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Bench-Bar Schedule

(Click here for a downloadable, print version of the schedule)

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 13

MORNING – ATHLETIC EVENTS AND REGISTRATION OPENING

7:00 a.m.


DONALD W. BEBENEK BENCH-BAR GOLF TOURNAMENT


Highlands Golf Club


Sponsored by SWMW Law

POST-GOLF LUNCH AND RECEPTION
Sponsored by Walnut Wealth Management Group (UBS Financial Services Inc.)

 

8:30 a.m.


SPORTING CLAYS AND 5-STAND EVENT


Highlands Sporting Clays


Sponsored by Husch Blackwell LLP

*The ACBA will provide the first box of ammo, the remaining three boxes needed can
be purchased at the facility or you may bring your own.

SPORTING CLAYS AFTER-SHOOT LUNCH AND RECEPTION 
Sponsored by Tucker Arensberg PC 

 

11:00 a.m.


CONFERENCE REGISTRATION DESK OPENS
Main Lobby
Welcome DrinkSponsored by Phillips Froetschel, LLC
LanyardSponsored by My Benefit Advisor (ACBA Insurance Program)
Welcome GiftSponsored by USI Affinity (ACBA Insurance Program)

11:00 a.m.
PICKLEBALL TOURNAMENT
The Courtyard
Sponsored by Elisa Cavalier of Baird Private Wealth Management

 

AFTERNOON – EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS


Dress for the day is resort casual.

2:00 p.m.


HOMER S. BROWN DIVISION PROGRAM
1 Substantive credit


Snowflake


Presented by the ACBA Homer S. Brown Division

City of Grants Pass v. Johnson: What You Need to Know and How You Can Help

Before the kickoff of Bench-Bar weekend and its celebrations, networking and learning new skills and information that will improve the practice of law, attendees are invited to spend an hour learning about the most significant U.S. Supreme Court case about the rights of the unhoused community. This is a case that may not directly impact most practices, because those impacted the most cannot afford representation. However, this is a case that shows what could happen to those who do not have an advocate protecting their rights. Panelists will discuss the facts of this case, the potential impact of the Supreme Court’s decision and pending legislation affecting the unhoused community in Allegheny County. Panelists will conclude by introducing opportunities available in Allegheny County for attorneys to assist unhoused and low-income community members.

Speakers:
Gabrielle Lee, Office of the Federal Public Defender for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Judy Hale, Neighborhood Legal Services

Justin Grotelueschen, UPMC, Point Park University

2:00 p.m.


BANKRUPTCY AND COMMERCIAL LAW SECTION PROGRAM


1 Substantive credit


Sunburst


Presented by the ACBA Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section

Navigating Bankruptcy Terrain: Exploring the Nexus of Bankruptcy Law in Multifaceted Legal Landscapes

This program will explore the complexities bankruptcy practitioners face when a bankruptcy proceeding intersects with other areas of the law. Through insightful discussions and case analyses, the panelists will provide practical strategies in navigating the nuanced challenges presented by bankruptcy cases intertwined with mass tort litigation, asset and equipment financing arrangements, real estate issues and beyond.

Speakers:
Alexis A. Leventhal, Reed Smith LLP
Jillian Nolan Snider, Frost Brown Todd LLP
Sloane B. O’Donnell, Frost Brown Todd LLP
Kelly M. Neal, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
Sarah E. Wenrich, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP

2:00 p.m.
REAL PROPERTY SECTION PROGRAM
1 Substantive credit


Wintergreen

Presented by the ACBA Real Property Section

A Fresh Look at the Constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s Property Tax System

This program will explore whether Pennsylvania’s property tax system meets the constitutional requirement of uniformity in taxation, both as currently structured and in its implementation. Pennsylvania’s system ranked dead last with a grade of “F” in the most recent 50-state comprehensive benchmark study by the Council on State Taxation, which evaluates jurisdictions on the characteristics of transparency, procedural fairness and consistency. Pennsylvania stands alone as the only state in the country with a “base year” system with no mandate for cyclical reassessments. The panel has extensive experience in property tax and assessment beyond the borders of Pennsylvania and will lead a discussion about how Pennsylvania might adopt best practices from other jurisdictions to create a better system that achieves the goal of uniformity for the betterment of all.

Speakers:
J. Kieran Jennings, Siegel Jennings, Co., L.P.A.
Joshua S. Zeyn, Assessors’ Association of Pennsylvania

Moderator:
Sharon F. DiPaolo, Siegel Jennings, Co., L.P.A.

3:15 p.m.


YOUNG LAWYERS DIVISION PROGRAM

1 Ethics credit


Snowflake


Presented by the ACBA Young Lawyers Division

Burnout: An Occupational Hazard for Lawyers?

If there is one word that continues to be heard more than any other term in the post-COVID “new normal” world, it is “burnout.” But what is burnout? What does it look like and feel like? More importantly, what can be done to prevent the normal stress and “lawyer anxiety” so common in the profession from developing into the physically and emotionally draining state known as “burnout?” Has it really become an occupational hazard?


The panel will discuss:


• The symptoms of stress, depression and burnout that are particularly prevalent among members of the legal profession and how the professional culture may be contributing to the problems lawyers face
• The transition from distress to burnout and how people can recognize and identify the sources of stress before burnout develops
• Why lawyers and judges are at especially high risk to develop mental health and substance use disorders
• The free services that lawyer assistance programs provide to lawyers, judges, their family members and law students

Speakers:
Brian S. Quinn, Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers 
Danielle M. Parks, Jackson Lewis
Alyson T. Landis, Boyer Paulisick & Eberle 
Regina C. Wilson, K&L Gates LLP

Moderator:
Thomas F. Cocchi, Husch Blackwell

3:15 p.m.


COMMITTEE FOR DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION PROGRAM


1 Ethics credit


Sunburst


Presented by the ACBA Committee for Diversity and Inclusion

 

Years of Change: Intergenerational Diversity in the Workplace

During a unique time in history when there are individuals in the workplace spanning five generations, this program will explore the differences, challenges and opportunities that are created as a result. Intergenerational panel members will discuss their thoughts and experiences related to topics such as forms of communication, differences in dress, office politics and the remote workplace.

Speakers: 
Danielle Mundekis, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC
Rodney R. Akers, Deputy General Counsel for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Allison M. Bustin, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC

Hon. Nicola Henry-Taylor, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas

Moderator:
Ashley N. Rodgers, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP

4:30 p.m.


WOMEN IN THE LAW DIVISION PROGRAM

1 Ethics credit


Snowflake


Presented by the ACBA Women in the Law Division

Look Back at 60 Years of Women in the Profession…How Far the Profession Has (or Hasn’t) Come

Few women attended the first Bench-Bar, held at a time when gender-based discrimination often made it difficult for women to find work and advance in their legal careers. Now, more than half of law school graduates are women. Many women are making partner and serving in other senior roles – though there is still slow progress in some areas, such as the percentage of equity partnerships held by women. 


This panel will explore how conduct in the legal profession has changed in the last few decades, as well as the recent addition to Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4, which precludes attorneys from engaging in conduct as it relates to the practice of law that constitutes harassment or discrimination.


As part of the 60th anniversary of the Bench-Bar Conference, this program also will highlight dynamic female figures through an esteemed moderator and panel. There will be discussion of the challenges and triumphs of women that have shaped our profession. All members are invited to share their experiences of the changes they have lived through and the challenges ahead.

Speakers:
Hon. Kim Berkeley Clark, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas
Hon. Joy Flowers Conti, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
Hon. Maureen P. Kelly, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Moderator:
Hon. Debra Todd, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

4:30 p.m.


IN-HOUSE/GENERAL COUNSEL PROGRAM


1 Substantive credit


Sunburst


Presented by the ACBA Bench-Bar Conference Committee

Partnering with Your Outside Counsel in 2024

Now, more than ever, in-house legal departments are diversifying their outside counsel panel. So gone are the days where companies keep outside counsel forever. It is also not a “one-size, fits-all” approach. There are a host of factors, including past (bad) experiences, which can drive the decision on which firm a company will retain for any given matter or project. Come to this panel of in-house lawyers to hear from them about what matters and what stands out (good AND bad), what factors are most important when selecting outside counsel and what behaviors may result in a firm losing business or not being selected for future matters.

Speakers:
Tara Pfeifer, Duquesne Light Company 
Tony Thompson, Dollar Bank

Christina Kepplinger, Federal Express Corporation

Moderator:

Joanna Rodriguez, Wabtec Corporation

4:30 p.m.


NONPROFIT LAW COMMITTEE PROGRAM


1 Substantive credit


Wintergreen


Presented by the ACBA Nonprofit Law Committee 

Roles and Responsibilities of Nonprofit Board of Directors

This program will cover the roles and responsibilities of nonprofit board members in Pennsylvania, and when and under what circumstances board members may be held liable under Pennsylvania law. Additionally, the program will cover how individual attorney board members can support and assist the organization without falling into potential liability traps.

Speakers:
Michael Dutkovich, Owen Law Group, LLC
Michael G. Nicolella, Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky
Kristine Bergstrom, Neighborhood Legal Services

Moderator:

Terese M. Connerton, Connerton Law

EVENING – SOCIAL EVENTS


Dress for the evening is resort casual.

5:30 p.m.


WOMEN IN THE LAW DIVISION RECEPTION


Seasons 1 and 2


Sponsored by Vuono & Gray, LLC
Join the ACBA Women in the Law Division for an informal social gathering.

5:30 p.m.

YOUNG LAWYERS DIVISION RECEPTION AND PASSING OF THE GAVEL


Fox Den


Sponsored by Compass Rose Financial


During this reception, Danielle Parks will be formally introduced as the new chair of the Young Lawyers Division, succeeding Tara Sease. YLD members are invited to join their YLD colleagues for open bar refreshments, networking and information about the Division. If you ever wanted to get involved with the YLD but did not know how, attend this meeting to get information on the opportunities from current council members and officers.

6:00 p.m.


CRAFT BEER AND CHAIRMAN SELECT WINE TASTING


Pavers Circle


Sponsored by Very Law

7:00 - 8:30 p.m.


THURSDAY NIGHT BARBECUE


Outside Ski Lodge 
Sponsored by Raver Rawlings & Parker PLLC

8:30 - 11:30 p.m.
AFTER PARTY
Foggy Goggle

DJ and Activities

Open Bar Sponsored by Jackson Lewis

9:00 p.m.


SNACKIN’ AND RELAXIN’


Suite 436
An array of non-alcoholic beverages, snacks, candy, etc.

 

10:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
DRAG SHOW
Matterhorn

FRIDAY, JUNE 14

Dress for the day is resort casual.

 

MORNING – ATHLETIC EVENTS AND REGISTRATION OPENING

7:00 a.m.

YOGA (All experience levels welcome)


Lake Tahoe (Maple Room as back up)


Yoga Instructor: Lisa Standish


Sponsored by Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP

7:00 a.m.


RUNNING


Lodge Hotel Lobby

7:45 a.m.


CONFERENCE REGISTRATION DESK OPEN


Stag Pass

7:45 - 9:00 a.m.
BREAKFAST AND MIMOSA/BLOODY MARY BAR 
Grand Ballroom
Sponsored by Jackson Lewis

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

 

8:45 - 9:45 a.m.


BREAKFAST WITH THE JUDGES
PROGRAM

1 Ethics credit


Grand Ballroom
Sponsored by Shrager Defense Attorneys


Presented by the ACBA Bench-Bar Conference Committee

Hot Topics in Legal Ethics

There are many hot topics percolating in the ethics arena, some new, some old, but all worth discussion. This program will address numerous ethical issues, including new Code of Conduct Rule 8.4, advice for less experienced lawyers appearing in court for the first time and ex parte and unsolicited contact with judges’ chambers and law clerks. This program is designed to give participants an opportunity to meet and interact with the judges of the state, county and federal courts.

 

The format is this: Each table has been given the same four questions. Participants will be given 15 minutes to discuss the first question with their table. They should first appoint one person to act as spokesperson for the table. After 10 minutes, we will ask some tables to report out on their discussion.

 

After the report out, the judge at each table will be asked to get up and move to another table so that more attorneys can interact with them. At the second table, the discussion will commence for the second question with a similar report out.

Speakers:
Hon. Michael H. Wojcik, Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
Hon. Lisa Pupo Lenihan, Judge Lenihan ADR 

10:00 - 11:30 a.m.


FEATURE PRESENTATION


1.5 Substantive credits


Grand Ballroom

Sponsored by UPMC and UPMC Health Plan

Presented by the ACBA Bench-Bar Conference Committee

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Arbitration: Great Communication Techniques for Lawyers


Some 94 percent of all communication is non-verbal. What signals are you sending to your clients and colleagues?
 

In this presentation, you will be able to enhance your legal skills by learning effective communication techniques that help you think more quickly on your feet, think outside of the box and handle the unexpected.
 

The same fun improv skills that made Tina Fey and Amy Poehler famous are actually just basic, good communication skills (and now you can learn them from someone who has appeared with Amy Poehler on Saturday Night Live).

 

Through a series of fun, entertaining and interactive improv exercises, participants will learn how to:


• Think outside of the box (creative problem-solving)
• Be engaging, persuasive and credible
• Appear confident and trustworthy
• Improve body language
• Interpret non-verbal language
• Tell when someone is lying
• Be a team player
• Listen better and think more quickly on your feet


Get ready to laugh and learn how to think outside of the box. Whatever your practice area and however you practice law, this program is for you.

Speaker:
Sharon Geller, Actress and Comedian


11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.


GOURMET COFFEE BREAK STATION


Sponsored by Network Deposition Services

11:45 a.m.


JUDGES ONLY CJE 


1 CJE Ethics credit


Seasons 1 and 2

Presented by the ACBA Bench-Bar Conference Committee

Rules of Law: Custody of Evidence Rule and How it Affects Your Courtroom and Avoiding Improprieties with Court Rules


This program will introduce the State Rules Committees, explain the new custody of exhibits local rule, discuss the importance of the Rules of Procedure and Rules of Judicial Conduct and review pitfalls that judges can avoid by following the rules.

Speakers: 
Amy J. Coco, DiBella Weinheimer
Kim A. Brown, Jones Day
Angharad Stock, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas
Tricia Sorg, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas  
Eric Efinger, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas 

11:45 a.m.


LEGAL TECHNOLOGY AND E-DISCOVERY PROGRAM


1 Substantive credit


Snowflake


Presented by the ACBA Legal Technology and E-Discovery Committee

Artificial Intelligence – A Practitioner’s Guide

 

This program is designed to unravel the mystery, evolution and uses of AI in the practice of law, including contractual considerations for implementing AI while mitigating risks, real time demonstrations of practical applications of how lawyers can create value from this innovative technology and future implications and emerging uses of AI.


Participants will:
• Learn about trends emerging from the rise of AI
• Experience current practical applications of AI in the practice of law
• Gain strategic perspectives in AI technologies
• Learn to reimagine how AI may be used to implement legal services and products 

 

Speakers:
Tami R. Collingwood, Versatile Legal
Von Wooding, Counsel Stack
Jaromír Šavelka, Carnegie Mellon University

Moderator:
Roy E. Leonard, Leonard, PLLC

11:45 a.m.


PRO BONO PROGRAM


1 Ethics credit


Wintergreen


Presented by the ACBA Access to Justice Committee

Innovative Ways to Close the Justice Gap: Pro Bono Practice Rules, Technology and More

The Justice Gap – between the civil legal needs of Americans with low incomes and the resources available to meet those needs – is persistent and widening. In a 2022 report, the Legal Services Corporation determined that 92 percent of Americans with low incomes did not receive any or enough legal help for their civil legal problems. Legal aid organizations are struggling to meet the rising numbers of clients who need emergency civil legal services.


This panel will explore private practice involvement in pro bono projects, including ways that big law, corporate legal departments, small firms and solo practitioners can support attorney involvement in pro bono programming, and the use of technology to support pro bono services. This panel will also cover Pennsylvania ethics and CLE rules that facilitate pro bono services. This interactive discussion will cover how those in the legal community can work together to close the Justice Gap in Allegheny County and beyond.

Speakers:
Hon. Jill Beck, Superior Court of Pennsylvania
Judy Hale, Neighborhood Legal Services
Gabrielle M. Carbonara, Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, PC

Moderator:
Barbara Griffin, Allegheny County Bar Foundation 

11:45 a.m.


LAWYERS CONCERNED FOR LAWYERS PROGRAM


1 Ethics credit


Sunburst


Presented by Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers

Staying Safe and Sound – Maintaining a Realistic Work-Life Balance in 2024

The lives of attorneys 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 clients.


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.


More than ever, we need to develop strategies for maintaining a realistic work-life balance. 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.

 

This program will discuss the following: 


• Causes, symptoms and common warning signs of alcohol and substance use disorders, as well as mental health issues such as depression, stress and anxiety
• Challenges and barriers facing legal professionals from seeking help
• Well-being strategies to reduce or alleviate these conditions and maintain a healthy work-life balance
• The free, confidential services provided by Lawyers Assistance Programs to lawyers, judges, their family members and law students
• The role that education plays in breaking the stigma and fear associated with addiction and mental illness in the legal profession

 

Speaker:
Brian S. Quinn, Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers

11:45 a.m.


LGBTQ+ RIGHTS PROGRAM


1 Substantive credit


Seasons 3 and 4


Presented by the ACBA LGBTQ+ Rights Committee

Nex’s Legacy: Legal Imperatives for the Protection of Trans Youth


The recent passing of Nex Benedict, a Choctaw non-binary student from the Cherokee Nation reservation, has cast a heavy shadow on the fight for the rights of transgender youth. Based on the panelists’ personal and professional experiences, this panel will explore the current legal landscape for transgender youth, both locally and nationally. Given the uncertain future of transgender and Two Spirit rights in the United States, this panel also will seek to examine strategies for advocacy as well as wider policy considerations which should be implemented to protect transgender individuals, and specifically trans youth. Through open dialogue and collaboration, panelists hope to honor Nex’s legacy and chart a brighter course for transgender advocacy and justice.

Speakers:
Nicky Ripley, Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation

J. Coley Alston, Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation
Hetal Dhagat, Education Law Center
Massimo A. Terzigni, Law Offices of Joel Sansone

Moderator:
Andrew Bell, Anderson & Labovitz, LLC

AFTERNOON EVENTS

12:45 p.m.


LUNCHEON


Grand Ballroom


Sponsored by Plummer Slade, Inc.

OFFICIAL CONFERENCE WELCOME


Holly Deihl


SWMW Law
  |  ACBA Bench-Bar Conference Chair

ALLEGHENY COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION PASSING OF THE GAVEL


Marla N. Presley

Jackson Lewis PC
  |  ACBA President

REMARKS BY INCOMING ACBA PRESIDENT


Regina C. Wilson

K&L Gates LLP
  |  ACBA President-Elect

REMARKS BY CURRENT ACBF PRESIDENT


Daniel J. Sinclair


Eckert Seaman Cherin & Mellott, LLC
  |  ACBF President

REMARKS


David A. Blaner


ACBA
 Executive Director

PRESENTATION OF THE AMRAM AWARD


Award presented by Hon. Christine A. Ward

THE AMRAM AWARD HONORS IDEALS AND LEGACY OF PHILIP WERNER AMRAM

The Amram Award is a truly unique award, and it is given in the spirit of the Bench-Bar Conference. The Bench-Bar Conference is dedicated to professional development and to enhancing and improving the bar association and the justice system in the community. Similarly, the Amram Award recognizes individuals who personify professional excellence and who have demonstrated substantial commitment to the ideals of the Allegheny County Bar Association as well as to the betterment of the greater community.
 

Be sure to attend the Friday luncheon to see who will receive the award this year.

PREVIOUS AMRAM AWARD WINNERS
Dennis C. Harrington 1990
  |  Hon. Joseph A. Weis, Jr. 1991
  |  Michael Louik 1992
  |  Seymour A. Sikov 1993
  |  Hon. I Martin Wekselman 1994
  |  Donald W. Bebenek 1995
  |  June S. Schulberg 1996
  |  Hon. Robert E. Dauer 1997
  |  Lester E. Zittrain 1998
  |  Hon. Lawrence W. Kaplan 1999
  |  John L. Doherty 2000  |  G. Daniel Carney 2001
  |  Hon. Jeffrey A. Manning 2002
  |  Ruth A. Zittrain 2003  |  
Donald P. Minahan 2004
  |  Carol S. Mills McCarthy 2005  |  
John M. Feeney 2006
  |  Hon. Livingstone M. Johnson 2007
  |  Robert Raphael 2008
  |  William A. Goyette 2009
  |  Hon. Debra Todd 2010
  |  Shelly R. Pagac 2011  |  Hon. Kim Berkeley Clark 2012
  |  Craig E. Simpson 2013
  |  Mary Sue Ramsden 2014
  |  Vincent J. Grogan 2015
  |  John F. Becker 2016  |  
Hon. Kim D. Eaton 2017
  |  Barry M. Simpson 2018
  |  Hon. Eugene B. Strassburger III 2019  |  No Bench-Bar 2020 and 2021  ||  Hon. Christine A. Ward 2022  |  Hon. Lisa Pupo Lenihan 2023

AFTERNOON EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

 

2:30 p.m.


CIVIL LITIGATION SECTION/CIVIL DIVISION PROGRAM


1 Substantive credit


Seasons 1 and 2


Presented by the ACBA Civil Litigation Section

Civil Litigation Update and Five Motions You Need to Know: The View from the Bench

During this program, a panel of judges will cover Civil Court updates from both the State and Federal Courts, as well as cover the Top 5 contested issues that come through Allegheny County General Motions Court, as well as the judges’ insights as to how they rule on the issues and why.

 

The following topics will be discussed:


• Punitive Damages
• Conner Objections
• “Gist of the Action” Doctrine
• Improper Venue vs. Forum Non Coveniens
• Motions for Alternative Service/What constitutes an “Affidavit of Good Faith Investigation” under Pa.R.C.P. 430

 

There will be a question-and-answer period where attendees can submit questions to the judges on this topic or any other relevant matter pertinent to the civil litigators.

Speakers:
Hon. Mark R. Hornak, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania 
Hon. Christine A. Ward, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas
Hon. Arnold I. Klein, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas 
Hon. Daniel D. Regan, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas 
Dianne S. Wainwright, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas 
Eric A. Efinger, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas

2:30 p.m.


FAMILY LAW SECTION/FAMILY DIVISION PROGRAM


1 Substantive credit


Wintergreen


Presented by the ACBA Family Law Section

Jeopardy! Family Law Edition

This program will focus on substantive hot topics and best practice tips for the family law bench and bar.  Inspired by the famous evening gameshow, Court of Common Pleas Family Division judges and attorneys will face off and discuss themes such as the recent Pa. Superior Court decision regarding intent-based parentage, the latest draft of state legislation known as “Kayden’s Law” impacting the child custody factors, and updates on procedural developments occurring in the Family Law Division.  Pick your category and be sure to answer in the form of a question. This is Jeopardy!

Speakers:
Hon. Cathleen Bubash, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas
Jessica L. Crown, GRB Law
Hon. Kim D. Eaton, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas
Matthew R. Rogers, Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP

Moderator:
Jessie D. Rawlings, Raver Rawlings & Parker PLLC

2:30 p.m.


SPORTS LAW COMMITTEE PROGRAM


1 Substantive credit


Sunburst


Presented by the ACBA Sports Law Committee

Show Me the Money: An Overview on Athletes’ Name, Image and Likeness

Join Pittsburgh sports agents Alex Guminski and Andrew Stiffler as they discuss the two landmark cases that ultimately paved the way for the introduction to Name, Image & Likeness (NIL) rights for high school and collegiate athletes. As of July 2021, the NCAA has relinquished their decades-long enforcement of the concept of amateurism as it relates to the ability for nonprofit professional athletes to earn compensation for the licensing and usage of their NIL rights. Additionally, the May 2024 House vs. NCAA settlement further paves the way for college athletes getting compensated, now directly from schools. Both agents will discuss these court cases, rising issues with NCAA compliance, their experiences representing various athletes in negotiating their NIL deals and how these NIL deals are becoming increasingly more prevalent for schools to create competitive edges amongst their rivals.

Speakers:
Alexander F. Guminski, PRO ZONE: The Agency; Guminski Law, P.C.
Andrew O. Stiffler, Mielnicki & Stiffler, LLC

2:30 p.m.
PROBATE AND TRUST LAW SECTION/ORPHANS’ COURT PROGRAM
1 Substantive credit
Snowflake
Presented by the ACBA Probate and Trust Law Section

2024 Probate, Trust, Tax and Orphans’ Court Primer

Don’t be fooled into thinking the laws of probate and estates never change. From taxes to guardianship, the Pennsylvania legislature has made this area of law a priority in recent days, with the Orphans’ Court as the initial arbiter of it all. Join the ACBA Probate and Trust Law Section for a presentation by exceptional panelists to discuss the hottest legislative and Orphans’ Court updates. This is a highly collegial practice area, so you won’t want to miss the enlightening and entertaining conversation that is sure to ensue.

Speakers:
Hon. Michael E. McCarthy, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas
Michelle A. Ross, Leech Tishman 
Samantha J. Gagliardo, Dentons Cohen & Grigsby PC
Todd T. Jordan, Williams, Coulson, Johnson, Lloyd, Parker & Tedesco, LLC
Daniel A. Seibel, Citron Alex PC
Carol Sikov Gross, Sikov and Love, P.A.

AFTERNOON – ATHLETIC EVENTS ​

3:45 p.m.

BOWLING

Sponsored by Clark Hill ​

 

3:45 p.m.

AXE THROWING

Foggy Goggle

Sponsored by GRB Law

 

AFTERNOON EDUCATION PROGRAMS ​

 

3:45 p.m.

CRIMINAL LITIGATION SECTION/CRIMINAL DIVISION PROGRAM

1 Ethics credit


Sunburst

Presented by the ACBA Criminal Litigation Section

Confronting Racial Inequities in the Criminal Legal System and Practical Reforms ​

 

Allegheny County’s criminal legal system disproportionately involves the Black community. These disparities exist at nearly every stage of the criminal legal process. Join panelists for a discussion regarding these disparities at the following stages: law enforcement, pretrial detention, criminal court and probation. Panelists will focus on the 2023 report written by the Rand Corporation and RTI International Researchers titled: “Creating a Path Forward to Reduce Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System in Allegheny County.” Ethical duties and obligations regarding this issue also will be discussed. ​

 

Speakers:

Hon. Matthew V. Rudzki, Magisterial District 05-2-04

Andrew J. Capone, Public Defender Association of Pennsylvania

Lyle L. Dresbold, Shrager Defense Attorneys

Rob Perkins, Allegheny Lawyers Initiative for Justice

Lauren Leiggi, Allegheny County Office of the Public Defender

Moderator:

Hon. Nicola Henry-Taylor, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas ​

 

3:45 p.m.

FEDERAL COURT SECTION/FEDERAL COURT PROGRAM

1 Substantive credit

Seasons 3 and 4

Presented by the ACBA Federal Court Section

 

Federal Court Roundtable

 

This panel discussion will feature sitting members of the Western Pennsylvania Federal Court Bench on current issues and topics involving local federal practice, including:

• The current state of the court

• Issues specific to practice before Magistrate Judges and the Bankruptcy Court

• Post-COVID issues involving case management, including judicial participation in alternative dispute resolution

• New policies, practices and procedures and introduction of new Court officers and personnel

• Audience questions-and-answers ​

 

Speakers:

Hon. Mark R. Hornak, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Hon. Gregory L. Taddonio, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Hon. Cindy Chung, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Moderator:

Devon F. Ferris, Dickie McCamey & Chilcote, P.C.

 

3:45 p.m.

APPELLATE PRACTICE COMMITTEE PROGRAM

1 Substantive credit

Wintergreen

Presented by the ACBA Appellate Practice Committee 

State Appellate Court Update

A panel of jurists from each of Pennsylvania’s appellate courts will conduct a discussion of the year’s trends, changes and emerging issues before their courts. Topics may include caseload and other statistics, key rule and internal operating procedure changes and tips for improving your appellate advocacy both on the papers and in person before our appellate courts.

 

Speakers:

Hon. David N. Wecht, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Hon. Victor P. Stabile, Superior Court of Pennsylvania

Hon. Patricia A. McCullough, Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

Moderator:

Corrie A. Woods, Woods Law Offices PLLC

 

EVENING – SOCIAL EVENTS

Summer Chic Attire – Suggested Color Scheme: Black, White and/or Silver.

 

6:15 p.m.

POOL SIDE RECEPTION

Pool Side (In the event of inclement weather, the reception will be held in the Matterhorn)

Signature Cocktail Sponsored by Bennington Law, LLC ​

 

7:30 - 11:00 p.m.

60TH ANNIVERSARY DINNER AND ENTERTAINMENT

Grand Ballroom

Sponsored by AmeriServ Trust and Financial Services Company

 

9:00 p.m.

SNACKIN’ AND RELAXIN’

Suite 436

An array of non-alcoholic beverages, snacks, candy, etc.

 

10:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.

KARAOKE PARTY

Matterhorn

Sponsored by Raphael, Ramsden & Behers

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 15

8:00 a.m.

BREAKFAST BUFFET

Grand Ballroom

Sponsored by HBK Valuation, Litigation & Forensics

 

8:45 a.m.

CLOSING REMARKS, DOOR PRIZE DRAWING AND ADJOURNMENT

Holly Deihl

SWMW Law
  |  ACBA Bench-Bar Conference Chair

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