All posts by Erin Hudson

Press Release: Judge Juan R. Sanchez becomes Chief Judge of the Eastern District

 

 

JUDGE JUAN R. SÁNCHEZ BECOMES CHIEF JUDGE

OF THE EASTERN DISTRICT

 

August 1, 2018                                                                       Kate Barkman, Clerk of Court Kate_Barkman@paed.uscourts.gov

 

PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Honorable Juan R. Sánchez became Chief Judge of the United States District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on August 1, 2018. Judge Sánchez has served as a federal judge for over fourteen years and follows the Honorable Lawrence F. Stengel as the 15th Chief Judge of this district. He is the first Hispanic to lead the Court in its 229-year history. One of thirteen original federal judicial districts created by the federal Judiciary Act of 1789, the Eastern District encompasses Philadelphia, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, and Northampton counties.

Former Chief Judge Lawrence F. Stengel stated,

 

Judge Juan Sánchez is a thoroughly good man who has served with distinction as a judge on this Court for over 14 years. He is hard working, reliable, honest, and true. Judge Sánchez built a reputation for dedication to justice and excellence in his work while on the Chester County Court of Common Pleas and that has continued. He has earned the respect and admiration of lawyers and judges here in the federal court. Judge Sánchez is already viewed as a leader among our colleagues. The work he has done with various projects as Chair of our Jury Committee has improved the experiences of our jurors and enhanced our jury trial process. He is cheerful, positive, and good to work with. Judge Sánchez is open to new and innovative ideas. I feel confident about the future of this great Court as he takes over as the Chief Judge.

 

Judge Sánchez’s colleague, Judge Paul S. Diamond of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania concurred. “Juan Sánchez will be a magnificent Chief Judge. His great intelligence, warmth, and devotion to this Court will benefit everyone on the Court and everyone who appears before it.” Magistrate Judge Timothy Rice added, “Chief Judge Sánchez is a model jurist committed to equal justice, fairness, and legal excellence. His tireless work ethic and compassion were forged during his journey from the South Bronx to the Ivy League and the bench. His story is truly an American Dream.”

Judge Sánchez was born in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico and moved to the Bronx, New York City at age 12. He graduated from the City College of the City University of New York and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Judge Sánchez began his legal career as a recipient of the distinguished Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship, through which he worked as a staff attorney with Legal Aid of Chester County, then spent fourteen years with the Chester County Public Defender’s Office.

Judge Sánchez served six years as a judge on the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, Pennsylvania, where he presided over criminal, civil, and juvenile matters before his appointment to the federal bench in 2004. In 2016, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. appointed Judge Sánchez to serve as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States’ Committee on Defender Services. In addition to hearing cases in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Judge Sánchez has regularly handled civil and criminal cases in the District of the Virgin Islands.

In 2003, Judge Sánchez was appointed by the President of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, the Honorable Paula Francisco Ott, to co-chair a special project committee to develop a curriculum on the importance of an independent judiciary. Judge Ott, now a Judge of the Pennsylvania Superior Court stated,

I can attest to his love of the law and commitment to promoting public confidence in and understanding of the judicial system. While we were colleagues on the Chester County bench, he started a successful business litigation mediation/arbitration program. He also volunteered to present the “Meet the Judges” program, a biannual event, and with his usual boundless energy, arranged for school students from all over the county to be brought to the courthouse. This was the largest turnout we had ever had, and he was recognized statewide for that program by the PA Trial Judges Association. I have no doubt that his work ethic, ability to spearhead innovative programs, enthusiasm, and collegiality will serve him well in his new position. To his colleagues on the Eastern District, I say “Hold on to your hats!”

Another former colleague from the Chester County Court of Common Pleas, President Judge Jacqueline Cody, stated,

I have known Judge Sanchez since the 1980s, when we were young attorneys in the District Attorney’s and Public Defender’s offices. As his courtroom adversary, I witnessed his consummate knowledge of the law and his commitment to excellence. But I was most impressed with his genuine understanding of the human spirit and how he remained kind and respectful, no matter how tough the courtroom fight might be. When we served together as judges on the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, I came to know him, not only as a model of judicial excellence, but also as a team player. His enthusiasm for reviewing protocols and procedures in an effort to improve the court system was impressive. He lit a spark for the rest of us to join him in going above and beyond the standards in serving the people of Chester County. I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Judge Sanchez on accepting the honor of serving as Chief Judge of the Eastern District and wish him continued success.

 

New Chief Judge Sánchez praised Judge Lawrence F. Stengel for his service as Chief Judge:

Chief Judge Stengel has left a great legacy for our Court to build upon in the next decade. His example as a jurist, leader, and most importantly, as a colleague and close personal friend will shine a light on the path I follow. He has contributed greatly, served honorably, and served with distinction. Chief Judge Stengel led our Court through a challenging transition period, which included the retirement of one Clerk of Court and the selection of our outstanding new Clerk of Court, Kate Barkman. Under Chief Judge Stengel’s leadership, our Court has enhanced the utilization of our Pro Se/Death Penalty program, taken initial steps toward modernizing the Clerk of Court’s Office workspace, and embarked on a new path toward a more inclusive vision of how we govern ourselves. These concrete achievements are giant steps toward improving our standing and leadership role in the Judiciary.

 

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania is headquartered at the James A. Byrne Courthouse in Philadelphia and has three divisional courthouses in Allentown, Reading, and Easton with a courthouse staff of over two-hundred employees. The Chief Judge oversees the administration of the district which includes the offices of the Clerk of Court, Probation, Pre-Trial Services, and Bankruptcy. The district has twenty-two active judgeships, eleven senior judges, as well as five bankruptcy judges, and eleven magistrate judges.

Press Release: Chief Judge Lawrence F. Stengel of the US District Court, Eastern District of PA, Annouces Retirement

Contact:  Kate Barkman

Telephone:  215-597-9221 

Website: www.paed.uscourts.gov

Email:kate_barkman@paed.uscourts.gov

 

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Chief Judge Lawrence F. Stengel has announced his retirement from the United States District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania effective August 31, 2018. Chief Judge Stengel has served as a federal judge for over fourteen years. He will enter private practice in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in September, 2018.

Chief Judge D. Brooks Smith of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals stated, I am looking for a ‘bright side’ to Chief Judge Larry Stengel’s decision to retire from the federal bench.  The only bright side that comes to mind is that the federal judiciary, and especially those of us in the courts of the Third Circuit, have benefited for so many years from the excellence of his judging and from his outstanding leadership skills.  He is a great friend and a valued colleague — and I’m very sorry to see him go.  Chief Judge Stengel has been a leader, not only on his court, but nationally.  His stewardship to the Third Branch has included his steady hand as chair of the Committee on Judicial Resources of the U.S. Judicial Conference, and his service as a member of the Third Circuit Judicial Council.  He has accomplished much, and he leaves with the deep gratitude and the sincere best wishes of the entire Third Circuit family.

James Duff, Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts added, Chief Judge Larry Stengel has been an exemplary leader in the Judicial Branch and will be greatly missed.  He possesses so many of the attributes we value and look for in our judges – fair, even-tempered, level-headed, insightful, careful, considerate, and wise – and he has utilized these traits not only on the bench locally but also on a national scale in the administration of the entire branch.  It has been a joy to work with him in his role as Chair of the Judicial Conference of the United States’ Committee on Judicial Resources and I am grateful for his friendship.

Judge Stengel graduated from St. Joseph’s University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Stengel began his practice at Dickie, McCamey and Chilcote in Pittsburgh and then opened a litigation practice in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, his hometown. Judge Stengel served for fourteen years as a judge on the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas before his appointment to the federal bench by President George W. Bush in 2004. In 2015, Chief Justice Roberts appointed Judge Stengel to be Chair of the Judicial Resources Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States.  The Judicial Resources Committee is a national committee that guides human resources policy for the federal judiciary. Chief Judge Stengel has served on the committee for 9 years. On June 21, 2018, Chief Judge Stengel represented the Judicial Conference as a witness before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property in a hearing on the need for more federal judges.

Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf, a federal judge sitting in the Eastern District of New York, will succeed Chief Judge Stengel as Chair of the Judicial Resources Committee. She stated,

Chief Judge Stengel has consistently demonstrated exemplary leadership in guiding the Judicial Resources Committee to take principled positions on the complex issues underlying the fair and equitable distribution of resources to our courts nationwide.  He approaches each issue with genuine care and a willingness to understand all aspects of a problem, and with an unfailing commitment to integrity in both the path taken and the results achieved.  In doing so, Chief Judge Stengel has done much to ensure that our courts have the resources they need to serve our communities, while earning the respect and admiration of all who have had the privilege of working with him.

While a Lancaster County judge, he was elected to the Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges and appointed to serve on the Education Committee of the Conference in 2001. In that capacity, he was the planner for courses on racial disparity in sentencing, evidence law and criminal law procedure. In 2002 he received the President’s Award from the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges. Judge Stengel has served as president of the Lancaster Bar Association and has been Adjunct Professor in the Government Department at Franklin and Marshall College since 1997.

Judge Stengel has been Chief Judge of the Eastern District since August 1, 2017. Since that time, the Court has undergone an extensive evolution of and implemented changes in its Information Technology, Human Resources and Pro Se Law Clerk functions. The Court has secured new space for its staff, chambers and courtrooms in the Reading, PA divisional office.

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania is headquartered at the James A. Byrne Courthouse in Philadelphia and has three divisional courthouses in Allentown, Reading and Easton with a courthouse staff of over two-hundred employees. The Chief Judge oversees the administration of the district which includes the offices of the Clerk of Court, Probation, Pre-Trial Services and Bankruptcy. The district has twenty-two active judgeships, twelve senior judges, as well as six bankruptcy, ten magistrate judges and three inactive senior judges, and is the third largest federal district court in the nation.  One of thirteen original federal judicial districts created by the federal judiciary act of 1789, the Eastern District encompasses Philadelphia, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties.

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Documentation for 2019 Bench Bar Conference in Washington D.C.

 

Please be on the look-out for information regarding the 2019 Bench Bar Conference in Washington D.C.

 

Instructions for Admission, June 10, 2019

A completed application consist of a typed first and second page of the application, a Certificate of Good Standing from the Supreme Court of the State where the attorney has been practicing for the past three years (only one is needed) and the $200.00 application fee.

Some items to keep in mind when submitting your application.

•             Make checks payable to the Supreme Court of the United States and date them for June 10, 2019.

•             All signatures on the second page of the application; applicant and sponsors, must be original and must be on the same sheet.

•             Only the “Certification, Statement of Sponsors, Oath of Admission” sections need to be signed for group admissions.

•             The deadline to submit your application and supporting documents back to Ray Bridgeman at the BALC is April 24, 2019.  Please submit your packet only once fully completed.  You can drop packet off at the BALC Building, 1114 W Walnut St, Allentown, PA 18102 or you can mail it (Attn: Ray Bridgeman) but must be received by the close of business, April 24.  This is limited to the first 50 Applicants.

 

Please submit this with your packet as your cover:

Attorney Name:

Name of your 1 allowed guest for the ceremony:

 

 

APPLICATION:  https://www.supremecourt.gov/bar/barapplication_new.pdf

 

 

Former Army JAG Corps Attorney Joins Local Law Firm

Contact: Erin Yaworski
Tel: 610-625-2100
Email: eyaworski@cohenfeeley.com
Website: www.cohenfeeley.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CFARLaw

 

Former Army JAG Corps Attorney Joins Local Law Firm
Thomas Harper is proud to call the Lehigh Valley his new home

ALLENTOWN, PA, February 5 – Cohen, Feeley, Altemose & Rambo (CFAR Law) is excited to announce the addition of Thomas Harper to their firm. Thomas, who is a former Army JAG Corps Attorney, will join the firm and will handle Workers’ Compensation, Social Security Disability and Personal Injury cases.

Originally hailing from North Carolina, Thomas Harper attended college at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, from which he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in political science. Thomas then attended Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh, NC, where he graduated cum laude in 2010.

Thomas has a long history of service to the nation, having originally enlisted as a Private in the Army Reserves in 2003. After completing the Army ROTC program, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 2007. He entered active duty service as an attorney in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG Corps). From 2012 until 2013 he served as an operational law attorney while stationed overseas in Afghanistan. He will now carry on his service to our country in the Army Reserves.

When asked why he thought Cohen, Feeley, Altemose & Rambo was a good fit, he had this to say. “Three things stood out to me about Cohen, Feeley, Altemose & Rambo almost immediately.  First and foremost was the firm’s commitment to serving the people of the community.  After having the honor of defending the interests of soldiers, retirees, and their families during my time in the Army, I was highly interested in a position that would let me do the same for people in the community.  Second, the firm’s stellar reputation was a big draw.  Although I’m new to the Lehigh Valley, I quickly realized how highly the firm is regarded, both for the work it does on behalf of clients and for being a great place to work.  Finally, everyone has made me feel like family from day one, which has gone a long way to reaffirming that I absolutely made the right choice in joining them. “

For over 30 years, the attorneys at Cohen, Feeley, Altemose & Rambo have been helping personal injury victims and those seeking Workers’ Compensation claims. Whether you have suffered an injury because of a serious car crash, slip-and-fall accident, workplace accident, medical mistake or any other catastrophic event, we understand the difficulties you face and we will do everything possible to help you. We are here for you, no matter what your legal needs are.

The Firms dedication to the community is seen in everything we do. All of our attorneys, paralegals and staff are involved in numerous charitable organizations throughout the Lehigh Valley and it’s important to us that we support them, because without these organizations, the community we live in would be a very different place.

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Riedel, The Wine Glass Company

In Case You Missed the Wine Tasting presented by Riedel, The Wine Glass Company:

Event Host, Jamie Newman, did a fantastic job informing members of the importance of various glassware.

As part of the special Riedel wine event from January 11th, we are offering a limited time promotion to BALC Members. Members will receive 30% off MSRP for most Riedel wine glasses and Nachtmann crystal. Please keep in mind, a portion of all orders will benefit the Bar Association.  All orders should be submitted by Tuesday, January 23rd through Ray at rbridgeman@lehighbar.org or 610-433-6204 x15.  Items will be available for pick up at the BALC office on or around February 10th.  You will be notified by email when your order arrives.

Also, as a valued member and attendee at the Annual Bar Association dinner this past week, Via One Hope Wines has extended their event pricing through the end of the week.  Please visit www.viaonehope.com/parties/20861 for event pricing which gives you 30% off retail. Special pricing of $169 for a case of 12 or $99 for 6 is being extended for BALC Members until 1/26/18.  The wine club is also exclusively available through the link.  Reminder: 10% of all sales benefit the Lehigh County Lawyer’s Charitable Fund for the BALC Holiday Campaign. Please email grapesandhope@gmail.com with any questions.

Attorney Sign Up for Lawyer Referral Service

2018 Lawyer Referral Service

If you are interested in LRS participation, please return the Application along with the appropriate fee as noted below.   All checks should be made payable to: LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICE.

2018 LRS Application

The registration fee for BALC MEMBERS is $75.00 per year; this includes membership on two (2) referral panels and subpanels. Each panel is bolded and you may choose as many subpanels as you like, covered under the panel price. You may elect to participate in more than two panels at an additional cost of $30 each.

1 PANEL:                              $75.00                   4 PANELS:                            $135.00

2 PANELS:                           $75.00                   5 PANELS:                            $165.00

3 PANELS:                            $105.00                 6 PANELS:                            $195.00

 

Modest Means Program and Application

Thank you for your interest in the Lawyer Referral Service. In addition to LRS, please consider volunteering to serve those less fortunate members of our community with your expertise by also enrolling in the MMP portion of the Referral Service.

North Penn Legal Services was established to assist the area’s low income families in legal matters. In order to provide relief to the families who do not qualify for their services, The Bar Association of Lehigh County implemented the Modest Means Program (MMP) a few years ago, which aids those families in a slightly higher financial bracket of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

We need your help to ensure that those who need access to justice get access to justice! By utilizing this program, our goal is to pay back our community with the highly specialized services only attorneys can render. Many citizens are in need of legal assistance and do not have the means necessary to hire an attorney. By volunteering to serve those less fortunate members of our community with your expertise, the Modest Means Program will help those citizens in achieving their legal goals.

Our program offers client services at reduced rates provided by our attorneys. The initial consultation fee is still  collected, as with all Lawyer Referral clients. However, any services rendered beyond the initial consultation, are at a reduced rate. The clients are screened by the LRS staff to determine eligibility. The client will also be instructed to sign a waiver stating their financial information is deemed true and accurate, however if the attorney determines otherwise, they will be charged regular attorney fees.

The cost for attorney members to enroll in the MMP program is $50 for the year.

Download the MMP application here.

 

Bar Association of Lehigh County Holiday Assistance Drive 2017

Bar Association of Lehigh County Holiday Assistance Drive 2017

Dear Bar Association Member,

The Bar Association of Lehigh County has started the Annual Ask for the Lehigh County Lawyer’s Charitable Fund Grant. This year’s theme is “Veterans Programs” and this year’s recipients will be Valor Clinic Foundation and the Semper Fi Fund.

We are proud to remind all lawyers that the Bar Association of Lehigh County has conducted an Assistance Program to benefit area 501c3 organizations to provide much needed assistance to our surrounding communities for many years.  This program has raised over $215,000 throughout that time and distributed these funds to many deserving area organizations.

This year to assist these organizations, we are asking each lawyer to give generously to help support those in our local community.  Remember, these contributions stay in the Greater Lehigh Valley area.

The Program is administered through the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation and all gifts are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.  The Foundation will acknowledge all gifts for tax purposes.

We will recognize all those nonprofit organizations receiving funds as part of our Law Day celebration in May.

Past years’ contributions went to the Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley, Dream Come True, The Lehigh Valley Zoo, Community Bike Works, The Victory House, Angel 34 , Miracle League of the Lehigh Valley and many more.

Please help by sending your check today, payable to the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation and mail to:

Lehigh County Lawyer’s Charitable Fund Grant

Lehigh Valley Community Foundation

840 West Hamilton Street, Suite 310

Allentown, PA 18101

or Donate Online Here

 

Thank you for your generous donation!

Kristin Noonan Hutchins, Esquire, Community Service Committee, Chair and Ray Bridgeman,  Executive Director, BALC

New Public Access Policy by Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

 

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has adopted a policy effective January 6, 2018, governing access statewide to appellate and trial court case records.  As society, and the courts, evolve from a paper-based system to a digital, online system, there are increasing concerns about access to private information, such as Social Security numbers, financial records, driver’s license numbers, medical records, etc.

There are two choices available on how best to implement this policy when pleadings/documents are filed. The Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County is requesting the input of all the members of the Bar Association of Lehigh County.  Please review the information below and then access the survey to choose which option you prefer and reply by August 22, 2017.

1) View the Supporting Documentation Here

2) Take the survey here