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2004 Spring Meeting Minutes

Tim Riley, president of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, discussed the mission and purpose of the foundation. He noted that as funds increase, more activity will take place and that law-related education and pro bono are among their primary concerns. Three scholarships have been established by the foundation based on need.

Norma Chase gave a presentation on common law marriage, noting that the Senate had voted 49-1 to abolish common law marriage. This now has been moved to the House Judiciary Committee. She explained that the PBA Workers Comp. Section had planned to present a resolution to the House of Delegates opposing efforts to abolish common law marriage; however, this was pulled from the HOD agenda. Bob Racunas noted that PBA was taking no position on the motion.

Liz Fritsch discussed the Pro Bono Conference which took place the day before this meeting. She noted that attendance could have been better and that there were approximately 35 people at the best attended program. She also noted that bar leadership was present at the conference as well as Senator Jay Costa and Judge William Mahon. David Keller Trevaskis stressed the need to reach out to private practice attorneys for future conferences.

Jim DeAngelo, chair of the Local Support Subcommittee, stated that a conference call was planned for some time in June to discuss and plan a meeting scheduled for the fall in Cambria County.

Dveera Segal, chair of the Law Schools subcommittee, was not available due to a death in the family but sent word that the subcommittee was continuing to survey law schools for information and that a full report would be presented at the next Committee/Section Day meeting.

Bob Racunas and Christine Kirby gave an update on the Development subcommittee. Bob noted that a new task force, the Task Force on Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Assistance, had been established and is being co-chaired by Lou Rulli, Sam Cooper and Maureen Kelly.

Christine Kirby reported on Cy Pres in Pennsylvania. She explained that while funding in Pennsylvania is good, it is not as good as in many other states.

Sam Cooper then discussed the new Task Force on Loan Forgiveness, explaining the various work groups and the missions of each.

David Trevaskis gave the Pro Bono Coordinator’s report.

Sam Milkes of Pennsylvania Legal Services discussed current activity with the Office of General Counsel. He noted that Leslie Miller has made it easier for government lawyers to do pro bono work using a virtual law clinic. Four new Web sites have been developed for clients. They are PALegalservices.org, PALawhelp, ProBono.net and HEMAP. He also noted that IOLTA funding is down, which affects funding for legal services organizations and law schools in Pennsylvania.