SIDEBAR Spring 2022

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Montgomery Bar Association | Montgomery County, PA

Magazine

LAWYERS & TIGERS & BEARS – May 5!

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STAFF & FAMILIES WELCOME Our First Ever, All-inclusive, MBA Friends & Family Night May 5 at Elmwood Park Zoo! Also in this Issue A Conversation with The Honorable A. Nicole Tate-Phillips Legal Aid Golf Classic New Location and Time!


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Montgomery Bar Association | Montgomery County, PA

Magazine MONTGOMERY BAR ASSOCIATION Serving the Profession and the Community since 1885

2022 OFFICERS

Sarinia M. Feinman, Esq., President Justin A. Bayer, Esq., President-Elect Lisa A. Shearman, Esq., Vice President Seth D. Wilson, Esq., Treasurer Colin J. O’Boyle, Esq., Secretary

SIDEBAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS Chairs Gary J. Friedlander, Esq. Lydia Terrill, Esq. Vice-Chairs Gregory Gilston, Esq. Franqui-Ann J. Raffaele, Esq. Contributors: Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq. Jack Costello Michelle Dempsky, Esq. Sarinia M. Feinman, Esq. Marion Hoffman Fraley Gregory Gilston, Esq. Kate M. Harper, Esq. Aimee L. Kumer, Esq. Jim Mathias Carolyn R. Mirabile, Esq. Mary C. Pugh, Esq. Franqui-Ann J. Raffaele, Esq. Lydia S. Terrill, Esq.

MBA STAFF Denise S. Vicario, Esq. Executive Director Jack Costello Deputy Executive Director Hazel Bergquist Accounting Manager Jessica Deazle Lawyer Referral Service and Front Office Coordinator Jessica Gambone Montgomery County Law Reporter Desktop Publisher Jim Mathias Director of Marketing, Development, and Public Affairs

CONTENTS

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In Every Issue & Short Features : 4 7 8 9 10

President’s Message Trial Lawyers Section Young Lawyers Section Bits & Bytes Montgomery Bar Association

12 13 14 15 16

Restaurant Review Movie Review A Word From USI Affinity MCAP Update Legal Aid of Southeastern PA

Features : COVER:

18 Lawyers and Tigers and Bears – May 5! MBA Friends & Family Night at the Elmwood Park Zoo

20 Meet the Newest Member of the Bench: An Interview with The Honorable A. Nicole Tate-Phillips

22 Meet the Newest Members of the MBA Board of Directors 26 2022 Legal Aid Golf Classic

Plus : 28 The Equity Stop 30 MBA Welcomes New Leaders at Annual Business Luncheon Meeting 34 Member News 35 MBA Welcomes New Members

Matthew Pio Event and CLE Coordinator / Executive Assistant Sherry Sutton Membership Coordinator Sandy Whittington Accounting 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 194040268 or email: sidebar@montgomerybar.org. The SIDEBAR Committee reserves the right to edit any material submitted and/or to omit the same from publication. Most articles are written by members for members.

SIDEBAR Magazine is published by Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc. 2669 Shillington Road, #438, Sinking Spring, PA 19608 | HoffPubs.com | 610.685.0914 For Advertising Information & Opportunities Contact: Sherry Bolinger 717.979.2858 Sherry@hoffpubs.com Alicia Lee 610-685-0914 x210 Alicia@Hoffpubs.com


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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Hello, My Fellow Montgomery Bar Members! Every year, the cold of winter melts away and spring brings a new beginning. New beginnings are never easy, but Spring remains a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be. It reminds us that every moment is a new beginning and a new opportunity for all of us.

Sarinia M. Feinman, Esq. Montgomery Bar Association 2022 President

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While the first quarter of 2022 has seen the removal of masks in the courthouse, schools, and our community, as we have moved forward to a “mask optional” society, we have also seen the horrific circumstances that have plagued the people of Ukraine. Our hearts go out to all the people in Ukraine and their families, as they face this appalling and life-threatening crisis. As I think about the crisis in Ukraine, I cannot help but think about my grandmother who told me when I was a little girl that she had emigrated with her family from what she had called “Russia,” and immigrated to Ellis Island in 1921. As I looked back at the school project I had prepared in 8th grade, which of course my mother has saved all these years and has become our written family history, I was able to refresh my recollection of the precise city my grandmother and her family emigrated from when she was only about eight years old. The city was Rovno, which was historically known as such, but has come to be known as “Rivne,” which is actually a city in western Ukraine. In fact, in the spring of 1919, just before my grandmother immigrated to the United States, Rovno also served as a provisional seat of the Ukrainian government throughout the ongoing war with Soviet Russia. Upon


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We know the X’s and O’s of the law

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Congratulations to our our lawyers named to the 2022 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list.

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1. Steven H. Lupin ................ Business Litigation 2. Bernadette A. Kearney .... Land Use/Zoning 3. Joseph J. McGrory Jr......... Land Use/Zoning 4. Mark F. Himsworth ........... Business Litigation 5. J. Edmund Mullin .............. Land Use/Zoning

6. John J. Iannozzi ................ State/Local/Muni 7. Steven B. Barrett .............. Personal Injury 8. Lisa Shearman .................. Estate & Probate 9. Carl N. Weiner .................. Real Estate Lansdale, PA | 215.661.0400

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reading this, and doing the follow-up research, suddenly, the crisis in Ukraine became profoundly personal to me. There were so many stories my grandmother told me of those who did not get out of the country, and stories of never seeing her grandparents again as a result of departing, and as I sit here over 100 years later, it is devastating that the people of Ukraine are experiencing this persecution all over again. The mission of the Montgomery Bar Association is to promote professional excellence, facilitate access to justice, and protect the integrity of the legal system through service to our members and the community. The situation currently facing the people of Ukraine runs completely counter to the MBA’s mission and is a violation of basic human rights everywhere in all nations. One of the best ways to respond in tragic circumstances is by finding ways to do good in the world, and for us in the legal world. As John F. Kennedy said, “When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters – one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.” While we cannot control continued on next page >

Upcoming Events April 21, 2022 CLE: Can a Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment Constitute Spot Zoning in a Mixed Use Neighborhood? / MBA Building April 22, 2022 CLE: Stump the Judge / MBA Building April 25, 2022 CLE - Red Flags in Due Diligence / MBA Building April 28, 2022 Law Day Celebration / Montgomery County Courthouse April 29, 2022 Annual Dinner Dance / Green Valley Country Club May 5, 2022 Lawyers & Tigers & Bears: Day at the Elmwood Park Zoo June 27, 2022 Legal Aid Golf Classic / Cedarbrook Country Club *The events and dates above are subject to change and this is not a comprehensive list. Please visit the Events page on www.montgomerybar.org for an up-to-date list of current events.

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President’s Message Continued from page 5

the events in Ukraine, we can take the opportunities that are given to us and we can control how our judicial system is viewed here. The judiciary and the legal profession have been under attack in recent years, and we must be the ambassadors of the good works that judges and lawyers do for the community and the public at large. With social media extremely heightened to the point where many people get their news from their favorite social media outlet, and litigants are able to use the various platforms to speak out against judges, who cannot respond and defend themselves or the profession, we, as attorneys, have to be the ones to do so. As Judge Mark Kearney recently stated, “we cannot allow the tyranny of crazies to disrupt our justice system.” To this end, I implore all members to make sure that you are spreading the word of judicial independence and promoting the rule of law wherever you are able to do so. As members of the MBA, one way that we can do this is through the Montgomery Bar Foundation (MBF), the MBA’s charitable arm. The MBA is in the process of working with the MBF to have more synergy with one another and work together to make sure that all of the good works of the MBA/MBF are unified in the best way possible to support the missions of the MBA/MBF and facilitate access to justice for all. This very issue was the topic of the MBA’s Leadership Retreat on March 4th5th, and which the MBA Officers, Board of Directors, and MBF Trustees all attended. The retreat began with an Implicit Bias Training, given by the Vice Dean of Rutgers Law School, Stacy Hawkins. Dean Hawkins had everyone engaged, interested, and participatory during the very thought provoking and important training. The remainder of the retreat was spent discussing the MBF and moving forward to work together and brainstorm ideas on how to take the MBF to the next level. This will be a work in progress through 2022 and beyond, as we synergize the MBA/ MBF together to raise more funds to support the good works of both organizations, and develop new programs that address the missions of both organizations as well as the MBF’s existing programs. I look forward to working closely with Kate Harper, President of the MBF, throughout this year to accomplish this work.

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The other MBA Officers and I were fortunate enough to attend the Conference of County Bar Leaders (CCBL) in Lancaster recently where we had the opportunity to meet with and hear from bar leaders throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. During these interactions, it became clear that we are certainly at the forefront of reopening and reengaging our members. It is important now more than ever before that we continue to come out and support each other, the rule of law, the MBA, and our young lawyers and the future of the legal profession. I am happy to report that we have had all Board of Directors meetings in person this year, with no one participating via Zoom unless emergent to do so. We held a Bench Bar cocktail hour and dinner where 12 of our judges attended in-person, and we are grateful for their attendance and support of the MBA. Many other Section and Committee meetings are moving forward with stellar in-person attendance. As we make the transition back to in-person events, I hope everyone will be present on March 25th in Courtroom A for the return of the Memorial Service, which is being held in person for the first time since 2019. Also, I hope to see everyone at Law Day on April 28th, also in Courtroom A for the first time since 2019; at the Dinner Dance on April 29th at Green Valley Country Club; and for the MBA’s firstever family friendly event on May 5th (Cinco De Mayo) at the Elmwood Park Zoo! The MBA’s Board of Directors also unanimously voted to adopt the ABA Wellness Pledge as part of the Wellness Initiative of the year, in which all Sections and Committees have been working to incorporate aspects of wellness all year long. Please be sure and check the MBA calendar for all events, CLEs, meditations, and other ongoings to see what committees/sections are collaborating and what wellness events are being arranged and occurring each month, so that you can make it a point to attend and truly either start taking care of yourself or work to continue to take care of yourself. Although there has been so much strife around us for so long, we must remember always that where flowers bloom, so does hope; and that hope springs eternal!


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Trial Lawyers Section Update By Aimee L. Kumer, Esq., President, Trial Lawyers Section

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he Trial Lawyers Section has launched its 2022 calendar with high hopes for a return to regular in-person events, finally giving us the chance to engage with friends and colleagues who we may have mostly seen only through a screen over the past two years. Although the Omicron surge prompted us all (the Bar and society at large) to proceed with caution at the start of the year, we adapted easily, offering our programming in “hybrid” format – giving members the choice to attend in person (including a “masked-only” space) or via Zoom. We expect to continue to offer this hybrid format for the foreseeable future to help encourage everyone to participate as much as possible. This year’s CLE programming will focus on “ancillary” topics “for Trial Lawyers.” The hope is to provide you with a solid foundation in topics that may crop up in your practice from time to time. They are topics which may affect your cases but are not a common area of practice among trial lawyers. On March 22, we hosted a CLE on “Appeals for Trial Lawyers.” A panel composed of Superior Court Judge Carolyn H. Nichols, Paul Peel, Esq., and Nathan Murawsky, Esq., moderated by Colin O’Boyle,

Esq., provided an overview of key elements of appellate practice that are a must-know for trial attorneys. Such key elements included discussing waiver and preservation issues, interlocutory versus final appeals, and tips for appellate advocacy. We have also resumed our pre-pandemic practice of inviting members of the bench to address our Section during lunch meetings. President Judge Carolyn Carluccio kicked off the year at our first meeting in February, discussing the status of the Court and recent developments relating to COVID, and the construction of the new justice center. Judge Wendy Rothstein, Administrative Judge for the Criminal Division, will join us in April to provide us with an update on her division. We will also be incorporating a focus on “wellness” into our events, as part of the Bar Association’s Wellness Initiative. We look forward to presenting you with interesting events that incorporate elements of social, physical, and emotional wellness, among others. In all, as your Chair, I’m excited for 2022, and what I hope will be a great year “for Trial Lawyers.”

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Young Lawyers Section

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he MBA Young Lawyers Section has had an eventful start to the year. The annual High School Mock Trial Competition was held virtually via Zoom from February 1st to March 1st. 32 teams competed this year, with teams from Lower Moreland High School and The Haverford School advancing to the statewide competition. Over 140 volunteers donated their time, including 20 Common Pleas Court Judges and 3 Magisterial District Court Judges. YLS Chair Patrice M. Turenne, Esq., coordinated the competition, which included scheduling, juror and judge assignment, scoring, and communication with the schools and teams. The YLS also began a “Meals for Wheels” volunteer program in coordination with the Montgomery County Senior Adult Activities Center (MontCo SAAC). YLS Community Outreach Director Chelsey A. Christiansen, Esq., oversees the program, through which volunteers deliver meals to seniors in East Norriton and Whitpain Townships on the last Monday of each month through the end of the year. As part of the MBA’s Wellness Initiative, the YLS welcomed two guest

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speakers at its March section meeting: PBA President Kathleen Wilkinson, Esq., and Miriah Rutledge, MA, LMFT. President Wilkinson delivered opening remarks on the PBA’s commitment to Wellness and the ABA’s Well-Being Pledge and 7-Point Framework. Following President Wilkinson’s remarks, Ms. Rutledge presented “Mental Wellness for the Working Professional.” Ms. Rutledge is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and the founder of Choosing Change Counseling in King of Prussia. She has more than 10 years’ experience working within the context of families and relationships, both as a professor and therapist. Miriah believes that life is entirely relational and that working within the context of relationships helps ensure long-term success. Finally, the YLS hosted a March Madness Networking Event and Happy Hour on March 17th at the MBA Building. Attendees enjoyed free food and drinks and plenty of college hoops! Stay tuned to YLS listserv emails and BarNews for section news and upcoming events!


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By Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq.

Spring Cleaning T

his is the time of the year I do a spring cleaning of my office and my apartment. I go through the piles of stuff I grew on my desk’s in/out boxes, my file drawers, and closets in my office. Boxes of old unwanted trash get taken to the dumpster or shredded. Scan any important or needed documents and make sure they are saved and filed correctly. Inventory your furniture and furnishings to see if they need cleaning, repairing, or tossing. Look at the walls and your “art,” photos, and awards, etc. When you are done, it’s time to do the same for your technology. Start with cleaning your keyboard, screens, phones printers, etc. Use static resistant clothes and a compressed air duster. Now you are ready for some heavy lifting. Backup your computer before you start. Put the backup file on a flash drive or in the cloud so you can recover your files if things go wrong. Application inventory. You will be surprised how many apps you accumulate over the year. If you don’t use it—delete it. You can always reinstall the app later. Best to delete, save space and memory. Once the inventory is done, upgrade the applications to the latest versions; this should be done periodically during the year. Start with the operating system and work through your apps. This leads to upgrading your hardware. This is most important to run the latest apps. You’ll want to make sure to have enough memory (ram) to handle the applications you use, allowing your desktop to run faster. Accounts/Passwords are next. You have many, many online accounts and passwords. If you keep a list in a file, on a scrap of paper or in the notes on your phone…you are asking for trouble.

Delete them! The more websites you visit, the better the chance you will be hacked! You leave data crumbs every time you visit a website. How do you think “they” know to send you email or call your phone with spam? Delete and change your password. Better yet, use a password organizer. Look at the “download” folder and delete duplicate files and apps or anything else you installed. Most of the time, if not always, you don’t need those duplicate files. Clean out your contacts (and throw away most of your business card collection once you put the information into your computer). Aunt Nelly won’t mind. Delete unused links to unwanted websites or social media, like Facebook or LinkedIn, cleanout email folders and client folders. Scan/shred unwanted or unused documents. Google yourself. You may be surprised by what you find, or lucky if you find nothing surprising. Upgrade your Wi-Fi network. You will thank me. The increase in speed will make a difference and is worth the extra money. Take your time going through this list and your spring cleaning. When you are done, you can restore from the backup you made at the beginning, right? Lastly, clean out your “delete” folder. Then it’s time to reboot, sit back and enjoy! Enjoy the Internet, E-Mail and Social Media, but be careful out there! Joel Bernbaum Please send your questions and comments to me at: joel@bernbaumfamilylaw.com

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By Kate M. Harper, Esq., President, Montgomery Bar Foundation

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ue was almost finished nursing school and just about to apply for jobs when she was told something stupid she had done years before had given her “a record” that would prevent her from getting a job as a nurse. It was a shoplifting charge, and she had been granted a pardon for the crime nearly 25 years ago, but that did not expunge her criminal record. She couldn’t believe that it could derail a lifelong dream of becoming a nurse when she was so close! She was desperate and ashamed but she just couldn’t afford a lawyer. Someone told her to call Legal Aid, and she did. That story is true and because of Legal Aid of Southeast PA (LASP), “Sue” got a lawyer who worked to obtain the expungement she needed and she graduated and got a job as a nurse. LASP’s Community Engagement Unit got a thank you note saying, “I want to thank you so much for all of your hard work and dedication to helping me get my life back after 25 years.” Joe was 63 years old and at the end of his rope. He had diagnosed medical conditions that caused chronic pain and mobility issues that just got worse as he aged. He just couldn’t afford medical care. He had worked his whole life but just couldn’t do it anymore. He did not know what to do. Bills were mounting and he was worried about his family, when someone told him to talk to Legal Aid’s Disability Advocacy Project. Boy, was he glad he did. Legal Aid helped him apply for Medicare to pay the medical bills, and eventually got him a monthly disability benefit, with a check for an amount in arrears. He told his Legal Aid lawyer he felt financially secure for the first time in his life. These stories happen every day at LASP, which serves the four counties in the Philadelphia suburbs, but could not happen without the support of lawyers. Most people assume that LASP is a government agency, but that’s not the case. It’s an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation that gets its funding from federal

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sources, state sources that rely on IOLTA funds, court filing fees, cy pres awards, program funding (like veteran’s programs and CARES Act funding for specific programs) and donations, including those made by the Montgomery Bar Foundation, the charitable foundation for Montgomery Bar Association lawyers. In Montgomery County, Legal Aid has offices in Norristown and Pottstown and provides legal advice and advocacy for low income folks with civil law issues. “There’s no ‘Right to Counsel’ in a civil proceeding,” explained Shawn Boehringer, Executive Director of Legal Aid of Southeastern PA, “but people often need that kind of help.” During the COVID pandemic, he noted, Legal Aid was busier than ever and made it a point to answer their Helpline (877-4295994) when government agencies couldn’t or didn’t answer their phones, and the callers were often people facing homelessness who needed immediate help. Shawn gives LASP Communications Director Marion Fraley credit for upgrading the Legal Aid website so it could handle the increased traffic during the COVID pandemic. The website (www.lasp.org) features easy to find Hurricane Ida help, rent and utility assistance programs to help people behind in either and help for victims of domestic violence, who often have housing or custody concerns, too. While eligibility for services often depends on meeting lower income regulations, Legal Aid offers its free legal services like family law, expungements, domestic violence assistance, Protection From Abuse (PFA) help, housing assistance, help in obtaining public benefits for which people are entitled, elder law and consumer issues like bankruptcy and defending debt collection actions to veterans, renters and homeowners, and those who need them. Through the Your Way Home Montgomery County Program, and the EPIC program (Eviction Prevention and Intervention


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Coalition), Legal Aid partners with government agencies, district courts, other nonprofits and Montgomery Bar Lawyers acting as pro bono advocates to help vulnerable families and individuals facing eviction or homelessness by providing legal and social services to prevent evictions and guide their clients to long-term stability in having a home. In Montgomery County, since more than half of all evictions occur in Norristown and Pottstown, Legal Aid staff lawyer Michelle Dempsky helps coordinate services in seven local courtrooms in those places to help tenants have someone on their side. As the LASP lawyers have learned, evictions are often the cause of job loss and poverty as evicted tenants find it harder to get housing due to the negative impact an eviction has on one’s credit and rental history. Households with young children and babies, tenants who are pregnant, senior citizens, veterans and disabled people are particularly vulnerable. The Your Way Home and EPIC programs don’t just help out in the courtrooms, although the help there has been proven effective in greatly reducing evictions, people in need are also given advice, counseling and support to help them from becoming homeless. As Shawn Boehringer puts it, “We focus on basic human needs.” After two years of a pandemic and record unemployment, gas prices rising and inflation at a 30-year high, those “basic human needs” affect more and more of our neighbors.

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• Judge, Court of Judicial Discipline • Former Chairman, Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania • Former Chairman, Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania • Former Chairman, Continuing Legal Education Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania • Former Chairman, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Interest on Lawyers Trust Account Board • Former Federal Prosecutor • Selected by his peers as one of the top 100 Super Lawyers in PA and the top 100 Super Lawyers in Philadelphia • Named by his peers as Best Lawyers in America 2022 and 2015 Philadelphia “Lawyer of the Year” Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law and Legal Malpractice Law 1500 Market Street, East Tower, Suite 1800 • Philadelphia, PA 19102 (215) 751-2863

The Montgomery Bar Foundation regularly supports the work of Legal Aid of Southeastern PA with grants, as its mission is to promote and provide “Access to Justice,” particularly for the most vulnerable among us. Legal Aid of Southeastern PA needs the support and delivers justice, compassion and advocacy every day to our neighbors in Montgomery County.

Service Stability Strength

The Montgomery Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Montgomery Bar Association, raises money for Legal Aid and other nonprofits that provide access to justice services, and has given away nearly one million dollars in its 30-year history. The Bar Foundation relies on the support of MBA members.

SCHATZ ELECTRIC, INC. Jeff Schatz, Owner/President

Montgomery Bar Fellows support the Foundation, and different levels of giving are available. A new option is available for Young Lawyers who can earn the Montgomery Bar Fellow designation by donating just $10 a month for the year. Check it out on the Montgomery Bar Foundation page at www. montgomerybar.org. The annual MBF Golf Outing is a fundraiser to raise the money to help Legal Aid and other programs that give those who need it the access to the justice they desperately need. Whether or not you are a golfer, you can support the Montgomery Bar Foundation at the golf outing with a sponsorship or by bidding on auction items. Check your email for sign-ups for the Golf Outing to be held at Cedarbrook Country Club on Monday, June 27, 2022. We hope to see you there!

“Tompkins VIST Bank will be with us in the future and help us grow even more,” Jeff says. Schatz Electric has been in business for 45 years. To keep the business growing, owner and president Jeff Schatz focuses on mastering new technologies and supporting customers 24/7—so he’s always on the go. That’s why he works with the team at Tompkins VIST Bank, who proactively offer products and services that increase efficiency, such as remote deposit.

VISTBank.com 4/21

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RESTAURANT REVIEW

Well Fed By Franqui-Ann J. Raffaele, Esq.

I was given the opportunity to review a restaurant for this issue. I’ve read through every SIDEBAR restaurant review for the past few years and even visited a few. So when I received the honor to write my own, I relished the opportunity to highlight one of my favorite brunch spots – Well Fed. Located in the quaint village of Skippack, Well Fed is a hidden gem right on Route 73. Like most brunch spots, their hours are limited: 8:00 AM. to 2:00 PM, Wednesday through Sunday. The restaurant offers indoor and, with the upcoming warm weather, outdoor seating. Inside, the restaurant has the feel of a family-friendly diner mixed with a modern twist. The welcoming atmosphere is matched with a homey feel. The tables and counters are clean and organized, sleek but with rustic flare. When you enter, you can catch a glimpse of the hustle and bustle of the chefs in the kitchen. On busy lunch rushes, the longest wait for a table is twenty minutes, depending on your party size, or you can catch a spot at the counter in the center of the action.

Well Fed 4006 W. Skippack Pike, Skippack, Pennsylvania, 19474 610-584-0900 Hours Open Wednesday through Sunday 8am until 2pm feelwellfed.com exquisitely crafted creations of their own making. They offer dining in or takeout options. The best part? All the food is made from scratch with good portion sizes and at reasonable prices. The chefs are accommodating to your restrictions or preferences, allowing changes and substitutions for many of the options. My go-to is the classic turkey sandwich with French fries, but other favorites at the restaurant include the handcrafted omelets, the delicious banana bread French toast, the crisp Cali fried chicken, avocado toast (for the millennials out there), and their specialty grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.

Well Fed treats each patron like family. One of the best indicators of that theme is the staff. They are the heart of the establishment and make each visit inclusive and special. I personally have a server who knows my order as soon as I walk in the door – and I’m not the only one. Besides my personal bias, each server is attentive, consistent, and friendly. This has been tried and true at each of my visits. The servers provide quality service to each patron of the restaurant. Sitting inside, you can hear the cheerful conversations between staff and customers. It’s truly a family friendly place, welcoming to children and parents alike. The ambience is perfect for a business lunch, family meal, or breakfast out with friends.

My most recent visit was like every other visit – nothing short of excellent. When I arrived, it was the lunch rush on a Saturday. A party of three, myself included, was able to get a table in 15 minutes. The new menu was just released and I took in the newest additions. I ended up opting for the meal I can never pass up – my favorite, the turkey sandwich; while members of my party ordered an array of breakfast options – including waffles, eggs, and bacon. My party and I only spent a few minutes after ordering before the food was delivered to the table. My turkey sandwich offered a delicious helping of sliced turkey, piled high and topped with crispy, perfect bacon and fresh lettuce stuffed between two slices of whole wheat bread. The handmade French fries were cut with a mindful potato-to-outer-layer ratio, just enough salt and spice, crispy and tasty. My party members enjoyed their waffle, perfectly cooked, and served with warm syrup, flavorful scrambled eggs, and well-seasoned home fries. The bacon was eaten within seconds of being placed on the table. The server we had repeatedly came back to our table to check on us and offered a joke or two.

Well Fed lives up to its name – offering a monthly changing menu of delicious breakfast and lunch options. The menu is posted on Facebook each month. Well Fed is more than the average brunch spot. They offer unique twists on old classics and

Like most restaurants during the pandemic, Well Fed struggled, but survived. They continue to thrive in a world of uncertainty. If you’re interested in a family friendly restaurant with delicious food and wonderful waitstaff, visit Well Fed today! Eat local.

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MOVIE REVIEW

House of Gucci By Gregory Gilston, Esq.

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hat do you get when you mix estate administration, corporate transactions, intellectual property, criminal tax evasion, divorce, child custody, and murder together with Al Pacino, Lady Gaga, and Adam Driver? You guessed it… the Gucci family legacy. House of Gucci, released on November 24, 2021, was inspired by the shocking true story of the family behind the Italian fashion empire. This true-crime story is brought to life by director Ridley Scott. The plot of this film details the budding romantic relationship between Patrizia Reggiani (played by Lady Gaga) and Maurizio Gucci (played by Adam Driver). It goes on to shine a controversial light on the rise of the Gucci empire, and the failure of a marriage premised on greed and distrust. The main character himself, Maurizio Gucci, is an aspiring lawyer in Italy at the beginning of the film. He falls in love with the film’s antagonist, Patrizia Reggiani, the daughter of a middle-class business owner with humble beginnings. Reggiani eventually marries into the Gucci family, and to the House of Gucci itself. At that point, the drama begins. Throughout the film, there are quite a few twists and turns within the plot itself, all harkening back to Reggiani’s greed and thirst for good fortune. Along the way, Patrizia and Maurizio encounter a multitude of legal quandaries. At one point in the film, the married couple must work out kinks in the

of the parties to the service of the pleadings, and eventually to arrangements being made for custody of their young daughter. Along the way we also witness attempts at corporate transactions, acquisitions, and attempted takeovers. And as with every good true-crime story, the film culminates in the murder of the main character, Maurizio Gucci, on March 27, 1995. Throughout the entirety of the film, the characters truly endure a laundry list of legal issues stemming from deceit, chaos, and greed. With that in mind, these events, while intriguing, are overshadowed by the drawnout overindulgence of the film’s developing storyline.

administration of the estate of Maurizio’s deceased father, Rodolfo Gucci (played by Jeremy Irons), after they find out that he never signed his shares of the company over to his son, despite bequeathing them to his son in his last will and testament. At another point in the film, the leader of the house of Gucci, Aldo Gucci (played by Al Pacino), is arrested in New York for criminal tax evasion. Later, the authorities end up putting a stop to a primetime fashion show put on by Maurizio’s cousin Paolo (played by Jared Leto) due to alleged copyright infringement and unauthorized use of the Gucci brand name. During the tumultuous breakup between Maurizio and Patrizia, we see the divorce play out in full, from the separation

For those seeking a thrill, House of Gucci is not for you. At times, the movie itself can seem extremely sluggish. Nevertheless, House of Gucci adds up to a captivating story – and Lady Gaga’s performance is elite to say the least. For those who like their soap operas, this film may hold its weight. And for all those who have dreamed of owning a belt with the double-G’s plated on the front in gold or silver, I recommend you watch this film, if not for pleasure and nostalgia, then to understand the fall from grace endured by the Gucci family. Overall, my recommendation is as follows – if you have two and a half hours to spare on a rainy Sunday afternoon (which most lawyers do not), then give House of Gucci a chance.

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A Word from USI Affinity | My Benefit Advisor

THE VALUE OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION FOR EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

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ome of the most impactful decisions a person makes during the course of a year regard those pertaining to personal healthcare for themselves and any affected family members. For those who are employed, company benefit programs can provide a safety net that offers significant financial protection against any financial obligations arising from such medical situations.

But the importance of designing an effective communication strategy cannot be overstated. The value placed on a company benefit program is a key component in the employer’s ability to attract and retain quality talent. And employees who understand and utilize a well-designed benefit program are typically more engaged, resulting in a workforce that is typically more productive...resulting in a win for both employer and employees.

For employers this presents a challenge, especially in today’s work-from-home environment. The process of communicating benefit options and boosting employee engagement can be complex and time-consuming as human resource staff must consider the mixed demographics, capabilities and diverse needs of the workforce. Complicating matters, there’s no one-size-fitsall communication method to reach all employees.

The Montgomery Bar Association offers its members access to My Benefit Advisor as a solution for employee benefits, including voluntary offerings. For more information about My Benefit Advisor, visit our website at montba.mybenefitadvisor.com or contact Ray Keough at (610) 684-6932.

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MCAP UPDATE By Mary C. Pugh, Esq., Executive Director, MCAP

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t is hard to believe that it has been more than two full years since we gathered. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the surge of alarming violence, social and political unrest, the mandates for remote learning and working, and food insecurity combined to form the “perfect storm” for individuals, families, communities, organizations, and governments—everyone. We all have experienced trauma, fear, mourning, changes, and challenges. Likewise, MCAP has experienced the impact of the perfect storm. In 2021, our MCAP advocates served over 750 children in 536 cases, an 18% increase in the number of cases from 2019 and the most children and cases MCAP has served in its history. Moreover, the fall-out of the pandemic seriously decreased the number of available MCAP pro bono volunteer lawyers. With hard work and dedication, the MCAP staff attorneys and pro bono volunteers served all of the referrals in 2021. Significantly, our lawyer advocates are the heart and soul of MCAP; their time and dedication to the children of Montgomery County are essential to giving abused and neglected children back their voices. To maintain our representation of abused and neglected children in the legal arenas, we ask you to consider volunteering or recruit a friend to volunteer. If you are an attorney and would like to become an MCAP volunteer, learn more about advocacy, or sign up for our mailing list to learn about future CLEs, email MCAP’s senior staff attorney, Sharon Jones Hofer, at shofer@mcapkids.org. Thank you for your participation and support for the many activities associated with National Child Abuse Prevention

Month. Since 1983, this annual observance encouraged communities to rededicate themselves to supporting families and playing an active role in preventing child abuse and neglect. At MCAP, this is our perpetual goal, but in April we host activities and events to engage the Montgomery County community in our mission. This past Spring, MCAP hosted live events to raise awareness about child abuse in our ongoing effort to reduce and prevent child abuse in all of its insidious forms. Thank you for your support and participation in Wear Blue on the Steps, the MCAP Appreciation lunch, and MCAP at Elmwood Zoo. Together we help abused, neglected, and trafficked children to reclaim their childhood, overcome trauma, and learn to trust and hope. As stakeholders, volunteers, donors, and supporters for MCAP, we thank you for your support, participation, and presence in promoting our work. We are excited to host our LIVE 34th Annual Run for the Hill of It! Time to use your SUPERHERO powers to lace up your sneakers and join us LIVE for the Run for the Hill of It SUPERHERO Run on July 30, 2022. This event will take place in Fairmount Park at Northwestern Avenue and Forbidden Drive in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. Register TODAY at www.runtheday.com or www.mcapkids.org Bring your family and friends as it will be a blast for everyone. There is also a 1-mile FUN RUN for kids and a 1-mile walk. Organize a TEAM for loads of fun. As an added benefit, all proceeds go to helping abused and neglected kids overcome the pain and horrors of physical and emotional abuse. We look forward to seeing you there! SAVE the date for our MCAP Salute to Heroes Dinner, Dance and Auction live on November 12, 2022, at 6:00pm at the Sheraton Valley Forge. Details to follow. As always, we welcome your support and interest. Feel free to visit us at www.mcapkids.org or call the office at 610-279-1219. Thanks so much for all you do!

Montgomery Child Advocacy Project’s (MCAP) mission is to end and prevent child abuse and neglect in Montgomery County through legal services, advocacy, and education. MCAP operates as a pro-bono model with 140+ professional attorneys (trained by MCAP) on our roster who donate approximately 8,000 hours to our child clients’ cases each year. Since our founding in 2004, MCAP has provided free legal services for more than 6,200 children. To learn more please see our website at www.mcapkids.org. SPRING 2022 15


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By Marion Hoffman Fraley, Communications Manager, Legal Aid of Southeastern PA

Lisa Whalen is new Pottstown Managing Attorney for Legal Aid of Southeastern PA Lisa Whalen is Legal Aid of Southeastern PA’s new Pottstown Managing Attorney. She joined LASP as a CARES Attorney Fellow in Pottstown in October 2020. She also has served as Staff Attorney in Chester County and in LASP’s Regional Housing Unit based in Chester City, Delaware County. Lisa is an experienced trial lawyer and also served as a judge on the Yuma County, Arizona Superior Court for eight years. She started as Pottstown Managing Attorney on Dec. 16. In her new role, she has joined Tri-County Network’s homeless services committee and is meeting with local organizations about LASP services. Lisa can be reached at lwhalen@lasp.org or 484-816-4091.

LASP 20+ Fête for Justice! Join Legal Aid of Southeastern PA (LASP) in celebrating 20+ years as a regional legal aid program serving four counties: Montgomery, Bucks, Chester and Delaware counties. The Fête for Justice! 4 Freedoms, 4 Counties, 4 Justice! will be Thursday, May 19, 2022 from 6-10 p.m. EDT at Normandy Farm, Blue Bell. LASP also will offer a virtual program from 7-8 p.m. LASP will celebrate 40+ Honorees from the four counties who have paved the way for LASP to be able to advocate and protect basic human rights for our region’s most vulnerable neighbors. Visit lasp.org or the event website, lasp20.org. To learn about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Ann Tydeman-Solomon, Development Director, at asolomon@lasp.org.

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Legal Aid: A Pro Bono Perspective By Carolyn R. Mirabile, Esq. In 2016, while President of the Montgomery Bar Association, my mission was to provide access to justice to low-income residents of Montgomery County. Since my area of practice concentrated in family law, I immediately contacted Legal Aid of Southeastern PA and spoke to the Director about the legal challenges that faced residents of Montgomery County who were trying to obtain a divorce. In 2016, as a resident of Montgomery County, if you could not afford an attorney to get a divorce and contacted Legal Aid, you would be placed on a waiting list. Legal Aid relies on attorneys who volunteer their time to assist those in the community who are the most vulnerable. In 2016 the waiting list for a no-fault divorce was two years. I could not believe residents of the community that I had lived and worked in during my entire life had to wait two years to obtain a no-fault divorce. Something needed to be done to overcome what was yet another barrier to low-income residents. I immediately contacted the President of the Montgomery Bar Association Family Law Section and notified my colleague that something must be done to help residents obtain a no-fault divorce without having to wait two years to be assigned an attorney. First, at the next Family Law Section Meeting, I made an announcement that as the President of the Bar I wanted to provide access to justice to low-income residents who qualified for legal services through Legal Aid. I informed everyone the waiting list for residents was two years and we, as a section, needed to do something about it. This wasn’t just about furthering my Bar mission; this was about helping people in the community who faced a real legal challenge and needed immediate help. Even though the meeting had about 70 attendees, maybe only a handful of those in attendance were providing pro bono services through Legal Aid. This clearly wasn’t enough. I explained to the section members that Legal Aid needed our help and that they would provide each attorney who volunteered for a case, a waiver of all filing fees, and of course the satisfaction of helping someone in the community. I expressed to everyone who

attended the meeting that day this was not acceptable for our community and, as leaders, we needed to do something about providing access to justice to those in need. I challenged each attendee, and I made a very simple request, that they volunteer for two pro bono divorces. As President of the Bar, you are always asking people to do things, go above and beyond their expectations and engage members. This was not only a professional request but a call to action which required immediate attention and accountability. Would they listen? Would members of our Bar take the time from their busy schedules and workloads to complete the challenge? After that meeting, I would follow up two more times with the section members to volunteer with Legal Aid and help those in the community to obtain a divorce. During the monthly Board meetings, I began to make the same announcements and asked attorneys who had already given so much time to the Bar to now help those in the legal community who were less fortunate obtain a no-fault divorce. The results were overwhelming. In 2016 during my tenure as President of the Bar attorneys listened to my request and volunteered to help slowly chip away at the divorce list which was two years long. I had hoped that even if I encouraged a few attorneys to answer the call to justice my requests would be successful. Instead, my expectations were more than fulfilled, and the members of our Bar came through to help those in the community who are the most vulnerable and who need just a little help to make a difference in their lives. While practicing family law at Weber Gallagher I have continued to challenge myself to provide pro bono divorces to those who need them. Legal Aid doesn’t have a two-year waiting list anymore, but volunteer services are always appreciated and access to justice continues to be a much needed resource to those in the community. Each time I get assigned a new pro bono divorce I get to meet someone new, someone who probably would not have otherwise crossed my path. Each new client is appreciative that they will finally be divorced and can move on with their lives. Each client has their own story which makes them unique, and I love the satisfaction when I get to tell them their divorce is final. Pro bono work continues to be my passion and I am a member of Weber Gallagher’s Pro Bono Committee. Our firm invites each attorney to provide pro bono work in many areas of the law including divorce, eviction, low-income housing opportunities, and expungements to name a few. I will continue my mission to provide access to justice to those in need because it is one of the most rewarding experiences an attorney can provide.

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n a cold January afternoon earlier this year, MBA President Sarinia Feinman delivered her inauguration address during which she indicated the need for a return to normalcy and in-person gatherings and events once we are all safely able to do so. President Feinman highlighted a few in-person events planned for 2022 that will allow us all to reconnect and enjoy the socialization that is so important to our association. Among those events mentioned were the return of the Annual Dinner Dance, Lawyerpalooza, and other traditional events. President Feinman also announced a brand-new family-focused event: an evening at the Elmwood Park Zoo. Founded in 1924, the Elmwood Park Zoo currently hosts over 100 species of animals from throughout the world, including giraffes, zebras, bald eagles, jaguars, and red pandas. In addition to the animals on exhibit, the zoo boasts a full zip line and ropes course dubbed Treetop Adventures – the only such attraction in Pennsylvania that features zip lines over animal exhibits. The zoo welcomes over 500,000 visitors annually and is one of only 230 institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Elmwood Park Zoo is truly one of Montgomery County’s many treasures. The fact that it is located less than 2 miles from the Montgomery Bar Association cemented the venue as THE place to hold a fun family event for our members.

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Enter Lawyers and Tigers and Bears – May 5 – an exclusive VIP visit and Cinco De Mayo celebration for our members, friends, and extended families.

Over a year in planning, the event features full, private zoo access for attendees at a discounted rate: $25 for an individual or $65 for a family. Your allinclusive package includes the following: Open Bar (beer & wine / 21+) at the ZooBrew Beer Garden and Canopy Gardens Hall Dinner at Canopy Gardens Hall, featuring salad, BBQ chicken, beef/pork tacos, roasted vegetables, and cornbread (6 PM – 7 PM). Also featuring Cinco de Mayo décor, music and giveaways! Ice cream and water ice, courtesy of Petrucci’s, from 6 PM – 7 PM Ziplines and Cub Crawl at Treetop Adventures (Pre-registration required, minimum of 20 total participants) Giraffe Feeding Trail of the Jaguar Exhibit Unlimited Carousel Rides 30-minute Animal Show Fully-monitored Playground Access Extended Barn Hours

Not only is this the perfect opportunity to reconnect with colleagues, but it can also be an enjoyable, affordable fun night out with your family at one of the area’s preeminent attractions. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with your family and your favorite bar association! Pre-registration is required, so please visit www.montgomerybar.org to purchase your ticket(s)!

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SIDEBAR FEATURE

Meet the Newest Member of the Bench: An Interview with The Honorable A. Nicole Tate-Phillips

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n Monday, January 3, 2022, Judge A. Nicole Tate-Phillips took her oath of office to become the newest member of the Montgomery County bench. Judge TatePhillips, a graduate of Spelman College and Northeastern University School of Law, spent her career serving as an Assistant District Attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and then as an Assistant United States Attorney (Criminal Division) in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She then moved on to become a Partner at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, LLP, practicing criminal and civil litigation and serving as a member of the firm’s White Collar and Government Investigations practice group before running for Judge in 2021. I had the honor of interviewing Judge Tate-Phillips about her career, her interests outside of the courtroom, and her goals for the bench. Here is a condensed, edited version of our interview:

What are you looking forward to in your new role on the bench? I see this as an opportunity to use my experience to make an impact as a decision maker. In family court, I am working directly with families. I ask myself, “how can I help this family or these children?” I am enjoying the opportunity to be helpful and provide guidance. I try to resolve issues by getting folks on the same page and by reminding them that we’re here about the children. I have a great team here at the courthouse and I have had great attorneys appear before me.

Describe your style in the courtroom. Civility and respect for everyone is of the utmost importance. When I was a practicing attorney, I tried to always treat opposing counsel with dignity and respect. Strategically, there is a higher likelihood of getting a resolution when people are being respectful and listening to one another. I believe that this starts with me. I try to be measured and keep everyone else measured 20 SIDEBAR

so that we can be clear on the issues. I try to be very clear in my thought process so that litigants leave my courtroom knowing that this judge cared enough to listen and to be fair.

Do you have any advice for attorneys trying a case before you? Be prepared. Know when filings are due and when communication with the Court is required. Provide me with everything I need to make a decision. Be honest and credible. You earn credibility by being honest, making concessions where you need to rather than blindly advocating and taking unreasonable positions.

Do you miss anything about being a practicing lawyer? I enjoyed my time as an advocate. I enjoyed the investigatory work and the process of getting to the answer; of finding the needle in the haystack. I also enjoyed the opportunity to seek justice in the Courtroom and do the right thing by people. I try to bring this experience to the bench. I strive to be the type of judge before whom lawyers don’t mind appearing.

Do you have any mentors or people that you admire, and why? I have had the privilege of working with a lot of great judges and I feel very prepared in my current position because of that experience. I also have a wonderful family and village that I count as inspiration, including my parents and grandparents who were very involved with my upbringing and invested in my journey.

What do you do in your spare time? I enjoy reading, particularly autobiographies. I love running and being outside in warm weather. I also love being a mom to my teenage children who are very active.


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Kane, Pugh, Knoell, Troy & Kramer, LLP is pleased to announce the promotion of

Andrew M. Lamberton, Kathryn M. Brady and James G. Schu, Jr. to the position of Partner with the firm.

ANDREW M. LAMBERTON

510 Swede Street Norristown, PA 19401

KATHRYN M. BRADY

610-275-2000 kanepugh.com

JAMES G. SCHU, JR.

One Liberty Place – Suite 3618 Philadelphia, PA 19103

What is the last book you read? What is the last movie you watched? The last book I read was “WILL” – Will Smith’s memoir and the last movie I watched was “King Richard,” the movie about Venus and Serena Williams, starring Will Smith.

Do you have any other “fun facts” that you would like the MBA to know about you? I love distance running. I have run a marathon, as well as several half-marathons and other races. I particularly like running in other places. I have run races in Central Park, Brooklyn, Baltimore, Charlotte, the Las Vegas Strip, and Washington, D.C., to name a few. I find that distance running is a great way to see other cities. I wasn’t always a runner; in 2011 I trained with the Couch to 5k program on my treadmill. I never thought I would get the distance running bug, but once I started running outside with the Black Girls Run! program, I was hooked on running races and challenging myself to run long distance.

Do you have anything to say in closing? I am very grateful to be in this position. We have a great Court in Montgomery County, as well as a great Bar. I am proud to be here and my goal is to bring my experience and perspective to positively impact families and communities in Montgomery County

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Meet the Newest Members of the MBA Board of Directors Colin J. O’Boyle, Esq.

Jimmy C. Chong, Esq.

Secretary

Director

Colin J. O’Boyle is a trial and appellate attorney with experience litigating cases in state and federal courts throughout the U.S., with a focus on commercial litigation, healthcare litigation, and employment-related disputes.

P.C.’s Blue Bell office.

Colin J. O’Boyle is a shareholder at Elliott Greenleaf,

Mr. O’Boyle’s practice includes trial and appellate litigation in state and federal courts, focusing primarily on commercial litigation, health law, and employment discrimination. Mr. O’Boyle has been involved in litigation across the country, including claims involving healthcare provider disputes, ERISA claims, civil rights claims, employment discrimination claims, and contract and other complex commercial disputes. Mr. O’Boyle has also litigated several private arbitrations. Mr. O’Boyle has been named to the Pennsylvania’s “Rising Stars” List from 2010 through 2017 and to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers List in 2021. Mr. O’Boyle is a member of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bars and is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania and the District of New Jersey.

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Attorney Jimmy Chong, the founder of Chong Law Firm P.A., worked his way up through the ranks from volunteer and intern to a solo practitioner in private practice. Born and raised in Wilmington, DE, Chong’s Korean parents instilled in him a love for the Korean community, as well as an affinity for the United States and an appreciation for its legal system, especially the rights that are extended to and enjoyed by every citizen. Mr. Chong interned at the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, and the Delaware Volunteer Legal Services while in law school. Upon graduation, he launched his legal career working for a large personal injury firm specializing in major toxic tort litigation law.


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Rebecca A. Hobbs, Esq. Director Rebecca A. Hobbs is an associate attorney with the law firm O’Donnell, Weiss & Mattei, P.C. with offices in Pottstown and Phoenixville. She focuses her practice on elder law, special needs planning, estate planning, estate and trust administration, and Veterans’ benefits. Rebecca is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Rebecca has a passion for helping people. As an elder law attorney she is able to provide exceptional legal guidance while also understanding the sensitivity and compassion needed for assisting families in a time of crisis. Rebecca resides in Phoenixville with her husband and two children. Community Activities and Professional Memberships: Member of the Montgomery Bar Association, Elder Law Committee, Pennsylvania Bar Association, American Bar Association, Board of Directors for the Foundation for Pottstown Education, Member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), Serves on NAELA Special Needs Law Steering Committee, Member of the Pennsylvania Association of Elder Law Attorneys (PAELA), Serves on the PBA Charitable Organizations Committee, and the PBA Legal Services to Persons with Disabilities Committee, Certifications Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Lauren A. Hughes, Esq. Director Lauren is an accomplished attorney with a commitment to public and volunteer service. Currently, Lauren is an Assistant Solicitor for the Montgomery County Solicitors Office where she represents the County in several capacities including litigation matters. A graduate of Widener University School of Law (now Delaware Law School) and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Lauren prides herself on her ability to quickly adapt to the ever-changing law and provide clear guidance to the various county departments she oversees. Prior to the Solicitors Office, Lauren represented indigent persons before the courts of Montgomery County in the Public Defender’s Office where she conducted numerous bench

and jury trials. Lauren’s affiliations include the Montgomery County Bar Association, the Barristers Association of Philadelphia, Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc., and the Greater Norristown Branch of the NAACP, where she serves as the Legal Redress Chair.

Manrico “Rick” A. Troncelliti, Jr., Esq. Director Before beginning his legal career, Rick Troncelliti always had an interest in the estate planning process and tax law. As he began to practice, he learned that he had a passion for helping families who were in need of guidance. Since 1980, Rick has been seeking legal solutions for families and individuals in King of Prussia and its neighboring areas.

Aaron D. Weems, Esq. Director Aaron focuses on helping families and individuals with a broad range of legal needs in the areas of family law, litigation and business succession. His practice includes family law dealing with divorce, adoption (traditional, stepparent, and contested adoptions), custody, child and spousal support, the equitable distribution of assets, as well as the negotiation and preparation of prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements. Aaron also advises clients in a variety of other legal issues crucial to individuals and small business owners such as real estate partition actions and on specific aspects of business succession planning. Aaron is based in Fox Rothschild’s Montgomery County office, but regularly handles cases in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties of Chester, Delaware, Bucks, Lancaster and Berks. As an undergraduate at Villanova University, Aaron played outside linebacker for the Wildcats conference championship and two-time NCAA playoff football teams. During law school, Aaron clerked for the Honorable Juan R. Sanchez of the 15th continued on next page > SPRING 2022 23


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Meet the Newest Members of the MBA Board of Directors Continued from page 23

District (Chester Co.) Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas and had the opportunity to work on criminal and civil cases. Prior to joining Fox Rothschild, Aaron was an associate at a boutique litigation firm. Aaron is an active pro bono attorney through the Philadelphia VIP program and Southeastern Pennsylvania Legal Aid Society. He is also a member of the advisory board for the Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation, which strives to increase the number of available bone marrow donors on the national registry, primarily through intercollegiate athletic programs of all levels.

Patrice M. Turenne, Esq. Chair, Young Lawyers Section The core of Patrice’s experience is in litigation, with particular background in employment disputes. She has represented employers in discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims, including those involving Title VII, ADA, ADEA and FMLA. In addition, she has handled complex commercial, premises liability, professional liability and property damage matters. Her practice also includes guiding business owners, in-house counsel and HR directors on employment policies, and providing education and training to aid compliance with prevailing employment laws. Patrice is active in the community. She serves on the Executive Board of The Garage Community and Youth Center, a nonprofit organization providing afterschool and development programming to low-income and diverse youth. Patrice earned a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.A. from La Salle University and a J.D. from Widener University Delaware Law School.

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Lindsay H. Childs, Esq. Chair, Family Law Section Lindsay Hanifan Childs is a partner at the firm of Vetrano | Vetrano & Feinman LLC, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Ms. Childs graduated from Villanova University School of Law in 2011, and from the University of Richmond in 2008. While in law school, Ms. Childs interned as a law clerk for the Honorable Katherine B.L. Platt of the Family Court Division of the Chester County Court of Common Pleas. She also served as a certified legal intern at Villanova’s Civil Justice Clinic, where her practice included family law matters. Ms. Childs gained extensive writing experience serving as a Managing Editor of Student Works on Villanova’s Sports and Entertainment Law Journal. In 2011, Ms. Childs was admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania. In addition to previously serving as the Chair of the Montgomery Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section, Ms. Childs currently serves as the Secretary for the Montgomery Bar Association’s Family Law Section. She is now in her last year of a three-year term on the Council for the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Family Law Section, and is the current President of the Doris Jonas Freed American Inn of Court. She serves on the Board of Directors for Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania and on the Board of Directors for the Montgomery Bar Association. She has been appointed as a guardian ad litem for children in numerous custody and abuse cases in both Montgomery and Chester Counties, and is now a certified parenting coordinator. Ms. Childs was the Pennsylvania Reporter for the American Bar Association’s Family Law Quarterly, Law in the 50 States Annual Report, for 2012 through 2015. She has been published three times in the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Family Lawyer Magazine. And she recently authored a book, published by the American Bar Association in August 2020, titled “Divorce in the Golden Years: Estate Planning, Spousal Support, and Retirement Issues for Clients at Midlife and Beyond,” Second Edition. Ms. Childs is a frequent speaker on various family law topics, including for the Second Saturday Divorce Workshop in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.


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Aimee L. Kumer, Esq. President, Trial Lawyers Section Aimee L. Kumer represents businesses and individuals in complex commercial and employment litigation in state and federal courts, and also represents clients in the healthcare field in their commercial litigation, regulatory, medical staff, and employment needs. Aimee has extensive experience in litigating contract disputes, business torts, shareholder litigation, class actions, and diverse business litigation, including a variety of employment discrimination, wage claims, ERISA, and civil rights matters. Aimee earned her J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law, was a Beasley Scholar, served as Senior Note/Comment Editor for the Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review, and was also a member of the Rubin Public Interest Law Honor Society. Aimee served as a law clerk to Judge Joel H. Slomsky of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

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2022 Legal Aid Golf Classic A new spin on an old classic! By Jack Costello, Deputy Executive Director

T

he Montgomery Bar Foundation is proud to present the Legal Aid Golf Classic once again on Monday, June 27, 2022. The annual event will be held at a new location: Cedarbrook Country Club (180 Penllyn Pike, Blue

Bell, PA 19422). Located on 210 acres in Blue Bell, Cedarbrook is a 100+-year-old family-oriented club featuring a par-72 golf course characterized by an incredible array of mature tree specimens, several large ponds and the Wissahickon Creek meandering through seven holes…The design is spacious with large, softly undulating greens that make up over four acres in total area. The course is a favorite among local golfers who enjoy the challenging design but are not overwhelmed by too severe a layout. In addition to the new location, the format of the event has also been reconsidered. No longer will golfers need to wake up before sunrise in order to make it to the first tee at 8:00 AM sharp. This year’s outing will begin with a luncheon buffet at 12:00 PM, followed by a shotgun start at 1:30 PM. The format will still be a “best-ball” scramble featuring numerous prize holes and on-course refreshments. Golf will be followed by a special fundraising dinner event, featuring a silent auction, raffle prizes, and more. Non-golfers are encouraged to attend the post-golf dinner and participate in the fundraising festivities. Proceeds from the event, along with a contribution from the Montgomery Bar Association, are donated to Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania. As MBF President Kate M. Harper, Esq., mentioned in her article, “The Montgomery Bar Foundation regularly supports the work of Legal Aid of Southeastern PA…as its mission is to promote and provide ‘Access to Justice,’ particularly for the most vulnerable among us. Legal Aid of Southeastern PA needs the support and delivers justice, compassion, and advocacy every day to our neighbors in Montgomery County.” Look for more details about the event, including registration information, in the coming weeks on our website: www.montgomerybar.org and in our member enewsletter, BarNews.

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The Equity Stop Did You Know? A Sigh of Rent Relief By Michelle Dempsky, Esq. Since the Covid crisis began, disruptions of many industries have resulted in lay-offs, reduction of hours, and lack of employment for large numbers of people world-wide. The US Jobs Report estimates that the USA has lost working hours equal to 20.6 million full-time jobs, not including independent contractors and seasonal employees. Individuals and families affected by this income loss are facing enormous difficulty in continuing to pay rent in a timely manner, resulting in a surge of evictions. This makes it especially difficult for individuals that take public transportation to work, or who are attempting to keep children within the same school district. With the overturning of the CDC moratorium on evictions, no legal shield exists to prevent these tenants from losing their housing, and causing a long-term cascade of harm to families. To address this issue, the Federal Government dispersed $2.9 billion in funds under the Emergency Rent Assistance Program (ERAP) to the states, to assist tenants who have lost income due to Covid. Montgomery County was issued $55,055,660 in funding available for renters who have been adversely affected by the pandemic. The Board of Commissioners utilized these funds to found the Emergency Rent and Utility Coalition (ERUC) to help renters and landlords impacted by Covid-19. This program allows eligible households to receive up to twelve (12) months of assistance for rent and utility bills dating back to March 13, 2020. Assistance is also offered for up to three (3) months of future rent, as well as security deposits, and first/and or last month of rent in advance to help these tenants secure new housing. There is no monetary limit on the amount of assistance a household can receive.

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To be eligible, a Montgomery County household merely must show that (1) one or more individuals in the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic, (2) the household can demonstrate a risk of homelessness or housing instability, and (3) the household must be at or below 80% of Area Median Income at the time of application. To apply, residents are encouraged to call 2-1-1 or text their zip code to 898-211. Applications can be done over the phone, in person, emailed, or a combination. Residents can also reach out to one of six partner organizations below to learn more about the program and apply: • ACLAMO: www.aclamo.org, (610) 277-2570 (Norristown) or (610) 970-2134 (Pottstown). • Family Services of Montgomery County: ERU@fsmontco. org or (610) 630-2111 x235. • Manna on Main Street: www.mannaonmain.org/need-help/ getting-help or call (215) 855-5454. • YWCA Tri-County Area: Visit www.ywcatricountyarea.org/ ERUC. • CADCOM: Visit www.cadcom.org/pre-screen-formeruc-cadcom. • Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities: www.pottstowncluster.org/covidrentutilityassistance or (484) 393-5441. To apply, residents need the following items: • A copy of a lease or proof of consistent rental payments at their address. • Photo identification. • An overdue rent or utility notice, if applicable.


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SPECIAL NEEDS CORPORATE TRUSTEE Enhancing Lives  Protect Benefits  Providing Peace of Mind

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• Current income documentation for all adults in the household.

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• Proof of unemployment received or applied for, if applicable. The rent relief is issued directly to the landlords, with certain exceptions, with the goal of stabilizing housing and preventing the eviction. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and the ERUC processes applications based on priority. Any tenants or attorneys representing tenants should be aware of this relief, and applications for those who believe they are eligible should be completed as soon as possible, given the time needed to process the applications and make payments. This is especially important if a complaint for eviction has already been filed in a Magisterial District Court. Many courts will continue hearings to allow the application and payment to be processed, if the tenant can provide proof to the court and landlord of the pending application. This resource will not be offered indefinitely, and all attorneys with clients within the county should be aware of the program, and encourage eligible clients to apply and obtain this much needed relief.

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In the Works • April – Meet and greet with law schools. • May – CLE collaboration between DEI and FLS. Proposed topic: ESL and the use of interpreters in the courtroom. • June – Bootcamp workout wellness event.

If you are interested in participating or assisting with the planning of any of these events, please reach out to any of the DEI leadership. If you would like to write an article for The Equity Stop, please contact Jessica Chapman.

• September – CLE collaboration between DEI and TLS. Proposed topic: Unconscious bias. • October – Wills for Seniors Clinic.

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MBA Welcomes New Leaders at Annual Business Luncheon Meeting

T

he Montgomery Bar Association (MBA) held its Annual Business Luncheon Meeting on Friday, January 7, 2022 at Normandy Farm in Blue Bell. Over 100 members, legal professionals and community leaders attended the event which included the election of the MBA’s officers for 2022, an awards presentation to honor outstanding contributions to the MBA and community, as well as the installation of its new president, Sarinia M. Feinman, Esq., with the ceremonial passing of the gavel. Ms. Feinman is a partner at the firm of Vetrano | Vetrano & Feinman, LLC in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Ms. Feinman graduated from Widener University School of Law, and from the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. Feinman has been recognized by Pennsylvania Super Lawyer’s Magazine as a Super Lawyer in the area of Family Law since 2019, and prior to that as a Rising Star in the area of Family Law from 2010-2018. Ms. Feinman has been an active member of the MBA since the start of her legal career, having served as Chair of the Family Law Section (FLS) in 2014, Chair of the Young Lawyer’s Section in 2009, CoChair of the Women in the Law Committee in 2016 and 2017, a member of the Judiciary Committee, a member of the Long

2021 President Jacqueline M. Reynolds passes the gavel to 2022 President Sarinia M. Feinman

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Range Planning Committee, as well as a Director for a three-year term, and a member of the Executive Committee. Ms. Feinman is currently serving a three-year term on the Board of Managers of the Montgomery County Youth Center and is serving on the PBA House of Delegates. Ms. Feinman is a Past President of the Doris Jonas Freed American Inn of Court in family law, and was previously the Regional Coordinator of the High School Mock Trial Competition from 2010 to 2013, as well as a member of the PBA Bar Leadership Institute inaugural class of 2010-11. Ms. Feinman previously served two separate terms as a Council Member of the PBA FLS from 2009-12 and from 2014-17. Ms. Feinman was the Chair of the Programming Committee of the PBA FLS from 2013-14, and is presently the Co-Chair of the Membership Committee, for which she received a PBA Achievement Award in 2018 for her work on this Committee. She is also a Collaborative Family Law Affiliate trained in the Collaborative law approach to divorce, which focuses on severing the bonds of matrimony without severing the family. Ms. Feinman is a frequent speaker, course planner, and author for various programs for the PBI and the PBA, as well as for the MBA. Ms. Feinman frequently serves as a volunteer attorney for the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project (MCAP), for

2022 President Sarinia Feinman with firm colleagues Lindsay H. Childs, Donna M. Marcus, and Diane Pierce


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2022 President Sarinia M. Feinman with daughters Alexis and Isabella

2021 President Jacqueline M. Reynolds conducts the meeting, flanked by her fellow Officers of the Board of Directors

Rebecca Sallen, Esq., (left) receives the Honorable Horace A. Davenport Award

continued on next page > Stephen G. Yusem, Esq., (center) receives the first MBA Lifetime Achievement Award Sponsored by the Pugh Family Attorneys, presented by Past-President William H. Pugh, IV and 2021 President Jacqueline M. Reynolds SPRING 2022 31


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MBA Welcomes New Leaders at Annual Business Luncheon Meeting Continued from page 31

For the 2022 Bar Year, Justin A. Bayer, Esq., of Kane, Pugh, Knoell, Troy & Kramer, LLP in Norristown will serve as President-Elect; Lisa A. Shearman, Esq., of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, P.C. in Lansdale will serve as Vice President; Seth D. Wilson, Esq., of Morris Wilson, P.C. in Conshohocken will serve as Treasurer; and Colin J. O’Boyle, Esq., of Elliott Greenleaf, P.C. will serve as Secretary. Also of Note: Aimee L. Kumer, Esq., of Elliott Greenleaf, P.C. in Blue Bell will serve as President of the MBA’s Trial Lawyers Section; Patrice M. Turenne, Esq., with Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc. was named Chair of the MBA’s Young Lawyers Section; Lindsay H. Childs, Esq., of Vetrano | Vetrano & Feinman LLC in King of Prussia was named Chair of the MBA’s Family Law Section; and Lisa A. Shearman, Esq., of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, P.C. in Lansdale remains Chair of the MBA’s Probate and Tax Section. PA Superior Court President Judge Emeritus Susan Peikes Gantman (second from right) was honored during the ceremony by current President Judge Jack A. Panella, 2021 MBA President Jacqueline M. Reynolds, and 2021-22 PBA President Kathleen D. Wilkinson

In addition to new leadership being appointed, the following awards were distributed:

which she represents abused children. Ms. Feinman has chosen to limit her practice to family law, with a special interest in custody relocation matters, and those cases that involve special needs children, as well as mental health and addiction issues.

MBA Lifetime Achievement Award Sponsored by the Pugh Family Attorneys

During her inauguration speech, Ms. Feinman praised the accomplishments, leadership, and friendship of outgoing President Jacqueline M. Reynolds. She also acknowledged the association’s past presidents and current officers with whom she has served. Ms. Feinman also thanked her family, including her parents, brother, daughters, and husband who were in attendance. Ms. Feinman ensured that her daughters attended so they could see first-hand the many women in leadership positions, both attorneys and judges. She also acknowledged the role of her firm partner Kate Vetrano in getting her involved in the bar association immediately after joining the firm out of law school.

The Honorable Horace A. Davenport Award

Ms. Feinman assured members that she is uniquely qualified to meet the challenges of today’s uncertain world. She noted the importance of personal well-being and intends to continue – and expand upon – her predecessor’s efforts to provide wellness programs to bar association members. Ms. Feinman also noted the importance of collegiality and camaraderie that comes from networking and in-person gatherings. It is her hope that the bar association can return to as many in-person meetings and events as safety allows.

Andrew J. Levin, Esq.

Ms. Feinman concluded her remarks with the following quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

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Stephen G. Yusem, Esq.

Rebecca Sallen, Esq. President’s Award Patrick J. Kurtas, Esq. Committee of the Year Award Elder Law Committee Young Lawyers Section Award

The Honorable Milton O. Moss Award Public Service Award Susan Strong, Esq. Edward Danelski, Esq. The Honorable Louis D. Stefan Law Enforcement Award Stephanie Landes


MONTGOMERYBAR.ORG

2021 President Jacqueline M. Reynolds presents the President’s Award to Past-President Patrick J. Kurtas

MBF President Kate M. Harper presents The Honorable Milton O. Moss Award Public Service Award and The Honorable Louis D. Stefan Law Enforcement Award Chairs Rebecca A. Hobbs (left) and Michelle C. Berk (center) receive the Committee of the Year Award on behalf of the Elder Law Committee

2022 MBA Officers (left to right): Treasurer Seth D. Wilson, Immediate Past President Jacqueline M. Reynolds, PresidentElect Justin A. Bayer, President Sarinia M. Feinman, Vice President Lisa A. Shearman, and Secretary Colin J. O’Boyle 2021 President Jacqueline M. Reynolds (second from right) honors outgoing Directors Philip J. Press, Marilou Watson, and Jonathan T. Hoffmann. Not pictured: Frank A. Mazzeo and John A. Zurzola SPRING 2022 33


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WIRETAPS

MEMBER News

The Law Offices of Jennifer J. Riley is pleased to announce that Attorney Joshua M. Kershenbaum has joined the growing Firm as Senior Counsel in the Firm’s expanded Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) division. Attorney Kershenbaum is a former litigator who moved from litigation to mediation in an effort to help families find peaceful and amicable solutions in family law. The Law Offices of Jennifer J. Riley is also pleased to announce that Attorney Patrick J. McGinnis has joined the growing Firm as an Associate Attorney. Attorney McGinnis focuses his practice on all matters of Family Law, including divorce, property division, child and spousal support, custody, pre/post-nuptial agreements, and protection from abuse matters. Eastburn and Gray, P.C. is pleased to announce that Joan Righter Price and Zachary A. Sivertsen have been elected shareholders of the firm effective January 1, 2022. Ms. Price represents clients in litigation involving real estate valuation, exemption and uniformity issues as well as issues involving preferential assessments. Mr. Sivertsen represents clients before zoning hearing boards and other municipal governing bodies in land development matters, zoning amendments, zoning appeals, and applications for zoning variances and conditional use and special exception approvals.

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The law firm of O’Donnell, Weiss & Mattei, P.C. (OWM) is pleased to announce that Misty A.Toothman has joined the firm as an Associate Attorney effective January 3, 2022. Ms. Toothman received her Bachelor of Science in Communications from Liberty University in 2003, her Master of Arts in American History from the American Military University in 2012 and her Juris Doctor from Villanova School of Law in 2021. Timoney Knox is pleased to announce the completion of our 100th year as a law firm serving the Philadelphia region. In recognition of this milestone, the firm has rolled out a new website and an exciting community-giving program. The new website can be found at www.timoneyknox. com and includes streamlined navigation and a cleaner design to better bridge the wealth of experience gained over the past century and our exciting future. Warren McGraw & Knowles LLC is pleased to announce that our practice is expanding, and we welcome Kenneth P. Milner as Special Counsel. Ken brings with him over 40 years of experience. He will continue to represent clients in the areas of Corporate, Commercial, Franchise, and Real Estate Law.

Asides Past President William H. Pugh, IV, Esq., shares the following anecdote: On Sunday, February 9, 1964, a date that will always live in music legend, the Beatles debuted in America on the Ed Sullivan Show. Nancy and I were in the theater audience sitting right behind Olympian Terry McDermott who had just won a gold medal for our country in speed skating. It was pandemonium! Couldn’t hear them, but we fell in love with Ringo. On Monday, April 15, 1996, we were in Boston for the 100th running of the Boston Marathon. After the race we encountered Ringo and Barbara Bach in the lobby of our hotel. Shook his hand and chatted for a few minutes. He was most gracious. Never did figure out why he was in Boston on Patriots Day. I don’t think he ran. Any news or anecdotes that you would like to share with the MBA Community? Send them to sidebar@montgomerybar.org.


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Welcome New Members

The following members have been admitted to the Montgomery Bar Association between December and February. Dennis L Abramson Ivana Alexander Jonathan Atkinson Marni S. Berger Walter Bernard Najeebah Beyah-Green Mary Kathleen Boyle Kristine Laurel Calalang Robert S. Davis* Melina Dixon Kevin M. Ellis Gregory W. Ferris Anne Schmidt Frankel Nillie Gefen

Marilyn K. Genoa Zachary Greer Dillon H. Harris Jane Harris - Villanova University School of Law** Heather Hines Joseph C. Hoeffel Jacqueline Johnson Connor Krehely Judge Penn State Dickinson School of Law** Kimberly Kaelin Darin L. Kuritz Lance S. Lacheen

Michael W. Landis Elizabeth L. Lippy* Kevin Michael Majernik Abigail L. Manopla Joseph McAlee Robert G. Minnich John R Neugebauer Michael J. Nuccio Louis Ricciardi Tuan Samahon* Misty A. Toothman Michael A. Walker* Bonnie A. Young*

The following members are retiring from the Montgomery Bar Association: Michael O’Hara Peale Jr. Charles K. Plotnick James D. Scheffey * Returning Member ** Law Student Member

SPRING 2022 35



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Lawyers and Tigers and Bears – May 5! MBA Friends & Family Night at the Elmwood Park Zoo

2min
pages 18-19

Meet the Newest Members of the MBA Board of Directors

8min
pages 22-25

MBA Welcomes New Leaders at Annual Business Luncheon Meeting

6min
pages 30-33

Member News

2min
page 34

Legal Aid of Southeastern PA

5min
pages 16-17

MBA Welcomes New Members

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pages 35-36

Meet the Newest Member of the Bench: An Interview with The Honorable A. Nicole Tate-Phillips

5min
pages 20-21

2022 Legal Aid Golf Classic

1min
pages 26-27

Montgomery Bar Association

6min
pages 10-11

A Word From USI Affinity

1min
page 14

Movie Review

3min
page 13

Trial Lawyers Section

1min
page 7

Young Lawyers Section

1min
page 8

MCAP Update

3min
page 15

Bits & Bytes

2min
page 9

Restaurant Review

3min
page 12
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