Antheil Maslow & MacMinn is pleased to announce that Christopher D. Wagner has joined our Business Law Practice Group as an associate with the firm. Chris Wagner has over twelve years of accounting and financial experience in a variety of industries including e-commerce, real estate, healthcare, and insurance, and as such, he is well positioned to offer valuable and cost-effective legal advice and practical solutions to his clients. Mr. Wagner’s practice focuses in business and corporate matters including: Mergers & Acquisitions, Contract Review, Buy-Sell Agreements , Formation & Entity Selection, Corporate Governance, Business Divorce, Operating Agreements, Commercial Real Estate Leasing, Acquisitions and Sales, Commercial Finance Negotiation & Documentation, Restrictive Covenant Agreements and other employment-related documents.
Blue Bell, PA – Zachary A. Sivertsen, Esq., as a member of the Montgomery Bar Association’s Leadership Academy, helped to organize and run the inaugural Montgomery Bar Association Reentry Day on June 28, 2019. The program consisted of various clinics and informational resources related to the needs of those reentering the community following incarceration and presentations by Montgomery County social service agencies seeking to address the diverse needs of Montgomery County residents.
Mr. Sivertsen practices land use and zoning, real estate, litigation, construction, and municipal law at Eastburn and Gray. He has appeared on behalf of clients before zoning hearing boards and municipal governing bodies in land development matters, zoning appeals, and applications for zoning variances. Mr. Sivertsen has represented municipalities in litigation matters, drafted municipal ordinances, filed and responded to right-to-know requests, and worked with local historic architectural review bodies. He has litigated matters on behalf of private and municipal clients before the courts of common pleas, magisterial district courts, Commonwealth Court, as well as the United States Bankruptcy Court.
The tradition of excellence at the law firm of Eastburn and Gray, P.C. began more than 140 years ago and continues today. With law offices in Doylestown, Bucks County and Blue Bell, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, our experienced attorneys provide high quality legal services throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. As a full service firm, Eastburn and Gray attorneys practice in diverse areas of the law, effectively meeting the needs of the firm’s clients.
Penglase & Benson, Inc. is pleased to welcome Amir Stark as an associate with the firm’s family practice group. Mr. Stark will focus his practice on high conflict domestic relations litigation including: divorce, custody, child support, spousal support, alimony, equitable distribution, annulment, dependency, termination of parental rights, adoption, name change, protection from abuse and other related matters.
Mr. Stark comes to the firm as a seasoned litigator having previously practiced complex, commercial and class action litigation for over a dozen years. He has also been recognized for his outstanding generosity and dedication in the pro bono community for representing victims of domestic abuse in Bucks County PFA Court.
Mr. Stark attended the University of Utah where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy. Following a short career as a PSIA ski instructor with the prestigious Deer Valley Ski School, Mr. Stark earned his Juris Doctor degree from Widener University School of Law. While at Widener, Mr. Stark was selected to be a student attorney in the Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Law Clinic program representing indigent clients as their court appointed criminal defense counsel. He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well as before the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Federal District of New Jersey and the United States Tax Court.
NOTICE TO THE BAR REGARDING NEW CIVIL CASE MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES
Some of you have already received computer generated Case Intervention Orders noting that your case has been pending for a period of 12 months and that the parties are to file with the Prothonotary an Agreed Case Management Order. The parties are warned that if the case is not settled, or a Case Management Order issued by agreement within 7 months, a formal Case Management Order will be issued by the Court sua sponte. With the cooperation of the Prothonotary’s Office, these Orders will be issued monthly on all cases which were filed after June 1, 2018.
The Court will continue to issue Orders requiring Case Management Orders on older cases, but we are migrating to a system which will be more automated. Bucks County’s Court system has always cooperated with trial counsel as far as case management, but the Supreme Court has mandated more oversight by the Court to ensure cases are moving forward at reasonable speed. Practitioners are reminded that any single party has the ability to fast track any and all civil cases by simply utilizing local rules that have been in effect longer than any current practitioner has been litigating cases in Bucks County. Under Local Rule *261 (which was last amended in 1988) any party has the ability to certify the case as ready for trial by simply serving notice on the other party, that they have completed all discovery and the other party is required to complete discovery within 60 days of their notice of intent to certify the case. Historically, once a case is certified as ready for trial, the case is listed on a two week trial term approximately 6-8 weeks following counsel’s certification that the matter is ready for trial. I have personally presided over a jury trial where the controversy occurred in February, a lawsuit was filed a month or two later, and the jury heard the case in November.
Bucks County continues to have cases on the docket which are many years old, and which need to be identified and pushed forward. We have implemented a system which will automatically push all cases forward but still allow the attorneys to control the case management, if they are proactive.
Three new Local Rules went into effect on July 8, 2019, formalizing case management and the responsibility of attorneys and unrepresented parties. Copies of Rules *212.7, *212.8 and *241 are attached to this memo for your review. Counsel should note the requirement of keeping the docket updated with respect to contact information.
Going forward, on all Civil Cases which have remained on the docket for one year, the parties will receive a computer generated Case Intervention Order directing the parties to file, with the Prothonotary, an Agreed Case Management Order. If the parties fail to do that a Case Management Order will be issued by the Court without any guidance from the parties. A copy of that Case Management Order is attached for your review.
The Local Rules and this current system for Case Management was created with the help and input from the Bucks County Bar Association’s Civil Litigation Section. Please note that Local Rule 261 remains in effect and can be used by any party to push a case forward faster than the timelines implemented by the computer generated process. Furthermore, parties can, by cooperation, enter into Case Management Orders which will slow down the litigation.
In summary, we are trying to implement a system which allows proactive attorneys complete control of the litigation, but which will also shepherd the matters forward where the parties are not being proactive.
I want to thank the Bucks County Civil Litigation Section for its input, guidance and support. I also want to thank our Court Administrator Stephen Heckman and Senior Legal Review Officer Stephen Watson for their hard work in putting this together. This system could not occur without the support and assistance of our Prothonotary Judith Reiss. Finally, I would like to publicly thank my Judicial Administrative Assistant, Elizabeth Schecter, who along with Stephen Watson continue to manage and oversee our ongoing efforts to identify and bring to trial cases which have been pending years prior to June 1, 2018.
The Honorable Robert O. Baldi
Administrative Judge of Civil Court
Bucks County Court of Common Pleas
New Procedure for Postponement of Sheriff’s Sales
In an effort to streamline and standardize procedures for obtaining continuance/postponement of a scheduled Sheriff’s sale, beginning July 12, 2019, the Court is adopting a new protocol for handling such requests.
The procedure will be as follows:
Uncontested Motions for Continuance
Uncontested motions for continuance that are NOT time-sensitive may be filed at any time. Such motions will be processed by Court Administration, Law and Research, and forwarded to the Court in the usual course. An order on such motions will ordinarily be entered 7-10 days from the date of filing.
More time-sensitive uncontested motions may be filed on Monday through Thursday of the week of Sheriff’s sales and walked by counsel to the Office of the Court Administrator, 2nd Floor, Bucks County Justice Center. Court Administration, Law and Research, will process the motion and at that time counsel will be permitted to proceed to the chambers of the assigned Sheriff’s sale judge for execution of the order.
Uncontested motions filed on the Friday morning of Sheriff’s sales must be walked by counsel to the Office of the Court Administrator. Court Administration, Law and Research, will process the motion and send counsel to a pre-assigned courtroom, where the Sheriff’s sale judge will be available to sign the order at 9 a.m.
Contested Motions for Continuance
Contested motions for continuance should be filed the Friday morning of Sheriff’s sales and walked to the Office of the Court Administrator no later than 8:30 a.m. Court Administration, Law and Research, will process the motion and prepare docket entries for the case as necessary. Counsel/parties will then be sent to a pre-assigned courtroom, where the Sheriff’s sale judge will hear contested motions beginning at 9:00 a.m. Moving counsel/parties will be expected to provide information to the Court regarding the time and manner in which notice of the filing and presentation of the motion was provided to any opposing party. Failure to provide proof of such notice may be grounds for denial of the motion.
No telephone conferences will be permitted.
Motions Filed After Sheriff’s Sale Hearings Have Concluded
Any motion filed after completion of contested hearings on the Friday morning of Sheriff’s sales but before commencement of the Sheriff’s sale at 11 a.m. will be directed to the chambers of the Sheriff’s sale judge for consideration.
The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. (PLAN) seeks a visionary, strategic, and collaborative attorney to serve as its next Executive Director.
Founded in 1973, PLAN is a client-centered nonprofit organization established to improve the availability and quality of civil legal aid for low income people and victims of domestic violence in Pennsylvania. PLAN provides leadership, technical assistance, training, and support to nine regional legal aid programs, serving eligible clients in every county, and six specialized legal aid programs, providing legal services in specialized areas of the law or to special groups of eligible clients. PLAN also administers funding from a variety of sources to help fund legal services groups across the state. The Executive Director is based in Harrisburg.
About the Executive Director position:
PLAN’s Executive Director is responsible for:
- Visionary, strategic, collaborative leadership to accomplish PLAN’s mission to improve the availability and quality of civil legal aid for low income people and victims of domestic violence
- Knowledgeable advocacy and lobbying on behalf of low income clients and communities, and PLAN network organizations, in the legislature, in the media, and elsewhere as appropriate
- Establishment of effective systems for the delivery of high quality legal services, and grantee financial and programmatic accountability
- Successful management of the $31 million PLAN network in accordance with the policies and programmatic decisions of the PLAN Board of Directors and the requirements of funders
- Ensuring PLAN’s fiscal integrity and growing the support to the network
- Ensuring that client voices are heard and incorporated at all levels
- Modeling culturally competent leadership and strengthening the commitment to hiring, recruiting, and retaining diverse staff in inclusive and equitable work environments throughout Pennsylvania
- Liaising with the State Bar of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Pennsylvania IOLTA Board, state and national access to justice entities, and philanthropic organizations such as the American Bar Association IOLTA Commission, National Association of IOLTA Programs, National Legal Aid and Defender Association, Legal Services Corporation, and other relevant entities as appropriate
Qualifications of the Executive Director:
- Juris Doctor degree and admission to the Pennsylvania Bar, or the ability to obtain admission following employment
- Broad and deep public interest legal experience across a range of issues
- Demonstrated understanding of legislative and executive-level public policy issues and processes
- Demonstrated skills as an effective relationship builder and collaborator in networks such as agencies, judiciary, elected officials, grantee, local bars, social services, present and potential funders, the public at large, and client communities
- Significant meaningful experience in management necessary to direct PLAN’s operations, manage staff, and oversee large budgets, with legal aid or nonprofit experience preferred
- Experience working productively with a highly engaged board of directors
- Knowledge of nonprofit budgeting, financial functions, grant dispersal processes, and compliance
- A track record of fundraising success
- Ability to manage wide-ranging responsibilities and to assist others in managing their responsibilities in a demanding environment
- Outstanding communication skills orally and in writing with a range of audiences and stakeholders
- Experience working effectively with multiple organizations and individuals with diverse perspectives
- Experience with relevant technology and its application to effective communication and efficient delivery of services
- Ability to bring vision, integrity, courage, intelligence, creativity, energy, humor, and compassion to the challenges of this demanding position
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. To receive full consideration, candidates are urged to submit their application by August 12, 2019. Please submit a letter expressing your interest in the position, your qualifications, and what you hope to contribute to the organization’s future. Please include a résumé and the names and contact information for three professional references. Applications will be held in confidence during the initial stages of the process.
Materials should be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org in Microsoft Word or pdf format.
PLAN offers a competitive salary depending on experience and excellent benefits. PLAN is an Affirmative Action Employer.
PLAN is assisted in the search by Patricia Pap, Executive Director, Management Information Exchange, 105 Chauncy St., Fl 6, Ste 3, Boston, MA 02111, 508-737-4010, email@example.com. Candidates with questions about the position or process are encouraged to contact her.
About Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc.:
The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. (PLAN) helps make possible the delivery of free legal services to low-income Pennsylvanians by providing strategic leadership and coordination for the nine independent, regional legal aid programs and six specialized legal aid programs that together comprise the Network.
PLAN’s vision is of equal access to justice for those who have nowhere else to turn, where every low-income individual and family in Pennsylvania will have access to the full range of civil legal services and legal remedies. It believes in a coordinated and compassionate, client-centered legal aid delivery system offering a continuum of critically needed legal information, legal advice, and legal services through direct representation on problems affecting basic needs such as food, shelter, employment, consumer issues, health care, and family safety.
PLAN administers funding from major government sources to the legal aid programs of the network. This funding includes state appropriations of state and federal funds (generally, the state appropriation, the Disability Advocacy Program funding, and the Social Services Block Grant funds), funding of the Pennsylvania IOLTA Board (generally, IOLTA revenues and filing fee revenues), and other special funds that may arise from time to time (e.g., NeighborWorks funds, stimulus funds, and Department of Community and Economic Development funds). PLAN does not administer or receive funding from the Legal Services Corporation but works closely with this major federal funder. PLAN also receives occasional special grants from foundations and other donors to support the work of PLAN and to support the PLAN programs.
In addition to its role as an overseer of funding for the PLAN programs and administering that funding, PLAN also offers some direct programs and services. It administers the Martin Luther King, Jr. Internship and Fellowship programs, helping to promote diversity by paying law students and by paying one-half the cost of law graduates to be placed at PLAN programs. Also, PLAN provides a large range of training for staff of PLAN programs, other public interest lawyers, and pro bono lawyers, including an annual statewide conference. PLAN hosts and keeps current, statewide palawhelp.org and paprobono.net websites. PLAN assists programs with resource development and communications. PLAN hosts an annual Excellence Award banquet to celebrate the excellence of legal aid staff and those who support access to justice.
PLAN administers $31 million – $29 million of which is distributed through the PLAN network, and $2 million of which is its internal budget.
PLAN is a nonprofit organization with an active and engaged board of directors comprised of low-income clients, lawyers appointed by the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and other members. Each of the PLAN’s member legal aid programs has an independent board of directors that sets service priorities.
For more information about PLAN, visit: https://palegalaid.net/
Notice from the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas
All Members of the Bar:
Discovery motions court will not be held on Friday, July 26, 2019, or Friday, September 27, 2019.
No alternative discovery motions court sessions will be held during the weeks of July 22-26, 2019, and September 23-27, 2019.
Stephen G. Heckman, Esquire
Doylestown, PA – Jeffrey M. Williams, founder and managing partner of Williams Family Law, P.C., has been selected to chair the nominating committee for the 2019-20 Board of Managers of for the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML)’s Pennsylvania chapter. The slate of officers will be presented at the chapter’s annual meeting, July 11-12, 2019 at the Loews Portofino Bay in Orlando, Fla.
The AAML was founded in Chicago in 1962 to “provide leadership that promotes the highest degree of professionalism and excellence in the practice of family law,” according to the organization. Members collaborate with lawyers, legislators, judges, agencies, and professionals to improve the standards and processes of resolving conflicts involving child support, divorce, custody, and juvenile matters. Membership in AAML requires significant experience in family law practice and is a highly selective process.
Williams is immediate past president of the AAML PA. He concentrates his practice on domestic relations, primarily handling complex divorces, high-income alimony/spousal support, complex child support, and high-conflict child custody cases. As the legal representative for a non-birth mother, Williams successfully litigated one of the first significant same-sex child custody cases in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. While serving as the Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section, Williams played an instrumental role in a 10-year-long effort to improve and implement new child custody laws in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, whose membership is limited to 100 attorneys nationally.
New Britain, PA – Partner Andrew E. Faust of Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams was part of a panel presentation at the Lehigh University Special Education Law Symposium on Monday, June 24, 2019.
The session, entitled “You Be the Judge: ‘Dueling’ Attorneys,” presented a fictitious case about a student with ADHD who experienced deteriorating performance during his transition to ninth grade. The school psychologist and a private neuropsychologist reached different conclusions about his disability. Faust and another Special Education Law litigator shared their advice and views on the scenario, such as whether the district fulfilled its obligation and if the student was entitled to compensatory education. A ruling in the case was then determined by a hearing officer and participants of the workshop.
Faust is a widely recognized authority in the areas of special education, student services and child accounting, and student civil rights. He has represented school districts and intermediate units at every level of the federal and state judicial and administrative systems, lectured widely to audiences of educators and attorneys, and testified as an expert witness in court proceedings and before state and federal agencies.
The presentation is part of Lehigh University’s intensive one-week symposium held June 23-28, 2019. The event provides a practical analysis of legislation, regulations, and court decisions relating to the education of students with disabilities. The symposium featured 19 attorneys from 11 states and offered two parallel tracks: basic and advanced. The ‘Dueling Attorneys’ presentation was part of the advanced track.
Super Lawyers is a Thompson Reuters rating service of outstanding lawyers for more than 70 practice areas. To be rated as a Super Lawyer, attorneys must be nominated by his or her peer. The nominees are then selected by a research team at Thompson Reuters based upon factors such as professional achievement, verdicts and settlements, honors and awards, pro bono and community service efforts, and scholarly lectures and publications. Each year, no more than five per cent of the lawyers in Pennsylvania are selected to receive this honor. The Super Lawyers list is published in Philadelphia Magazine and nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines. Mr.
Brahin has been named a Super Lawyer for the third year in a row.