Montgomery Bar Association I Montgomery County, PA
GIVING BACK Legal Community Takes Giving to New Heights
Remembering Robert E. Slota, Jr.
Tales from Nuremberg
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Montgomery Bar Association / Montgomery County PA
SIDEBAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS
2014 COURTING ART CONTEST & EXHIBITION
Montgomery County Legal Community Takes Their Culture of Giving to New Heights
Co-Chairs Robert R. Watson, Jr., Esq. Gary J. Friedlander, Esq.
Regular columnists: Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq. Richard E. Cohen, Esq. Jack Costello Lindsay Hanifan, Esq. David R. Jacquette, Esq. Jim Mathias Dennis R. Meakim, Esq. Elaine Moyer, Esq. William J. Newman, Esq. Douglas I. Zeiders, Esq.
MBA Staff George Cardenas IT Manager
IN EVERY ISSUE...
Jack Costello Marketing Manager
Outgoing President’s Message...........4
Incoming President’s Message...........7
Director of Marketing,
SIDEBAR: A Look Back .....................19
Communications and Public Affairs
Bits & Bytes........................................24 Restaurant Review.............................25
Meet Michael F. Rogers, Esq. .............9
Montgomery Bar Foundation.............33
Audubon Center at Mill Grove...........15
Dr. George Sakheim Shares His Nuremberg Experience........................16 Annual Membership Dinner..............18 Annual MCAP Salute to Heroes........20 Courting Art 2014................................21
Remembering Robert E. Slota, Jr.
Nancy R. Paul Executive Director The SIDEBAR Committee invites articles and news information of interest. Please send content to: MBA, c/o SIDEBAR Committee, P.O. Box 268, Norristown, PA 19404-0268 or email: email@example.com The SIDEBAR Committee reserves the right to edit any material submitted and/or to omit the same from publication. Most articles are written by members for members.
Montgomery Bar Association
Delaware Valley Legal Expo.............22
Serving the Profession and the Community since 1885
Unauthorized Practice of Law...........26
2013 Trial Lawyer of the Year:................. Marvin L. Wilenzik.............................28
Michael F. Rogers, Esq., President-Elect
Paul C. Troy, Esq., President
Remembering Robert E. Slota, Jr.......29
Bruce Pancio, Esq., Vice President
2014 Mock Trials................................30
Carolyn R. Mirabile, Esq., Treasurer
Eric B. Smith, Esq., Secretary
Outgoing President’s Message
By PAUL C. TROY, ESQ., MBA President
s I write this article, I have just returned from a couple of days in Harrisburg at the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Committee and Section Day and House of Delegates meeting. This year has really afforded me an opportunity to take the time to notice and appreciate the many great things done by MBA members. That was again apparent in the last two days. On Thursday, one couldn’t help but bump into our members at Committee and Section Day as many either lead PBA Committee and Sections,
or are very active in them. At a dinner Thursday night honoring retiring PBA Sections Relation Coordinator Michael Shatto, three of the five speakers were from Montgomery County. Mark B. Dischell and Mary Cushing Doherty spoke as Past Chairs of the PBA Family Law Section. Robert C. Gerhard, III spoke as a Past Chair of the Elder Law Section.
In fact, there are many Montgomery Bar Association Members presently serving as either Chair or Vice Chair of numerous PBA Committees and Sections. They need to be recognized. They are as follows: Daniel J. Clifford is the Chair of the Family Law Section; Frank A. Mazzeo is Vice-Chair of the Intellectual Property Law Section and John L. Purcell, III is Secretary of that Section; Alan W. Flenner is Chair of the Municipal Law Section; Marshal S. Granor is Secretary of the Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section; Kenneth P. Milner is Chair of the Solo and Small Firm Practice Section and Jennifer Ellis is Secretary of that Section; Immediate Past MBA President Donald J. Martin is Chair of the Bylaws Committee and the Senior Lawyers Committee; Gerald L. Shoemaker, Jr. is Vice-Chair of the GLBT Rights Committee; Wendy Castor Hess is Co-Chair of the Immigration Law Committee; John P. Gregory is Chair of the InHouse Counsel Committee; Past MBA President Robert F. Morris is ViceChair of the Judicial Evaluation Commission; Kevan F. Hirsch is Chair of the Lawyers Assistance Committee; Mary C. Pugh is Co-Vice Chair of the Legal Services to the Public Committee; Past MBA President Samuel D. Miller, III is Chair of the Membership Development Committee; Marisa Harris Lattimore is Co-Vice Chair of the Minority Bar Committee and Sireen Ivielle Tucker is Secretary of that Committee; I am Co-Vice Chair of the PBA Leadership Recruitment and Development Committee; Past MBA President and current PBA Vice-President William H. Pugh, V is Chair of the Planning Committee; As you can see, members of the Montgomery Bar Association are thoroughly involved in PBA leadership. In SIDEBAR
2015 William H. Pugh, V will become President of the PBA. C. Dale McClain recently served as PBA President. I am the immediate Past President of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, and Mark A. Kearney is currently Vice-President of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, and will be President of the PBI in 2014. Statewide leadership also occurs with our judges. Hon. Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio, Hon. Arthur R. Tilson, and Hon. Kelly C. Wall have either served or are currently serving as Members of the PBA House of Delegates. Hon. Thomas M. Del Ricci recently served as President of the State Conference of Trial Judges. I am sure that in naming names, I have missed a few. Countless others have held leadership positions over the last several years. What I hope is clear is that leadership in our Bar Association is not limited to the officers or directors. There are a whole lot of Montgomery County attorneys giving back to the profession through their state bar involvement. There are many others who were or are active in the American Bar Association. Keith B. McLennan is one example. Several of our family lawyers have been leaders in state and national associations. Our Family Law Section is really incredible. One could not list all the lawyers who have served, or count the hours they have given to state and national organizations. Looking at this list, however incomplete it may be, should make all of us proud to be Montgomery County lawyers.
Elections Another reaction you may have looking at the list above is to perhaps be inspired to step forward yourself and volunteer for a position with the MBA. It doesn’t have to be big or time consuming. Start with something small,
but get started soon. Give me a call and I will be happy to explain. You will find that your quality of life as an attorney is not strained by your bar involvement. On the contrary, it is much improved. While Committee Chair and ViceChair assignments are appointments that are made by the MBA President, Officer positions, Director positions, and Judiciary Committee positions are elected. Sometimes there is competition for those positions. Sometimes there is no competition. However, when one runs for such a position, and loses, it is not some sort of scarlet letter. One could lose three or four times or more and still win on their next effort. Both at the MBA and PBA, losing an election and trying again are common. They are sort of a badge of honor. How one reacts to such losses speaks volumes. Those who continue to serve and perhaps run again are highly regarded. There is time. As I draft this article I have had several trials this year with two more scheduled in the next three weeks. There were meetings or events I wished I had attended this year, but
missed. That happens every year in bar associations. President Elect Michael F. Rogers was a willing and more able substitute for me when needed. As you begin to get involved in leadership positions you will find that everyone is very understanding of family and work commitments that might cause you to miss an event. In summary, have no fear. Get involved. Get started. You will be glad you did.
Philanthropy I have had an opportunity in either public remarks or these articles to talk about some of the great conversations I have had with Montgomery County attorneys over the years at MBA events. One that I will never forget occurred in the mid 1990’s. I forget how it came up, but one of our older members told me that he gave 10% of his gross income each year to charity. I was stunned. It wasn’t that I didn’t give anything to charity. I did give some money to the Montgomery Bar Foundation. I
also put some in the collection basket at church each week, but my contribution even on a percentage basis seemed next to nothing compared to that gentleman. He was politely telling me that he thought philanthropy was an essential part of one’s growth as a lawyer. I can’t emphasize enough that the person I was speaking with was not boasting. He was just giving some advice to a younger lawyer about something that he had found over the years really made a difference to him, and enabled him to give back to the community. He wasn’t strong arming me to donate to any particular cause. He was just explaining that he thought the philanthropy was an essential part of being a Montgomery County lawyer. I had never previously thought of measuring charitable giving on a percentage basis. While I still haven’t caught up to that gentleman, I have improved incrementally each year, and will catch up to him. He explained that he did not give that high a percentage
Continued on page 6
1OO Celebrating a Tradition of Excellence. Building a Strong Future.
1OO ye ar s of set ting the b ar high.
Outgoing President’s Message (cont.) when he was a young lawyer, but that it was something that he worked his way towards over his career. It is around this time of year that I look at the list of lawyers who have contributed to Legal Aid. It is heartwarming to see just how many of our MBA members contribute to Legal Aid each year. I am sure that this year will be no different. There isn’t room enough to print those names here. Be assured that their contributions really do make a difference both to the outstanding people who work at Legal Aid here in Norristown, and more importantly to the citizens that they serve. I also mention my conversation with that gentleman because of our Montgomery Bar Foundation. I would ask that when you consider your charitable giving, to remember Legal Aid, the Montgomery Bar Foundation, MCAP, and similar local organizations. These are not charities that are going
to draw contributions from across the country, or even across the state. They depend almost entirely on local donors and, more specifically, members of the Montgomery Bar Association. When you look at the list of charities on your tax return, I will bet that you see many that are able to raise money nationally. These three organizations, by contrast, depend in large part, if not solely, upon Montgomery Bar Association members for their support. In other words, if we as Montgomery County lawyers don’t do it, no one else will. Moreover, the services that Legal Aid and MCAP provide are exclusively provided locally. Since its formation, the Montgomery Bar Foundation has awarded over $300,000 in grant funding to local charities. Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Tip O’Neill coined the phrase “all politics is local.” I am not suggesting that all of your charitable
giving need be local. What you do with whatever money you earn and the government allows you to keep is entirely up to you. I am simply suggesting that as a Montgomery County lawyer, charitable giving is important, and charitable giving locally is particularly important. The stereotypes we sometimes hear about lawyers are all wrong. Many of the kindest, most generous people I know are lawyers, and members of the Montgomery Bar Association. In Montgomery County, lawyers are respected. As such, we have an obligation to be leaders in our community. Charitable giving is one such way that Montgomery Bar Association members have, should, and do lead each year. I am proud to be a Montgomery County lawyer. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as President of our Bar Association this year.
incoming President’s Message
A New Year’s Resolution Worth Making By Michael F. Rogers, Esq.
f you want to make a New Year’s Resolution that is easy to implement, which will serve you for many years to come, then resolve to become an active member of a Committee or Section that you have not joined before.
Our Bar Association has four Sections and over 50 Committees that will welcome your participation. Joining is as easy as “checking the box” in the Members Only section of www.montgomerybar.org, and unless it’s a Section, there is no cost to join. Our Sections are larger than any Committee and have their own administrative costs that require a nominal extra fee. Each Section and Committee has its own special role and attempts to provide a unique selection of programs and activities related to the needs and interests of its members. Among the many advantages of each Section and Committee are the following:
My friends in our Bar Association are tired of hearing me extol the virtues of Section and Committee involvement as I make the following statement: “A member of the Montgomery Bar Association who does not join a Section or Committee, is like an American who goes on a European vacation and spends all his or her time in the hotel watching CNN and visiting the local McDonalds. Sure, he or she has been to Europebut the best part of the experience was wasted!”
Even if you work in a large firm, there is no substitute for discussing legal issues with others who practice in the same areas of law, yet are not part of your firm. Senior lawyers are always ready to share their experiences, and at the MBA they welcome the opportunity to help younger attorneys. Many members establish lifelong professional and personal relationships that are developed by joining a Section or Committee.
Educational Opportunities If you like spending your time traveling out of Montgomery County to attend a Continuing Legal Education session (CLE), one significant advantage of most of our Committees and Sections will be wasted on you. However, if you value your time, a CLE given in
Norristown, most likely over lunch, will provide invaluable insights into the areas of interest to you, with a minimal disruption of your day. In addition, the local flavor of some issues and their solutions is invaluable. Often, members of our Bench are gracious enough to share their insights with participants at our CLE’s. One other significant advantage of our Sections and Committees and the CLE’s given is the opportunity for members to lead the discussions and to present at those sessions. If you have felt the desire to give back to the profession, there is no better way than to help design and present a CLE program. It’s a chance for you to share your experiences and insights with others and to hone your skills before a friendly crowd.
Influence the Development of the Law Montgomery County lawyers have a rich tradition of shaping laws and legal processes that are innovative and adaptive to changes in Society. Often, our Section and Committee members are afforded the opportunity to participate in local, statewide and national legal forums, in which legislation is crafted and other legal trends are identified and shaped. If you have a passion about your area of the law, why not share it on the local, then state, and possibly at the national level. Great ideas that are not shared with other fellow practitioners are going nowhere – while participation in a Section or Committee can give flight to such ideas and thoughts. Continued on page 8
incoming President’s Message (cont.)
Participate in an Area You Want to Improve Some of our Committees are not substantive law Committees, but Committees who have attorneys with common interests and goals that stretch across many substantive areas of the law. One example is the Women in the Law Committee. Attorneys who practice in many areas of the law participate in this Committee and work passionately to improve the careers of women attorneys, particularly newly admitted attorneys. Their programs are not only for women, but for any attorney who wants to help women attorneys succeed. Another example is our Young Lawyers Section. While membership is limited to attorneys who have been admitted to practice less than five years or are under age 35, many of
their social activities are open to all members of the bar and offer great networking opportunities.
Give Back to the Community If you believe, “those to whom much is given, much is expected,” you will be proud of the charitable activities of many of our Sections and Committees. Often, our activities at the MBA involve the giving of our time and other resources to others who are less fortunate. Frequently our Section and Committee activities involve our members doing just that. This year, when we asked our potential Committee chairs to explain their Committee’s most important activities, we were very impressed by the range of charitable activities undertaken by our members. From our Young Lawyers Section’s support of the Wills for Heroes Project, to our Women
30 + Year Experie s nce
in the Law Committee’s clothing drive to help potential job seekers, to our Elder Law Committee’s booth at the Montgomery County Senior Expo, to our Community Outreach Committee’s successful Courting Art project, we have a multitude of programs to help our community, revealing the magnanimous side of our successful and generous members.
If you have humored me by reading this, my inaugural SIDEBAR article, I challenge you to reach out and explore a Section or Committee you have not yet joined. You will never know what benefits will flow from such an effort until you try. I think you will receive far more than you will give. This is your Bar Association – and we will be enriched by your involvement. I look forward to meeting each of you at an upcoming Section or Committee meeting.
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MBA / FEATURE
Meet Our New President... Michael F. Rogers, Esq. By Gary J. Friedlander, Esq.
ichael F. Rogers was born in Philadelphia, the first of 6 children. Because his father was serving in the U.S. Air Force, at age 4 his family moved to Tokyo, Japan where they lived for 3 years. When he was 11, his family then moved to Bangkok, Thailand where he lived for 2 years. As a result he attended 4 years of grammar school in Asia, which he states was an invaluable life experience. In contrast with the above, since age 15, he has lived in Montgomery or Bucks County. After high school, Mike entered Drexel University, where he earned both BS and MBA degrees. After graduate school, he entered Temple University, where he earned both a JD and an LL.M. (Taxation). He is also a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in Pennsylvania. He has been married for over 33 years to the former Diane Hertzog. They have 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren. They have lived in Worcester for almost 25 years. During the summer months they spend weekends in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where they enjoy family time: bicycling, boating, and fishing and crabbing. He has been an MBA member since 1996, serving on the Audit, Executive, Community Outreach, Financial Management, Public Relations, Salary & Personnel Committees, and, was a member of the Board of Directors from 2006 through 2009. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Montgomery Bar Foundation. Mike is a shareholder in Salvo Rogers & Elinski, in Blue Bell, where he is the chair of the Tax and Estates Department. His primary practice areas are Estate Planning & Administration and Business Planning. In the early part of his career, his firm focused
on providing legal services to professional athletes and entertainers, some of whom continue as clients. The most rewarding part of his practice is the opportunity to listen to successful clients explain their hopes and goals for their families, and then help them devise a plan to achieve those goals, minimizing the adverse tax consequences. Conversely, the worst part is dealing with family disputes after the parents have died. He selected this area of practice because Estate Planning is an area that,
“The most rewarding part of his practice is the opportunity to listen to successful clients explain their hopes and goals for their families” at some point in life, everyone should address in one degree or another. He enjoys working with financially successful and interesting clients who disclose their deeply held aspirations for their families and other beneficiaries. Mike says it’s an honor to hear those aspirations and to help develop with the client the most appropriate plan. Often, such a plan requires the coordination and planning of business interests, real estate, financial investments, life insurance and other assets. When the appropriate plan is developed, it can provide benefits for many generations. SIDEBAR
Mike’s advice to young attorneys: Don’t be afraid to say you don’t have the answer to something, when a client asks a question. Guessing at an answer does not serve the client. As a senior lawyer, he has no problem saying, “I don’t know the answer, I’ll get back to you on that.” An issue Mike and the Board of Directors will face in 2014 and in future years is how the MBA will need to adapt to changes in the profession as younger attorneys are finding it difficult to obtain full time employment; and once employed, how much time they can devote to MBA activities. If many younger attorneys enter the profession with a “work to live” approach to the profession vs. “live to work” approach of more senior attorneys, MBA must design programs and activities that match with their willingness to commit time and expense to the MBA. What was an attraction to past generations of attorneys, such as meetings with peers after normal business hours, etc., is not necessarily attractive to today’s younger lawyers. Mike believes that the best part of the MBA is the opportunity to participate in Committees and Sections, which are the backbone of the MBA. MBA’s leadership is developed in these very active groups, and many life-long professional and social relationships are forged among the members who participate. Mike’s best experience in the MBA has been the opportunity to get to know so many members in diverse practice areas; working with members of our Bench in improving the functioning of the legal processes in Montgomery County, and participating in the Civics Education program.
MBA / FEATURE
Montgomery County Legal Community Takes Their Culture of Giving to New Heights
ook to any charity or non-profit Board in our community and what do they have in common? Chances are, there’s at least one lawyer volunteering their time and lending a helping hand. In 2013, as a tribute to these men and women (or perhaps “YOU”) the Montgomery Bar Association and Bar Foundation signed on as partners in a nationwide, grassroots effort to promote a national day of giving, Giving Tuesday
(#GivingTuesday). According to MBA Executive Director Nancy Paul, “On the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the concept of promoting a day dedicated to charitable giving at the start of the holiday giving season just seemed natural for us. Our members [Montgomery County lawyers and judges] have a long tradition of giving back to the community. They coach little league teams, volunteer on boards and commit tens of thousands of hours each
year to Legal Aid, child advocacy and countless other causes.” Paul recalls hearing something about a consortia of New York charities and media getting together to launch the first Giving Tuesday in 2012. She was reminded of the initiative several months later and learned that organizers were seeking local partners in the giving community to raise awareness. As right as it seemed, she knew finding time to do so would be no small task with a
MBA / FEATURE busy staff, limited resources and a jampacked schedule. Nevertheless, it was important. She urged staff and leadership to get creative, brainstorm, and come up with a plan to do something...anything, to help raise local awareness of this national campaign on a local level. After careful consideration, a plan and purpose emerged. The group concluded that the best way to support this year’s Giving Tuesday campaign locally would be through communications, technology and outreach. They would urge members, community partners, media and the community at-large to observe and encourage support for Giving Tuesday in the following ways:
By helping to spread the word to friends, family and colleagues and/or; By making a donation, volunteering time, or raising awareness for their favorite charity; By taking time to learn about a cause in your community to align with and get behind.
The group opted not to raise funds for any one particular project, charity or cause, but rather, to do their part within their means to promote a culture of giving – and promote it they did. The MBA’s marketing, communications and PR tandem created a dedicated Giving Tuesday website; negotiated a media partnership with Montco news giant Digital First Media, and launched an aggressive PR campaign. SIDEBAR readers were the first to find out about local efforts to promote Giving Tuesday when the story broke in our last issue and a good bit of social media buzz followed. The Times Herald followed suit with a Thanksgiving Day feature by Gary Puleo, “Giving Tuesday has an avid supporter in Montgomery Bar Foundation.” Several stories followed, appearing on dozens of websites and daily and weekly newspapers throughout Montgomery County. Promotional efforts were equally aggressive. Thousands of bright colored
stickers were printed and distributed to partners, serving as reminders on outbound mail. With support from our partners, full-page newspaper inserts and quarter page ads urging readers to “help spread the word” and “learn more about Giving Tuesday at montgomerybarfoundation.org” made their way into 32,000+ area newspapers. Digital First Media supported the campaign to the tune of 32,000 targeted emails to online subscribers. On December 3rd, prominent Giving Tuesday wallpapers with click-thru links blanketed the web, serving as backdrops to popular sites like TimesHerald.com, TheReporterOnline.com and PottsMerc.com. All this at a time when many charitable organizations were struggling to remain afloat and ramping up their fundraising efforts. For those who missed the opportunity to get behind our first official Giving Tuesday campaign, please remember that it’s never too late for charitable giving to your favorite cause. For those who haven’t found a cause to align with and get behind, please put time aside to learn about your Bar Foundation by visiting www.montgomerybarfoundation.org. SIDEBAR polled members, firms and others in our legal community to learn how they observed Giving Tuesday or helped take our legal community’s culture of giving to new heights over the holidays. Here’s what some of them had to say...
provided the Gift of Christmas to a family in need through an undisclosed Montgomery County charitable organization. The family they chose to help has been through some difficult times. Mom is a single parent of four children, ages 4, 6, 10 and 12. She has had a difficult time finding a job because her car was repossessed from not being able to make payments. Many nights she has to walk to pick her kids up from a homework program at 6:00 p.m. Her two children that are in this homework program are both very sweet kids. One is a fifth grade girl who has had to take on the role as a mom for her younger siblings and the other is a first grade boy who has had eye problems which interfere with his learning. When this organization spoke to the mom about receiving the gift of Christmas from the firm, she broke down in tears. She has been very grateful and the firm was glad to help. Members of the firm participated by purchasing many of the gifts that have been requested for the children. Gifts that were not purchased by the employees were be purchased by our firm.
The Fort Washington law firm of Starfield and Smith P.C. held two separate food drives for Manna on Main Street. The firm is also collecting jackets for One Warm Coat as well as donations for the SPCA. Throughout the year, the firm has also supported Manna on Main via sponsorship of their 5K walk-a-thon.
In honor of Giving Tuesday, Morris and Clemm, P.C. in Plymouth Meeting
For consecutive years, Pond Lehocky has partnered with the Gibson Temple Baptist Church to help those in need over the Thanksgiving holiday. The firm made a
Continued on page 12
MBA / FEATURE
generous donation to help the church purchase turkeys, and volunteers from the firm joined church volunteers in handing out turkeys and other Thanksgiving essentials, as well as toys and clothing to the local community. Pond Lehocky is grateful to be able to partner with Gibson Temple for the second year in a row on this effort. Managing Partner Samuel Pond expresses the firm’s commitment to giving back: “At a time when we have so much to be thankful for, it is important to share with others.” Since its inception in 2010, Pond Lehocky has developed a tradition of charitable involvement in the community, sponsoring scholarship programs, community organizations, events for foundations and non-profits, and holiday food drives. Pond Lehocky’s annual turkey drive aims to further this tradition and helps to make sure that the less fortunate can still enjoy a holiday feast.
The Norristown law firm, High Swartz, LLP is kicking off their 100th year with a special service initiative, “Setting the Bar High: 10 Deeds for 10 Decades – High Swartz Gives Thanks for 100 Years in Norristown.” In the upcoming year, attorneys and staff will perform 10+ volunteer and fundraising activities, reflecting a range of causes which includes personal and community connections.
The law offices of Rubin Glickman Steinberg & Gifford, its lawyers, and staff members are involved in many significant charitable activities. For the last 35 years, lawyers from the firm have provided free legal advice to seniors at the
Souderton Adult Activity Center (now Generations) on a monthly basis. They’ve also been involved with Legal Aid over the same period of time, providing financial support, representation of clients and participation on its Board of Directors. Several of the firm’s lawyers are long time Rotarians, and have been financially contributing through that organization, most recently by donating shelters to victims of the Philippines disaster. Several of the firm’s lawyers volunteer their time throughout the year with MCAP (The Montgomery Child Advocacy Project), providing free legal services and a voice to the abused and neglected children of Montgomery County. For the last seven years, each of the firm’s employees have worn the red apron and rung the Salvation Army bells outside the Montgomery Mall entrances seeking donations from the public for the less fortunate. The firm also participates in collecting clothing and food for the Ronald McDonald House, collecting clothing for Laurel House, and school supplies and backpacks for Stuff the Bus. Each year, the firm and its staff also donate time and money to provide food, clothing and toys for needy families in the local community through Manna on Main Street, CADCOM and Community Housing.
Our friends at the Independence Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators have decided to get involved with Cradles to Crayons for their holiday charity. Cradles to Crayons is a charity that meets the needs of children living in poor or low income housing in Philadelphia. The chapter collected winter coats, sweaters, socks, underwear, toys, and baby items to donate for the holidays.
The Montgomery County Paralegals Association (MCPA) hosted a holiday social on December 5, 2013. All attendees were asked to bring one unwrapped toy to be donated to Toys for Tots.
Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin traditionally “adopts” a family each year during the holidays. Most people in the firm participate by donating requested items or by contributing financially. The family we support is through the Kelly Ann Dolan Memorial Fund, and those families who are part of the program have children who are suffering from a variety of illnesses. These families are under immense financial strain and are brought to our attention by social work departments within children’s hospitals, agencies or medical centers in the Delaware Valley.
Amy Quigg of Salvo Rogers & Elinski volunteers with the Family Lives On Foundation, an organization that fulfills traditions for children who have lost parent(s). Says Amy, “seeing
MBA / FEATURE
the smiles on the kids’ faces having their traditions delivered for them to complete with their family gives that quintessential ‘warm & fuzzy’ feeling.”
to participate in various community service projects. Projects include participating in the American Heart Association Go Red Day, volunteering at a Habitat for Humanity Project and at the French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust Bike Race, providing funds for Thanksgiving Dinners through PACS for families and seniors in need and sending holiday cards through the American Red Cross to our men and women in the military.
Powell Trachtman Logan Carrle & Lombardo is celebrating their 25th Anniversary by encouraging its employees
Michelle C. Berk, Esq., a solo practitioner in Fort Washington, volunteers her time by serving on the Visiting Nurse
Association’s Community Service Advisory Board. Michelle also recently “adopted” a family from Ahava Village for Children and Youth in Israel on behalf of the Bnai Zion Foundation. Michelle supports local community non-profits, including the Springfield Township Historical Society and Legal Aid of Southeastern PA.
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John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove–Where Art and Nature Come Together By Lindsay C. Hanifan, Esquire
ell known for his work, The Birds of America, John James Audubon developed his great appreciation for nature while living right here in Montgomery County. At the age of 18, he came from France to live at his family’s estate of Mill Grove in Lower Providence Township. The expansive estate, which covers 175 acres, was the home to a large array of bird and plant species that piqued Audubon’s attention and inspired him to study and draw wildlife. Today, the estate is owned by Montgomery County, and is included on the National Register of Historical Places. Most of the estate remains as it was when Audubon lived there from 1803 to 1806. Visitors to Mill Grove can enter the 240-year old farmhouse that now serves as a museum and gift shop for a nominal admission fee of $4. The
farmhouse displays a large collection of Audubon’s work, including The Birds of America, and depicts the copper plate printing process that was used to publish it. The museum includes a recreation of Audubon’s bedroom, as well as an exhibit about his experiment with bird banding, whereby he tied metal string around birds’ legs and discovered that they return to the same nesting location each year. The family-friendly center also contains a room where children can learn how to observe and draw birds from nature. Artwork from other artists depicting nature and the theme of wildlife conservation is displayed throughout the museum as well. Outside of the farmhouse, visitors can walk over seven miles of scenic trails along the Perkiomen Creek to observe the wildlife sanctuary that served as Audubon’s inspiration. As
the headquarters for the Valley Forge Audubon Society, Mill Grove also boasts a busy schedule of hikes, bird watches, educational speakers and art classes. For a schedule of events and more information, visit their website at www.valleyforgeaudubon.org. The John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove is located at 1201 Pawlings road, Audubon, PA 19403.
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Witness to History: Dr. George Sakheim Shares His Experience at the Nuremberg Trials with MBA Members in Special CLE Program By Peter E. Moore, Esq., Chair of the MBA Historical Committee
n Tuesday, October 22, 2013, the Historical Committee of the Montgomery Bar Association sponsored a CLE entitled “Witness to History: Memories of the Nuremberg Trials.” The CLE was presented by Dr. George A. Sakheim of Gwynedd Valley. Dr. Sakheim was a translator during the Nuremberg
War Trials that occurred following the close of World War II. Dr. Sakheim, a retired clinical psychologist, was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1923. He first immigrated to Palestine when he was a boy and he came to the United States in 1938. He attended Columbia University until 1943, when he was drafted
into the U.S. Armed Forces. Dr. Sakheim served in Military Intelligence with the 104th Infantry Division in France, Holland and Germany from 1943 to 1945. Since he spoke German fluently, he was a prisoner of war interrogator. At the war’s end, while still serving in the Army, Dr. Sakheim became aware of the need for interpreters and translators for the upcoming trials of high ranking Nazi officers and accused war criminals which were about to begin in Nuremberg, Germany. Having honed his translator and interrogator skills with Military Intelligence and being a fluent speaker of the German language, Dr. Sakheim agreed to serve as an interpreter and translator for the Nuremberg Trials. From October 1945 to May of 1946, Dr. Sakheim remained in Germany to work at the Nuremberg Trials because he wanted, in his words, to “be a witness to history.” During the October 22nd program, Dr. Sakheim related his personal experiences with some of the worst individuals one could ever meet. He described some of the most ghastly events that have ever occurred. His descriptions of the death camps and the Nazi officers who ran them were especially chilling. Of particular note were his personal reflections and recollections of his direct interrogation of Herman Goering, Hitler’s second in command. George Sakheim gave
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Council of Past Presidents
responses to the questions posed by itself, he offers yet again to serve as a the interrogators. All of us left that “witness to history” to give audiences By Marc Robert Steinberg, Esq., program MBA Council of Past Presidents with a sense of what it was Chair of today the benefit of his personal like to have actually sat in the same recollections and experiences of that room with Herman Goering. pivotal event place in n Tuesday, April 26, 2013, tradition that has gone on for many involved, workwhich for thetook common good, yearsAlthough particNuremberg 1946.to having Lisan event took place at the to ensure Dr. the Sakheim’s continuity of and one day,inwe1945 lookand forward ipation in the Nuremberg Trials was tening tous him speak and watching his Montgomery Bar Association leadership, events and collegiality that you join at the table. 68 years from hisasperspective that lacked wide notoriety, presentation was a once in a lifetime mark ourago, Association the premier but remained an important meeting barseems association in the it as if they justCommonwealth. occurred. Dr. opportunity. Rarely do we get to learn that occurs usually once a year without President Troyforesight asked forduring and was Sakheim had the about history firsthand from one of its fanfare or trumpets blaring. Together given the to advice collective the trials keepand a diary whichwisdom he participants. under our one roof, a crowd of three of those past presidents assembled. admitted enabled him to relate hisHe George Sakheim’s 1 ½ hour ladies and eighteen gentlemen of took some time to explain all ofmany, the experiences to his audiences, presentation on October 22nd was varying ages, but with one shared technological advances the Bar was many years later. riveting. He gave personal and direct experience, met to consider the state of uponhis and the with manythe affinity embarking Following work insights to events that we have all just the Montgomery Bar Association. relationshipsTrials, established to provide our Nuremberg Dr. Sakheim read in history books. He had photoAt the invitation of President Paul membership with an array of benefits returned to Columbia University and graphs, documents and other exhibits Troy, and with the current Bar leaders to make ourearned membership worth ultimately his PhDdollars in Clinical from his time spent in the military and attendance, the Council of across Past spending. And as He importantly, Psychology in just 1954. is retired the at the trials and his power point presenainpersonal account of sitting Presidents of the Montgomery Bar dinner provided another opportunity now and lives with his wife in Lower the table from Goering. He included tation was especially effective. For all Association convened to where for what the Bar does best. It brought Gwynedd Township. However, detailed observations of share Goering’s of the MBA members who attended the the association has been,as and listen together a group of friends to whenever the opportunity presents physical characteristics well as his CLE, it was time very well spent. to our President explain where we share a night of camaraderie at the are headed into the future. This is a Montgomery Bar Association. Get
SPRING 2013 WINTER 2013
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The Annual Membership Dinner Over 300 members, guests and dignitaries attended the MBAâ€™s Annual Membership Dinner on November 1st at Meadowlands Country Club in Blue Bell. This annual formal event is a chance for members to catch up with colleagues and honor some of our own. Members celebrating fifty years of practice in Montgomery County were honored including: Henry T. Crocker, John M. Demcisak, Thomas R. Kellogg, Arnold Machles, Paul C. Vangrossi, Mark E. Weand, Jr., and Marvin L. Wilenzik. Harvey F. Strauss, retired Co-executive Director of Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania and The Honorable Arthur R. Tilson were honored as well.
SIDEBAR: A Look Back ...SIDEBAR has evolved from a simple black & white newsletter to the full color magazine that you hold in your hands (or see on your computer screen). hands (or see on your computer screen). Beginning in this issue, we’ll look back at SIDEBAR’s 27+ year history and reprint select articles, photos, pages, and excerpts. What better way to kick things off than with the first “official” issue of SIDEBAR, published in July/August 1986. 1994 was the first year that we offered the Montgomery County Civil Practice Manual on Computer Disk.™ For the techies out there, this version was fully compatible with WordPerfect 5.1.
n April 1986, the MBA, under President Stephen G. Yusem, published the first issue of the Montgomery Bar Association Newsletter. Shortly thereafter, Mark C. Schultz and Hon. Marjorie C. Lawrence won a contest to name the new periodical. The name stuck. In the years since, SIDEBAR has evolved from a simple black & white newsletter to the full color magazine that you hold in your
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Third Annual MCAP Salute to Heroes Dinner Dance Honors Marc Robert Steinberg, Esq. and the Patriarch Family Foundation
or the third time, attorneys, judges, law enforcement, and members of the public-at-large gathered to celebrate the dedication of two local heroes. Montgomery Child Advocacy Project’s (MCAP) third annual Salute to Heroes Dinner Dance honored Marc Robert Steinberg, Esq. of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg, and Gifford, P.C. and The Patriarch Family Foundation for their service, support, and commitment to the agency through the years. In the late 90’s Marc Steinberg was in court as the defense attorney for a case when a child testified. After the grueling testimony, the child left the stand and walked to the back of
the room where he had no one to turn to for direction or encouragement. Marc saw that there was a need in Montgomery County that was not being met. Together with then ADAs Risa Vetri Ferman and Wendy Demchick-Alloy, he founded MCAP to provide legal representation to children in Montgomery County who had been abused and neglected. Since that time, Marc has worked tirelessly to assure that each child in need of a voice in Montgomery County receives an advocate. The Patriarch Family Foundation, led by the Imbesi family, is a family foundation that has generously supported MCAP over the years. In addition to funding, the Patriarch Family Foundation provides time and talent for MCAP with a member of the Board of Directors, Kate Daniels Imbesi, Esq. Kate began her relationship with MCAP as an advocate in 2002 and continues to serves as a volunteer and active supporter. “I love knowing that people came to celebrate MCAP’s heroes and to support a great cause and that they left having experienced a wonderful evening,” said Abby Leeds, Esq., MCAP’s Executive Director. “Each year, the event has gotten bigger and better
than the year before. We couldn’t do it without our marvelous volunteers, who give so much of their time and talent to creating a fun, exciting event that directly benefits the lives of children in Montgomery County.” The Salute to the Heroes Dinner Dance on December 7, 2013 was held at the Valley Forge Casino Resort and welcomed about 150 guests to enjoy a night in the Roaring Twenties. In addition to honoring the heroes, the night included great music by the Slippery Band, dancing demonstrations and lessons by DanceSport, excellent food, and a jump on the holiday shopping with both silent and live auctions. Anne Schmidt, Esq. of Burns White LLC chaired this year’s event with the help from a committee of volunteers and staff including Lisa Kane Brown, Esq., Jill Hammill, Esq., Sally Silverman, Lauren Burnetta, Stacey Halstead, CJ Leeds, Dollie Leeds, Jennifer Minuchi, and Ashley Powers. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Norristown, MCAP represents children of Montgomery County who have been abused and neglected. The agency provides advocates for these children as they navigate the often intimidating judicial system so that they may have a voice. For more information, contact MCAP at 610-279-1219, or at mcapkids.org.
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2014 COURTING ART CONTEST & EXHIBITION will remain open through Thursday, June 12, 2014. Exhibition hours are typically 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM Monday – Thursday and 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM on Fridays. Please visit MCCC’s Lively Arts Season Calendar at MC3.edu for hours To learn how you can help sponsor this year’s Courting Art Contest and Exhibition or for more information, please visit www.courtingart.com.
here’s a lot more to love here in Montgomery County. We’re proud to announce that the Courting Art Contest & Exhibition will return for a second year in 2014. The theme of the contest will again be “What I Love About Montgomery County” and will be open to Montgomery County residents 55 years of age and older. Special consideration will be given to original entries inspired by unique themes, locations and/or subjects found here in Montgomery County. The format and size requirements remain the same: painting, drawing, or mixed media (no photography, please). All submissions must be framed and/or matted and no larger than 18” x 24” (before framing and/or matting). Drop-off date will be April 30, 2014 at the Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) Fine Arts Center in Blue Bell. All artwork received will be juried privately before installation for Contest & Exhibition consideration. We’re pleased to announce that juried art from this year’s contest will remain on display for a full month-long Exhibition at the MCCC Fine Arts Center, beginning with a very special Opening Night Awards Reception and Media Event on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. The Public Exhibition
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Delaware Valley Legal Expo 2013 By Dennis R. Meakim, Esq.
n Wednesday, November 13, 2013, the Montgomery Bar Association and the Association of Legal Administrators Independence Chapter once again co-presented the Delaware Valley Legal Expo. The event, held at Presidential Caterers in East Norriton, featured two banquet rooms fully lined with convention booths. More than sixty companies that provide services to law firms and the legal industry used this opportunity to “show their wares” to Legal Administrators, Paralegals and Attorneys. The Expo was heavily attended throughout the four hours. Butlered hors d’oeuvres kept attendees’ hunger at bay and each room had a fully stocked bar for those wishing for refreshment. In each room, there were tables arranged for attorneys and others
to sit and chat without even leaving the presenting space. Anne L. Paisley, President of the Association of Legal Administrators Independence Chapter commented that she was pleased with the turnout and had received positive feedback from many of the vendors. More than one company indicated that the Legal Expo is their favorite event because it is so well attended and because many of the lawyers and administrators stop and spend time with them, unlike other shows where attendees barely allow exhibitors to say “hello.” Vendors enjoy the opportunity to renew a connection with their customers in a setting outside of the office space. Jacqueline Willson of M. Burr Keim Co. (proudly sporting a “baby bump”) stated that the Legal Expo is a
chance for her and her colleagues to put faces with names and to really make a connection with their customers. Many of the attendees appreciate the gracious door prizes offered by each of the vendors in attendance. The most anticipated moment each year is when the prize board is filled out. Three poster sized boards reflect the winners of each door prize. This year the grand prize winners were Wendy Derr (Apple iPad), Carol Gerhart (Google Nexus 7), Danielle Peters (also Google Nexus 7) and the Hon. Arthur R. Tilson (Microsoft Surface 2). Next year there will be another chance for the attorneys and staff of Montgomery County’s law firms to engage with their vendors and for the attendees to have a chance at winning that grand prize.
BITS & BYTES
The Gift Card “Dilemma.” By Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq.
ith the holiday season behind us, aside from wanting to lose some weight and dreading those credit card bills that are becoming due, here are some ideas to use with the gift cards you’ve been given (or just to buy yourself something because, well just because). 1. Smartphone: If you don’t own one, there is no reason to delay any longer. The increased productivity is worth any fear of feeling like a dumbbell because you won’t be able to learn how to use it. The iPhone 5S ($200 with a 2 year contract) or the 5C ($100 with a 2 year contract) are brand new and solid phones. The discounted 5 is still available and worth it if you want to save money. The Galaxy S4 (about $85) is a solid phone from Samsung (bigger screen may be bulky for you). The Galaxy Note 3 ($169) is almost as big as a tablet and you use a stylus for input. The Nokia Lumina 1520 is a very good Windows phone ($99). My suggestion is to go to a store like Best Buy and look at your choices. It is a very individual decision.
2. Tablets: iPad Air (starting at $479) is the latest from Apple and it is thin, light and powerful. It is considered the gold standard. The little brother is the iPad mini with Retina display (starting at $399). The mini does everything the iPad Air does in a smaller, more convenient size. Both come in Wi-Fi only or with a cell plan (extra). The Nexus 7 ($299) uses the Android OS and is a bargain right now. The Kindle Fire is another tablet with limited features beyond book reading. If you have an iPhone, choose the iPad, you can share Apps between the devices. The Microsoft Surface ($499) is a hybrid, part tablet and part laptop. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do either exceptionally well.
Chromecast ($35), Roku 3 ($99) are similar products.
3. Maybe you are a “Gamer” and want the latest Playstation or Xbox. Two new models appeared in December and both are getting rave reviews. Beware, they are not compatible with older games.
7. Headphones come in many forms and price points, including over the ear noise cancelling headphones, smaller ones that fit on the ear, and even smaller ones, i.e. ear buds, that fit in the ear. Prices range from $25 to over $500. You need to determine what your needs are before you buy. For instance, light and cheap headphones work well if you’re looking for something to use while exercising. For your iPhone, make sure it has a microphone built-in. For extended music listening, go for the more expensive, comfortable models. Stick with the name brands and ask about the return policy. Also, Google the product before you buy and see what reviews are posted. These are very helpful and can save you money.
4. Apple TV is a $99 gadget that is connected to your HD TV and allows you to stream content from your computer, the internet and even cable channels. You can stream music from your iTunes collection and Pandora. You can watch live games from MLB (with a subscription). Google
5. Need a sleek, small, portable projector for trials, presentations, etc.? Most connect to smart phones, tablets, computers, DVD players, games consoles, digital cameras and more to bigscreen any digital media at the push of a button. HDMI cable usually comes included; iOS devices may require an AV adapter cable, sold separately. ($299 and up) 6. Mobile Accessories: It is always a good idea to have extra chargers, cables, covers or other accessories for your car, office or home. These come in handy for travel and when your spouse or children appropriate yours.
8. Shop online in advance and spend some time to research your prospective purchase. Again, this can save you headaches and real money.
ALMAZ CAFE By Richard E. Cohen, Esq.
ust think of Rittenhouse Square on Main Street in Norristown. As incredible as that sounds, that is in part what Solomon Getnet, the owner of Almaz Café at 24 W. Main Street in Norristown, is trying to achieve. Solomon is the owner of a very successful Ethiopian restaurant on Rittenhouse Square for the past seven years (also called Almaz Café), and his Norristown restaurant recently opened to serve our local clientele. Having never tried Ethiopian food, I was intrigued. At the time I am writing this article, I have eaten at Almaz Café at least a half a dozen times and have not been disappointed with any of them. A tremendous amount of money must have been invested to convert the former Norristown Supper Club to the current Almaz Café. You enter the building and are immediately in the beautiful bar area which has some flat screen TVs, a nice selection of draft beers and boasts a thriving Happy Hour, with a DJ, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. While there are some tables in the bar area, we proceeded toward the back dining room which has about ten comfortable booths. The walls are attractively painted in aged fashion in antique gold and highlighted by a blue ceiling with reflecting blue up lights. There are numerous ceiling fans gently rotating while traditional Ethiopian music plays throughout the restaurant. The menu consists of both traditional Ethiopian dishes and American food. Solomon, who is also the chef, described the preparation of his Ethiopian dishes as “labor intensive”. He will prepare many dishes that cannot be found on the menu depending upon what fresh ingredients he may have in the kitchen on any given day. For example, while not on the menu, for $17.99 he
will prepare marinated grilled lamb chops served over a bed of rice or whatever you want. He can only offer this if he has the lamb chops because he will only serve fresh food. We decided to order some Ethiopian and some American food. We began with the Jerk Chicken Sandwich ($8.50). Deliciously seasoned strips of grilled chicken breast served on a bun with lettuce, tomato and onion and French fries on the side (you may also have onion rings or a side salad for the same price). Having dined here before, I knew to custom order the sandwich to include an Ethiopian hot sauce, awaze, on the chicken. This fermented chili sauce really ratchets up the heat without killing the allspice flavors of the jerk seasoning so if you truly enjoy very spicy food, ask for the awaze. Otherwise, leave it alone. The hand cut French fries were outstanding, crispy on the outside, tender inside, and perfectly seasoned with kosher salt and black pepper. Next we were served our Ethiopian dishes, Doro Tibs ($13.50 at lunch - $15.50 at dinner) and Shiro ($9.95 at lunch $10.50 at dinner). Doro Tibs are strips of chicken breast sautéed with onions, various peppers and herbs with a pinch of cardamom. Incredibly tasty, slightly spicy, this dish reminded us of an Ethiopian version of fajitas as it is served on enjera. When we inquired, we were told enjera is a soft Ethiopian flatbread made from teff and whole wheat which has been made for thousands of years. The Doro Tibs were accompanied by sides of red lentils prepared with tiny Ethiopian chili peppers called mitmita, and tikil gomen which is a spiced stew of cabbage, carrots and potatoes. The Shiro is a generous dish of powdered chickpeas cooked with berbere sauce (made from
the mitmita), onion, garlic and herbs. Essentially, it is Ethiopian hummus served warm, with a reddish tint from the berbere sauce, and with a dollop of sour cream on the side. Again, this dish was served with a side of enjera in order to dip and tikil gomen. We concluded our meal with an attractively presented Café Latte ($2.75) made with Ethiopian coffee beans. Almaz Café has many other authentic Ethiopian chicken, beef, and vegetarian selections ranging in price from $9.95 to $15.50. They also offer a variety of burgers (I have previously tried their Tate Burger with American cheese and the Ethiopian chili sauce for $7.50 – this is the one for those who like it hot), wraps, sandwiches, salads, appetizers and all day breakfast. Also, Almaz Café periodically offers a stocked lunch buffet for $9.99 which includes many Ethiopian and non-Ethiopian selections. I do like this restaurant and will certainly continue to dine here. If you are in Norristown on business, it would be a terrific choice for a business lunch. If you work near the Courthouse, check it out. If you want to try something new for dinner, think about Almaz Café.
24 W. Main Street / Norristown, PA 484.704.7251 / almazcafe.com Happy Hour: 5:00-7:00 p.m. Open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. Major credit cards accepted.
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Unauthorized Practice of Law By Seth D. Wilson, Esq., MBA, Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee Co-Chair
ttorneys know that practicing law encompasses a multifaceted array of tasks and responsibilities. It also involves knowledge of other professional disciplines not taught in law school. Lawyers must be well-versed in the matters affecting their clients. For example, personal injury attorneys must understand the medicine underlying a client’s injury.
In order to cross examine a doctor or explain an injury to a jury, an attorney must know the medicine. Does that mean that the same attorney could perform surgery or provide medical advice? Of course not. Unfortunately, there is not similar deference to the legal profession. In Pennsylvania, only licensed attorneys are permitted to practice law. The Pennsylvania legislature has recognized the serious problems inherent in the practice of law by non-lawyers, also known as the Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL). In 42 Pa.C.S. § 2524, the Legislature codified UPL and decreed that a violation of the statute was a misdemeanor of the third degree. Subsequent violations constitute 1st degree misdemeanors. In order to regulate UPL, it is essential to understand exactly what amounts to the permissible practice of law by licensed attorneys. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has held that the
practice of law encompasses all material aspects of a lawyer’s duties to his client, including (1) the instruction and advising of clients in regard to the law, (2) the preparation of legal documents for clients, (3) the appearance on behalf of clients before public tribunals, and (4) holding out oneself to the public as competent to exercise legal judgment and the implication that he or she has the technical competence to analyze legal problems and the ability to act in a representative capacity. In some instances, such as cross-examining an expert witness at a jury trial, actions that amount to the practice of law are simple. In other
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instances, defining the practice of law is more susceptible to interpretation. Are psychologists permitted to draft custody agreements? Are paralegals permitted to draft wills for clients without the supervision of a practicing attorney? Are engineers permitted to represent developers before a Zoning Hearing Board? Are accountants permitted to form corporations for clients? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding no. While each of these professionals undoubtedly has some knowledge of the legal issues involved, that does not make them a lawyer. Nevertheless, these unlawful activities have been encountered in Montgomery County. The MBA’s UPL Committee polices UPL to protect both lawyers and the community at large. When non-lawyers practice law, attorneys are deprived of representation in the already competitive legal marketplace. More importantly, clients suffer from
inadequate representation. Clients “represented” by non-lawyers bear the brunt of the poor result, often financially. The unlawful actions of non-lawyers leave disenfranchised clients with a bad taste in their mouth for the legal system. The MBA UPL Committee is structured to serve the needs of both the legal community and the public. The UPL Committee receives referrals from attorneys who encounter UPL in their own practices. Once the Committee receives a referral, it is immediately assigned to a Committee member for investigation. Following the investigation, the Committee member presents the factual and legal findings to the Committee. A Committee vote then determines the appropriate course of action. The Committee is cognizant that certain, lawful business ventures that tangentially involve legal matters may not constitute UPL. The Committee takes precaution to thoroughly
investigate the conduct to ensure that any action is directed at those persons or entities unlawfully practicing law. Action by the UPL Committee normally involves the transmittal of a cease and desist letter to the offending party. These letters have been very effective in stopping the unlawful conduct. Persistent violations involve referral to the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s UPL Committee or the Montgomery County District Attorney. The UPL Committee can only function through referrals from members. The expansive and amorphous nature of the practice of law begets unlawful intrusion into the province of lawyers. It is the members of the MBA that are on the frontline to discover UPL. Contacting the UPL Committee with potential UPL referrals serves to protect Montgomery County residents. To report UPL, please contact UPL Committee Co-Chairs Eric Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Seth Wilson (email@example.com).
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Trial Lawyers Name Marvin L. Wilenzik, Esq. 2013 Trial Lawyer of the Year By Stewart J. Greenleaf, Jr., Esq.
n October 16, 2013, the Trial Lawyers Section presented the 2013 James P. Fox Trial Lawyer of the Year Award to Marvin L. Wilenzik, Esq. The award is given annually to an attorney who demonstrates the qualities of professionalism, collegiality, congeniality and decorum. These were qualities exhibited by the award’s namesake, who was considered a “lawyer’s lawyer.”
Marvin Wilenzik, a true “lawyer’s lawyer” himself, fit the standard for this award perfectly. A fifty year member of the Bar Association, Mr. Wilenzik graduated from Brown University in 1956 and the University of Michigan Law School in 1960. In the years since, Mr. Wilenzik developed a well-deserved reputation for superb trial advocacy not only in Montgomery and Bucks Counties, but across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. His advocacy has repeatedly resulted in precedent- setting litigation. While exhibiting zealous and capable advocacy in the courtroom,
Mr. Wilenzik simultaneously fostered collegiality and friendship with many attorneys through his warm and ebullient personality and commitment to bettering the practice of law here and across Pennsylvania. Mr. Wilenzik served on and vice-chaired the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Appellate Court Procedural Rules Committee, served in the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s House of Delegates, and served as Director of the Montgomery Bar Association, a member of its Judiciary Committee and co-chair of its BenchBar Committee. The goodwill generated by Mr. Wilenzik over his accomplished career was evidenced by the standing room only crowd at the award reception, which consisted of many members of the Montgomery County Bar and Bench. The Trial Lawyers Section was honored to host members of James P. Fox’s family at the event, including his widow Angela Fox, daughter Melissa Fox, brother Leon Fox and nephew Craig Fox. Also, several past recipients of the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award were present, including Steven H. Lupin, Esq., Thomas J. Elliott, Esq., Kate S. McGrath, Esq., Paul C. Troy, Esq., William H. Pugh IV, William H. Pugh V and Adam D. Zucker, Esq. The Hon. Stanley R. Ott introduced the awardee with remarks, as eloquent and entertaining as always, that captured the distinctive experience of Marvin Wilenzik’s courtroom advocacy. Then, the evening reached a crescendo with Mr. Wilenzik’s much anticipated acceptance speech, a speech that did not disappoint. All left the event satisfied that a long overdue honor had been bestowed on a worthy trial attorney.
The MBA Civil War Round Table is Back! Four (4) noon time presentations at the Bar Building are planned for the coming year. Any military, political, social or any other aspect of that time will be open for presentations and discussion. Attendance is open to all members and no particular expertise in the American Civil War is necessary to enjoy the Round Table. Lunch will be provided at a reasonable cost. For more information, contact Hon. William R. Carpenter via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Robert E. Slota, Jr.
t is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden death of our partner Robert Slota Jr. on Sunday, November 24, 2013. Bob, who was 51, suffered a heart attack while exercising. According to the firm’s Managing Partner, Steven H. Lupin, “Bob was a lawyer of outstanding gifts – an advocate of unsurpassed intelligence and care, a man of impeccable character, a sympathizer and empathizer and, above all, a protector of his clients. He was a terrific colleague who will be sorely missed. We feel so fortunate to have been colleagues for many years and to have enjoyed his company, fun dry wit and enthusiasm.” Bob was a hero to his personal injury clients and a giant in our legal community. For over 25 years, he represented injured persons in matters ranging from the simplest of injuries to the most complex. Simply put, he was one of the best personal injury lawyers in the Bar. Clients knew he would leave no stone unturned and
Bob (left) with MBA colleagues Robert Connell Pugh, William H. Pugh, V, & Paul C. Troy at the British Virgin Islands in 2008. give 150% effort to them. His record as a trial lawyer was outstanding. Bob handled numerous cases involving medical errors and misdiagnosis, spinal cord injury, brain injury, misdiagnosis of cancer, nursing home neglect and abuse, school safety, automobile accidents, product liability, premises liability, insurance bad faith, and
employment discrimination. He was especially active in protecting the rights of disabled children, both in obtaining compensation for their injuries and securing their rights under federal and state education and civil rights laws. As a tribute to his character and outstanding legal acumen, Bob was appointed by the courts of Pennsylvania to serve as a special representative, or guardian ad litem, in important claims involving injuries to and rights of minor children. Bob served as President of the Montgomery Bar Association in 2007. During his term as President, Bob worked to educate the general public about the role of lawyers in our community, to develop a groundbreaking mediation program for medical error cases, and to educate and inform the public about the importance of Pennsylvania’s judicial election process. For his efforts, Bob was recognized for his yeoman service with the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Distinguished Bar President Award. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame (1984), Bob received his law degree, Order of the Coif, from Georgetown University in 1987. Bob was an avid fan of Notre Dame football, Jimmy Buffet, surfing and sailing. Above all else, Bob was a tremendously loving and caring husband to his beloved wife of 28 years, Carolyn. Bob was a larger-than-life, adoring and exemplary father to his three children, Robert, Kelly and John Paul. The preceding tributary message appeared recently on HRMML.com and has been edited slightly for our readership. SIDEBAR would like to thank the law firm of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell for granting us permission to reprint this message.
2014 Mock Trials – Perform Your Mock Civic Duty
n just a few weeks, high school students from throughout the county will gather at the Montgomery County Court House in Norristown to take part in the district competitions of the 2014 PA Mock Trials which will begin in late January. Each year, student teams present their cases before actual Montgomery County Common Pleas and Magisterial District Judges. Juries, comprised of attorneys, paralegals, and legal administrators, decide the winner by assigning each team a score based on the team’s preparation, presentation ability, and adherence to court rules.
Students are guided by a member of their respective faculty and mentored by a member of the bar. They work extremely hard to prepare for these competitions, as evidenced by their demeanor, knowledge, and effective arguments. Officers and members of the Young Lawyers Section (YLS) work just as hard to organize the district competitions. The YLS President serves as the district coordinator and is responsible for communication with each school, setting the schedule, assigning courtrooms, and ensuring that each trial has a sufficient jury.
Show your support and perform your mock civic duty by volunteering to serve as a juror or timekeeper this year. Past participants remark what a rewarding and satisfying experience it is. There are a number of trials at different times to accommodate your schedule. Stay tuned to montgomerybar.org and our weekly BarNews email blast for dates and times. Don’t miss this opportunity to provide helpful feedback to local students and to see our future litigants in action!
for making a mark in Montgomery County.
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MBA JAN-march 2014 Upcoming Events January 10, 2014
Cutting Edge Trial Presentation Support since 2000
Annual Business Luncheon Meadowlands Country Club Blue Bell, PA
February 10, 2014
Annual Ski Trip Blue Mountain, Palmerton, PA
January-February 2014* High School Mock Trial Competition Montgomery County Court House Norristown, PA
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March 21, 2014
Video Deposition & Trial Presentation
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March 28, 2014
Annual Memorial Service Montgomery County Court House Norristown, PA
Atrium is offering introductory leasing prices at the NEW Bala Cynwyd, PA location.
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2013 Holiday Parties!
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Montgomery Bar Foundation Announces 2013 Grants Awards By Heather M. Bendit
he Montgomery Bar Foundation, the non-profit charitable arm of the Montgomery Bar Association, is pleased to announce that it will distribute a total of seven grants totaling $42,000 through its 2013 grants program. These grants will be presented at the Annual Business Luncheon and Meeting of the Montgomery Bar Association on January 10, 2014. Additionally, earlier this year the Bar Foundation presented a grant of $18,000 to Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania, representing the proceeds from the foundation’s annual golf tournament. This grant was matched with a $18,000 grant from the Montgomery Bar Association. Since 2001, and including this year, the Montgomery Bar Foundation has distributed more than $300,000 in support of law-related causes in Montgomery County. In recent years, the Bar Foundation has increasingly focused its support on meeting the needs of the community’s most vulnerable residents. This year, grants were awarded to Montgomery County-based nonprofit organizations that provide free legal representation and law-related services to individuals and families struggling with poverty, abuse, crime and discrimination. Support for these grants comes primarily from charitable contributions made by Montgomery County lawyers and law firms committed to advancing the cause of justice.
The Bar Foundation is committed to ensuring that the promise of justice is
realized by the youngest members of our community. Toward that end, we are pleased to announce that a total of $20,000 has been awarded to Mission Kids and the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project, which provide legal representation, counseling and other support to children who are victims of crime, abuse and neglect. These organizations help secure their safety, stabilize their living conditions and ensure that their rights and interests are represented in any legal proceedings. The Bar Foundation would also like to take this opportunity to commend the many attorneys and other professionals who donate hundreds of hours of their time and professional expertise to advocate for these children.
Protecting Victims of Crime, Abuse and Discrimination
The Bar Foundation is committed to ensuring that the protections of the law and the promise of a better life can be accessed by the most vulnerable members of our community. Toward that end, we are pleased to announce that a total of $12,000 has been awarded to the Fair Housing Rights Center, Laurel House, Victims Services Center and the Women’s Center of Montgomery County for their work to secure the safety and legal rights of families, women and children struggling with crime, abuse and housing discrimination. These organizations contribute to the long-term stability and improved quality of life for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
Securing Access to Vital Health and Human Services The Bar Foundation is committed to ensuring that seniors, families, individuals with disabilities and those living at or below the poverty level are able to overcome access programs and services that provide the most basic necessities - food, shelter, medical care, employment. We are pleased to announce we have awarded a second grant in the amount of $10,000 to Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania, which, through the provision of free legal services and counseling, helps to ensure that the leverage of the law is available to those struggling with seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
How You Can Help
The Montgomery Bar Foundation relies upon charitable contributions as the primary source of funding for its grants. If you share our commitment to advancing the cause of justice in our community, please visit www.montgomerybarfoundation.org to make your tax-deductible contribution. About the Montgomery Bar Foundation
The Montgomery Bar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to improve, facilitate and support justice and fair treatment for all. The Bar Foundation advances this mission by providing financial and other support to organizations that offer free legal and law-related services to victims of crime, poverty, abuse and discrimination. As the charitable arm of the Montgomery County Bar Association, the Bar Foundation embodies the legal community’s commitment to ensure that justice is accessible to the most vulnerable members of our community. Learn more by visiting
Members in the News Peter J. Dolan of Dolan
& Mayerson, P.C. with offices in Pottstown and Reading was recently rated #1 Attorney in The Mercury’s 2013 Readers Choice Awards.
Merle R. Ochrach, principal in
the firm’s Real Estate Department of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, PC was recently elected to the Board of Directors of Montgomery Theater in Souderton, PA.
Susan E. Piette, an associate of
the firm and a member of the Estate Planning Department at Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, PC, recently presented an estate planning seminar at The Reserve at Gwynedd 55+ Community entitled “How to Grow Your Money Now and Minimize Inheritance Taxes Later.”
Wendy G. Rothstein,
partner in the Blue Bell office of Fox Rothschild LLP was named by the Philadelphia Business Journal as one of its 2013 Women of Distinction. The award is bestowed annually on the region’s most influential business women. Wendy was one of only 25 women chosen from a pool of over 200 nominations.
Marc A. Goldich, a member of Reed Smith’s Commercial Litigation Group in the Philadelphia office, has been elected to the board of directors of the Elmwood Park Zoo. Elmwood Park Zoo was established in 1924 in the Borough of Norristown. Today, the Zoo is owned and operated by the Norristown Zoological Society, a non-profit organization whose mission
is to foster an appreciation of wildlife and their habitat that will inspire active participation in conservation. Mr. Goldich has also been elected to the board of directors of the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians. Since opening its doors in 2003, the Welcoming Center has assisted more than 10,000 people from over 140 countries. Philadelphia-area based Stewart Bernstiel Rebar & Smith (SBRS) announced that Greg A. Delfiner has joined the firm and will focus on insurance coverage disputes and liability defense matters.
Michael J. Savona was a
featured speaker at the 55th Annual Pennsylvania State Tax Collectors Association (“PSTCA”) convention in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on Saturday, October 19, 2013. Mr. Savona, who serves as PSTCA general counsel, delivered his annual update on statewide litigation concerning tax collectors and tax collection.
Marc D. Jonas and Mark S. Cappuccio
participated as instructors at a Pennsylvania State Association of Township Solicitors (PSATS) seminar on November 1, 2013. This is an all-day educational seminar for Pennsylvania township solicitors. Mr. Jonas and Mr. Cappuccio discussed land use and tax assessment litigation issues and their importance to the role of the township solicitor.
Daniel J. Clifford of Weber
Gallagher, has been admitted by the
Board of Admissions as a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (IAML). Membership is by invitation only with the US Chapter having 270 members from 36 states (11 attorneys for Pennsylvania).
Eastburn and Gray, P.C.
has been named a Tier 1 firm in the Philadelphia metropolitan area for Land Use and Zoning Practice by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” in 2014. Firms included in the 2014 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence coupled with impressive ratings from both clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.
Kevin H. Buraks, of Portnoff Law Associates, Ltd., was re-elected to a second four-year term on the Tredyffrin/Easttown School Board. Kevin currently serves as the Board President.
Jeffrey P. Wallack, a partner in Wisler Pearlstine, LLP’s Commercial Litigation and Construction Law departments, was a featured speaker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at a National Business Institute seminar on “Voir Dire and Jury Selection.” As part of a five person panel, Mr. Wallack’s lectures focused on “the art of asking the right questions” and the cuttingedge topic of “social media use” in connection with modern trial practice.
Robert C. Gerhard, III was recently elected to serve as a Director of the Pennsylvania Association of Elder Law Attorneys. He also lectured on
Appeals and Briefs
the topic of “elder law” at his alma mater, Penn State University, Dickinson School of Law. He taught a class providing career advice to students seeking to build expertise in the niche of elder law. The law firm of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, PC is pleased to announce that Andrew P. Grau has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Triangle Club of Montgomery County. Since 1964, the Triangle Club has awarded scholarships to high school seniors who have demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics and community service. Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano is pleased to announce that Samuel Pond and Jerry Lehocky have created and funded an annual scholarship with Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. The first scholarship was awarded November 14th at a luncheon at Temple.
William H. Pugh, V, Managing Partner in the firm of
Kane, Pugh, Knoell, Troy & Kramer LLP, has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in America. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only, and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. There are currently approximately 5,789 members in the United States and Canada, including active Fellows, Emeritus Fellows, Judicial Fellows, and Honorary Fellows.
James C. O’Connor, formerly a partner of Cozen O’Connor, is now of counsel to Morris and Clemm, P.C. in Plymouth Meeting, PA. Mr. O’Connor focuses his practice on personal injury matters. Morris and Clemm, P.C. handles all complex litigation matters, including personal injury and commercial litigation.
Anthony J. Vetrano
610.265.4441 630 Freedom Business Center, Suite 215 King of Prussia, PA 19406 TonyVetrano@VetranoLaw.com www.pennsylvaniaappealslawyer.com
Remembering Our Beloved Colleague
Robert J. Slota Jr. 1962–2013
Frank A. Mazzeo recently became an instructor for the Licensing Executives Society (USA and Canada), the leading organization for intellectual property licensing attorneys and other professionals. Mr. Mazzeo was also awarded the 2013 Humanitarian Award from Filitalia International, a non-profit organization, founded in 1987, to promote and preserve the Italian heritage, language. Filitalia International has twenty-four chapters in five different countries.
An Outstanding Lawyer A Former Montgomery Bar Association President Devoted Husband and Father Humanitarian and Selfless Friend A Beloved Colleague
215-661-0400 • www.HRMML.com ACTS Center—Blue Bell • 375 Morris Road • Post Office Box 1479 • Lansdale, PA 19446-0773
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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS