Friday, October 16, 2015

Registration and Meet Our Sponsors

  • 9:30 a.m.

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 an Apple Watch!

Luncheon Buffet Opens

  • 11:30 a.m.
  • Salon D
  • Signature Sponsor: Veritext Legal Solutions

Quarterly Meeting and Opening Plenary

  • 12 - 1:45 p.m.
  • Salon D

We Can't Breathe: The Struggle to Resuscitate Due Process in Police Excessive Force Cases

Speaker Image

Perhaps best know for his advocacy in the Trayvon Martin case, noted civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump will examine how to 'breathe' new life into our due process system in police excessive force cases. In this CLE, he will address, within criminal proceedings, the function of the grand jury and the lack of indictments in such cases. Crump will analyze the prosecution in the Ferguson and Staten Island grand juries, as well as provide an overview of extreme cases nationwide in which no indictments were found against the police. He will also explore federal consent decrees.

Additionally, Crump, who is also President of the National Bar Association, will address civil proceedings by assessing the reasoning behind qualified immunity and the "no findings of liability" against police departments in police excessive force cases. He will review the significance of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Tolan v. Cotton, as well as the rulings nationwide dismissing such cases. Finally, within civil proceedings, Crump will explore "the dim light at the end of the thunder" – the new body of cases under Heck v. Humphrey.

  • Rachel E. Branson, Special Advisor to the Chancellor, Philadelphia Bar Association Board of Governors
  • Benjamin L. Crump

Break - Visit with our Sponsors

  • 1:45 - 2 p.m.

Four Concurrent CLE Programs

A Litigator's Brain

Rule 1.1 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct provides that "A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client." Inherent in being a competent attorney is the skill of an attorney to handle the variety of personalities including clients, co-workers, adversaries, judges and experts among others. This presentation will provide attorneys with the practical and time tested framework of personality type developed by Swiss psychiatrist Carl G. Jung and operationalized by Isabel Briggs Myers through her construction of the well-known assessment, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.® This framework and practical tool can assist attorneys and professionals to better understand their own personality type/brain type as well as identify the personality preferences of others, which enhances competency in communication with others. These skills are invaluable to uncovering interests in a conflict, and determining how best to present options and solutions during the course of litigation.

Course Planner and Moderator
  • Stephanie Kindt
  • Hon. Denis P. Cohen, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division-Civil
  • Maria Isabel (Issa) DiSciullo, Assistant Dean of Admissions, Drexel Univ. Thomas R. Kline School of Law
  • John M. Nolan

Mastering the Art of Local Practice - Custody and Support Masters Proceedings in Philadelphia Family Court (2 PART)

(Presented by the Family Law Section)

Part 1 will focus on local practice in the Custody Masters Unit. Although all custody cases are initially scheduled for an event, knowing the difference between conferences and hearings is critical to preparing and achieving results for clients. The Masters Unit is also the front line for emergency custody actions in Philadelphia. Hear from the Masters directly on what constitutes an emergency and how the cases are handled.

Course Planners
  • Julia Swain
  • Mark A. Momjian
  • Mark A. Momjian
  • Glenn L. Andreola
  • Jacqueline M. Vergara

Subtle, Unconscious and Implicit Bias in the Legal Profession

(Presented by the Diversity in the Profession Committee)

This session will help bar leaders, law firm management and in-house counsel understand and recognize what subtle, unconscious and implicit bias is and how, when left unchecked, it can have serious consequences for the legal profession. Through open discussion, attendees will develop an understanding of how subtle, unconscious and implicit bias can influence behavior and learn "best practices" for reducing the impact of said bias on the legal profession.

  • Romulo L. Diaz, Jr.
  • Kevin V. Mincey
  • Sophia Lee

Health Care Reform in PA - Where Are We Now?

(Presented by the Employee Benefits Committee)

A lot has changed in health care since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was first implemented in 2010. This presentation will address some of the more significant changes, with a special focus on Pennsylvania hospitals and clinics. Perhaps the biggest news in Pennsylvania health reform is Gov. Tom Wolf's Medicaid expansion which began in February. This presentation will address potential opportunities and challenges for Pennsylvania providers as they join the ranks of Medicaid expansion states. Another significant change stemming from the ACA's implementation is the new "employer mandate," which requires all employers with 50 or more employees to comply with certain regulations or pay a fine after 2014. In addition to these major changes, this presentation will also take note of the ACA's impact on hospitals and clinics thus far, with a particular emphasis on the ACA's "pay for performance" initiatives that seek to improve the quality, efficiency and value of health care. As the ACA seeks to shift away from the traditional "fee for service" model toward "pay for performance," it is important for health care providers to navigate this shift in a way that both improves patient outcomes and lowers cost of care.

  • Delphine P. O'Rourke
  • Colleen M. Powers

Refreshment Break - Visit with our Sponsors

  • 3 - 3:15 p.m.
  • Gold Sponsor: ABC Bail Bonds

Four Concurrent CLE Programs

LGBT Discrimination in the Workplace

(Presented by the Labor and Employee Committee)

Recent developments in employment discrimination laws based upon sexual orientation will be discussed, including changes in both State and Federal law. Judicial and legislative developments will also be addressed. Panelists will consider issues that arise in pursuing and trying sexual orientation discrimination cases. The impact of changing laws on workplace policies will be considered from the perspectives of both the employer and employee.

Course Planner
  • Kathleen Kirkpatrick
  • Hon. Annette M. Rizzo (Ret.)
  • Yvonne Barnes Montgomery
  • Michael A. Bowman
  • Rahul Munshi

New Developments in the Civil Right to Counsel and Access to Justice Movement in Philadelphia

(Presented by the Civil Gideon and Access to Justice Task Force)

Six years ago the Philadelphia Bar Association established the Civil Gideon Task Force which has addressed both the need for a right to representation in important civil legal matters involving basic human needs and interim steps to improve access to justice for unrepresented litigants in such cases. Philadelphia's judiciary has been an important and growing part of this effort, and has stepped in to develop and support new strategies to provide increased legal assistance and advice through court-based help centers and other ways to assist unrepresented litigants. Judges on this panel will discuss their leadership in these efforts, from assisting tenants facing eviction and homelessness in Philadelphia Municipal Court and parents facing the loss of their children in custody cases in Philadelphia Family Court, to the consideration of additional innovative approaches for the provision of access to justice that have been implemented in other jurisdictions and deserve consideration in Philadelphia. With audience participation, the panel will explore next steps that the judiciary and the bar, working together, can take to bring us closer to achieving access to justice for all.

Course Planners
  • Louis S. Rulli
  • Joseph A. Sullivan
  • Merril L. Zebe
  • Chancellor Albert S. Dandridge III
  • Hon. Sheila A. Woods-Skipper, President Judge, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
  • Hon. Charles Hayden, Philadelphia Municipal Court
  • Hon. Margaret T. Murphy, Admin. Judge, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Family Division
  • Catherine C. Carr

Fifty Years After Miranda v. Arizona

(Presented by the Criminal Justice Section)

2016 is the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark decision in Miranda v. Arizona. Join us for an interesting discussion about its successes, failures and how one other country's law enforcement arm (Scotland Yard) has changed the landscape…. we promise: no one in the room has the right to remain silent…

Course Planner and Moderator
  • Thomas J. Innes
  • Prof. David A. Sonenshein, Temple University Beasley School of Law
  • Marissa Boyers Bluestine
  • Lawrence S. Krasner

Conflicts of Interest-and Other Ethical Issues-How They Can Be Addressed at Trial

(Presented by the Professional Responsibility Committee)

Conflicts of interest can appear at any time during litigation. If these are not resolved in advance of trial, then the judge and litigants must resolve them just before or during trial. Panelists will address situations where conflicts of interest may affect the rights of parties and the trial of the dispute. The panel will address a number of litigation scenarios.

Course Planner and Moderator:
  • Bourne Ruthrauff
  • Hon. Denis P. Cohen, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division
  • Kimberly S. Ingersoll
  • Paul J. Kazaras
  • Michele E. Turner
  • Kathleen D. Wilkinson

Break - Visit with our Sponsors

  • 4:15 - 4:30 p.m.

Four Concurrent CLE Programs

"It's Not All Bad": Examining the Delivery of Legal Services and the Administration of Justice to Low-Income Communities From a Strengths-Based Perspective

(Presented by the Public Interest Section)

Across the criminal and juvenile justice systems, as well as the child welfare and civil legal service systems, there are a disproportionate number of youth and individuals from low-income communities, and a disproportionate number of individuals from communities of color. Practitioners and judges will discuss the programs - run through courts, law schools and community-based organizations - that engage individuals and their support networks (family members or other supporters) to improve health and educational outcomes and link individuals and families to needed resources and benefit services. Whether the contact with a lawyer or a judge is through the criminal court or in civil practice, legal professionals mindful of the resilience and strengths of those they are serving can better address the multifaceted issues facing low-income individuals, and lead to better overall outcomes in individual cases and beyond.

Course Planners
  • Joanna Visser Adjoian
  • Lauren Fine
  • Ashley C. Sawyer
  • Hon. Charles A. Ehrlich, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division - Criminal
  • Prof. Kara Finck, Univ. of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Prof. Rachel E. Lopez, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law
  • Robert K. Reed
  • Anita Santos-Singh

Succession Planning: Charting the Future of Your Law Firm

(Presented by the Law Practice Management Committee)

Not sure about the future of your law firm? In a 2012 Altman Weil survey, "Law Firms in Transition,"" law firm leaders identified the retirement/succession of the baby boomer generation (35 percent of the American adult population according to Scarborough) as a key issue facing their firms. In fact, succession is the numberone challenge for most law firms - not just succession at the very top but in practice groups, among relationship managers, in management and among solo and small firm practitioners. This program will help attendees identify how to define accountability, evaluate readiness from a benefits and compensation point of view, manage transition of leadership and develop human capital and diversity. Finally, faculty will address what you need to know to define and implement a solid and ethical succession plan including:

  • The ethical constraints on selling your practice and the practice of law after the sale
  • The ethical issues surrounding terminating and transitioning client relationships
  • The ethical constraints on payment after the termination
  • The ability to restrict lawyers from leaving, taking clients, and competing
  • The "unfinished business" doctrine - who owns the future revenue?
  • Conflicts in representing successive generations of clients
  • Gina F. Rubel
  • Elizabeth S. Fenton
  • Abraham C. Reich
  • Nancy L. Wasch

Product Liability Law in Pennsylvania

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

In 2014, the Supreme Court published Tincher v. Omega Flex, 64 A.3d 626 (PA. 2014). Tincher overturned the main case in product liability law, which was in place since 1978, and established two new methods for plaintiffs to establish a product defect. The opinion is 137 pages and answers many questions of product liability law. Importantly, it intentionally left many questions unanswered, leaving plaintiff and defense attorneys to advocate new positions and evidentiary issues. This CLE will provide perspectives from plaintiff's counsel, defense counsel and the trial court on what has changed and what may remain the same.

  • Robert W. Zimmerman
  • Hon. John M. Younge, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division
  • Lawrence E. Bendesky
  • William Ricci

It's Women's Work: Women Lawyers as Entrepreneurs

(Presented by the Women in the Profession Committee)

Starting a business takes skill, know-how, time and guts. Our panelists will detail how they used their law degrees and legal experience to launch businesses, whether they are related to the law or separate passions. The CLE will focus mainly on (1) challenges one should expect when opening a business and maintaining a legal practice and (2) issues that women specifically face in starting businesses.

Course Planner:
  • Amber M. Racine
  • Nancy Cremins
  • Nikki Johnson-Huston
  • Kimberly Alford Rice

Dinner Reception

  • 7 - 11 p.m.
  • Dinner 7 - 9:30 p.m.
  • Dancing & Libations 7 - 11 p.m.
  • Salon D
  • Diamond Sponsor: USI Affinity

Featuring live entertainment by the award-winning Vincent James Band
Wristbands required for entry

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Breakfast & Saturday Plenary CLE Program

  • 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
  • Salon D
  • (Breakfast available at 8 a.m.)
  • Gold Sponsor: BPU Investment Management, Inc.

Narrative Skills and the Law

(Presented by the State Civil Litigation Section)

Speaker Image

A lawyer who can present a case in an emotionally compelling way has an enormous strategic advantage. Marshall Goldberg, a TV and film writer for 25 years (L.A. Law, Paper Chase, Newhart, It's Garry Shandling's Show), as well as a lawyer (Counsel, U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights; Attorney, U.S. Justice Department Civil Rights Division; General Counsel, Writers Guild of America, West), teaches "Narrative Skills and the Law" at Stanford and Michigan Law Schools. In this plenary session, he will speak on how writers put together compelling stories and how attorneys can apply those insights to legal situations.

  • Marshall M. Goldberg

Break - Visit with our Sponsors

  • 9:30 - 9:45 p.m.

Four Concurrent CLE Programs

Unlocking the Secrets of Investigating Grand Jury Practice

(Presented by the Criminal Justice Section)

The crux of the presentation will center on investigating grand jury procedures. Given all the recent controversy in Staten Island, Ferguson and of course our own attorney general case, this session will address the abuse of those procedures, the perception that they are not fairly applied to all defendants and how the media perceives and reports on the issues. We will focus on issues of secrecy versus transparency, their use in police shooting investigations, use in political and other corruption cases, as well as the right to and role of defense counsel in the grand jury process.

Course Planner
  • James A. Funt
  • Laurel Brandstetter
  • Michael Engle

The Land Bank: Investing in Philadelphia's Future

(Presented by the Real Property Section)

An introduction to Philadelphia's Land Bank, including an overview of status and challenges facing land banks in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Expert panelists will offer guidance regarding:

  • Legislation authorizing land banks in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • City ordinances authorizing the City's land bank and regulations pertaining to the land bank
  • How the land bank will be implemented in Philadelphia
  • Practical and procedural considerations facing the implementation of the new land bank.
  • Steven D. Rothberg
  • Winifred Marie Branton
  • Eileen Quigley
  • Nicholas J. Scafidi

Immigration Law in 2015: Who Really is "Welcome to America"?

(Presented by the Immigration Law Committee)

With the media filled with stories of "unaccompanied minors" arriving at the U.S. border and the introduction of new legislation expanding the eligibility for certain deferments for temporary relief, there are a host of new issues that the immigration and family law bars must tackle to represent these types of clients. This panel will explore who these children are, the conditions under which they are being detained, and how the combined efforts of the Immigration and Family Law bars are needed in order to secure status as "Special Immigrant Juveniles" for these children. They will further discuss the option of "U" and "T" visas for those who are victims of crimes or trafficked. Our panelists will address the legal requirements of both "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" (DACA) and "Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents" (DAPA) applications, as well as the ethical obligations and boundaries of attorneys representing such potential clients. Lastly, faculty will answer the question, ‘does arriving with a large bank account make one "Welcome to America?"' They will review EB5 Investor Visas and E-1/E-2 Treaty Visas for Entrepreneurs, large and small, as well as the ethical obligations that arise when representing such investors.

Course Planner and Moderator:
  • Wendy Hess
  • Judith A. Bernstein-Baker
  • Yuah Jessica Choi
  • Catherine "Katie" Feeley, Staff Attorney/Stoneleigh Emerging Leader Fellow, HIAS Pennsylvania

The New Pennsylvania Power Of Attorney Statute: What You Need to Know Now

(Presented by the Probate Section)

Pennsylvania's Power of Attorney statute was recently amended, with the most significant provisions becoming effective January 1, 2015. The new statute makes important changes to the form and content of financial powers of attorney, creates specific "hot powers" that may pose potential traps for the unwary, and brings clarity to the liability issues faced both by agents and third parties, such as banks and other financial institutions, who rely upon the representations of agents. This program will address how the new statute impacts the drafting of powers of attorney, both from a statutory compliance perspective and from a litigation avoidance perspective. Our panel of experts will provide insight on the new law, the use of "hot powers," and the potential drafting pitfalls of which all practitioners should be aware.

Course Planners
  • Jonathan D. Sokoloff
  • Laura E. Stegossi
  • Timothy J. Holman
  • Peter J. Johnson
  • Bradley D. Terebelo

Break - Visit with our Sponsors

  • 10:45 - 11 a.m.

Four Concurrent CLE Programs

Mastering the Art of Local Practice - Custody and Support Masters Proceedings in Philadelphia Family Court (2 PART)

(Presented by the Family Law Section)

Part 2 will focus on local practice in the Support Masters Unit. Understanding how to properly create a record for a support case is essential at the Masters level as any appeal is on exceptions only. Hear from the Support Masters about how to handle evidentiary issues, protracted listings, earning capacity arguments and remands.

Course Planners
  • Mark A. Momjian
  • Julia Swain
  • David S. Rasner
  • Wayne M. D. Bennett
  • Daniel R. Sulman

The Use of Prescription Medications in the World of Litigation

(Presented by the Workers' Compensation Section)

We will touch on the new legislation re: physician dispensing medications, the high costs of drugs for both sides (carrier from a literal standpoint, claimant's from a medical standpoint), detox and rehab issues, "experimental" drugs and whether they should be paid for, chronic pain patients and better options than narcotics, etc.

  • Megan Dougherty
  • Hon. Tina Maria Rago, Workers' Compensation Office of Adjudication
  • Hon. Geoffrey Dlin (Ret.)
  • Dr. Gregory H. Pharo, MD

"Why Are You Stopping Me: A Youth's Take on Seizures" - Practical Methods to Inform Juveniles about Fourth Amendment Rights Regarding Seizures of a Person

(Presented by the ACE Committee)

Recently, police encounters in Ferguson, Mo. and New York have filled the news. While the conversation has been focused mostly on race, there is a fundamental question of where an individual's right not to cooperate with police during an encounter begins and ends. This course continues the discussion of the opening plenary with a focus on juveniles and explores how members of the legal community can effectively convey to juveniles some of the most important principles regarding seizures under the Fourth Amendment while encouraging them to critically think about their responsibilities under the law. The cases selected for this exercise provide current precedent under United States and Pennsylvania law with regard to police encounters with individuals. The course is organized in a way that will encourage students to reach reasonable conclusions about public safety and individual responsibility through role play, discussion and practical analysis of relevant caselaw.

Course Planner
  • Elvin P. Ross III
  • Elvin P. Ross III
  • Hon. Genece E. Brinkley
  • Hon. Nycole E. Watson
  • 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Salon C
  • 1 Substantive CLE Credit

What Works - and What Doesn't - in the Courtroom

(Presented by the Young Lawyers Division)

In addition to general practice pointers, this program will touch upon the most commonly made errors by attorneys in court, and will address specific rules and requirements that seem to cause headaches to both attorneys and judges alike. From spelled-out procedural requirements to unwritten guidelines and preferences, this program will provide thoughtful commentary on how to be a more effective advocate.

Course Planner
  • Matthew S. Olesh
  • Hon. Giovanni O. Campbell, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division - Criminal
  • Hon. Pamela P. Dembe, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division - Civil
  • Hon. Idee C. Fox, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division - Civil
  • Hon. Nina Wright Padilla, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division - Civil

Break - Visit with our Sponsors

  • 12 - 12:15 a.m.

Closing Luncheon and State of the Courts Presentation

  • 12:15 p.m.
  • Salon D
  • 1 Substantive CLE Credit

State of the Courts Presentation

Hear from judicial leaders of Pennsylvania's courts for an update on the state of our courts.

  • Hon. Thomas G. Saylor, Chief Justice, Pennsylvania Supreme Court
  • Hon. Susan Peikes Gantman, President Judge, Pennsylvania Superior Court
  • Hon. Renée Cohn Jubelirer, Judge, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court
  • Hon. Sheila A. Woods-Skipper, President Judge, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
  • Hon. Bradley K. Moss, Supervising Judge, Civil Division, Philadelphia Municipal Court

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