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PBA News & Information

PBA Priority and Initiative SB 844 Passes Senate; Headed to Gov. Wolf for Signature
On April 18, the Pa. Senate concurred in the House’s amendments to Senate Bill 844, a PBA priority and initiative. The bill will establish criteria for third-party standing in custody matters to expand legal and physical custody standing where no parents have any form of care and control of a child. The bill also amends a partial physical custody standing provision for grandparents. SB 844 is especially significant in light of the current opioid epidemic as grandparents and other third parties assume caregiver roles for children. The bill will next head to Gov. Wolf for his signature.

Register Now for the PBA Annual Meeting, May 9-11 in Hershey
There is no general meeting registration fee; you pay only for the professional development programs and meal functions you wish to attend. The Commission on Women in the Profession Annual Conference, “Empowering Women,” will take place on May 9. Download the event brochure, including registration form, or register online. Registration to participate in Committee/Section Day meetings by conference call is also available. The registration deadline is May 2. Contact the Hershey Lodge at 800-437-7439 for hotel room availability. 

PBA President López to Deliver Dickinson Law Commencement Address
PBA President Sharon R. López will give the Penn State Dickinson Law commencement address on May 12. Read the announcement.

Lawyer Profiles, Self-Driving Vehicles and More in the Next PBA-Member Magazine
The feature-article lineup in the next issue of The Pennsylvania Lawyer magazine includes member-written articles on how self-driving vehicles will change the insurance and litigation industries, eliminating assumptions that inhibit workplace equality and understanding school disciplinary procedures involving students with disabilities. Also in the issue: our profile of incoming PBA President Charles Eppolito by PBA Senior Publications Editor Nancy H. Wilkes; “The Right Temperament for Turbulent Times: A profile of Duane Morris Chairman Emeritus John J. Soroko”; and our readers’ favorite columns, from “Effective Lawyer” to “War Stories” and “To Wit.” Watch for the May/June issue of the magazine, in the mail the week of April 22.

Saylor Appeals for Pro Bono Service
Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Thomas G. Saylor has appealed to all Pennsylvania lawyers to provide pro bono service through direct representation or financial contributions. Saylor praised the model partnership promoted by the PBA of legal aid programs working with local bars to facilitate pro bono public service. Read the letter. Learn about the PBA pro bono program.

Disciplinary Board Announces Diversity Data Question
The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has announced the addition of a voluntary question on the 2018-19 annual attorney registration form to collect gender, racial and ethnic demographic information. The data will establish a demographic baseline and track demographic changes to help identify and eliminate barriers to fairness within the court system and the legal profession. Read the announcement
  The PBA has long supported the collection of diversity data. A re
solution by the PBA Diversity Team, Commission on Women in the Profession, Minority Bar Committee, and Civil and Equal Rights Committee calling on the PBA to request that the court and the Disciplinary Board include a diversity question was approved by the PBA House of Delegates in November 2013.

Supreme Court Advisory-Group Vacancies, Applications 
For information on the latest vacancies on advisory groups of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, go to the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania website.

Seeking Nominations and Applications for the ...

  • Excellence in Elder Law Award: presented by the Elder Law Section. Download the nomination form. Nomination deadline: May 1.
  • Bar Leadership Institute Class of 2018-19: The PBA is seeking applicants for the Bar Leadership Institute for the 2018-19 bar year. Ten individuals will be selected for the class. Criteria include demonstration of leadership ability, the time commitment to the seven-month program and being age 40 or younger or having practiced five years or less. PBA membership is required but prior active participation in the PBA is not. Get details and application materials; application deadline: May 4. Watch this video to learn more about the BLI and other PBA programs for young lawyers.

    And the Award Goes to ...

    • Pittsburgh lawyer Robert A. Creo to receive the Sir Francis Bacon Alternative Dispute Resolution Award from the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, May 10 at the PBA Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon in Hershey. Read the news release.
    • Philadelphia lawyer Lawrence S. Felzer to receive the 2018 David M. Rosenblum GLBT Public Policy Award from the GLBT Rights Committee. Felzer will receive the award during a May 10 joint reception of the Civil and Equal Rights, GLBT Rights, Minority Bar and Senior Lawyers Committees; Solo and Small Firm Section and Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, which will take place during the PBA Annual Meeting in Hershey. Read the news release.
    • Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Anne E. Lazarus to receive the Anne X. Alpern Award and Philadelphia attorney Jennifer M. McHugh, to receive the Lynette Norton Award, both to be presented by the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession (WIP) during the group’s 25th Annual Conference on May 9. Also during the conference, the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP will receive the WIP Award for the Promotion of Women in the Law. Read the news releases. More information, including registration form, included in the PBA Annual Meeting brochure.
    • Delaware County Judge Nathaniel C. Nichols named Child Advocate of the Year by the Children's Rights Committee. Nichols will receive the award during the committee’s spring training program, April 20 at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute in Mechanicsburg. Read the news release.
    • Richard H. Friedman of Dauphin County receiving the Environmental and Energy Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award during the Environmental Law Forum, April 11 and 12 in Harrisburg. Read the news release.

    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.

    • Avoiding Legal Malpractice Seminars: Get the current list and instructions for registering online for seminars beginning April 3.
    • Peace Institute, presented by the Collaborative Law Committee: Philadelphia, May 3-5. Download the event brochure.
    • PBA Annual Meeting: Hershey, May 9-11. Download the event brochure, including registration form, or register online. Registration to participate by conference call is also available.
    • Commission on Women in the Profession Annual Conference, "Empowering Women": Hershey, May 9. Download the event brochure and registration form. 
    • PBA Committee/Section Day, part of the PBA Annual Meeting, Hershey, May 10. Download the event brochure, including registration form, or register online. Registration to participate by conference call is also available.
    • Meet & Greet Reception on Issues Facing Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) with Lee Murphy, Environmental Group Manager, Bureau of Clean Water, Pennsylvania DEP, sponsored by the Environmental and Energy Law Section: Harrisburg, May 17. Get more information and register online.
    • Civil Litigation Section Regional Dinner with guest speaker Judge Thomas Michael Hardiman of the  U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit: Pittsburgh, May 22. Get more information and register online.

    Featured Member Benefits

    • Announcing the New PBA Visa® Card: Get more information (member login required).
    • Casemaker: Get the latest tips on navigating and getting the best value from Casemaker, free legal research for PBA members.
    • Clio is the world's leading cloud-based legal practice management software. Read their latest tips and insights for lawyers (member login required.)
    • FedEx: PBA Members, take full advantage of your membership with the FedEx Advantage discount program. It's simple to enroll and there's no cost and no minimum shipping requirements. Get more information (member login required).
    • Kaplan Bar Review: Ready to start preparing for the bar exam? Ready to start preparing for a future exam? Save $100 on the Kaplan Bar Review's Live Kaplan Course (includes Live-in-Class and Live-at-Home). This exclusive PBA discount applies to any new enrollments for any jurisdiction. Get more information (member login required).
    • Lenovo: Enjoy savings on select PCs and accessories throughout the month. Click here 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. 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 orcall PBA Member Services at 800-932-0311. Get more information on PBA sections.
    • USI Affinity now offers pet insurance for PBA members. Learn more about the coverage and get a quote. USI Insurance Tip: 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 on the following for recent PBA publications available for a limited time to nonmembers, illustrating the benefits of membership in the PBA and its committees, sections and other groups: Administrative Law SectionFamily Law SectionReal Property, Probate and Trust Law Section and Young Lawyers Division

    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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