The Writs Spring 2015

Page 1



The Bucks County Justice Center COURTROOM TECHNOLOGY

The History of Pro Bono Legal Aid

The Cardamone LAW FIRM, LLC

100% of Firm’s Practice is the Representation of Injured Workers • Attorney Michael W. Cardamone is a Certified Specialist in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law.

Named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, Rated Superb by Avvo, and Named a Top 100 Litigation Attorney in Pennsylvania

• 1999 Graduate of The Villanova University School of Law • Four Convenient Offices • Helping Injured Workers In Bucks and Surrounding Counties

• Free Consults 7 Days a Week

• Referral Fees for Attorneys

The Cardamone LAW FIRM, LLC

920 Lenmar Drive, Blue Bell, PA 19422 (215) 206-9068


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 H. Paul Kester Dianne C. Magee Christopher J. Serpico Meg Groff David J. Truelove Scott I. Fegley Bar Association Office Deanna Mindler, Executive Director 135 East State Street Doylestown, PA 18901 215.348.9413 email submissions to

contents SPRING 2015

President’s Message ................................................................

Page 4

The Bucks County Justice Center After many years of planning, negotiating, designing, and constructing over three phases, the Bucks County Justice Center is a reality.

................................................................ Page 6

The New Court House of 1962

Recollections of an earlier major project completed by the County of Bucks – the erection in 1962 of a new Court House on East Court Street.

................................................................ Page 10 COURTROOM TECHNOLOGY IN THE BUCKS COUNTY JUSTICE CENTER ................................................................ Page 12 2015 Election Selection Committee As the 2015 campaign season kicked off earlier this year, the Bar Association’s Merit Selection Committee was convened to plan for and organize its election-related tasks.

................................................................ Page 14 The History of Pro Bono Legal Aid Celebrate Bucks County legal community’s long history of providing legal assistance services to the poor.

................................................................ Page 18 The Tough Way to Get a Copy of the New Orphans’ Court Manual The process for delivering the manual has been an interesting journey.

................................................................ Page 20

Community Roots

PUBLISHER Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc. 2921 Windmill Road Reading, PA 19608 610.685.0914 x201

................................................................ Page 22

Advertising Contacts Mark Schelling 610.685.0914 x205

................................................................ Page 28

How like the life of that tree my own life has been.

Movie Review - “The Judge” The Judge “spoke” to me. It was familiar— simultaneously comforting and unnerving.

Karen Zach 610.685.0914 x213 Maureen Keyte 610.685.0914 x212

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.

10% Post Consumer Waste Please Recycle

President’s Message

Joanne M. Murray Bucks County Bar Association President

It’s been a busy year so far for

roots, particularly in light of the 800th anniversary

the Bucks County Bar Associa-

of the Magna Carta. While the turnout for this event

tion, with more great things on

was impressive, we unfortunately did not have a

the horizon. The year began

sufficient number of members attend to vote on

with a once-in-a-lifetime event:

proposed amendments to our Bylaws, which will

the exhibition of 45 portraits

be presented at a later date.

of past and present Bucks County judges at the James

Our Young Lawyers’ Division recently hosted the

A. Michener Art Museum.

annual Bucks County high school Mock Trial competi-

A Judicial Legacy: Portraits from the Bucks County

tion. Once again, I had the pleasure of serving as a

Court was the culmination of many months of hard

juror and as usual was impressed with the dedication

work by our Past Presidents, led by Larry Grim, Frank

and talent of the students and their coaches. Many

Gallagher, Adrian Meyer and Judge Hart Rufe, with

thanks to all of our members who logged many hours

the assistance of Past Presidents, Jeff Trauger, Brian

coordinating and volunteering for this time-consuming

McGuffin and Barbara Kirk. The project was also

but rewarding event.

supported by the Bucks County Bar Foundation,

We continue to look for new member benefits and services to maximize the value of your membership.

under Maureen Carlton’s leadership. As usual, Executive Director Deanna Mindler and her staff are to be commended for their exceptional efforts. The portraits will be displayed in the new Bucks County Justice Center. The new Justice Center opened in mid-January with an inspirational dedication ceremony, followed by an opportunity for members and the community to tour the new facility. The Justice Center will provide our

Our various committees, sections and divisions are hard

community with access to justice in a secure, state-

at work planning programs and events for our mem-

of-the-art environment for many years to come.

bers, as well as diligently working behind the scenes

BCBA has worked hard with County judges and

on policies, procedures, and an updated strategic plan.

officials to make sure that our members have

Our CLE schedule is packed with informative programs

convenient access to the facility, along with a

in key substantive areas. We continue to look for new

comfortable lounge where you can relax and/or

member benefits and services to maximize the value of

work during breaks between court appearances.

your membership. We are excited to announce that our annual Bench-Bar Conference will be returning to the

In February, BCBA members celebrated the annual

beautiful Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort,

Opening of the Assizes with a British-themed cocktail

Spa and Marina on Maryland’s Eastern Shore from

reception. The theme was a nod to our jurisprudential

October 1-3.



Save the date for our third annual Dinner and a Movie event on Thursday, May 14th. Be sure to check your email for an opportunity to win free tickets. We’ll announce the movie soon – it’s a real crowd-pleaser. We’re working on a couple of other events to squeeze in before the Summer begins so stay tuned. I encourage you to check out BCBA’s newly revamped website – Make sure you complete

Need A Lawyer?

your profile so your information is up to date, including your committee, section and division selections. Deanna and her staff are available to help you with

Welcome to the Bucks County Bar

this process, although the website is very user-friendly

Association’s Lawyer Referral and Infor-

and it truly takes just a few minutes to update your

mation Service (LRIS) serving all of Bucks

information. The website allows you to register for

County. The LRIS is a public service of the

events and CLEs online and update your calendar

non-profit Bucks County Bar Association.


Each year the LRIS responds to thousands of callers, referring them to attorneys with

As always, I welcome your input and suggestions –

experience in the appropriate area of law or

feel free to call or email me any time. Thank you for

to area agencies able to provide assistance.

choosing to be a member of the Bucks County Bar Association. n

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. 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.




The Bucks County Justice Center Scott L. Feldman


ts here! After many years of planning, negotiat-

There seems to be something for everyone to be ex-

ing, designing, and constructing over three phases,

cited about. The Courtrooms are functioning and the bench and bar are well accommodated.

the Bucks County Justice Center is a reality. On January 10, 2015, the largest public works project in Bucks County history opened its doors. 100 North Main

We enjoy discovering shiny, new places and things. But

Street, and its adjoining parking garage, is here to stay,

will our collective quality of life improve? Or, at the end

a proud and impressive structure mere steps away from

of the day, is the Justice Center simply a new place to

its older counterpart across the street.

go to work for hundreds of Bucks County employees? Is it just a new address for citizens to apply for pass-

Its 285,000 square feet of usable interior space is

ports, report for jury duty or appear for legal proceed-

already bustling. Its green features, improved traffic

ings? Is it anything more than a new building for attor-

flow and array of Moravian tiles are noteworthy. The

neys and their staff to file pleadings, present motions

transition of judicial systems and facilities to the new

and represent their clients? Is the Justice Center any

location seemed smooth. According to Bucks County

more stimulating to us or the community at large than

General Services, the move required some 72 tractor

a new football stadium (coming soon to Central Bucks

trailer loads and 5,064 moving crates. theWRITS


feature East High School) or a new mega-restaurant/bar (at the old railroad warehouse)? These questions and our collective impressions and attitudes will surely develop over time. In the meanwhile, enjoy reading Sean Gresh’s primer on the technology featured in all Courtrooms and Frank Gallagher’s recollection of the construction and opening of the “new” Courthouse a mere 50 plus years ago. In addition, here are some others’

the town center, the attractive brick, steel and glass

initial comments and observations.

façade structure projects a sense of modern sophistication and prominence. The Courtrooms are comfortable,

Thomas P. Donnelly:

well appointed, have excellent acoustics and feature

With the completion of the Bucks County Justice

increased technological capabilities. The concourses

Center the residents of Bucks County have a beautiful

abutting the courtrooms are spacious, include great

and useful modern facility fitting of the community.

views of the surrounding Borough environs and let

The new landscape supports the notion that maintain-

in an abundance of natural light. I believe the Justice

ing location was of paramount importance. Tying in a

Center sets the new standard by which all county court

historical perspective is a nice touch and renders the

facilities will be measured.

building special to those of us that love where we live and work.

Barbara M. Kirk: The new Justice Center is impressive and beautiful in

Pat Zimmerman, Prothonotary’s Office:

the décor. I was very impressed with the use of the

We are still adjusting to our layout. We used to occupy

various decorative tiles throughout the building. I am

a square box, so things were laid out a certain way.

concerned that the courtrooms appear to be smaller

Now our space is larger, so there is more walking. Our

than those in the old courthouse. Otherwise, since the

area is also quieter with better acoustics. Our desks and

transition has just occurred, we need to wait and see,

equipment are new and top of the line. Best of all, the

and be patient for all of the “kinks” to be resolved.

Prothonotary now has shared use of a kitchen (with Family Court) and a proper place to eat.

Douglas R. Praul, Court Administrator: Anyone entering the new Justice Center will first be

John D. Lemonick, Montgomery Co. Attorney:

struck with its sense of space and light. Unlike the

Kudos to the Doylestown Borough Council, the County

old Courthouse, the new building brings daylight into

Commissioners and Architect, HOK. The new Justice

hallways, offices and even courtrooms. The light in turn

Center is a smashing success. Soaring tastefully over

imparts a feeling of spaciousness. 7


feature There are more office areas, storage space, courtrooms and assembly areas. But individual offices are smaller, hallways are adequate, but not expansive, and even judges’ chambers are diminished. Most notably, the courtrooms are compact, noticeably smaller than most of the courtrooms left behind. Even the one large courtroom is not substantially larger than Courtroom 1 in the old building. But the building does not give the feeling we have

have sprung up as people learn how to

down-sized. The nature of the site forced the designers

work together in ways they haven’t ever been

to make efficient use of every space, and eliminate any

able to before. The spirit of cooperation has been

areas that did not serve a necessary function. The overall

contagious and energizing. And while it is too

result is a building that is relentlessly efficient. It is a

soon to be certain, it is probable that productivity

building meant for work.

will increase as well.

For the first time, most offices have all their people

Most importantly, security has been greatly en-

in one room. This has created a few transition

hanced. This is apparent when you first step in the

tensions, but in most cases, friendly new neighborhoods

door, and see the screening area. But hidden away are numerous other security features. There are security cameras, secure doors and areas where

You take care of your clients, but who takes care of you?

access is limited. Prisoners move through the building without contacting either court staff or the public. Judges and court staff work in offices that are no longer open to the general public. It is a building in which every practical precaution was taken to safeguard both visitors and staff.

We are committed to making your banking easier.

If you have not stopped by for a visit, please do so

• On-site account opening

soon. Come and create your own first impression.

• Remote deposit and mobile deposit


• Commercial loans and lines of credit • Access to real people—even during evenings and weekends.


Virgil Haplea Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending Office 215-526-9264 Member FDIC



Reach Over 25,000 Bucks County Residents

Advertise in the Writs Bucks County Bar Association’s Quarterly Magazine

Advertise in the Writs and reach over 25,000 engaged Bucks County residents, from the broader business and medical community, to over 1000 Bucks County attorneys and community leaders. For Advertising Information, please contact one of our media associates below.

Publishing Group 2921 Windmill Road, Reading, PA 19608 Mark Schelling 610.685.0914 x205

Karen Zach 610.685.0914 x213

Maureen Keyte 610.685.0914 x212

annals of history



Courtof House 1962 Frank Gallagher


he recent dedication of the Bucks County Justice

loss of the foot traffic created by visitors to the Court

Center and the logistical complications of moving

House and by employees of lawyers and other businesses

into it brought to mind recollections of an earlier major

that would cluster around it. As things have turned out

project completed by the County of Bucks – the erection

both sides were correct. The lack of space has remained

in 1962 of a new Court House on East Court Street.

a problem, though relieved for now by the erection of the parking garage and the Justice Center. And

I first came to Doylestown to practice with Eastburn &

Doylestown’s business district has thrived – at

Gray in February of 1958. Construction of the new Court

least partly thanks to Court House traffic.

House began in July, 1958 and ended around 1962. From my office at 20 East Court Street, next to the

Another issue was the architecture of the new build-

Family Court Building, I was in a good position to

ing. Rather than the International Style proposed by the

observe all the activity.

architects, some thought it should fit in better with the existing buildings in the town. Proponents of the modern

But the breaking of ground for the new building was

style argued that those other buildings were designed

almost an anticlimax after all the discussion of the

in the styles in vogue when they were erected – Gothic,

contentious issues it gave rise to. The most serious issue

Federal, Georgian, neoclassical, Victorian, etc., so the

was its location. Some people argued that it should be

new Court House should use the architecture of its time.

erected at the Doylestown Fairgrounds at East Court

The architects won.

Street and Swamp Road, across from Fonthill Castle and on the land where the neighborhood known as Belmont

An additional issue was the need to tear down the old

Square stands now. They urged that this location would

Court House of 1878. (For present purposes I will use

cause less congestion, would have space for parking and

“new” to refer to the 1962 building and “old” to refer

expansion, and would avoid the necessity for destroying

to the 1878 building.) The old Court House sat approxi-

the 1878 Court House.

mately where the judicial wing of the new one is located. It was designed by famed Philadelphia architect Addison

Others contended that the new building should be

Hutton in what he called the Early French Gothic style. Its

placed at the site of the existing one. Proponents of

footprint may have served as a model for the architects

this site included lawyers with offices in the vicinity and

of the new building since it consisted of a rectangular

Doylestown merchants and restaurateurs who feared the

administration wing and a circular judicial wing.



One entered it from Court Street through a small lobby

of the buildings located there. In all, the following

into an impressive two-story high gallery (with no eleva-

buildings were relocated or demolished: the former

tor). To the right or east was the office of the Prothon-

Doylestown National Bank, the Ross law office built in

otary. On the second floor, above the Prothonotary,

1829, and a ticket window for the Philadelphia/Easton

was the office of the Sheriff. It also housed the Clerk of


Courts, Register of Wills and Orphans Court. The Recorder of Deeds had earlier been banished to the former

Ground was broken for the administration wing of the

Scheetz Department Store Building at Main Street and

new building in July 1958. Its seven stories made it by far

Shewell Avenue.

the tallest structure in the area. Once the administration wing was completed, the various governmental functions

Continuing through the gallery one entered the judicial

were transferred into it. Temporary court rooms were set

wing. Most of its space was occupied by the main court

up on the second floor. I tried a case before Judge Sat-

room. The first Judge Biester once remarked that it was a

terthwaite in the space that became the Prothonotary’s

difficult room in which to tell a lie. Its shape was octago-


nal. On the wall behind the bench with its chairs for the three judges were arrayed portraits of many of the early

Then came the sad day! From a high floor of the shiny

Bucks County judges. Dark wood benches for spectators

new building I watched as a wrecking ball tore apart the

were arranged in amphitheater style facing the bench.

dark brown stones of the hallowed old one.

The room was surmounted by a stained glass skylight. Occasionally a wayward pigeon fluttered around in the

However, a few weeks later, from the same spot I

upper reaches. I was present one day when attorney

watched a crane meticulously position the sixteen or so

John Justus Bodley, while standing at the lectern before

long vertical girders that form the circular framework

the bench, interrupted his argument, glanced up toward

of the judicial wing. Soon the construction there was

the rafters, and used a handkerchief to wipe his bald

completed, the judicial functions moved across the ramps


connecting the two wings, and the life of County government settled into the groove which it followed for

In the 1950s the historic preservation movement was

53 years, that is, until when the growth of the county

not nearly as strong as it has become, but still there were

required the move of the judicial functions into the new

voices crying out for the preservation of the old building.

Justice Center.

It was clearly outdated. It was constructed when there were only one or two judges, so there was a shortage of

According to Doylestown Old and New published in

court rooms. Row offices were jammed with desks and

1904 by General W.W.H. Davis, the contract for the

filing cabinets. So there was certainly a need for a new

construction of the 1878 Court House had a price of

building. If the new building were built at a different

$71,000. The cost of the 1960s construction? As I recall

location, of what use would the old one be? So the dif-

it was $7,000,000. The cost of the Justice Center?

ficult decision was made to demolish it.

$87,000,000. When will the next expansion be needed? Perhaps never. Technological innovations may require

Since the architect’s plans for the new building envi-

fewer employees. Paperless operations may eliminate the

sioned a park between the Court House and the point

need for filing cabinets. Who knows? n

near the Civil War Memorial, disposition had to be made 11





eral technology training sessions for

to portable technology increases, so

attorneys to become more comfort-

does its importance in presenting your

able with the new systems that have

case in a courtroom. At the same time,

been installed in the Justice Center.

more and more of the evidence we

Below is a little of what I (and others

s the speed, power, and accessibility

who attended) picked up from those

need to present those cases is being


stored and transferred digitally. Whether it be video surveillance in a retail theft matter,

First, let’s talk about internet connectivity. Each

a voicemail message in a custody hearing, or a detailed spreadsheet prepared by an expert witness

counsel table in the courtroom has two (2) internet

in a civil jury trial, technology now permeates almost

connections. One connects to the County network,

every presentation to a judge or jury.

and the other directly to the Internet. These are color coded (blue and white), and cables are provided

For the last several years, practitioners have found it

at the table. These are the standard CAT-5 internet

difficult to present this evidence. Our “old” court-

cables that we are all used to using in our homes

house’s cornerstone was laid in 1960. That is 10 to

and offices. As of now, there is no wireless internet connectivity provided in the Courtrooms.

15 years before the development of the personal computer. Even when PCs did come out, they were not portable enough to bring with you into a court-

While there is Wi-Fi in the building, it is limited right

room. The first “laptop,” as we know the term, didn’t

now to two areas: 1) the Jury lounge; and 2) the At-

come out until the early 1980s and weighed over 20

torney’s lounge. Both of these areas are located in the

pounds. Obviously, the designers of the Court Street

upper of the two basement levels, one level below the

building could not contemplate the heavy reliance

main entrance floor. So, if you will be in a courtroom

we would have on technology today, and designed

on floors 2-5, you will need to plan accordingly. This

its courtrooms for their analog world. Luckily, the

would not seem to be a big issue for evidence presen-

courtrooms of the new Bucks County Justice Center

tation, as if it is intended to be admitted as evidence for

are designed to handle and help practitioners manage

the record, you will need to have a hard copy with you

the complex digital evidence with which we are now


confronted. If you wish to present evidence through a portable Dealing with a new evidence presentation system for

device, you may connect directly to the presentation

the first time can be a daunting task. Before the offi-

system by two different methods, VGA or HDMI. VGA

cial opening of the building, County Officials held sev-

is the blue connector that most of you will recognize



as the cable that connects your computer and monitor at your desk. HDMI is the connection that you probably use to connect your cable box and your HD television at home. Both types of cable are provided in the Courtroom: simply plug in and use. One word of warning, however, VGA does not carry audio. In other words, if you wish to use your device to display something that has a sound component and cannot use the HDMI connection, you will need a separate audio cable to play sound through the system. Many full size

tern in each room contains: a document camera (ELMO);

laptops (Macbook Pro, IBM compatibles) now come with

Blu-Ray/DVD/CD player; VHS tape player; and an interface

HDMI ports. Almost all IBM styled laptops also have a

screen that allows the user to choose who to show the

VGA port, but the current Macbook Pro does not.

document to, and allows the user to mark up or highlight a specific portion of the evidence.

All of these connection options will pose a problem for those of us who are using some of the most popular

The ELMO camera is of particular use in jury trials, as it

current products like the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, or the

vastly improves the process and speed by which one can

MacBook Air. Neither of these two computers has VGA

publish a document to the jury. This is a real-time digital

or HDMI. Nor do they have an “Internet” port that can

video camera under which you can place a document or

accept a CAT-5 connection for wired Internet. Both the

item of evidence, thus allowing everyone to see it on the

MacBook Air and Surface Pro 3 are designed to be largely

screen at the same time.

wireless. However, both do have USB 3.0 ports and MiniDisplay Ports. Luckily, adapters are available through many

There is a screen on the witness stand for review and

manufacturers to give you display capability (you will

highlighting of evidence by the testifying witness. There

need a Mini-Display Port to HDMI adapter) and Internet

are also review screens at each counsel table, and of

connectivity (you will need USB 3.0 to CAT-5 adapter). My

course, one on the bench for the Judge. It is of note,

advice is to plan out your evidence well in advance of trial

however, that the Judge’s screen maintains exclusive con-

so you can best prepare for your presentation needs.

trol over what is shown to the jury. The system is set up so that the Court must approve and admit any evidence before the Jury can see it.

Likewise, there are no connections present in the courtroom for use of IPads or other tablets, nor Android phones that do not possess HDMI ports, nor IPhones.

Unfortunately, space prohibits us from detailing each

Each of these will need a specific connector/adapter if

and every use and issue presented with this new system.

you wish to connect it to the system.

These preceding paragraphs are meant as a primer, and are in no way a complete explanation of this system or

If, however, your evidence is of a less complex nature,

its uses. If you have any specific questions regarding your

the presentation system in the courtrooms is designed to

equipment, and how it will integrate with the Justice

allow you multiple avenues to manipulate and show this

Center’s systems, please contact the Court for more

evidence to the finder of fact. The system inside the lec-

information. n 13



2015 Election Selection Committee Tim Duffy


public service shares with the community its members’

s the 2015 campaign season kicked off earlier this

year, the Bar Association’s Merit Selection Committee

assessment of the candidates for judicial office. It

was convened to plan for and organize its election-

is the Merit Selection Committee that oversees the

related tasks. Those tasks concern the judicial candida-

multi-step process that results in the issuance of the

cies upon which Bucks County’s electorate will vote in

views of its membership.

both the May 19 primary election and the November 3 general election. Two seats on the Court of Com-

First, the Association asks all candidates for judicial

mon Pleas will be on the ballot, as will the retention of

office to complete a detailed questionnaire, in which

President Judge Finley. 2015 is the tenth and final year

the candidates share details of their personal and

of Judge Finley’s initial term on the bench and with his

professional backgrounds and other information to

retention, His Honor will serve an additional ten years.

assist voters in learning more about our candidates.

While Judges Brian McGuffin and Ray McHugh have

The Merit Selection Committee has asked candidates

been appointed to the Bench, those appointments will

to complete the questionnaires and return them

last only through this calendar year. Their Honors are

shortly after the last day for submitting nominating

both running for election to a full ten year term which

petitions, which was March 10, 2015. The completed

would commence January 1, 2016.

questionnaires were then posted on the “Community Resources” page of the Bar Association’s website.

The primary mission of the Merit Selection Committee is to provide a forum within which the electorate can

The Association will then mail out to its members its

educate itself with regard to judicial candidates and

judicial plebiscite. All members are eligible and

thereby assist them in making informed decisions in

encouraged to vote, indicating whether a particular

the voting booth. Being as intimately familiar as we are

candidate is highly recommended, recommended or

with the judicial system and, particularly, the traits that

not recommended for the position of judge of the

make a good judge “good,” the Bar Association as a

Court of Common Pleas. The plebiscite will be mailed



out only after nominating petitions are due to make

Members will be required to complete and submit their

sure that every candidate had the opportunity to

plebiscite shortly thereafter. The last day for completed

receive and respond to the questionnaire.

plebiscites to be received at the Bar Association is May 4, 2015. Please note this is the date by which

The public will then be invited, along with the mem-

completed plebiscites must be received, not placed in

bership of the Bar Association, to a judicial candidates’

the mail. The results will thereafter be tabulated and

night at the Bar Association. The candidates will be

a press release will be issued by the Merit Selection

asked a series of pre-determined questions developed

Committee announcing the results of the plebiscite

by the Merit Selection Committee. Questions will also

to the public. n

be entertained from those in attendance, the intent being to allow those in attendance to see and hear for themselves the candidates. The Judicial Candidates’ Night presently is scheduled for Tuesday, April 28, and will be held at the Bar Association. More details will follow. Brian McGuffin


Ray McHugh



2015 Mock Trial Competition A Resounding Success Erin Kernan


he 2015 High School Mock Trial Competition

recently concluded, capping off one of the most successful years to date. The statewide competition is organized locally by the BCBA Young Lawyers’ Division (YLD). Each year more than 300 student teams from across the Commonwealth compete to earn the title of state champion. The winning team goes on to represent Pennsylvania nationally. Locally, organization of the competition is a major undertaking. This year, eleven teams from across the county competed for the chance to advance in the statewide competition. Most teams begin practicing in

the first time ever, YLD offered CLE credit vouchers to

late November, with the competition culminating in a

participating attorneys. Local judges also volunteer to

series of mock trials in late January and early February.

preside over the trials.

Each team is given the opportunity to participate in two mock trials, which take place before actual judges

The result is a rewarding experience not only for the

in actual courtrooms. Winning teams advance through

students, but for the volunteers as well. Larry Scheetz,

a series of rounds.

YLD Chair Elect, commented, “This year’s competition was a huge success, and YLD is pleased to offer this

YLD coordinates every aspect of the competition, in-

invaluable opportunity to local students. We would

cluding scheduling the competition’s many match-ups.

like to thank the students, coaches, judges, attorney

That task was made even more daunting this year as

volunteers and courthouse staff for making this year’s

snow, ice and school closings required many trials to be

competition one of the most successful to date.”

rescheduled. The move to the new Justice Center also presented unique challenges as YLD coordinated with

In the final round of the competition, Central Bucks

courthouse staff to accommodate the event.

West High School squared off against Central Bucks South High School, with West earning the opportunity

YLD also recruits the many volunteers who are key to

to move on. Win or lose, all the students enjoyed the

the competition’s success. This year, over forty BCBA

chance to be attorneys for a day. n

attorneys served as bailiffs, jurors and coaches. For theWRITS



2015 Mock Trial Volunteers

JUDGES Judge Baldi Judge Bateman Judge Benz Judge Finley Judge Friedman Judge Fritsch Judge Gambardella Judge McMaster Judge Rufe Judge Snow

JURY, BAILIFFS, COACHES Hugh Algeo Rusty Allen Maureen Anderson Judge Regina Armitage Ryan Becker Denise Bowman Meredith Buck Julianna Burdo Laura Campbell Melissa Cantwell Kathryn Carlson Maureen Carlton Joanna Cerino Jim Clark Harry Cooper Stephen Cornell Anne Scheetz Damon Grace Deon Jeff DiAmico Cameron Doman Tom Donnelly Tim Duffy Joe Duome Mark Eastburn Sarah Eastburn Laura Feitelson Scott Feldman Tim Fenningham Abigail Fillman Chris Finello Garrett Gummer Shelby Hahn Felicity Hanks John Hart Elissa Heinrichs Brandon Ingraham Colin Jenei

Governor Wolf Proposes A 6.6% Sales Tax On Many Professional Services, Including Legal Services.

Olivia Jolly Chuck Jonas Shannon Kanavy Dan Keane Brittney Kern Erin Kernan Gina Kiley Patti King Emma Kline Rob Labar Gavin Laboski Andy Levin Kim Litzke Vince Magyar John Marquis Brian Marriott Joe McGinley Joe McGinley, Sr. Matt McHugh Mike Meginnis Kristine Michael Joanne Murray Breandan Nemec Will Oetinger Jon Pavlocak Michael Peters Sue Pontious Jessica Pritchard Bob Repko Bianca Roberto Jennifer Ryan Steve Sailer Rodlena Sales Nick Salter Todd Savarese Larry Scheetz Carol Shelly Mike Shelton Stephanie Sikora Charles Sipio Mindy Snyder Herbert Sudfeld Adam Tanker Tyler Tomlinson Jess VanderKam Lisa Vellan Keith Williams Jeff Wong Davy Yockey Kevin Zlock

Governor Wolf proposes a 6.6% sales tax on many professional services, including legal services. The Governor called his plan an alternative approach to last session’s Senate Bill 76, which received bipartisan support and sought to impose a 7% sales tax on legal services. The PBA strongly opposes this aspect of the Governor’s proposed budget for the very same reasons we fought hard to prevent the passage of Senate Bill 76 last year. For many Pennsylvanians, hiring a lawyer is a necessity and not a luxury item. Access to justice is a basic constitutional right that should not be taxed and treated as a commodity. Increasing the cost of effective legal representation by imposing a sales tax would impact persons of limited means who often need a lawyer to: • Obtain workers’ compensation or social security benefits that have been wrongly denied • Fight a property assessment action by their local government • Deal with a hostile landlord or tenant • Have a simple will written or probate the will of a loved one • Avoid a home foreclosure • Gain court-ordered protection from an abusive spouse or parent • Obtain fair and equal access to fundamental rights Please take a moment now to reach out to your state legislators to ask them to vote AGAINST this proposed tax. In writing your message, feel free to use the points above to show the harsh impact any new tax will have on our clients. Of course, feel free to include your own concerns or examples that are pertinent to the issue. Even a very short message expressing opposition is important and effective! 17


human interest

The History of Pro Bono Legal Aid Elizabeth Wood Fritsch, Esq.


s the new courthouse prompts us to celebrate the

history of the Bucks County judicial system, let us also celebrate Bucks County legal community’s long history of providing legal assistance services to the poor. The history of attorneys providing legal help to the poor is as old as the legal profession itself. Long before there were government funds to support the work of legal aid organizations, attorneys assisted those who lacked the means to hire legal help. In the second half

aid programs. By the 1960s every major city had a legal

of the 1900s attorneys concerned about the lack of

services organization.

access by many to the judicial system began to organize their efforts into societies, the first being the

The Bucks County legal community itself has a proud

Legal Aid Society of New York.

tradition of pro bono service and support of legal services to the poor and vulnerable. For many years lead-

In 1919, Reginald Heber Smith, a graduate of Harvard

ing up to 1967, the Pro Bono Committee of the Bucks

Law School and counsel to Boston Legal Aid Society,

County Bar Association (BCBA) responded to requests

published a book titled Justice and the Poor. In it he

for help from poor county residents. When federal

challenged the private bar to do its part to ensure that

funding for legal services to the poor became available

justice was accessible to all, without regard to ability

in 1967 members of this committee quickly applied for

to pay. “Without equal access to the law,” he wrote,

the funding and established the Bucks County Legal

“the system not only robs the poor of their only protec-

Aid Society (BCLAS), now part of Legal Aid of South-

tion, but it places in the hands of their oppressors the

eastern Pennsylvania.

most powerful and ruthless weapon ever invented.” National, state and local bar associations responded to

One of the first acts of the BCLAS board of directors

Smith’s call to service. The ABA established a Standing

in 1967 was to hire a full time director at a salary of

Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants and

$11,000 and two part-time attorneys. Another was

state and local bars all over the country sponsored legal theWRITS


to find space in Doylestown, Bristol and Warminster from which to serve clients. In 1969, the directors were pleased to report that its budget was now $60,000 and outreach offices were planned for Quakertown and Ottsville. This did not mean that the issue of financing legal services to the poor was over. In fact, finding sufficient funding to sustain operations and services has continued to be the greatest challenge for Legal Aid and all who support it. Over the years, many prominent and well respected Bucks County attorneys, many of them Bar Presidents and leaders in the legal community, have been involved in leadership of legal aid in the county. Judges VanArtsdalen, Robert Mountenay, John J. Rufe, Oscar Bortner, and Clyde Waite served as employees, directors and presidents of the board. And many, many hundreds of bar members have given of their time and their money. The resulting impact of all these efforts by legal aid staff, volunteers and supporters is almost beyond measure. Looking at our records for just the last 20 years (as long as we have kept records on computer), Legal Aid has handled 37,354 cases for low income

Looking at our records for just the last 20 years (as long as we have kept records on computer), Legal Aid has handled 37,354 cases for low income and vulnerable county residents.

and vulnerable county residents. And 12,661 of these were handled by volunteers! As a result, 9454 victims of domestic violence and family members have gotten protection orders, 3097 have obtained or preserved custody or visitation arrangements with their children, and 1053 have achieved the protection of federal bankruptcy. Other benefits gained for those in need include obtaining of unemployment compensation, preservation of medical benefits and Social Security Disability, mortgage renegotiation, expungements, family reunification, preservation of rental housing, wills and powers of attorney. Attorneys have tremendous power to use their skills and expertise to do good. And they have used it in Bucks County generously and effectively. Now this is a history of which we should all be truly proud. n



human interest

The Tough Way to Get a Copy of the New Orphans’ Court Manual Carolyn Newsom


he fourth edition of the Orphans’ Court Manual is

For some unknown reason, there was no electronic

now available for purchase from the Bucks County Bar

copy of the third edition to use as a starting point.

Association. The process for delivering the manual has

Although some of the author/editors had working

been an interesting journey. One might say, much like

copies of their assigned chapters, no one had the time

herding cats. The trip has been interesting and replete

or wanted to retype the chapters that existed only on

with detours and setbacks. Would I take on the chal-

paper. For these chapters, clean copies were scanned

lenge again had I known how challenging it would be?

into pdf files and then, using Adobe Acrobat, convert-

Let me reflect on that.

ed to Word files. Now anyone who has ever used this approach is aware of how un-user-friendly these docu-

When I joined the Orphans’ Court Section as a new

ments can be. The straight text of the chapters didn’t

attorney I wanted, and in fact needed, to buy a manual

take too long to fix formats, spacing, text compression,

explaining procedures and providing sample forms. The

and problem tabs. Then the additions and corrections

third edition, published in 2005, was no longer avail-

were applied to all fifteen chapters.

able and had been under revision for about five years. The only way I could see to actually get an updated

Converting the 88 forms from paper to pdf to usable

manual was to volunteer to corral the disparate parts.

Word documents turned out to be much more difficult! It was like a law school assignment to draft documents,

Getting my arms around this project was a challenge.

Need Computer / Network Help? 215-CARISMA

While reports suggested that most of the chapters had been updated, edited and reviewed, no one was able to produce an electronic copy of the manual. Many

Full-Service Network and Computer Consultants

of the chapters were “lost” in cyberspace when the

Data Backup & Recovery

responsible administrative person left the firm she

Virus/Malware Removal


Repairs & Maintenance

worked for. Paper versions with marked up edits exist-

Cloud Services

ed, as did short Word documents containing additions

Major Credit Cards Accepted

Web & E-mail Hosting


to the manual. The issues were tackled one at a time. Business Computer Services 99 East Court Street Doylestown, PA 18901



but was an incredible way to learn about Orphans’ Court procedures. Fixing converted Word documents turned out to be more difficult and time consuming than retyping the documents from scratch. While this took many hours it did make it easy to give the forms a more standard and undated look. Revising the standard look of the documents may turn out to be a point of contention. I asked for permission to make the documents have a standard look, but I did not ask for approval of the standard that was adopted. No one thought to ask. Studies have shown that it is easier to read san serif than serif fonts. Thus the standard font for the fourth edition of the manual is Ariel rather than the standard of the legal profession, Times New Roman. It is not difficult to change the font back to the old standard but documents may need additional spacing adjustments. My apologies for any inconvenience caused. So, would I take on the challenge again? Yes! I worked

AttornEy DiSCiplinAry AnD EthiCS mAttErS

with an interesting and talented group of attorneys, including some of the most pleasant

StAtEWiDE pEnnSylVAniA mAttErS no ChArGE For initiAl ConSUltAtion

procrastinators I’ve ever met. And finally, I now have my own copy of the fourth edition of the

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

Orphans’ Court Manual. n

James C. Schwartzman, Esq.

• 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 21





mong the works of art that adorn the walls of my

apartment, there is a pen-and-ink drawing of a tree, made by my oldest daughter in 1975 when she was an art student in college. The drawing is of a Locust tree that stood in our backyard. It was drawn as the tree appeared in the winter, barren of leaves and seed pods. There must have been snow on the ground because there is no grass showing. So intricately are the trunks, limbs, branches and twigs drawn that the picture appears to be three dimensional. Several years ago I rearranged some of the pictures in my apartment and when I put the tree drawing in its new place, I inadvertently hung it upside down. I didn’t

The trunks, limbs, and branches – even the twigs,

notice it at the time, and, some time later a friend said,

leaves, blossoms and fruits – of the visible tree repre-

“Paul, the tree is upside down.” I looked at it for a

sented the communities of which I had been a part,

moment and said, “No, the tree is gone. What you see

and, the root system was responsible for the nurturing

is the root system that was left behind.” Fifteen years

of my life in those communities. After all, I had been

after the drawing was made, a hurricane blew the tree

born into a community – a family. The family was part

over. So clean was the break that there was no hole to

of a Quaker community – Newtown Meeting. The fam-

fill or stump to be removed. All that was needed was

ily lived in the community of Newtown. The schools I

about a bushel of dirt raked over the site and seeded,

attended, Newtown Public School, George School and

and the next year there was no sign that there had

Earlham College, were all communities. The army was

ever been a tree there.

a community, as was Temple Law School. I became a lawyer and as such was a part of the legal community.

One evening, recently, the “root system” caught my

I became the Court Administrator for the Bucks County

eye. As I looked at it, the thought occurred to me –

Courts and was not only a part of the Court commu-

”How like the life of that tree my own life has been.” theWRITS

nity, but the County government community, as well. 22

I became active in a number of other communities. I

The longer I was involved with each community, the

started one of my own – a family. And there were a

deeper the roots went. Some of the roots went back

number of other organizations with which I became

hundreds of years – family, Quakers, and Newtown and


Bucks County, for example. These roots drew nourishment from the soil that was then passed up into the

“How like the life of that tree my own life has been.”

trunks, limbs, branches and twigs of the tree. That nourishment sustained and enhanced the life of this tree and brought forth its blossoms, leaves and fruits. This tree has lasted for a long time. So, when the Woodsman comes with his sharp blade and separates me from those roots, I will no longer be

As I entered each community, the first thing that I did

visible. The root system will eventually decay, but it will

was to start sending down roots. I became acquainted

have left its mark on the communities that I supported

with the culture and purposes of the community. I

as the tree. And that is my legacy. It matters not that I

learned the routines and rules of community life. I

may not be identifiable. What matters is that the com-

made new associations and friendships with other

munities I cared about the most will continue to thrive

members of the community. Some of these ripened

and grow. That’s all I need to know. How about you?

into deep and lasting friendships.


Fine Antique Firearms & Rare Collectibles LLC

John B Henry is an established dealer of fine antique (pre 1898) firearms and rare collectibles that celebrate the history and artistry of exceptional discoveries from around the globe. We are actively seeking to purchase single pieces or entire estates for inclusion in our collection. We are interested in firearm collections of all kinds, with a focus on military and antique items. Our team of skilled experts is equipped to provide qualified evaluations, and we are happy to provide professional references upon request. Referrals are appreciated and valued. Please call on us for a further discussion of how we can work together successfully. Contact us at 610-566-5200 or John B Henry | P.O. Box 435 | Media, PA 19063 23



Join Us For Another Marathon CLE Day! Earn up to 6.0 CLE credits in one day on 5 different topics! Where? The Bucks County Bar Association • When? April 22, 2015 Time



9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Avoiding Legal Malpractice 10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.


10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Defending Environmental Enforcement Actions

11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.


11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Strategic Planning

Nicole Antos, Esquire PBA Glenn A. Parno, Esquire Capozzi Adler, Attorneys at Law Ellen Freedman, CLM Pennsylvania Bar Association

12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Time Management for Solo and Small Firm Attorneys

2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.


2:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Getting Paid Combo – Basic and Advanced Concepts

Ellen Freedman, CLM Pennsylvania Bar Association Ellen Freedman, CLM Pennsylvania Bar Association

Course Descriptions: Avoiding Legal Malpractice1.0 eth.

Defending Environmental Enforcement Actions1.0 sub.

In this intermediate level seminar you will learn how to

A discussion of strategies and practice tips for represent-

avoid malpractice suits and in addition to earning 1.0

ing clients faced with civil or criminal environmental

ethics credits, you may also earn a 5% discount on your

enforcement actions. Topics include Role of the state

malpractice insurance! “To qualify for the 5% discount,

and federal government in environmental enforcement;

you must meet the following criteria: 1) a one-three

Examination of the civil and criminal environmental en-

person firm must have at least one attorney attend; 2) a

forcement process; Overview of state and federal enforce-

four or more person firm requires half of the practicing

ment statutes; Identifying current trends in environmental

attorneys to attend, or a minimum of one-quarter if at

enforcement; Case studies of several recent major civil

least one of the attendees is a partner. This discount is

and criminal enforcement actions (Chevron gas well pad

not available to insureds under the Corporate Attorney

fire, Exxon Mobil Marcellus Shale frack water spill, Nor-

Policy Form. The discount will be applied only to the policy

folk Southern tank car derailment and spill); Discussion

renewal which is next processed following this program.

of recent changes in the Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Act (Act

Existing policies of renewal quotations cannot be

13) and DEP’s updated 2014 Enforcement & Compliance

“re-issued.” The discount does not apply to part time

Policy; Strategies for avoiding and defending a civil or

policies. Attendees must be on time and stay for the

criminal enforcement actions; Practice tips for handling a

entire program in order to get full credit and the

case before the Environmental Hearing Board (EHB); and

insurance discount.

Practice tips for representing a client before a federal or state Grand Jury.



education Strategic Planning – 1.0 eth.

Rather, there is a proven methodology you can and

Developing a successful methodology for analyzing and

should follow. This course will take you through the series

implementing change at the firm.

of essential steps which are guaranteed to reduce your receivables and improve your cash flow. Covered topics

Time Management for Solo and Small Firm

include the emotional issues connected to managing re-

Attorneys – 1.5 eth.

ceivables for both attorneys and clients; performing credit

This face-paced session will provide solid tips, tools, and

checks; engagement agreements; timing issues; billing

tricks for taming information overload, managing proj-

follow- up; communications; and when to put the pen

ects, maintaining effective communications with clients

down. This course additionally includes details on how

and staff, and working smarter instead of harder.

to create an automated receivable follow-up program; taking credit cards; liens on files; reporting non-paying

Getting Paid Combo- Basic and Advanced

clients to credit bureaus; and pros and cons of bring-

Concepts – 1.5 eth.

ing suit to collect fees. (Note: this course is also suitable

How do you ensure you will get paid for the work you

for bookkeepers or other key office personnel who are

do? Unfortunately, there is no single magic secret to

involved in the receivable management process.)

share as to why some firms get paid and others don’t.


CLE Course Registration Information _________________________________________

Attorney ID #



Street Address/P.O. Box

Last Name

_______________________________________ City


___________________________________ _______ First Name

__________ State


_________________ Zip Code


Daytime Phone #

Fax #

Please check the course(s) that you plan to attend:

o # 305 Avoiding Legal Malpractice

On-site registration for all courses when seating is available; food and materials not guaranteed. Registration begins ¼ -hour prior to listed course time.

o BCBA Member ($30) o Non-Member ($45) o Non-Attorney ($15)

Amount Enclosed: $________ Check #: ________ Dietary/Accessibility Needs? If so, please explain:

o # 306 Defending Environmental Enforcement Actions


o BCBA Member ($30) o Non-Member ($45) o Non-Attorney ($15)

o # 307 Strategic planning o BCBA Member ($30) o Non-Member ($45) o Non-Attorney ($15)

o # 308 Time Management for Solo and Small Firm Attorneys o BCBA Member ($45) o Non-Member ($70) o Non-Attorney ($30)

o # 309 Getting Paid Combo- Basic and Advanced Concepts

o BCBA Member ($45) o Non-Member ($70) o Non-Attorney ($30) 25

Refund Policy: When a cancellation is necessary, please contact the BCBA at least 3 days prior to the course date for a full refund. Course Cancellation: Due to circumstances beyond our control, such as low enrollment or speaker cancellation, the BCBA reserves the right to cancel a scheduled course with a full refund to registrants. In the event that a cancellation is necessary, you will be notified as soon as the decision has been made. On-Site Registration: When seating is available, you may register for a course as a walk-in. Food and materials are not guaranteed for those who register within 24 hours of a program. Pre-registration is encouraged and appreciated. Questions? Please call our MCLE Coordinator at 215-348-9413 x110. “These CLE programs have been approved by the PA CLE Board for the amount of credit hours listed for each individual course in the substantive law practice and procedure area as well as ethics.”


2 015

16 t h A N N UA L

A U C T I O N G A R D E N PARTY GOE S COU NT RY Enjoy the ambiance of this 1879 mansion while: • Bidding on exciting silent auction items • Savoring luscious hors d’oeurves & buffet, wine, champagne and a specialty drink • Sampling tantalizing candies and desserts created by noted area pastry chefs and chocolatiers

SUNDAY, MAY 3, 2015 5-8PM

• Participating in fun, country-themed activities! • Enjoying country music & entertainment!


For tickets or information contact Lisa Radin 609.970.9157 800.272.3900

931 Rhawn Street Philadelphia, PA 19111

Proceeds benefit the Delaware Valley Chapter



Media Sponsor




Film Review— “The Judge” David Truelove his review is being written in the wake of the recent T Academy Awards’ broadcast, so if the tone is tired and

journey Hank embarks on, flying from

a little “filmed-out,” I offer a mea culpa. I am not a

Chicago to Evansville,

cinephile, as is my good friend and contemporary, Chris

Indiana (my mother’s

Serpico. I cannot offer in-depth analysis or some per-

home town), then

spective gained from familiarity with different directors

driving on two-lane

or genres. Nevertheless, for a few reasons which will

roads dividing

become apparent, The Judge was an enjoyable movie

elephant-high cornfields to the

experience, and one which was very personal, on a

hometown, a nearby county seat. We learn that Hank

number of levels.

and his wife are on the verge of separation, and upon his arrival in “Carlinville,” Hank has not been home

A caveat: The Judge is not a great film. It did not win

for years, and has not spoken to his father, the local

any major film awards (though Robert Duvall was

county judge (Joseph Palmer, played by Duvall),

nominated for Best Supporting Actor). The movie is,

for the same duration. As a decades-long jurist,

in an ironic way, a terrific diversion and escape.

Duvall casts a large shadow at home

It boasts a top-notch cast (Duvall, Robert Downey, Jr.,

and in the community. His own

Billy Bob Thornton, Vincent D’Onofrio, and others), and

boys refer to him not as “Dad,”

is beautifully filmed. Some critics found its plot formu-

but as “The Judge.”

laic and clichéd, which are probably valid observations. However, as an attorney (a recovering litigator), and an Indiana native (yes, a “Hoosier”) and who after several decades has experienced some of the rigors of balancing personal and professional lives, The Judge “spoke” to me. It was familiar—simultaneously comforting and unnerving. The story begins with a courtroom scene in Chicago, where high-priced criminal defense attorney Hank Palmer (Downey) is outmaneuvering a frustrated prosecutor in a pre-trial motion hearing. After the hearing Hank receives a call from his older brother, Glen (D’Onofrio), calling from their southern Indiana hometown, telling him that their mother has just died. The next few scenes display the physical and emotional theWRITS


The father-son estrangement is explained gradually

played by Billy Bob Thornton, in an unusually under-

during the film, revealing that Hank was a ne-er do

stated, but effective presentation. As the main theme

well (though talented and intelligent) middle son,

is developed, other stories also unfold. Hank reunites

whose teenage reckless driving cost his older brother

with an old high-school flame, who now runs the

a shot at a major-league baseball career. We also meet

local diner. Glen’s unrealized baseball career aspira-

their younger brother, Dale, who is mentally chal-

tions are also explored. Most significantly, Hank and

lenged, but who has a knack and obsession for film-

the audience learn that the Judge is suffering from

making, and watching old family movies. After their

a terminal cancer, and that he has been undergoing

mother’s funeral, Hank is ready to return to Chicago

chemo treatments for months, up to this point an

and attempt to patch up his failing marriage (and

ailment and prognosis known only to his wife. The

spend more time with his young daughter), when the

chemo treatments potentially compromise some of his

Judge is himself named a suspect in a homicide involv-

judicial decisions and affect both his memory and the

ing a former criminal defendant who appeared before

potential level of claimed criminal intent, with respect

the Judge several years before, but in this instance is

to the underlying charges, which include First Degree

killed in a vehicular incident (but allegedly not an

Murder, and Voluntary Manslaughter.

“accident.”) Hank eventually represents his father at the trial. What transpires over the next several scenes is the

The trial preparation scenes present parallel paths:

unfolding of several sub-plots, dominated by the

the personal re-connection between father and son,

eventual prosecution of the Judge, in a trial presided

and the development of tremendous (if not initially, grudging) professional respect. The trial scenes are

over by a jurist brought in from

fairly realistic (although the time between arrest and

out of county (played by the

jury selection appears extremely short, even by

“White Shadow,” Ken

efficient Hoosier standards), and of course the

Howard), and prosecut-

denouement occurs during the Judge’s riveting and

ed by an out-of-county

revealing testimony. I won’t issue a spoiler alert—

district attorney,

you’ll have to see the movie for yourself, in order to discovery the result. In the end, The Judge explores some well-worn, but still interesting themes: family tension, lost opportunity, regret, reflection and resolution. The film also highlights the concept that being in the legal business is a commitment on many fronts, and that balancing personal and professional lives can be precarious. As I walked out of the theater, I thought again that perhaps a bumper sticker should adorn all of our vehicles: “Lawyers are People, Too.” n 29


calendar Thursday –May 14, 2015 • Third annual Dinner and a Movie event Be sure to check your email for an opportunity to win free tickets. We’ll announce the movie soon – it’s a real crowd-pleaser.

Thursday – June 25, 2015 • Seasoned Lawyers vs Young Lawyers Softball Game Hampton Chase Park, Jamison First Pitch 5:00 pm

Wednesday – June 3, 2015 • Federal Courts Admission Ceremony and Reception 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Seasoned Lawyers

Friday – June 12, 2015 • Annual Golf Outing

Will last years winners repeat?

Young Lawyers


The top five recording artists shunned by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: 1. Yes 2. The Moody Blues 3. Chicago 4. Little Feat 5. (tie) King Crimson/ Jethro Tull



Wynton Marsalis

Yolanda Adams


James Hunter Six

April 10-19, 2015 Reading, PA

Dave Koz

Terell Stafford

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 to order online.

Boney James

Brian Culbertson



Follow us on Twitter @berksjazzfest

We’ve been around the block more than a few times... and we never left the neighborhood. We chose MileStone Bank. John Spier, President & CEO Former Co-founder, President and CEO of FirstService Bank and President and CEO of Buck County Bank and Trust.

Don Worthington, Chairman Former Co-founder and board member of FirstService Bank and CEO, President and Chairman of National Penn Wealth Management.

Kelley Cwiklinski, Executive VP/Chief Lending Officer Former Senior VP of Commercial Lending at Team Capital Bank.

Patricia A. Markel-Mulligan, Sr. Banking Executive Former Regional President of Team Capital Bank and Senior VP at FirstService Bank.

Linda J. Bishop, Executive VP/Market Planning Former Senior VP of Sales and Marketing and Retail Banking at Univest Bank.

Together we make a promise, a pledge and a covenant to help you achieve financial success now and in the future.

MileStone Bank

1980 South Easton Road • Doylestown, PA 18901 • 866.672.2655