latest e-discovery decisions and attend CLEs to stay competent. Since all of us rely on technology in our practices, we cannot really resort to the dinosaur defense, not credibly anyway.
One of the greatest challenges in producing e-discovery is managing the costs. Len Deutchman, Esquire, an e-discovery computer expert, and I will present a two-hour Montgomery Bar CLE addressing the ways to control e-discovery costs, on April 29, 2014. Visit MBACLE.org to register today.
TURNING THE PAGES TO YOUR SUCCESS For advertising information contact Andrea M. Krantz, 610-685-0914 x205 andrea@HoffPubs.com or Karen Zach, 484.924.9911 karen@HoffPubs.com
MBA / FEATURE
COLLABORATIVE PRACTICE -
ITâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NOT JUST FOR DIVORCE By Ellen S. Fischer, Esq.
ontrary to popular belief, collaborative practice is not just for divorcing couples. It is a useful form of alternative dispute resolution that works in most areas of the law, particularly in estate practice, employment cases and business dissolution matters. At its core, collaborative practice is intended to allow parties and their counsel to sit down, to negotiate resolutions and to avoid the need to have a court decide the result. The parties and counsel appreciate and agree in writing to maintain open and honest communication, to voluntarily exchange all relevant documentation and to otherwise work in a cooperative manner until a resolution acceptable to all involved is reached. To ensure that parties and counsel remain out of court, a collaborative contract is executed at the commencement of the process that precludes the attorneys from litigating the case. Should the parties, at any time, decide to terminate the process, then new counsel must be retained. The thought of starting over is often the very thing that motivates
the parties to stay involved in the process, even when the going gets a bit tough. Estate practice is especially suited for collaborative law, because high emotions and family discord are at play. As with collaborative divorce, the goal, in addition to reaching an agreement, is to prevent families from falling apart, to mend fences and to allow for open dialogue. The goal may seem lofty, but it is most attainable, because parties are forced to talk to one another, to air differences and to come to an accord. It is anticipated that baby boomers will be transferring somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 billion to their heirs. The distribution of these assets will likely result in future legal disputes. One alternative is to include a provision in your will requiring family members to resolve any dispute that may arise through the collaborative process. Or, think of having a family meeting with
IRS, State & Philadelphia Tax Controversies & Litigation Audit and Appeals Representation Offers in Compromise Chapters 7 and 13 Bankruptcy www.brandywinetax.com 150 N. Radnor Chester Road / Radnor, PA 610.235.7577 Referral Fees Paid As Permitted By The Rules Of Professional Conduct
the benefit of collaborative counsel helping the family discuss the inevitable and reaching decisions in advance of oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s death. Employment disputes can be extremely costly to employers both financially and in terms of morale in the workplace. As the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals suggests on its website, collaborative practice can be helpful with contract disputes, discipline or termination matters, co-worker complaints, issues involving bullying or harassment, and much more. Come learn more about collaborative practice by joining the Collaborative Law Committee of the Montgomery Bar Association. Ellen S. Fischer is a partner in the firm of Clover & Coval, LLC.
MBA / FEATURE
Hon. R. Stephen Barrett Appointed to the Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee By Richard E. Cohen, Esq.
y Order of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court dated January 28, 2014, The Honorable R. Stephen Barrett was appointed as a voting member of the Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee for a term of three years. The purpose of the Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee is to recommend to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court the promulgation and/ or amendment of Juvenile Court Rules, which Rules were originally adopted in 2005 and 2006. The Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee (JCPRC) is comprised of Common Pleas Court Judges, Court Administration personnel, child
advocates, public defenders, and lawyers representing parents in dependency proceedings, although not all of these participants are voting members. The JCPRC meets four times a year, with each meeting lasting a couple of consecutive days. Proudly, Judge Barrett is the first Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge to be appointed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to serve on the JCPRC. This appointment acknowledges, by members of various Juvenile Courts in Pennsylvania, Judge Barrettâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reputation as being a fair and sound Juvenile Court jurist who emphasizes application of the
Juvenile Court Rules. Prior to the commencement of Judge Barrettâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent term in the Montgomery County Juvenile Court, he obtained a copy of the Juvenile Court Rules, read them, learned them, and insisted upon their adherence to the cases before him. His interest in the Juvenile Court Rules will now be furthered with his appointment to the JCPRC. Judge Barrett welcomes, by in-person meeting or otherwise, any and all local Juvenile Court practitioners to submit to him questions regarding existing Juvenile Court Rules or suggestions for the passage of new Rules and/or amendments to the existing Rules.
2014 High School Mock Trial Competition By Lindsay C. Hanifan, Esq.
he Montgomery County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section recently sponsored the annual High School Mock Trial Competition, which is now in its 30th year. A total of 32 teams from high schools throughout Montgomery County competed in the regional play-offs in January and February. The students presented a negligence action involving the death of a high school track star due to the use of performance enhancing drugs. In the first two rounds, each team had one turn to represent the plaintiff, the estate of the track star, and one turn
to represent the defendant, the private high school where she ran track. In doing so, the students learned trial strategy, rules of evidence and even legal theories, including comparative negligence. The program would not be possible without the help of many MBA members and county judges who volunteered their time. Over 140 members acted as jurors and time keepers, and 22 district judges, county judges and attorneys served as judges. President Judge William J. Furber, Jr., presided over the final round between Mount Saint Joseph Academy’s Team A and
the Haverford School’s Team A. The victor, Haverford A, will now advance to compete in the State Championship in Harrisburg on March 28, 2014.
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Young Lawyers Section Participates in MLK Day of Service By Aimee L. Kumer, Esq.
n January 20, 2014, thirteen members of the Montgomery Bar Association attended a Day of Service in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., organized by the Young Lawyer’s Section. The volunteer attorneys – composed of both younger and older members of the bar, and one member of the bench – assisted the Keystone Opportunity Center in preparing a transitional housing unit for new residents. Keystone is a non-profit based out of Souderton, PA, which provides services to the local community in the form of a food pantry, housing assistance, and educational programing (including ESL, GED, and literacy classes and English language/civics classes for individuals pursuing naturalization). Through their housing assistance program, Keystone helps individuals and families move from crisis to stability and independence in permanent, affordable housing. Keystone relies on volunteers to operate their housing program; without the assistance of volunteers to perform cleaning and repairs between tenants, Keystone would not be able to afford to provide these services. The volunteers spent the day emptying and cleaning the unit, and then patching, sanding, and applying a fresh coat of paint to the walls of the two-bedroom apartment. Another set of volunteers will clean the carpets, at which point the unit will be ready to house a new family. A new family was expected to be in the home by February. A video of some of the work done is available at http://www.thereporteronline.com/socialaffairs/20140120/volunteers-serve-on-mlkday. The volunteers included the Honorable Cheryl Lynne Austin, Jenna Berman, Rebecca Cantor, Lindette C. Hassan, Aimee L. Kumer, Andrew J. Levin, Melissa Mazur, James J. McCarrie, II, Christopher McMonagle, David A. Moscow, Colin J. O’Boyle, William G. Roark and Michael F. Rogers.
Members in the News Joseph E. Bresnan and Robert Rex Herder have joined
Eastburn and Gray, PC’s Blue Bell office.
Kaplin Stewart in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, is pleased to announce that Craig Robert Lewis has been named a partner of the firm. Mr. Lewis concentrates his practice in the areas of land use, land development and zoning of both commercial and residential real estate. The shareholders of Eastburn and Gray, P.C. are pleased to announce the election of Michael J. Savona to shareholder. Mr. Savona is a member of the firm’s Land Use and Zoning, Litigation and Municipal Law practice groups. He is an experienced municipal solicitor and trial and appellate attorney. Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller shareholder Cheryl L. Young and associate Dori F. Green have authored a chapter entitled “Using Prenuptial Agreements to Protect Children’s Interests,” in the 2014 supplement to Drafting Prenuptial Agreements by Gary N. Skoloff, Richard H. Singer, Jr. and Ronald L. Brown (Aspen Publishers, 2014).
Michelle C. Berk was appointed as a member of the Montgomery County Aging and Adult Services Advisory Council by the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. Jennifer J. Riley has been
selected and named as one of the Top 40 Under 40 Family Law Attorneys in the State of Pennsylvania for 2014 by the American Society of Legal Advocates.
Jennifer Ellis published a book with the American Bar Association. The book is called WordPress in One Hour
for Lawyers: How to Create a Website for your Law Firm. The book is available through the ABA’s website. Attorney Meyer Simon has joined Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C. of Lansdale. Mr. Simon brings to the firm an active practice representing local, regional, and national business clients, including manufacturers, service businesses, hotel and construction businesses, professional practices, and financial institutions.
Marc D. Jonas was re-elected Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Commission Board. The Commission Board members are appointed by the County Commissioners. This is his third term as Chairman. Neil A. Stein, principal of the
Land Use & Zoning group, was appointed to the Home Builders Association Board of Directors and re-appointed as Chair of the Political Action Committee of HBA.
Joseph J. McGrory, Jr.,
chair of the Municipal Law Department at Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell and Lupin, was recently appointed to the Council of the Municipal Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
Mark S. Cappuccio has been appointed to serve as a mediator in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Tax Assessment Appeals program. J. Edmund (Ed) Mullin,
co-chair of the Real Estate and Land Use Department at Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, PC, was recently appointed by the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County to be a Master for the Tax SIDEBAR
Assessment Appeal Mediation Program.
Linda A. Kerns appeared as a
guest on Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane on WHYY to discuss the recent Pennsylvania Voter ID ruling from the Commonwealth Court and discuss voter integrity issues.
The Law Offices of Maribeth Blessing is proud to announce the addition of Kimberly Dudick as an Associate. Kimberly concentrates her practice in family law and is a member of the Montgomery Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C. is pleased to announce that John H. Filice has been named a partner of the firm. Mr. Filice is a life-long Montgomery County resident and a local graduate of Souderton Area High School. Wisler Pearlstine, LLP is pleased to announce that Amy Taylor Brooks has been named a partner in the firm. She has been an associate in the firm since 2005. Ms. Brooks practices education law at Wisler Pearlstine where she provides counsel and representation to school district and charter school administrators, teachers and board members related to investigations, reviews and administrative hearings in a variety of special education, discipline and administrative matters. Attorney Andrew J. Levin has joined Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C. of Lansdale as an associate attorney. Mr. Levin resides in Holland, Pennsylvania, and is a local graduate from Council Rock High School - South. His practice focuses on Criminal Defense, Personal Injury and Unemployment Compensation.
Attorney Liam J. Duffy has joined Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C. of Lansdale as an associate attorney. Mr. Duffy is a local graduate from Archbishop Wood High School, Warminster, Pennsylvania, and currently resides in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. His practice focuses on Family Law and Landlord/Tenant Law. Attorney Marykate Kelly has joined Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C. of Lansdale as an associate attorney. Ms. Kelly is a local graduate from Mount Saint Joseph Academy and currently resides in North Wales, Pennsylvania. Her practice focuses on Civil Litigation, Business, Workers’ Compensation, Social Security Disability and Estate Planning and Administration. Friedman Schuman is pleased to announce the election of
Julia Morrow to Principal of the firm. Morrow is a
member of the firm’s Litigation Department, and concentrates her practice in the areas of family law and business litigation.
Wisler Pearlstine, LLP is pleased to announce that the
firm received Tier 1 ranking, the highest ranking level, in the 2014 edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” in the Philadelphia area for the practice areas of Municipal Law and Family Law.
Friedman Schuman, PC is proud to announce that Stephen B. Lavner has become a Principal of the Firm. Lavner has
cases, including Catastrophic Loss, Traumatic Brain Injury and Medical Malpractice cases.
Daniel J. Clifford, partner at Weber Gallagher, was a speaker on the “Hot Topics in Civil Litigation” program at the 2014 PBA Mid-Year Meeting in St. Thomas. Jeffrey P. Wallack, a partner in Wisler Pearlstine’s Commercial Litigation and Construction Law departments, was elected Vice-President of the Upper Dublin Education Foundation. Friedman Schuman, PC is pleased to announce that its Municipal Law Group has been appointed as Solicitor to the Montgomery County Redevelopment Authority (“RDA”). In particular, Sean P. Kilkenny, chairman of the Municipal Law Group, together with the municipal, litigation, and financial services attorneys, will provide legal services and guidance to the RDA. In addition to the RDA, the Municipal Law Group has been newly appointed as Solicitor to Morrisville Borough in Bucks County, and Phoenixville Borough and Kennett Township in Chester County. Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin is pleased to announce that Steven H. Lupin, Managing Partner of the firm, and J. Edmund (Ed) Mullin, Co-chair of
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more than 40 years of litigation experience with Personal Injury
Annual MBA Ski Trip / February 10, 2014 Blue Mountain
wiretaps the Real Estate and Land Use Department, were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2014. Lupin was selected for the area of Commercial Litigation and Mullin was selected for the area of Land Use and Zoning Law. On November 8, 2013, Governor Tom Corbett nominated Travis N. Gery to be Commissioner of Professional and Occupational Affairs for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and appointed him Acting Commissioner. On January 28, 2014, Mr. Gery was unanimously confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate as Commissioner of Professional and Occupational Affairs. Lamb McErlane PC is pleased to announce that Kevin J. Conrad has joined the firm as a senior associate. Prior to joining Lamb McErlane, Kevin was Of Counsel for 10 years at a Montgomery County law firm. He has a multidimensional practice in areas including business law, civil litigation, estate planning, trust & estate administration, Orphan’s Court litigation and real estate. Kraut Harris, P. C. of Blue Bell is pleased to announce that
Herbert F. Rubenstein has joined the firm as Of
This year’s Annual MBA Ski Trip, held on Monday, February 10, offered the very best in weather and ski conditions in the history of this event. The mid-20s temperatures, total absence of wind, bright sun and 3 inches of fresh powder all combined to make this the very best of all outings according to Joseph P. Lynch, whose efforts to organize and sustain this wonderful outing span enough years that he is now entitled to a free lift pass for life. After checking in and stowing belongings in the private lounge area reserved for us, Blue Mountain awaited. Sunny, wind-free skiing, with high temperatures reaching the 30s and an absence of any lines whatsoever on the ski lifts, all added up to an unsurpassed experience. Following the morning ski, Joe and his wonderful wife, Trish, provided a wine, cheese, fruit and chocolate (yummy) luncheon reception which was exactly what a tired skier needed. Once again, Trish’s incredible array of cheeses from around the world, together with her willingness to share knowledge of same, was both delicious and educational. This year’s group included numerous members of the Bar Association, as well as some family and support staff. Among those in attendance were MBA members David L. Allebach, Jr., Amy T. Brooks, Theodore S. Coxe, Jr., Timothy G. Daly, John R. Howland, Claudia L. Huot, Rowan Keenan, James R. Lynch, Jr., Joseph P. Lynch, Robert P. Snyder, Paul E. Vangrossi and Vincent M. Vangrossi. Newly admitted MBA member Erik Snyder was also present and enjoyed the wonderful skiing, luncheon and camaraderie. Once again, the invitation is extended for next year to all those busy lawyers who are willing to take one day off to appreciate the beauty of the mountains and share the company of their fellows. The return on this investment of time is guaranteed!
Counsel. Herb brings 44 years of expertise in the fields of municipal, real estate, zoning, land development, wills and estate administration law to the firm.
Appeals and Briefs Anthony J. Vetrano
610.265.4441 630 Freedom Business Center, Suite 215 King of Prussia, PA 19406 TonyVetrano@VetranoLaw.com www.pennsylvaniaappealslawyer.com
Upcoming MBA Events May-September 2014
When was the last time you compared banks?
May 1, 2014
Trust and Escrow Accounts with no minimum balance n Onsite account opening n Deposit checks from your office n IOLTA Accounts n
May 7, 2014
Call today to experience the Conestoga Bank difference.
Courting Art Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony Montgomery County Community College Fine Arts Center
Contact Jennifer Sandner
Vice President, Business Development Officer office 484-442-6533 • cell 610-608-8706 firstname.lastname@example.org MEMBER FDIC
June 13, 2014
Legal Aid Golf Classic Meadowlands Country Club
Drexel Law is in it to win it.
September 12 – 14, 2014
Drexel Law is relatively new, yet our students demonstrate stellar skills in mock trial, moot court and other competitions, outpacing their peers
Bench Bar Conference Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort Cambridge, MD
from older law schools year after year. Time and again, they triumph in regional and national competitions, such as the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition, the Texas Young Lawyers Association Trial Team Competition and the American Bar Association Regional Negotiating Competition. It looks like our students’ immersion in experiential education is paying off. Alas, we’re going to need to find a bigger trophy case…
*Dates subject to change. Visit montgomerybar.org for the latest schedule of events.
We’re raising the bar.
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