Montgomery Bar Association SIDEBAR Magazine Winter 2022

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Montgomery Bar Association | Montgomery County, PA

Magazine

WINTER 2022

Plus…. MBA Welcomes New Leaders MBA Past President Hon. Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio Becomes First Woman to be Appointed President Judge in Montgomery County


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MONTGOMERYBAR.ORG Montgomery Bar Association | Montgomery County, PA

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

2022 OFFICERS

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

SIDEBAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS Chairs Gary J. Friedlander, Esq. Lydia Terrill, Esq. Vice-Chairs Gregory Gilston, Esq. Franqui-Ann J. Raffaele, Esq. Contributors: Ivana M. Alexander, Esq. Mark R. Ashton, Esq. Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq. Jessica L. Chapman, Esq. Jack Costello Heather Evans Sarinia M. Feinman, Esq. Marion Hoffman Fraley Jim Mathias Jules J. Mermelstein, Esq. Luz Denise Negron-Bennett, Esq. Robert H. Nemeroff, Esq. The Honorable Carolyn H. Nichols Jacqueline M. Reynolds, Esq. Lydia S. Terrill, Esq. Pamela M. Tobin, Esq.

MBA STAFF

Denise S. Vicario, Esq. Executive Director Hazel Bergquist Accounting Manager Jessica Deazle Front Office Coordinator Jack Costello Deputy Executive Director Jessica Gambone Montgomery County Law Reporter Desktop Publisher Jim Mathias Director of Marketing, Development and Public Affairs Sherry Sutton Lawyer Referral Service Coordinator Pattie Walker Membership Coordinator Megan Ware Event & CLE Coordinator Sandy Whittington Accounting The SIDEBAR Committee invites articles and news information of interest. Please send content to: MBA, c/o SIDEBAR Committee, P.O. Box 268, Norristown, PA 194040268 or email: sidebar@montgomerybar.org. The SIDEBAR Committee reserves the right to edit any material submitted and/or to omit the same from publication. Most articles are written by members for members.

CONTENTS

WINTER 2022

In Every Issue & Short Features : 4 6 8 9 10 11

Outgoing President’s Message Incoming President’s Message Young Lawyers Section Trial Lawyers Section Family Law Section Bits & Bytes

12 14 15 16 17 18

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

Features : COVER:

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24 Legal Aid Golf Classic Nets Nearly $50,000 for Legal Aid! 26 Pro Bono Amidst a Pandemic

Plus : 27 Get to Know Our New President Judge: The Honorable Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio

33 Council of Past Presidents Dinner

28 The Equity Stop

34 Fall Membership Reception

31 Montgomery County Lights the Courthouse for Domestic Violence Awareness

35 Legal Expo

33 MBA Honors 50 Year Members

38 Member News

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


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OUTGOING PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Hello, My Fellow Montgomery Bar Members! As my year as President of the Montgomery Bar Association concludes, I can truly say that it has been an honor and a pleasure to work with my fellow members as we continued to navigate our way through Covid-19, the Delta variant and beyond.

Jacqueline M. Reynolds, Esq. Montgomery Bar Association 2021 President

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MONTGOMERY BAR ASSOCIATION BUSINESS HOURS: Monday thru Friday 8:45 AM - 4:45 PM ADDRESS: 100 West Airy Street P.O. Box 268, Norristown, PA 19404-0268 PHONE AND FAX: Phone: 610-279-9660 Fax: 610-279-4321 & 610-279-4846 4 SIDEBAR

I am unable to thank everyone I worked with this past year for their valuable contributions. However, I would be remiss if I did not thank my Officers and Board of Directors for their counsel and support. I appreciate the Past Presidents who willingly shared their wisdom. A special thank you to Team MBA, Hazel Bergquist, Jack Costello, Jessica Deazle, Jessica Gambone, Jim Mathias, Sherry Sutton, Pattie Walker, Megan Ware and Sandy Whittington, for all their hard work and dedication in the provision of member benefits. I especially would like to thank Denise Vicario for her help this past year. Our Association has, and will continue to, flourish under her direction. 2021 has been a year in which the focus has been on reviewing our processes, weaving diversity throughout our Bar Association and the wellness of members. Our Bylaws were amended to reflect what we do as an association. I formed a number of ad hoc committees to evaluate what we do as an association and whether there are improvements that can be implemented. By way of example, we now have guidelines for when the MBA will take a position on an issue. Also, we have created a Lawyer Referral Committee which will administer the Lawyer Referral Service and provide a non-dues revenue source of income to the MBA. The ad hoc committees for Conservatorship and ADR have begun the hard work of creating the blueprint


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ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY AND ETHICS MATTERS STATEWIDE PENNSYLVANIA MATTERS NO CHARGE FOR INITIAL CONSULTATION

to provide our members with the resources to create successorship plans and retain qualified mediators for their cases. The work of these two committees will conclude in 2022, and will add to the already numerous member benefits provided by the MBA. The Leadership Handbook has also been revised so that it provides direction to our MBA leadership that is both relevant and user friendly. I often use the analogy that diversity must be woven throughout the fabric of the MBA. Further, the weaving of diverse voices must be done by building a deep bench through connections, communications, and inclusion. The new slate of Directors reflects our commitment to increasing diversity. Also this year, the Board of Directors adopted the MBA Diversity Statement, and amended our Officer and Director application to include a question regarding an applicant’s plan to further the MBA commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We continued to review our actions and events through the lens of diversity. I look forward to continuing the MBA’s focus on diversity as a chair of the DEI Committee.

Representation, consultation and expert testimony in disciplinary matters and matters involving ethical issues, bar admissions and the Rules of Professional Conduct

James C. Schwartzman, Esq.

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

Service Stability Strength

The well-being of our members was addressed through mindfulness, yoga, and meditation sessions. In particular, meditation sessions have grown from Monday mornings to weekday mornings and Tuesday-Thursday afternoons through the efforts of John McMahon and Bob Lefevre, with Marc Steinberg, Adam Zucker and Dan Staub. In addition, the 2021 Leadership Academy class conducted an in-depth exploration of the impact that the pandemic has had on the physical and mental well-being of our members. The Leadership Academy presented their findings and recommendations to the Board of Directors. More importantly, their recommendations will be implemented in 2022.

SCHATZ ELECTRIC, INC. Jeff Schatz, Owner/President

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

My hope is that my year as President has left the Association in a better position. What I do know is that I leave the Association in the very capable hands of my Officers: Sarinia Feinman, Justin Bayer, Lisa Shearman, Seth Wilson, and Colin O’Boyle. Under their leadership, I know the MBA has a bright future. For me now, I look forward to sitting with my esteemed colleagues, the Past Presidents, “on the couches” and seeing everyone in-person in 2022.

VISTBank.com 4/21

WINTER 2022 5


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INCOMING PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

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am truly honored to lead the greatest Bar Association in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as we continue to navigate through these ever-changing, constantly fluid, and uncertain times.

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

As the MBA celebrates its 137th year of service to the legal community, we certainly cannot ignore all that we have navigated over the last two years. With all of the changes we have had to endure and find ways to pivot in our practice areas, in the courts, with our clients, and in our households, there is one thing we have learned for sure and that is that we need to take care of ourselves first and foremost. We must take the time to focus on our own wellness; otherwise, we will not be of any value to our clients, our colleagues, our partners/spouses and other family members, our friends, and most importantly to ourselves. Life in the legal arena is challenging enough in “normal” times. Today’s unpredictable environment brings those challenges to a whole new level. Surviving and thriving will require a level of attention to our own self-care, as well as to our connections to each other, as never before. As a result of the pandemic, it has forced all of us to realize that we really need to take care of ourselves and our colleagues. We must focus on all aspects of wellness – social, emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual, and occupational. Through the formation of the Ad-Hoc Wellness Committee, which will be led by our 2021 Leadership Academy Class, who focused their year-long project on this topic, the goal will be to aid the entire membership in achieving this much-needed self-care. Each Section of the MBA is being asked to be deliberate in their efforts towards wellness, and to highlight four of the six areas of wellness throughout the year, so that they are planning something once per quarter. The Committees are being asked to also be deliberate in making sure that they plan to highlight at least two of the six areas of wellness throughout this year. The goal is to start here, and eventually be in a position where it is part of the makeup of the MBA to have regular and routine implementations of wellness throughout the Committees, Sections, and Leadership. This all kicked off on January 20th before the Board of Directors meeting, where Nancy Walsh provided MBA Leadership with a Gratitude Workshop, which explored the practical and psychological benefits of intentional gratitude and provided leadership with tips for implementing habits that will help keep our leaders, their offices, and the MBA team happy, positive, and well. While Zoom and other virtual platforms have been useful alternatives to allow for the practice of law and access to justice for litigants, it is certainly no substitute for the four “C’s”, which are at the true core of the MBA – (1) Connections; (2) Collaborations; (3) Comradery; and (4) Collegiality. This is what we strive to get back to in 2022! And while it seems as though the only thing that is certain is uncertainty, that in and of itself can be wonderful when faced with it, as it can also be a time to reinvent. It can be a time to return to old events, such as the time-honored Dinner Dance, which will be held on April 29th at Green Valley Country Club. It can also be a time

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congratulates

Sarinia M. Feinman for being elected as the 137th President of the Montgomery Bar Association for 2022.

for something new like a family-friendly event on May 5th at the Elmwood Park Zoo. It too can be a time to reimagine an event that occurred in the past, such as LawyerPalooza and celebrating it on its 5th anniversary this October. And lest we forget – our Bench Bar Conference at the beautiful Skytop Lodge in the Poconos from September 9th - 11th. Around the nation, in Pennsylvania, and here in our own county, there is an enormous need for a strong and trusted voice in support of judicial independence, the rule of law, and equal access to justice, and the MBA must continue to not only support and foster the principles of justice but strive to lead the way and serve as an example and inspiration to the community at large. In order for the MBA to fulfill this fundamental role, we must not only seek to retain and engage our incredible and valued members, but also continue to attract the best and brightest of our next generation of lawyers, and the only way we can do that is by appearing in person in a safe way that works

for everyone and making accommodations as needed to make our members comfortable and at ease. We have begun to offer a “hybrid within the hybrid” option where members may elect to sit in the library for a meeting or CLE and be in a room where nobody will be unmasked and no food will be served, along with those that choose to remain in the CLE room, unmasking to eat, while some may choose to remain on Zoom. This means that we are getting there, and in no time, we will be back to normal, or at least a new normal, utilizing all that we have learned over the last two years to be the most productive and efficient for our members. 2022 is destined to be both a memorable and important year, as we get back to our time-honored traditions that we have all missed so greatly, participate in many new ventures and events, focus on the wellness of ourselves and our colleagues, and start having some fun again – we all deserve it!

“We must meet the challenge rather than wish it were not before us.” – William J. Brennan, Jr., Former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court WINTER 2022 7


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Young Lawyers Section to Host Virtual Mock Trial Competition

A

s the COVID-19 pandemic persists, the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division has decided to conduct the 2022 High School Mock Trial Competition in a virtual format once again. Though this is not an ideal format, it certainly provides students with a glimpse of how our legal system has adapted with many courts conducting proceedings via Zoom. One of the benefits of this format, however, is the opportunity for volunteers to assist from the comfort and convenience of their own home or office. As such, we are issuing a call for attorneys to sit as jurors and timekeepers during this year’s competition, which will take place in February. You will still have the same opportunity to provide valuable feedback, advice, and constructive guidance for students as they advance in the competition and, hopefully, set their sights on a career in the law. Members will receive communication with dates, times, and registration instructions as they become available. Non-attorneys are welcome to volunteer as well, simply visit our website at montgomerybar.org.

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Trial Lawyers Section Update REFLECTIONS

By Robert H. Nemeroff, Esq., Chair, Trial Lawyers Section

B

y the time you read this article, 2021 will have passed. It was a year of ongoing adaptation to a fickle pandemic which has yet to fully release us from its frustrating and, all too often, harmful grip. The year started with the promise of vaccinations as the most effective means to combat the scourge and permit a return to normalcy. The year ended with us having some increased semblance of control over our lives, but far from being carefree about a virus whose persistence and mutability has yet to be conquered. COVID’s insidious presence posed ongoing challenges for the practice of law. The presence of plexiglass, the wearing of masks, jurors situated in gallery seating, all became – and continue to be – mainstays in the lives of litigators. Courtroom appearances and depositions via Zoom and other similar platforms have become the accepted and, in some cases, the preferred new norm for perpetuating dispute resolution, at the expense, unfortunately, of personal interaction. As your outgoing Chair of the Trial Lawyers Section, my only regret has been the inability to interact with fellow members in-person at each of our monthly presentations. Our year-long program – “Tips & Techniques From Experienced Trial Lawyers: Cases Won and Lost/Lessons Learned” – was

ideally suited for an interactive, in-person environment because, after all, who does not enjoy a good war story in-person? The unyielding pandemic, however, compelled us to bring the monthly presentations to you exclusively by electronic means from January through June. From September through November, our monthly program was presented both electronically and in-person, albeit in front of smaller live audiences. Despite this limitation, I trust that our year-long program was well-received and informative. I extend my gratitude to all of the attorneys and judges who served as speakers; to those of you who attended our monthly presentations; to Megan Ware and the MBA staff for their invaluable assistance in administering the presentations; and, finally, to my fellow officers: Aimee Kumer, Mark Fischer, and Nathan Murawski, whose ideas and assistance were integral to the success of our program. The Trial Lawyers Section will be left in their capable hands for 2022 and beyond. It has been my distinct honor and pleasure this past year to serve as the Chair of this esteemed and revered group of trial lawyers. I look forward to maintaining my membership and support for our Section prospectively. Happy New Year.

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The Guidelines Are Coming! The Guidelines Are Coming! By Mark R. Ashton, Esq.

I

n early 1970s when I was student at Wissahickon High School and the local school board was still within the control of the Lenape tribe, the English department made all of us write weekly essays that were reviewed by a person labeled the “theme reader.” You would submit your weekly essay expressing your “weighty” views on the given topic and the following week, you would be handed a marked up version of your opus as reviewed by a person who actually wrote real English. It was simultaneously an enlightening and somewhat depressing experience. If mankind had learned to split the atom, why was it wrong to split the infinitive? We have had state support guidelines since the late 1980s. Before those days, you took your client to Domestic Relations and two guys named Elmer Lentz and Joe Dougherty would tell you what the support was due based upon their experience and their reaction to whatever they had consumed at lunch. Then, those guys retired and the government in Washington told every state that their 4-D money for poor people would be cut off unless statewide uniform guidelines were adopted and amended every five years. And thus, every five years the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania employs economists to tell us how much support is due and what is the highest amount a wretch can earn without paying support for the offspring. In late August, the 2022 revised guidelines came out, effective January 1, 2022. As I read the changes, I realized what had become of the theme readers who harassed me through the 1970s. They now write/edit the guidelines. In past iterations, the payor became the obligor or some other variation of an “-or” (e.g., if the person owing support is a donkey or mule, the “Eey-or”). If there are substantive changes in this, I confess that I lost my way and I did not see the usual “comments” to the guidelines. I might have given this greater consideration except that my buddy Gary Friedlander asked me to do this in 10 days and no more than 800 words. Suffice to say that I saw lots of wordsmithing, most of which did little to provide more clarity. But, the first question is always, what happened with the numbers? So, here is what I sent to my Fox Rothschild partners as my analysis of what happened when the new guidelines were issued. The guidelines go up to six (6) children but this is Montgomery County so I stopped at four (4). The increases are dramatic especially if you, like me, compare them with the CPI-U for the Philly metro market. That’s the Department of Labor’s Cost of Living Index.

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Children 5,000 combined net 2017 guidelines 2022 guidelines Increase %

1

2

3

4

990 1006 1.6

1415 1506 6.4

1644 1789 8.8

1837 1998 8.7

10,000 combined net 2017 guidelines 2022 guidelines Increase %

1443 1559 8

2044 2280 11.5

2355 2642 12.2

2630 2952 12.2

15,000 combined net 2017 guidelines 2022 guidelines Increase %

1834 2125 14

2586 3142 17.7

2972 3687 24

3314 4118 24.3

30,000 combined net 2017 guidelines 2022 guidelines Increase %

2839 3608 27

3902 4250 8.9

4365 4951 13.4

4824 5530 14.6

Without becoming tedious (or more tedious) in 2016 when the data would have been collected for the 2017 guidelines the CPI in our region was roughly 247. In 2020 when the 2022 data would have been harvested it was at 261. That’s a six percent increase. The support guidelines increased generally 8-24%. Meanwhile for those dividing expenses in households with more than $30,000 a month in net income (roughly $600,000 a year gross) the presumptive minimum had the floor knocked out of it. Here is the comparison of percentage of incomes beyond the $30,000 guideline cap. Presumptive Support above $30K/month 2017

8.6%

2022 4

11.8%

12.9%

14.6%

4

4.7

5.3

So, if you were a person with -0- income and two kids in your primary custody in 2017 with an “obligor” making $40,000 a month net of taxes, your child support would have been $5,082. As of 2022, your support for the same kids falls by $432 to $4,650. Of course, the kids will understand once you show them the Department of Labor charts and explain the difference between All Urbans Consumers versus Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. If they’re sharp they may ask how a 6% rise in average prices yielded an 8% decrease in support. But that seems to reflect the Supreme Court’s decision in Hanrahan v. Bakker, 186 A.3d. 958 (Pa. 2018) where the guideline amount came in at roughly $70,000 a month, a number the majority found a bit too frothy.


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By Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq.

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t’s that time again! You are looking in the mirror or at the scale in the morning and wondering why your clothes are tight. You feel sluggish, burnt out from the pandemic and the news. During this post-holidays malaise, you’re also figuring out what to do with your gift cards, credit from returns, and your gift lists sitting on your night table. Here are this year’s suggestions from the team at Bites & Bytes. Well, not exactly a team…me. Moving to the top of my list is a smart speaker! These are truly useful and they come in at all price points depending on the features. Amazon Echo Dot is less than $25 at Best Buy, other stores and of course Amazon online. Amazon has, like the others (Google, Sonos, Apple), bigger, more expensive and better sounding models to choose from as well. Apple has reinvented its Home Pod now in 2 sizes (Mini and original). Sonos is my choice for best sound, and has a model which can incorporate the Amazon features. The smart speakers can place calls, answer questions, and tell you the weather, news and even when your Amazon delivery is coming. They can control your lights and other smart appliances – even some thermostats. This is in addition to playing music from most services like Spotify, Apple, etc. (note, some subscription costs are required). These are not toys, they work and are worth your attention. If you have the smart speaker, get some smart plugs. For as little as $10, you can control your lights and other devices that plug into your electrical outlets via the smart speaker. For example, you walk into your house or apartment and say, “Alexa turn on the living room.” Alexa responds with an “OK” and your living room lamps or other devices that are plugged into your smart plugs turn on. No entering a dark room and running around turning everything on. They work and prove very useful. There are many choices, but all the usual stores including the online retailers have them. How about cutting the cord and getting some Bluetooth earbuds to use while you work out or exercise? The newest models have lower prices and of course they have more expensive models. The biggest feature to look for is the truly wireless models which are not tethered by any wire between the earbuds. They work with the latest iPhone & Android, and all devices allowing Bluetooth connections. Prices range from $35 to over $200. The newest ones even have noise cancelling features. The traditional over the ear or on the ear models (full headphones) still sound better, but have limitations because of cost, size, comfort, and mobility. I have the Bose noise-cancelling model for the airplane or the times I want to shut everything out and get into my music to relax. Today’s best bet are the earbuds that fit into your ears – perfect for a walk, run, and exercise in the gym or health club. They usually have a small charging case and are rechargeable with an included cable via USB

charger. I have reasonably priced, middle of the road, and top end models. They all work great, and I suggest you get a pair that fits how you will use them. For exercise, you want comfort. Look for rubber tips that conform to your ear. Most models come with different sizes for a better fit (S, M or L). Make sure the battery charge lasts long enough for you to finish your work out, run or walk. The higher end model should sound better. Again, comfort is important if you intend to listen to music for an extended period. Stick to name brands like Bose, Sony, Jabra, JBL or Beats. They are available everywhere and I would suggest you see them, try them on, and shop online for the best price. Word of warning: don’t buy cheap $5 or $10 models. There is a reason they are so inexpensive! Streaming media devices. There are many to choose from at various price points from $25 to $100 and beyond. You can choose from Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple Plus and others. They all work well and deliver similar content in addition to proprietary features. Be careful – the monthly costs add up because you may have to pay monthly subscription costs for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, HBO Max, etc., in addition to your monthly cable bill and internet. Take the time to see what you watch, how often you watch it, and the monthly cost in addition to the hardware to calculate the real cost to you. A soundbar from Samsung, Vizio, Sonos, Sony and other brands is priced from $50 to several hundred, and bass or subwoofers can be added or are included. If you are looking for the true home theater experience, a good soundbar is far superior to the standard speaker that came with your TV. For the ultimate experience, if you have the right room or space, a surround sound set-up may be worthwhile. Finally, we get to things that everyone needs and can’t have too many of. They also make great stocking stuffers and gifts – cables, chargers, and connections. I have accumulated a vast array of these, and I am glad I leave the connections in my carrying case for speaking engagements so I can use my iPad, iPhone, or other devices to project my slides with a LCD projector, etc. I keep them around the house as well. Never enough and always a welcome gift. If you are traveling overseas, a convertor is a must. Again, stay with name brands to make sure they will work with your device. Third party products can cause problems and damage. And don’t forget extras for your car. That seems to be the time you need to have your phone charged the most. Especially now that a lot of people use the phone for GPS and directions. Enjoy the Internet, E-Mail, and social media, but “Let’s be careful out there!” joel@bernbaumfamilylaw.com

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BOOK REVIEW:

Defending Jacob

by William Landay Review By Jules J. Mermelstein, Esq. author of Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue

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illiam Landay’s novel, Defending Jacob, is written so creatively with twists one does not see coming, that it has been turned into a new AppleTV show. As I do not have access to AppleTV, I cannot compare the two. The main character is Andrew Barber, the First Assistant District Attorney for a community in Massachusetts. Throughout the novel, the main character is talking directly to the reader as if he were telling the story, sometimes commenting that he’s “getting ahead of the story.” If he is not relaying the story, then we are seeing court transcripts. One of the court transcripts we see throughout is of a grand jury. Until very near the end of the novel, the reader is unsure for whom or for what crime the indicting grand jury has been empaneled. The transcript involves another assistant district attorney and Andrew Barber as the witness. The main story revolves around the murder of a fourteenyear-old boy. Andrew Barber, as First Assistant, assigns the case to himself. The boy was in the same grade as Mr. Barber’s son, Jacob. As you can probably tell from the title, although Mr. Barber believes a local child sex predator is the guilty party, evidence is uncovered that indicates Jacob might have had something to do with it. Mr. Barber is put on paid leave, Jacob is charged, and the assistant DA we see in the grand jury transcript is put in charge of prosecuting Jacob. I mentioned earlier that Mr. Landay included twists that one doesn’t see coming. To indicate how much one doesn’t see them coming, one of those twists is very similar to one of the events in my own novel and I did not see it coming. Knowing that Mr. Landay was an assistant district attorney before becoming a novelist, one might suspect he has something to say about criminal justice. One would be correct. Here are some quotes from the novel that do not reveal the plot, but strike a note of truth.

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From page 96: Here is the dirty little secret: the error rate in criminal verdicts is much higher than anyone imagines. Not just false negatives, the guilty criminals who get off scot-free – those “errors” we recognize and accept. They are the predictable result of stacking the deck in defendants’ favor as we do. The real surprise is the frequency of false positives, the innocent men found guilty. That error rate we do not acknowledge – do not even think about – because it calls so much into question. The fact is, what we call proof is as fallible as the witnesses who produce it, human beings all. Memories fail, eyewitness identifications are notoriously unreliable, even the best-intentioned cops are subject to failures of judgment and recall. The human element in any system is always prone to error. Similarly, and more succinctly, from page 8: A jury verdict is just a guess – a well-intentioned guess, generally, but you simply cannot tell fact from fiction by taking a vote. Mr. Landay was also not kind to prosecutors, his former profession. From page 4: That is the Prosecutor’s Fallacy – They are bad guys because I am prosecuting them… And about district attorneys bragging on their won-lost record – from page 243: The truth is, the best won-lost records are not built on great trial work. They are built on cherry-picking only the strongest cases for trial and pleading out the rest, regardless of the right and wrong of it. The judge in his son’s case is one who is often consulted for commentary on legal issues, but someone that Mr. Barber does not have a great deal of respect for. On page 249, the judge is described thusly:


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

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

ANDREW M. LAMBERTON

510 Swede Street Norristown, PA 19401

The man who presented himself in public as the embodiment of The Law, they thought, was in reality a publicity seeker, an intellectual lightweight, and in the courtroom a petty tyrant. Which made him the perfect embodiment of The Law, when you really thought about it.

KATHRYN M. BRADY

610-275-2000 kanepugh.com

JAMES G. SCHU, JR.

One Liberty Place – Suite 3618 Philadelphia, PA 19103

Congratulations to our Partner

Mr. Landay is also quite adept at creating a turn of phrase that is memorable. On page 71 the main character reflects that, “At some point as adults we cease to be our parents’ children and we become our children’s parents instead.” This legal thriller is excellent and I highly recommend it. One note of caution though. As I read it, I kept reflecting that I am so happy that my children are adults. If I had young children or were planning to, this novel would have been very disturbing. When I mentioned that to my wife, she pointed out we have four grandchildren between the ages of 1 and 5. Uh-oh.

Marilou Watson

on receiving the Margaret Richardson Award

I recommend getting the book and reading it even if you have young children, while keeping in mind that it is fiction. 950 attorneys nationwide

BLUE BELL

300 Sentry Parkway WINTER 2022 13


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RESTAURANT REVIEW

Tamarindos Serves Up Yucatecan Flavor Explosions in Flourtown By Lydia S. Terrill, Esq.

Tamarindos Restaurant 726 Bethlehem Pike, Flourtown, PA tamarindosrestaurant.com

Open for indoor dining, outdoor dining, & takeout

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f you’re looking for a place to get dinner this weekend, look no further than Tamarindos Restaurant in Flourtown. Tamarindos is hands-down one of my favorite restaurants in the area. It offers a truly incredible dining experience – whether you are dining out with a group of friends or whether you opt to order take-out. Tamarindos is not your typical Mexican restaurant. Its menu offers Yucatecan cuisine, which, as its website explains, is Mexican cuisine heavily influenced by other cultures, due to the many ports along the Yucatan peninsula linking the area both culturally and commercially to areas such as France, New Orleans, and Cuba. The result is a menu full of creative, delicious dishes with flavors and ingredients combined in unexpected ways. My husband and I have been lucky to dine at Tamarindos a number of times over the past several years, often with a group of friends and some bottles of wine (Tamarindos is BYOB, but it also offers free margaritas). Our most recent dining adventure took place on a chilly November evening. When we arrived, the restaurant was hopping. Although we didn’t make a reservation (Tamarindos only takes reservations for larger parties), we didn’t have to wait for a table at all. We were immediately welcomed by the host and shown to a table in the larger dining room; a highceiling, brightly decorated room buzzing with energy. We were quickly offered water and the aforementioned free margarita, along with wine glasses for our wine. For appetizers, we opted to stick to our tried-and-true favorites of tuna tostada and scallop ceviche. The definition of

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appetizer is “any small portion that stimulates a desire for more or that indicates that more is to follow,” and both dishes served this purpose beautifully. The tuna tostada features a crunchy tostada topped with savory tuna, crispy fried leeks, and a single, perfect slice of avocado. The scallop ceviche is a cool flavor-explosion featuring scallops alongside a salad of mango, radish, avocado, cilantro, and a spicy salsa to pull it all together. Although the three entrée specials sounded delicious, we decided, again, to stick with our favorites: the carne elote (grilled skirt steak with mole sauce and topped with avocado, corn, and queso fresco, served with rice, beans, and plantain banana puree) and chuleta del paseo de montejo (grilled marinated pork chop in dry chile peppers, served with black bean salsa, plantain bananas and a celery root apple salad). My husband, who doesn’t normally like to order pork in restaurants because it’s usually “dry and uninteresting,” says that the chuleta is “one of [his] favorite things [he’s] ever eaten in a restaurant.” The carne elote is a perfect combination of flavors and textures; the tender steak, the sweet plantain puree, the savory mole sauce, the sweet bursts of flavor from the corn and queso fresco all combine beautifully. No two bites are exactly the same. We are not the only ones who love Tamarindos; Craig Laban notably included it in his September 2020 article about the best outdoor dining spots in the Philadelphia suburbs (Tamarindos has an excellent heated back patio). I am truly excited to have the opportunity to recommend it to my fellow members of the Montgomery Bar Association and sincerely hope that many of you try it out, if you haven’t already. You won’t be disappointed.


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MOVIE REVIEW

Britney v. Spears By Jessica L. Chapman, Esq.

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he documentary, which aired on September 28, 2021, tracks Britney Spears’ conservatorship. It discusses the events that led to the conservatorship and speculates as to the reasons for it lasting over a decade. The documentary does a good job of trying to cover every part of Britney’s life and how it was impacted by the conservatorship. It features several interviews from people close to her at different times in her life, including her former assistant, a photographer who became a close friend, and her former manager. It also includes video clips from televised interviews and from Britney’s Instagram. A big question that was raised was: “What is a conservatorship?” The documentary described it as a legal process by which a person’s abilities to make decisions are taken away from them and given to a third party (“conservator” or “guardian”). Conservatorships can be of the person or of the estate. A conservatorship of the person means that the individual can’t make decisions regarding certain aspects of their personal life, for example, healthcare decisions. A conservatorship of the estate means that the individual can’t be in charge of their own money. Britney’s father Jamie was made the sole conservator of the person but had to share conservatorship of the estate with Andrew Wallet. Britney was not always in a conservatorship. Her career was on the rise as early as 16 years old. Her songs resulted in hit after hit and, as the documentary said, “the world couldn’t get enough of Britney.” While she quickly rose to the top and everything seemed to be going great, things took a turn for the worst. Britney fell in love with a backup dancer named Kevin Federline and proposed to him. They got married and had two children. The marriage was shortlived and, two years later, they divorced. A custody battle ensued between the two, which took a toll on Britney’s mental health. In January 2008, police were called to her residence after she locked herself up in her room and refused to return the children to Federline’s bodyguard at the court-appointed

time. She was hospitalized. Following this incident, Federline was granted full custody and the custody battle became even more contentious. Britney was hospitalized for a second time on an involuntary psychiatric hold. This is the point where the conservatorship was born. On February 1, 2008, Britney’s father, James “Jamie” Spears, was granted his petition for a temporary conservatorship over Britney. Jamie was the sole conservator of the person but shared the role of conservator of the estate with Andrew Wallet. The first issue Britney came across was retaining proper representation to advocate for her interests. Since the inception of the conservatorship, Britney had objections to Jamie being the conservator of the person. Her complaints fell on deaf ears. In her attempts to have Jamie removed, she attempted to retain Attorney Adam Streisand. The court, however, stated that Britney did not have the capacity to retain a lawyer. Thereafter, the court appointed a lawyer, Sam Ingham, who the documentary hints, never advocated for Britney. The next year, Britney tried to obtain another lawyer to replace Ingham but her attempt had the same result. Another issue Britney encountered was whether the conservatorship was required at all and, if it was, whether the severe restrictions placed upon her were necessary. A document purportedly filed by Britney stated, “Certainly this woman who can complete two new CD’s and be set to go on a national tour has sufficient capacity, after nearly one year of a protective conservatorship, to retain counsel of her choice, and in whom she has confidence.” The conservatorship remained with Ingham as her attorney. In fact, Jamie requested that the conservatorship become permanent and requested additional restrictions including the authority to lease a car for himself, cancel all Britney’s credit cards, and make decisions regarding professional opportunities. Despite the alleged need for the conservatorship, Britney continued to create music successfully and hold tours, including the Circus and Femme Fatale

tours. Throughout the years, more awareness was created regarding Britney’s life subject to the conservatorship, which created public outrage and resulted in her fans creating the movement: “Free Britney Spears.” On June 23, 2021, Britney was set to address the court regarding her conservatorship. In her heartfelt address, she opened up about how she felt during the past 13 years, how this conservatorship destroyed her mentally, and how her father exploited the control he had over her. She also expressed her frustration with the California court system in allowing this conservatorship to remain in place for so long. Despite her best efforts, one week later, her request was denied and Jamie was allowed to remain as her conservator. Shortly after this, Ingham resigned and Britney was appointed a new lawyer who quickly made requests and filings that seemed to finally advocate for Britney. On September 7, 2021, Jamie formally asked to be removed from his role as conservator and recommended that the conservatorship be terminated. The documentary states that from 2013 to 2018, Jamie earned $2.1 million from tour revenues in addition to a $16,000 month salary. Meanwhile, he gave Britney’s a monthly allowance of $8,000 per month at a time when she was earning millions of dollars. I highly recommend this documentary even if you never heard “Baby One More Time” on replay. The documentary not only sheds light on the issues surrounding Britney’s conservatorship but also presents a bigger issue regarding the dangers of family members serving as conservators. Ultimately, there are always three sides to every story – Britney’s side, Jamie’s side, and the truth somewhere in the middle. However, something we can all agree on is that a conservatorship is not a first resort option. This should be carefully considered and safeguards should be set in place to ensure that a scenario like this does not occur. Conservatorships are meant to protect people and, in this case, it seemed to do all but that.

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A Word from USI Affinity | My Benefit Advisor

SUPPORTING WORKPLACE MENTAL HEALTH

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ocusing on employee wellness not only benefits your employees but can boost your company’s bottom line as well. Estimates that one in five Americans experience some form of mental illness, most without getting treatment, means that many will continue to struggle with their issues, impacting both family life and work life, if employed. And although mental health struggles have long pre-dated COVID-19, the pandemic only served to exacerbate the health challenges for many individuals. For the employer, the benefits of supporting employee mental health can be substantial. By showing an interest in the health and well-being of their staff they can help employees navigate through issues like anxiety, depression, burnout and traumas. In addition to showing they truly care about their employees, providing mental health support can also increase productivity and improve the overall morale of the office. The first step concerned employers can take is to look critically at their benefit portfolio to assure that the resources they are providing adequately meets the needs of their working populace. Start by reviewing the mental health benefits provided by any base health insurance benefits, Employee assistance programs (EAPs) and Telehealth services, then make sure all these programs are being effectively communicated to employees so they will be able to take advantage of the resources being provided to them.

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Finally, employers can create opportunities for management and human resource personnel to open up supportive conversations with employees regarding mental health issues, helping to reduce the stigma wherever possible by sharing any of their own personal experiences and challenges. The Montgomery Bar Association offers its members access to My Benefit Advisor as a solution for employee benefits, including voluntary offerings. For more information about My Benefit Advisor, visit our website at montba.mybenefitadvisor.com or contact Ray Keough at (610) 684-6932.


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MCAP UPDATE

By Heather Evans, Director of External Relations, MCAP

2nd Virtual Salute to Heroes Auction and Honoring Celebration a big SUCCESS! Thank you to everyone who participated in our annual Salute to Heroes! For our second virtual event, we put our social media spotlight on some of our amazing MCAPs and Board Members who really went above and beyond during these challenging times. Our MCAP honorees were: Jason Edwards of Walsh Pancio LLC; Jim Flood of the Law Office of James W. Flood; Dennis Meakim of Howland, Hess, Guinan, Torpey, Cassidy, O’Connell LLP; Bonnie Pugh, Assistant General Counsel at Exelon Corporation; Joe Rossi of Stradley Ronon; and Rick Tompkins of Morrow Tompkins and Lefevre LLP. Our Board Member honorees were Kate Daniels Imbesi of the Patriarch Foundation; Bob Morris of Morris, Wilson, Knepp, Jacquette PC; and Karla Trotman of Electro Soft. Ms. Trotman’s words about her time with MCAP echo those of everyone we honored this year: “The stories of these young people and the ability to help them change their circumstances have forever changed my life. The generosity of the firms, attorneys, and volunteers who work together to save these children has made an imprint on my soul. Thank you for allowing me to don a cape for six wonderful years.” To see videos and more about each of our honorees, please go to www. MCAPkids.org/salutehonorees. We are so grateful to them – and to ALL of our MCAPs and Board Members – who volunteer their time so selflessly to help the most vulnerable children in our community.

We also held our virtual silent auction, which was a resounding success in its second year! Our biggest ticket items were a ski trip for eight to Telluride, CO; a beautiful five bedroom, four bath beachfront home in Sea Isle City; a golf trip to Tubac, AZ; LOVE necklaces from Byard F. Brogan; and Flyers, Eagles, Sixers, AND Penn State tickets! Thanks to those who bid on the auction and to our many generous donors and sponsors (to see all of our sponsors at www.mcapkids.org/2021salutesponsors), to the event raised nearly $50,000 for MCAP’s mission and work! Please save the date – November 12, 2022 – for next year when we will gather in person again. We cannot wait to celebrate with you!

MCAP welcomes volunteer Gail Rogers to the family! Gail is a lifetime resident of Montgomery County. She and her husband Tom raised two children here: Thomas, a math teacher; and Matthew, an attorney. She served our community as a nurse for 45 years in various roles at Suburban General Hospital and Sacred Heart Hospital. At Sacred Heart, she cared for a “John Doe” who turned out to be Joe DiMaggio – she reports that she and other staff were instructed not to ask him about Marilyn Monroe! Gail then branched out to home care for a few different providers, and spent the last 17 years of her career at Merck Pharmaceuticals. She has been enjoying retirement since May of 2020 by traveling with her husband, spending time with her three grandchildren, and volunteering for MCAP! Since September of this year, Gail has been coming to the office every week to clean up our database and assist where needed. She also acquired items for our auction. MCAP is grateful to Gail for all of her effort on behalf of the children we serve!

Save the Dates Run For The Hill Of It, July 30, 2022 Salute to Heroes Dinner Dance & Auction, November 12, 2022

Montgomery Child Advocacy Project’s (MCAP) mission is to end and prevent child abuse and neglect in Montgomery County through legal services, advocacy, and education. MCAP operates as a pro-bono model with 140+ professional attorneys (trained by MCAP) on our roster who donate approximately 8,000 hours to our child clients’ cases each year. Since our founding in 2004, MCAP has provided free legal services for more than 6,200 children. To learn more please see our website at www.mcapkids.org. WINTER 2022 17


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LASP partners with ABA Young Lawyers Disaster Legal Services in response to Hurricane Ida Pro bono opportunity to help low-income residents By Marion Hoffman Fraley, Communications Manager, Legal Aid of Southeastern PA

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urricane Ida raged across Montgomery County and southeastern PA on Sept. 1, creating a path of destruction of flooding and tornadoes that will be long-felt. Bridgeport, Upper Dublin and Collegeville are just a few of the especially hard-hit areas in the county. And legal issues related to Hurricane Ida also won’t dissipate overnight. In fact, storm-related legal problems are expected to continue for at least three years after the initial event and provide an opportunity for pro bono involvement to help low-income residents. In response to Hurricane Ida and the federal disaster declaration, Legal Aid of Southeastern PA (LASP) is working with the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division’s Disaster Legal Services Program and FEMA to provide disaster legal aid. Since 2007, the ABA YLD program has provided help in 45 states and more than 200 disasters. In the immediate aftermath, LASP attorneys staffed a legal resource table at two Montgomery County Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARCs) on Sept. 8-9 at the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit in Norristown. Since the federal disaster declaration, LASP staff have met weekly with Shrushti Kothari, Project Manager, ABA YLD National Disaster Content and Resources, and former Staff Attorney in the Disaster Relief Unit at Lone Star Legal Aid in Houston, Texas. The weekly disaster legal aid meeting also includes FEMA officials, other PA legal aid programs, and a Legal Services Corp. (LSC) representative. Kothari also presented an all-staff training on identifying storm-related legal problems to LASP and other Pennsylvania and New Jersey LSC-funded legal aid programs covered by Hurricane Ida disaster declarations. In October, LASP activated the legal aid Helpline for Hurricane Ida in PA, in collaboration with MidPenn Legal Services, North Penn Legal Services (NPLS) and Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA). FEMA requires one helpline per state per storm. Low-income Montgomery County residents, as well as people in the seven other counties in the federal disaster declaration, can get free legal assistance by calling 877-429-5994 Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., or leave a message. Montgomery, Bedford, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Northampton, Philadelphia and York counties are included in the declaration.

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Michael E. Kelley, Norristown Managing Attorney Sara Planthaber, J.D., M.S.W., LASP’s Hurricane Ida Helpline Specialist, noted that as of Nov. 17, LASP has opened 19 storm-related cases based in Montgomery County, including FEMA applications and denials and landlord-tenant matters. Examples of legal help available may include: • FEMA application and other benefits available to disaster survivors. The initial deadline, Nov. 10, was extended to Dec. 10. • FEMA denials • Help with home repair contracts and contractors • Replacement of identity documents (such as birth certificates and Social Security cards) • Consumer protection matters • Mortgage-foreclosure or landlord-tenant problems • Life, medical, and property insurance claims In response to increased disasters, Legal Services Corp.’s Disaster Task Force developed a 94-page report in 2018-19 to address the legal impact of disasters on low-income survivors. Among the common legal problems in the wake of a disaster are landlord-tenant issues, public benefits, document replacement, title clearing, FEMA appeals, domestic violence, and consumer and fraud issues.

Lily Austin, Independence Fellow, and Richard Prebil, Veterans Advocacy Project Staff Attorney Shawn Boehringer, Esq., LASP Executive Director, noted, “This was a case where we responded to an emerging need. LASP is uniquely positioned to address many community needs.” Disaster legal aid resources: • “Report of the LSC Disaster Task Force,” Legal Services Corp.: https://www.lsc.gov/our-impact/publications/otherpublications-and-reports/lsc-disaster-task-force-report • Disaster Legal Services Program, American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division: https://www.americanbar.org/ groups/young_lawyers/projects/disaster-legal-services/ • National Disaster Legal Aid Resource Center: https://www. disasterlegalaid.org/ • Legal Aid Disaster Resource Center: https://www.ladrc.org/ • LASP’s Hurricane Ida page with local, state and U.S. resources: https://www.lasp.org/hurricane-ida

Attorneys and paralegals who wish to volunteer with LASP’s Pro Bono Program in any of these areas may contact Kathryn Palladino, LASP Staff Attorney and Montgomery County Pro Bono Coordinator, at 484-209-0892 or kpalladino@lasp.org. The LSC report encourages community-wide disaster planning and collaboration between the legal and emergency management communities. It stated (on page 12): “Despite legal aid’s potential in the aftermath of disaster, there can be a significant gap in the disaster-response landscape when there is a lack of a coordinated effort to deal with the legal needs of disaster survivors. Most emergency management and disaster-response organizations are unaware of the legal issues faced by disaster survivors and the particular needs of low-income communities. Legal services providers have deep networks in low-income communities and have experience creating access for people who face barriers to services and information.”

Jordan Shead, Legal Fellow, and Richard Prebil, Veterans Advocacy Unit Staff Attorney

Megan Reinprecht, Community Engagement Unit Staff Attorney

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SIDEBAR FEATURE

As the pandemic persists, so does the spirit of giving among our members. Though the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause economic hardship and difficulty for the most vulnerable in our community, our members continue to step up to lend a helping hand to those in need. While we tend to focus on the difficulties and challenges in our world, let’s take a few minutes to highlight the good being done by our members every day. So many of our members give back through pro bono work, serving on boards of community organizations, and volunteering at various community events. Here is just a small sampling of the charitable work being done by our members not only during the holiday season, but throughout the year.

Jillian E. Barton, Esq. Barton Law, LLC As part of our ongoing commitment to exercise eco-friendly practices, Barton Law has vowed to plant a tree in memory of each of our clients’ loved ones to honor their memories and help restore our national forests. Barton Law has proudly donated to the National Forest Foundation to plant these memorial trees for the 2021 year, and in celebration of Giving Tuesday on November 30th, a second tree was planted by the National Forest Foundation for each of our clients’ loved ones.

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Lydia S. Terrill, Esq. Terrill Family Law LLC My family is participating in the Delaware Valley Volunteers of America “Adopt a Family” program for Christmas this year. The program’s mission is to connect families in need of assistance with those within the community who have a desire to make a difference – helping to make the holiday season a little brighter for our local neighbors in need.

Jeffrey S. Feldman, Esq. The Feldman Firm This year, The Feldman Firm, LLC celebrated #GivingTuesday and the holiday season by once again making contributions to three charitable organizations. This year, the Firm has made donations to Sara’s Smiles Foundation, the Montgomery Bar Foundation, and the Upper Dublin Citizen Emergency Fund. Sara’s Smiles (www.saras-smiles.org), based in Meadowbrook, Pennsylvania, honors the memory of Sara Kate Burke, Jeff


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Feldman’s niece, by brightening the spirits of pediatric cancer patients in hospitals and care facilities around the country. The Montgomery Bar Foundation (www. montgomerybarfoundation.org) is the charitable affiliate of the Montgomery Bar Association; it supports law-related educational, charitable, and humanitarian projects throughout Montgomery County, PA. Established in 2018, the Upper Dublin Citizen Emergency Fund (www.upperdublin.net/cef/) was created to provide relief to distressed persons in Upper Dublin Township, PA who are facing a critical, immediate need for food, shelter, medical care or clothing for their health and well-being. We wish everyone a meaningful, peaceful, healthy and joyous holiday season.

Wisler Pearlstine, LLP Wisler Pearlstine, LLP continues its support of charitable and non-profit organizations serving our communities in Montgomery County, Bucks County, and the surrounding communities, through grants made by the Wisler Pearlstine Charitable Fund (“the Fund”). The Fund made grants to the following organizations in 2021: Bringing Hope Home, which provides financial and emotional support to local cancer patients and their families, such as paying essential household bills for families in need. Mercy Neighborhood Ministries, which provides intergenerational programming for early education and youth development, adult education and workforce development, and adult day care to needy individuals in Philadelphia. The Kelly Anne Dolan Foundation, which provides financial support to local children living with serious illnesses and disabilities, assisting with the needs that are not covered by insurance, such as respite programs and non-cash items to families. The Travis Manion Foundation, which develops programs, training opportunities, and events that are designed to empower veterans and their families. The Montgomery County Foundation’s newly formed Emergency Disaster Relief Fund, which provides funding to local organizations that provide services and supplies to our neighbors displaced by Hurricane Ida and the related flooding. The Wisler Pearlstine Charitable Fund provides grants to

these and other organizations that ensure that financial and other services are provided equitably and inclusively in their communities. The personnel at Wisler Pearlstine continue to collect and donate food, personal care supplies, school supplies, and Christmas toys for the clients of the Daily Bread Community Food Pantry in Collegeville. Partners and staff members participated in a work project at Daily Bread in October. In addition to our efforts at the firm level, many of our attorneys and staff members serve as committed volunteers, directors, officers, and board members for charitable and other non-profit organizations in Montgomery County, Bucks County, and other communities in which they reside. For more information, please visit the community page of our website, www.wislerpearlstine.com.

Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford The lawyers and staff at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford are involved in many significant charitable activities throughout the year. As in past years, the attorneys and staff members serve and support a variety of local non-profit organizations including the Montgomery Bar Foundation, the Montgomery County Women’s Center, MCAP, National Alliance on Mental Illness Montgomery County, the Cradle of Liberty Boy Scouts of America, Generations of Indian Valley, the Ambler Senior Adult Activity Center, Keystone Opportunity Center and MANNA on Main Street. In addition, the lawyers serve as MCAP advocates for children in need throughout the year and offer pro bono services. As the holiday season approaches, it seems most important to “kick it up a notch.” Since early November, we have been holding a food drive for the food pantries at MANNA on Main Street and Keystone Opportunity Center. We have been adopting families at the holidays for more than 25 years. This year is no exception although things are a little different because of COVID. The four organizations we are supporting, MANNA on Main, CADCOM, Keystone Opportunity Center and the Kelly Ann Dolan Memorial Fund, now prefer gift cards rather than actual gifts. So, although we love to shop, we are providing these organizations with gift cards so their clients can do their own shopping. And, let us not forget the pets! We collect cash and items in need for Last Chance Ranch to support the pets in need of a home. We feel so fortunate to be able to support these organizations and give back to the local community now and throughout the year. Happy Holidays! continued on next page >

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The Giving Issue Continued from page 21

Timoney Knox, LLP In 2021, Timoney Knox, LLP put its mission of enduring and evolving into practice by stepping up its charitable efforts to assist more organizations in response not only to the pandemic, but the tornado which touched down a mile from our office. A donation was made to The Friends of Upper Dublin Public Library, the nonprofit entity tasked with supporting the new Upper Dublin Public Library. Our financial assistance helped the library further its mission of connecting people and ideas, to educate, inspire and strengthen the Upper Dublin community. Recognizing that our community, and in particular the nearby elementary schools, were greatly affected by the tornado of September 1st, the firm provided financial assistance in addition to what it normally donates, to the Upper Dublin Education Foundation.

Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell and Lupin The staff and attorneys from Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell and Lupin continue to enjoy making the holidays a little brighter for an adopted family each year through the Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund. The Fund is a non-medical resource center that provides advocacy, education, information, and financial assistance for needs not covered by insurance to families caring for terminally, critically, and chronically ill, severely disabled, or seriously injured children. This year’s family received numerous gift card donations from our firm in an effort to help them celebrate the holidays, and participation from our Firm was extremely generous. We wish everyone a very happy holiday season and a healthy, happy New Year.

Our firm continued its support for more than a dozen charitable organizations, including the important work of the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project and the Montgomery Bar Foundation Legal Aid program. Since its founding in 1976, the firm has proudly supported and served on the Board of the Kelly Ann Dolan Memorial Fund. The nonprofit organization offers financial assistance for families caring for children with serious illnesses, disabilities, and injuries. We are humbled and heartened by the impact, given that more than 27,000 families in crisis have received the help they so desperately need. In 2021, our firm adopted two families and provided gift cards to purchase presents for all family members.

Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin

The firm continued its longstanding support of the Wissahickon Trails. Timoney Knox has supported this organization for decades, both financially and by having an attorney sitting on its board. We are proud to support the efforts of Wissahickon Trails and the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust to protect the land and waterways and take pride in working to shape this important natural asset. Two of our attorneys also served as volunteer presenters through the Arc of Philadelphia to parents of children with disabilities in regard to the legal rights to an appropriate education of those children. Our attorneys and staff remain committed to volunteering in our local communities, clubs and schools as well as in the capacity of directors and board members of charitable organizations. “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill 22 SIDEBAR

Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin has been collecting and contributing food items and monetary donations to the Patrician Society for over two decades. The Patrician Society is a nonprofit, non-sectarian organization which was founded and incorporated in 1981 with the purpose of meeting the basic human needs of economically disadvantaged adults, children and families in the greater Norristown area. MDWCG Administrative Assistant Mary Pat Kielinski has coordinated the collection and delivery each year. As Mary Pat says, “No one needs to have deep pockets or be wealthy in order to help the hungry, you just need to have a heart!”


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Legal Aid Golf Classic Nets Nearly $50,000 for Legal Aid! By Jack Costello, Deputy Executive Director

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fter a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Montgomery Bar Foundation (MBF) held its annual Legal Aid Golf Classic on Monday, October 18, 2021 at Bluestone Country Club in Blue Bell. The chilly autumn air did not discourage the full field of golfers from raising much needed funds for Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Congratulations to the foursome of Justin Schorr and Robert Lynch (DJS Associates) and attorneys Fred Miller and Mike Breslin, who took the low gross prize by finishing out with a score of 65. MBA Vice President Lisa Shearman earned the “Longest Drive – Women” and Jim Shannon won “Longest Drive – Men.” Attorney Mark Fischer received the “Closest to the Pin” prize, while “Straightest Drive” went to MBA Past President Patrick Kurtas.

Fred Miller, Michael Breslin, Justin Schorr, and Robert Lynch

James Shrimp, Matthew Hovey, and Samuel Cooper

New this year, a virtual online auction was held leading up to the golf outing. MBF Trustees, Fellows, and supporters donated an incredible assortment of prizes, including: Eagles, Flyers, and Sixers tickets; tickets to see Hamilton at the Kimmel Center; a well-stocked Basket of Cheer; even a private sightseeing flight to the Jersey Shore and back. Our stalwart sections continued their competitive “Section Challenge” and sold a ton of raffle tickets – a remarkable feat considering the lack of in-person events leading up to the golf outing. The Young Lawyers Section once again came out on top thanks to a last minute effort by YLS Chair Andy Levin. Patrick Kurtas, Emily Geer Hippler, With matching funds from the MBA, $48,430 was raised by Jack Elliott, and Colin O’Boyle the event and presented to Legal Aid of Southeastern PA during the MBF’s holiday luncheon on December 13, 2021.

Andrew Milz, Edward DiDonato, Cary Flitter, and Rick Giles

Thank you to all who participated, donated, purchased raffle tickets, sponsored and otherwise supported the event!.

Thomas J. Elliott, Thomas X. Elliott, Andrew Estepani, and Rob Sebia Edward Flitter, Carl Weiner, William Roark, and Kevin McGrath

Pictured (from L-R) are: MBF Trustees Gary J. Friedlander, Esq., Cary L. Flitter, Esq., and Gregory Cowhey, ASA, CVA of RSM US, LLP; MBF President William H. Pugh, V, Esq.; MBF Vice President Colin J. O’Boyle, Esq.; Executive Director Denise S. Vicario, Esq.; Honorary Trustee Virginia Frantz of the Montgomery County Foundation, Inc.; MBF Secretary Kate M. Harper, Esq.; MBF Trustee Michael L. Rainone of Customers Bank; Honorary Trustee and Executive Director of Legal Aid of Southeastern PA C. Shawn Boehringer, Esq.; MBF Trustee and MBA Past President Patrick J. Kurtas, Esq.; and MBF Trustee Richard A. Simon, Esq., of the Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office. 24 SIDEBAR



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SIDEBAR FEATURE

Pro Bono Amidst a Pandemic By Luz Denise Negron-Bennett, Esq.

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ot many people like the idea of working for free. In fact, you should be rewarded for all your hard work. Not only does the average attorney leave law school with about $160,000 in loan debt, they also have bills to pay. Still, the heavy demands on an attorney’s time and the difficulty of establishing good work-life balance can lead to burnout. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened this and brought to light how work-life imbalance can negatively impact a lawyer’s mental health and overall well-being. I write to encourage all to give pro bono work its due place in your life. There are many benefits that come from providing free legal assistance.

Improved Wellness The concept of well-being in social science research is multi-dimensional and includes, for example: engagement in interesting activities, having close relationships and a sense of belonging, developing confidence through mastery, achieving goals that matter to us, feeling a sense of meaning and purpose, forming a sense of autonomy and control, and encouraging selfacceptance and personal growth. Pro bono work promotes many of these concepts. For example, your firm job may pay the bills but may not be something you are passionate about. Working to help the underserved cannot only help you practice in a new area of law but can also make you feel purposeful. Another example is that you can develop mastery of your area of law and engage in an area of interest to you. One particular well-being concept is that of having close relationships and a sense of belonging. Loneliness, if not addressed, can lead to depression, anxiety, and substance abuse as a means to cope. An important part of well-being is social wellbeing and enjoying a true sense of belonging in the workplace helps us thrive socially as we connect with others. There are so many avenues of pro bono work that double as socially engaging activities. You gain exposure to new clients, new colleagues, and new ideas. All these can make it so we feel connected to others, even in a Zoomed-out world.

Good for Business or Career Growth An article in Forbes magazine notes that there are four times that working for free might make good business sense. The first is when the opportunity will give you real-life experience. The second being when the experience will give you legitimate exposure. The third is when you’re supporting a cause you believe in. Finally, the fourth is when the affiliation will be an impressive addition to your résumé.1 I can attest to the truth of these benefits from volunteering. I hung my shingle immediately after graduating law school. My pro bono/low bono work with area agencies such as Philadelphia VIP, HIAS PA, Nationalities Services Center, and the Modest Means Legal Access Program (MMLAP) gave me the experience, confidence, and exposure to get me paying clients quickly. Above that, I began to make a name for myself in the legal community with other attorneys and with the judges. This has allowed me to grow my solo practice exponentially in just six years. The best part is that I have been helping those who struggle to access legal services to get good advocacy and great lawyering for no or little cost. This feeling of giving back is priceless.

Improved Job Satisfaction Speaking on the importance of volunteerism, The American Presidency Project, Proclamation 10012—National Volunteer Week, 2020, stated, “Civic engagement and volunteer service strengthens the fabric of our Nation and reflects the true heart, spirit, and goodness of America.” Giving is part of the culture of this country but more than that, it is essential to improving how we feel about our jobs and our profession. Why is this important? Job satisfaction leads to employee retention and greater productivity. Additionally, there are cost savings to the employer including replacement costs totaling six to nine months’ salary for each employee retained. The ABC’s - Lawrence S. Krieger and Kennon M. Sheldon, Ph.D., Empirical analysis shows that encouraging Autonomy, Belonging, and Competency (ABC’s) leads to lawyer happiness and job satisfaction. These studies also found that promoting the ABC’s through pro-bono opportunities had a positive effect on lawyer job satisfaction. The

Morin, Amy. Forbes. “There Are Only 4 Times You Should Agree to Work For Free”, June 18, 2017.

1

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SIDEBAR FEATURE changing legal marketplace has altered the expectations of attorneys. When evaluating firms, younger attorneys look to the values and culture of the firm, and not just the salaries and bonuses paid. So individual attorneys, as well as firms, should consider the impact job satisfaction will have on the bottom line of the business. The many benefits of volunteering, despite the pandemic, are worth their weight in gold. Who doesn’t want or need improved wellness, job satisfaction, and career growth? But there is more that we can do. As lawyers, our sector has experienced significant demand in 2021. Although we are very busy and should find the time to volunteer, we may not be able to do so. In that case, we may still be able to get some of the benefits that come from pro bono work through charitable giving. Donating money can further the causes that improve our legal system and give us the sense of autonomy and self-acceptance that can improve our well-being. Well placed sponsorships can also improve our bottom line. So, do not hesitate anymore to take action. The Montgomery Bar Association and local legal community has several pro bono initiatives like EPIC, ERUC, MCAP, and MMLAP in which you can participate. Additionally, there are many area agencies like Meals on Wheels, Senior Law Center, HIAS PA, Wills for Heroes, and others that have been struggling during the pandemic. Low numbers of volunteers matched with overwhelming demand for services have caused long wait times for assistance. Start now. Many agencies have mentors or guides to assist, or templates and manuals that can eliminate some of the anxiety that comes with tackling a new endeavor. See you at the next legal clinic and remember National Volunteer Week starts April 17th, 2022.

Get to Know Our New President Judge:

The Honorable Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio By Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq.

I

n January, our new President Judge was sworn in before family, friends, and members of the Bar as she begins her five-year term. It is a milestone for Montgomery County. Judge Carluccio is the first woman to become President Judge, an achievement that will not be forgotten.

Judge Carluccio was elected to the Bench in 2009 and has served in the Criminal, Family and Civil Divisions of the Court. She also served as the Administrative Judge of the Family Division as well as instituting the Mortgage Foreclosure Court and serving in other divisions. Judge Carluccio started her legal career in 1989 as an Assistant US Attorney until she began her private practice in 1998. She also served as Chief Public Defender, Acting Director of Human Services, and Chief Deputy Solicitor in Montgomery County prior to her election in 2009. If that wasn’t enough, she was elected as President of the Montgomery Bar Association in 2011. She is also First Vice President of the Pennsylvania State Trial Judges Association, among many other achievements. Those of us who travel throughout the Courthouse have noted the wonderful art that adorns its walls. This is a result of Judge Carluccio’s award winning initiative, “Courting Art,” which adorned those walls with the works of our local artists. Her wealth of experience in the Public and Legal Profession, as well as her leadership skills, qualify her to assume her new position as President Judge. Chief among her duties from the start will be the task of completing the new addition to our Justice Center, continuing the relationship between the Bench and the Montgomery Bar Association, and most importantly the fair and compassionate administration of justice to the residents of Montgomery County. Judge Carluccio also believes that we need to face head-on the emergency of the past two years from the effect of COVID-19 on our Courts and Justice System. The backlog created in the Criminal (particularly from lack of juries) and Civil Divisions must be addressed. She believes that many of the new policies and tools learned during the last two years can and should be continued and in some cases expanded. The use of ACT (Alternate Communication Technology) as initiated by the Supreme Court is here to stay and will be continued. Other policies utilized to promote efficient and effective use of the judicial system, as well as potential new policies, will be reviewed. Judge Carluccio is excited by the opportunity to serve the citizens of Montgomery County as President Judge, and is confident she is up to the challenge – all while continuing her positive work with the many people who will appear in our Court system. Judge Carluccio and her family are longtime residents of Montgomery County. She enjoys exercise, running and walking on the county trails, reading historical fiction and mystery books, and spending time with her husband and three sons whenever possible. We look forward to the next five years and Judge Carluccio’s leadership as President Judge. WINTER 2022 27


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The Equity Stop Did You Know? By Jessica L. Chapman, Esq. Don’t put away those Christmas decorations just yet! The holiday season is not over. Did you know that in Hispanic culture, a big part of the holidays is celebrating Three Kings Day, also known as the Epiphany? This celebration originates from the Christian tradition of celebrating the day when the three Wise Men or Magi traveled by horse, camel, and elephant to present gifts to baby Jesus. Throughout the years, Three Kings Day has become an integral part of Hispanic culture. In Puerto Rico, the night of January 5th each year, children go outside and fill a shoe box with grass for the camels, which they place under their beds. While the children sleep, the camels come eat the grass and leave a gift for the children in their shoe box. On January 6th, the children wake up with excitement to see if the camels came by. Later that day, the whole family will go to the town’s grand celebration where three men dressed as the Wise Men – Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar – ride around the streets on horses throwing candies for the children. I remember waking up on January 6th as a child and checking everywhere to see if it had been my mom who took the grass from the shoe box but I could never find any traces of it. To this day, when I spend this holiday with my mom in Puerto Rico, she makes me cut grass for the camels. Nothing makes you feel young again like cutting grass outside and stuffing it in a shoe box. In the morning, I can’t help trying to find where she put the grass while I slept. I have never been able to find any signs of grass, which can only mean one thing – the camels are real! I love the rich culture I grew up with but what I love most is celebrating with my family and creating memories that will stay with me forever.

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

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By The Honorable Carolyn H. Nichols I was honored to preside in the Youth Mock Court hosted by Community Hero PA for PA Engage Day on Saturday, October 16 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Community Hero PA is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that works extensively with urban youth in Montgomery County and the Philadelphia region emphasizing innovative community-based civic engagement to empower young people to be a positive force for change in their communities and in their individual lives. The children are our future!

Meet the New Team for 2022: Co-Chairs: Jacqueline M. Reynolds, Esq. Past President and current member of the Montgomery Bar Association and Trial Lawyers Section. Past Chair and current member of the Women in the Law Committee. Member of New Member Committee. Jessica L. Chapman, Esq. Also member of the SIDEBAR Committee Lucy Qiu, Esq. Also member of the Elder Law Committee Vice-Chair: Michelle Dempsey, Esq.

In The Works: • The Robert E. Slota, Jr. Diversity Internship & Development Program recruitment has begun. Please contact Nancy Walsh at nancy@tbdnowllc.com if you would like to host or sponsor an intern this year.

www.ACTPA.ORG - 610.265.4788 TRUST ISSUES? - CHOOSE ACT PUT ACT’S 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE TO WORK FOR YOU!! • • • • •

Why a Special Needs Trust? Which SNT Will Work? Navigate Gov. Benefits SNT Funding Options Incorporate an ABLE Account

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• • • • •

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1012 W. Ninth Ave., King of Prussia, PA 19406 www.ACTPA.ORG  INFO@ACTPA.ORG NONPROFIT TRUST ADMINISTRATION SINCE 2001

On October 25, 2021, The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held a training for new Hearing Committee members. Our very own Jimmy Chong and Lauren Hughes attended the training as new Hearing Committee members. Jessica Chapman also attended this training as Disciplinary Counsel. continued on next page >

• Next meeting will be in person at the MBA building on Tuesday, February 1, 2022.

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The Equity Stop Continued from page 29

From 1L to Associate: A Story of Mentorship, Dedication, and Connection Ivana M. Alexander, Esq.: I did not grow up wanting to be a lawyer. After I graduated from New York University, I accepted a position as a program director at the Salvation Army. I started an after-school program for low-income children near my birthplace in North Philadelphia. Advocating for my students, their parents, and my community sparked my interest in a career in advocacy. After establishing the after-school program and running it for three years, I decided to pursue law. I applied to Temple University Beasley School of Law and was accepted into the class of 2021. I enjoyed my first year of law school. I made lifelong friends and gained valuable experiences. After the end of my 1L year I was accepted into the Montgomery Bar Association 1L Diversity Program. This program shaped the beginning of my legal career. I had the opportunity to meet federal judges and network with experienced attorneys. I connected with other diverse students. I experienced the wonderful community that the Montgomery Bar provided. I felt like the attorneys in the program truly wanted me to succeed. I hoped to join the Montgomery Bar one day down the line. Little did I know my hopes would come to fruition sooner than I thought. The 1L Diversity Program placed me at Kaplin Stewart during my 1L summer. I worked primarily with attorney Pamela Tobin. From the start of my internship, she provided me with meaningful, substantive assignments. I drafted motions for a federal trademark infringement case. I drafted a pre-trial brief for a complex undue influence case. Pam was the greatest supervisor a shy, anxious 1L student could have. She provided me with constructive criticism on my writing and research skills. I developed into a confident legal researcher and writer after my summer at Kaplin Stewart. I continued to develop my writing and research skills over the next two years in internships with the United States Department of Labor, a federal Magistrate Judge, and a large regional insurance defense firm.

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More importantly, Pam was invested in my future. She contacted my interviewers during OCI to give me a good reference and gave me invaluable career advice. We remained in touch after my summer internship ended. After I graduated from Temple Law and took the Pennsylvania bar exam, Pam reached out to me about interviewing for an associate position in the commercial litigation department at Kaplin Stewart. I was offered and accepted a position at the firm. I could not be more appreciative and grateful to work at a firm that values their attorneys. The work is challenging and interesting. I am eager to flourish as an attorney at Kaplin Stewart and as a member of the Montgomery Bar Association. I am so grateful to Nancy Walsh and all the other amazing people at the bar who guided me to where I am standing now. Pamela M. Tobin, Esq.: From my perspective, we hit the jackpot when Ivana came to intern at our firm the summer of 2019. Ivana is smart, inquisitive and, well, fun to be around. She can be serious, but she is more often smiling. She was eager to learn the practice of law and she took advantage of every opportunity that was offered to her that summer, whether it was to hear a lecture, attend a deposition or draft a motion. I did advise her to clerk for a judge and to try working for a large firm, all of which she did. When we had an opening, my first thought was of her, and we are so happy she accepted. I feel so fortunate to have met Ivana through the MBA’s 1L program. But for that experience, I do not know whether our paths would have crossed. I am so glad that they did! I look forward to watching Ivana grow as an attorney at our firm. I would encourage all law firms to consider sponsoring a law student through the Bar’s 1L program. It can lead to life-changing and beneficial relationships you otherwise might not have the good fortune to experience!


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Montgomery County Lights the Courthouse for Domestic Violence Awareness By Jack Costello

O

n Tuesday evening, October 19th, the Montgomery Bar Association hosted a virtual ceremony to commemorate the annual lighting of the Montgomery County Courthouse purple to raise awareness of Domestic Violence. Unfortunately, our county is not unique in seeing an increase in domestic violence cases and protection from abuse (PFA) orders during the pandemic. Fortunately, our county is well equipped to assist those affected by domestic violence with a robust network of community organizations, as well as a supportive local government and legal community.

As a show of this support, event host Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq., was joined by a number of individuals who work day-in and day-out to help victims of domestic violence, including Judges Hon. Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio and Hon. Kelly C. Wall; Prothonotary Noah Marlier, Esq.; MCAP Executive Director Mary C. Pugh, Esq.; Laurel House Executive Director Beth Sturman; Women’s Center of Montgomery County Executive Director Maria Macaluso; MBA Executive Director Denise Vicario; and MBA President Jacqueline M. Reynolds, Esq. Speakers, as well as dozens of other attorneys and community members, discussed what our county is doing to combat the problem of domestic violence and how to help those who are victims, including the establishment of the Domestic Violence Legal Network, chaired by Court Administrator Michael R. Kehs, Esq. If you or someone you know has been victimized by domestic violence, please contact your local police department and visit https://www. montcopa.org/156/Domestic-Violence-Legal-Network. WINTER 2022 31


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SIDEBAR FEATURE

Marilou Watson, Esq., Receives the Margaret Richardson Award

T

9, 2021.

he MBA Women in the Law Committee proudly presented Marilou Watson, Esq., with the Margaret Richardson Award during a reception on November

The Margaret Richardson Award is presented in honor of the first female Montgomery Bar Association Member and is awarded to worthy member who has promoted women in the legal profession. Marilou Watson, Esquire, is the recipient of the 2021 Margaret Richardson Award. Marilou has worked for many years, in ways both large and small, formal and informal, to advance women in the legal profession. Often, that means mentoring young women attorneys at her law firm, Fox Rothschild LLP, or aspiring women law students referred to her by friends and colleagues. At other times, it means engaging with local and national organizations to create programs designed to improve women’s standing within the profession. Through her work in 2014 with the American Bar Association’s Women of Color Research Initiative, a project undertaken by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, Marilou helped create the Women of Color Program Toolkit. This practical guide and collection of resources assists law firms and corporations, state and local bar associations, and minority and specialty bar associations in presenting programs to improve the recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion of women attorneys of color. Marilou participated in the rollout of the toolkit and spoke as part of the ABA’s program “From Visible Invisibility to Visibly Successful: Women of Color Research and Strategies for the Workplace.” While serving as a member of the Montgomery Bar Association Diversity Committee, Marilou created the “Day in Court” program at the Montgomery County Courthouse. The program, which continues to this day, received a County Bar Recognition Award in 2013 from the Pennsylvania Bar Association for its impact on the future of the legal profession. It provides high school students, particularly young girls, the opportunity to observe a live court proceeding and meet with several county judges, a public defender, a prosecutor, a county detective and County Commissioners. This is just a fraction of the programs and organizations to which Marilou volunteers her time and through which she serves her community. Congratulations to Marilou on the well-deserved award!

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SIDEBAR FEATURE

Council of Past Presidents Dinner October 28, 2021 • MBA Building

Standing (L-R): Gregory R. Gifford, William H. Pugh, V, Michael F. Rogers, Lisa A. Shearman, Robert F. Morris, Bruce Pancio, Jacqueline M. Reynolds, Eric B. Smith, Justin A. Bayer, Cheryl L. Young, Hon. Carolyn T. Carluccio, Keith B. McLennan, William H. Pugh, IV, Patrick J. Kurtas. Seated (L-R): Andrew L. Braunfeld, Ronald H. Sherr, Mary C. Pugh, Carolyn R. Mirabile, Marc Robert Steinberg, Sarinia M. Feinman, C. Dale McClain

MBA Honors 50 Year Members

October 8, 2022

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Fall Membership Reception November 5, 2021 • Philadelphia Country Club

Jacqueline Campbell, Colin O’Boyle, Franqui-Ann Raffaele, Marilou Watson

Mary Egan, Elizabeth SchmidtJerdon, Laurel Little

Benjamin Picker, Cary Flitter, Rosemary Ferrino, Joan Orsini Ford

District Attorney Kevin Steele, Hon. Cheryl Lynne Austin

34 SIDEBAR

MBA President Jacqueline M. Reynolds

Hon. A. NicoleTatePhillips, Hon. Virgil B. Walker

William Landsburg, Hon. Garrett D. Page, Peter Moore

MBA Officers Sarinia Feinman, Patrick Kurtas, Justin Bayer, Jacqueline Reynolds, Lisa Shearman, and Seth Wilson pictured here with Hon. Cheryl Lynne Austin (second from left)

Hon. Mark A. Kearney, Hon. Virgil B. Walker

Pamela Tobin and Mary Podlogar

Rebecca Sallen, Timothy Knowles, Emily Geer Hippler, Andrew Levin

Jane Fischer, Lucy Qiu, Cary Hall

Hon. Cheryl Lynne Austin with MBA President Jacqueline Reynolds

Hon. Lois E. Murphy, Hon. Wendy Demchick-Alloy, Erin Lentz-McMahon


MONTGOMERYBAR.ORG

Delaware Valley Legal Expo November 18, 2021 Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel King of Prussia, PA

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM MBA!

36 SIDEBAR


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WIRETAPS

MEMBER News

The law firm of O’Donnell, Weiss & Mattei, P.C. (OWM) is growing again, announcing that Scott J.Werner, Jr. has joined the firm. Mr. Werner received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Penn State in 2008 and his Juris Doctor from Widener Delaware in 2013. Scott began his legal career as an Accredited Voluntary Attorney with the Widener Veterans Law Clinic.

Bar Institute’s Medical Marijuana & Hemp Law Symposium 2021. The 2-day webcast event was held on September 23 and 24, 2021. Over 21 industry experts participated in the webcast covering a variety of topics in Cannabis, Medical Marijuana, and Hemp Law. The keynote speakers at the 2-day event were Lt. Governor John Fetterman and Councilman Derek Green.

Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin is pleased to announce that Mark C. Sesso and Danielle M.Yacono have joined the firm as Associates. Mr. Sesso is a member of the firm’s Real Estate and Municipal Departments. He works on a wide range of transactions including both complex and uncomplicated matters involving the acquisition and disposition of real estate matters throughout the Delaware Valley. Ms. Yacono is a member of the firm’s trust and estates group. She counsels clients on all aspects of estate planning and trust administration including harnessing and valuing assets, reducing tax consequences, and when necessary, dealing with litigation in Orphans’ Court. She is also involved in drafting revocable and irrevocable, special needs, irrevocable life insurance and grantor and dynasty trusts.

Obermayer is pleased to announce that Pottstown’s Mayor, Stephanie A. Henrick, has joined the firm and serves as a partner in the Trust & Estates department. Henrick resides in Obermayer’s West Conshohocken office. She has extensive experience in Estate Planning, Estate Administration, and Orphans’ Court Litigation, and serves as court-appointed counsel for alleged incapacitated individuals.

Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, PC is pleased to announce that attorney William G. Roark, who chairs the firm’s Cannabis Law practice, was the course planner for the Pennsylvania

38 SIDEBAR

Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin is pleased to announce John C. Rafferty, Jr. was reappointed as a member of the Disciplinary Board of Pennsylvania for a term expiring April 1, 2025. John served four terms as the Pennsylvania State Senator for the 44th District. Mr. Rafferty was also recently appointed by Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Kim L. Ward as a member of the Judicial Computer System Financial Audit Committee of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

Wisler Pearlstine, LLP is pleased to announce that Deborah R. Stambaugh, Arin E. Schein, and Najeebah BeyahGreen have joined the firm as associates. Ms. Stambaugh has joined the firm’s commercial litigation department. She is an experienced litigator whose practice focuses on disputes relating to business contracts, construction, insurance, real estate development, employment, business associations, and nonprofit entities. Ms. Schein has joined the firm’s Education Law practice group. She provides guidance to public school districts and charter schools to foster compliance with the myriad federal and state regulations related to special education programming, Section 504 and ADA accommodations, education for homeless students, and student discipline procedures. Ms. Beyah-Green has joined the firm’s Education Law practice group. While earning her law degree she worked as a legal intern with the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management, collaborating with experienced attorneys developing a cost-recovery ordinance to reduce budget gaps and effectively advocating for those who could be adversely impacted by the cost-recovery ordinance.


MONTGOMERYBAR.ORG

Welcome

New Members

The following members have been admitted to the Montgomery Bar Association between October and November 2021: Victor Adeniran – Villanova University** David G.C. Arnold* Lily C. Austin Austin R. Bauersmith Daniel R. Boose* John D. Christmas, IV – Villanova University** Matthew Cioeta Alyssa L. Davis Joseph DiSandro Rachel Montgomery Feil – Villanova University**

Ashley Garland – Temple University** Laurel Grass* Gregory Heleniak* Christopher D. Hinderliter Joshua Kershenbaum* Elizabeth Killackey William C. Kirby Richard J. Nalbandian John W. Norton Favour Okechukwu – Villanova University** Joseph Petrone

Angela Polizzi Katherine Raynor Sharon Rupprecht Jordan Santo RoseMarie Soto Shannon L. Stefanelli Lindsey Wilkinson Danielle M. Yacono * Returning Member ** Law Student Member

WINTER 2022 39



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Member News

3min
pages 38-40

Fall Membership Reception

1min
page 34

Marilou Watson, Esq., Receives the Margaret Richardson Award

2min
page 32

Montgomery County Lights the Courthouse for Domestic Violence Awareness

1min
page 31

The Equity Stop

7min
pages 28-30

Get to Know Our New President Judge: The Honorable Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio

4min
page 27

Legal Aid of Southeastern PA

13min
pages 18-23

Pro Bono Amidst a Pandemic

3min
page 26

MCAP Update

3min
page 17

Legal Aid Golf Classic Nets Nearly $50,000 for Legal Aid!

2min
pages 24-25

A Word From USI Affinity

1min
page 16

Movie Review

5min
page 15

Bits & Bytes

5min
page 11

Trial Lawyers Section

2min
page 9

Young Lawyers Section

1min
page 8

Book Review

4min
pages 12-13

Incoming President’s Message

5min
pages 6-7

Family Law Section

4min
page 10

Outgoing President’s Message

4min
pages 4-5

Restaurant Review

3min
page 14
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