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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 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 www.bucksbar.org email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
contents SUMMER 2015
President’s Message .......................................................................................... Page 4 A Lawyer on a Mission From God When I tell people I have been to the Dominican Republic, they usually ask me which beach? Punta Cana? Puerto Plata?...
.......................................................................................... Page 6 Law Day 2015 Law Day 2015 afforded me a delightful opportunity to speak with the founder of Pennsylvania and its most famous Quaker, William Penn...
........................................................................................ Page 11 Higher Education in Doylestown: Delaware Valley University So there’s more to Delaware Valley College than awesome milk shakes on A-Day?...
........................................................................................ Page 14 BCBA to Enter the Modern Age of Media As Marshall McLuhan once said, “The medium is the message”. If that’s the case, then...
........................................................................................ Page 16 Historic Doylestown Cemetery Tours As an estates and trust attorney, my practice revolves around death. In my job, death is not an occupational hazard, as it might be for...
........................................................................................ Page 18 Five MUST Rules for Vetting an Appraiser Expert As an appraiser who specializes in litigation support work, it’s clear to me that there is...
........................................................................................ Page 22 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
Michener Museum Summer Schedule The James A. Michener Art Museum, located just down the block from the Bucks County Bar...
........................................................................................ Page 24 Book Review – “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace” Every so often we read a book that lingers in our memory bank for a long while after we’ve...
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President-elect Grace Deon and the Strategic Planning Committee recently asked you to submit a narrative about the charitable work you do so that we can highlight our members’ community involvement. BCBA staff will be updating our new website to include an area where you can report the number of hours of pro bono services you provide. I encourage you to help with these efforts by providing the needed information. Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania tracks the hours of its pro bono participants, as does the Bucks County Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion program. We plan to take advantage of opportunities to publish this data in The Writs and other publications to let our community know of the efforts of our members.
Dear BCBA Members: It should come as no surprise to the reader that the legal profession suffers from a serious public image problem. Lawyer jokes abound, and I Joanne M. Murray dare you to Google “quotaBucks County Bar Association tions about lawyers” and President find more than a handful of inspirational, positive quotes among the panoply of disparaging statements. A 2014 Gallup poll ranks the legal system below all but the media and Congress as institutions in which they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of trust. A 2013 Pew Research Center poll ranks us at the bottom of institutions which respondents say contribute “a lot” to society’s well-being. As lawyers and public servants, we know this negative treatment is undeserved.
A 2014 Gallup poll ranks the legal system below all but the media and Congress as institutions in which they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of trust.
There are likely many reasons for this poor public image. The results of a 2001 American Bar Association survey are telling. Respondents to that survey perceived that lawyers are more interested in winning than in justice and more interested in making money than in serving clients. I strongly believe that this perception is ill-informed and fails to take into account the countless hours of pro bono services the legal community provides. A public awareness of the hours attorneys donate to pro bono causes would go a long way to rehabilitate our public image. We need to do a better job of both encouraging each other to get involved in pro bono efforts and publicizing that we are providing these services. I know that attorneys participate in pro bono causes to help those in need and not to get recognition. That’s where the BCBA comes in: we are committed to efforts to raise public awareness of our members’ pro bono and community service efforts. BCBA is planning to devote its resources to publicizing the good that our members do in our community.
As a transactional attorney, I am particularly interested in seeking out pro bono opportunities for non-litigators. One of my partners has been actively involved for years in Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (PVLA), where volunteer attorneys negotiate contracts and leases and provide other legal services on a pro bono or reduced cost basis to artists, dancers, musicians and authors in the Greater Philadelphia area. Lawyers who volunteer with the Bucks County Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion program meet with homeowner clients and a representative of their mortgage lender to try to negotiate a plan to avoid foreclosure. The Wills for Heroes program administered by the Pennsylvania Bar Association provides an opportunity to draft basic estate planning documents for military veterans and first responders. Finally, I am pleased to report that our Pro Bono committee is exploring a program to help individuals expunge their criminal records, subject to certain parameters, so as to remove hurdles to employment, education and other opportunities. I will keep an eye out for other pro bono opportunities that are suitable for corporate and transactional attorneys and encourage everyone to get involved in pro bono efforts that match their skill set.
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. 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.
In April, I had the pleasure of hearing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speak at Bryn Mawr College, where she was awarded the Katharine Hepburn Medal for her commitment to civic engagement. I found her remarks to be inspirational. In another venue, she noted the importance of providing pro bono services: We educated, privileged lawyers have a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society, to ensure that justice exists for all, both legal and economic justice.
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.
I hope that you will heed Justice Sotomayor’s words, make or renew your commitment to provide pro bono services, and allow BCBA to publicly applaud your efforts along with those of our other members. 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. n
We welcome your feedback! Send comments, questions, submissions to: BCBAWrits@yahoo.com
– by: – Scott Fegley
A Lawyer On A Mission From God
When I tell people I have been to the Dominican Republic, they usually ask me which beach? Punta Cana? Puerto Plata? Did I stay at a popular all-inclusive like the Hard Rock Café Resort? Or did my wife and I opt for a more secluded beachfront bungalow?
“No, I stayed in Santo Domingo,” I reply, “but I did get a great tan!”
a bulldozer, I might still be there swinging a machete this summer. Instead, we not only cleared the site, we had concrete footings and the first columns poured by the end of the ten-day trip.
“Why would you stay there?” Eyebrows raise. The forehead wrinkles.
I do not pretend to enjoy heavy physical labor. There is a reason I practice law in an air-conditioned office. And there were many times while I stood in a pit dug for a footing wielding a pick axe to dig it deeper that I questioned my choice of service opportunities. Yet, I had traded places with men who performed heavy manual labor all the time, six and sometimes seven days a week, all year, who earn considerably less than I do in my law practice. They consider themselves lucky to have employment in a country where the unemployment rate is 15%. And I worked alongside women who worked as hard as the men and children who worked as hard as they could. The only whining I did about my discomfort I kept in my journal.
“I was a missionary working in construction in a city called Haina about an hour to the west of the capital. But I stayed in Santo Domingo in a big house formerly owned by a Dominican army general.” At this point, my questioner’s face is usually frozen in a blank stare. They do not know what to ask next, so I elaborate. “I volunteer through my church for a non-profit called the Foundation For Peace. It has several projects on the ground in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Schools, churches, medical clinics. In my case, the building we are constructing in Haina is meant to be all three. The house in Santo Domingo is the FFP’s headquarters.”
In ninety degree heat and one hundred percent humidity, I drank so much Gatorade my sweat was orange. At the end of the day and a bus ride back to Santo Domingo in filthy clothes, I looked forward to some of the simple pleasures of life in Latin America, a cold shower, a cool drink, dining tables set for dinner with beef, bowls of rice, salads topped with peppers, tomatoes, and avocado, and trays of sliced banana, mango and pineapple.
The blank stare continues. “Aren’t you a lawyer?”
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“Yes, and unfortunately, not a very handy one when it comes to tools. Before I built cinderblock walls for the FFP, I always thought “plumb” and “flush” had to do with toilets. I have learned a whole new vocabulary including some Spanish words to describe how it feels when I hit my thumb with a hammer.” The First Tour of Duty When I arrived on the worksite in June 2009, it was literally a city block of tropical jungle in a barrio of houses made of cinderblock and corrugated metal. Coconut and mango trees towered overhead and things that call a tropical jungle home slithered and crawled in the dense undergrowth – lizards, insects, alley cats. We were given machetes and axes and tasked with clearing the site. If a Good Samaritan hadn’t come by with 7
feature Out on the rooftop terrace after dinner, I felt like Hemingway as I sat in a wicker rocking chair and wrote in my journal. Around me were mostly cinderblock and stucco homes with steel rebar sticking up like fingers from each roof column and windows covered with wrought iron grates. In the distance were the few high rises of downtown Santo Domingo. Salsa music blared from the street corner bodega where men played dominoes at card tables. The island breezes coming off the ocean just a few miles away were salty and refreshing.
Latin America has a rhythm all its own, a pulsing, driving heartbeat of a people who never take a day for granted, a people who have known poverty and limited opportunity such as I have never experienced and yet freely shared with me all they had. The Second Tour of Duty When I returned in 2010, we began to raise the walls. We unloaded hundreds of cinderblocks from trucks and piled them on the site, and then moved them from the piles to the masons laying the blocks by human conveyor belts of 20 or more people, kids included, who passed the big blocks along hand to hand. Others mixed the “mezcla” (concrete). No mechanical concrete mixers in use at our worksite. Folding the dry mix of cement and sand into water and kneading it back and forth until it becomes the right consistency for concrete is filthy, backbreaking work. Shovels slapped the wet concrete into “cubos” (buckets) and the kids carried the buckets to the masons working on the scaffolds. By the end of the day, Dominicans and Americans alike were all the same shade of grey.
I had traveled in Latin America before. In the summer of ’87 after I took my bar exams, I spent my last two months of lacking any responsibility traveling in Central America with nothing but a camera and a backpack.
You take care of your clients, but who takes care of you?
“So you did go to a beach?” I am asked. “Of course,” I reply. “Even God rested after six days.”
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On the second trip, I was still unskilled labor. I had tried my hand at laying block but, quite simply, I took too long. And half of the concrete ended up on the floor. The Dominican masons were polite, but when they stepped in to speed up the process, I took the hint. When we left that year, we had raised the first floor and made it ready for a roof.
• Commercial loans and lines of credit • Access to real people—even during evenings and weekends.
Our time in country wasn’t all construction. On one day each trip, we provided a free medical clinic in a nearby school or community center. Dominican doctors joined the medical professionals on our team to treat
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everything from open wounds to bowel disease. Since I speak Spanish passably well, I served as a translator for the American medics who could not speak Spanish at all. In the clinic, we were out of the hot sun and could take turns in front of a fan.
for them a greater depth of experience and an appreciation for all they have at home. I wanted them to learn to see each day as a gift and a new opportunity. But sometimes when I set out to teach, I discover it is I who needs the schooling. I watched my daughters open their hearts and extend their hands to the Dominicans in ways I had not done myself. Neither one spoke more than a few words of Spanish, but they had no difficulty understanding and being understood. They endured illness without complaint and rebounded to continue the work. I donâ€™t know whether women, in general, are tougher than men, but I do know my daughters are tougher than I am.
And on a ten-day tour, we also needed a day off about halfway through. The warm Caribbean waters have a remarkably rejuvenating effect on scraped skin and sore muscles. The Third Tour of Duty I did not make the trip in 2011, but returned in 2012 with my 13-year-old twin daughters, Courtney and Diana. By this time, I had built more than cinderblock walls in the Dominican Republic. I had built friendships. And especially after missing a year, I wanted to see my friends again and introduce them to my daughters.
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I am proud of my daughters. Of all the things I have done in my life, being a Dad is number one. I wanted 9
feature On the 2012 trip, we raised the walls of the second floor. A portion of the first floor had been finished and served as a temporary sanctuary for the house of worship under construction. In the sanctuary, we rested from our labor and were fed.
ment equipment still empty and unused. On our last night in Haina, tears fell like a tropical shower. The work has continued in our absence. Our friends send us photos of their progress on Facebook. I will be going back for a fifth tour. I must return to see the finished building in Haina and to help build another one somewhere else. It may seem odd to some, but I received more personal satisfaction from my forty days of unskilled labor in the Dominican Republic than my many years in the legal profession. I may never know, but I wonder sometimes which has contributed more to the greater good?
The Fourth Tour of Duty Courtney, Diana and I returned in 2014, my fourth trip, their second. Through Facebook, we had been able to stay connected with friends in the Dominican Republic. The trip was like a homecoming, but we also learned it would be our teamâ€™s last trip to Haina. There was a leadership change and someone higher than us made a decision that it was time to move on. During the trip, we stuccoed and then painted the walls of the main sanctuary on the second floor. The second floor is actually street level. The roof had been completed the prior year. But it didnâ€™t feel right leaving the project incomplete with unfinished floors, unfinished classrooms, and the rooms for the medical clinic and the water treat-
For more information on the Foundation For Peace and its work in Latin America, visit www.foundationforpeace.org. n
BLUE BELL, PA
THE FOUR COUNTY
PRESENTED AND SPONSORED JOINTLY BY THE WOMEN IN LAW DIVISIONS OF
THE BUCKS, CHESTER, DELAWARE COUNTY AND MONTGOMERY BAR ASSOCIATIONS
– by: – Susan Dardes
“Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.” –William Penn
aw Day 2015 afforded me a delightful opportunity to speak with the founder of Pennsylvania and its most famous Quaker, William Penn, in our new Justice Center. Well, almost. I spoke with veteran actor and disc jockey, Neil Farber, who was charming in his authentic period clothes and curly wig. I also chatted with Doug Miller, his colleague and the Historic Site Administrator of Pennsbury Manor.
With President Judge Finley’s courtroom as a backdrop, Sir William Penn enlightened the students on Bushel’s Case of 1670, which tried William Penn and his fellow Quaker William Mead for practicing their faith. This case established the will of the jury as the superseding trier of fact to the sitting judge. It served as a clear example of the First Amendment right to assemble, the Sixth Amendment right to confront accusers and confirmed that the court could issue a writ of habeas corpus. But the students knew it also for Penn’s insolence in refusing to take off his hat in the London Courtroom. This was because, as a Quaker, he refused to bow or take off his hat to social superiors, believing that all men and women are equal under the eyes of God. The tongue in cheek name for the trial was, thus, “The Hat Trial”. The modern day concept of affirming a witness or party rather than swearing them in prior to testifying is likewise a Quaker legacy. The Quakers did not believe in swearing on a holy name.
The students from Lenape Valley and Palisades Elementary schools enjoyed a history lesson from Doug and Neil. Penn was described to the groups of 6th graders as a believer in religious freedoms and a “law giver”. In fact, Thomas Jefferson referred to Penn as the “greatest” law giver.
A man of profound religious convictions, William Penn wrote dozens of essays and treatises on primitive Christianity, liberty of conscience and religious tolerance. Penn’s “holy experiment”, an achievement in tolerance, also became an experiment in urban planning. In 1682, Penn founded the city which would serve as the capital of the Pennsylvania colony. He named his green towne, “Philadelphia” (Philos, ‘love or friendship’ and adelphos, ‘brother’); the perfect combination of city and country and a place where one would be free from religious persecution. Penn was a visionary who saw America to be a country of true freedom and independence. The concept of a representative government and a trial by jury had roots in Penn’s Charter of Privileges (also known as the Frame of 1701), which became the foundation of Pennsylvania government and the model for the U.S. Constitution. The Charter guaranteed the free and fair trial, freedom of religion, freedom from unjust imprisonment and free elections. In fact, the 50th Anniversary of the Frame of 1701 was celebrated by the casting of the Liberty Bell. He saw his Pennsylvania colony as setting the stage for the rest of the country to follow.
“Penn was a visionary who saw America to be a country of true freedom and independence.” theWRITS
uring his tenure as the proprietary governor of Pennsylvania, from 1681 to 1718, Penn and his family lived at Pennsbury Manor, their Bucks County estate, in what we know as Falls Township, although they also had a residence in Old City and several in rural England. The Manor, which is part of a larger 8,000 acre tract, is comprised of 43 acres and 20 outbuildings. It was restored and opened to the public in 1939 as part of an outreach by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in partnership with the Pennsbury Society, which manages the property.
If William Penn were alive today, what would he think of modern society? What would he have been like as a young man in modern Philadelphia? And, even more intriguing, “who” would he most resemble of today’s spiritual and political leaders? I posed the question to Messrs. Miller and Farber. Doug Miller’s reaction was that Penn would have been a member or at least a sympathizer with the 1960’s organization, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), insofar as they were passionately anti-war. The mix of traits they thought of with which to personalize Penn were those of both Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, in their quests for peace and equality through non-violent civil disobedience.
The historical estate now hosts Bucks County’s citizenship ceremonies. The first such event took place in 2007, when 26 people took the oath of citizenship. Then in 2014, it hosted the ceremony for 46 foreign nationals. This is a particularly fitting tribute to Penn, inasmuch as he believed in recruiting settlers to our land from all parts of Europe. When we think of the concept of America as a melting pot, we can date back to the 17th century and William Penn. Jefferson and the other founding fathers adapted Penn’s theory of an amendable Constitution and his vision of equality to form a government after the American Revolution.
Barbara M. Kirk, the newest Trustee of Pennsbury Manor, arranged for Messrs. Miller and Farber to meet the students and to speak with me. Law Day next hints at a Mock Trial. I want to be a Judge. William Penn would have approved. n
Higher Education in Doylestown: Delaware Valley University So there’s more to Delaware Valley College than awesome milk shakes on A-Day? So much more. In fact, our academic neighbor is now Delaware Valley University. Even though certain graduate level programs have been offered for years, University status was achieved and formally granted this past April. DelVal has been on quite a roll. Despite increased competition and demographics leading to fewer college applicants in general, President Joseph Brosnan’s tenure has seen significant financial growth and physical expansion. Dr. Brosnan became the twelfth President of Delaware Valley College in August, 2007. A self-described New Yorker, he came to Doylestown after twelve years at Columbia University. His career in higher education now extends more than 45 years. He and his wife love the Doylestown area and enjoy the local restaurants and cultural offerings.
his wife, Helen, gradually acquired a 398 acre farm in Warwick Township and resided there from 1956 until their death in 1998. Gemmill also served on the DelVal board for eleven years and was its Chairman for six. The couple’s surviving daughter, Elizabeth “Betsy” Gimmell, is also an attorney, and as chair of the Foundation, set out to honor her parents through the largest gift in Delaware Valley’s history.
The breakthrough event for Dr. Brosnan and Delaware Valley College was the 2010 endowment and gift from the Gemmill family’s Warwick Foundation. Kenneth Gemmill was an accomplished attorney, working for many years at what is now Dechert, LLP in Philadelphia and serving as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Eisenhower administration. He and theWRITS
The core of the three-part gift, the Gemmill farm itself, is located at Almshouse and Rushland Roads in Jamison, and creates a working satellite campus, featuring an orchard, crop production and livestock production.
The other components had even greater impact: Five million dollars was gifted outright without restriction and enabled DelVal to transform over a five year period to a University; Ten million dollars was provided as an endowment and ensures the future maintenance and success of the farm and its related programs. In a word, President Brosnan states that the assets provide DelVal with security. When asked about the symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationship between his school and the Doylestown community, Dr. Brosnan states that he desires a stronger relationship and identity with the County as a whole: “We want to be known as Bucks County’s University”. Accordingly, as a University, various masters degrees programs and a doctoral program in education are presently being offered; a physician assistant’s program is moving forward and awaiting accreditation. Other new courses are being explored as well, and may include additional law related curriculum. DelVal has offered a criminal justice major for years. Its university status further allows DelVal to partner with other universities internationally. Though not a household name to most of us, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland is one such potential partner, and it will be sending over a delegation this Fall. Jagiellonian dates back to the fourteenth century(!) and counts the astronomer Copernicus and Pope John Paul II among its alumni.
program offers individualized “experiential learning”. The integrated process starts with a mandatory course in Freshman year and has all students working for a variety of local and regional employers. Other components may include travel, research or volunteer work. Dr. Brosnan adds, “Its an important part of who we are”. The new 38,000 square foot Life Sciences Building is a welcome addition to the campus, and with its 450 seat auditorium hosting various meetings, symposia and other regional events, a welcome addition to the community. President Brosnan wanted to be certain to mention that DelVal is no longer just “that little old farm school in Doylestown”, but is growing, reaching out, and on the move. n
Did you hear? Delaware Valley alum, Rasheed Bailey, was signed as a wide receiver by the Philadelphia Eagles. Although the success of its Division III football program brings welcome positive publicity to DelVal and to Doylestown, Dr. Brosnan is more excited about the additional men’s and women’s athletic teams to be fielded next year. He is also pleased that next year will likely see the largest incoming freshman class and overall enrollment in its history. U.S. News and World Report recently named DelVal as a number one school for internships. All students are afforded the opportunity for real world experience to supplement their classwork. The unique Experience 360
BCBA to Enter the Modern Age of Media After speaking with Kim Dundas, Marketing Director for Opt4 Group, I came away convinced that our Board has made a good decision. Opt4 Group, a 13 year old, privately-owned company, located in Doylestown, proposed to replace our antiquated system with a “plug-n-play” set-up that should make attending MCLE seminars at the Bar Association building much more enjoyable. Among the recommended improvements will be a new microphone system featuring powerful speakers; easy integration that will allow a laptop to be quickly plugged in for overhead projection; a 5000 lumen projector; and a retractable 133 inch screen that will permanently attached to the ceiling but will drop down automatically. Ed Lopez, Sr. Sales Executive at Opt4 Group, said that the jumble of wires currently on display when a CLE seminar is held will no longer be on view. He is also confident that the new system will fit very nicely in our main seminar room, and that once the job is completed, attending a seminar at the Bar Association Building will be a pleasant experience. (It’s even possible that some of us won’t doze off during some of the end of the compliance period MCLE seminars).
As Marshall McLuhan once said, “The medium is the message”. If that’s the case, then the BCBA is ready (finally) to step into that brave new world. At its May Board Meeting, the Directors voted to proceed with a contract authorizing Opt4 Group to design and install a “state of the art” Audio-Visual Facility for the Association in the banquet room. According to MCLE coordinator Michelle Froehlich, “for too long our members have experienced repeated frustration from unreliable, unpredictable, and unprofessional audio/video equipment used for MCLE presentations and other events”.
The “new” audio-visual system will be rolled out before the Fall season begins so that by the time you read this report, it is hoped that you will have personally benefitted from the sound and visual enhancements. n
With that understanding in mind, the Board of Directors set out to identify a vendor who could design and install a high-quality system that is simple to use, permanent, and within the budget.
p o T s ’ b o n S c i s u M e Th 1.
The top five “local” live music venues:
1. Sellersville Theater 2. Penn’s Peak (Jim Thorpe, PA) 3. Keswick Theater (Glenside, PA)
4. Puck Live (Doylestown, PA) Photo credits: Sellersville Theater: st94.com; Penn’s Peak: pennspeak.com; Keswick Theater: tixbangboom.com; Puck Live: bucks.happeningmag.com; Musikfest Café: youtube.com/wallysmi.
5. Musikfest Café (Bethlehem, PA)
– by: – Dianne C. Magee
Historic Doylestown Cemetery Tours theWRITS
community s an estates and trust attorney, my practice revolves around death. In my job, death is not an occupational hazard, as it might be for first responders, the military, or those in the transportation industry; it’s a necessity. In days gone by, when business was a little slow, Larry Grim used to say, in jest and not actually intending to spur the staff to take action, “we need more clients to die!” And dead clients, really, can be the best. They don’t complain, they don’t talk back, and they don’t question your bill.
starting at the office/residence of the superintendent, James V. Althouse, and his wife, Kathleen A. (Kat) Landis, on the corner of Court and Spruce Streets in front of the Doylestown water tower. From June through August, night tours are also held at 8:00 p.m. on the second Saturday, and a Sunday Soiree tour is featured at 1:00 p.m. on the third Sunday of the month. Your host, Stewie, the eight-year-old Scottish terrier, will greet you enthusiastically and put on an impressive display of his soccer skills before your tour departs.
In any event, in my day job, I help people plan for death, I help people administer estates after death, and, sadly, I help people fight over the remains, both financial and emotional, left behind by death. Every morning I faithfully read the obituaries, not just to see if Larry’s plea has come true, but because obituaries tell interesting stories about people’s lives.
The initial historical tour has grown into six different tours that are available currently. The VIP tour, on the first and third Saturdays of the month, features the gravesites of famous or accomplished people, who lived and died, or at least are buried, in Bucks County. For example, William Edgar Geil and his wife, Constance Emerson Geil, the niece of Ralph Waldo Emerson, are buried here. Mr. Geil was a missionary, adventurer and author, who lectured and wrote extensively on his worldwide travels. He visited cannibals in Polynesia and is believed to be the first person to walk the entire length of the Great Wall of China. W. Atlee Burpee and David Burpee, of the Burpee Seed Company, are resting here with their wives in an attractive shady spot, covered with moss and enwrapped by a short, stone wall. The first person of color to be hired by the Central Bucks school district, Gladys Nicolby, set up the first polio vaccine clinic right here in Doylestown, and she’s in the cemetery. A Doylestown lawyer who was captured during the Civil War and later rose to prominence, or who knows what, in Tammany Hall, lies here. A Doylestown doctor who was arrested for performing abortions and jailed at the Eastern State Penitentiary, where he slit his own throat, came here after performing his successful, suicidal operation.
So, what do I recommend for fun and excitement this summer? Tours of the Doylestown Cemetery, of course.
So, what do I recommend for fun and excitement this summer? Tours of the Doylestown Cemetery, of course.
The Doylestown Cemetery lies on 30 wooded acres in the heart of the Borough of Doylestown. It was established in 1850, when garden cemeteries were becoming popular, and followed on the heels of the first garden cemetery, Pere Lachaise, built in 1804 in Paris, where, among others, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde and Maria Callas are buried, the first garden cemetery in the United States, Mount Auburn, built near Boston and dedicated in 1831 by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, and Laurel Hill, built in 1836 in Philadelphia. Tours of the Doylestown Cemetery began with Doylestown’s Bicentennial in 2012 and were so popular that they have flourished and expanded significantly since then. They now take place from mid-May to the end of October every Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m.,
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community gardeners and tree huggers to take in the horticulture tour. Your guides are Chris May, a local arborist and Doylestown Borough’s duly elected shade tree commissioner, a very important person if you live or work in the borough and desire to cut down a tree, and David Benner, a world authority on moss, the oldest living green plant on Earth. The cemetery contains almost 500 trees, including a red oak, which may be 300 years old and is the oldest and largest tree in town, “the gem of Doylestown.” Happily, the many sugar maples in the cemetery are tapped for syrup and produce Pennsylvania maple syrup and candy, tasty samples of which are on sale on the porch of the residence. Another notable site on the tree tour is a large tree which has grown over a stone marker.
he tour of Late 19th Century Tombstone Interpretation takes place on the second Saturday of the month and is led by cemetery experts in period garb. As to be expected in a Victorian era cemetery, the monuments are exquisite works of art created by skilled craftsman, and their writings and symbols have tales to tell. Your guide will unravel many of the mysteries for you, such as the fact that a lamb represents the death of a young child. The fourth Saturday of each month is devoted to Civil War tours. Over 200 veterans of the Civil War from all walks of life are buried in Doylestown Cemetery. Your guides for these tours are Civil War experts and re-enactors. May and August feature the fifth Saturday of the month “Tree Tour,” while the remaining fifth Saturday falls in October on Halloween for a hauntingly good tour. August 29th will be the only day left this summer for all of you
Two times during the year, during primary and general election seasons, the cemetery puts on “The Political Graveyard” tour, highlighting the graves of legislators, judges and, especially, lawyers. Now you’ll have to wait until the end of October or the first of November for the general election tour. On my own, I discovered the spots of several of our illuminati from, or
The cemetery contains almost 500 trees, including a red oak, which may be 300 years old and is the oldest and largest tree in town, “the gem of Doylestown.”
friends of, the Bar. Judge Fox, who infamously denied the right to vote to blacks, is in the cemetery. I also found Judge John Justes Bodley, Bill Goldman, Sr., who is conveniently located with his wife just off the path, our own George Bush (not the U.S. president), Tom Mellon, whose grave balanced one of his firm’s beer steins filled with what looked to be Guinness stout, long-time court reporter John McHugh, and Patti Elfman from the jury lounge and Court Administration. I apologize to the families of the many I didn’t have time to find and, therefore, aren’t named here. We need to have a private Bar Association event at the cemetery, which can be arranged as a group or corporate event, and search for more of our fallen and missed comrades.
The cemetery truly is a beautiful and contemplative place, not all doom and gloom. Additionally, there’s still room for you there among the trees and the celebrities, and, as I advise my clients, there’s never a bad time to pre-plan for your final repose. Death is something you can’t avoid, and your family will appreciate your thoughtfulness. n
The cemetery has an arts tour, introducing the numerous but now deceased writers, musicians, lyricists, photographers, poets, painters, and media personalities.
Lastly, the cemetery has an arts tour, introducing the numerous but now deceased writers, poets, lyricists, musicians, photographers, painters, and media personalities who now occupy ground there. Unfortunately, the brochures and the website don’t list the days and times of those tours, so they must be specially scheduled. For more information about the cemetery or any of its tours, you may go to the cemetery’s website, www.doylestowncemetery.com. Also, Kat Landis is finalizing a book on the cemetery to be published this June. Look for it soon.
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.
• 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
Even apart from the tours, I suggest a peaceful lunchtime walk or a rejuvenating weekend/after hours jog through the Doylestown Cemetery. Yes, it’s more of a hike to even get to the cemetery from the new Justice Center, but it’s worth expending the extra calories. 21
Five MUST Rules for Vetting an Appraiser Expert
– by: Jim Dougherty, SRA –
As an appraiser who specializes in litigation support work, it’s clear to me that there is a large segment of attorneys who do not regularly work with appraisers. But on occasion, these attorneys take a case where establishing value, or diminution in value, is central to their case. When the need for a valuation expert arises, if you follow the five rules below, you will be able to identify someone who will be an asset to your case.
You need to speak with someone who can dissect the nature of the dispute or complaint. For less complex work such as partition, estate, tax appeal, or bankruptcy, there typically is not much to dissect. In these cases the nature of the valuation assignment is establishing market value. Period. But over the years our office has had to help our attorney clients craft strategy in order to support a particular position. When
“A sound appraiser expert should be able to lay out a strategy or strategies that will help you establish value or diminution in value.”
Always seek out someone with the proper credentials. For cases where the dispute or complaint involves a commercial or industrial property, an appraiser with an MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute is a must-have. For cases that involve a residential property, an appraiser with the SRA designation from the Appraisal Institute is a must-have. MAI = commercial/industrial and SRA = residential. These two designations signify excellence. Both designations require rigorous training, education, and experience. But most importantly, every courtroom, tax board, and arbitrator and/or master recognizes that these designations signify excellence. Depending on the property, MAI or SRA should always be your starting point.
you have a case with complexities, you need to roll out the nature of the case and ask for feedback. A sound appraiser expert should be able to lay out a strategy or strategies that will help you establish value or diminution in value. If over the course of your initial phone conversation you ever get the sense that you need to lead the appraiser in terms of valuation strategy, then you are speaking with the wrong expert.
A good appraiser expert needs to understand your needs, and the needs of the case. As appraisers, we are forbidden from acting as advocates for the client. Conversely, you earn a living by being your client’s advocate. So although appraisers cannot act like advocates, there is no rule that states we are not allowed
an expert who either refuses to testify or flat out stinks on the stand. Based on the principle of better safe than sorry, always make sure that your appraiser is willing to testify if necessary and is comfortable on the stand.
to council our potential clients in regard to the feasibility of a being able to produce a report that will support your side. The bottom line is that sometimes it’s impossible to support your side of the case with a valuation or damages report. A good appraiser expert needs to recognize this fact either initially or very early. The last thing you need is a costly bill for a report that does not support your side of the case. Not only is it a waste of time, it is a waste of your client’s money. And the last thing you need is a client with a legitimate reason to question your case strategy or soundness as their advocate.
The Appraisal Institute designation will signify an appraiser’s excellence as a valuation expert. Allowing the appraiser to digest the nature of the dispute will demonstrate to you that he or she understands the type of assignment required to achieve credible results. Making sure that the appraiser is confident that the market findings will support your side will help keep you in good stead with your client. Assuring the appraiser comports him or herself professionally will reflect positively back on you. And, if you end up battling inside a courtroom, it’s good to know that your expert can deftly handle both direct and cross examination and communicate his thoughts clearly and concisely. Next time you need a valuation expert following these five steps, and at the conclusion of the case, look back and assess if you were happy with your choice. If you were happy, add his or her name in your contacts for future reference. n
Your appraiser expert needs to comport themselves in a professional manner at all times. Once an appraiser is engaged, he or she will almost certainly be in contact with your client. Therefore, your appraiser needs to be able to communicate professionally. This includes proper speech and proper writing skills. They need to understand what they should and should not say to your client. Your appraiser should dress professionally. At the very least men should wear dress slacks, dress shoes, and a button-up shirt with a tie. Women should be dressed in a dress, skirt, or dress slacks and matching attire such as dress shoes. Basically, your appraiser needs to reflect positively back on you, therefore, do not be bashful about establishing a dress code. If over the course of your communications with your appraiser you are not happy with his or her speaking or writing manner, then you need to find someone who communicates in a more professional manner.
Your appraiser expert needs to be someone who has ample expert testimony experience. We all know most disputes or complaints get settled before the need for a trial arises. But we also all know that sometimes you find yourself in a courtroom trying to get the bench or jury to agree with your arguments. You never want to get caught with
Michener Museum Summer Schedule The James A. Michener Art Museum, located just down the block from the Bucks County Bar Association offices, was the venue for an important installation of portraits documenting the rich history of Doylestown as the County Seat. â€œA
Once again the Michener Art Museum will host Music at the Michener, a summer concert series that includes renowned musicians, singers and dancers presenting soulful jazz, Broadway melodies, modern dance, gospel music and opera. Museumgoers can enjoy the performing and visual arts all in one visit.
Judicial Legacy: Portraits from the Bucks County Court Collectionâ€? was on view
in January, 2015 and drew a large and appreciative audience who experienced an extraordinary lineage of judges who continue to make an impact on our community. These paintings are now lining the courtrooms of the new Justice Center.
Veil of Colors: Juxtapositions and Recent Work by Elizabeth Osborne.
The series, which runs from May through September, will feature Jazz Nights, Sunday Afternoon Concerts and A Little Night Music on Wednesdays. New artists will join some of the legendary mainstays in the Edgar N. Putman Event Pavilion.
Excitement abounds at the Museum this summer beginning with the remarkable and poignant Iron and Coal, Petroleum and Steel: Industrial Art from Steidle Collection opening on July 11 in the Paton | Smith |
Della Penna-Fernberger Galleries. Also opening on July 11 in the Pfundt Gallery is Herman Leonard: Jazz Portraits featuring legendary jazz artists from 1940 through 1960. The much anticipated Veil of Colors: Juxtapositions and Recent Work by Elizabeth Osborne
opens in the Fred Beans Gallery on July 25. The Michenerâ€™s Summer Art Programs for children is the perfect way for your child to spend the lazy, hazy and creative dates of summer. Half- and full-day programs are offered from June 22 through August 21.
Summer concert series, Music at the Michener.
The Michener will be one of only two U.S. venues for the exhibition Blanket Statements: New Quilts by Kaffe
If you call Doylestown your home or if you are visiting, join us for an enjoyable and unforgettable experience in art, music and dance.
Fassett and Historical Quilts from the collection of the Quilt Museum and Gallery, York, UK which will be on
For more information on the events and programs associated with exhibitions or Summer art classes, please visit MichenerArtMuseum.org.
view in our Martin Wing from November 7 to February 21, 2016. 35 historical and contemporary quilts, some with Bucks County ties, will be featured along with new textiles by internationally-known artist Kaffe Fassett.
Lisa Tremper Hanover, Director & CEO James A. Michener Art Museum
Blanket Statements: New Quilts by Kaffe Fassett and Historical Quilts from the collection of the Quilt Museum and Gallery, York, UK. Art in Bloom. 25
BCBA Annual Golf Outing
The BCBA hosted its Annual Golf Outing on Friday June19 th at the Bucks Club in Jameson. The weather was beautiful and a fun time was had by all. Two note worthy happenings of the day…Adam Silverstein’s Foursome took home the trophy once again this year…they are on a roll… and speaking of rolls…who rolled that cart into the pond…let’s just say, Jess Pritchard had her first “Hole in One”.
Annual Bench Bar Conference Save the Date!
October 1, 2, 3; 2015 Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Cambridge, Maryland Bucks County Bar Association
In this column, our intrepid critic offers his opinion on recent films, books, plays and other cultural works that have recently captured his roving eye. – by: Chris Serpico –
The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace
mother, he was able, at least for a short time, to escape the poverty they never could? The answers to those questions are expertly set forth by the author, who comes to his subject from a unique perspective. It turns out that although he and Peace may have come from two entirely different worlds, they roomed together at Yale University for almost four years. Theirs was an enduring odd-couple relationship for not only did they room together, they commiserated over women together; smoked weed together (Peace seems to have been one of the campus’ most sought-after marijuana dealers while he attended classes there); and stayed in touch long after graduation.
“A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League” – author: Jeff Hobbs – Every so often we read a book that lingers in our memory bank for a long while after we’ve finished the final page. This is one of those books. In this non-fiction narrative, we are invited to get to know the incredible life story of Robert DeShaun Peace, a young black man from the meanest streets of Newark, New Jersey, who through a combination of luck, both good and bad, charisma, and intellect, rises from the depths of poverty to the pinnacle of academic success, only to be gunned down at the age of 31 on the very same street on which he grew up.
Despite his penchant for smoking weed, Peace had a solid academic career, majoring in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, and worked in cancer and infectious disease, both during and after his college years. But somehow that was not enough to prevent him from throwing it all away and getting “back in the game” of dealing marijuana and other illicit substances to acquaintances back in the hood. Ultimately, it leads to his being shot, gangland style, face down on the floor in the basement of a friend’s home, by assailants who are never apprehended.
How did it happen? What enabled Rob Peace to have the tenacity and talent to push himself out of the Projects, where as the only child of a sweet-talking, drug-pushing father and a tenacious aspirational theWRITS
(I apologize for the Spoiler, but when a book is entitled “The Short and Tragic Life of someone, you kind of know where it’s heading!)
banker, who sponsored Rob Pease at both a highly respected private high school and a prestigious Ivy League University, may have been instrumental in helping him escape his meager circumstances, but that no amount of charity and free market intervention could help him eliminate his past, where he didn’t have the emotional wherewithal to do so.
This book will stir readers’ emotions. Liberals will realize that much as they may try to pretend that values and family dynamics can be overcome with enough government support and educational opportunities, at the end of the day, it really does matter what kind of family support one has and that no level of achievement can compensate for that lack of family. Conservatives will appreciate that a religious order of monks at St. Benedict’s Prep, and a benevolent
The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace deserves to be read by anyone who wants a deeper understanding of just how challenging the task ahead will be to create an America where all of us, no matter our life history, can compete on a level playing field. n
14th Annual Federal Courts Admission Reception The 14th Annual Federal Courts Admission Ceremony and Reception was held at the BCBA on Wednesday â€“ June 3, 201514 Bucks County Attorneys were admitted to the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania by the Honorable Mitchell S. Goldberg. We were honored to have nine Federal Court Judges in attendance at the ceremony and festivities that followed.
- Community Calendar 11th Annual Bucks County Quilt Show
Location: Bucks County Visitor Center, 3207 Street Road, Bensalem, PA Time: Daily 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Sponsored by: Visit Bucks County Contact: Dawn Craven 215-639-0300 ext 225, www.visitbuckscounty.com Quilters from all over Bucks County will be displaying their latest work at the Bucks County Visitor Center. From contemporary to traditional, the main gallery comes to life with over 80 quilts hung from 25’ high rafters. Come out and vote for your favorite quilt. Free to attend.
“To Save Our Fellow Citizens”: Volunteer Firefighting, 1800-1875
4/25 TO 9/7
8/8 TO 8/9
Location: Mercer Museum, 84 South Pine Street , Doylestown, PA Time: Monday – Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm; Sunday, noon – 5 Contact: 215-345-0210, www.mercermuseum.org Exhibit tells the exciting story of Philadelphia’s volunteer firefighters and fire companies as the city grew and expanded during the 1800s. More than 175 original artifacts are featured, plus hands-on activities for children and families. A companion exhibit displays early images and artifacts related to Bucks County’s firefighting history. Included with museum admission. Adults – $14; Seniors – $12, Youth In person – $8 (at Mercer Museum front desk).
New Hope Automobile Show Location: New Hope-Solebury High School, 185 W. Bridge Street, New Hope, PA Time: 9 am – 4 pm Sponsored by: New Hope-Solebury Community Association Contact: Fran Zanis 215-862-5665, www.newhopeautoshow.com 58th Year – Classic Auto & Motorcycle Show: Showcasing finest collectibles as they compete for trophies. General Admission – $5; Seniors – $3; Children under 12 – free (must be accompanied by adult). Active duty Regular Military, Active Duty National Guard, and Active Duty Reserve Personnel and their dependents. Free (must show ID) Vehicle Registration online $25.00 Tickets at gate. Registration online.
Beer Brewing & Summer Harvest
Location: Pennsbury Manor, 400 Pennsbury Memorial Road, Morrisville, PA Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Contact: Tabitha Dardes, 215-946-0400, www.pennsburymanor.org Meet our gardener and find out what’s been growing this summer in our Kitchen Garden. Check and see if the hops are ready to be harvested, then stop by the Brew House and see the brewers as they brew a Welsh Ale. Adults – $9; Seniors – $7; Child (at door) – $5.
8th Annual Fall Festival & Open House
Location: circa 1840s Hartzel-Strassburger Homestead, 407 Keystone Drive & Bethlehem Pike, Sellersville, PA Time: 10 am – 4:00 pm Sponsored by: Historical Society of Hilltown Township Contact: 267-614-9174 Tour the circa 1840s Hartzel-Strassburger Homestead, visit the summer kitchen and Pennsylvania Ramp Barn. Enjoy local artisans and watch their demonstrations of rug hooking, wool spinning, Sgraffito, hand engraving, blacksmithing and more. Converse with 1820s Historical Interpreters. Youths can try their hand at a tin punch craft. Visit the animals. Watch the Pennsylvania Long Rifle demo. Antique appraisals.
MILESTONE BANK IS CHANGING ITS NAME TO COVENANT BANK We are changing our name but not our “out of the box” approach to commercial banking on July 27, 2015. Covenant Bank is simply a name that better reﬂects our uncompromising commitment and loyalty to our clients. Our strongest priority is to build relationships based on trust, integrity, and the highest standards of corporate and individual ethics. At Covenant Bank, we make a pledge—a covenant if you will— to do what is right for our clients, shareholders, employees, and community every time to help them grow and succeed. It is our brand promise to you. Sincerely,
John C. Spier
President & CEO
Banking at its best. 1980 South Easton Road
Doylestown, PA 18901
The Official Publication of the Bucks County Bar Association of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Published quarterly, Bucks Writs is mailed direc...