Montgomery Bar Association | Montgomery County, PA
The Leadership Issue A Celebration of our State Bar Leaders MBA Leadership Academy in Full Swing Past President Profiles
and much more...
Bench Bar Returns to Historic Bedford Springs
William h. pugh, v takes the helm at the pennsylvania bar association
Montgomery Bar Association | Montgomery County PA
SIDEBAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS Co-Chairs Robert R. Watson, Jr., Esq. Gary J. Friedlander, Esq.
PAST PRESIDENT COUNCIL PROFILES
Bar 15 Bench returns to historic bedford springs
IN EVERY ISSUE... President’s Message............................4 Bits & Bytes........................................16
FEATURES Keystone Leadership Event...................6 MBA Members Receive State Bar Recognition..............................................8
MBA Launches Leadership Academy.................................................10
A Message from USI Affinity...............18
Law Day Celebration............................20
Limitations of Cross Examination......21
Managing the inescapable: Stress in the workplace
Regular columnists: Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq. Richard E. Cohen, Esq. Jack Costello Lindsay Hanifan, Esq. Joshua David Macel, Esq. Jim Mathias Dennis R. Meakim, Esq. Jules J. Mermelstein, Esq. Gerald L. Shoemaker, Jr., Esq. Nancy Walsh
Courting Art 2015: Thank You..............22 MCAP Appreciation Lunch..................24 Book Review..........................................25 Annual Dinner Dance...........................28 Montgomery Bar Foundation..............29 Divorce Stress.......................................30 MBA Member Quick Tips....................34
Corrections from last issue: P. 14 - “A Primer for Attorneys Serving as Arbitrators in Montgomery County’s Compulsory Arbitration Program” appeared without a byline. Our sincere apologies to author Joshua David Macel, Esq. and our thanks for such an informative piece. P. 36 - Apologies to Young Lawyer Volunteer Emily Geer Hippler, Esq., whose name appeared incorrectly. Cover: (Left to Right): Justin A. Bayer, Esq., Hon. Mark A. Kearney, Donald J. Martin, Esq., William H. Pugh, V, Esq., C. Dale McLain, Esq., Bruce Pancio, Esq., and John R. Howland, Esq.
George Cardenas IT Manager Jack Costello Marketing Manager Jim Mathias Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs Nancy R. Paul Executive Director Nancy Walsh Executive Assistant 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
Bruce Pancio, Esq., President Carolyn R. Mirabile, Esq., President-Elect Eric B. Smith, Esq., Vice-President Mary C. Pugh, Esq., Treasurer Gregory R. Gifford, Esq., Secretary
Publisher Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc. 2921 Windmill Road, Reading, PA 19608 610.685.0914 x201 | HoffPubs.com Advertising Contacts Karen Zach 610.685.0914 x213 Karen@HoffPubs.com
The Leadership Issue
Become a Bar Guide By Bruce Pancio, Esq.
he Montgomery Bar Association is constantly evolving and creating new and exciting programs for its members. One issue that we face is getting our new members involved in our activities. Members who become involved stay involved and we all benefit from their participation. The MBA’s latest initiative, the Bar Guide Program, will get our members involved by making the first step into the MBA a little easier. When I first became an active member in the MBA, I knew very few members. It can be difficult to walk into a room full of people who know each other, searching for a familiar face. I was at a deposition at which Paul Troy and I represented co-defendants in a case. At the time, Paul was the President of the Trial Lawyers Section and invited me to attend their next meeting. That quick invitation to the meeting got me to attend and I have continued to attend ever since. Late last year, I was discussing my upcoming presidency with Nancy Paul. I told her about Paul Troy’s invitation and gave other examples of MBA members who influenced my engagement in the MBA. I stressed how important their involvement was to my career at the MBA. During that discussion, the idea of Bar Guides was born. Unlike a formalized mentor program, the Bar Guide Program does not involve a long-term commitment or an overwhelming list of requirements, but is instead based on the philosophy that small, simple efforts to connect with new members can have far-reaching, positive effects on the entire organization. Each Bar Guide will be matched with a new member who shares the same practice area, and will be responsible for inviting the new member to two events throughout the year — a 1-hour CLE or a Committee/Section meeting and one of the following events: the Business Luncheon, the Dinner Dance, the Clambake, or the Membership Dinner (admission to one of these events will be free of charge to new members). Becoming a Bar Guide, in essence, requires simply that you remember what it felt like to be searching for that familiar face in the crowd…and to become that face for someone who will soon be making contributions to the betterment of YOUR association. Let’s make the first step into the Montgomery Bar Association a little easier for our new members. Become a Bar Guide today.
MBA / FEATURE
The Leadership Issue
William H. Pugh, V, Esq.
takes the helm at the Pennsylvania Bar Association By Dennis R. Meakim, Esq.
Photograph by Rich Quindry, commissioned by the Pennsylvania Bar Association for “The Pennsylvania Lawyer” magazine.
that provide substantive answers to members’ questions on procedure and substantive law. He feels that the Casemaker legal search engine, available free to all PBA members, is a tool that may be underutilized at larger firms but is vital to the practice of small firms and solo practitioners. Bill has also been impressed by the responsiveness of the Legal Ethics Hotline and cited it as a resource that should not be overlooked by today’s lawyers. It is expected that the President of the PBA will be hard at work on association business nearly every day of the year. The actual time away from the office can be as much as 1-2 weeks per month. Bill is aware of the time commitment and is ready for the challenge. Many of our MBA members may only be tangentially aware of problems and legal issues facing our colleagues in the far reaches of the Commonwealth. Bill is thankful for the input, advice and counsel he has received from his immediate predecessors, Frank O’Connor, Esquire (Susquehanna County) and Forrest Myers, Esquire (Franklin County). Bill’s involvement as an officer of the PBA during their terms in office has provided him with an appreciation for the issues that non-Philadelphia/Pittsburgh area attorneys feel are important. Bill hopes to protect the legislative rights of all Pennsylvania attorneys in his year as President. He will focus on membership in the broad sense of increasing the number of attorneys in the association as well as in more focused areas such as diversity. In leading an all-volunteer association, it is important to Bill that all of the members feel a connection to the PBA. He also plans to place a focus on the many pro bono efforts and services provided to the public that often go unnoticed and without publicity. By placing a spotlight on those service activities, Bill hopes that our collective reputations can continue to be held in high regard by the public-at-large.
illiam H. Pugh, V, affectionately and more simply known to many Montgomery Bar Association members as “Five,” recently became the fourth MBA member to ascend to the presidency of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Bill was kind enough to respond to some questions recently while he was driving to Harrisburg to meet some senators in regard to the issue of sales tax being imposed upon legal services. When asked what experiences at the MBA prepared him to serve in the statewide association, Bill was quick to point out that he has received a significant amount of mentoring from Montgomery County attorneys over the many years he has been a member of the MBA. He served as a Director, Officer and President of our association (in 2006), which is the third largest in the Commonwealth. The MBA has a large budget, active members and a tremendously successful Reporter. Having seen and been involved in the day-to-day operations of the MBA should be a great benefit to him in running the PBA for one year. When asked about the significance of following three past presidents from Montgomery County, Aaron Swartz, Jr. (1935-1936); Desmond J. McTighe (1963); and C. Dale McClain (2008-2009), Bill expressed the tremendous honor he feels in following in their footsteps and an overwhelming sense of history represented by these attorneys. Bill hopes that the statewide membership will continue to take advantage of PBA programs geared toward making the practice of law more fruitful and efficient. Despite being from a more metropolitan area, Bill recognizes that approximately 70% of the members are from small firms and towns. That is why he feels it is important to continue to provide support services in a wide range of areas. He cited the many listserves
The Leadership Issue
MBA / FEATURE
Keystone Leadership Reception Celebrates Our 2015 State Bar Leaders By Dennis R. Meakim, Esq.
n June 12, 2015 hundreds of MBA members and guests turned out to celebrate the accomplishments of MBA members serving statewide leadership positions in 2015. The Philadelphia Cricket Club was the site of the Friday evening cocktail reception, which also included a strong showing from members of the bench. MBA President Bruce Pancio served as the master of ceremonies and included laudatory words of introduction for each of the honorees. Each received a keepsake frame recognizing their accomplishments. These attorneys took to the microphone and were eloquent in their comments, citing the personal and professional rewards that have come along with active membership and leadership in both the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Montgomery Bar Association, and appreciation for those who helped them on their paths. In a rare confluence of stewardship, the following members have assumed leadership roles in their respective organizations:
• William H. Pugh, V, Esq. – President, Pennsylvania Bar Association • John R. Howland, Esq. – President, Pennsylvania Conference of County Bar Leaders, the organization focuses on establishing close relationships between the local bar associations and fostering a mutual interchange of ideas; • The Honorable Mark A. Kearney. – President, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the continuing legal education arm of the PBA; • Donald J. Martin, Esq. – Chair, Pennsylvania Bar Association House of Delegates, the body charged with setting policy within the PBA; and • Justin A. Bayer, Esq. – Chair, Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division 2008-2009 PBA President C. Dale McClain and other MBA members who have served in leadership positions within the PBA and PBI also received recognition for their accomplishments, and for serving as mentors and models for the leaders who came after them. The evening was a one-of-a-kind celebration of the very best of what the MBA stands for – visionary leadership, outstanding achievement, unparalleled work ethic and the collegial support that makes it all possible.
The Leadership Issue
The Leadership Issue
MBA / FEATURE
MBA Members Receive State Bar Recognition In addition to the multitude of leadership positions attained this year, a number of MBA members received awards from the Pennsylvania Bar Association during its Annual Meeting in Philadelphia on May 6 – 8. Donald J. Martin, Esq.
The PBA Commission on Women in the Profession presented its annual Lynette Norton Award to Lynne Z. Gold-Bikin, a partner in the Norristown office of Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby LLP. The Norton Award was created in memory of Lynette Norton, a founding member of the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession who died in 2002. Norton was an advocate for young women in the legal profession and worked to promote literacy and women’s rights. The award is designed to recognize and encourage female attorneys who excel in litigation skills and who are devoted to mentoring female lawyers.
Stephen G. Yusem, Esq. From left: Harold M. Goldner, council member, PBA Solo and Small Firm Practice Section; Martin; Rita G. Alexyn, council member, PBA Solo and Small Firm Practice Section; Francis X. O’Connor, 2014-15 PBA President Donald J. Martin received the second annual Pennsylvania Bar Association Solo and Small Firm Practice Section Award, which honors an individual lawyer or law firm that has enhanced the professional reputations and abilities of solo and small firm attorneys in Pennsylvania.
Lynne Z. Gold-Bikin, Esq. From left: Herbert R. Nurick, PBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee; Yusem; Francis X. O’Connor, 2014-15 PBA President Stephen G. Yusem received the Sir Francis Bacon Alternative Dispute Resolution Award from the PBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. The Sir Francis Bacon Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant impact in bringing mediation and other forms of dispute resolution to Pennsylvania. Sir Francis Bacon (15611626) was a Renaissance writer who served British monarchs in a legal capacity as knight, attorney general and solicitor. He authored the essay, “Of Negotiating,” which features the frequently-quoted line, “It is generally better to deal by speech than by letter, and by the mediation of a third than by a man’s self.”
From left: Jennifer S. Coatsworth, co-chair, PBA Commission on Women in the Profession Awards Committee; Gold-Bikin; Anne N. John, co-chair, PBA Commission on Women in the Profession Awards Committee SIDEBAR
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MBA / FEATURE
MBA Shows Commitment to Leadership Development with Launch of Leadership Academy “Why would I encourage future applicants to apply for participation in next year’s Leadership Academy?” Colin J. O’Boyle, Esq. “Among many others, I think the Leadership Academy gives its members two valuable benefits: (1) special access to exemplary speakers and moderators to help develop leadership skills and (2) personalized interactions with the MBA’s established, seasoned leaders. If you want to develop within the MBA, this is the place to further learn how.” Robert C. Gerhard, III, Esq. “The MBA Leadership Academy represents a major investment by the MBA in the professional development of those selected. As attorneys we spend a great deal of time becoming technically proficient in the law, but the coaches running the Leadership Academy will help in your personal effort to advance to the next level, whatever that means to you individually. Specifically, they provide guidance on what it means to be an “authentic leader” given each participant’s unique personality traits. Some of the seminars are theoretical and some are practical, but all concepts taught in the Leadership Academy will improve your ability to contribute effectively to any organization in which you are involved.” Robert R. Watson, Jr., Esq.. “The Leadership Academy gives the participant an opportunity to increase his or her commitment to the MBA while gaining perspective on how to best help our organization’s growth. Programs also help the attorney think outside of the box in the dayto-day practice.” Melissa M. Boyd, Esq. “This is not just an opportunity to boost your resume, but an opportunity to develop superior leadership skills that are transferrable in your professional and personal lives. The MBA is making a serious investment in those accepted into the Academy, providing essential basic and advanced leadership skills, taught by phenomenal lawyers and other professionals.”
n a year where an unprecedented number of our members took over key leadership positions across the state, the MBA placed new focus on the advancement of leadership throughout the Association. This focus was demonstrated in the launching of the MBA Leadership Academy, a year-long program designed to develop leadership skills in a diverse group of Bar members throughout the county. For the inaugural year of the Academy, a focus group of ten lawyers was chosen, with the expectation that they would, in addition to participating in meetings and workshops, serve as advisors for future members of the Academy and assist in the further development of the program. They are an impressive mix of lawyers, diversified by gender, race, years of experience, and type of employer. All possess essential leadership traits which, developed even further in the Academy, will serve them well as they take on positions of leadership in their respective firms and throughout the Bar. Members of the Academy commit to attendance at approximately 10 meetings and presentations over the course of the year. This year’s topics included “Leading Effective Meetings,” “Effective Leadership Communication,” and “The Art of Influence,” taught by seasoned, dynamic professionals in the legal and business communities. In addition, focus group members explored their individual personality traits and Myers-Briggs assessments, and learned how to use that knowledge to maximize their own leadership potential as well as to create effective and innovative teams. Each member was also partnered with a past president to serve as his or her seasoned mentor. Months of developing an awareness of personal leadership strengths and styles, and of building relationships with each other and those who can foster their development, will culminate in a collaborative group project. This project will require focus group members to use their newfound knowledge to effectively work together in the creation of a plan which will address a specific problem within the legal community. They will be given the opportunity to present their work to the Board of Directors in the fall, thus providing another unique team opportunity to display leadership skills.
The Leadership Issue Samantha A. Fagnan, Esq. “Being a member of the Leadership Academy provides a unique opportunity to network and meet new members of our Bar who practice in various areas of law. Additionally, the workshops can help you learn more about yourself and strengthen or fine-tune your leadership and commination skills for the advancement of your career.”
Applications for membership in next year’s Academy, which will begin in January, will be accepted in the fall. If you have at least three years of experience as a practicing lawyer, and wish to develop your burgeoning leadership, consider looking into this unique and worthwhile opportunity. New Academy members will be a part of a program designed to: • Enhance a broad range of leadership skills, including those relating to communication, motivation, and connection; • Develop a strong awareness of individual strengths, weaknesses, behaviors and traits, and the ability to use this knowledge to create strong team dynamics in various professional and personal settings; • Foster professional relationships within the legal community; and • Raise the level of awareness and engagement among participants regarding issues facing the legal profession and leaders at large today. The MBA is a leader among Pennsylvania Bar Associations. With Leadership comes the responsibility of nurturing new leaders, who bring fresh and even greater energy, creativity and vision. Become a part of the MBA’s commitment to continue to be a keystone of our community, with exciting initiatives like the Leadership Academy. To download an application for the 2016 program, please visit our website. For more information, contact Nancy Walsh at 610-279-9660, ext. 218.
Patrick J. Kurtas, Esq. “If you are weighing the costs and benefits of the leadership program and deciding if it is right for you, consider what you miss out on by “taking a pass” or putting it off for another year. Ask yourself – where else can I possibly participate in a program of such great benefit to me, at no cost to me, led by the best and brightest minds of an association of which I am a part, all of whom actually care very deeply about my personal journey, and in the process meet, interact with, and learn from people of considerable importance, even though I may think that I have no business doing so? The answer is you can’t, otherwise you are a fool to not have pursued it with maximum effort heretofore.” Stephen M. Geday, Esq. “The Leadership Academy is a great opportunity to learn more about the Montgomery Bar Association and interact on a more personal level with fellow members.”
The Leadership Issue
MBA / FEATURE
Past President Profiles By William H. Pugh, IV, Esq., Council Chair
for over 35 years and has received many PBA Special Achievement Awards. He is very proud that his two sons Mason, Jr. and Ara are also MBA members.
he Montgomery Bar Association has always been blessed with strong, decisive and dynamic leadership. As a result, the MBA is widely and rightfully regarded as the preeminent Bar Association in Pennsylvania. Right now Past President William H. Pugh, V is President of the PBA, Past President John R. Howland is Immediate Past President of CCBL, Past President the Honorable Mark A. Kearney is President of PBI, Past President Donald J. Martin is Chair of the PBA House of Delegates and Justin A. Bayer is Chair of PBA Young Lawyers Division. This is the first of three articles highlighting in brief form some of the contributions and achievements of those still active leaders who comprise the current Council of Past Presidents. Of course, the many other Past Presidents all made significant contributions as well. I want to make special mention of 1989 President John P. Knox, long time Timoney Knox partner, now retired, whom I consider to be my Bar leader mentor.
1982 – Frederic M. Wentz, Esq. Bench Bar: The Inn at Buck Hill Fred was a partner in McGrory, Wentz, Fernandez & Albright in 1982 and has continued his prosperous municipal practice and his many Bar activities since then. Notably, he was Montgomery County solicitor from 1980 to 1992, and was Chair of the PBA Judicial Evaluation Committee in 1995. He was a Zone 9 delegate to the PBA House of Delegates for 23 years. He has served on the Pennsylvania Transportation Commission for over two decades. Fred is married to the esteemed Nancy Hopkins Wentz, 1994 MBA President, making him part of MBA’s first “power couple.” They practice together as McGrory Wentz, LLP.
1974 – The Honorable Mason Avrigian Bench Bar: Pocono Manor Judge Avrigian, then a partner at Timoney, Knox, Avrigian and Hasson, served as MBA President at the tender age of 39 making him one of the youngest Presidents ever. Three years later he ran unopposed for our Common Pleas Bench where he served with distinction until 1982 when he returned to private practice as a “Super Star” expert in family law. Since 1993 he has practiced at the venerable firm of Wisler Pearlstine, LLP and is now a widely sought after ADR provider. He has represented Zone 9 in the PBA House of Delegates
1986 – Stephen G. Yusem, Esq. Bench Bar: Hershey Admiral Steve, a long time stalwart at High Swartz before leaving to establish a national and international ADR practice, founded the Montgomery Bar Foundation which now has an endowment of over one million dollars. He also founded what you are reading now: Sidebar.
The Leadership Issue
He worked with NATO in the Partnership for Peace program after the collapse of the Soviet Union, helping to ensure that the emerging democracies of Eastern and Central Europe had a military subject to civilian control. Since 2005, Steve has been an adjunct Professor of ADR at Cornell Law School which took him to sister institutions in Mongolia, Macedonia and Iran. In keeping with his wanderlust, he and his wife Anita went around the world in 19 days on 13 flights to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
Saturday night dinner was at the Officers Club at the Naval Academy, thanks to Admiral Yusem. He practiced at Wisler Pearlstine from 1966 until his retirement in 2012, representing Cheltenham Township for 20 years, Collegeville Borough and other municipal entities, as well as maintaining a varied practice that included representing domestic relations clients, numerous school districts and municipalities on assessment appeals and other litigation. He was a recipient of the Henry Stuckert Miller Award of the MBA for his service to the community. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Montgomery Hospital for over 20 years and is now a Trustee of Einstein Medical Center Montgomery and a Trustee of the Montgomery County Community College.
1990 – C. Dale McClain, Esq. Bench Bar: Williamsburg A sole practitioner specializing in complex tax law, Dale, a CPA and honors graduate from Villanova Law (Order of the Coif), was the third MBA Past President to serve as PBA President (20082009). He was well-suited for this prestigious leadership position having chaired or been president of some twenty other organizations as diverse as the Narberth Fire Company, the Main Line Optimist Club, the Villanova Student Bar Association and the VLS Alumni Association. He is a long time supporter and leader of Men of Malvern and Malvern Retreat House. Perhaps most notably his strong and decisive leadership as MBA President resulted in the hiring of Nancy R. Paul as our Executive Director which has made all the difference.
continued on page 14
1991 – Andrew B. Cantor, Esq. Bench Bar: Annapolis
Andy became President four months after Nancy Paul’s debut as Executive Director and presided over the beginning of the transition of the MBA to the modern era of technology. He was the first president to take us to Annapolis for the Bench Bar which was so successful that we have returned three times. The
The Leadership Issue
MBA / FEATURE
1994 – Nancy Hopkins Wentz, Esq. Bench Bar: Baltimore Inner Harbor
1992 – J. Edmund Mullin, Esq. Bench Bar: Newport A long time partner at Hamburg, Rubin, Ed established the MBA Public Image Committee (now Community Outreach) consisting of members of various community interest groups and constituencies, as well as Bar leaders. Recognized in Best Lawyers in America, he is in the Hall of Fame of the Home Builders Association of Bucks and Montgomery counties. Ed is a Trustee of Montgomery County Community College and has been on numerous Boards, including the Consultors of Villanova Law. Despite his far reaching land use practice, he claims the highlight of his career to be his representation of Mother Teresa (pro bono) in her successful effort to establish a soup kitchen and shelter in Norristown which was hotly contested.
A true pioneer, Nancy was the first woman: President of the MBA President of the MBF Chair of the MBA Judiciary Committee Zone 9 Governor
A woman of all seasons, she was also President of PBI, chaired the Montco Aging and Adult Services Advisory Council, chaired two Disciplinary Board Hearing Committees, and served as a long-time Director of Legal Aid of S.E. Pa. and the Gladwyne Fire Company. She is the “better half” of the Wentz “power couple.”
1995 – William H. Pugh, IV, Esq. Bench Bar: Annapolis Forty years ago Ed Kane and I
co-founded the firm now known as Kane, Pugh, Knoell, Troy & Kramer, LLP, and it has been a pleasure to watch it grow to over thirty attorneys. I am proud to be a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (1989), a member of the Ocean City Beach Patrol Hall of Fame (2012) and especially proud that three of our offspring are members of the profession, two being MBA members, and, of course, one being the current PBA President! I was deeply honored to receive the James P. Fox Trial Lawyer of the Year Award in 2001. I stopped trying cases eight years ago at age 70 and now provide ADR services.
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MBA / FEATURE
Bench Bar Returns to
Historic Bedford Springs
he noble practice of law is not easy. Long hours, complicated issues, and seemingly endless commitments lead to levels of stress that can be hard to escape. But escape we must, and what better place to run than to one known through its long history for its peaceful setting and restorative powers. Like its first guests in the early 1800s who, upon advice of their doctors, travelled long distances in hopes of rejuvenation, MBA family and friends will travel to the Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa for a weekend of relaxation and renewal. Bedford Springs, located in South Pennsylvania’s beautiful Cumberland Valley, just three hours from Philadelphia, began as a hotel for health-conscious patrons. Many came to drink the healing waters of the Bedford Springs, and to rest in a place of beauty and peace. Over the years, the hotel grew in both size and majesty, hosting many famous guests including U.S. Presidents Buchanan, Taylor, Polk and Harrison. The resort was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1984, closed its doors two years later, and in 2004, embarked upon an unprecedented restoration and expansion effort. In 2007, its doors were reopened, and the resort took its place among the country’s finest historic luxury resorts. This idyllic location caught the attention of past President Robert Morris, who chose it for the 2008 Bench Bar Conference. Those who took part in this extraordinary weekend will be enthused about the opportunity to visit again. They will recall an escape to 2,200 rolling acres, where they found the renowned Springs Eternal Spa; a remarkable 18-hole golf course (magnificently restored in 2007); 25 miles of hiking trails; an elegant aquatic center, featuring an outdoor pool and a heated mineral springs-fed indoor pool; a state-of-the-art conference center; premier dining; and more. It was a perfect weekend in a glorious setting with good friends and plenty of adventures. Like those who took part in that Bench Bar, the resort has undergone some changes in the past 7 years; like the MBA, it has only improved with age. In 2009, the resort became known as the Omni Bedford Spring Resort & Spa, with Omni Hotels bringing their long-standing commitment to luxury and service as new operators of the resort. In recent years, they have received countless accolades, including “Best Historic Hotel” by Historic Hotels of America (2014), Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame, TripAdvisor (2011-2015), and #1 Public and #1 Resort Golf course in Pennsylvania, Golfweek magazine, Golf magazine, and golf.com. First-time visitors and returning visitors alike will be treated to a unique combination of historic charm and modern luxury. Our annual Bench Bar conference is a beloved tradition of the MBA. It is both a reason for, and an example of, the warm and collegial spirit that makes our association special. For one weekend each fall, we are given the opportunity to step away from the demands of everyday life, spend time with family and friends, connect with colleagues, and take in the treasures of a beautiful destination. Few such destinations could be more ideal than Bedford Springs. Don’t miss out — we’ll see you there!
BITS & BYTES
By Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq.
The Apple Watch Review
Apple launched the first new product under CEO Tim Cook: the Apple Watch. I and Christian V. Badali, Esq., a family lawyer with Weber Gallagher and a member of the MBA, were among the first to receive and use the watch. We present below our joint review of the product.
Thumbs Up (Joel) It is the first product that is made by Apple that you actually wear. It’s not on a desk, in your pocket, etc. – it’s on your wrist. This produces a dependency after a week or two that is different and makes the watch more than an accessory. Having not worn a watch for many years, I realized it became part of my daily routine. For a first generation, it is a polished, solid product. The battery life is twice what I expected. Most days I have more than 50% left in the charge. It uses a new magnetic charger that connects, overnight, to fully charge the watch. Once set up and paired with your iPhone, the watch is a welcome extension of your phone and the data is transferred and viewed easily. It is also a great activity monitor/watch. I used to wear a running watch and the Apple version is far superior.
The functions are easy to use and become less distracting than the phone. You can use the built in speaker, microphone or Bluetooth headphones to answer or make calls, texts or email. Siri, rather than a keyboard, is included.
Thumbs Up (Chris)
As Apple’s first wearable, it is truly as described: “Apple’s Most Personal Device Ever.” With the many different permutations (3 collections, 6 finishes, 10 bands, 2 sizes and 11 faces), it is possible to have a personalized watch that is very different from almost anyone else. I really like all the effort Apple put into making sure you would not likely see a watch exactly like the one you own. I purchased the stainless steel model with the Milanese band. The band will fit almost any size as the clasp is magnetic. I love the way it fits. As a regular watch wearer, it took very little time for me to get used to this watch, as it was actually lighter and more comfortable than my everyday watch. As Joel indicates, once it is set-up and synced to your iPhone, many of the notifications you rely upon your phone to provide are now coming directly to your watch. This allows you to take your phone out much less often. This is the major selling point to me, especially
when in Court. A quick glance at your watch tells you if more attention is needed to an email, text or other notification. The best feature about notifications on the watch is the actual nudges you get from the watch. No dings, no vibrations that can cause embarrassment. Instead, when there is a new notification, you get a very light, but unmistakable movement from the watch. It has to be experienced to understand. It is like a quick tap on the shoulder: “Hey, look here!”
Thumbs Down (Joel) For smaller wrists, the only option is the smaller size because of the replaceable wristbands. The same data is displayed, but smaller. I did not find this to be a problem, but some might prefer the larger display. It takes a fair amount of adjustment to feel comfortable with the data, apps, sounds and vibrations. It took me about 7 to 10 days to get it right. Once done, however, it doesn’t require much maintenance. There is a difference between “Glances” and “Notifications.” The first is a brief summary, more like the preview in your email. The other is the full display, stocks quotes, scores, news, etc.
You configure these ahead of time, but it does create clutter until you get the setup right for you. I found it better to turn off all sounds and most “glances” except for phone, text and email. The repeated vibrations need to be controlled unless you want to be notified. It is still better than having to reach for your phone during meetings, driving or social occasions.
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Thumbs Down (Chris)
So far the biggest disappointment for me has been the third-party (non-Apple) apps for the watch. As of the writing of this, Apple has not yet released the software developer kit (likely they will soon), which allows companies to fully gain all the functionality possible on the watch. Until then, the third party apps remain disappointing, and fairly useless. My learning curve on the watch was about 2-3 days. For the first day or so, you have the feeling that this device may not be worth the expense, but once you realize what it can do, and its current limits, it feels much more comfortable. That will take a few days to come to this realization. Don’t give up on it in those first few days. The other thing I would add as a thumbs down is that I could very easily see this becoming a very expensive habit from one year to the next. As I would expect, each year Apple will produce a more powerful and productive watch; it will be hard to resist buying a new one each year.
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What’s Missing (Joel) A GPS is not included; you need to pair with your phone for this function. It still is a very good running watch without GPS, just not as accurate. Also, you will not get your turn-by- turn directions or alerts. Third party watch faces would be nice. The included 10 or so by Apple are good, but I would like to see a better variety. The same goes for the interchangeable watchbands. The app screen is cumbersome and could use improvement. But once configured, you don’t need to make changes frequently as you would on your phone. Any apps are extensions of phone apps, so the updates are intrusive.
to maintain some control over the look of these, and will likely require approval like the app process.
Summary (Joel) As I said to my son recently about spending, it’s a question of need versus want. You don’t need an Apple Watch, but if you want one and buy it you will be surprised, as I was, at how much of a finished and functional product Apple produced. I am sure it will be refined in the future and wonder what it will look like, similar to the first iPod.
What’s Missing (Chris)
I agree with Joel that GPS would be very helpful. I had a friend who is an avid runner tell me that not having GPS is a game breaker. It seems to me that since it syncs with your iPhone at this time and the phone has GPS, this is not an earth-shattering loss. You will still get turn-by-turn directions and alerts if your phone is within Bluetooth/Wifi range. I also agree the third party watch faces are a must, but I believe they will be coming; although knowing Apple, they will want
This is definitely in the want category, but not the need category at this time. However, one bit of warning; I am now at the point where I could not imagine not having it. Once you decide to make the plunge and get an Apple Watch, be prepared to have it become an ongoing “need,” which will likely involve additional expense for upgrades in future years.
MBA / FEATURE
A NEW DENTAL CARRIER EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2015
USI Affinity has changed dental insurance providers from United Concordia (UCCI) to Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (“MetLife”). Effective June 1, 2015, all current United Concordia policy holders are now insured under MetLife. MetLife is one of the largest dental insurance providers in the country. We are very pleased to bring this new Dental Insurance Program to you.
We encourage you to check the MetLife Preferred Dentist Program (PDP) Plus network to see if your dentist is innetwork by simply visiting www.metlife.com/dental and selecting “Find a Dentist.” In addition, MetLife has committed to recruiting dentists who are used by our plan participants, who are currently not participating in the MetLife network.
Through this transition, you will retain your current dental plan benefits and rates until 12/31/2016. No action is required.
With MetLife – • No ID cards are required. • There are thousands of general dentists and specialists to choose from nationwide – so you are sure to find one who meets your needs.
If you have any questions about your plan, please call our Customer Service Representatives at 800-265-2876 Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. We will be happy to answer your questions.
• All participating dentists go through a rigorous and ongoing review and selection process.1 This way you don’t need to worry about quality. • You have the freedom to choose any dentist within or outside of the MetLife network2 for associated benefit costs. • You have access to MetLife’s Mobile app that allows you to log into your account to help you better manage coverage and review claim status. The MetLife U.S. App is available free in the iTunes® App Store and Google Play. • MetLife provides outstanding claim service, processing 76% of claims in just one business day. • MetLife negotiated fees3 are typically 15 - 45% less than the average fees for the same or similar services charged by dentists in your area.
Certain providers may participate with MetLife through an agreement that MetLife has with a vendor. Providers available through a vendor are subject to the vendor’s credentialing process and requirements. 2 Generally, if you choose to visit an out-of-network dentist your out-of-pocket expenses will be greater than if you visited an in-network dentist. 3 Negotiated fees refer to the fees that in-network dentists have agreed to accept as payment in full for covered services. Negotiated fees are subject to change. 1
For detailed information about your dental coverage with MetLife please refer to www.usiaffinityex.com/metlife-dentalvision/. Please reference your group number and plan name. As of June 1, 2015, participants in the dental or vision plan can call 1-855-700-7993 for any questions about claim payment, provider, etc. Hours of MetLife Vision customer service: 7 days a week, M-F 5 am – 8 pm PST. Sat 7 am – 8 pm PST, Sun 7 am – 7 pm PST.
Like most group insurance policies, MetLife group policies contain certain exclusions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. Ask MetLife or your plan administrator for complete details.
MBA / FEATURE
Law Day Celebration May 1, 2015 –
Montgomery County Court House – Courtroom “A”
Public Service Award to Citizens
Courthouse Employee Award
Recipients: Margaret Carter (left) and Mary Boynes (center)
Recipient: Sheriff Russell J. Bono
Mock Trial Award
Recipients: Jenkintown High School, Team A
Henry Stuckert Miller Public Service Award
MBA New Members
Recipient: Laurie J. Besden, Esq.
MBA / FEATURE
Limitations of Cross Examination Reaffirmed by Superior Court in
Flenke V. Huntington By Michael J. Lyon, Esq., Trial Lawyers Section
irrelevant and/or cumulative. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $30,000. Following denial of his motion for a new trial, plaintiff appealed to the Superior Court, arguing that trial court erred in excluding the potential testimony. The Superior Court affirmed the trial court in full, holding, inter alia, that the record contained “sufficient information” for the jury to evaluate Dr. Hely’s motive and bias, that the additional information was “cumulative,” and that it would not “have added anything significant to the substantial body of evidence” developed as to Dr. Hely’s bias. Thus, the evidence merely tended to “divert the case into collateral matters,” and was properly excluded. See Whetzel, 860 A.2d at 1120. Though Flenke did not announce a new rule or test for expert cross examination, it does remind practitioners that cross examination has its limits: parties are not permitted to be overly intrusive into the expert’s background. Thus, Flenke reminds advocates to be mindful to avoid excessive inquiry into the background, motive, and/or bias of opposing experts so that the jury’s focus is not distracted from the weaknesses in the expert’s opinion.
ross examination of expert witnesses to uncover bias is plainly permissible in Pennsylvania. Grutski v. Kline, 43 A.2d 142 (Pa. 1945); Mohn v. Hahnemann Med. Coll. & Hosp., 515 A.2d 920 (Pa. Super. 1986). Indeed, a party is permitted to elicit “evidence that would support a reasonable inference that the witness might color, shade, or slant his testimony in light of the substantial financial incentives.” Cooper v. Schoffstall, 905 A.2d 482, 494 (Pa. 2006). Conversely, Pennsylvania courts have held that a testifying expert also has an “interest in being free from unduly intrusive and burdensome litigation obligations,” and a party may not seek testimony “which is prejudicial and too intrusive, and serves only to divert the case into collateral matters.” J.S. v. Whetzel, 860 A.2d 1112, 1120 (Pa. Super. 2004). In Flenke v. Huntington, No. 467 MDA 2014, 2015 PA Super 50 (March 17, 2015), the Superior Court examined this limitation. The case arose from an accident from which the plaintiff alleged personal injury. The trial focused solely on the issue of damages, as the parties stipulated to the defendant’s liability. The defendant’s expert, Dr. Daniel Hely, opined that the plaintiff had suffered only minor injuries, if any, from the accident. On cross examination, Dr. Hely admitted to having earned substantial monies testifying as an expert witness, and that 85-90% of his reports are issued on behalf of defendants. He also admitted that he would be less likely to be re-hired if one of his opinions was unhelpful to the entity that retained him. Additionally, plaintiff’s counsel sought to establish: (1) that Dr. Hely had received more income than he admitted; (2) that Dr. Hely did not expect to see seriously injured persons when working for a defense attorney or insurance company; (3) that Dr. Hely had a long-standing relationship with the insurer paying for his services; and (4) that many of Dr. Hely’s recent expert reports had offered similar diagnoses to what his report in this case had offered. The trial court sustained defense objections to this additional testimony, holding that sufficient evidence of Dr. Hely’s bias had been elicited, and that the additional questions were SIDEBAR
Note: the author is grateful for the assistance of Julieta Gomez de Mello, a summer intern at Kane, Pugh, Knoell, Troy, & Kramer, LLP, and a rising 2L law student at Rutgers-Camden School of Law.
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MBA / FEATURE
Courting Art 2015: T hank you Artists, Sponsors and Community Partners!
he MBA’s Community Outreach Committee hosted its third annual Courting Art Contest and Exhibition in May. The Committee asked senior artists (55 years and up) to show what they love most about Montgomery County. Over 100 artists answered the call and populated the Montgomery County Community College’s Fine Arts Center with astounding works of art that reflected the beauty and grandeur of our county. Over 200 guests were in attendance for this year’s Opening Night VIP Reception, including artists and guests, sponsors, bar leaders, judges and dignitaries to kick off the month long exhibition. Attendees enjoyed light refreshments and the soothing sounds of harpist Michelle Fella Przybylowski (courtesy of Strehlow & Associates) while exploring the exhibition. Please take a moment to recognize the following sponsors, whose generous contributions have helped make this initiative a reality, and whose contributions will soon give life to another wing of the Montgomery County Court House. Courting Art is a multi-faceted community outreach initiative: part courthouse beautification project, part community art contest, and part public art exhibition, and like most outreach efforts, there is an underlying community relations component to the program. If you would like to learn how to join in support of this important community outreach effort, please visit CourtingArt.com or email: PR@montgomerybar.org.
MBA / FEATURE
MCAP Appreciation Lunch By Jill Ringold
dvocates are the heart and soul of Montgomery Child Advocacy Project (MCAP); their time and dedication to the children of Montgomery County is essential to giving abused and neglected children back their voice. Every child deserves a chance to grow up hopeful about his or her future, to be safe, and to be heard. MCAP advocates give children a voice in the legal process and ensure they get that chance. Our MCAP advocates are called upon, multiple times a year, to help children in cases ranging from the mundane to the complex – and they accept these appointments, often without knowing how much of their own time it will entail. On May 27, 2015, MCAP hosted an appreciation luncheon for all of its advocates and supporters, including law enforcement, the Bench, County Commissioners, and Board of Directors. With almost 100 people in attendance, MCAP celebrated its volunteer attorneys and heard from some of its leaders, as well as local elected officials, recognizing the incredible and essential work that MCAP accomplishes. We always welcome new supporters, volunteers and friends. Please join us at our many upcoming events where we celebrate those who give their time to help vulnerable children. • Run for the Hill of It – July 25, 2015 at Fairmount Park and Forbidden Drive • Family Bowling Day – October 2015, date and time TBA • Salute to Heroes Dinner Dance – November 21, 2015 For more information, please visit us at www.mcapkids.org or call the office at 610-279-1219. Thanks so much for all you do!
Every Fifteen Minutes
‘It’s a logical question.’ ‘Not for me, I’m a criminal lawyer.’ [suspect] hoped he was kidding. ‘Well, I didn’t do it. I had nothing to do with [their] murder.’ ‘Thank God. I only represent innocent clients.’ ‘Are you serious?’ ‘No.’ ‘Okay, I never ask my clients if they did it. Why? It’s legally insignificant. I’m not a dirtbag. I’m a purist. I represent the Constitution, it’s the purest law we have, not bought and paid for, like now. Our forefathers were geniuses, not thieves. Lofty enough for you? The Constitution guarantees your rights, but cops and prosecutors cross that line all the time. My job is to push ‘em back, shove ‘em back, wa-a-aay back!” On page 243, Paul gives a great explanation to someone without experience in the criminal justice system about what he is about to encounter as a defendant: “The Commonwealth has all the aces, and you don’t even know you’re playing cards.” On page 324, Paul revisits his lofty explanation of criminal defense and the Constitution. “‘Like I told you in the beginning, I represent the Constitution, and the procedure in the Constitution is there to protect everybody’s rights to its substance, that is, our individual freedoms — the right to live free, the right to pursue happiness, the right to free speech, the right to religion, and the right to be free of oppressive government. Follow?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘For example, we don’t want government to search our homes whenever they want, so we place restrictions on the procedure — the search warrant has to be specific, limited, has to itemize what they want, has to be served at a certain time, has to meet a bunch of requirements. They’re all socalled technicalities, but they protect the right to live your life, in your home, the way you want. That’s a freedom that our forefathers protected for us. That’s the beauty of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Capisce?’ ‘Yes.’” I spotted some errors. The only legal error I found was on page 298. The lawyer and his client are being interviewed by the police. During the conversation, the defense attorney says to the police, “Without waiving my attorney-client privilege ...” As we all know, the privilege belongs to the client, not the attorney. All in all, I highly recommend this book. There are twists and turns. Some you will be able to see coming but many will be a surprise.
By Jules J. Mermelstein, Esq.
“I’m a Sociopath.” No, not me. That’s how Lisa Scottoline opens her new novel, Every Fifteen Minutes. I chose to review Ms. Scottoline’s latest novel because she is a lawyer who lives in the Philadelphia area. Oh, and also because she is a best-selling novelist who writes legal thrillers. This book is an excellent choice for legal pleasure reading. It touches on criminal law (dear to my heart), family law, law concerning psychiatrists and their patients, human resources law, FDA law (and how hospitals decide on new drugs), and doctor-patient confidentiality in Pennsylvania. This book is not only set in Pennsylvania; it is set in the Philadelphia metropolitan area with scenes in Chester County, Delaware County and an explosive scene at King of Prussia Mall in our own Montgomery County. The first chapter, written by an unnamed sociopath, grabs the reader’s attention immediately. We learn that this person enjoys being a sociopath. He or she gives us statistics, including that one out of 24 people (a little more than 4% for the mathematically challenged) are sociopaths. Several other chapters are written by the sociopath, as the reader attempts to figure out which of the myriad, multi-dimensional characters created by Ms. Scottoline that is. The sociopath tries to school us on the first page: “People think evil exists in the form of terrorists, murderers, and ruthless dictators, but not in ‘normal’ people like me. They don’t realize that evil lives on their street. Works in the cubicle next to them. Chats with them in the checkout line at CVS. Reads a paperback on the train next to them. Runs on a treadmill at their gym. Or marries their daughter. We’re here, and we prey on you. We target you. We groom you.” My favorite character in this book is not the main character, but a criminal defense attorney (what a surprise!). Those of us who practice or have practiced criminal defense will recognize the following type of conversation, conducted with humor. I have eliminated the name of the character talking to the lawyer as well as the victim’s name as I think that is somewhat of a spoiler. I also changed pronouns to plural to hide the sex. Paul is the lawyer (page 242). “[suspect] blinked. ‘ I do have questions, but don’t you want to ask me whether I murdered [victim]?’ ‘Why would I do that?’ Paul looked at [them] like [they] was crazy . . .. SIDEBAR
our Sidebar co-chairs were equally excited to hear the Mainland Inn in Harleysville had reopened this past winter. Recent well-publicized buzz from one of the region’s most respected restaurant critics had us almost giddy with anticipation. As you’ll enjoy reading below, the Mainland did not disappoint. The historic Montgomery County fieldstone inn was originally constructed in the 1700s. Always a popular stop just off the Lansdale interchange of the Northeast Extension, the Mainland had been shuttered for the past few years. Its current owner envisioned the rebirth of this landmark as the natural outgrowth of her nearby Quarry Hill Farm. Much of the menu offerings are sourced directly from Quarry Hill and other local farms, as explained by the attentive and informative wait staff. The emphasis on local procurement does not limit the menu selections whatsoever, and it adds a refreshingly honest feel to the entire experience. The Mainland Inn itself has been meticulously updated and remodeled throughout. Warm woods and complementary lighting suggest that patrons are guests of the local farm itself, creating an even closer tie to the fields and pastures. We arrived early for our dinner reservation so we decided to sample the happy hour in the bar. It proved to be a great decision. The bar offers a variety of top shelf liquors together with an interesting list of beers. Though the list of reduced drinks was limited, the featured “snacks” more than made up for it. We sampled the sweet and sour pig ears ($3) and the duck wings ($5), two items that we had not previously come across. The pig ears, which were shredded, were glazed with a sweet sauce, similar to General Tso’s chicken. Though I was apprehensive about ordering pig ears, I had no regrets after sampling them and would not hesitate to order them again. The duck wings were also delicious. If you like duck, you will enjoy the wings. These too were glazed with a sweet sauce with a slight after-kick. After finishing our pre-game meal, we headed upstairs for the main event — dinner. The menu is divided into “relishes,” or small dishes emphasizing fermentation and pickling, soups, hot and cold appetizers and entrees. A final category worth trying on an entirely separate evening appears to be the “roasts,” which provides a variety of cuts from the same livestock. From the “relishes,” the pastrami egg ($4) was hard boiled and smoked, then generously rubbed with pastrami spices and served SIDEBAR
on a bed of finely sliced red kraut. This simple and delicious starter will stick in Bob’s memory for a long time to come. From the Cold Dish portion of the menu, we sampled the Smoked King Salmon with beets, horseradish, dill mascarpone and blinis (thin Russian pancakes) ($17). The salmon portion was generous and mixed well with the dill mascarpone on top of a blinis. The dish included a variety of beets. As with the other sampled dishes, the combination of different tastes mixed exceptionally well. Other cold dishes included oyster, lemongrass kombucha ($3.50 each), spring vegetable salad ($13) and country pork terrine tenderloin, nettles, almonds and apricots ($11). After receiving an insider tip from our bartender, we were eager to split an order of the potato gnocci ($16/24). The recommendation was a good one, and the gnocci was perfectly served with a poached egg, resting in a bed of kale, miso and salsify (an edible European plant from the daisy family with long roots). Gary picked the duck entrée ($35), which was presented two ways: slices of duck breast and duck meatballs. The duck breast was tender and cooked perfectly. The duck meatballs were unique in flavor and equally as tasty. However, as delicious as the duck was, the accompanying vegetables were even better. The entrée came with ramps and rhubarb. The flavors of the vegetables were a great complement to the duck. A big fan of unexpected interpretations, Bob was immediately drawn to the chicken & dumplings entrée. As he hoped, this trip was anything but usual, with the chicken served in ballotine medallions, on a bed of crisp fried greens, thin stemmed mushrooms à la grecque and bacon ($28). More wonderful gnocci took the place of dumplings in the stone dish, where the hearty vegetables stood as equals to the poultry headliner. Other entrees included halibut, English peas, asparagus, morels and black truffle ($33), and lamb, fennel, spring leek, sorrel salsa verde, and black olive ($36). The other dinner choice is to go the Roast route. The restaurant offers two options — Beef and Pork. The beef option includes coppa steak, short rib, brisket, marrow, au gratin, creamed spinach and mushrooms ($76). The pork option includes sirloin, shoulder, jowl, ham, grits, charred onion and vinegared greens. The menu suggests that these portions serve 2 to 3 hungry guests. Unfortunately, we were unable to sample the desserts. However, they were intriguing and included the following: tartelette, sundae, affogato, carrot cake, and sweet English peas souffle. Next time we won’t make the same mistake and will leave room for dessert. Be sure to make a reservation prior to your arrival. We’re both eager to return, so you may see either of us when you visit. SUMMER 2015
MBA / FEATURE
Managing the Inescapable:
Stress in the Workplace By Nancy Walsh
tress in the workplace is so ubiquitous that it is easy to believe it is an inevitable factor of day-to-day life. Its damaging effects, however, are significant, both to individuals and to the bottom line, and the ability to minimize stress is becoming as important to achieving success as the strong work ethic which can often cause it. According to the American Psychological Association, workplace stress has cost American companies approximately $300 billion annually*, and has led American workers to a host of stress-related illnesses including heart disease and diabetes, as well as to the more pervasive effects of poor concentration, absenteeism, accidents, anxiety, and depression. We cannot afford to continue to ignore this growing problem. Fortunately, a bit of awareness and some simple steps can help to keep those stress levels in check:
1. Take care of yourself!
A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. No one can handle 60+ hour work weeks, family and community commitments, building a client base, and somehow trying to maintain a social life without filling the tank. Taking small steps to improve your health will have a significant impact on reducing the effects of daily stress. Try adding at least one of these habits to your regular routine:
• Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water every day. • Get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity a day. • Get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. If this is not possible, try to make yourself go up to bed 15 minutes earlier each night every week until you feel rested. • Cut one unhealthy food from your menu every week and replace it with one healthy alternative. • Find a hobby, one completely unrelated to work. • Foster friendships with people who make you feel at ease.
2. Walk away!
4. Get Organized!
Sometimes, just looking at clutter can increase stress. Conversely, clearing clutter can diminish that stress. The next time you need a productive break, organize the top of your desk, clean out a drawer, create a new system for the files on your desk, etc. The act of getting more organized, as well as the results of the organization, can have a significant impact in the way you feel.
There is, perhaps, no greater stress reliever than a good laugh. Arm yourself with an arsenal of tid-bits that tickle your funny bone, and pull them out when the stress reaches its peak. Have a quick conversation with the co-worker who makes you chuckle. Take two minutes to watch a funny video online. Flip through the pictures on your phone of your kids causing mischief. Investing in those few minutes of humor can make you more productive…and far happier…for the rest of the day. Perhaps the most important step in reducing workplace stress is to simply be aware of its presence. It manifests itself differently in each of us, affecting us with physical symptoms, emotional reactions, productivity decreases, or a combination of all of these factors. Being aware of the signs, and consciously taking even small steps to control them can take away the ubiquity of workplace stress, and make us all happier, healthier, more productive professionals. *http://business.time.com/2014/01/22/5-scientifically-proven-ways-toreduce-stress-at-work/ **(http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/ Breathing_to_reduce_stress?Open
When you feel the stress building, take a break. Walk around the office, or if possible, outside. Even 5 minutes away can reduce stress and help you think more clearly.
3. Breathe! When a person is stressed or anxious, he tends to take in small, shallow breaths, which disrupts the balance of gases in the body. When a person is relaxed, he breathes through his nose, slowly and gently. Consciously mimicking a relaxed breathing pattern can create a calming effect, reduce heart rate and blood pressure, increase energy, and reduce levels of stress hormones in the blood.** Simply taking a few minutes to consciously breathe can reverse the effects of the stress around you.
MBA / FEATURE
Annual Dinner Dance
MONTGOMERY BAR FOUNDATION
Passion with Purpose: The Montgomery Bar Foundation
harles Dickens once said that, “Charity begins at home, and justice begins next door.” Even a mere cursory look at your news source of choice makes it clear that we are all being called to look “next door,” in an effort to serve the cause of justice in a world where, for many, it is hard to find. The most vulnerable members of our community are struggling with poverty, discrimination, abuse, neglect, and other seemingly insurmountable threats to their daily existence. While the solutions to these problems are certainly not easy, countless organizations and initiatives chip away at the barriers to justice every day, and by supporting them, the Montgomery Bar Foundation allows them to have even greater impact. As the charitable arm of the MBA, the Montgomery Bar Foundation seeks to “improve, facilitate and support justice and fair treatment for all.” Lawyers, individually and collectively, inherently seek the same. We have a passion for protecting and defending rights. Sometimes, however, the day-to-day duties surrounding the practice of law – the marketing, the billing, the administrating – can make it easy to lose sight of that passion for justice that first brought us to this noble profession. By joining forces with the organizations we support, the Montgomery Bar Foundation serves as both a reminder of and an outlet for the best parts of who we are as agents of justice In the past year, the MBF has awarded grants to the Montgomery Child Assistance Project (MCAP), Mission Kids, Legal Aid of Southeastern PA, Laurel House, Victim Services Center of Montgomery County, Women’s Center of Montgomery County, and the Greater Norristown PAL. These grants were made possible because of a Membership – your Membership — which is committed to justice, and to the simple but profound directive that “to whom much is given, much is to be asked.” As a member of this vibrant, thriving Association, much is, indeed, asked of you. But the rewards are great, and none greater than the knowledge that you have affected change
in the lives of those who so desperately need it. Your legacy. Recently, the MBF also helped support Coffee with a Cop, a national program, launched in June in Norristown, aimed at “building relationships – one cup at a time.” Through a generous donation from High, Swartz, who requested that the funds be used for the betterment of the Norristown community, the MBF is able to help cover expenses related to police training and the hosting of community events which will focus on developing better relationships between the police and the community. Much of the work of justice relies on the building of strong relationships — within families, throughout communities, and across boundaries of race, religion, and position. Supporting programs like Coffee with a Cop directly feeds the Foundation’s mission, allowing us to advance the cause of justice in a significant way. Your passion. Your community. Your cause. Isn’t it about time you got to know the Montgomery Bar Foundation? Help support its important mission, and connect with that passion for justice which first brought you to the practice of law. Attend its events. Rally support within your firms. Offer your time to the organizations it supports. Become a Fellow for $250 annually. Visit http://www. montgomerybarfoundation.org to learn more. Help us to turn our passion into purpose. Make a difference.
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MBA / FEATURE
What Every Attorney and Client Needs to Know By Adina T. Laver, MBA, M.Ed., CPC
don’t need to tell you that divorce is one of the most stressful experiences anyone can navigate in life, but to confirm our perceptions, two psychologists, Holmes and Rahe, have developed a scale in which they rank divorce as the second most stressful life event after the death of a spouse. And the stress is not limited to the client. According to an often-cited Johns Hopkins University study of more than 100 occupations, researchers found that lawyers lead the nation with the highest incidence of depression. The truth is that the adversarial nature of the divorce process affects both attorneys and clients, and both are at high risk for suffering from the many impacts of living with stress for prolonged periods of time. My goal in this article is to support both clients and attorneys in better understanding what stress really is and how they can work together to create a healthier divorce experience for everyone involved.
WHAT IS STRESS? When most of us say “I am stressed,” we mean that we are feeling out of balance. We may have a physical reaction such as tension, pain or discomfort that can show up almost anywhere in the body, and we typically have an emotional reaction which manifests in the form of a short temper, a feeling of being “onedge” or scattered, and an inability to rest or settle down. What stress really is, however, is a natural response mechanism built into our biology, usually designed to help us respond effectively to threats to our survival. It is a magnificent system that allows us to hyper focus on real dangers such as a tiger in the bush that could jump out and eat us for lunch. SIDEBAR
Since hyper focus is essential in such situations — so we can figure out how to stay alive and not get eaten — our body immediately kicks into gear a string of chemical responses that redirects all of our attention and energy toward this goal. In practical terms, this means that the body starts producing cortisol and adrenaline which increases pulse and blood pressure. Heart rate increases, bronchi dilate to allow for more efficient oxygenating of the blood, and pupils dilate to allow for better observation of the attacker and identification of an escape route. Just like the Starship Enterprise under threat (for all you Trekies!), the body redirects energy from all other non-essential functions in the body such as the immune system and self-maintenance and repair mechanisms (the ones that fight infections, prevent cancer, and fend off disease) in order to defend itself. It makes sense, because there is no point in wasting energy on keeping your body healthy and functioning well if you are about to get eaten by a tiger (or killed by the Borg!). In addition, your mind begins operating on over-drive, hyper focused on the threat, and does not spend time activating the rational part of the brain that would naturally take more time in considering the pros and cons and all the possible options. After all, how much time can you spend analyzing the situation when the tiger is licking his lips. The reality, however, is that this ingenious system was designed to be activated only on a very limited basis for short periods of time to provide humans with a survival response that could help them stay alive. When this system is activated too frequently or remains activated over long periods of time, it alters the neural structure of the brain which compromises decision-making, rational thinking, and relationships. SUMMER 2015
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Additionally, the suppression of the immune and self-repair systems leads to the deterioration of physical health and increases vulnerability to disease and illness. Those going through divorce are highly susceptible to the impact of prolonged periods of stress because of the length of time over which most marriages break down and because of the adversarial nature of the divorce process. Family Law attorneys are at risk because they spend the vast majority of their working (and waking) hours in a win-lose system that, unless very carefully moderated, continually activates the stress response in order to achieve a competitive advantage for the client.
HOW TO CREATE A HEALTHY DIVORCE EXPERIENCE
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The good news in all of this is that the body is also wired with a relaxation response mechanism that was designed to counterbalance the stress response mechanism and to return us to a state of homeostasis or balance. In this state of relaxation, our body can self-repair, our mind can access positive thoughts and feelings, our feelings are more optimistic, and our decisions are more reasoned. Since much of the stress for attorneys comes from trying to work with clients who are unable to think rationally and make decisions clearly and confidently, and much of the stress for clients comes from becoming consumed by thoughts of anger and a deleterious future post divorce, activating the relaxation response system is the key to a healthier experience for everyone.
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3. Set a specific goal and objective for each meeting or conversation and discuss how to prepare for it. Our stress response system is very sensitive to surprises. If we have time to prepare for what is to come, we can remain calmer and more relaxed.
How to activate the relaxation response
And if you are reading this and thinking (either as a client or an attorney) “I don’t have time for that,” consider this…. How long would it take you to build a house on a fault line that keeps experiencing tremors vs. building the same house on stable ground? Stop the tremors activated by the stress system and it has to be much easier to complete the divorce.
Activating the relaxation response is something that attorneys and clients can work on together. The following are three strategies for getting started. 1. Begin each meeting or conversation with taking 5 deep breaths. A deep breath can be achieved by inhaling for 4 counts, holding the breath for 3 counts, and exhaling for 5 counts. The abdomen should expand out during the inhale and contract during the exhale. This form of deep breathing activates the relaxation response system.
Adina T. Laver, MBA, M.Ed., CPC, is a Consciousness Coach who specializes in helping people develop consciousness mastery so they can achieve the goals and life they want. Adina is the founder of two companies, Divorce Essentials (www.divorceessentials. net) which specializes in working with individuals and couples who are considering or navigating divorce to have a healthy experience and Courage to be Curious (www.couragetobecurious.com), a company dedicated to cultivating consciousness mastery for those who are committed to the path of self-awareness in all matters of life, love and leadership.
2. Incorporate a gratitude practice into the start of each conversation. Since the mind cannot focus on both negative and positive thoughts at the same time, make it a practice to begin meetings with gratitude or positive thoughts. It will interrupt the flow of negative and fear-based thoughts and activate the relaxation response system. SIDEBAR
Members in the News Daniel J. Clifford was appointed
by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to their ten member Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee for a 3 year term.
Jack Costello and his wife Meghann
welcomed their second child on May 12, 2015. Charles Richard weighed in at 7 lbs., 2 oz., and joins big sister Grace.
Hamburg Rubin Mullin Maxwell & Lupin is pleased to announce that it has been appointed Solicitor for the Borough of Narberth, Montgomery County. Firm attorney John F. Walko will play a lead role in working with the Borough. Attorney William G. Roark recently participated as a panel member of a Pennsylvania Bar Institute seminar. The seminar, entitled, “Is Medical Marijuana Coming to Pennsylvania? What will be the impact of the Medical Cannabis Act?” was organized by William Roark and co-led by Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach, Steven Auerbach, and David Dinnenberg. The session focused on what clients’ rights will be under the proposed Medical Cannabis Act and the possible impact the Act could have on Pennsylvania.
Marilou Watson with Fox Rothschild LLP in Blue Bell was recently selected by the Legal Intelligencer as a 2015 Diverse Attorney of the Year, an honor bestowed to approximately 25 attorneys throughout the state every 2 years. The law firm of O’Donnell, Weiss & Mattei, P.C., is very pleased to announce that Attorneys
Kathleen M. Martin, James C. Kovaleski, and Michael B.
Murray, Jr. have been named as
Principals of the firm effective April 1, 2015.
Mohammad A. Ghiasuddin
with Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. will serve on the PBA Diversity Team.
Marc Robert Steinberg
was appointed to participate in the PBA’s Review & Certifying
Board & Amicus Curiae Brief Committee. The Board is
responsible for reviewing applications from outside organizations that seek to be recognized as a certifying organization for Pennsylvania attorneys. Once the Board determines whether or not an organization meets the criteria, the Chair contacts the Chief Justice of the PA Supreme Court and passes along the Board’s recommendation. The Court then makes the final determination as to whether or not the organization becomes (or continues to be) a certified organization in Pennsylvania. Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin is pleased to announce that Carl N. Weiner recently participated on a panel presenting an informational session on community and condominium associations in Pennsylvania to a joint meeting of the Pennsylvania Senate Urban Affairs and House Committee and House Urban Affairs Committee. Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP partner Michael E. Bertin has been admitted as a fellow to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). Bertin is now one of 1600 fellows in the United States and one of less than 80 in Pennsylvania. In order to be admitted into this highly regarded organization, a family law attorney must have fulfilled the criteria and standards established by the AAML Board of Examiners and Board of Governors including both a national and state written examination and must be recognized by the bench and bar as a leading practitioner in the area of matrimonial law. The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee recently presented its Sir Francis Bacon Alternative Dispute Resolution Award to Stephen G. Yusem, an independent arbitrator
and mediator, at its Annual meeting in Philadelphia.
Frank A. Mazzeo recently became
the 2015-2016 Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Section. Frank is a founding partner in Ryder, Lu, Mazzeo & Konieczny, LLC, an intellectual property boutique law firm with offices in Colmar, PA and Plymouth Meeting, PA.
The law firm of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin is pleased to announce that attorney Lisa A. Shearman received the 2015 Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Special Achievement Award for her dedication and commitment to the Wills for Heroes Program. She received the award at the May 8th PBA’s House of Delegates meeting in Philadelphia. The Wills for Heroes Program provides free wills and other estate planning documents for emergency responders and veterans.
Francis X. Wickersham,
shareholder in the King of Prussia office of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, spoke at the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) Medical Legal Summit, June 3 in Chicago. Mr. Wickersham served as a panelist for the presentation,
“Marijuana in Workers’ Compensation – Medical and Legal Challenges.”
John H. Filice, a partner at the Lansdale law firm of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C. has been named a 2015 Rising Star as published in the May issue of Philadelphia Magazine. Only two and one-half percent of Pennsylvania attorneys receive this honor. This is the seventh year Mr. Filice has received this award. Fairlie & Lippy, P.C., a Montgomery County Criminal Defense and Personal Injury firm, is pleased to announce that Managing Partner, Steven F.
Fairlie, has been named to Super
Lawyers’ list this year. Mr. Fairlie has also been named to both the Top 100 Lawyers in Philadelphia and the Top 100 Lawyers in Pennsylvania for the third year in a row.
Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin is pleased to announce that five of its Pennsylvania attorneys have been named to the 2015 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list and that three of its young lawyers were named to the 2015 Pennsylvania Rising Stars list. Attorneys named to the 2015 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list: Mark F. Himsworth in the area of Business Litigation, Bernadette A. Kearney in the area of Land Use/ Zoning, Steven H. Lupin in the area of Business Litigation, Joseph J. McGrory, Jr. in the area of Land Use/Zoning, J. Edmund Mullin in the area of Land Use/ Zoning. Attorneys named to Rising Stars list: Andrew P. Grau in the area of Business/Corporate, John J. Iannozzi in the area of Land Use/ Zoning, William G. Roark in the area of Environmental Litigation.
Gregory R. Gifford a partner at the Lansdale law firm of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C., has been named by fellow Pennsylvania lawyers as a 2015 Pennsylvania Super Lawyer as published in the May issue of Philadelphia Magazine and the annual May publication of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers. Jay C. Glickman, a partner at the
Lansdale law firm of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C., has been named by fellow Pennsylvania lawyers as a 2015 Pennsylvania Super Lawyer as announced in the May issue of Philadelphia Magazine and the annual May publication of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.
Marc Robert Steinberg,
a partner at the Lansdale law firm of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C., has been named by fellow Pennsylvania lawyers for the twelfth consecutive time as a 2015
Pennsylvania Super Lawyer. This was announced in the May issue of Philadelphia Magazine and the annual May publication of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers. Friedman Schuman PC is pleased to announce that Alex J. Murland has joined the firm as a Principal in the Corporate and Business Law practice area. Alex has over 30 years of experience representing entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized business owners with a primary focus on their corporate, real estate, employment, and financing issues. Friedman Schuman PC is proud to announce that four attorneys from the firm have been named to the 2015 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list. Robert H. Nemeroff, a Shareholder of the firm, was recognized for his Personal Injury practice on the 2015 Super Lawyers list. Robert A. Bacine has been selected to the 2015 Super Lawyers list for his Estate Planning practice. David E. Stern was selected to the 2015 Super Lawyers list for his Bankruptcy practice. Michael Yanoff has been selected to the 2015 Super Lawyers list for his Personal Injury practice. Vetrano|Vetrano & Feinman LLC is pleased to announce that Kathleen Bilotta Vetrano has been named to the 2015 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers in the May Issue of Philadelphia Magazine. Kaplin Stewart of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania is pleased to announce that seven of its attorneys have been selected as 2015 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers – Gregg I. Adelman for Land Use/Zoning, Andrew B. Cohn for Construction Litigation,
Mohammad A. Ghiasuddin for Business Litigation, Marc B. Kaplin for Land Use/Zoning, Robert A. Korn for Construction Litigation, William J. Levant for Creditor Debtor Rights and Joshua C. Quinter for Construction Litigation. In addition, Daniel R. Utain has been named a Super Lawyer Rising Star for 2015. The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys has recognized the exceptional performance of Pennsylvania’s Family Law Attorney Jennifer J. Riley as 2015 10 Best Family Law Attorneys for Client Satisfaction. The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys is a third-party attorney rating organization that publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in each state. Attorneys who are selected to the “10 Best” list must pass AIOFLA’s rigorous selection process, which is based on client and/or peer nominations, thorough research, and AIOFLA’s independent evaluation. Fort Washington-based law firm Timoney Knox, LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Amanda M. Kita as an associate attorney. Kita, of Phoenixville, will focus her practice on the estate planning and administration needs of individuals, families and business owners, with a focus on Special Needs Trusts.
Mark H. Rosenberg, of Blue Bell, has joined Timoney Knox, LLP in its Fort Washington office as an associate attorney. Rosenberg’s practice focuses on advising and representing clients from domestic and international insurers on insurance coverage, class action and bad faith matters. He is a co-author of ExtraContractual Litigation Against Insurers (Law Journal Press 2009), and continues to provide twice-yearly updates to this treatise.
The editors and staff at SIDEBAR would like to pay our respects to long-time staff contributor Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq., and his family for the recent loss of his wife, Debby. “Thank you, everyone. We should be proud of the Montgomery Bar Association. We are there for each other at times of need. Your friendship is greatly appreciated.” — Joel and Myles
MBA / FEATURE
MBA Member Quick Tips
Courthouse Photo ID Cards Now Available at the MBA
he Montgomery County Court House recently initiated new security measures to improve safety within the building. The Main Street entrance is now the 24 hour entrance. Also, all courthouse personnel are required to now go through security to enter the building. An additional scanner has been installed at the Main Street entrance to accommodate both courthouse personnel and attorneys. In order to access that line, the Court has asked the MBA to issue photo ID cards to be presented to security upon entering. The ID cards will not allow you to bypass security, but will allow you entrance through what should be a shorter line. ID cards are available at the MBA Building (100 W. Airy St., Norristown) Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. No appointment is necessary. The cards will be provided at no cost to MBA members (however, there is a $20.00 charge for replacement cards). MBA members need only supply their Supreme Court ID number and sit for a brief photo. ID cards are available to non-members at the cost of $20.00.
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MONTGOMERY BAR ASSOCIATION & ALA - INDEPENDENCE CHAPTER
Upcoming MBA Events August - November 2015 August 4, 2015
Old vs. Young Lawyers Softball Game, Norristown Area High School
September 10, 2015 Annual Clambake, The Barn at Mermaid Lake
September 25-27, 2015 Bench Bar Conference, Omni Bedford Springs Resort Bedford, PA
October 1, 2015
The 37th Annual Ecumenical Service
November 6, 2015 Annual Membership Dinner
November 10, 2015 Delaware Valley Legal Expo
Visit MBACLE.org for the latest schedule of upcoming CLEs. Visit montgomerybar.org for the latest schedule of events and to register for any of the above-mentioned events.
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