Archive for February 2007

Looking to Educate Managing Partners

February 28, 2007

Are lawyers the next market for law firms and their ancillary businesses? Given that two businesses devoted to training lawyers have popped up in less than a month, it makes you wonder.

This week a group of consultants, led by Ellen Freedman of Freedman Consulting, established the Managing Partner Development Institute, which will provide strategic and tactical support to managing partners at small and midsized law firms in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.

Last week Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis established the Bernard G. Segal Institute for Appellate Advocacy.

With 65 percent of attorneys in Pennsylvania belonging to midsized, small or solo firms, Freedman said there was a need to provide educational support to address their needs.

“We’ll provide benchmarking surveys that are particularly applicable for smaller firms, podcasts, white papers, and technology items I can’t reveal yet,” Freedman said.

The institute will hold a one-and-a-half-day conference for current and future managing partners starting June 1. Registration is $950 for an individual, though Freedman said discounts would be available for firms sending multiple people.

Conference topics will include strategic planning, marketing, finance management and leadership, among other things. The goal is for the managing partners to come away with a strategic plan, Freedman said.

The other consultants working with Freedman on the venture are Mary Beth Pratt of MBPratt Consulting; Daniel J. Siegel, founder of Integrated Technology Services; and David Sorin of Management Mpowerment Associates.
 
— Stephanie Lovett, Staff Reporter

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Schnader Establishes Appellate Advocacy Institute

February 22, 2007

With law firms bulking up on appellate practitioners and the growth of the specialty in general, is there a business niche for refining these attorneys?

Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis thought so, and yesterday established the Bernard G. Segal Institute for Appellate Advocacy as a subsidiary of the firm.

Similar to the Georgetown University’s Supreme Court Institute, the Segal Institute will offer attorneys working at all lower appellate levels a place to turn for a second-opinion on their briefs and arguments before appearing in front of an appellate panel.

The institute’s executive director, Schnader Harrison partner Nancy Winkelman, said the Segal Institute will provide neutral, confidential moot court panels of experts, brief consulting services and educational programs.

The Segal Institute’s moot court panels will be composed of law school professors, former appellate judges, and experienced appellate practitioners, Winkelman said.

“It became very clear to us that the profession would benefit by a focused entity that could assist in improving the level of appellate advocacy,” said Judge Timothy K. Lewis, a former judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and a member of the institute’s advisory board.

Both Winkelman and Lewis emphasize that the institute will be open to any attorney preparing for a case at the state appellate or federal level. Pricing is done on a situational basis, Winkelman said.

— Stephanie Lovett, Staff Reporter

All Things Supreme…

February 2, 2007

For those court watchers following the race for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, there are two items of interest on www.palawweekly.com , the Web site of our sister publication, Pennsylvania Law Weekly.

First, on the PLW’s blog, Managing Editor Michael Riccardi writes about his disappointment that state Sen. Jeffrey E. Piccola, R-Dauphin, has dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination for one of the two vacant seats on the court. Riccardi’s take is that Piccola’s outsider perspective will be sorely missed in the race. The word is that Piccola is dropping out because the Republican endorsements are expected to go to Superior Court Judge Maureen Lally-Green and Environmental Hearing Board Chief Michael Krancer.

Second, Peter Hall has a short item on what’s happening with retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Schultz Newman’s vacant seat right now. While sources told Hall that Philadelphia Common Pleas Court James Fitzgerald still could be named to fill the vacancy, Gov. Edward G. Rendell has yet to make any announcement. When Justice Russell Nigro lost his retention election in November 2005, Rendell named Cynthia A. Baldwin to fill the seat by the end of December 2005. That enabled her to be confirmed in time for the high court’s first round of oral arguments in 2006.

With the court scheduled to hear cases March 5 and no word from Rendell, it doesn’t look like there will be a full court hearing those cases.

My question is: why the delay? The governor has had plenty of time to consider the situation. We’ve all seen what kind of problems can develop when you have only a six-member court hearing cases. The lawyers, judges, and citizens of Pennsylvania deserve a full Supreme Court considering these cases.

–Hank Grezlak, Editor-in-Chief