Montgomery Bar Association | Montgomery County, PA
The Giving Issue MONTGOMERY COUNTY LEGAL COMMUNITY GIVES BACK
IN THIS ISSUE...
Legal Aid of Southeastern PA Montcoâ€™s New Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program New Member Initiatives
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Congratulations to Weber Gallagher Partners Dan Clifford and Carolyn Mirabile
Dan on his election as Judge, the Court of Common Pleas, Montgomery County
One Montgomery Plaza 425 Swede Street | Suite 1001 Norristown, PA 19401 T: 610.272.5555 | F: 610.272.6976
www.wglaw.com PENNSYLVANIA | NEW JERSEY | DELAWARE
Carolyn for being Installed as President, Montgomery Bar Association
CountY Legal 8 Montgomery Community Gives Back
SIDEBAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS Co-Chairs Robert R. Watson, Jr., Esq. Gary J. Friedlander, Esq.
County’s 20 Montgomery New Mortgage
BETTER CONNECTIONS: 26 BUILDING MBA’S NEW MEMBER INITIATIVES IN EVERY ISSUE... Outgoing President’s Message...........4 Incoming President’s Message...........5 Bits & Bytes........................................18 Culture Review...................................32
Montgomery Bar Foundation..............33
Local Young Artists Deck the Courthouse Halls...................................19
The Paralegal And Pro Bono..............23
2016 High School Mock Trials JURORS NEEDED...................................23
Bench Bar at Bedford a Blast!...........24
FEATURES Volunteer Attorneys Help Change Lives for Legal Aid Clients....................6
Delaware Valley Legal Expo 2015.....28 Past Presidents Dinner........................29 The Annual Membership Dinner........30
Trial Lawyer of the Year.........................7
MBA Leadership Academy Launches Its Second Year...................31
Can You Repeat That, Please?............12
Fifth Annual MCAP Salute to Heroes Dinner Dance & Silent Auction..........14
A Word from Bryn Mawr Trust ...........35
Domestic Violence Task Force...........15 Past President Profiles, Part III..........16
Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq. Jack Costello Joshua David Macel, Esq. Carla Marino, Esq. Jim Mathias Dennis R. Meakim, Esq. Jules J. Mermelstein, Esq. Gail P. Roth, Esq. Nancy Walsh
New Member Benefit: YMCA Discount .................................................38
George Cardenas IT Manager Jack Costello Marketing Manager Jim Mathias Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs Nancy R. Paul Executive Director Nancy Walsh Program Coordinator The SIDEBAR Committee invites articles and news information of interest. Please send content to: MBA, c/o SIDEBAR Committee, P.O. Box 268, Norristown, PA 19404-0268 or email: firstname.lastname@example.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.
Montgomery Bar Association
Serving the Profession and the Community since 1885
Carolyn R. Mirabile, Esq., President Eric B. Smith, Esq., President-Elect Mary C. Pugh, Esq., Vice President Gregory R. Gifford, Esq., Treasurer Patrick J. Kurtas, Esq., Secretary PUBLISHER Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc. 2921 Windmill Road, Reading, PA 19608 610.685.0914 x201 | HoffPubs.com Advertising Contacts Karen Zach 610.685.0914 x213 Karen@HoffPubs.com Sherry Mathias 610.685.0914 x203 SherryM@HoffPubs.com
Outgoing President’s Message
Outgoing President’s Message By Bruce Pancio, Esq.
s my tenure draws to a close, I can truly say that I have enjoyed every minute of my year as President of the Montgomery Bar Association. Knowing that I cannot thank everyone who contributed to a great year, I will start with my thanks to the MBA staff. Their devotion to the MBA is obvious by the quality of the work they deliver and the fact that no one ever leaves the MBA. I relied heavily on the support and counsel of the Past Presidents. Their collective wisdom was invaluable. Thanks go out to my fellow officers, the directors and committee chairs for their hard work. Finally, thanks to all the members who contributed and participated in the events held this year. We accomplished quite a great deal in the past twelve months. I am most proud that the Association was able to educate the residents of Montgomery County on the importance of the judicial elections and maintain the integrity of its Judicial Committee. This was a true team effort that began with assistance from the officers. The results could not have been accomplished without the creative suggestions of Jim Mathias and Jack Costello. Every member of the Association who worked on the campaign and promoted it at the polls on Election Day deserves our gratitude. This year, as has happened before, the issue of sales tax on legal fees was discussed in Harrisburg. It was under the direction of Past President William H. Pugh V that the MBA entered into a working relationship with our lobbyist, a relationship that continues to this day. Through Bill’s forward thinking, our members are well-educated on legislative matters. The members of the MBA used this information to reach out to State Representatives and Senators to let them know the adverse effect this tax would have on our clients. I am pleased that the MBA was able to secure additional funding for the Montgomery Bar Foundation. The funding will allow the Foundation to increase the grants it provides to
organizations in Montgomery County and to increase access to justice for Montgomery County residents. Steve Lupin should be acknowledged for his tireless effort on behalf of the Foundation. Steve has given his time over the last four years to serve as President of the MBF. A job well done. The MBA would not be the same without its social activities. This past year, Nancy Paul was honored for her 25 years of service to the Association. I was honored to host a reception for the five members of the MBA in statewide leadership positions: William H. Pugh V, Donald J. Martin, John R. Howland, the Honorable Mark A. Kearney and Justin A. Bayer. The MBA continues with its efforts to reach out to the community with the Courting Art program. The program enables us to connect with the artists in Montgomery County in a positive light. The program is successful due to the hard work of the Honorable Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio and Missy Boyd. I have enjoyed every Bench Bar weekend that I have attended but this year was more fun than I imagined. I even learned to brew beer. Thanks to all the members of the Bench in attendance and a special thanks to Ed DiDonato for serving as MC during our Saturday night Quizzo showdown. Lastly, I need to thank my wife Linda for her support throughout the year. Even when listening to conversation after conversation about the MBA and its members, she was always interested. Thanks. Going forward, I will stay involved just as all the Past Presidents stay involved with the MBA. I will also heed the advice of Cheryl Young who assures me there is a life outside the spotlight of being President. As a Bar Association, I think that our challenge moving forward will be to make sure that the MBA meets the needs of its members. As the practice of law has changed over the years, we must adapt to meet those needs. New members of the MBA have different goals and face different challenges than we faced many years ago. We need to remain relevant to that new generation of members. In closing, Marc Steinberg was right. Shortly after I was nominated to become an officer, it was Marc who told me how much fun he had as President. This past year was everything Marc said it would be and more. For those of you who are considering becoming an officer, don’t hesitate. Serving as President of this great organization will be a highlight of your career as it is for mine.
Incoming President’s Message
Incoming President’s Message By Carolyn R. Mirabile, Esq.
can’t believe it’s really here! The time has finally come when I will be President of the Montgomery Bar Association. So many people have helped me get to this point in my career that I am forever grateful for their continued support and encouragement. As the new year approaches, many of my colleagues have asked “are you ready?” I guess you can never be ready. No one can anticipate new challenges, controversial issues or the unknown. But I hope I have developed the skills necessary over the past four years to face anything which might come my way. I have been so impressed by the support of my fellow officers, members of the Bar and members of the Bench as I approach my presidential year. My predecessor, Bruce Pancio, set one example after another with his ability to face a number of unanticipated challenges. He did so with forethought and input from his fellow officers and members of the Bar. I hope I can follow in his footsteps and be a president who exhibits confidence and leadership skills. More importantly, I was extremely impressed when both members of the Bar and our wonderful public relations team worked together to reinforce the MBA’s Judicial Recommendations. As a result, the Judiciary Committee was strengthened and the judicial selection process remained intact. I am always impressed with the relationship between our Bench and our Bar. There really is no other Bar across the Commonwealth that shares such a relationship. I hope I can continue to develop a relationship of mutual respect and professionalism which exemplifies our Bar. I am confident the Bench will continue to participate in this year’s events and enjoy all the Bar has to offer. In the coming year, I hope to revisit some of our past traditions and perhaps start a few new ones. We have a new generation of attorneys and our Bar must advance fresh initiatives if we are going to attract new members while still retaining the core of our MBA membership. As a family law attorney, I hope I have developed the skills necessary to work with many generations of attorneys so that we can unite diversity of members and promote inclusion. I want everyone to join me in the upcoming year to attend MBA events on a regular basis. It really is a great place to be and one day you may even thank me for getting you involved. Some of my fondest memories took place during
Bench Bar weekends. I recall having dinner in Annapolis on the water, playing golf at Bedford Springs and spending an evening in New York City. I am thrilled to embark on this new journey. I know I will have the continued support of our members. I am eager to learn and I welcome the comradery as I start the New Year as President of the Montgomery Bar Association.
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MBA / FEATURE
Volunteer Attorneys Help Change Lives for Legal Aid Clients By Michael Kelley, Esq., Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania
uality legal representation is crucial in most cases, and Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania (LASP) provides that representation for marginalized and vulnerable members of our community. Staff and volunteer attorneys make a critical difference in the lives of people who cannot afford attorneys. Pro bono volunteers make it possible to reach more people in need – people like Betsy. Betsy came to LASP after trying to negotiate custody of her son on her own. Betsy’s son Nathan was taken from his home last year after his father assured Betsy that he had obtained a great job on the West Coast and that Nathan’s life would be better with him. She hastily signed an agreement that Nathan could leave in less than a week. Nathan’s father said he would forward his phone number and address once he landed. He never did. The only contact information Betsy had was an email address, but Nathan’s father had stopped answering his email. Betsy attempted to file a Petition for Contempt but the Prothonotary would not accept the pleading. By the time she came to Legal Aid, nearly six months had passed. Within two months of contacting Legal Aid, however, Betsy was regularly seeing Nathan by Skype and had a court order providing visitation over spring break and during the summer. In October, Betsy found out Nathan was being abused by his father. With the help of Legal Aid, Nathan was home with his mother for Thanksgiving. And he’s not going back. In Montgomery County, Legal Aid represents low-income individuals in a diverse range of non-fee-generating civil matters. This work is supplemented by invaluable pro bono involvement by members of the MBA. When volunteer attorneys step in to help with Legal Aid cases, Montgomery County residents like Dorothy are more likely to get a fair shot at justice. When Dorothy rented a shore house with her sister, she didn’t anticipate what would happen next. The sisters had not seen each other for a while and familial tension exploded into a violent attack on the first night. Dorothy suffered blows to the head, a cracked tooth, and bruises. Fortunately, she managed to get to her car and drove home to Montgomery County. After seeking medical attention, she went to the local police.
Dorothy was told that the incident was an out-of-state matter and was directed to the authorities where she was attacked. But when she contacted the out-of-state police, there was little response because she was no longer there. Charges were not pursued. Dorothy was terrified that that her sister would retaliate for calling the police. She feared for her safety and filed a Petition for Protection from Abuse. Her sister retained counsel, and Dorothy became nervous that she would end up with no protection. But with the assistance of Legal Aid, Dorothy negotiated a protective order lasting two years that provided her compensation for the necessary dental work and the lost rental. Dorothy was happy and able to move on with her life. Please consider volunteering your valuable time and talent to help people like Betsy and Dorothy. I can assure you, you will make a difference. Please consider supporting Legal Aid this coming year by taking on a case for someone in our county who cannot otherwise afford legal representation.
If you would like to volunteer, or have any questions about Legal Aid or our pro bono efforts, please contact Michael Kelley, Esquire, Montgomery County Pro Bono Coordinator, at 610-275-5400 ext. 125 or email email@example.com. *Names have been changed, but the events are real.
MBA / FEATURE
Gregory R. Gifford, Esq.
Selected as MBA’s Trial Lawyer of the Year
ach year, the Trial Lawyers Section of the MBA presents the James P. Fox Award to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional skill as a civil litigation and trial lawyer. This year, at a November 17 ceremony at the MBA Building, the award was given to Gregory R. Gifford, Esq. Gifford, currently a partner in the Lansdale firm of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, epitomizes the criteria of this prestigious award, which recognizes not only proficiency in the courtroom but also a dedication to promoting a positive image for attorneys through his own professional demeanor, service and integrity. In addition, the award seeks to acknowledge an attorney who has created a reputation among his peers as a daunting adversary, while remaining a respected colleague, a quality the Trial Lawyers recognize in Gifford. Gifford currently serves as Vice President of the MBA, as well as on numerous committees, including the Bench Bar, Financial Management, and Managing Partners committees. He has been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for eleven consecutive years, North Penn Area’s Best Lawyer nine times and One of the Best seven additional times. Mr. Gifford is also the Solicitor for the Lansdale, Skippack and Marlborough Township Zoning Hearing Boards, North Wales Borough, the Pennsylvania Juvenile Officers’ Association and Franconia, Hatfield, Lansdale and Towamencin Police Benevolent Associations. He has served as President of the Montgomery County Trial Lawyers Association and on the Executive Board of the Philadelphia Area Girls Soccer Association and the Montgomery United Soccer Association. Gifford is Chair of the Multi-Disciplinary Team of the Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth. As impressive as Gifford’s professional life is, his personal life provides equal insight into his selection for this honor. He and his wife, Mary, have been married for 29 years, and have three beautiful children, whom he has coached in soccer throughout the North Penn/Lansdale/Montgomeryville area since they first took the field. Partner and friend Marc Steinberg notes, “I am often heard to say that Greg and his family walk with haloes over their heads. If you know Greg, you know what I mean and know that this is true.”
Gifford is “humbled and honored to receive the 2015 James P. Fox Trial of the Year Award,” bestowed in memory of James Fox, the first trial lawyer to receive it, posthumously, for his dedication to his clients and his work as a Montgomery County trial lawyer. It was established by the Fox family to “recognize lawyers who toil in the trenches with dignity and respect.” Steinberg, in a speech presenting the award to Gifford, stated that, “Jimmy would be in awe of Greg Gifford and his indomitable spirit and talent as a lawyer, leader, husband, father, and all around good guy.”
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MBA / FEATURE
TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN… MONTGOMERY COUNTY LEGAL COMMUNITY GIVES BACK “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” - Winston Churchill
embers of the Montgomery County legal community are often characterized by their work ethic, intelligence, confidence and drive. What some may not realize is that this community is also abundant in generosity, compassion and a genuine desire to give. It is a community rich in a culture of giving. While the holidays are always a time for those with altruistic impulses to reach out to those less fortunate, most members of the MBA make this a practice throughout the year. Here are just some of the ways that our members, firms and others in our legal community have helped take that culture of giving to new heights in 2015:
MBA Young Lawyer Section Coat Drive
Nearly 300 coats were collected during the Young Lawyers Section Annual Thanksgiving Coat Drive this year. Thanks to the generosity of MBA members, children’s coats will be donated to Cradles to Crayons and adult coats will be donated to the Catholic Social Services of Montgomery County. This abundance warmed both the hearts and bodies of recipients, as well as the spirits of all involved.
MBA Family Law Section Young Artist Mural Project In late November, the Family Law Section of the MBA sponsored an exciting project which commissioned a group of aspiring young artists to create a mural to be hung in the waiting area of Montgomery County’s Juvenile Court. The colorful “Under the Sea” display will brighten the space where children are often interviewed by custody masters in issues relating to family law. This project not only helped create a more comfortable environment for children dealing with difficult issues, but also served to foster the spirit of giving in some of our youngest community members.
As the charitable arm of the Montgomery Bar Association, the Montgomery Bar Foundation embodies our profession’s commitment to giving back to the community. Through the generous donations of its over 150 fellows and contributors, the Foundation was able to
award $50,000 in grants to seven organizations dedicated to ensuring equal access to justice in our community. These awards were presented at the December 14th MBF/ Community Outreach Holiday Luncheon and will be used to help these organizations continue to do their important work throughout 2016. In addition to their grant awards, the Foundation helped fund the Coffee with a Cop initiative in Norristown, which was launched in June and aimed at building better relationships between the police and the community. The MBF will spend 2016 continuing to help advance the cause of justice. Consider helping them by joining their growing list of generous contributors; visit www.montgomerybarfoundation.org to make your donation. The Montgomery County Child Advocacy Project (“MCAP”) provides legal representation to children who are the victims of abuse and neglect in Montgomery County. To date, it has helped more than 4,000 children in close to 2,700 cases. Unfortunately, the need continues to grow; thanks to a culture of giving, however, so does the number of generous volunteer advocates who help meet that need. As 2015 rolled to a close, the number of MBA MCAP advocates exceeded 220, with passionate new volunteers joining those ranks every week. Perhaps YOU would like to join them in their important, noble work. Visit www.mcapkids.org to learn more.
Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania (“LASP”) provides quality legal representation to low-income and vulnerable residents of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. This year, as in the past, many generous MBA members helped support this important work with invaluable pro bono assistance. In addition, the MBA and MBF raised a record $40,000 this year in the annual Legal Aid Golf Classic to help fund LASP’s continued great work.
The MCPA collected new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots at their Holiday Social on December 10, 2015, an annual program which helps many to keep the spirit of giving at the center of their holiday plans.
Kaplin Stewart participates in Philabundance, collecting non-perishable food to be delivered to the WMMR “Camp Out for Hunger” food drive. All donations are delivered to Philabundance and benefit local people in need. In addition, the firm participates in Salvation Army’s Giving Tree, buying gifts for children.
The Law Offices of Amy S. Newman, Esquire
For Halloween, Amy’s office took part in creating a safe and welcoming community for children with special needs to trick or treat. Hosted by Pritchard, Bieler, Gruver & Willison, P.C., various businesses throughout the community hosted booths so that 100 - 150 special needs children were able to trick or treat without judgment. Some children were unable to have candy so the booths provided a non-candy option by offering toys or other things. It was an amazing event.
MBA / FEATURE
The Law Offices of R. Emmett Madden
Emmett volunteered over the holidays and once a month throughout the year at Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, go to www.clcphila.org.
Rudolph Clark, LLC participated in WMMR Preston and Steve’s Campout for Hunger this season and were able to donate 559 lbs. of food. Food collected during the Campout is donated to Philabundance and has become the organization’s largest food drive.
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford P.C.’s lawyers and staff continue their long-standing tradition of giving back to the community. It is not something done one day a year, but rather, all year in a variety of ways. The firm’s lawyers offer their services as MCAP advocates to neglected and abused children in Montgomery County as well as support the Legal Aid program and the Montgomery Bar Foundation. In July, a few of the firm’s attorneys participated in the MCAP Run for the Hill of It 5K Run, and in October, others participated in the Women’s Center 5K Run, raising money for two very worthwhile causes. For the past 37 years, our lawyers have provided free legal advice each month to seniors at Generations of Indian Valley. Firm attorneys and staff members serve on many local non-profit boards giving of their time throughout the year. A food drive was held in November, providing four Thanksgiving baskets to needy families served by Keystone Opportunity Center, Souderton. The attorneys and staff members have been adopting families at the holidays for many years and this year is no exception. They adopted two families through CAD-COM of Norristown. In addition, with funds collected from firm members, they will purchase and provide gift cards, toys, clothing and food to support those in need through Manna on Main Street, Lansdale, and Keystone Opportunity Center. They have not forgotten needy pets and are collecting pet supplies to be donated to Last Chance Ranch, Quakertown. For the ninth year in a row, each of the firm’s employees will take time to ring the Salvation Army bells. This year, they will be ringing the bells at Macy’s at the Montgomery Mall each Wednesday evening in December to support the good works of the Salvation Army of Norristown.
The attorneys and staff at Timoney Knox have consistently given their support throughout 2015 to approximately 30 organizations in our community. We proudly support the efforts of our Upper Dublin neighbors at The Mattie Dixon Community Cupboard, Fort Washington Fire Company No. 1, Community Ambulance Association of Ambler, and the Upper Dublin Police Benevolent Association. We go beyond our neighborhood by backing and assisting the incredible work of MCAP, Wills For Heroes, Kelly Ann Dolan Memorial Fund, Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association, Women’s SIDEBAR
Center of Montgomery County, and Northern Children Services, as well as several area school foundations. For a complete listing of our work in the community, please visit our webpage at timoneyknox.com under the Firm News & Events/Community Involvement Tab.
Warren & McGraw, LLC collected toy donations during the holiday season at their Blue Bell firm.
Wisler Pearlstine takes great pride in supporting numerous charitable and non-profit organizations each year. This holiday season of 2015, the attorneys and staff of Wisler Pearlstine again generously donated new toys to help put smiles on the faces of both children and parents alike at the Daily Bread Community Food Pantry in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania. Last year, the firm delivered carloads of donated toys to the Food Pantry and this December, the firm seeks to top last year’s goal. Throughout the balance of 2015, Wisler Pearlstine was integral in supporting organizations ranging from the Montgomery Bar Foundation and Legal Aid to local education foundations, the Golden Slipper Club and Charities, the Devereux Foundation, the Nello Memorial Committee, the Variety Club, Relay-for-Life, Penn State THON and many, many more. The firm again participated in Lee National Denim Day, and for the second consecutive year, saluted the men and women of our country’s armed forces through the Girl Scouts of America’s Cookies for the Troops Program. Additionally, Wisler Pearlstine’s attorneys are dedicated volunteers, directors and board members of over 30 charitable and non-profit organizations, more information of which is available on the Community page of the firm’s web site, www. wislerpearlstine.com. For some, the phrase “to whom much is given, much is to be expected,” is merely a passing sentiment; for members of the Montgomery Bar Association, however, it is a daily directive, one that both informs and enriches the way they navigate the world. There is no doubt that in 2016, this phrase will continue to be a compass pointing towards even greater heights. SIDEBAR
MBA / FEATURE
Can You Repeat That, Please?
The Challenges of Preparing and Litigating a Case with Foreign Connections By Phyllis T. Bookspan, Esq.
ecently, our office was involved in a matter where the relevant litigation not only occurred in a foreign country, but also involved the testimony of Spanish speaking witnesses. As our world grows smaller, many of us may find ourselves faced with issues concerning non-English-speaking parties or witnesses and must confront the intricacies and evidentiary protocols that may arise.
Case Preparation A case that involves parties or witnesses whose first language is not English requires special preparation. Due process and the Pennsylvania’s Unified Judicial System require that an interpreter be provided for parties with limited English proficiency (LEP). For in-court proceedings, a certified interpreter must be requested and assigned for each hearing. It is also important for the interpreter to be familiar with the dialect, accent, and idioms of the language of your witness. For example, if you have parties that speak Spanish, simply requesting a Spanish/English – English/Spanish interpreter may not be adequate. If your party is from Peru, an interpreter trained in Mexico or Spain may not be as accurate as an interpreter trained in South America. Having a degree in a particular language is not a guarantee that the interpretation (or for written documents, a translation) will be perfect. Depending upon needs and budget, you may designate the level of competence required by your case. Hourly fees for interpreters vary from $40-$75 based upon competence designation. Thus, it is best to plan ahead for your needs, and speak with Court services. While requests such as I am suggesting may not be honored, if it advances the fluidity with which the Court proceedings advance, your request certainly is legitimate. For forms and more information on this aspect of your case, refer to the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial Court Proceedings.
Interpreters also may be necessary outside of the courtroom to assist you in preparation of witnesses or perhaps even to converse with a party. For out-of-court matters, you have more control to select and hire a person most suitable to your matter.
Using Foreign Documents Foreign documents, court rulings, official records, reports, and other documents that would be admissible in our system are admissible with the proper foundation. If you have a need to work with and introduce such documents, they will need to be translated into English. As it is reasonable for a side to challenge and object to the introduction of translated documents, the trial team should prepare for Court with documentation supporting the accuracy and authenticity of translated documents, and for their admissibility. The following evidentiary rules and statutes are your support. PA R. Evidence 401 and 402 allows for all relevant evidence. If your documents “have a tendency to make a fact more or less probable,” they are relevant. 42 Pa C.S.A. §§ 5328 (b) and 6105(b), respectively, address the admissibility of foreign records and the authentication and admissibility of official acts and exemplifications of foreign notaries, as well as the ability to contradict evidence or certification of such foreign officials. Issues that arise: Who did the translation? Under what circumstances was it done? What is the certification of the translator? If your translator is not present, anticipate conducting a voir dire of the person who had the translations prepared. As translation is taken very seriously outside of this country, you may not find it difficult to support your translation(s). In Europe and Argentina, there are specialized institutions called “colleges” to train translators. Students will train for 4 or 5 years to receive a proficiency certification and then a special
certification for legal documents. In Argentina, there are trained and certified public translators. To become a public translator, one must attend a special â€œcollege,â€? and work within strict compliance of the public translation organization. The rigors of translation colleges are different from our American system, where students go to college and major in a foreign language, graduate and are eligible for certification as a translator. Laws may govern the Public Colleges and graduates obtain special designations and certification. Furthermore, in jurisdictions with public translators, when a public translator signs his/her name to a translation, they are attesting to the translation and taking responsibility for their work from a legal and ethical point of view. If a certified translator introducing the training background prepares the documents and procedures used in the translation, this helps to educate the court, in addition to meeting your evidentiary burdens.
Educating Your Judge about Foreign Court Procedures As in any matter, educating the Court about the essential aspects of your case is crucial. With a matter involving international procedures and protocols, it is even more essential. While our jurists are aware that procedures are not the same internationally (family court procedures can vary among counties in Pennsylvania), one should not assume that your judge is familiar with the way Courts are run, the rights of parties, the way evidence is introduced, and the other rules and procedures of that jurisdiction. Educating yourself and the Court is an essential part of your case presentation. Speaking un poquito espanol doesnâ€™t hurt either.
MBA / FEATURE
Fifth Annual MCAP Salute to Heroes Dinner Dance & Silent Auction By Mary C. Pugh, Esq.
n November 21, 2015, MCAP hosted its Fifth Annual MCAP Salute to Heroes Dinner Dance & Silent Auction at the Marriott Hotel in West Conshohocken. The theme of the evening was Lighting the Way, which took place in a spectacular room filled with hundreds of candles representing the more than 4,000 children whom MCAP has helped in its eleven years of service. Additionally, the night was dedicated to honoring and celebrating its co-founders, the Honorable Wendy DemchickAlloy and the Honorable Risa Vetri Ferman. In the late 1990s, these young mavericks had the courage and the foresight to be the spark to light the way for MCAP to help countless abused and neglected children by having an advocate, a friend and a mentor at their sides. Over two hundred guests enjoyed great food, great fun, lucrative auction items, and terrific live music from the Slippery Rock Ensemble. A highlight of the evening was the drawing for the chance to win a Queen Cut® Diamond, one of the newest diamond brands to hit the jewelry market as created by Kenyatta Black. Guests had the opportunity to bid on many items in both a silent auction and a live auction. Items included premiere tickets to an Eagles game, a wine restaurant extravaganza, lovely jewelry by Byard F. Brogan Jewelers and Wild Lilies in Ambler, horseback riding lessons, a “stay-cation,” and many unique gift
MCAP Co-founders (from left to right): Hon. Wendy Demchick-Alloy, Marc Robert Steinberg, Esq., and Hon. Risa Vetri Ferman baskets. Keller Auctioneers did a stellar job auctioning the live auction items, which included: an exceptional Washington, DC Tour Package compliments of US Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.; a priceless Home Improvement Package by the renowned Waverly Homes; a progressive dinner; and luxury trips to Ireland and St. Thomas. Everyone was a winner, especially MCAP. The night was truly a success due to the hard work of our fabulous Salute to Heroes Host Committee Members: Missy Boyd, Lisa Kane Brown, Jamie and Michael Haines, Kate Daniels Imbesi, Barbara A. Krancer, Colleen M. Lynam, William H. Pugh V, Carolyn Curran Slota, Lavinia Smerconish, Karla Trotman and Kim Wilson. Certainly, the event was a great start for holiday shoppers as well as a marvelous way to share holiday cheer. A special thanks to all who participated to make this evening a success as sponsors, donors, guests and especially the MCAP staff, Stacey Halstead, Pat Teaford, Jill Ringold and Patty Oberdiek. Stay tuned for upcoming events in 2016!
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Domestic Violence Task Force By Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq.
his past fall, the Family Law Section created the Domestic Violence Task Force to review, report and recommend to the Montgomery Bar Association and our Court the current status of Domestic Violence (DV) in Montgomery County. The Task Force is comprised of Bar members, County officials, Row Officers, Judges and members of support organizations and law enforcement. We meet every third Thursday, for lunch and discussion in the dining room of the MBA. We are compiling information from our jurisdiction and others (both County and State), contrasting and comparing the treatment of DV in order to complete our assignment. Our review is targeted for completion later this Spring. One of the first concepts discussed was the definition of DV. Historically, it was a concept of physical violence and the establishment of laws and hence Protection from Abuse proceedings. An expanded definition compiled by the U.S. Department of Justice and adopted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer’s DV Task Force is set forth below. We welcome your comments and participation. If you wish to join us or be part of the email list serve, drop me a note with your contact information – firstname.lastname@example.org. The U.S. Department of Justice defines domestic violence as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair pulling, etc., are types of physical abuse. This type of abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use upon him or her. Sexual Abuse: Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner. Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual’s sense of selfworth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to, constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-
calling, or damaging one’s relationship with his or her children. Economic Abuse: Is defined as making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one’s access to money, or forbidding one’s attendance at school or employment. Psychological Abuse: Elements of psychological abuse include, but are not limited to, causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner’s family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work. This definition has been approved and adopted by the Domestic Violence Task Force of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
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Representation, consultation and expert testimony in disciplinary matters and matters involving ethical issues, bar admissions and the Rules of Professional Conduct
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• Member of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board • Former Chairman, Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of PA • Former Chairman, Continuing Legal Education Board of the Supreme Court of PA • Former Chairman, Supreme Court of PA 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 2015 Philadelphia Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law “Lawyer of the Year,” and in Plaintiffs and Defendants Legal Malpractice Law 1818 Market Street, 29th Floor • Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 751-2863 WINTER 2015-16
MBA / FEATURE
Past President Profiles Part III By William H. Pugh, IV, Esq., Council Chair, Council of Past Presidents
2006: WILLIAM H. PUGH, V Bench Bar: Annapolis, MD
2007: ROBERT E. SLOTA, JR. (1962-2013) Bench Bar: Seaview Resort, Galloway, NJ
Four MBA attorneys have served as President of the Pennsylvania Bar Assocation (PBA): Aaron S. Swartz in 1935-36, Desmond J. McTighe in 1963, C. Dale McClain in 2008-2009 and now Bill, V, reflecting MBA’s ever increasing role in the organized Bar. A graduate of the University of Richmond and Villanova Law, Bill spent his first years of practice as an Assistant D.A. in the prestigious office of long time Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau. He then joined Kane, Pugh, Knoell, Troy & Kramer, LLP where he has been the managing partner for many years, overseeing the firm’s growth to some 35 lawyers. Prior to his PBA Presidency, he was Zone 9 Governor and, in that capacity, served on the PBA Board of Governors. Bill is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and was named Trial Lawyer of the Year by the MBA Trial Lawyers Section in 2005. In 2010, he received the MBA Henry Stuckert Miller Award for Public Service. In law school, Bill met and wooed the beauteous and estimable Mary Coyne, followed by marriage in 1987, so that Bill, V and MBA Vice President Mary Coyne Pugh, Executive Director of MCAP, form another MBA power couple.
After graduating from Notre Dame and Georgetown Law, Bob quickly established himself as a premier civil trial attorney whose poise, keen intelligence and zealous advocacy served his clients well. His gracious and collegial manner made him even more effective, and a friend of us all. For many years he practiced in Bryn Mawr first with Bob, Sr., then as a solo practitioner. He later joined Hamburg Rubin Mullin Maxwell & Lupin, PC as a partner in charge of litigation. As MBA President, he founded the Summer 1L Diversity Internship Program, which now bears his name. Bob was also an early supporter of MCAP and a strong advocate for the independence of the Judiciary. Bob served on the Board of St. Edmund’s Home and as a twoterm President of the Parents Association of St. Aloysius Academy. We all miss Bob greatly. It is wonderful that his beloved, the lovely Carolyn Curran Slota, continues to grace us with her presence at many MBA events.
2008: ROBERT F. MORRIS Bench Bar: Bedford Springs, PA
Bob continues to lead Morris Wilson, P.C., the boutique civil litigation firm he co-founded 25 years ago. He is one of the premier civil trial attorneys in Pennsylvania, achieving multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements. Last year, he obtained the second largest medical malpractice verdict in Montgomery County history. Recently, he persuaded the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reverse the Commonwealth Court in a decision having far reaching implications in the area of federal preemption. Bob is a tireless advocate for children as a long serving officer and board member of the North Penn Valley Boys and Girls Club which he has helped develop into a nationwide haven for children and teenagers. He is also on the MCAP Board and volunteers much of his valuable time to the MCAP cause. He is Chair of the PBA Judicial Evaluation Commission, which publishes evaluations of candidates for the Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Courts. He is a Past President of the Montgomery County Trial Lawyers Association, which honored him with the James P. Fox Trial Lawyer of the Year Award in 2006. He is a long time Zone 9 Delegate to the PBA House. A former pool swimmer at Yale, he is now an accomplished open water swimmer under the tutelage of this writer.
2009: HON. MARK A. KEARNEY Bench Bar: Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, PA
In 1991, a true force of nature descended upon the MBA: Mark A. Kearney. With achievements and honors far too numerous to mention, here are a few: • As President, celebrating MBA’s 125th Anniversary in grand fashion resulting in national awards • Twenty-five years of trying major cases in commercial and class action matters
• Managing and Co-Hiring partner, Elliott Greenleaf, P.C. • Board member, Villanova Law Board of Consultors, Legal Aid of S.E. Pennsylvania • MBA Henry Stuckert Miller Award for Public Service (2011) for his founding of the Welcoming Center for new Pennsylvanians. • PBA Service to Pennsylvania Lawyers and Pro Bono Awards (2012) • MBA Council of Past Presidents Lifetime Achievement Award (2014) • Immediate Past President of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI) • MBA James P. Fox Trial Lawyer of the Year Award (2014) • Archbishop Wood H.S. Hall of Fame (2015) On December 3, 2014, the United States Senate unanimously confirmed Mark as the 100th United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Our force of nature is now at 6th and Market in Philadelphia, bringing his enthusiasm, intelligence and wit to the Federal Bench. Once known as the “Energizer Bunny,” he is now the Energizer Jurist.
2010: STEVEN H. LUPIN Bench Bar: Washington, DC The longtime managing partner of Lansdale’s Hamburg Rubin Mullin Maxwell & Lupin, PC, Steve has guided the firm to its present position of prominence locally and beyond. He has litigated almost every aspect of personal injury, business and commercial litigation. Steve is Past President of the Montgomery American Inn of Court and the Montgomery County Trial Lawyers Association, which awarded him its James P. Fox Trial Lawyer of the Year Award in 2012. He has served on the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice (formerly PATLA) for many years, authoring a column on Commercial Litigation in its publication for 12 years. He is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and a Fellow of the Academy of Advocacy at Temple University. In 2009, he received the Henry Stuckert Miller Public Service Award from the MBA. He has just completed serving his second two-year term as President of the Montgomery Bar Foundation and has been a Zone 9 Delegate to the PBA House since 2006. In his spare time (?) he plays tennis and roots for Penn State.
BITS & BYTES
By Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq.
ith 2015 behind us, and looking into my crystal ball, the biggest trend in technology is streaming media and the increasing number of devices for the delivery of content. There are many choices and prices. From $20 to $200 buys you Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku or Chromecast from Google (there are others). Additionally, if you have access to the internet, and a smart phone or tablet, there are apps like Xfinity (Comcast), Watch ESPN, HBO to GO or CNNgo, which will allow you to watch a live streaming channel of content. Many cable companies such as Comcast provide access to their cable content live over the internet on computer screens. The choices continue to increase every day. With a generation of “cord cutters” on the horizon, the ever-increasing monthly cable bill is being threatened not only by satellite companies like Direct TV and Dish Network, but the aforesaid Apple TV and the new trend of smaller economy bundles for those who won’t pay for the bloated package of channels which are overpriced and under-watched. Within five to ten years, our law practices will feel the impact of these technologies. Video conferencing, already becoming mainstream at PBI and other CLE organizations, will have stand-alone apps or choices within the apps for CLE and other streaming content. “FaceTime”like calls to other lawyers and clients will become the norm. Witnesses will testify via live video rather than appear in Court. Smart Boards, like the one we use in the Montgomery County Court House, will be in every courtroom and used extensively. For now, here is some information that may help you if you are considering buying a streaming media device.
storage capability. It is a small computer that connects to your screen (HDTV, LCD projector or monitor) via HDMI cable. Once connected, you can buy or rent movies and music, watch standalone cable channels and live sports, and even play games. You can stream internet content without wires to your HDTV or other video screen. PowerPoint or other presentations can also be streamed without wires to an LCD projector and onto a large screen. Many people believe that Apple is going into competition with cable companies to deliver content to the consumer. I wouldn’t bet against that happening. As an added plus, “Siri” is builtin for voice commands.
This is an inexpensive, no frills device from Google that uses an HDMI and wi-fi connection to stream from your computer,
The current and recently-updated model is about $150 - $200 depending on the
Amazon Fire TV
For as low as $50 to $150 you can purchase a variety of models. At the low end, you plug a stick into your TV HDMI input which gives you a choice of 3,000 channels, apps and games. If you are a member of Amazon Prime, more choices at free or discounted prices become available to you. As part of your $99 annual fees, you get access to Netflix, Showtime and Sling TV as well as other TV series, movies and Amazon’s original content. At the high end, 4K content is streamed (you’ll need a new 4K capable HDTV).
Roku also uses the plug-in stick model and provides 3,000 streaming channels and apps, movies and games. It is recommended for entry level, although a high end model was just released which delivers 4K content (as little as there is). Roku also has more choices for connection for older TVs. Entry level models start at $25 and go up to $125.
tablet or smartphone. It is not platformdependent, i.e. you can use Apple, Android or other operating systems. It delivers the usual array of channels, apps, etc., but does not have an elegant or polished navigation screen, and costs approximately $35. Before you purchase, remember there is no monthly charge for the devices. Some content requires an initial cost or monthly charge. These can be eliminated if you have the content as part of your monthly cable package. For example, if you have HBO in your cable package, you can watch HBO content for free, on these streaming devices or over the internet. Go to your local electronics store and see these devices in person – connected – before you buy. Make sure you can connect them to the TV or screen you intend to use. Make sure you know the type of connection you need. HDMI? How many inputs does your TV have? Are they being used? Do you have cable? What content are you paying for? Remember to add up your total package price. The device may be inexpensive, but the cables, add-ons, monthly subscriptions, etc. add up. Many new TVs are so-called “Smart TVs” and have some of these features built in. Write this all down BEFORE you shop! Was it better before cable, with only the over-the-air channels and rabbit ears? Just asking… Please email me directly at joel@ bernbaumfamilylaw.com with your experience, problems or suggestions for topics. I appreciate them. Bernbaum Family Law 33 Rock Hill Road | Suite 250 | Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 Phone: Direct: 610-667-7902 | Mobile 484-620-2536 Fax: 610-879-3745 E-Mail: email@example.com
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Local Young Artists Deck the Courthouse Halls
n stride with recent efforts to beautify our County Courthouse, the Montgomery Bar Association’s Family Law Section recently commissioned several aspiring young artists from West Broad Street Elementary School in Souderton to create a mural to be hung in the waiting area of Montgomery County’s Juvenile Court. The artists, from 1st through 5th grade, worked after school for several sessions, painting a 3 foot by 4 foot canvas, depicting a colorful “Under the Sea” display, which was formally dedicated in a ceremony in Courtroom “A” of the Montgomery County Court House on November 30. Melissa Boyd recalls being inspired by a similar project spearheaded about a decade ago by now Judge-elect Daniel J. Clifford, who at that time served in her current capacity as chair of the Bar Association’s Family Law Section. That mural, also created by elementary school artists, currently hangs at 321 Swede Street, where children are often interviewed by custody masters in issues relating to family law. Boyd notes, “I’ve always remembered it was such a fabulous thing that Dan did during his year [as chair], so I couldn’t resist the urge to take something like this on during my year.” Boyd, who is no stranger to the exploding art scene that’s been capturing attention from courthouse visitors in recent years, practices with the Norristown law firm of High Swartz LLP. Since 2012, she’s served as vice-chair of the Bar Association’s Community Outreach Committee. Here, volunteering alongside Committee Chair, Judge Carolyn T. Carluccio, she’s been one of the driving forces behind the award-winning “Courting Art” program — an annual art contest and exhibition for Montgomery County residents that has accounted for nearly 100 new works of art in our Courthouse and is “launching again this February with an exciting new theme for 2016,” according to Boyd.
The formal dedication ceremony was attended by the children, their parents, West Broad Principal Marianne Boyd and Art Teacher Kim Minnucci. President Judge William J. Furber, Jr., Hon. Carolyn T. Carluccio, Hon. Kelly C. Wall, Hon. Garrett D. Page, Hon. Calvin S. Drayer, Jr., and, the inspiration for the project, Judge-elect Dan Clifford, attended as well to show their appreciation and support for the artists. The children received certificates of appreciation from the Bar Association and the school received a giclee reproduction of the painting. After the ceremony, the halls of the MBA were even livelier than usual, as the children walked over from the Courthouse to be treated to a celebratory lunch before heading back to school.
Appeals and Briefs Anthony J. Vetrano
610.265.4441 630 Freedom Business Center Drive, Suite 215 King of Prussia, PA 19406 TonyVetrano@VetranoLaw.com www.PennsylvaniaAppealsLawyer.com
MBA / FEATURE
The Montgomery County Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program By The Honorable Richard P. Haaz BACKGROUND
On September 8, 2010, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille issued a public call for county courts to consider establishing mortgage foreclosure diversion programs to effectively address the large number of foreclosure filings related to single family residential properties and to develop programs whereby these cases could be resolved by mutual agreement of the parties when possible. In response, the following counties developed various forms of residential mortgage foreclosure diversionary or conciliation programs: Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Butler, Clinton, Cumberland, Delaware, Fayette, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Somerset and Washington. Approximately 1,800 residential mortgage foreclosure complaints are filed in Montgomery County each year. In 2014, Montgomery County was one of only ten counties in Pennsylvania where foreclosure filings actually increased from previous years. In fact, the 1,000 residential properties sold at sheriff sales in calendar years 2013 and 2014 represented a 50% increase in sheriff sales compared to 2011 and 2012. In early 2015, Judge Carolyn T. Carluccio and I began to investigate whether the Montgomery County Court and stakeholders in foreclosure actions could benefit from a residential mortgage foreclosure diversionary program. This process started by obtaining information on every program in Pennsylvania and meeting with judges who initiated or were supervising programs in other counties. A steering committee of stakeholders was organized consisting of lenders’ attorneys, borrowers’ attorneys, Legal Aid representatives and housing counselors. Most of the members of the steering committee had experience in other counties and were enthusiastic about the program. Administrative Judge Thomas M. DelRicci, Court Administrator Michael R. Kehs, and First Deputy Prothonotary Angelina Salamone Focht provided helpful suggestions, insight and logistical support. President Judge William J. Furber, Jr. approved a pilot mortgage foreclosure diversionary program which included mortgage foreclosure actions filed on or after June 1, 2015 SIDEBAR
involving owner-occupied residential properties only with mortgages under $300,000. Commercial properties and those which are the subject of divorce litigation, estates or bankruptcy proceedings are not included in the program.
HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS
Upon the filing of the complaint, an automatic stay of the foreclosure proceeding is issued. A mandatory conciliation (or “opt out”) conference is scheduled approximately 30-45 days after the filing of the complaint. A notice is sent with the scheduling order encouraging the homeowner(s) to contact a housing counselor at Clarifi, a HUD-approved consumer credit counseling agency. Housing counselors are available free of charge. Housing counselors attempt to reach out to homeowners prior to the conference to discuss options and gather paperwork. The conciliation conferences are held every other Wednesday of each month. The first Wednesday conference generally addresses new filings and first listings. The second Wednesday conferences generally address continued matters, the status of applications for loan modifications, and document exchanges. These conferences are not of record. No evidentiary hearings or dispositions occur. The presiding judge facilitates discussions between the parties to find a solution besides foreclosure. Homeowners are advised from the outset that the court cannot compel a settlement or order the lenders to modify a delinquent loan. Homeowners have an opportunity to speak with housing counselors at the conferences (if they have not already done so). Homeowners and lenders speak directly with each other and attempt to reach an agreement or resolution. If the homeowner was not served, the conference is continued for approximately 45-60 days to allow for service of the complaint. If the homeowners were served and failed to appear at the conference, the automatic stay is lifted and the case proceeds through the normal course of litigation. Homeowners must attend the scheduled conference in order to stay in the program. WINTER 2015-16
I N I T I A L R E S U LT S
Mortgage Conciliation Statistics August-November, 2015 Total New Complaints Defendants % Defendants Month Resolved1 Stay Continued in Program Appear Appear
August September October November
11 7 12 14
14 33 34 31
56 52 47 68
79 90 89 107
17 20 24 33
21.52% 22.22% 26.96% 30.84%
The term â€œresolvedâ€? refers to outcomes that avoid foreclosure (e.g., loan modification, pre-foreclosure sale, repayment plan, etc.).
Continued on page 22
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The Montgomery County Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program Continued from page 21
Clarifi provided housing counseling services to 78 of the 106 homeowners (or 73.5%) who appeared for conferences. Sixty-eight of those homeowners (or 87.5%) achieved an outcome that avoided foreclosure or are still awaiting decision from the lenders. Eleven of those homeowners withdrew from counseling or were unable to avoid continuing in the foreclosure process. Clearly, the great majority of those borrowers who did appear and took advantage of Clarifiâ€™s free counseling services improved their chances of avoiding foreclosure.
Twice as many homeowners appeared in diversion court in November as compared to August. The significant increase in homeownersâ€™ appearances at the conferences is an encouraging trend. It is not clear if this is a function of better outreach by Clarifi, greater confidence in the program, or some other factors. November represented the strongest month in terms of appearances by borrowers and in resolutions. The average resolution rate projects to over 130 resolutions of foreclosure litigation per annum.
CONCLUSION At this early juncture, it appears that the Montgomery County program provides value to the court, lenders, borrowers and the general community. The court benefits by disposing of over 130 cases per year without having to schedule, hear or preside over any preliminary objections, discovery motions, motions for summary judgment or trials. The lenders benefit by entering into agreed-upon modifications, allowing non-performing loans to become performing loans in order to avoid eventual ownership of distressed properties. The homeowners benefit by saving the family home with new terms that are feasible for their circumstances. The general community (and court system) benefits by saving 130 families from the life-altering experience of a forced eviction from the family home and potential resulting stressful sequelae (acting out on family members or others) leading to conduct implicating family court or law enforcement involvement.
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The Paralegal And Pro Bono By Annette M. Long-Tulio, CRP, Pa.C.P.
ro Bono Publico, Latin for “the public good,” is the providing of legal services to enhance access to justice for persons of limited means. Voluntary professional work without payment is not limited to attorneys. With the legal needs of low-income individuals increasing, paralegal involvement in pro bono activities is also on the rise. While only licensed attorneys may provide legal advice, there are many components of pro bono service that do not involve dispensing legal advice. According to the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), paralegals can benefit the community, the private bar, the judiciary, and the paralegal profession by volunteering their time, abilities, and skills as trained legal professionals. The NFPA has adopted a Model Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility. Canon 1.4 addresses the paralegal and Pro Bono Services:
“A paralegal shall serve the public interest by contributing to the improvement of the legal system and delivery of quality legal services, including Pro Bono Publico Services and Community Service.” Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor’s letter of April 2015 asked each attorney to voluntarily do even more to support access to justice. Just as bar associations recommend that attorneys aspire to perform at least 50 hours of pro bono work per year, the NFPA recommends that paralegals aspire to complete 24 hours of pro bono work annually.
The first line of our Constitution (establish justice) and the closing words of our Pledge of Allegiance (indivisible, with liberty and justice for all) reflect the fundamental American values of access to justice. As Americans continue to struggle with employment, home ownership, and providing basic necessities for their families, the need for civil legal assistance continues to increase. There are many resources available for discovering pro bono opportunities. In addition to the Montgomery Bar Association, the American Bar Association offers a National Pro Bono Opportunities Guide which allows you to select a state from a map in order to locate volunteer opportunities. The Pennsylvania Bar Association has a Pro Bono Coordinator and informative web pages. Other websites such as www. PAprobono.net, www.lawhelp.org and www.lsc.gov also provide resources and materials. Without funding, more Americans will be unable to effectively access the court system to protect their legal interests. The need for legal services among the poor is overwhelming. The Pennsylvania Legal Assistance Network (PLAN) estimates that only one in five poverty-level persons with legal issues ever sees an attorney, According to an American Bar Association study, at least 40% of low- and moderate-income households experience a legal problem each year. Yet studies show that the collective civil legal aid effort is meeting only about 20% of the legal needs of low-income people. The time has come for paralegals and attorneys to increase their involvement in providing access to justice.
2016 High School Mock Trials – JURORS NEEDED!
n just a few weeks, high school students from throughout the county will gather at the Montgomery County Court House in Norristown to take part in the district competitions of the 2016 Mock Trial Competition. Each year, student teams present their cases before actual Montgomery County Common Pleas and Magisterial District Judges. Juries, comprised of attorneys, paralegals, and legal administrators, decide the winner by assigning each team a score based on the team’s preparation, presentation ability, and adherence to court rules. Students are guided by a member of their respective faculty and mentored by a member of the bar. They work extremely hard to prepare for these competitions, as evidenced by their demeanor, knowledge, and effective arguments. Officers and members of the Young Lawyers Section (YLS) work just as hard to organize the district competitions. The YLS President serves as the district coordinator and is responsible for communication with each school, setting the schedule, assigning courtrooms, and ensuring that each trial has a sufficient jury. Show your support and perform your mock civic duty by volunteering to serve as a juror or timekeeper this year. Past participants consider it a rewarding and satisfying experience. There are a number of trials at different times to accommodate your schedule. Stay tuned to montgomerybar.org and our weekly BarNews email for dates and times. Don’t miss this opportunity to provide helpful feedback to local students and to see our future litigators in action! SIDEBAR
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Bench Bar at Bedford a Blast! By Dennis R. Meakim, Esq.
he 2015 Bench Bar Conference was held at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort. MBA President Bruce Pancio selected the beautifully restored hotel in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains for this year’s event. The MBA members and their families that attended were able to rest and relax among the trees and hills surrounding the resort, made famous by its location near several natural springs. The hotel building itself is actually multiple buildings which have been added to and joined together over the years since 1806. Many of the rooms had old-time balconies equipped with table and chairs and which overlooked the lawns. The “feel of the resort” was reminiscent of the hotel featured in the Christopher Reeve/Jane Seymour movie, “Somewhere in Time.” Friday evening included a grand barbeque with all the usual trimmings. Hosted on the lawn under the stars, everyone enjoyed good company, good food and live music. For those who like to carouse, the Tavern area remained open into the late hours. Kudos to the person who thought to include the weekend itinerary on the back of the name tags. The morning schedule on Saturday included the State of the Judiciary Address by Judge Stan Ott (substituting for President Judge Furber). Judge Ott’s comments were followed by a presentation by Ken Gormley, then Dean of Duquesne University School of Law and recently nominated to be President of the University. Ken is the author of multiple
scholarly articles on special prosecutors and the definitive biography of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Dean Gormley cited a string of well-known and lesser-known facts surrounding the Watergate cover-up and subsequent prosecution. Mixed into the presentation were video clips of many of the newsmakers of the time. The presentation was billed as an approved CLE and may have set a record for the highest percentage of attendees actually paying attention. Saturday afternoon included free time for all. Many attorneys, judges and families were seen walking the one mile trail into town. The downtown area was small but had the expected quaint shops and restaurants found in any American small town. It was a beautiful day, sun shining bright. The natural springs are located throughout the surrounding hillside adjacent to the resort. A handy map provided by the concierge allowed many people to hike the trails in an effort to view all eight springs. The resort also features a golf course touted by the management as one of the first courses ever built in America. If you get enough lawyers together, somebody is bound to want to play 18 holes. For those who wanted a more emotional experience, the National Park Service had very recently opened the longawaited Visitor Center at the Flight 93 Memorial. A somber
reminder of the events of September 11, 2001, the field where that fateful crash occurred was only a short drive from the resort. Minimal development in the area has preserved the eeriness and quiet that was so tragically upset 14 years ago. Saturday evening brought everyone back together again for a fine meal. Dinner was served buffet-style and outdoors once again. It was a great evening and just the slightest bit chilly. The late night crowd was once again found in the Tavern area with the members of the Hamburg, Rubin firm dominating the area surrounding the pool table. Others continued the night under the stars around the fire pit right up until Security personnel doused the flames. The Sunday morning get-away breakfast brought the weekend to an appropriate close. It is the saddest part of the weekend and those who left for home with cocktail tickets still in their hands are encouraged to stay up later and have more fun next year.
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Building Connections, One Member at a Time By Nancy Walsh
embership in the Montgomery Bar Association offers a wealth of benefits. Affordable and interesting Continuing Legal Education; useful publications; amenities such as free parking, meeting space, and the Courthouse Café; competitive group insurance programs; and access to informative Listserv discussions are but a few. As valuable as these benefits are, however, they are not the reason that the MBA has established itself as the preeminent bar association in the region; this reputation was built upon the MBA’s unparalleled focus on the fostering of relationships among its members, a focus which benefits its members professionally and personally in countless ways. Recently, the Bar Association has dedicated even greater energy into new efforts and initiatives aimed at fostering connections throughout the association, particularly for its newest members. New members of the Bar are now welcomed with personal phone calls within the first few weeks of their membership. These phone calls give MBA staff the opportunity to ask new members what they most want from their memberships. The response to these calls has been overwhelmingly positive, resulting in answered questions, facilitated connections to seasoned members, and enthusiastic engagement in Bar activities right out of the gate. Long-term relationships are often built from the first conversation, and the Bar is committed to making these conversations welcoming and helpful. All new members are also invited to a New Member Breakfast, held several times a year in the Courthouse Café, to welcome them and introduce them to what the Bar has to offer. These breakfasts are always well-attended, with a mix of new members, Membership Committee chairs, various Section and Committee chairs, members of the MBA staff, and the President of the MBA. This is an excellent opportunity to meet new and seasoned members, learn a bit about the MBA, visit
the Bar building, and, most importantly, feel the energy that MBA membership evokes. New member Travis Maurer notes, “The New Member Breakfast provides a great introduction to the structure of the MBA. I was able to meet many members of the Bar and learn how to get involved with MBA sections and committees. It was very beneficial for me as a young lawyer and a new member.” It is just another way to help develop what hopefully will become long-standing relationships with our members. One of the most successful new initiatives designed to enrich connections with new members is the Bar Guide program. This program pairs each new member with an engaged member of the MBA community in an effort to make those initial events and meetings more comfortable. Considerable effort is made to pair people with similar practice areas, interests, and/or locations. The Bar Guide program is not a formal mentoring program, but rather a relaxed, simple approach to providing new members with a point person, a “friendly face in the crowd,” to whom they can turn for introductions, resources, and new friendship. Several new members, upon being assigned their Bar Guides, have appreciatively noted that “all associations should provide such a benefit.” As part of the Bar Guide initiative, new members are provided with one free committee/section meeting or 1-hour CLE, and free admission to the Business Luncheon, Dinner Dance, Clambake or Membership Dinner, any of which they can attend with their Bar Guides, who will happily introduce them to fellow members. Bar Guide Dennis Meakim recounts his experience with his assignee, Travis Maurer. The Bar Guide partners decided to meet at the Annual Membership Dinner (which Maurer was able to attend for free as part of the Bar Guide program). Meakim recounts that he was able to introduce Maurer to several judges, including Judge Murphy, an especially exciting opportunity for Maurer because of his practice in Estate litigation and other
Orphan’s Court matters. Judges Toliver and Carluccio also graciously welcomed Maurer, and Judge Carpenter joined the pair at dinner. Meakim enthused, “I don’t think he could have had a better experience.” Maurer concurs. “Attending a social event with my Bar Guide made it easier to network with people with whom I may not normally connect.” This is just one of many examples of the effect of the Bar Guide program, and genuine efforts to help new members connect on a personal level with their fellow members. Meakim notes, “I wish I had been assigned a Bar Guide early in my membership. I would have been a more active member earlier in my career and I think I missed out on a lot of opportunities like networking and longerstanding relationships.” Most seasoned members speak of the friendships they have developed through the MBA as the most important benefit of their membership. Whether through participation in committees and sections, contribution to respectful debate over important issues, commitment to service to the community through countless well-organized projects, or attendance at numerous social and networking events, members have long
understood that it is their fellow members who infuse this Association with its greatest value, both professionally and personally. By reaching out to each new member from the outset, the MBA continues to demonstrate its commitment to this ideal. Through seemingly simple initiatives, like new member phone calls and the Bar Guide program, hopefully all new members will quickly come to feel like part of the MBA family. What do YOU most appreciate about your MBA membership? What do YOU most want your membership to provide? What ideas do YOU have for helping to make all members feel engaged and connected? Help us to make your membership all you want it to be. OR Have a story to share about your Bar Guide experience? We want to hear it! Some will be featured in upcoming Bar News or SIDEBAR stories. Email Nancy Walsh at nancywalsh@ montgomerybar.org to share your ideas.
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MBA / FEATURE
The Delaware Valley Legal Expo celebrated its 20th anniversary in style on November 10, 2015. Attorneys, law office administrators and staff flocked to the new location, the Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel, to see the latest in practice management technology, staffing solutions and so much more. Over $10,000 in prizes was awarded by generous exhibitors and sponsors. The expo is a joint production of the Montgomery Bar Association and the Association of Legal Administrators Independence Chapter. Mark your calendar for next yearâ€™s Legal Expo: November 10, 2016!
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Past Presidents Dinner |
October 7, 2015
Top row (left to right): William H. Pugh, V, Mark C. Schultz, Samuel D. Miller, III, J. Edmund Mullin, John R. Howland, Paul C. Troy. Middle row (left to right): Mary C. Pugh, Robert F. Morris, Hon. Carolyn T. Carluccio, Nancy Hopkins Wentz, Steven H. Lupin, Marc Robert Steinberg, William H. Pugh, IV, Cheryl L. Young, Steven G. Yusem, Carolyn R. Mirabile, Eric B. Smith, Bruce Pancio. Bottom row (seated left to right): Bernard J. McLafferty, Frederic M. Wentz, Hon. Mason Avrigian, Andrew B. Cantor, C. Dale McClain, Donald J. Martin
MBA / FEATURE
The Annual Membership Dinner
ver 300 members, guests and dignitaries attended the MBA’s Annual Membership Dinner on November 6th at Rivercrest Golf Club & Preserve in Upper Providence Township. This annual formal event is a chance for members to catch up with colleagues and honor some of our own. The largest in recent memory, this year’s class of fiftyyear honorees was comprised of twenty members. Those honorees included: David N. Brook, Andrew B. Cantor, The Honorable S. Gerald Corso, Nathaniel P. D’Amico, The Honorable Calvin S. Drayer, Jr., Gilbert P. High, Jr., Arthur L. Jenkins, Jr., Howard E. Kalis, III, Edward Kessel, Robert A. Korn, Joseph P. Lynch, C. Dale McClain, Albert B. Michell, The Honorable William T. Nicholas, Albert C. Oehrle, Francis Recchuiti, Rodman M. Rosenberger, Richard F. Stern, James H. Stevens, and Van Weiss. The class of fifty-year members was introduced by The Honorable William T. Nicholas and each member was presented with a gift from the MBA and a commemorative book, which included photos and comments from each member reflecting on their fifty years in the practice of law. Excerpts from the book were shown on a 9’ by 12’ projection screen throughout the evening. Also honored at the Dinner were members of the Bench who will be stepping down in the coming months, including The Honorable Bernard A. Moore, The Honorable Stanley R. Ott, The Honorable Joseph A. Smyth, and Federal District Court Judge William H. Yohn, Jr.
MBA / FEATURE
LAUNCHES ITS SECOND YEAR
n the past year, the MBA placed significant focus on the issue of leadership – exploring what it should look like, celebrating its success, and fostering it within all levels of our organization. One of the clearest examples of this heightened focus was the launching of the Bar’s Leadership Academy initiative. Past-president Michael F. Rogers and MBA Executive Director Nancy R. Paul developed the idea, and created an ad hoc group of lawyers to serve as advisors as the program took shape. Donna Branca, Philadelphia Director of SJL Shannon Legal Talent Management, served as a consultant and worked with Nancy Paul and the Honorable Carolyn T. Carluccio to draft the plan for the first year of the program. All involved were committed to the idea of developing broad leadership skills in a select group of Focus Group participants with the belief that such a program would have long-term positive effects on the MBA at-large. In November 2014, ten carefully selected focus group members — lawyers identified as current and emerging leaders, representing a mix of bar members diversified by gender, race, years of experience, and practice type — began the program. They were required to attend approximately 10 workshops, commit to attendance at as many MBA events as possible, and participate in a comprehensive group project. Nancy Walsh was hired in March 2015 to help with program development and coordination. Workshops and discussions focused on the development of broad leadership skills, including communication, influence, and selfawareness, as well as skills specific to the practice of law, such as developing business plans in law firms. After several months of hard work, the Focus Group presented to the Board of Directors its recommendation that the MBA create an Access to Justice Coordinator position to address the growing pro bono needs in the County. The group faced an initial setback when feasibility concerns were raised regarding the group’s original proposal, but they were able to stay focused and make necessary adjustments. The Leadership Academy team presented a modified proposal at the next meeting and the Board unanimously approved the recommendation. The members of the Focus Group were able to see an important, tangible result of their dedication to the program and the power of effective leadership skills. Robert C. Gerhard, III, served as co-chair of the Leadership Academy, and noted, “The leadership development process was as important for us as the excellent end result.” In addition to the approval of its recommendation, the Focus Group was also fortunate to see several of its members tapped for key leadership positions within the Bar. Patrick J. Kurtas, an active and engaged member of the inaugural Academy group, was recently nominated to be the MBA’s newest officer. Matthew Quigg, also a member of the pilot group as well as the Board of Trustees of the Montgomery Bar Foundation, was nominated to serve on the MBA’s Board of Directors. These selections are indicative of the Bar Association’s belief in the importance of leadership development and its commitment to the Academy as a path to leadership within the Association and the greater community. SIDEBAR
Judge Carluccio is a staunch advocate of the initiative: I am so proud of the Bar for committing the resources to help ensure the continued success of this program. Hiring Nancy Walsh mid-way through the first year brought a fresh perspective from an academic vantage and a new level of energy and invigoration. Watching members of our “first class” grow and evolve was so exciting. Leaders can be cultivated – we have seen it happen! I see this Academy as a shining beacon of our Bar for years to come. In the fall, applications were accepted for the 2016 Leadership Academy. The selection process was competitive and the committee was fortunate to have the difficult task of reviewing many impressive candidates. The committee was committed to pulling together a diverse, well-rounded team, maximizing the ability to learn from each other, as well as from the program instructors, and is extremely pleased with the group selected: Kathleen Colgan Clinton J. Cusick Jeffrey S. Feldman Mark R. Fischer, Jr. Emily Geer Hippler Christine M. Gordon Melissa Ann Iacobucci Michael E. Kelley Adrienne Kosinski William G. Roarke Leno P. Thomas Karen L. Tucci Year 2 will launch with an orientation in January and proceed with meetings and workshops designed to help participants understand and capitalize on their personal leadership strengths. In addition to these meetings, this year’s program includes a personal component, wherein participants will meet individually with Nancy Walsh throughout the year to develop and track a plan for personal leadership goals. Walsh, who taught leadership at Arcadia University, feels strongly that the most essential element of leadership is self-awareness – an understanding of one’s strengths, weaknesses, styles and stories – and plans to use this notion as the backbone of the program. In addition, participants will be provided unique networking opportunities, including a question-and-answer panel with members of the Bench. Also included is a mentor component, designed to foster informative, nurturing and productive relationships between Academy members and seasoned advisors. For any organization to maintain success, it must make continued investments in its most important assets – its people. The MBA’s Leadership Academy, and its focus on developing authentic, innovative leadership to nurture the considerable potential of all its members, is just another example of the MBA’s understanding of, and commitment to, this essential directive.
Review and Preview of Theatre Horizon’s 2015-2016 Season By Kelley Menzano Fazzini, Esq.
heatre Horizon, located directly behind the Montgomery County Court House at 401 DeKalb Street, is a local non-profit theatre company, which produces several plays and musicals, including original works, every year. Last year, Theatre Horizon was nominated for nineteen (19) Barrymore Awards and won four (4) for their 2014 -2015 Season Hit, Into the Woods. Theatre Horizon’s 2015-2016 schedule is already off to an exciting start. From November 12th through December 13th, Black Nativity attracted enthusiastic crowds. Black Nativity, written by Langston Hughes, is a joyful, dramatic and interactive production which incorporates African and contemporary dance, gospel, classic carols and storytelling. Audience members are literally out of their seats clapping, singing and even dancing with the actors and actresses. Continuing the theme of the holiday season, The Santaland Diaries had a limited engagement from December 18th through December 20th. The Santaland Diaries is written by popular humorist David Sedaris and is considered to have launched his career. The Santaland Diaries shows audiences the “behind the scenes” life of a Macy’s Department Store elf featuring bad Santas, abusive customers, and a close look at the consumer focused Christmas culture.
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Up next, Lobby Hero, written by Kenneth Lonergan (an Oscar-nominated writer known from You Can Count on Me and Gangs of New York), will be in residence from February 18th through March 13th. This drama deals with current issues such as police misconduct and racial profiling by following a young security guard in Manhattan who becomes involved in a controversial police investigation. Finally, from May 12th through June 5th, you can catch Fully Committed, which profiles a young actor working the phones at a Manhattan restaurant while auditioning for the acting jobs he’s been dreaming of. Theatre Horizon’s Barrymore Award winning actor, Michael Doherty, plays over 40(!) roles in this comedy. Theatre Horizon offers special ticket pricing for individuals living or working in Norristown as part of their commitment to invigorating the local art’s community. Norristown residents can see Theatre Horizon’s shows for free and individuals working in Norristown can see a show for only $10 on “Norristown Night.” There are limited free tickets available, so advance reservations are highly suggested. Regular ticket pricing ranges from $25 to $53 and three (3) show subscriptions range from $75 to $120. Special group rates are also available. In addition to entertaining audiences, Theatre Horizon is committed to providing various arts education opportunities for Montgomery County children and adults — including specialized opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum. Through private donations and grants, Theatre Horizon is able to make these educational programs available to students in need at significantly reduced rates. For more information or to subscribe to the Theatre Horizon mailing list, sign up for classes or purchase tickets before they sell out (and they do!) go to www.theatrehorizon.org.
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MONTGOMERY BAR FOUNDATION
The Montgomery Bar Foundation would like to acknowledge the following firms and individuals for their commitment and support in 2015 and beyond:
2015 Contributors Marlyn F. Smith, Esq. Priscilla Brandon Robert H. Nemeroff, Esq. Joseph L. Feliciani, Esq. S&S Insurance Solutions Leo E. Reice Hon. Mason Avrigian High Swartz, LLP
2015 Annual Appeal Baratta & Russell, P.C. Gerald F. Glackin, Esq. Robert Alan Griffiths, Esq. James L. Hollinger, Esq. Marcia Binder Ibrahim, Esq. R. Emmett Madden, Esq. Hon. Bernard Moore Louis Lincoln Muchnick, PC Margaret S. Phiambolis, Esq. Ploitnick & Ellis, P.C. Kenneth A. Roos, Esq. Rodman M. Rosenberger, Esq. Timoney Knox, LLP John R. Warner, Esq. Hon. Diane M. Welsh Wolpert Schreiber P.C.
MBF Fellows Alfred Abel, Esq. Robert L. Adshead, Esq. Janet E. Amacher, Esq. Hon. Mason Avrigian Robert A. Bacine, Esq. Frank R. Bartle, Esq. Justin A. Bayer, Esq. Heather M. Bendit, Esq. Michelle C. Berk, Esq. Richard W. Berlinger, Esq. Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq. Maribeth Blessing, Esq.
Alan E. Boroff, Esq. Melissa M. Boyd, Esq. William H. Bradbury, III, Esq. Sharon Weber Bradley, PA C.P. Cynthia L. Brennan, Esq. Michelle A. Calkins Lisa J. Cappolella, Esq. Hon. Carolyn T. Carluccio Daniel J. Clifford, Esq. Hon. Thomas M. Del Ricci Hon. Wendy Demchick Alloy Amy P. DeShong, Esq. Edward J. DiDonato, Esq. Mary Cushing Doherty, Esq. David Dormont, Esq. Michael F. Dunn, Esq. Todd Eisenberg, Esq. John P. Elliott, Esq. Roberta Fedorka David A. Feldheim, Esq. Jennifer L. Ferraro Ellen S. Fischer, Esq. Craig J. Fleischmann, Esq. Cary L. Flitter, Esq. Jill R. Fowler, Esq. Diane K. Foxman, Esq. Virginia Frantz Elizabeth Wood Fritsch, Esq. Robert C. Gerhard, III, Esq. Patrick J. Gibbons, Esq. Gregory R. Gifford, Esq. Harold M. Goldner, Esq. Carol Dotson Green, Esq. Stewart J. Greenleaf, Jr., Esq. John P. Gregg, Esq. Hon. Richard P. Haaz Kate M. Harper, Esq. Lindette C. Hassan, Esq. James J. Heffernan, Esq. Richard J. Heleniak, Esq. Mark F. Himsworth, Esq. Hon. Richard J. Hodgson SIDEBAR
John R. Howland, Esq. Kathleen E. Imbesi, Esq. James M. Jacquette, Esq. Edward F. Kane, Esq. Bernadette A. Kearney, Esq. Hon. Mark A. Kearney Robert A. Korn, Esq. Andrew J. Kramer, Esq. Hon. Michael Krancer Aimee L. Kumer, Esq. Patrick J. Kurtas, Esq. William L. Landsburg, Esq. Robert H. Lefevre, Esq. Andrew J. Levin, Esq. Annette M. Long-Tulio, CRP, Pa.C.P. Steven H. Lupin, Esq. Betty Lupo, Esq. James R. Lynch, Jr., Esq. Nancy A. Marchese Donald J. Martin, Esq. J. Scott Maxwell, Esq. Michael J. McCaney, Esq. C. Dale McClain, Esq. Jeffrey W. McDonnell, Esq. Bernard J. McLafferty, Esq. Keith B. McLennan, Esq. Christopher H. Meinzer, Esq. Charles J. Meyer, Esq. Samuel D. Miller, III, Esq. Kenneth P. Milner, Esq. Carolyn R. Mirabile, Esq. Robert F. Morris, Esq. Gerald J. Mullaney, Jr., Esq. Martin P. Mullaney, Esq. J. Edmund Mullin, Esq. Karl S. Myers, Esq. Colin J. O’Boyle, Esq. John O’Rourke, Esq. Jeanne M. Ottinger, Esq. Bruce Pancio, Esq. Marie A. Patterson, Esq. Nancy R. Paul Mary C. Pugh, Esq. WINTER 2015-16
Robert Connell Pugh, Esq. William H. Pugh, IV, Esq. William H. Pugh, V, Esq. Matthew Quigg, Esq. Harry A. Reichner, M.A. Sheryl R. Rentz, Esq. Jacqueline M. Reynolds, Esq. Lisa M. Rhode, Esq. William G. Roark, Esq. Michael F. Rogers, Esq. Hon. Thomas P. Rogers Daniel G. Ronca, Esq. Joel D. Rosen, Esq. Daniel A. Rothman, Esq. Wendy G. Rothstein, Esq. Jack A. Rounick, Esq. Mark C. Schultz, Esq. William W. Shimer, Esq. Hon. Gary S. Silow Meyer Simon, Esq. Richard A. Simon, Esq. Edward A. Skypala, Esq. Robert E. Slota, Jr., Esq. Barbara M. Smith, Esq. Eric B. Smith, Esq. Neil A. Stein, Esq. Marc Robert Steinberg, Esq. Richard F. Stern, Esq. Harvey F. Strauss, Esq. Leslee Silverman Tabas, Esq. Hon. Arthur R. Tilson Hon. Steven C. Tolliver, Sr. Paul C. Troy, Esq. Hon. Kelly C. Wall Joseph P. Walsh, Esq. Robert R. Watson, Jr., Esq. Carl N. Weiner, Esq. Lester G. Weinraub, Esq. Eric P. Wilenzik, Esq. Marvin L. Wilenzik, Esq. Seth D. Wilson, Esq. Iryna V. Yursha Stephen G. Yusem, Esq.
MBA / FEATURE
MBA / FEATURE
Is the China Express Now a Local? As we start the New Year, many investors will be looking to events in China to assess whether 2016 will end in the black or in the red. The slowing of the economic engine that is China has been widely noted. From annual growth of just under 14% in 2007 to estimated growth of less than 7% for the coming year, China is going through a significant and long-term transition. It is moving from an economy driven by industrial production (goods) to a balance that includes a greater reliance on consumer spending (service). As a hybrid economy, the Chinese government and central authorities play a key role in “managing” this transition. Their efforts late last summer to embark on widespread economic, social, and political reform contributed significantly to the financial market turmoil that marked 2015. As noted in The Economist: “...the turmoil matters because it raises the perennial problem in China: reformminded leaders want to encourage markets, which require prices to change, but the leadership as a whole prizes stability and dislikes sudden price movements. The result is a shuffling back and forth over crucial matters of reform, which continues despite the upheavals. The government has promised a big reform of state-owned enterprises, as well as further financial liberalization” (Aug. 26, 2015). The importance of China in the global trade picture has grown commensurate with its economy’s ascension to the second-largest global economy (the
United States is the largest). China’s level of trade within Asia is considerable, and the declining demand within the Chinese mainland has significant negative consequences for other Asian economies such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea. A broader range of economies and markets – including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, and New Zealand – has already been adversely affected by China’s slowing demand for copper, iron ore, and other commodities that are inputs in capital goods and infrastructure investment. While China accounts for a little over 5% of the U.S.’s export business and less than 0.5% of GDP, the second-order ripple effects on the level and growth of global trade has impacted our economy. Strength in the U.S. dollar (as a perceived “safe-haven”) has adversely impacted earnings of the multinational companies that dominate major indexes such as the S&P 500. Global equity markets are working through the volatile process of re-pricing growth in light of demand concerns and the effects of not just China, but also the spillover effects as they relate to other global economies. Forecasted growth for China is 6.9% for 2015, and 6.5% for 2016. As noted above, that is a significant decline from just a few years ago, but still quite rapid and significant. For context, the expected absolute level of growth in 2015, less than 7%, is the same as the level of growth in 2007, when the economy expanded by nearly 14%. Put differently, the Chinese economy, at growth rates below 7%, is still adding the productive capacity of two economies the size of Sweden’s to the global market.
Which is to say that China is still growing. It is still a significant presence in the global growth outlook, and it is why so many forecasters look to the country to gauge risk and opportunity. We expect that global markets will witness continued bouts of volatility due to the re-pricing of growth, as China works its way through an uneven transition from a capital to a consumerdriven economy. New corporate winners and losers will be created along the way. Annual Growth in China’s Economy Year / Year % Change 2005 12.40% 2006 12.50% 2007 13.90% 2008 7.10% 2009 11.70% 2010 10.00% 2011 8.70% 2012 8.00% 2013 7.60% 2014 7.20% 2015 (estimate) 6.90%
Phil Wagner is a senior investment advisor with the Wealth Management Division of Bryn Mawr Trust. He may be reached at 610.254.2004 or pwagner@ bmtc.com. The views expressed herein are those of Bryn Mawr Trust as of the date above and are subject to change based on market conditions and other factors. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a recommendation for any specific security. Information has been collected from sources believed to be reliable but have not been verified for accuracy. © 2015 The Bryn Mawr Trust Company 1
All figures are from FactSet, Inc.
Members in the News Jamie R. Hall, Charlene and Turner are proud to announce the arrival of Everett Reed on Friday, Nov. 6th, 8lbs. 15oz. Both mommy and baby are well and back home.
purpose was to explain the reasons to pass House Bill 380 which would reduce the length of time for a no fault divorce based on separation, from two years to one year.
Congratulations to Lindsay C. Hanifan on her marriage to Andrew Childs on December 5, 2015. Lindsay, an associate with Vetrano | Vetrano & Feinman, LLC, currently serves as Secretary of the MBA Young Lawyers Section.
Fairlie & Lippy, P.C., a Montgomery County Criminal Defense and Personal Injury firm, is pleased to announce that for the third consecutive year, Managing Partner, Steven F. Fairlie, was recognized by The National Advocacy for DUI Defense (NAFDD), LLC, an organization that awards the nation’s best private Driving Under the Influence (DUI) attorneys.
Friedman Schuman, P.C. is proud to announce that Robert H. Nemeroff and Michael Yanoff have been certified as members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Bob Nemeroff, a Shareholder of the firm, is a Life Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which is a prerequisite to membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Mike Yanoff is one of the firm’s senior litigators with more than four decades of litigation experience, representing clients in a variety of litigation and business matters. The Million Dollar Advocates Forum is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States, of which less than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members. The law firm of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, P.C. is pleased to announce that John J. Iannozzi lectured to Villanova University School of Law students regarding the benefits of participating in the Villanova University School of Law Clinical Programs and giving back to the community. John is a 2004 graduate of Villanova University School of Law and a partner with Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, P.C. Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C. is pleased and excited to announce the addition Julie J. Marburger to the firm. Ms. Marburger is the ninth attorney on staff at the firm, and will focus her practice on Family Law, including Divorce, Custody, Support and Protection from Abuse. Meyer Simon, a member of the Lansdale law firm of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C., was appointed as a Zone Nine Delegate to the Pennsylvania Bar Association House of Delegates. His term begins immediately and runs through the conclusion of the 2016 Annual Meeting. The Pennsylvania Bar Association House of Delegates is responsible for setting the policy of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Andrew J. Levin, an associate at the Lansdale law firm of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C., was recently appointed as the Montgomery Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section Law School Liaison. Mr. Levin will assist the Section in working with area law schools to inform students of the benefits and opportunities offered by the Montgomery Bar Association. High Swartz family law attorney Mary Cushing Doherty testified for the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) in Harrisburg at the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee informational meeting on Tuesday, September 29, 2015. The
Jennifer J. Riley, owner of the Law Offices of Jennifer J. Riley, was invited to speak at the Young Women Rising: Igniting Our Voices Symposium, sponsored by the Souderton Area School District. The Symposium is designed to create an opportunity for students to be informed and inspired by accomplished women in the local community. Ms. Riley presented on the role of lawyers in society. David N. Hofstein, a shareholder of the Philadelphia domestic relations firm of Hofstein Weiner & Meyer, P.C., has been elected as President-Elect of the national Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Foundation, the charitable arm of the 1600-member American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. The Foundation devotes its efforts to giving grants to charitable organizations providing services to the families and children of separation and divorce. Robert Emmett Madden and The Philly Lawyers have relocated their Montgomery County office to 711 West Avenue in Jenkintown, PA. This is a classic store front office in the historic shopping and dining district of Jenkintown. Burns White recently hired Montgomery Bar Association member Michael B. Reese as an Associate. He focuses on the defense of long-term health care providers in medical malpractice and professional liability litigation. Prior to joining Burns White, Mr. Reese’s practice involved the defense of complex medical malpractice claims on behalf of health systems, hospitals, physicians, nurses and other health care providers. Mr. Reese earned his J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law. The law firm of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, P.C. is pleased to announce that Carl N. Weiner has been granted membership in the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL) as a Fellow. He is one of fewer than 150 attorneys nationwide to be admitted to the organization. Fellows of the College are among the most respected community association attorneys in the country.
Wendy G. Rothstein, partner in the Blue Bell office of Fox Rothschild LLP, was one of seven attorneys appointed by the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas to serve in the inaugural class of Civil Case Managers.
Thanksgiving Coat Drive Nets Nearly 300 Coats
Upcoming MBA Events January 2016 - April 2016 January 8, 2016
Annual Business Luncheon Normandy Farm, Blue Bell, PA
By Colin J. O’Boyle, Esq.
oats, coats, and more coats! The Young Lawyers Section continued its tradition of community service with a Thanksgiving coat drive this year. It was a great success! Thanks to many donors, we are able to provide over 100 children’s coats to Cradles to Crayons and over 175 adult coats to Catholic Social Services of Montgomery County. These organizations, which provide invaluable services to members of our community all year long, will now be better armed to help those in need ward off the cold this winter.
February 8, 2016
Annual Ski Trip Blue Mountain, Palmerton, PA
Late January – Early February 2016
Montgomery County High School Mock Trial Competition Montgomery County Court House, Norristown, PA
March 17, 2016*
Young Lawyers March Madness Happy Hour Location TBD
April 1, 2016 Cradles to Crayons, located in West Conshohocken, provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive — at home, at school and at play. This coat drive helped support its “Gear Up For Winter” initiative to prepare kids in need for frigid weather. Learn more here: www.cradlestocrayons.org/philadelphia. Catholic Social Services offers a variety of communitybased and residential programs and services to assist and support men, women and children living in Montgomery County and surrounding counties. Among many others, their services touch the lives of pregnant and parenting residents of Montgomery County on a daily basis. More information can be found at www.cssphiladelphia.org. On behalf of these organizations, we thank the many individuals who donated to help those in need. We also thank the Montgomery Bar Association and the various firms who served as drop locations and also were major contributors themselves, including: Elliott Greenleaf; Fox Rothschild, LLP; Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, P.C.; Kane, Pugh, Knoell, Troy & Kramer LLP; and Vetrano | Vetrano & Feinman. We also thank Joseph P. Walsh, Esq., Montgomery Township Supervisor, for coordinating with his Township to provide over 70 coats alone. SIDEBAR
Annual Memorial Service Courtroom “A”, Montgomery County Court House, Norristown, PA
April 15, 2016 Annual Dinner Dance Location TBD *Tentative date Visit MBACLE.org for the latest schedule of upcoming CLEs. Visit montgomerybar.org for the latest schedule of events and to register for any of the above-mentioned events.
MBA / FEATURE
Another Reason “Y” Now is the Time to Take Charge of Your Health
our MBA membership provides countless professional, educational, and social benefits; we are happy to add to that extensive list with a new benefit which will enrich your physical and emotional well-being as well. Thanks to a new agreement with the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA, all Montgomery Bar members can now take advantage of a substantially discounted YMCA membership, which will provide access to all 18 Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA locations. The YMCA has agreed to waive the membership Joiner Fee (a savings of up to $150) and offer a 10% discount on the monthly membership fee for all MBA members. This membership includes free consultations with a Wellness Coach; free group exercise classes such as Zumba, Pilates and Yoga; Priority class and program registration; and free babysitting services. It’s a benefit too valuable to ignore. To take advantage of this offer, members can simply contact any local YMCA (see side panel) to register. You will need to bring your MBAissued Courthouse ID with you when you sign up. There are no contracts to sign and no hoops to jump through (but there are hoops to be played!). As busy professionals, we often allow our health and wellbeing to take a back seat to the never-ending demands on our time, energy, and financial resources. We know, of course, that the need to care for ourselves only increases the busier we get, and are forever promising ourselves to bring a focus on our health to the forefront. As those New Year’s resolutions come into play, and the need to shed those extra holiday pounds becomes hard to escape, there is no time like the present to keep those promises to ourselves. This new benefit helps boost the motivation to keep those promises, and leave our excuses on the gym floor. Make 2016 the year of YOU!
Abington YMCA 1073 Old York Road Abington, PA 19001 Phone: 215-884-9622 Ambler Area YMCA 1325 McKean Road Ambler, PA 19002 Phone: 215-628-9950 Audubon YMCA 2460 Boulevard of the Generals West Norriton, PA 19403 Phone: 610-539-0900 Boyertown YMCA 301 West Spring Street Boyertown, PA 19512 Phone: 610-369-9622 Camp Speers at the Poconos 143 Nichecronk Road Dingmans Ferry, PA 18328 Phone: 570-828-2329 Christian Street YMCA 1724 Christian Street Philadelphia, PA 19146 Phone: 215-735-5800 Columbia North YMCA 1400 N. Broad St Philadelphia, PA 19121 Phone: 215-235-6440 Gilbertsville Center 144 Holly Road Gilbertsville, PA 19525 Phone: 610-367-9622 Hatboro Area YMCA 440 S. York Road Hatboro, PA 19040 Phone: 215-674-4545 Haverford YMCA 891 N. Eagle Road Havertown, PA 19083 Phone: 610-649-0700
New Hanover Center 3065 N. Charlotte Street Gilbertsville, PA 19525 Phone: 610-754-7010 Northeast Family YMCA 11088 Knights Road Philadelphia, PA 19154 Phone: 215-632-0100 Phoenixville YMCA 400 E. Pothouse Road Phoenixville, PA 19460 Phone: 610-933-5861 Pottstown YMCA 724 North Adams Street Pottstown, PA 19464 Phone: 610-323-7300 Rocky Run YMCA 1299 West Baltimore Pike Media, PA 19063 Phone: 610-627-9622 Roxborough YMCA 7201 Ridge Ave Philadelphia, PA 19128 Phone: 215-482-3900 Spring Valley YMCA 19 W. Linfield-Trappe Road Limerick, PA 19468 Phone: 484-984-2000 Stephen Klein Wellness Center 2144 Cecil B. Moore Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19120 Phone: 215-400-2100 Upper Perkiomen YMCA 1399 Quakertown Road Pennsburg, PA 18073 Phone 215-679-9622 West Philadelphia YMCA 5120 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19139 Phone 215-476-2700
Chick Corea & Béla Fleck
Taylor Dayne The Manhattan Transfer
April 1-10, 2016 Reading, PA
BWB: Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, Norman Brown
Spend 10 jazz- and blues-filled days and nights in the Greater Reading area! Over 120 scheduled events, plus great shopping and dining in one area, make the 25th annual Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest your perfect spring getaway. For tickets, call Ticketmaster toll free at 1-800-745-3000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com to order online.
CHICK COREA & BÉLA FLECK • THE SUMMIT: THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER & TAKE 6 • KEB’ MO’ WITH SPECIAL GUEST GERALD ALBRIGHT • MAVIS STAPLES • BONEY JAMES FOURPLAY: BOB JAMES, NATHAN EAST, HARVEY MASON, CHUCK LOEB • PHIL PERRY & HOWARD HEWETT • NAJEE FEATURING CHANTE MOORE, NICK COLIONNE THE RIPPINGTONS FEATURING RUSS FREEMAN • JOEY ALEXANDER TRIO • GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JAZZ CELEBRATION: KIRK WHALUM, DONNIE MCCLURKIN, JONATHAN BUTLER, KEVIN WHALUM, JOHN STODDART, DOXA GOSPEL ENSEMBLE • JACKIEM JOYNER & SELINA ALBRIGHT • KEIKO MATSUI • BWB: RICK BRAUN, KIRK WHALUM, NORMAN BROWN • MICHAEL LINGTON FEATURING TAYLOR DAYNE • JAZZ FUNK SOUL: CHUCK LOEB, EVERETTE HARP, JEFF LORBER • ROBBEN FORD • JAZZ MEETS JAMES: NICK COLIONNE, KIM WATERS, ERIC DARIUS, MARION MEADOWS, JEFF BRADSHAW, JEANETTE HARRIS, JAY ROWE • BRIAN BROMBERG BAND WITH THE BERKS HORNS FOUR80EAST FEATURING MATT MARSHAK, ART SHERROD • POPA CHUBBY • PIECES OF A DREAM • GREG ADAMS & EAST BAY SOUL • DAVID BROMBERG BIG BAND BLIND BOY PAXTON • KIM SIMMONDS & SAVOY BROWN • ERIC MARIENTHAL • ANDY SNITZER • GERALD VEASLEY & FRIENDS FEATURING BOBBY LYLE, NELSON RANGELL, CHIELI MINUCCI • THE MUSIC OF DAVE BRUBECK: BRUBECK BROTHERS QUARTET AND THE READING POPS ORCHESTRA • CRAIG THATCHER BAND & FRIENDS • THE ROYAL SCAM SHERRIE MARICLE & FIVE PLAY • LIVE AT THE FILLMORE: TRIBUTE TO THE ORIGINAL ALLMAN BROTHERS • ZOE’ • DAVID P STEVENS & DEE LUCAS • ERICH CAWALLA QUARTET FEATURING BENNIE SIMS, CLIFF STARKEY, MARKO MARCINKO • DEVON ALLMAN BAND • PHILADELPHIA FUNK AUTHORITY • THE ORIGINAL GROOVEMASTERS & FRIENDS • UPTOWN BAND FEATURING ERICH CAWALLA & JENIFER KINDER • BLITZ DYNETTE • GREG HATZA & TIM PRICE ORGAN QUARTET • DJANGOHOLICS ANONYMOUS AMY HELM & THE HANDSOME STRANGERS • KUTZTOWN UNIVERSITY JAZZ ENSEMBLE I • U.S. NAVY BAND COMMODORES • U.S. AIR FORCE RHYTHM IN BLUE JAZZ ENSEMBLE BERKS HIGH SCHOOL ALL-STAR JAZZ BAND AND CHORUS • STOLEN MOMENTS: THE FIRST 100 YEARS OF JAZZ FEATURING JAZZREACH’S METTA QUINTET AND MORE!*
berksjazzfest.com * LINEUP AS OF 11/27/15. SUBJECT TO CHANGE
PROUD SPONSOR OF THE BOSCOV’S BERKS JAZZ FEST
Follow us on Twitter @berksjazzfest
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Published on Dec 26, 2015