2020 Spring Bench Bar Conference Schedule

8:15 – 8:45 AM Registration & Breakfast & Vendor Expo                                                              

8:45 – 9:45 AM OPENING PLENARY: “Pennsylvania’s Political Odd Couple: Left, Right and Everywhere in Between” (1 SUB)   
Presenters: Alan Novak, Esq. and T.J. Rooney of Rooney Novak Isenhour Group


9:45 – 10:00 AM Break & Vendor Expo                                                        

10:00 – 11:00 AM “The Value of Diversity in the Legal Profession” (1 ETH)
Presenters: Skip Persick, Carolyn Mirabile, Danielle Ryan, Esqs.


10:00 – 11:00 AM Civil Law: “Representing Crime Victims in Civil Cases” (1 SUB)
Presenters: Basil Joy and Chad Maloney, Esqs.

The path to justice is a long and arduous one for crime victims. It starts with a traumatic event and can steer them through years of investigation, litigation and courtroom proceedings. While the criminal justice system sentences the perpetrator, it is often the civil justice system that helps the victim rebuild his or her life. In this presentation, former prosecutors Chad Maloney and Basil Joy discuss the process of helping victims traverse both the criminal and civil system, the attorney roles of being intermediary and advocate, and a roadmap to civil recovery for crime victim.

11:00 – 11:15 AM Break & Vendor Expo                                                        

11:15 – 12:15 PM “#Notyou2020: Sexual Harassment Investigations and Best Practices in the New Decade" (1 SUB)
Presenters: Susan Fiorentino and Randy Schauer, Esqs.

Sexual harassment investigations and best practices in the new decade. Wise up, or pay up – in both the modern business environment, and the courthouse.  With a discussion of the Chester County Women’s Commission’s #ChescoKnows and #ChescoActs Reports


11:15 – 12:15 PM Family Law: “SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act)” (1 SUB)               
Presenter: Donna Pironi, Tax and Forensic Accounting Solutions


12:15 – 12:30 PM Break & Vendor Expo                                                        

12:30 – 1:30 PM LUNCH PLENARY: “No One Makes it Out Unscathed: The Effects of Personal Trauma and Stress on Our Lives” (1 ETH)
Presenter: Brian Quinn, Esq., Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers

Attorneys and Judges hopefully recognize that like many other professionals, their lives are filled to the brim with stress. It’s important to be proactive in dealing with it. The consequences of shrugging it off can be catastrophic - not only for them but for their family, staff and friends.

And then there’s trauma. The ramifications of trauma aren’t discussed as frequently as those of stress and thus, for many attorneys, trauma is a topic in need of attention. Trauma can be secondary or vicarious. For example, it can be the cumulative effect of listening to a client or witness relay graphic stories and experiences, viewing gruesome photos in a criminal or family law matter, hearing traumatic testimony at trial. Trauma also results from a personal loss such as the death of a family member or a close friend. It’s important to recognize the signs of trauma in yourself as well as in your office staff, family and clients.

Hear from our experienced speaker as he shares his personal story of trauma related to the untimely death of his mentor, and learn how you can recognize the unhealthy and potentially life threatening shadow it can cast.

Recent studies have shown that there has been a dramatic increase in impairment due to alcoholism, addiction and mental health disorders among members of the legal profession. The statistics are compelling and clearly indicate that 1 out of 3 attorneys will likely have a need for substance use or mental health services at some point in their careers.

Mr. Quinn will discuss:

1. The early warning signs of impairment, with special emphasis on secondary trauma, depression and stress.

2. The free services that Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers provides to lawyers, judges, their family members and law students.

3.  A close look at what barriers exist that prevent lawyers and judges from seeking the help they need will be provided.

4. The role that education plays in breaking the stigma and fear associated with addiction and mental illness in the legal profession.

5. How best to approach the impaired individual


1:30 – 1:45 PM Break & Vendor Expo


1:45 – 2:45 PM “Effective Arbitration Advocacy: Important Considerations” (1 SUB)
Presenter: Judy Weintraub, Esq.

Important Considerations Arbitration can be a more cost-effective and expeditious alternative to litigation, if done properly. There are several key differences between arbitration and litigation. Understanding these differences and effective advocacy skills can make a critical difference in the quality of representation in arbitration. This course provides practitioners with tools and techniques for effectively representing their clients in arbitration. Topics include: • How arbitration differs from litigation • Assessing whether arbitration is advantageous • Knowing the rules that govern the arbitration process • Considerations for selecting arbitrators • Practical tips on preparing for and presenting at an arbitration


1:45 – 2:45 PM  Civil Law: “Legal Tech in Small and Medium Firms” (1 SUB)
Presenter: Duie Latta, Esq.

Opportunities to use technology to make legal work easier, more efficient, and to get better results for clients.  I would share some use cases examples from our firm.  Topics could include:

- Knowledge Bases  - create and organize legal knowledge, firm procedures, and “how to” info.  Standardize procedures and never answer the same question twice.

- Client-Facing Webforms – gather info from clients online with dynamic questionnaires.  Reduce time spent manually collecting info from clients.

- Document Management Systems – using a DMS to centralize and organize your firm’s documents

- eSignature software – get your documents signed more quickly and easily.  Onboard new clients faster.

- Online Scheduling – Cut down on phone tag and comparing calendars by giving clients an online portal to schedule or request appointments with you.

2:45 – 3:00 PM Break & Vendor Expo    

Moderator: Hon. John Hall, President Judge

4:00 – 5:00 PM Reception