Harrah's Resort
Atlantic City

 Brand new 100,000-sq.-ft. Waterfront Conference Center


September 23-24,


Philadelphia Bar Association

The Philadelphia Bar Association's premier event for networking and socializing with colleagues and members of the judiciary.

Schedule Filters

Friday, Sept. 23

Continental Breakfast and Meet Our Sponsors

  • 9:30 a.m.
  • Wildwood 30

Meet our valued sponsors who have made this year's Bench-Bar & Annual Conference possible. Also, we invite you to visit each of our sponsors throughout the Conference to get your "Passport" stamped to enter a raffle to win the new iPad Pro™!

Four Concurrent CLE Programs

  • 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Who Are Women Lawyers "Leaning in" To? The Responsibility of the Judiciary and Law Firms in Ensuring the Advancement of Women Attorneys as Stakeholders in Our Profession

(Presented by the Women in the Profession Committee)

There has been much discussion over the role of women attorneys in advancing their own success. But do others share this responsibility? If so, what roles can the judiciary and law firms play in ensuring that our profession develops women attorneys as stakeholders? Panelists will detail their distinct and dynamic views on the subject of the development of women trial attorneys in both the civil and criminal arenas.

Course Planners
  • Hon. Barbara A. McDermott, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division
  • Jennifer S. Coatsworth
  • Amber M. Racine
  • Carol Ann Murphy
  • Hon. Jacqueline F. Allen, Administrative Judge, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
  • Regina M. Foley
  • Fran F. Griesing
  • Susan M. Lin
  • Patricia B. Santelle

High-Stakes Mediations: A Look Behind the Curtain

(Presented by the State Civil Litigation Section)

In this CLE presentation, plaintiff and defense attorneys will give their insight on how to prepare their clients for mediation, what information to provide a mediator before mediation, and how to successfully advocate during mediation. A mediator admired and respected by both sides of the bar will offer guidance on the best ways to present your theories, and tips on the most impactful ways to persuasively outline your case.

Moderator & Course Planner
  • Robert W. Zimmerman
  • Larry Bendesky
  • Jack Delany
  • Jerry P. Roscoe

Medical Marijuana

(Presented by the Workers' Compensation Section)

The program will address the impact Pennsylvania legislation regarding medical marijuana will have on employers, insurers and claimants.

Topics addressed include the following:

  • Overview of current medical and recreational marijuana laws (federal, state and local City of Phila. legislation) and what to expect in the future
  • Effect of marijuana in the workplace
  • Implications on private and public employers (including potential retribution from federal statutes such as the Americans with Disabilities Act) and state statutes (Pennsylvania Human Relations Act) with recommendations as to updated employment policies
  • Prescriptions and payment of medical marijuana under Pennsylvania workers' compensation laws
  • Danielle R. DeRosa
  • Eric B. Pearson
  • Steven T. Auerbach
  • Lee S. Fiederer

The Epidemic of Distracted Driving

(Presented by Robson Forensic, Inc.)

Dr. Nancy Grugle will provide an overview of distracted driving, the different types of distractions, and how dangerous distracted driving can be. The presentation will also discuss how human factors experts investigate whether distraction was a contributing factor in vehicle crashes and other incidents. Matt Peterson will discuss the types of electronic devices commonly encountered in distracted driving incidents (cell phones/mobile devices, GPS systems, vehicle infotainment systems), as well as the types of data and where the data is found in different types of devices (on the device vs. in the cloud or server). A Certified Forensic Computer Examiner, he is an expert on the collection and interpretation of digital data to reconstruct the details of a crash.

Following the death of his daughter Casey by a distracted driver in 2009, Joel D. Feldman has become one of the leading advocates for safe, non-distracted driving in the U.S. With the help of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, he has developed a scientifically based distracted driving presentation, which has been seen by more than 300,000 people in the U.S. and Canada. For more than 30 years concentrating in personal injury law, Joel Feldman has successfully represented those who have been injured as well as loved ones of those killed as a result of negligence. He places a special emphasis on distracted driving-related truck and car crashes.

This presentation will include graphics and/or animated examples of potential or actual case work, and the presenters will allow time for Q&A.

  • Joel D. Feldman
  • Nancy Grugle, P.D.
  • Matthew J. Peterson, CFCE, CCPA, CCLO

Rock the Room Networking Luncheon and Quarterly Meeting

  • 12 - 1:30 p.m.
  • Wildwood 30

Join us for the official Conference welcome and announcements, and enjoy a rockin' buffet-style luncheon as you network with colleagues, new contacts and our valued sponsors.

Judge Mark I. Bernstein will be presented with the 2016 Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Distinguished Jurist Award at the Quarterly Meeting.

Four Concurrent CLE Programs

  • 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Arbitration 101: Top 10 Differences Between Arbitration and Trial Practice

(Presented by the Business Litigation Committee)

As arbitration continues to be the preferred forum for resolution of many types of complex commercial disputes, business lawyers need to know the differences between practice in the courtroom and practice before JAMS, AAA and other ADR tribunals. This panel's experience runs the gamut from serving on the bench, as an arbitrator, as a mediator, as a judge pro tem in the Commerce Program, and as the first-chair trying cases in each of these venues. Topics covered include: procedural and substantive arbitrability, discovery (especially third-party discovery), motion practice and common mistakes made by trial lawyers when a case is in arbitration.

Course Planner
  • Elizabeth S. Fenton
  • Marcel S. Pratt
  • Hon. Annette M. Rizzo (Ret.)
  • Patricia M. Hamill
  • Marc J. Zucker

Airbnb: What to Do?

(Presented by the Real Property Section)

This CLE will discuss the interplay between the Landlord/Tenant Act, the Innkeepers Rights Act, and the myriad of Philadelphia licensing and regulations controlling rental properties. There is an assumption that you can simply post your property on the Airbnb site and start renting out the property. In fact, there are a number of regulations and laws that must be followed in order to rent your property in accordance with the law in our Commonwealth. This CLE aims to present the law behind an exciting and trendy new rental experience.

Course Planners and Moderators
  • Rachel Gallegos
  • Eileen B. Quigley
  • Hon. Bradley K. Moss, Supervising Judge, Philadelphia Municipal Court
  • Alexander F. Barth
  • Kenneth L. Baritz
  • Richard L. Vanderslice

A Conversation on Access to Justice in the Civil Courts

(Presented by the Civil Gideon Task Force)

From the movement for a civil Gideon, to the adoption of resolutions by organizations of state justices and court administrators supporting "100 percent access to justice," national attention has recently focused on the huge numbers of litigants in civil courts who proceed unrepresented, even on matters that put essential human needs at risk. The Conference of Chief Justices has recognized the "primary leadership responsibility" of the Judicial Branch in addressing this problem and courts across the country are grappling with what they can do to understand and appropriately address the problem, and move equal justice forward.

This session will bring together leaders from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, along with former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of the New York Court of Appeals, for a conversation on the civil access to justice movement both nationally and locally. Pennsylvania's courts have been leaders in many areas, including widely praised veterans' courts, mortgage foreclosure diversion courts, language access protocols, and attention to the needs of seniors. Locally, courts are developing strategies and implementing innovative approaches, such as help desks and other programs to assist unrepresented litigants. Former Chief Judge Lippman of New York has been a national leader in this effort, speaking inspirationally on the need for equal justice and implementing concrete changes in his state to address the needs of the unrepresented. With audience participation, the panel will explore the next steps that the judiciary and the bar, working together, can take to bring us closer to achieving "100 percent access" to justice for all.

  • Gaetan J. Alfano, Chancellor
Course Planners
  • Catherine C. Carr
  • Professor Louis S. Rulli
  • Joseph A. Sullivan
  • Merril L. Zebe
  • Deborah R. Gross, Chancellor-Elect
  • Hon. Debra Todd, Justice, Pennsylvania Supreme Court
  • Hon. Jonathan Lippman, former Chief Judge, New York Court of Appeals
  • Hon. Sheila A. Woods-Skipper, President Judge, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas

A Fresh Look – Philadelphia Family Court Welcomed Four New Judges in January 2016

(Presented by the Family Law Section)

The Honorable Ouriana Papademetriou, The Honorable Daine A. Grey Jr., The Honorable Christopher Mallios and The Honorable Daniel R. Sulman. Please join the Family Law Section to hear from our newest FJD Family Court Judges on their perspectives on taking the Bench. Our judges will discuss their first year experiences, what has surprised them, what lawyers do well, what lawyers can do better, and what they wish they knew as practitioners that they know now as judges.

Course Planner and Moderator:
  • Julia Swain
  • Hon. Daine A. Grey Jr., Court of Common Pleas, Family Division, First Judicial District, Philadelphia
  • Hon. Ourania "Rainy" Papademetriou, Court of Common Pleas, Family Division, First Judicial District, Philadelphia
  • Hon. Christopher Mallios Jr., Court of Common Pleas, Family Division, First Judicial District, Philadelphia
  • Hon. Daniel R. Sulman, Court of Common Pleas, Family Division, First Judicial District, Philadelphia

Break - Visit with our Sponsors

  • 2:30 - 2:45 p.m.
  • Wildwood 30

Four Concurrent CLE Programs

  • 2:45 - 3:45 p.m.

Drafting to Avoid Litigation and What to Do When It Happens

(Presented by the Young Lawyers Division)

This program will provide attendees with an overview of the drafting techniques transactional attorneys can use to avoid litigation over their documents, and the roles transactional attorneys can play when litigation occurs. The panelists will frame their discussion around some of the most common problems that occur when drafting the foundational documents needed to start a business, and will focus on the tension between keeping documents simple and easy to interpret while providing enough structure to avoid the costs and operational disruption of litigation.

After discussing drafting techniques, the panel will focus the second half of the program around the roles transactional attorneys can play in the litigation process, including providing interpretive guidance to the litigator arguing over a document, helping the litigator understand the context in which the document was drafted, and counseling the client through litigation. The discussion will also include a litigator's viewpoint on working with transactional counsel and how the collaboration can create client value or lead to additional problems.

The program will appeal to both transactional attorneys, a segment of the bar traditionally underserved by Bench-Bar Conference programming, and litigators and focus the discussion around lawyering for early-stage business ventures, an emerging practice area in Philadelphia.

Course Planners
  • Erin E. Lamb
  • Chris S. Yaracs (Moderator)
  • Eamon Gallagher
  • Heather A. Herrington
  • Joel Ruffini

Diversity in "Practice"

(Presented by the Diversity in the Profession Committee)

The legal profession continues to advance diversity as an important business priority, however progress in this area has been slow. It is said that diverse and inclusive law practices perform better, relate better to clients, courts, juries and other decision makers important to their clients' success. Building a well-rounded associate development program in each practice group, i.e. estate practice, litigation, business and transactions, criminal law, etc. will not only attract diverse candidates but will also build an inclusive firm.

This CLE will address how to develop opportunities for diverse attorneys in various practice areas.


  1. Understanding the culture/environment
  2. How to network and communicate effectively
  3. "Who's on First?"" - the who, where, what and why of the chosen practice areas
Course Planner and Moderator
  • Henri P. Marcial
  • Priscilla E. Jimenez
  • Sophia Lee
  • Neil Maskeri
  • Shabrei M. Parker
  • Gina F. Rubel

Trying Adult Sex Offender Cases

Cases involving adult sex offenders raise challenging issues for prosecutors and defense attorneys. Justice Stevens and Judge Panella will help familiarize the audience with important considerations in navigating the issues in these types of sensitive cases. They will also introduce the audience to the newly published Pennsylvania Benchbook on Crimes of Sexual Violence, Third Edition, which was recently published by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.

Course Planners and Featured Speakers
  • Hon. Jack A. Panella, Superior Court of Pennsylvania
  • Hon. Correale F. Stevens, President Judge Emeritus, Superior Court of Pennsylvania

Ethical Concern – Conducting Research via "Open Web"

(Presented by LexisNexis)

We all do it – to check out movie times, to shop, to update our stock portfolio and more. In short, we all use Google™ or Bing™ or some other engine to search the Open Web – it has become a part of our personal lives. But what about the work we do as legal professionals? Should we be using the Open Web to conduct research? Many of us do. In fact, according to the ABA's 2015 Legal Technology Survey Report (Volume V: Online Research), well more than 90 percent of researchers use “free online resources” for their research, and many of those practitioners actually start their research with such resources, most often via Google™.

But what are the risks? And does reliance on such resources – with respect to both investigative and legal research – place practitioners at risk of violating ethical canons? Worse yet, is malpractice implicated?

  • Caren R. Silverman
  • Dana M. Roseman

Break - Visit with our Sponsors

  • 3:45 - 4 p.m.
  • Wildwood 30

Plenary CLE: "You Heard It Through the Grapevine" - An Introduction to Wine Law

  • 4 - 5:30 p.m.

Alcoholic beverages are among the most regulated consumer products in the United States. Wine producers, importers, distributors, and retailers require licenses through both federal and state government agencies. From choosing a business entity to drafting contracts to navigating state shipping laws to labeling and formula approval to laws and rules for grape varieties and appellations of origin, guidance is needed to address some of these contemporary issues in wine law. Learn how Act 39 has affected the wine industry in Pennsylvania.

Enhance your knowledge and find out how to counsel clients who venture into the growing wine industry. Then, join your colleagues for a wine tasting following the CLE.

Course Planner
  • Tara D. Phoenix
  • Mark F. Flaherty
  • Thomas Henry

Wine & Jazz: A Classic Pairing

  • 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
  • Wildwood Pre-Function

Wine tasting with music by Michael Stegossi

Party Under the Stars

  • 7 - 10 p.m.
  • Outdoor Pool Deck

Dinner, dancing & libations under the stars (weather-permitting)

Saturday, Sept. 24

Brunch With the Bench

  • 9 - 10:30 a.m.
  • (Brunch available at 8:30 a.m.)

Again we are offering the always anticipated CLE plenary featuring a conversation with the leadership in our Courts. This year's "Brunch with the Bench" will include the judicial leadership from the Eastern District and Third Circuit Courts of Pennsylvania, as well as the Pennsylvania Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Courts, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and Philadelphia Municipal Court. Judicial leaders will provide brief remarks summarizing the developments in their respective Courts, as well as what attorneys can expect from each Court in the months ahead. Each judicial leader may also address some of the following information:

  • The uniqueness or peculiarities of the individual Court and what the court handles
  • The limits of each Court's jurisdiction and the types of cases that are typically heard there
    • Which Courts have “original jurisdiction,” trial de novo, etc.
  • New internal rules and Rules of Civil Procedure on the criminal side and/or civil side
  • Overview of interesting cases that have been decided by the respective Courts over the last year
  • Marc S. Raspanti, 2016 Bench-Bar & Annual Conference Chair
Judicial Panelists
  • Hon. Debra Todd
  • Hon. Susan Peikes Gantman
  • Hon. Mary Hannah Leavitt
  • Hon. C. Darnell Jones II
  • Hon. Sheila A. Woods-Skipper
  • Hon. Marsha H. Neifield

Break - Visit with our Sponsors

  • 10:30 - 10:45 a.m.
  • Wildwood 30

4 Concurrent CLE Programs

  • 10:45 - 11:45 a.m.

The Visual World: Discovery and Openings

(Presented by the State Civil Litigation Section and Young Lawyers Division)

Robert J. Mongeluzzi, Esq., founder of Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky, will present on the use of technology in discovery and at trial. The program will focus on:

  • Using video and multimedia during discovery depositions
  • Presenting deposition testimony during trial
  • Presenting evidence and visuals to advance your theory at trial

Mongeluzzi will offer real world examples of how to tell the story of your case through powerful visual presentations.

Course Planner
  • Robert W. Zimmerman
Featured Speaker
  • Robert J. Mongeluzzi

(Who Ya Gonna Call) - How to Navigate the Complex Web of Legal Services for a Client

(Presented by the Public Interest Section)

This course will provide necessary information and resources to assist attorneys in making the proper referral for a client to the appropriate legal services agency by informing attorneys of the specific nature of services provided by the various legal services agencies, and by providing a "snapshot" of the type of issues or problems that the particular agency is equipped to handle. In addition, for those who wish to volunteer to offer pro bono representation, the program will provide information as to the type of training provided and the specific skill sets or knowledge, and time commitments needed by certain legal services agencies by their volunteers.

Expert faculty will address the following questions, while offering guidance to those who wish to offer pro bono representation:

  • Does the agency represent individuals?
  • Does the agency represent non-profit organizations?
  • In what courts does the agency litigate?
  • Are there income guidelines for the clients that the agency employs to determine if the client may be represented by the agency?
  • Will the agency handle the matter through appeals, if necessary?
  • What type of cases will be handled by the agency?
  • Does the agency partner with private law firms to handle a complicated or protracted matter?
Course Planner
  • Hon. A. Michael Snyder (Ret.)
  • Frank P. Cervone
  • R. Barrett Marshall
  • Rasheedah Phillips
  • Meredith Rapkin
  • Michelin Cahill
  • Philippe Weisz
  • Sara L. Woods

Private Prosecution: The Dual Representation of Plaintiffs Charged With Criminal Offenses

(Presented by the Criminal Justice Section)

This CLE program examines the dual roles of attorneys tasked with the civil prosecution of unlawful police actions and the defense of individuals accused of crimes. Police brutality, corruption, or incompetence, or a combination of the three, havebe en increasingly scrutinized publicly, providing new opportunities for accountability through the private bar. This CLE will guide all practitioners and help them to understand how to navigate both the criminal and civil trial track to best compensate their clients for their injuries.

Course Planner
  • Kevin Harden Jr.
  • Brock J. Atkins
  • James A. Funt
  • Lloyd Long
  • Kevin V. Mincey

Things That Are Covered But You Didn't Know They Were

(Presented by USI Affinity and the Insurance Programs Committee)

You have received a letter from the Disciplinary Board. You've been told to hire a lawyer. How much will that cost? You have received a subpoena for privileged client information. Do you have to pay for a lawyer to file for a protective order? Your firm is faced with a crisis event because of a cybercrime. You know you need to notify people but who and by when? You've been sued for an employment discrimination claim but don't have employment practices coverage. You might have help from the policies that you already have.

This CLE will help identify and address insurance coverage that may be imbedded in an existing policy that you didn't know was available. There are different types of insurance coverage that are present in common policies, i.e. sexual harassment issues, cybersecurity, etc.

Course Planner
  • Paul J. Kazaras
  • Shelly Lawson
  • Douglas R. Widin

Multi-Prize Giveaway Finale

  • 11:45 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Wildwood 30

The chance to win the new iPad Pro™ and more!

For sponsorship information contact the Philadelphia Bar Association's Director of Meetings and Special Events, Tracey McCloskey.