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PBA News & Information

Take Action Now to Defeat a Sales Tax on Legal Services
The Pennsylvania Senate may soon vote on bill to eliminate school property taxes by raising various taxes, including a sales tax on most legal services. The PBA has continued to lobby directly against this legislation and is part of a coalition of organizations taking collective action as well. Please contact your state senator now to help defeat legislation that would harm you and your clients. Click on the Legislative Action Center at left for all the tools you need! 

PBA President Austin Issues Statement Applauding Language Access Plan of Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania
PBA President Sara A. Austin has issued a statement applauding the adoption by the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania of a comprehensive plan to improve access to justice for those with limited English proficiency and those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Read the PBA’s media release.

PBA President Austin Issues Statement Opposing Elimination of Legal Services Funding
Read PBA President Sara A. Austin’s statement regarding President Trump’s proposed budget that would eliminate funding for the Legal Services Corp. Austin recently joined the executive director of MidPenn Legal Services to discuss the importance of legal services funding for Pennsylvania residents for the York Daily Record

PBA Seeks Candidates for Pennsylvania Delegation to ABA House of Delegates
The PBA is seeking candidates to fill three open seats on the Pennsylvania delegation to the ABA House of Delegates. Letters of interest and accompanying materials are due March 31. Get more information.

Greensburg Salem High Team Wins 2017 Statewide Mock Trial Championship
A team representing Greensburg Salem High School of Westmoreland County has won the 2017 PBA Statewide High School Mock Trial Competition, taking the honors in the finals contest in Harrisburg on March 25. Read the news release on the Greensburg Salem High team, judged the best among nearly 300 teams competing this year. The team now goes on to represent Pennsylvania in the national mock trial finals in Hartford, Conn., May 11-13. Watch the state competition final round on the Pennsylvania Cable Network on April 1 at 7 p.m., April 2 at 2 p.m. and April 6 at 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by the PBA Young Lawyers Division and supported by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the competition is one of the largest in the nation. Read more about it.

PBA Forms Medical Marijuana and Hemp Law Committee
PBA President Sara A. Austin has called for the creation of the PBA Medical Marijuana and Hemp Law Committee. The committee will follow developments in the field of medical-cannabis and hemp law and provide a forum for members to share their knowledge and experience. The committee is also charged with monitoring legislative developments and making recommendations concerning relevant legislation and regulations. Read the news releaseGet more information.

The Award Goes to ...
Marisa K. McClellan, solicitor for Dauphin County Social Services for Children and Youth, to receive the Children’s Rights Committee’s Child Advocate of the Year Award during the committee’s spring training program, March 31 in Mechanicsburg. Read the media release. Get more information on the program.

The following receiving awards during PBA Committee/Section Day, March 23, in Harrisburg: Ernest N. Helling, assistant chief counsel, Governor’s Office of General Counsel, Pennsylvania Department of Education, James S. Bowman Award from the Administrative Law Section, read the news release; Bennett G. Picker of Philadelphia, Sir Francis Bacon Alternative Dispute Resolution Award, read the news release.

The following recognized by the organizers of Wills for Heroes with the PBA Verdina Y. Showell Award for their dedication and years of service to the program: Julianne Cutruzzula Beil and Amy Rees, Allegheny County; Jodi Dyan Oley and Courtney Wiggins, Chester County; and Crystal M. Fritsch, Montgomery County. Read the media release.

Mark A. Tarasiewicz, executive director of the Philadelphia Bar Association, receiving the 20th annual Arthur J. Birdsall Award; Collen M. Neary of Media, receiving the Chief Justice John P. Flaherty Award; David S. Posner of Washington, Pa., receiving the Gilbert Nurick Award; and 23 county bar associations from across the commonwealth receiving County Bar Recognition Awards during the Annual Seminar of the Conference of County Bar Leaders, Feb. 23-25, in State College. Read the news releases.

Seeking Nominations for the ...

   2017 David M. Rosenblum GLBT Public Policy Award: Presented by the PBA GLBT Rights Committee. Get more information. Nomination deadline: March 31.
   Young Lawyers Division Michael K. Smith Excellence in Service and Liberty Bell Awards: Read the awards criteria. Smith Award nomination form deadline and Liberty Bell Award nomination form deadline: March 31.

IP Law Section Law Student Writing Contest

The PBA Intellectual Property Law Section is offering $500 to the law-student winner of the section's 2017 writing contest. The winning entry will be published in the section newsletter and on the section page of the PBA website. Get more information, including a link to the contest guidelines. Entry deadline: April 14.


Civil Litigation Section Trial Minicamp
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice 
Sallie Updyke Mundy and Justice Debra McCloskey Todd are among the featured speakers at the Civil Litigation Section’s first Trial Minicamp, 3.5-credit CLE sessions offering tips on opening statements, direct- and cross-examination and closing arguments. Sessions are scheduled in Erie, March 30, and Greensburg, April 6. Each session will feature a Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice and a mix of seasoned trial lawyers. For more information and online registration, go to the event date via the EVENTS CALENDAR link at upper right.

Other Meetings and Events
For more on these and other PBA gatherings, in some cases including online registration, go to the event date via the EVENTS CALENDAR link at upper right.

   Current Issues for Child Advocates: Mechanicsburg, March 31Get more information.

   Avoiding Legal Malpractice Seminars: Get the current list and instructions for registering online for seminars beginning April 3.

   Environmental Law Forum: Hilton Harrisburg, April 5-6. Get more information and register online.

    2017 Third Circuit Judicial Conference: Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, April 19. Get more information

   Civil Litigation Section Regional Dinner: Loews Philadelphia Hotel, April 20. Get more information and register online.


Hotel Reservations Now Being Accepted for PBA Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, May 10-12
Make hotel reservations online or by contacting the Omni William Penn Hotel at 800-THE-OMNI (843-6664). Indicate you are attending the PBA Annual Meeting and make your reservation before April 17 to qualify for the group rate of $165 single or double occupancy per night, plus taxes.

Featured Member Benefits
  Casemaker Tip: Get the latest tips on navigating and getting the best value from Casemaker, offering free legal research as a PBA member benefits.
  Lenovo: Spring savings are budding at Lenovo with up to 34 percent off PCs! Enjoy month-long instant savings on popular laptops, desktops, tablets and more. Visit www.lenovo.com/statebar or call 800-426-7235, ext. 3577.
 Office Depot: PBA members save 10 percent off the web price on more than 30,000 office supplies through the Office Depot Partner Program, helping you to save while working better in your office, home or car. Click here to set up your discount account or to begin shopping and saving online or in stores today.
  Free Section Membership: Test-drive PBA section membership for one free year! Members joining a section for the first time or who have not belonged to the selected section for at least five years are eligible. Register online or call PBA Member Services at 800-932-0311. Get more information on PBA sections.
  USI Affinity: Insurance Tip of the Month: Should you report a potential claim, even if you feel it is unjustified? Absolutely! Your insurer may be able to offer advice that can remedy the situation, enabling you to avoid the prospect of having a claim filed against you. Now offering a risk-management policy enhancement for CNA policyholders in Pennsylvania. Learn more.

Publications Online

Click here for the current, public e-dition of The Pennsylvania Lawyer magazine. Click on the following for recent PBA publications available for a limited time to non-members, illustrating the benefits of membership in the PBA and in these committees, sections and other groupsCivil Litigation Section; Federal Practice CommitteeIntellectual Property Section; Labor and Employment Law SectionReal Property, Probate and Trust Law Section; Shale Energy Law CommitteeSolo and Small Firm Practice Section and Young Lawyers DivisionAlso availableThe County Line” newsletter.

Not a PBA Member?
Lawyer non-members: Review the benefits of membership and join the PBA now. Members of the media: Connect to the Media Center. For the public: Consumer information.

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