Friday, October 17, 2014

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 iPad Mini!

Luncheon Buffet Opens

  • 11:30 a.m.
  • Ballroom BC
  • Sponsored by Love Court Reporting, Inc.

Quarterly Meeting and Opening Plenary

  • 12 - 1:45 p.m.
Speaker Image

Presentation of Bar Medal to Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille

The Bar Medal is given at the discretion of the Chancellor and only when it is felt that someone has contributed to the justice system and/or the community in a manner that is sustained, extraordinary and worthy of emulation.

Chief Justice Castille has a long history of supporting and promoting public service. He is the honorary chair of the Pennsylvania Civil Legal Justice Coalition, a statewide coalition of leaders from the Philadelphia, Allegheny County, Dauphin County and Pennsylvania Bar Associations; representatives of the public interest community; and other key stakeholders who work to address the growing crisis in unmet civil legal services needs of low-income Pennsylvanians.

Additionally, Chief Justice Castille served in the U.S. Marine Corps as first lieutenant, rifle platoon commander, in Vietnam and received a Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" for bravery, two Purple Heart Medals, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Presidential Unit & Naval Unit Citations and Combat Action Ribbon.

He was an assistant and deputy district attorney in Philadelphia from 1971 to 1985 and served as district attorney from 1986 to 1991. He served as a justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court from 1994 to 2007 and was sworn in as chief justice in 2008.

The Ethics of Covering a Moving Media Target

(Presented by the Bar-News Media Committee)

Jodi Arias, George Zimmerman, Donald Sterling, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, and the South Korea ferry disaster are just a few of the moving media targets with which we are all familiar. While news media and law are separate areas of business, the court of law and court of public opinion overlap in theory and in practice.

Members of the media are often charged with covering a story with very little detail to go on. The overarching ethical standards are fairness and accuracy above all. But who really determines what is "fair" and at what point do we measure a story for "accuracy"? On the other side of the coin are the attorneys who have an ethical obligation to their clients to preserve attorney-client confidentiality while providing zealous counsel.

Both professions require critical thinking, research and communication skills, along with an ability to grasp how laws and ethics shape the delivery of news. Nationally known lawyers-turned-media correspondents will address the ethics of covering a moving media target in today's society.

Course Planners
  • Gina Furia Rubel
  • Meredith Z. Avakian-Hardaway
  • Daniel L. Cevallos (moderator)
  • Cherri T. Gregg
  • Heather Hansen
  • Patrick J. Murphy
  • Iain Page

Break - Visit with our Sponsors

  • 1:45 - 2 p.m.

Four Concurrent CLE Programs

Defamation and SLAPP Suits: Where Do We Stand 50 Years After New York Times v. Sullivan?

(Presented by the Public Interest Section)

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark First Amendment case of New York Times v. Sullivan, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that public officials (later expanded to include public figures, too) who sue for defamation must show that the defendants acted with "actual malice." The Supreme Court's motivating concern in adopting and repeatedly reiterating this standard over the past 50 years is to ensure that the public and the press are not chilled from criticizing and commenting on public officials, public figures and government activities, out of fear of a defamation suit. Does it truly ensure that the fear of a defamation suit, including the costs of defending against it, does not chill the press and the public from speaking? During this CLE, panelists with views and experience across the spectrum will share and debate these issues, which remain as relevant today as they were when New York Times v. Sullivan was decided 50 years ago.

Course Planners
  • Phoenicia D. Williams
  • Su Ming Yeh
  • Pennsylvania State Sen. Larry Farnese
  • Geoffrey R. Johnson
  • Mary Catherine Roper (moderator)
  • Eli M. Segal

Dirty Tricks in Domestic Relations

(Presented by the Family Law Section)

With emotions running high, some family law litigants play games that make the other party's life, and sometimes the lives of their children, miserable. Examples include profane texters, video recordings of custody exchanges, email bullies, parental eavesdroppers and birthday party crashers. While these dirty deeds may not be illegal, they can cross the line of harassment or conduct contrary to the children's best interest.

This program will explore constructive ways to deal with destructive conduct and the relief a court can offer to diffuse these difficult circumstances.

Course Planners
  • Julia Swain
  • Mark A. Momjian
  • Hon. Maria C. McLaughlin, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Family Court Division
  • Margaret Klaw
  • David S. Rasner (moderator)

Do the Right Thing! – Ethical Issues Arising In Litigation

(Presented by the State Civil Litigation Section)

This CLE session will address the ethical issues that can arise in the litigation process, both pretrial and during trial. Counsel from both the plaintiff and defense side, along with judicial perspective, will highlight the following issues: ethical issues regarding attorney conduct; representations made to court during settlement discussions; using social media in pursuit of information; and contacting employers for information.

Course Planner
  • Butler Buchanan III
  • Hon. Pamela Pryor Dembe, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, Civil
  • Hon. George W. Overton, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, Civil
  • A. Roy DeCaro
  • Daniel J. Sherry

False Claims Act or Whistleblower Litigation: What Every Practitioner Must Know About This Constantly Developing Area of the Law

(Presented by the Federal Courts Committee)

Nationally known practitioners in the area of federal and state False Claims Act litigation will provide the Bench-Bar audience with years of unprecedented litigation experience and insight into the unique, often confusing, and always evolving, area of qui tam or whistleblower litigation. The federal government has recovered more than $39 billion since 1986. The Philadelphia federal bench along with some Bar members have handled historic False Claims Act cases since the passage of the Modern False Claims Act in 1986. Areas to be covered by the panel include an overview of the federal and state False Claims Act statutes; the unique procedural postures of these complex cases; how these complex cases are prepared and litigated; some of the pitfalls involved in this unique litigation; working with the federal and state governments in whistleblower cases and the pivotal role of the court in False Claims Act litigation.

Course Planner
  • Marc S. Raspanti
  • Hon. L. Felipe Restrepo, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Charlene Keller Fullmer, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Pamela C. Brecht
  • David M. Laigaie
  • Michael A. Morse (moderator)

Break - Visit with our Sponsors

  • 3 - 3:15 p.m.

Four Concurrent CLE Programs

Diversity and Inclusion: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Lawyers

(Presented by the Diversity in the Profession Committee and LGBT Rights Committee)

According to NALP: The Association for Legal Career Professionals, "[t]he overall percentage of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) lawyers reported in the NALP Directory of Legal Employers (NDLE) in 2013 increased to 2.19 percent compared with 2.07 percent in 2012. Percentages for both partners and associates increased." Our panelists will discuss "best practices" to create an inclusive environment for LGBT lawyers; the importance of "straight allies" as advocates for the LGBT community; workplace policies; compensation and benefits; an update on current laws impacting the LGBT community; and mentoring.

Course Planners
  • Sophia Lee
  • Kevin V. Mincey
  • Hon. Daniel J. Anders, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, Criminal
  • Hon. Abbe F. Fletman, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
  • Lawrence S. Felzer
  • Cherri T. Gregg (moderator)
  • Su Ming Yeh

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

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

This panel will provide an updated report on the efforts that began five years ago with the formation of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Civil Gideon Task Force and culminate in the efforts over the past year to address the civil legal justice crisis and improve access to justice in Pennsylvania. The program will highlight the findings and recommendations contained in the report "Toward Equal Justice for All: Report of the Civil Legal Justice Coalition." The report was presented to the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee on May 6, 2014, following the statewide access to justice hearings held in 2013. The program will address strategies underway to implement those recommendations in Pennsylvania and will also highlight innovative approaches to improving access to justice that have been implemented in other jurisdictions.

Course Planners
  • Catherine C. Carr
  • Joseph A. Sullivan
  • Merril L. Zebe
  • Hon. Sheila A. Woods-Skipper, President Judge, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
  • Hon. Gerald A. McHugh Jr., U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Hon. Fern A. Fisher, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge of New York City Courts
  • Jennifer Clarke

Trick or Treat? Understanding the Interplay Of Disability, Workers' Compensation and Tort Claims

(Presented by the Social Security Disability Law Committee)

Learn about Social Security disability, work injury and tort claims generally and the effect they have on one another.

Course Planner/Moderator
  • Maria E. Bermudez
  • Hon. Richard A. Kelly, Administrative Judge, Social Security Administration, Philadelphia Office of Disability Adjudication and Review
  • Heather J. Austin
  • Joseph C. Hutteman
  • Robert W. Zimmerman
  • 3:15 - 4:15 p.m.
  • Ballroom A
  • 1 Substantive CLE Credit

Dealing With High-Profile Cases: A View from the Courts and the Executive Branch

From arranging physical accommodations in the courtroom to public statements on the courthouse steps, what, if anything, do judges and prosecutors have to do differently when there is a high-profile case?

  • Hon. Correale F. Stevens, Pennsylvania Supreme Court
  • Kathleen G. Kane, Pennsylvania Attorney General

Break - Visit with our Sponsors

  • 4:15 - 4:30 p.m.

Four Concurrent CLE Programs

  • 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
  • Studio 4
  • 1 Substantive CLE Credit

A View from the Bench Regarding Real Estate Matters in Philadelphia

(Presented by the Real Property Section)

This session will address best practices from the judiciary's point of view in regards to real estate litigation including partition actions, quiet title actions, mortgage foreclosure actions, conservatorships and tax sale matters. The course will be invaluable for any litigator whose practice touches on any area of real property litigation.

Course Planner
  • Rachel Gallegos
  • Hon. Ellen Ceisler, Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, Civil
  • Hon. Idee C. Fox, Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, Civil
  • Hon. Nina N. Wright Padilla, Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, Civil
  • Hon. Annette Rizzo, Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, Civil

Reentry Courts – New Opportunities for Returning Citizens

(Presented by the Criminal Justice Section)

This one-hour panel will describe the Federal Reentry "STAR" court and its operation. It will also provide an explanation, description and update on the newest Reentry court on the local map: the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Reentry Court for state parolees.

Course Planner/Moderator
  • Thomas J. Innes III
  • Hon. L. Felipe Restrepo, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Byron Cotter
  • Michael L. Green
  • Derek Riker

Openings with Mongo

(Presented by the State Civil Litigation Section)

Robert J. Mongeluzzi will present his opening argument in the case of a client who was tragically killed while working at a steam plant in Philadelphia after being crushed by a 300-pound block that fell approximately 60 feet from an overhead crane. Mongeluzzi was able to establish that the defendant's reckless conduct gave rise to punitive damages, along with eyewitness testimony that established approximately 10 minutes of uncontroverted conscious pain and suffering. The decedent client left behind a widow and five children (3 adults and 2 minors), the youngest of which (3 years old) suffers from profound hearing loss. The constellation of damages in this case – punitive damages, clear conscious pain and suffering and compelling clients – propelled this case's settlement to one of the highest in Philadelphia County history for a single wrongful death case. Mongeluzzi's opening statement uses state of the art technology, incorporating family photographs, scene photographs, deposition transcripts, deposition videos, critical documents and crane simulations. The seminar will also include the participation of prominent defense counsel giving a unique viewpoint on Mongeluzzi's presentation and answer questions on the evidentiary and tactical issues to be considered in giving an effective opening statement.

  • Robert J. Mongeluzzi
  • Rochelle M. Fedullo
  • John E. Savoth (moderator)

Social Media Policies for Employers, Employees, and Their Counsel

(Presented by the Young Lawyers Division)

This CLE will include a brief discussion of the scope of social media discovery and will focus on how to manage the risks of social media and how social media will affect employers' policies regarding their employees and their web presence. We will cover recent litigation and decisions where corporations have been directly involved because of their web presence, their employees' social media commentary, and the actions of their competitors. Faculty will offer advice on what employers are suggested to avoid, how to train employees, general policy drafting, and some general tips/concerns. The panelists will address what needs to be done by employers to ensure that they have a sensible, risk-managed web presence; have thought about social media in a litigation hold scenario; and have policies in place to protect/educate their employees about social media risks to the company and to its employees. All attorneys get a reintroduction to the vast amount of information that can be discovered about plaintiffs and their own witnesses – it may even help counsel realize some evidence and causes of action they have been overlooking.

  • Ryan G. Gatto
  • Justin S. Moriconi
  • Laura Powers

"A Swanky Soiree"

  • 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.
  • Sponsored by USI Affinity
  • Attire: Smart Casual
  • Wristbands required for entry

Mingle, Eat, Drink and Dance the night away at MIXX


  • 10 p.m.
  • Ballroom BC
  • Wristbands required for entry
Speaker Image

For legendary singer-songwriter FELIX CAVALIERE, making people feel good is primary to his illustrious 50-year career that includes the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Songwriter Hall of Fame, Vocal Group Hall of Fame and Grammy Hall of Fame. Few artists can claim they defined a generation; FELIX CAVALIERE continues to remind us to keep listening for the world's beauty.

Early in 1965, FELIX CAVALIERE formed the 'Young Rascals' with Dino Danelli, Eddie Brigati and Gene Cornish. That October, they caught the attention of promoter/manager Sid Bernstein with their high-energy set at Long Island's elite club, Barge. Signed to Atlantic Records, and now called THE RASCALS, the band produced the mega hit "Good Lovin'" which struck No. 1 in February 1966.

Join us for "An Intimate Evening With FELIX CAVALIERE of THE RASCALS" and hear such classic hits as "Good Lovin'," Groovin'," "People Got to Be Free," "A Beautiful Morning" and more! Doors open at 10 p.m. for the concert; concert admission is free to all Bench-Bar registrants.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Breakfast & Saturday Plenary CLE Program

  • 8 - 9:30 a.m.
  • Ballroom BC
  • Sponsored by Insurance Adjustment Bureau, Inc.

Saturday Plenary CLE Program

"Witnesses, Eyewitnesses and Videotape" - Progress or Boondoggle?

(Presented by the Criminal Justice Section)

This hour-long panel explains and discusses the reforms initiated by the Philadelphia Police Department in the areas of treatment and interrogation of witnesses, procedures and protocols on conducting photo displays for eyewitnesses and the videotaping of interrogations of and statements by suspects. Why were these reforms enacted? What is the impact on criminal prosecutions? Where does Philadelphia fall nationwide in police practices?

Course Planner/Moderator
  • Thomas J. Innes III
  • Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey
  • Marissa Boyers Bluestine
  • John Hollway
  • Jodi L. Lobel, Deputy District Attorney, Philadelphia District Attorney's Office
  • Prof. David Rudovsky

Break - Visit with our Sponsors

  • 9:30 - 9:45 p.m.

Four Concurrent CLE Programs

Motion/Discovery Court Practice – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

(Presented by the State Civil Litigation Section)

This CLE will identify and address controversial motions, such as motions for extraordinary relief, motions to compel depositions/defense medical examinations, motions to enforce settlements, motions to disclose social media information, and motions forum non-conveniens. Expert faculty will utilize hypotheticals and in-court videotaped vignettes with motions presented and briefly argued on camera, followed by brief discussions by the panel and perspectives by a judge(s), to identify certain kinds of motions that should not be filed and/or defended as a waste of time because the result yielded is a fait accompli.

Course Planner
  • Ronald A. Kovler
  • Hon. Jacqueline F. Allen, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division
  • Hon. Lisa M. Rau, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, Civil
  • Peter J. Divon
  • Kelly J. Fox

Creating and Maintaining a Diverse and Inclusive Law Practice for All

(Presented by the Law Practice Management Committee)

Panelists will provide "best practices" to create and maintain a diverse and inclusive law practice where there is equal opportunity for advancement for all. Learn about the importance of defining diversity broadly and understanding the "business case for diversity." The discussion will focus on concrete steps to eliminate bias from business development, client relationship management and procurement.

Course Planner
  • Naomi K. McLaurin
  • Albert S. Dandridge III
  • Mary F. Platt
  • Sophia Lee
  • Gina Furia Rubel (moderator)

"It's 10:00 At Night: Do You Know Where Your Cell Phone Is?" - Mobile Devices and Your Ethical and Legal Obligations

(Presented by the Professional Responsibility Committee)

In this age of modern technology and the increasing use of mobile devices from iPhones to iPads, data breaches are becoming more likely, if not inevitable. Hackers, thieves and your own employees create huge risks of liability for breached data. Lawyers must be able to navigate the ethical minefield of competently protecting their clients' data. Moreover, lawyers must be mindful of other privacy obligations imposed by federal and state law, like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Mobile communications are faster and easier than ever, and clients love it, but what are the risks to our clients? Where are the ethical pitfalls for lawyers? What does HIPAA require? Are you a "business associate" under HIPAA? What are the practical steps needed to protect your client, and yourself?

The topics to be covered among others include fundamental ethics requirements; fundamental HIPAA requirements; engagement letters; and practical steps to protect both client information and protected health information.

  • Diana K. Ashton
  • W. Bourne Ruthrauff
  • Jenna K. Shedd
  • Lawrence J. Tabas

Custody at the Extremes - From Unweened Infants to Unruly Teens

(Presented by the Family Law Section)

There is no one-size-fits-all or "standard" custody schedule that can be used as a default in family matters. The child development process requires consideration in formulating custody schedules that meet the needs of children at the proper stages of development. Whether considering attachment theory for infants or navigating teenage years, there are many options available to family lawyers and judges to ensure that a schedule properly fits the needs of a child. Our expert panel will explore schedules suited for children at various development stages.

Course Planners
  • Julia Swain
  • Mark A. Momjian
  • Hon. Holly J. Ford, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Family Court Division
  • Gerald Cooke, Ph.D.
  • David N. Hofstein (moderator)
  • Jacqueline Vergara

Break - Visit with our Sponsors

  • 10:45 - 11 a.m.

Four Concurrent CLE Programs

So You Want to Be a Judge

(Presented by the Election Procedures Committee)

This one-hour session will address the process involved in running for judicial office in Philadelphia. The panel will cover the role in the electoral process that the Philadelphia Bar Association's Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention plays, including the application process, the candidate interview and the candidate's appearance before the Commission; election law, specifically, challenges to nominating petitions and some of the practical problems that arise in petition contests, along with a discussion of recent Pennsylvania case law dealing with election law; election law as it relates to judicial retention; and changes to the ratings system employed by the Judicial Commission.

Course Planner/Moderator
  • A. Harold Datz
  • William P. Fedullo, Chancellor, Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Prof. Louis S. Rulli
  • Denise J. Smyler
  • Sharon L. Suleta

Medicare Liens and Set-Asides and Workers' Compensation Liens

(Presented by the Workers' Compensation Section)

A plain talk primer designed to dispel myths, and to provide accurate information needed by liability attorneys as to what Medicare wants, what they can get, and what you have to do to make sure that your settlement isn't derailed by a demand for a Medicare Set-Aside. The presentation will also discuss workers' compensation liens and the optimum ways to resolve both the workers' compensation case and the liability case, avoiding damage to either case.

Course Planner
  • Wendy A. Fleming
  • Hon. Geoffrey W. Dlin (ret.)
  • Hon. A. Michael Snyder (ret.)
  • Patrick W. Kenny
  • Amber M. Racine

Effective Immigration Practice for Solo and Small Firms

(Presented by the Immigration Law Committee)

Immigration issues cross all genres of law. Our expert panelists, which consist of practitioners in family law, employment law and criminal law, will help attendees discover how to spot and handle immigration issues and when to solicit the help of an immigration law practitioner, while exploring the many state and local immigration laws and policies.

Course Planner
  • Desiree W. Wayne
  • Harriet R. Brumberg
  • Jessica Choi (moderator)
  • Lisa J. Jordan
  • Abel Rodriguez

Business Tax Issues for Law Firms in Philadelphia

(Presented by the Tax Section)

Expert tax and accounting practitioners will address the following issues: tips for effectively dealing with Philadelphia taxes; common tax issues for lawyers practicing in Philadelphia; what to do if you currently owe Philadelphia taxes; what to do if you are audited by the City of Philadelphia; tax considerations for solo and small firms; tax consequences of your choice of entity; and new collection tactics of the City of Philadelphia Department of Revenue.

Course Planner
  • Nikki Johnson-Huston
  • A.J. Moore
  • Stewart M. Weintraub

Closing Luncheon and State of the Courts Presentation

  • 12:15 p.m.
  • Ballroom BC
  • 1 Substantive CLE Credit

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

  • Hon. Ronald D. Castille, Chief Justice, Pennsylvania Supreme Court
  • Hon. Susan Peikes Gantman, President Judge, Pennsylvania Superior Court
  • Hon. Dante R. Pellegrini, President Judge, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court
  • Hon. Sheila A. Woods-Skipper, President Judge, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
  • Hon. Marsha H. Neifield, President Judge, Philadelphia Municipal Court

Come down early to 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 iPad mini!

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