theWRITS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE BUCKS COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION
My Papal Audience Clay Target Shooting in Bucks County
Cause of Death:
A Tragic Death... a Love Child... and a Cover Up Exposed...
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theWRITS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE BUCKS COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION
CONTACT INFO President Joanne M. Murray President Elect Grace M. Deon Secretary Jessica A. Pritchard Treasurer Marijo Murphy Editorial Staff Scott L. Feldman Writs Committee Susan Dardes Scott I. Fegley H. Paul Kester Dianne C. Magee Paul Perlstein Christopher J. Serpico David J. Truelove Bar Association Office Deanna Mindler, Executive Director 135 East State Street Doylestown, PA 18901 215.348.9413 www.bucksbar.org email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
contents FALL 2015
President’s Message .......................................................................................... Page 4 Clay Target Shooting in Bucks County It’s a magnificent cool, crisp, and sunny Fall day in Bucks County. That early morning hearing that you planned to take the whole day suddenly resolved...
.......................................................................................... Page 6 My Papal Audience: Along With 142,000 Fellow Francis Fans On the final Sunday in September, I was one of those people lost in the sea of humanity who attended...
........................................................................................ Page 10 Cause of Death: A Tragic Death...a Love Child...and a Cover Up Exposed There are some stories that have a certain beauty about them that sometimes gets lost in the telling...
e....................................................................................... Page 14 An Introvert’s Guide to Social Media I am not a huge fan of social media. I don’t want the world to know where I am and what I am doing hour by hour throughout the day. I also have work to do...
........................................................................................ Page 18 The New Senior Members Consortium Our Board of Directors recently took the salutary step of creating a Senior Members Consortium for...
........................................................................................ Page 24 Amala’s Story Amala was pledged by her family to a man through an arranged marriage. She spoke no English when she landed in Bensalem, where her new husband...
........................................................................................ Page 26 PUBLISHER Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc. 2921 Windmill Road Reading, PA 19608 610.685.0914 x201 HoffPubs.com Advertising Contact Karen Zach 610.685.0914 x213 Karen@HoffPubs.com
Bench Bar 2015 Conference From October 1st to 3rd, attorneys, judges and law clerks gathered in Cambridge, Maryland at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort...
........................................................................................ Page 28 Also in This Issue: • Music Snob’s Top 5 List ............................................ • Civil Litigation Section Update ................................. • Delaware Valley University: An Update .................... • Spotlight on: Member Community Service .............. • 2015 Annual Softball Game .................................... • BCBA Women Lawyers Section Update ...................
The written and visual contents of this magazine are protected by copyright. Reproduction of print or digital articles without written permission from Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc., and/or the Bucks County Bar Association is forbidden. The placement of paid advertisement does not imply endorsements by Bucks County Bar Association.
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vide a forum for seasoned lawyers to meet, discuss, and develop programming that is relevant to them. At the other end of the continuum, we are identifying and engaging young lawyers and law students with ties to Bucks County and encouraging them to become involved in the BCBA. A “boot camp” with basic-level CLE programming for new lawyers (as well as for more seasoned lawyers with an interest in learning a new practice area) is in the works. We have put into place several early communication “touches” to welcome all new members to the BCBA, including personal communications by Board member liaisons (paired by practice area), appropriate section/division chairs, and BCBA staff. Our hope, supported by studies in this area, is that multiple layers of contact on a personal level will encourage new members to become and stay involved in the Association.
Dear BCBA Members: BCBA’s leadership team has been hard at work implementing a three-year strategic plan to ensure that BCBA remains viable and relevant in the coming years. This plan was developed by our StraJoanne M. Murray tegic Planning Committee under Bucks County Bar Association President the supervision of our Board of Directors and is founded upon the feedback we received from our most recent membership survey in late 2013. This survey identified a variety of concerns shared by our members.
Our strategic plan calls for increased, targeted communication with our members based on practice area and other common denominators. We are also identifying and communicating with potential members about the advantages of BCBA membership. The goal is to deepen our relationship with current members while recruiting new members.
The vision embodied by our strategic plan is that Bucks County lawyers will see BCBA as integral to their practices – that BCBA’s educational programs, leadership opportunities, and resources make BCBA members better lawyers, and that their BCBA relationships create a unique community defined by civility and opportunity. Our strategic plan outlines five goals to accomplish this vision:
“We believe that increasing visibility in and establishing strong ties with the community at large is a key to increasing the value of BCBA membership.”
Goal 1: Increase the value of BCBA membership for all lawyers.
Goal 2: Increase the value of BCBA membership for new lawyers and law students.
Goal 3: Increase the value of BCBA membership for seasoned attorneys.
Goal 4: Build the BCBA’s infrastructure so it can
We believe that increasing visibility in and establishing strong ties with the community at large is a key to increasing the value of BCBA membership. To that end, we are coordinating a breakfast seminar with local business leaders to discuss legal issues of concern to them. We are also highlighting the pro bono and community service efforts of our members in this publication and elsewhere. Our Women Lawyers Division is partnering with Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties’ bar associations on its annual women’s power summit so as to strengthen our relationships with those groups and the broader business community.
continue to carry out our mission of improving the quality of the legal profession in Bucks County.
Goal 5: Advancement of the plan by BCBA’s Board of Directors.
BCBA’s Strategic Planning Committee is working with our divisions, sections and committees to develop programs and strategies to implement each of these goals. We will continue to offer the high quality CLE and other programs and events that our members have come to expect, but we will also focus on improvements and enhancements in other areas. For example, we are exploring the viability of a new BCBA senior lawyers group to allow for continued participation by this constituency and to protheWRITS
An important component of Goal 4 of our strategic plan is to ensure that we have a pipeline of competent and experienced leaders to serve our membership. Our Bylaws Committee and our Board have worked tirelessly to develop proposed 4
amendments to our Bylaws to provide greater continuity for BCBA’s officer track. Several alternative approaches will be presented to the membership for a vote at our annual meeting. An equally important element is to try to ensure the BCBA’s continued financial stability. To carry out this goal, our Member Services Committee and Board will examine membership trends on a regular basis so that we can address negative trends before they become concerns. We have also established a task force to investigate alternate sources of revenue so that our dues can remain competitive even if other sources of funds, such as legal advertising, were to decline. In addition, we have partnered with other local county bar associations to engage a lobbyist to represent our interests with the state legislature (including potential risks to legal advertising income, etc.).
Need a Lawyer? Welcome to the Bucks County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) serving all of Bucks County. The LRIS is a public service of the non-profit Bucks County Bar Association. Each year the LRIS responds to thousands of callers, referring them to attorneys with experience in the appropriate area of law or to area agencies able to provide assistance.
We are about halfway through the implementation of our three-year plan. I am grateful for the efforts of dozens of our volunteer leaders, as well as the work of BCBA’s staff. While the investment of time is significant, I am confident that the end result will be a stronger BCBA! As always, I welcome your input and suggestions – feel free to call or e-mail me any time. Thank you for choosing to be a member of the Bucks County Bar Association.
The Bucks County Bar Association has established its Bucks County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service to assist persons willing and able to pay usual and customary attorney fees in securing appropriate legal representation by referral to participants in the BCBA LRIS program. LRIS will endeavor to help an inquirer determine if the problem is legal by screening and when possible, refer non-legal matters to county, government or consumer agencies as appropriate.
AttornEy DiSCiplinAry AnD EthiCS mAttErS StAtEWiDE pEnnSylVAniA mAttErS no ChArGE For initiAl ConSUltAtion
Representation, consultation and expert testimony in disciplinary matters and matters involving ethical issues, bar admissions and the Rules of Professional Conduct
James C. Schwartzman, Esq.
Persons identified as needing legal representation and who do not claim inability to pay an attorney will be referred by LRIS to a participating attorney. LRIS participation is open to all Bucks County Bar Association members having their primary office in Bucks County. You can contact the LRIS at 215-348-9413.
• 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 theWRITS
We Welcome Your Feedback! Thanks for your interest in theWRITS. Please send all comments, questions, submissions to: BCBAWrits@yahoo.com.
Clay Target Shooting in Bucks County
– By – Paul M. Perlstein, Esq.
t’s a magnificent cool, crisp, and sunny Fall day in Bucks County. That early morning hearing that you planned to take the whole day suddenly resolved amicably in a way that left both parties happy. (Does that mean it couldn’t be a good settlement after all?) Driving back to your office with the rest of the afternoon free, you remember the shotgun in your trunk and decide to take the back roads that pass by timbered plots and reaped fields that are not plastered with “No Hunting” signs. Stopping the car alongside the road, you know that even without a dog you won’t have to walk very far before you can fire the gun and bring down a pheasant or two. Dinner tonight will be featuring wild game birds.
Today a shooter has her choice of a wide variety of clay target games to test her skill and endurance. Harking back to the days when a pigeon was released from a box or “trap,” the machines used to launch a clay target are known as “trap machines” and the sport became known as “trapshooting.” For the last century, American-style trap has been dominant. In this game, a shooter fires at a round of 25. There are five “posts” 16 yards behind the “traphouse” that holds the machine that launches the target. The targets fly away from the shooters within regulated angles. A shooter occupies each post. Each shooter fires at one target in turn until each has fired at five targets. The shooters then rotate one “post” to their right with the number five shooter moving to post one. This is done until each shooter has shot 25 targets, five at each post. Variations on this game include “doubles” in which two targets are launched at a time and the shooter must shoot both in succession. And there is “handicap” shooting where a shooter is assigned a handicap that requires him to shoot the target from as far back as 27 yards behind the traphouse.
Alas, while we can still expect once in a while to amicably resolve a contentious case, it has probably been almost 50 years since you’ve been able to hunt like this in Bucks County. While there are game preserves in the county where they will place pen-raised birds in a field for hunters to shoot, the avid shotgunner today has to satisfy herself with clay targets. Fortunately, there are lots of ranges throughout Bucks that offer a variety of clay target games on almost each day of the week and in the evenings, as well.
“Clay target shooting took over the public’s imagination and by the end of the 19th century it was not uncommon for thousands to watch clay target matches.”
Three excellent facilities to shoot trap span the county. In Perkasie, on Rt. 563 south just down the road from the Pennridge Airport, is Branch Valley (branchvalleyfgfassoc.org). Shooting takes place there every Wednesday from about 3 p.m. and continues well into the evening under the lights. It is not unusual at Branch Valley to be sighting out onto the field and have a skydiver or two, or three, suddenly appear as they miss their mark for the airport and land on the grounds of the club. Whenever this happens, stop shooting.
All clay target games developed from shooters’ desire to simulate field shooting under conditions where multiple, repetitive targets shot in a single location not only allowed hunting skills to be honed, but made for competition. The first targets were live birds, most often pigeons, released from traps. Into the 20th century the targets used in Olympic shotgun competition were pigeons. But because live birds were becoming more expensive and the objections of animalists were becoming more vocal, the pressure was on to develop an alternative. Originally, glass balls were used, some even filled with feathers. Targets made from pitch constantly improved and could be had very inexpensively. Clay target shooting took over the public’s imagination and by the end of the 19th century it was not uncommon for thousands to watch clay target matches between the country’s best shooters, including Annie Oakley.
feature Located on Turk Road not far from the Doylestown Township building is Bucks County Fish and Game Association (bcfg.org). Bucks shoots every Tuesday and almost every Saturday and Sunday. There are no lights so shooting must end before dusk. Check their website for times. Bucks will also host private shoots, so if bragging rights for marksmanship are important in your firm, contact them and they will accommodate you. Situated between Newtown and Langhorne is the Langhorne Rod and Gun Club (langhornerodandgun. com). Langhorne shoots every Thursday from late afternoon into the evening under lights. In addition, Langhorne holds shoots on some weekend days. Check their website. Less popular but lots of fun is skeet shooting. Skeet uses essentially the same target as trap but the field layout is different, thus giving an entirely different target presentation. Again, each shooter shoots a round of 25. The field is a semi-circle laid out between two “houses,” each holding a trap machine. The house on the right throws the target from a “low” position three feet above the ground. The house on the left throws a target from a machine elevated 10 feet above the ground. The targets essentially cross in front of the shooter. Skeet was invented in the early 20th century to replace bird shooting when the conservation movement succeeded in the adoption of hunting seasons. Flourtown Sandy Run Sportsmen’s Association in Chalfont has skeet fields (and trap) but it is members only. Joining, however, is not difficult (fsrsa.com).
You take care of your clients, but who takes care of you?
The newest clay sport that is eclipsing all others is sporting clays. Frequently referred to as “golf with a shotgun,” a sporting clays course is like a walk in the woods where, at different stations, specialized trap machines throw targets designed to simulate every hunting situation a shotgunner can experience. Targets fly at you, away from you, they come from behind and run along the ground. At many courses they even fly into water to imitate ducks. The clays are usually different sizes and colors. Although Langhorne and Branch Valley provide sporting clays, the courses and times are limited. Just past Allentown is Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays (lvsclays.com), a world-class venue that is open to the public every day except for Monday.
“It is estimated that each year hundreds of millions of clay targets are shot in the United States.”
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You can arrange for professional instruction and rent a gun. But go early so you don’t have to wait too long to go out to shoot and a golf cart will be available to rent.
and you can only load as many shells as you are permitted to shoot at the target. The gun must never be carried loaded or closed so that it is possible for the hammers to fall, thereby setting off the shell. Eye and ear protection (inexpensive) is required. Policing by your fellow shooters is strict and clubs will ask you to leave for infractions of these rules.
There are also the international or Olympic versions of trap and skeet. These are extremely difficult games. The targets are thrown more than twice as fast and twice as far. Doylestown is home to Morgan Craft and Nick Boerboon, two of the finest Olympic shooters in the world. And the last American male to win the Olympic gold medal in trapshooting is Bucks County’s own Don Haldeman, who did so in 1976 shooting for the U. S. Army. Branch Valley has a set-up that simulates Olympic trap (Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) but one has to travel to Ontelaunee Gun Club (Ontelaunee.org) in New Tripoli to shoot a true Olympic trap field.
“One does not have to spend a lot of money to equip themselves for clay target shooting.”
One does not have to spend a lot of money to equip themselves for clay target shooting. A new clay target gun can be had for as little as $900. But as in any other sport, the equipment can get rather pricey. Avid shooters are known to easily fire at 10-20 thousand targets a year. High quality competition guns that are designed for hundreds of thousands or even a million trouble-free rounds are often adorned with artistic engraving and silver and gold inlays depicting every kind of scene imaginable. Guns such as these can push prices well into the high five figures, and a few beyond. Remember, however, that fancy wood, custom engraving and precious metal inlays do not make the gun any better. And, like in any other sport, nothing substitutes for skill, style and technique to result in a good performance.
At all of these clubs the novice shooter will find everyone very friendly and anxious to help. Remember, though, with one shotgunner you get a hundred excuses and with two shotgunners you get three opinions, so if you like the sport, a certified coach or trusted experienced shooter is extremely helpful. And more women than ever are also participating. Indeed, women tend to make very good shots. The professionals say it is because they are more coachable than men. The biggest difficulty faced by women is getting a shotgun that fits. Since the eye is the rear sight on a shotgun, fit is extremely important for the gun to shoot where you are looking. And because it is not uncommon to shoot a hundred targets or more in any of the games, an ill-fitting gun will eventually cause pain and discomfort, resulting in misses. An adjustable stock is the best value in shooting.
The best part of clay target shooting is that you can start at any age and physical condition and continue to do it enjoyably even as the decades pile on. I look forward to seeing many men and women joining me at any of these venues for a fun afternoon of camaraderie indulging in a test of personal skill at breaking clay targets.
It’s exciting on a beautiful day during any of the seasons to make a good sight, pull the trigger, hear the gun go bang and watch the flying orange disc explode in the sky into a ball of smoke when it is ground up by the shot. But nothing is more important than safety. It is estimated that each year hundreds of millions of clay targets are shot in the United States. And in the entire history of all the clay sports, there has never been a death. This enviable record is unsurpassed by any other sport. It’s because safety is everyone’s business. Not only do I not want to shoot someone else, I do not want to get shot. Guns must always be pointed down range. They must never be loaded except when it is your turn to shoot,
My Papal Audience – By – Chris Serpico
along with 142,000 Fellow Francis Fans
n the final Sunday in September, I was one of those people lost in the sea of humanity who attended the Papal Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It is an experience that I will never forget for as long as I live.
Although I’ve been a practicing Catholic ever since my elementary school days at St. David’s Parish in Willow Grove, I consider myself to be more of a “Cafeteria Catholic”, i.e., someone who chooses to adhere to those positions of the Catholic Church that he or she agrees with, but will not necessarily comply with those positions that are considered to be outdated and therefore no longer relevant. So it was somewhat of a shock when I announced to my family members that I had secured two train passes and two “golden tickets” to the Papal Mass to be celebrated by Pope Francis on the final day of his week-long visit to the United States. Perhaps shock would be too strong a word, but there was certainly surprise expressed by those in my household when I declared my intention to attend the Mass and venture into the city as a pilgrim hoping to catch a glimpse of the pope. I figured that if some people were willing to travel thousands of miles from remote regions around the world to come to Philadelphia, I could certainly take the time to catch a Septa train into center city and spend the day in a city with which I was already quite familiar.
Much to my delight, my recently-married daughter Allison agreed to accompany me. So together, we met at the Fort Washington train station early that morning. We took the express train to Jefferson Station at 11th and Market, whereupon we walked 12 blocks through the eerily empty streets of centercity Philadelphia to our appointed “checkpoint” at 21st street. What most surprised me about the long wait was the extraordinary patience exhibited by all those standing in line. Although it might have seemed like a burden to move at a snail’s pace towards the security checkpoint, the opportunity to spend time with thousands of people from all different walks of life and from disparate regions around the world actually produced a joyful experience. Collectively, the crowd found creative ways to pass the time. We sang church hymns in unison (and mostly in harmony), many of which my daughter and I had previously sung hundreds of times before as cantors at our home parish in Doylestown. We also played games of 20 Questions in which the answer had to involve a person, place, or thing that had some connection to Catholicism. (Believe me when I tell you, it was more difficult than I would have imagined.)
“It is an experience that I will never forget for as long as I live.” When we finally gained admission to the “red zone,” our initial disappointment at the limited viewing area available turned quickly to relief when we managed to rendezvous with fellow parishioners from Doylestown who had already staked out excellent observation points of the central altar from their vantage point on the lawn of the Rodin Museum. I can say without a doubt that I have never seen such a wellbehaved crowd of people. It became clear to me that if you want a large group of people to be on their best behavior, the recipe for success is to make sure that no alcohol is made available, engage their attention with a traditional ritual familiar to everyone in attendance no matter what language they happen to speak, and then sit back and watch as they all listen reverently to the homily of the most popular leader currently on the world stage.
feature for a good part of his career as a bishop in Argentina. He speaks in a plain fashion which is easily understood by almost everyone, even when translated from his native Spanish to English. He’s not afraid to cause a commotion. Perhaps the best example of his tendency to speak his mind, even when it appears to deviate from long-held church doctrine, occurred shortly after his installation as pope when he responded to a question about gay priests with the line “Who am I to judge?” ( I should also point out that this remark inspired the cleverest t-shirt design I observed that day, which portrayed Philly’s two most renowned cheesesteak joints, Pat’s and Geno’s – side by side, with Pope Francis’s “Who am I to judge?” statement emblazoned above. An instant Classic. Needless to say, I now own it.) 3
“The main reason I believe Americans in particular seem so drawn to Pope Francis is that he seems to be genuinely ‘down-to-earth’.” As I observed the hundreds of thousands around me, kneeling and praying, I found myself asking...What exactly is the source of the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio’s remarkable popularity? I attribute his appeal to the following factors:
At the end of the day, the main reason that I believe Americans in particular seem so drawn to Pope Francis is that he seems to be genuinely “down-to-earth.” I will be forever grateful that my daughter and I had the opportunity to spend an especially memorable day in his company.
Pope Francis does things differently. Not necessarily better or worse, just different. You can’t underestimate the effect of his actions immediately after he was elected pope. He chose the name Francis – a first, named in honor of the beloved Francis of Assisi, a Saint known for his love of animals and for living in accordance with the vow of poverty. He ditched the red shoes that prior popes had worn, and he moved out of the Apostolic Palace and into more humble digs, where he would have to actually mingle with other “plain folks” every day. Most importantly, Francis’s emphasis on the poor has met with great acclaim throughout the world. He doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk. It’s clear to anyone watching that his eyes light up when he’s around the most vulnerable members of our society, especially children and the elderly. 1
He says things differently. Unlike some of our past popes who were more intellectual or theological in tone, Francis speaks and writes like a pastor – which is exactly what he was 2
entertainment The top five Rock & Roll quotes:
p o T s ’ b o n S c i s u The M
“Music is the soundtrack of your life”
List: “Most rock journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read” –Frank Zappa
“What we have in mind is breakfast in bed for 400,000”
“All you need is love” –The Beatles
–Hugh Romney, a/k/a Wavy Gravy, at Woodstock
“They’re not the best at what they do, they’re the only ones that do what they do” –Bill Graham, on the Grateful Dead
“Without music, life would be a mistake” –Friedrich Nietzsche
Cause of Death A tragic death... a love child... and a cover up exposed...
– By – Key Smedly
There are some stories that have a certain beauty about them that sometimes gets lost in the telling. This case is one of them, and I hope that its beauty is not lost by the rendering. However, the necessity for brevity requires the sacrifice of completeness. This is how it was told to me by attorney Mark Hendrick. He had started in the practice of law with an older attorney named Carl Weitzel before WWII. After his return from military duty in the Judge Advocate General’s Office, he rejoined the firm.
hile he was away, Weitzel had hired the widow of an army captain who was killed on the beach at Anzio, Helene Knauss. She became his bookkeeper and office manager. She had a son – Peter, who was recently killed by a train as he was bird watching early one Saturday morning. This story deals with the ramifications of that tragedy.
providing for double indemnity in the case of accidental death, and the preclusion of benefits if the policy holder committed suicide within two years of the issuance thereof. The policy when issued named Peter’s wife, Janet, as the beneficiary. However, when he gave the policy to Elena, the beneficiary had been changed and now named her. This change had been made in February, about a month before Peter was struck and killed. She had protested, saying that she did not want money. Peter insisted that the proceeds of the policy would help provide for the child’s education. She relented, and now wished to pursue the claim.
She bore the fruit of her passion with dignity, grace and pride. Although heavily laden with child, she showed no signs of being burdened by the shame heaped on her by society for her transgressions, sins that society could not understand nor would forgive: being a partner to an adulterous affair and bearing a bastard child. While she was not particularly beautiful, she displayed that unique beauty shown by all women as they progress through their role in the process of creation.
My associate, Jeffry Wenhold, was an experienced trial attorney. We agreed that the first thing to do would be to get a corrected death certificate. However, the deputy Coroner refused to change his finding. An action in mandamus was filed, seeking to require that the original finding be vacated and the medical causes of death be substituted. In a pre-trial deposition, the deputy admitted that he had been influenced by his friendship with George Reinert, Peter’s father-inlaw. Upon hearing this, the Coroner immediately agreed to a consent order which vacated the original death certificate and the issuance of a new one that specified the injuries that had cause Peter’s demise. The deputy was summarily relieved of his duties.
She introduced herself as Elena Medlewski. She lived with her widowed mother who managed Dembronski’s Tavern, an upscale country restaraunt just outside of town. Her father had been the ship’s doctor on the heavy cruiser Indianapolis, which had been sunk in the Philippine Sea in the closing days of WWII with a loss of 880 men out of a crew of nearly 1200. She informed me that Peter Knauss was the father of the child she was carrying. At this point I suggested that perhaps Peter’s mother should hear her story. She agreed. The narrative she related was quite long, lasting more than two hours, as she described in great detail how their relationship passed from acquaintance to friendship, from there to love, then to fulfillment and finally to dreams, dreams that would be shattered and then, like the phoenix rising from the ashes, be reborn. At the end she and Helene Knauss held each other in a long embrace, tears of joy spilling down their smiling faces.
“A reply was filed, denying that Peter had taken his own life. The stage was now set for a jury trial.”
Upon filing a proof of claim, the insurance company declined to honor the claim on the grounds that the insured had committed suicide. An action for specific performance was filed. An answer thereto was filed alleging the suicide. A reply was filed, denying that Peter had taken his own life. The stage was now set for a jury trial. In a pre-trial deposition, the insurance broker who had issued the policy testified that he had informed his friend, George Reinert, of the change of beneficiary, and that he had advised the insurance company to deny coverage on the grounds that the insured had committed suicide.
Elena produced a death certificate that listed “suicide” as the cause of Peter Knauss’ death. As she, a nursing student, did not believe that a legal conclusion in any way stated the medical cause of death and she wanted Peter’s name to be cleared of this stain. I agreed. She also produced an insurance policy for $25,000.00 that had been issued about 17 months earlier. It contained the standard language
A jury of seven men and five women was selected to hear the evidence and render a verdict. Plaintiff’s first witness was the pathologist who performed the autopsy. He described in gruesome detail the nature of the injuries that had caused
feature the death of Peter Knauss. On cross examination he also revealed that the blood/alcohol level was .27, more than twice the amount required to establish driving while intoxicated.
Franklin Omar “Key” Smedly: A Short Bio – By Paul Kester –
The next witness was the engineer who was driving the freight train that had killed Peter Knauss. The train had 39 cars – 27 gondolas loaded with very heavy, wet bituminous coal, four flat cars loaded with steel pipes, and the rest with assorted freight. At the time of the accident the train was on a slight down grade, traveling at a moderate rate of speed. It had rounded a curve at the bridge that carried the Paletown Road over the tracks. He saw what appeared to be a pile of clothing of the right side of the track less than 100 yards away. He started to slow down and then realized that there actually was a man sitting on the rail. The man was holding binoculars up to his eyes and was wearing a head set for listening to a radio. The engineer immediately applied the brakes and sounded his horn. The weight of the train made it impossible to stop the train in less than 200 feet. That simply was insufficient and the train hit the man who had not responded to the warning horn that had been sounded. The man was pushed down the tracks for nearly 100 feet.
Friends, it is time that I introduce you to Franklin Omar “Key” Smedly, the fictional author of the pieces of fiction that have been appearing under that name for some time now. Key entrusted his collection, entitled Key Notes, to me to be published at my discretion. His introduction to “Key Notes” follows.
Yes, by all means, let me introduce myself. My name is Franklin Omar Smedly, a/k/a/ “Key” Smedly. By some very special friends, I am also called “Key Hole.” Franklin, of course, is derived from Benjamin of the same name. My father admired the great man immensely. He considered him to be the first true Renaissance man in and of the Americas. Omar is also of easy derivation. My father was enamored of the beautifully crafted verses of The Rubyat, and was impressed by the scientific genius of the tent maker. He had great hopes for me.
“Attorney Wenhold tried to anticipate the defense position that Peter Knauss was in a state of extreme depression which caused him to commit suicide.”
Smedlys were among the early English Quakers who settled in the Delaware Valley in about 1690. At the time of the French and Indian Wars, the family split. One part decided that it could not support the war effort, remained Quakers and withdrew from public life to do good. There was a small splinter group of these Friends who did very well, selling grain to the army. (Grain was a unit of measure of gun powder.) The other branch of the Smedlys decided to remain in public life and withdraw from the Quakers. They returned to the fold of the Mother Church (of England) and helped to defend of the colony of Penn. It is from this branch that I have descended. The nickname “Key” is a little complicated. I was born in 1920 and was a puny child. Matters were not helped by the fact that I suffered an attack of polio at the age of four. This assault on my person left me with impaired hearing in my left ear, which causes me to cock my head when listening intently; impaired vision in my left eye which causes me to squint; and a left leg that is two inches shorter than the right leg which makes me limp. As a result of these imperfections, I was unable to compete in sports, which at one time was the cause of great despair. My disappointment went away, however, when I found that mental gymnastics were also a lot of fun.
The plaintiff was next to testify. On direct examination, she identified herself as the named beneficiary of the policy of insurance. She stated that she had never wanted the money for herself, but had agreed to accept it so that she could set up a trust fund for her son who had been born shortly after the filing of the complaint. Attorney Wenhold tried to anticipate the defense position that Peter Knauss was in a state of extreme depression which caused him to commit suicide. He asked the plaintiff to describe their relationship. 16
She testified that Peter had offered to act as her chauffer to and from the university where she was studying nursing and was in his third year of engineering school, his studies having been interrupted by three years of military service in Korea. They had a number of things in common like poetry, jazz music and a love of nature and its variety of rhythms. They had become friends. He was always in a good humor except for the time between the Fourth of July weekend and mid October. Attorney Wenhold left the matter there, offering a plum that defense counsel could not resist tasting.
I was in my senior year at the University when we entered WWII. Since I was 4-F, I continued my studies, majoring in both English Literature and History. Upon graduation, I entered the School of Journalism and finished the Master’s program in one year. My fellow students at the School of Journalism, being endowed with a malicious sense of humor, concluded that my cocked head, my squint and my gimp presented a caricature of someone snooping at a key hole, hence the name. When I got my job with the newspaper (The Bulletin) I shortened my nickname to “Key,” this being more suitable for one who, by implication, would open up sources and dig out the news with skill, determination and accuracy.
On cross examination, after the plaintiff had admitted “seducing” Peter on Labor Day weekend, the attorney asked the fatal question: “Did Peter give you any reason for his change of mood?” She testified that he had told her that his wife, Janet, had informed him that while he was in Korea she had had her fallopian tubes cut and was incapable of bearing children. Peter said that this news had cut all bonds of love and affection that had united them as surely as if he had been under the surgeon’s knife. This left Peter angry and frustrated. He felt betrayed because at the time of their marriage they had planned to have several children. His mood changed back when Elena informed him that she was expecting a child as a result of their only act of sexual intercourse. That had taken place on the Saturday before Labor Day. She rejected an offer to pay for an abortion, and she told him that she had deliberately timed the event so that she would become pregnant. In this way they would both achieve the fulfillment that they separately dreamed about. From then on, Peter’s good mood returned.
Because most of the physically fit reporters on the staff of The Bulletin were on assignment with the military, I had my pick of assignments. I had no interest in becoming an investigative reporter, ferreting out the corruption that was the modus vivendi at City Hall. That would go on forever and would tell the world nothing about the good people who make up the City of Brotherly Love. I asked for, and was given the assignment to cover the county seat of Bucks County, with occasional special assignments thrown in. Here I would find the kinds of stories that sustain our faith in this democracy that has so earnestly and continuously evolved over the more than two hundred years since we dared to face the world alone. Many of the stories that I will tell have already been told, but are worth repeating. Court cases usually reveal interesting insights into human behavior, and frequently have a humorous or ironic twist. Some stories, however, involve deep background that I feel safe in revealing now, only because no one will be hurt by the telling. Either that, or I have permission. Throughout my career I was successful in obtaining a great deal of “deep background” because one of the most important lessons I learned from one of my journalism professors was that the reputation for journalistic integrity is only earned and is directly dependent upon the location of the reporter’s pencil when he hears the magic words “off the record.” The pencil should immediately find its way up to a place by the ear, and what the ear then hears should never find its way to the point of the pencil.
After the defense had concluded her cross examination, attorney Wenhold began to question her on re-direct examination. He asked her to relate the substance of other conversations that had taken place over the nearly one year of their acquaintance and that revealed his state of mind. The court overruled the defense objections to this line of questioning, saying that the attorney had opened the door for such questions by asking for hearsay answers during his cross examination. In this way the entire beautiful story of this friendship, and the betrayal of Peter’s wife and the efforts to suborn the plaintiff’s rights were all presented to the jury. The jury not only awarded the double indemnity damages. It assessed punitive damages, as well.
So, I have spent my journalistic career in Bucks County, and offer these “Key Notes” for your consideration, approbation and entertainment. They are all based on actual events, but, have been fictionalized in order to preclude unnecessary litigation.
Elena Medlewski became a RN, with a specialty in OB/GYN, and later married a doctor whose practice was also in that field. He quickly adopted Peter Aloysius (her father’s name) Medlewski, and they added four more to their happy family.
technology I am not a huge fan of social media. I don’t want the world to know where I am and what I am doing hour by hour throughout the day. I also have work to do. Like it or not, social media is deeply ingrained in our society, not only in the way we communicate on a personal level, but in business as well. Ignoring it is not an option. Lawyers who refuse to integrate social media skills into their practice not only limit potential revenue growth, but may also limit their effectiveness as counsel.
Pay-Per-Click. Pay-per-click advertising is available through many social media outlets including Google and Facebook. With pay-per-click, you create a more traditional advertisement, typically an image and a short message, that appear in a box on viewers’ screens while browsing. You pay “per click” only when someone clicks on the ad and is then redirected to your website or landing page. (If you do not have even a basic website for your practice by now, you are more than a decade behind the times.) The advantages of pay-perclick are: (1) prominent location on the page, (2) the ability to tailor a specific ad and message to a targeted audience, for example, an ad about divorce to all women over age 30 in a ten-mile radius of your office, and (3) the ability to control costs by setting a daily or monthly spending limit. The disadvantage of pay-per-click is the inability to control who clicks. There is no way to prevent persons whom you may never have as clients from soaking up your spending limit while waiting for that one case that will give you the return on investment you seek. Pay-per-click can be expensive, but compared to the cost of traditional print advertising, let alone broadcast options such as radio and TV, it is still more cost effective per dollar of revenue generated.
Social Media and Business Development In my parents’ generation, professional advertising beyond a shingle in front of the office and word of mouth was frowned upon. Now lawyer advertising is commonplace and social media is simply a new and more cost effective method of marketing. Social media can help you become known to a larger audience and that can translate into more clients. There are two primary methods of audience-building: payper-click and posts.
– By Scott I. Fegley –
An Introvert’s Guide to Social Media
“Lawyers who refuse to integrate social media skills into their practice not only limit potential revenue growth, but may also limit their effectiveness as counsel.”
media pages. For example, in one employment case I had, the defendant disputed that it employed the requisite number of employees to be subject to the federal statute I sued under. Prior to filing suit, I had already downloaded the staff directory from the company website which showed that they met the statutory number at the time in question. It is even more important to know what your clients are posting. We have all been surprised by information a client never told us. Don’t let opposing counsel be the first one to share with you your client’s posts that contradict his or her claims.
Posts. Posts are simply your written contributions to the social media space whether it is a limited 144 words or less on a site like Twitter or a 500-word blog published to many different sites and shared by all your friends. (A post should rarely be more than 500 words.) The beauty of posts is they are FREE. It costs you nothing to have your own page on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. What it costs is time. To build an audience, you must post consistently or the social media world will quickly lose interest. If you do not have the time to post consistently, there are vendors who can post for you at reasonable rates. And posts should not be advertisements! They should be written in a conversational way communicating information you believe will be useful to your readers. Posts may also promote your favorite causes and make known upcoming events you may be participating in, but they should not directly promote you.
“Social media can be highly effective in practice development as well as skills development. Like trial or negotiating skills, it works best when used regularly.”
Social Media Sites. Choosing which sites to publish to can be daunting because of the sheer number. Facebook, of course, is the dominant space. But for lawyers, sites like LinkedIn and Avvo.com may prove more useful. I like LinkedIn because it is widely used by all business professionals. I use it to search for experts I may need in my work or for prospective clients I’d like to invite to lunch. Avvo.com enables its general public users to post questions to attorneys. Attorney users can receive the questions automatically through email and filter by geographic location and practice area. My advice is to select three sites which best fit your practice and interests and focus your efforts there.
Social media, and in particular, attorney forums on sites such as LinkedIn, can also be used to post questions and get answers and insight from other attorneys on legal issues or procedures you may be struggling with. It can be especially helpful if you need to reach out for assistance to counsel in another state. Again, select one or two forums of particular relevance to your practice to participate in. Signing up everywhere will only inundate your email in-box.
A Tool, Not a Toy When used as a tool, and not a toy, social media can be highly effective in practice development as well as skills development. Like trial or negotiating skills, it works best when used regularly.
Social Media and Lawyering As a litigator, social media is a tool I use to gather information. Whether I am looking for background information regarding a new client or a new adversary, there are few individuals and companies that do not share a wealth of information about themselves on websites and social
Scott I. Fegley, Esq., is a solo practitioner in Yardley, PA. www.fegleylaw.com
Civil Litigation Section Update
In past years we have worked in conjunction with members of the Court and Court Administration on various issues such as the Friday afternoon Discovery Motions Court. Members also worked with the vendors and Court personnel on the e-filing system that is now up and running. Beginning in 2010, I started reporting the outcome of the Civil Jury Trial list. If I have your e-mail address, you are receiving the monthly reports. If you are not receiving the reports, provide me with your e-mail address (LindaShick@Naftulin-Shick. com). You will also be deluged with information regarding everything the Section is doing: when we meet; upcoming CLEs and speakers; and social events.
– By Linda M. Shick – Over the past five years, the Civil Litigation Section has taken on a new format. Our monthly meetings have become presentations on various civil litigation topics. Along with the standard coffee and bagels, attendees can earn a CLE credit for a very nominal fee. During the past year we have presented CLEs by members of our local Bench and Bar; expert witnesses; trial support services; and the Attorney General’s office.
Membership and attendance have continued to increase during 2015. The Bench and the Court Administrator’s Office have continued to be receptive and responsive to the Civil Litigation Section’s requests for assistance and information.
Our topics range from “What’s Your Problem and What’s it Worth,” where attendees can present a case problem or get feedback on case value, to an update on Medicare lien issues. In July, we had a large presentation by members of the AG’s office in conjunction with the DA’s office on the Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA) and why we are having difficulty obtaining investigative reports. It was well received and attended by members of the bench, civil bar, criminal bar and law enforcement. While we have no specific answers, we have a better understanding of what the law allows and prohibits.
Another improvement is that our CLEs are enthusiastically advertised by the Bar Association. Michelle Froehlich sends out e-mails to all members of the upcoming schedule along with ads in the Law Reporter. This year’s Bench Bar presentation was “Pearls and Perils of Litigation,” with a panel of civil trial attorneys and Judges passing on helpful hints and warnings on civil trials in Bucks County.
community mentions its collective extraordinary accomplishments and exciting future as well as his personal desire to devote more time to his family. On October 14, the University presented Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., as keynote speaker at its annual sustainability symposium. Mr. Kennedy is a long time environmental activist and professor of environmental law at Pace University School of Law. This year’s three-day conference was titled “Land and the American Dream.” Among various breakout sessions and other speakers was a keynote address from Russell Redding, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. And it’s less than six months until A-Day 2016. I can taste those milk shakes already!
Some other updates: • As expected, DelVal welcomed its largest class ever this Fall, including an undergraduate enrollment seven percent greater than last year. • 2015 alumnus Rasheed Bailey was the Philadelphia Eagles leading wide receiver in the preseason, but alas, was among the final cuts prior to the beginning of the regular season. • Bucks County Community College in Newtown announced a new partnership program with DelVal, so that beginning next year its qualifying students can take courses at a reduced rate and earn one of several offered Delaware Valley University bachelor’s degrees.
Delaware Valley University: An Update – By Scott L. Feldman – It was a pleasure interviewing President Joseph Brosnan and sharing the recent accolades earned by our academic neighbor in the Summer 2015 issue of TheWRITS. Well, it seems the story keeps on unfolding at DelVal and there are several recent undertakings worthy of follow up. Initially, mere weeks after our late May conversation, Dr. Brosnan announced his plans to retire and step down as President effective August 2016. A national search for his replacement is about to commence. His formal letter to the University
Dr. Joseph S. Brosnan, President, Delaware Valley University.
Spotlight on: Member Community Service – By Joanne Murray – Many members responded to our call for descriptions of the community and pro bono work that you do. It is heartwarming to see how willing our members are to share their time, resources and expertise with those in need. Kevin Zlock’s efforts are particularly inspiring.
Place, helping to fund continuing education for young adults who have aged out of foster care, and supporting various veterans charities and individual veterans.
Kevin and his wife, Sima, show incredible generosity by supporting various educational causes, such as creating two needbased scholarship funds for students attending Princeton Day School, supporting after-school programs through the Council Rock Education Foundation, and establishing need-based scholarship funds at Bucks County Community College.
The list of charities Kevin supports is extensive. KevKevin Zlock in’s law firm also provides countless hours of pro bono legal services to veterans, police officers, and abused women. On behalf of BCBA, we thank Kevin for supporting our community and helping raise the profile of lawyers in Bucks County!
Their philanthropy also extends to paying for summer camp for underprivileged children in Bucks County, supporting an empowerment fund for abused women through A Woman’s
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The New Senior Members Consortium The New Senior Members Consortium
By William F. Schroeder
– By William F. Schroeder – Our Board of Directors recently took the salutary step of creating a Senior Members Consortium for the Association’s older and more experienced members. I first learned of the Consortium when I received an e-mail from the Association informing me that I was eligible for membership and inviting me to a welcoming reception. At first, due to my relative youth (I am only 68) and the fact that I am a legal neophyte with only 41 years‘ experience, I thought there must be some mistake. I thought such a group would be for our truly elderly members. No names, but you know who I mean (Don Marshall, John Kerrigan). My doubt was enhanced when I noted from the invitation that the Consortium was for “our most esteemed members” – their words, not mine. Come to think of it, those words were in quotes in the e-mail. Sometimes the use of quotes is a device to express irony or sarcasm, so that would explain that.
Left to Right: John Trainer, John W. Donaghy, Judge John Rufe.
I am, however, a lawyer and not a mathematician and am therefore more comfortable with language skills than arithmetical calculations. Happily, there is a verbal test which will enable you to determine if you are a candidate. I am happy to pass it along so that you can determine if you are eligible for membership in the Senior Lawyers Consortium and all of the rights and privileges that entails. With apologies to that comedian who thinks it is funny to make fun of poor white people who live in rural areas, here it is: If the building everybody has recently started calling “the old courthouse” is the building you always thought of as “the new courthouse,” you just might be eligible. 1
If you still occasionally wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night just after dreaming you were scheduled to appear the next morning for the call of the Orphans’ Court audit list before Judge Satterthwaite, you just might be eligible. 2
Left to Right: Donald Marshall, Larry Grim, John Kerrigan.
In any event, I checked into it and apparently I am indeed eligible for this new Consortium. There is a complicated mathematical formula for eligibility based upon the elapsed time since the date of one’s birth coupled with, or in addition to, the elapsed time since one’s bar admission. The rule is that if 23,742 days have passed since the date of your birth and/or if 14,610 days have passed since the date of your bar admission, and if you are still alive and still a lawyer, you have met the criteria for membership.
3 If, in the course of your career, you have ever been appointed to be a Master in a fault divorce case based on the grounds, indignities to the person, you just might be eligible. 4 Related to the above, if you have ever used the phrase “intentional incivility, studied neglect and habitual contumely,” you just might be eligible.
Also related to the above, if you know what the word “contumely” means, you just might be eligible. (If you don’t know, you are worthy of contemptuous and humiliating insults.) 5
6 If you have ever heard a colleague who, upon receiving a buck slip from the Court Administrator’s office, made the good-natured comment, “I just got a letter from H. Paul Kester, the Court Jester,” you just might be eligible. I personally have never said this since I don’t remember ever having received a buck slip from the Court Administrator. I should add that memory loss is also a possible indicator of Consortium eligibility.
11 If, after decades of Bar Association membership, you thought you had finally figured out the difference between a Bar Association Division, a Bar Association Section and a Bar Association Committee, but you are now completely bewildered because you have just learned there is something called a Bar Association Consortium, you just might be eligible.
If you agree, along with all other Consortium members, that the most pleasant, efficient and productive person who ever worked in the Bucks County Courthouse was Irene Dager, you just might be eligible.
If most or all of the above tests make sense to you, you are a “most esteemed member” of the Bar Association and are eligible for membership in the new Senior Members Consortium.
If the first thing you think of when you receive a motion from opposing counsel is Rule 266, you just might be eligible.
If only about half of the above tests make sense to you, you are probably an “esteemed” member, but are not yet “most esteemed.” However, you will probably soon be eligible to move up to “most esteemed” status if you follow the two most basic prerequisites for membership: staying alive and not getting disbarred.
If you can remember when there were not three, not two, not one, but no Judge Rufes (Judges Rufe?, Judges Rufes?), you just might be eligible. 9
10 If you have ever been appointed Chairman of an arbitration panel for a specific case, requiring you to coordinate scheduling of the date, time and place of the hearing with the other two panel members, the attorneys of record and all unrepresented parties and then travel to Doylestown for the hearing on only that one case, all for the princely sum of $35.00, you just might be eligible.
If none of the above tests make sense to you, you should check your calendar to make sure you have entered the date and time of the next meeting of the Young Lawyers Division.
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Amala’s Story – By Ifeona U. Aduba –
Amala was pledged by her family to a man through an arranged marriage. She spoke no English when she landed in Bensalem, where her new husband was an established businessman. Amala found herself in virtual servitude. She was beaten by her husband. She was beaten by his family. She faced threats to separate her from her two small children. Amala fled. In retaliation, her husband conspired with his lawyer and procured a fraudulent divorce agreement and fake Property Settlement Agreement awarding all assets to Amala’s husband.
two years of complex litigation. Legal remedies partnered with safe emergency shelter, counseling, advocacy, and fierce diligence ensured that Amala stood a chance.
What happened to Amala? Amala is flourishing. She is conquering the English language, has custody of her children, works a job that she enjoys, and is reveling in the sense of safety and freedom that she long yearned to experience. As the only domestic violence organization serving Bucks County, AWP provides comprehensive free, private, and confidential service, support, education, outreach, and advocacy to victims of domestic violence and their children and the community.
When Amala first reached out to A Woman’s Place (AWP), it was for shelter. Her safety demanded a Protection from Abuse Order. When she was served with the fraudulent legal documents, it was clear that there was a treacherous, litigation-filled road ahead. AWP’s Civil Legal Representation (CLR) Program got to work.
Support from the community – from you and others like you – makes it possible for Amala to get the justice she deserves. Amala is not unique, but thanks to you, her outcome is and she and her children are safely flourishing today. To learn more about AWP and how you can continue to make Amala-like outcomes possible, visit www.awomansplace.org or call AWP’s Administrative Office at 215-343-9241. If you or someone you know needs help, please call the 24-hour hotline at 800-220-8116.
Thanks to generous support, AWP’s CLR Program provides representation on matters of custody, child and spousal support, divorce, and equitable distribution to victims of domestic violence who are frequently blocked from receiving access to the powerful and lifesaving tools that the justice system has to offer. For Amala, that meant reopening and vacating the divorce decree, invalidating the Property Settlement Agreement, deposition of the corrupt lawyer, hiring a forensic handwriting expert, dissecting convoluted financial documents, and theWRITS
Ifeona U. Aduba is the Executive Director at A Woman’s Place 26
BCBA Women Lawyers Section Update: CLEs, Fundraising and Synergy – By Susan E. Dardes – What’s been happening with the Women Lawyer’s Division (“WLD”) of the Bucks County Bar? What’s new for Fall? Every month the Section, open to all women members of the BCBA, from newly admitted to longstanding, are welcome to join us in the Club Room of the Bar Association building at 4 PM on the 4th Tuesday of the month. To date, there are 82 women lawyers signed up for the Section. This year’s chair is Carol Shelly, Esq., a busy and well respected Doylestown personal injury attorney. Each year the WLD sponsors at least one CLE course, followed by a networking hour with colleagues; this year it is being held in conjunction with Chester, Delaware and Montgomery county women lawyers as part of a four county summit. The eagerly anticipated presentation was held at Normandy Farms in Blue Bell, PA, on October 15th, from 4:00 to 6:30 PM. Five professional women of various disciplines were scheduled to address an expected audience of 300 legal professionals. On a charitable front, our focus has been to rotate through various local charities and donate time and treasures each holiday season, be it gifts for elderly folks, or toys for needy children. Earlier this year, you may have been the lucky (and hopefully generous) recipient of my call for funds earmarked for Bucks County Habitat for Humanity. The WLD raised more than $5,000.00 during that particular telethon. (And we exempted the judges!) In the Spring, the Section sponsored a clothing drive for CareerLink, with much member participation. Gently used clothing for men and women went to the Bristol organization to help prepare Bucks County job seekers for interviews.
Top: Bucks County Women lawyers socialize after Power Summit presentation. Bottom: Vendor displays at 2014 Ladies Night Out.
The WLD also sponsors a ladies night out at the Bar Association in time for holiday shopping, where we have a chance to promote and support local vendors and get a chance to acquaint ourselves outside of a busy courthouse or conference room. Last year’s Book Club event doubled as a fundraiser for Legal Aid. Another popular social gathering is the poker or casino night.
And, if you need to find your way around a golf course (I’m not naming names), the WLD offers a dinner and golf lesson, for a modest fee.
Bench Bar C o n f e r e n c e
From October 1st to 3rd, attorneys, judges and law clerks gathered in Cambridge, Maryland at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina for the annual BCBA Bench Bar Conference. Despite best laid plans, torrential downpour for two days meant changes to both our activities and programming. Unfortunately, attendees were disappointed to learn that golf and outings to St. Michaels were cancelled due to the rain and flooding. It also meant that our plenary speaker, Jennifer Dysart, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who was scheduled to present on the topic of eyewitness testimony Saturday morning, was unable to fly into the local airport. We are planning to have Professor Dysart here in Bucks County sometime in the spring of 2016.
In spite of the bad weather, we still accomplished the mission of the Bench Bar Conference â€“ to educate, promote collegiality and build positive relationships among practitioners in the Bucks County legal community and with the Bench. We had a lively and entertaining YLD trivia followed by a lovely cocktail hour and formal dinner Thursday night. Our programming on Friday morning kicked off with a very informative plenary session with the Bucks County Common Pleas Judges. The CLEs that followed were enlightening and well received. Many of us enjoyed a very relaxing afternoon in the game room, at the spa, or napping. After much needed down time, cocktail hour included a delicious raw bar, sliders and beer tasting from a local brewery. Dinner was a fun affair with Nâ€™awlins food and a jazz band. The Mardi Gras beads and masks made it very festive. It was a challenging Bench Bar Conference but everyone made the best of the situation. I am forever thankful for the positive attitudes and overwhelming support. I look forward to another great Bench Bar Conference next year at Crystal Springs. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather. Kyong Ha Growney, 2015 BCBA Bench Bar Conference Chair
Bench Bar C o n f e r e n c e
Seasonal Haiku... I love pumpkin spice! A harbinger of Christmas, Earlier each year
Gastronomic thrills Mix for scones, waffles, pancakes, Muffins and bars
Starting in August, Coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts And Wawa K-Cups
Don’t forget the rub Soup and Blue Diamond almonds Biscotti is best
In the grocery aisles, Trader Joe’s is stocked to gills It’s the Great Pumpkin!
Even air freshener Spicy fragrance everywhere There goes my diet! —Dianne C. Magee
Donald P. Worthington
Kelley A. Cwiklinski
John C. Spier
Patricia A. Markel-Mulligan
Linda J. Bishop
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The Official Publication of the Bucks County Bar Association of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Published quarterly, Bucks Writs is mailed direc...