Appellate advocacy has always been a special area of focus at Schnader. The firm’s founders developed a vibrant appellate practice in both federal and state courts, with Bernard G. Segal, one of the foremost appellate advocates of his day, arguing scores of appeals throughout the country, including a dozen cases in the Supreme Court of the United States. In recent years, the Firm has attracted such preeminent appellate litigators as former Third Circuit Judges Arlin Adams and Timothy Lewis.
The work of Schnader’s Appellate Practice Group ranges from run-of-the mill civil, commercial, and criminal appeals to "bet the business" litigation affecting the fundamental workings, and sometimes even the viability, of our clients. We handle matters in all courts and of all types. As a representative sample, some of the decisions we obtained in recent months are listed below.
We also have frequently been retained as counsel for governmental bodies — including appellate courts themselves — when they have become engaged in litigation in the public eye that is expected to be decided ultimately on appeal. Our governmental clients have included the Senate of Pennsylvania; the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, its justices, and a number of other Pennsylvania courts and judicial agencies; and several Pennsylvania executive and administrative agencies.
Perhaps because of our commitment to and experience in appellate advocacy, Schnader lawyers are regularly requested by appellate and other courts to present argument on significant legal issues on behalf of parties who cannot afford to pay for their own attorneys. Just by way of example, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has appointed Schnader lawyers as pro bono lawyers in dozens of cases involving such issues as prisoners' civil rights, the Hague Convention, and immigration issues. Indeed, in Tabron v. Grace, 6 F.3d 147 (3d Cir. 1993), we established the legal standard for appointment of counsel in the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, a standard that has since been followed by other federal courts of appeals throughout the country. The Firm’s dedication to pro bono work confers important benefits upon all of our clients. First, our litigation lawyers get earlier opportunities to stand on their own feet, arguing appeals as well as trying cases. Second, because such cases rarely settle, trial and appellate court judges come to know our lawyers, and regularly recognize the Firm, both in courtrooms and public forums, for our service to the courts in taking on pro bono matters.
We view brief-writing — the central element of any appeal — as a matter of prime importance. It is no doubt for that reason that members of our Appellate Practice Group have received the Burton Award (an award presented annually to 20 lawyers in the 500 largest law firms in the United States for excellence in legal writing) on three separate occasions.
In addition to serving as appellate advocates, we also serve as appellate advisors. For example, the members of our appellate practice group regularly apply our analytic and advocacy skills while a case is still in the trial court, advising on summary judgment and other significant motions, sitting in on trials to advise on strategy and preservation of issues, handling post-trial proceedings, and generally advising about how best to position issues for the most effective appellate review. Furthermore, we frequently are engaged to assist other counsel by providing strategic advice, reviewing briefs, and holding moot courts, which include lawyers from both inside and outside the Firm. Through the moot court process, our clients receive strategic advice and ideas for enhancing their presentations.
Our appellate lawyers are nationally recognized in their field. We are members of such prestigious groups as the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and the American Law Institute. Our Practice Group has been recognized as first in Philadelphia and in Pennsylvania in Appellate Law by Best Lawyers. We serve on appellate rules and practice committees, take leadership roles in bar association groups devoted to appellate practice, write and lecture frequently on appellate issues, and teach appellate practice courses at law schools.
Representative Recent Appellate Cases
After obtaining an appellate decision overturning approval of an earlier class action settlement because the trial court did not permit intervention by a group of objectors, Schnader negotiated a revised settlement requiring the state to enable more than a thousand of Pennsylvania's intellectually disabled residents to remain in their current intermediate-care programs or integrate into community-based care.
Representing a coalition of civil rights groups as amici, Schnader helped to obtain a victory in a civil rights suit brought by the family of a 15-year old Mexican boy who was shot and killed on Mexican soil by a U.S. Border Patrol agent. The decision clarified the law regarding protections afforded foreign nationals for injuries occurring outside the United States. The Court recently granted a rehearing en banc, and Schnader will continue to assist the organizations through this rehearing.
The New York Appellate Division not only affirmed a grant of summary judgment in favor of Schnader's client, but also modified the judgment to impose a higher pre- and post-judgment interest rate.
In a matter of first impression, obtained a holding that provisions of the Pennsylvania Medical Records Act that regulate charges for obtaining medical records from health care facilities and providers do not apply to Pennsylvania pharmacies.
Schnader obtained a reversal of the lower court's decision forcing the School District of Philadelphia to reimburse a charter school for students enrolled in excess of a limitation in the school's charter. The decision clarified the law on charter school enrollment, an issue critical to the School District because it is financially distressed and enrollment caps have a significant impact on the school district's expenses.
Obtained denial of petition asserting original jurisdiction of Pennsylvania Supreme Court for award of declaratory and injunctive relief regarding the sale of school property under provisions of the Public School Code relating to distressed school districts of first class.
After successfully obtaining rehearing en banc, Schnader obtained reversal of a decision construing a clause in a testamentary trust to require the trust's termination 21 years after the death of the testator's last-surviving child. The clause was written to comply with the common-law rule against perpetuities and was capable of a construction that permitted a much longer duration, thereby postponing taxation of the estate.
A unanimous Third Circuit panel concluded that a federal district court jury had not disregarded the weight of the evidence when it found in favor of Schnader's client, US Airways, rejecting a pasenger's claim that she had requested a gluten-free meal when booking a Rome-to-Philadelphia flight but was served a vegetarian option instead, resulting in an allergic reaction.
Schnader represented the Chapter 11 Trustee appointed in a bankruptcy case filed by SK Foods, LP, one of approximately 30 companies owned by Scott Salyer, a third generation owner from a prominent Central California family. In this appeal, the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel affirmed a judgment determining that the Trustee owned the stock in certain Australian agribusiness companies that the Salyer affiliates asserted belonged to them, resulting in a recovery of approximately $45 million.
In a case of first impression, in which Schnader represented a coalition of railroads as amici curiae, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that railroads are vested with broad condemnation powers under New Jersey law.
Schnader represented the drug development company Medicon, Inc. in a dispute over licensing of certain inventions of a faculty member of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. The faculty member commenced a third-party action against Medicon, alleging claims for misappropriation of intellectual property, fraud, tortious interference with prospective business relations, conversion, and unjust enrichment. The trial court granted Medicon's motion to dismiss all claims against it, except the claim alleging fraud. On appeal, the Appellate Division affirmed the dismissals and reversed the trial court's denial of the branch of Medicon's motion seeking dismissal of the fraud claim.
In 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied review in the last of a series of appellate proceedings arising from the 2004 decision of the Orphans’ Court Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, permitting the Barnes Foundation, a nonprofit educational institution that owns one of the world’s most renowned art collections, to remove some of the restrictive terms in its indenture and to relocate its gallery to a newly-constructed facility in downtown Philadelphia, where more members of the general public can view the art and enroll in educational courses. When one of the opponents initially sought to appeal that decision, the firm successfully filed an extraordinary petition in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to have the appeal dismissed. 871 A.2d 792 (Pa. 2005). In early 2011, opponents filed two more petitions to reopen the proceedings, claiming that the Attorney General of Pennsylvania had engaged in misconduct in the proceedings that led to the 2004 decree because he improperly supported the Foundation’s request for relief and did not fully disclose the efforts he undertook in doing so. The firm successfully had both petitions dismissed. In the litigation that ended in 2013, petitioners again sought to reopen the proceedings on the basis of what they claimed was newly-discovered evidence. The firm obtained dismissal of those petitions, and it obtained affirmance of that decision after one of the petitioners appealed to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. The petition seeking review of the Superior Court's affirmance by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania was then denied.
In a holding of first impression, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania concluded that it had collateral-order jurisdiction to hear an appeal from an order declining to dismiss nearly 2,300 product liability cases in a trial court’s mass tort program on grounds of federal preemption. The actions seek to impose liability on manufacturers and distributors of metoclopramide because the drug allegedly causes neurological injuries. After upholding jurisdiction, the Superior Court partially reversed the trial court’s decision and held that some of the claims against the manufacturers and distributors should be dismissed on grounds of federal preemption. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied a petition seeking review of the portion of that decision that allowed remaining claims to proceed, and a petition for certiorari is now pending.
The Superior Court of Pennsylvania upheld entry of summary judgment in favor of Schnader’s client, Rohm and Haas, in a wrongful death case brought by the estate of a pipefitter who was alleged to have developed brain cancer from working at a Rohm and Haas facility. The trial court held that the plaintiff’s causation expert failed to support his opinion with scientific authority demonstrating a link between the decedent’s illness and the defendant. The Superior Court used the decision to explain the standards for admission of expert testimony and to distinguish admissible testimony from a proposed expert’s subjective beliefs. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania denied a petition by the plaintiff for allowance of a further appeal.
The Superior Court of Pennsylvania directed that judgment be entered in favor of Schnader’s client, PJM Interconnection LLC, the entity that coordinates the flow of electricity on the interstate electric grid in the mid-Atlantic United States, in a suit that sought to impose liability on PJM for injuries suffered by an electrician employee of a utility in PJM's geographic territory while working on his employer's transmission lines. The Superior Court held that PJM’s tariff, which had been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), had the force of federal law and provided immunity to PJM for claims of negligence relating to PJM's performance of its duties. Following FERC precedent construing PJM's tariff, the court declared that other responsibilities, including the safety of utility workers within PJM's territory, were allocated to the utilities that own and physically operate the transmission lines and that employ those workers, and that this federal allocation preempted any state law that would hold PJM liable with respect to such responsibilities.
Obtained reversal of a trial court’s refusal to permit an estate to be substituted for a deceased defendant against whom an earlier appeal was still pending at the time of death.
An en banc Commonwealth Court panel upheld the decision of Schnader’s client, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, to revoke a $50 million casino license. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court then denied the license holder’s petition for appeal.
The Superior Court of Pennsylvania vacated confessed judgments entered against Schnader’s client, Cambridge Warren, on the ground that the parties’ agreements did not permit the confessed judgments.
The en banc Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed the Orphans’ Court’s award to Schnader’s client, the Philadelphia Health and Education Corporation (the medical school of Drexel University) of the funds held in a trust established in 1919 by George Elkins for the benefit of Hahnemann Hospital, when Hahnemann was acquired by Tenet Health Systems and the charitable purpose of the Elkins Trust failed.
The Third Circuit reaffirmed and readopted its 2008 decision that rejected a finding of indecency and the accompanying $550,000 fine levied against Schnader’s client, CBS Corporation, by the Federal Communications Commission in connection with a "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.
The Third Circuit affirmed the denial of class certification in an action against Schnader’s client, Rohm & Haas, seeking recovery for medical monitoring and property damage on behalf of the residents of a village in northern Illinois who allegedly were threatened with harm by a chemical released through environmental contamination. The Court held that differences in the scientific evidence applicable to the residents’ claims made a class of plaintiffs seeking medical monitoring and property damage insufficiently cohesive to enable certification.
In an employment discrimination action, the Third Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment to Schnader’s client, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, finding that "[t]here is simply too little support for a causal chain between [the employee's] alleged protected activities and his termination for a reasonable jury to be able to infer that his termination was a retaliatory act caused by his protected activities."
In a case in which Schnader acted as appellate advisor to copyright counsel, the Court of Appeals resolved an issue of first impression regarding application of the statute of limitations to copyright actions and reversed the district court's order overturning the $30 million jury verdict in favor of Schnader’s client. 568 F.3d 425 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 130 S. Ct. 503 (2009). After remand, the Court of Appeals resolved the remaining claims in the client’s favor.
The California Court of Appeal affirmed a grant of summary judgment to Schnader's client in a contractual dispute between former and current property owners regarding allocation of responsibility for $42 million environmental clean-up and insurance rights.
In a trust case involving Schnader's client, Wachovia Bank (now known as Wells Fargo Bank), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania overturned a 60-year-old decision limiting the commissions from principal thqat a corporate trustee is permitted to receive.
In an asbestos case in which the plaintiff alleged that he contracted mesothelioma from working with turbines installed in a U.S. Steel plant, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the grant of summary judgment for Schnader’s client, General Electric, on the basis of a construction statute of repose, holding that the turbines designed by GE were permanent fixtures and thus covered by the statute.
In a matter involving judicial pay raises in Pennsylvania, the Third Court affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the lawsuit against Schnader’s clients on Article III grounds.
The Third Circuit reversed the lower court’s entry of summary judgment and award of more than $1 million in an “unjust enrichment” action against Schnader’s client, the School District of Philadelphia, for alleged cost overruns on a project to consolidate and relocate School District offices. On an issue of first impression in the federal courts, the Court held that Section 508 of the Pennsylvania Public School Code barred all claims against the District.
In the aftermath of a scandal relating to juvenile detention in Luzerne County, when Schnader’s client, the Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania (JCB), refused, on grounds of confidentiality and privilege, to provide information relating to the judges implicated in the scandal requested by the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court assumed King’s Bench jurisdiction to address questions of confidentiality of JCB records and investigations. With respect to the majority of the documents, the Supreme Court granted the JCB’s Application.
After the Superior Court granted an interlocutory appeal from the denial of a motion to dismiss a wrongful death action even though the trial court had refused to certify its decision for interlocutory review, the Superior Court reversed the trial court’s holding that the estate of a former company employee could pursue a wrongful death action against her former employer on the ground that statutory defenses to recovery under the Workers’ Compensation Act made the employer’s immunity under that statute inapplicable.
5.0/5.0 by a Partner on 05/02/12
Michael is thought of highly not only by construction law practioners, but also by the engineering profession. Read more
Michael is thought of highly not only by construction law practioners, but also by the engineering profession.
5.0/5.0 by a Partner on 04/11/13
5.0/5.0 by a Partner on 06/01/14
Dennis R. Suplee is one of the most extraordinary lawyers who has practiced in Philadelphia in my lifetime. Read more
Dennis R. Suplee is one of the most extraordinary lawyers who has practiced in Philadelphia in my lifetime.
4.6/5.0 by a Partner on 06/19/14
5.0/5.0 by a Of Counsel on 06/12/14
I once worked with Alice at the same firm. I have known her for approx. 20 years. I highly recommend her. Read more
I once worked with Alice at the same firm. I have known her for approx. 20 years. I highly recommend her.
5.0/5.0 by a Partner on 06/09/14
5.0/5.0 by a Partner on 06/09/14
5.0/5.0 by a Partner on 11/18/15
5.0/5.0 by a Partner on 11/05/13
5.0/5.0 by a Sole Practitioner on 04/19/12
3.0/5.0 on 07/21/13
5.0/5.0 on 11/15/09
I had very positive experience with this firm. The lawyer who represented me, Leah Batchis is competent and respects her clients. Read more
Below is information regarding Schnader’s Diversity Committee and its programs and initiatives. Schnader is not a Minority and/or Women-owned business and is not certified as such.
A. Schnader’s Diversity and Equal Opportunity Efforts
Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP’s commitment to diversity extends back to its beginnings in 1935. From its founding by William A. Schnader and Bernard G. Segal, a Christian and a Jew, the Firm, in standing for religious diversity, was unique in the Philadelphia legal community at that time. In the 1960s, Schnader partner William H. Brown III was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson as the fourth chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Under Mr. Brown’s leadership the EEOC tackled workplace issues related to adverse impact, job testing validation, and national origin discrimination. Throughout our history and now more than ever, Schnader has always been able to point to our successes in diversity, which often go hand-in-hand with our success in the legal arena.
B. Diversity at Schnader
Schnader is fully committed to recruiting and retaining minority attorneys. The Firm’s Hiring Committee is comprised of partners & associates to lead our efforts to hire a diverse pool of associates each year. The Committee has expanded on-campus recruiting to include schools with a diverse student population, including Howard University. Participation at minority student job fairs, 1L minority hiring programs and outreach at the college level are all priorities of the committee. Some of the programs in which the Firm is involved are:
· Philadelphia Diversity Law Group (PDLG)
· Western Pennsylvania Diversity Initiative (WPDI)
· Philadelphia Minority Job Fair
· Philadelphia First Year Minority Reception
· Rutgers-Camden Diversity Initiative Program
· Villanova Law Diversity Program sponsor
· Overbrook High School Scholars Program
· Allegheny County Bar Association’s Minority Summer Internship annual participant sponsor since 1998
· Allegheny County Bar Association’s Diversity Collaborative Committee member
· The Philadelphia Bar Association’s Statement of Goals of Philadelphia Law Firms and Legal Departments for the Retention and Promotion of Women (signatory)
· The Philadelphia Bar Association’s Statement of Goals of Philadelphia Law Firms and Legal Departments for Increasing Minority Representation and Retention (signatory)
· Sponsorship of organizations for minority students & professionals
C. Mentoring and Training
Schnader encourages our attorneys to partake in all aspects of Firm life, including internal committees and participation in community activities. Our summer associates and junior associates are each assigned partner and associate mentors and assignments are allocated through coordinators during the summer program and during the associate's career. This ensures that all lawyers work on a variety of assignments with a mix of partners. The Firm provides extensive training for all lawyers; all are encouraged to do pro bono work; and we have a comprehensive annual evaluation process in place so that our attorneys are developing professionally each year.
The Firm’s Diversity Committee and Associates Professional Development Committee have improved our mentoring programs to include a Women’s Initiative for female attorneys at all levels. We have brought in a consultant to do training, and hold roundtable discussions as well as social events. A Pathway to Partnership program has been implemented for our senior associates. It is a mix of training and mentoring to guide senior associates and newly elected partners through the transition from associate to partner.
The Firm has sponsored our diverse associates to attend retention conferences and seminars like the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group’s (PDLG) Associate Development Seminar and the PDLG’s Program for Women Lawyers of Color.
Schnader's Pittsburgh office regularly works with minority summer interns from the Allegheny County Bar Association's Minority Summer Law Internship Program. This program recruits students predominantly from Pittsburgh city high schools. Schnader's Rosa Copeland Miller has acted as a mentor to the interns from the Internship Program for over 10 years.
D. Leadership Positions
The following diverse attorneys are in key leadership roles at Schnader.
· Elizabeth Ainslie (female partner) is co-chair of our Government Investigations, Corporate Compliance and Criminal Defense Practice Group.
· Jeanne Barnum (female partner) is co-chair of our Construction Practice Group and the Litigation Partner-In-Charge for our Cherry Hill, NJ office.
· Christine Carty (female partner) is managing partner of our New York office. Ms. Carty is also a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee.
· Cynthia Fischer (female partner) is chair of the Nonprofit Organizations Practice Group.
· Christine Cushman (female associate) is co-chair of the Employee Benefits Practice Group.
· Al Dandridge (African-American partner) is chair of the Firm-wide Diversity Committee and Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Committee, and chair of the Firm’s Securities Practice Group.
· Catherine McFadden (female partner) is co-chair of the Family Law Department.
· Megan Harmon (female partner) is co-chair of the Environmental Practice and Waste Management Practice groups.
· Joan Kluger (female partner) is managing partner of our Delaware office and co-chair of the Firm’s Intellectual Property Practice.
· Hon. Timothy K. Lewis (African-American counsel) is co-chair of the Appellate Practice Group and co-chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group.
· Theresa Loscalzo (female partner) is chair of the Firm-wide Billings and Collections Committee and the Accountant Liability Practice Group. Ms. Loscalzo also co-chairs Schnader’s Financial Services Litigation Practice Group and the E-Commerce/Technology Litigation Practice Group.
· Nicole Reimann (female partner) is chair of our Insurance Recovery Practice Group and our Lender Liability Practice Group. She is also chair of the Firm-wide Associates Professional Development Committee.
· Nancy Winkelman (female partner) is co-chair of the Firm’s Litigation Services Department, co-chair of the Railroad Litigation and Class Action Practice groups and chair of the Firm-wide Recruiting Committee. Ms. Winkelman is past chair of the Firm-wide Pro Bono Committee and past co-chair of the Appellate Practice Group.
E. Other Activities
The Firm has participated in the Overbrook High School Scholars Program in Philadelphia, where we hire high school students to work in different departments of the Firm to introduce them to the practice of law. The Firm is also a participant sponsor of the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Minority Summer Internship Program for high school students.
Schnader was also a co-sponsor of the 2008 Biennial Conference of the Just The Beginning Foundation (JTBF), titled “Reaching Back, Lifting Up.” The Honorable Timothy K. Lewis, a former federal appeals judge and current co-chair of Schnader’s Appellate Practice Group, was a co-chair for this three-day conference that brought together a diverse group of federal and state judges, lawyers, law professors, and students from law schools, colleges, high schools and middle schools to enjoy the living stories of judges from diverse backgrounds and participate in panel discussions focused on contemporary legal issues. JTBF supports students of color and other underrepresented groups by providing free educational and mentoring programs. JTBF also offers a series of pipeline programs to prepare students for careers in law, which include Middle School and High School Summer Legal Institutes, an Advanced Summer Legal Institute, law student externships, law student scholarships, programming in schools that target underserved and minority high school and college students, and biennial conferences that bring together diverse legal leaders of local communities. The organization’s long-term goal is to increase diversity in the legal profession and on the bench.
Schnader supports The Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a group that helps address the professional needs and development of black lawyers in the City of Philadelphia. Schnader attorney Rachel Branson is an Executive Board member of the Barristers' Association and the Firm has shown its support by sponsoring events like the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Memorial Breakfast and the Annual Awards & Scholarship Gala. The Firm's Al Momjian was the 2010 recipient of the Cecil B. Moore award from the Barrister's Association in recognition of his work on behalf of the Republic of Haiti as Honorary Consul for that country.
F. Achievements Noted in the Legal Community
A number of our women and minority attorneys have been recognized for their professional achievements:
· Hon. Timothy K. Lewis (African-American counsel) was the keynote speaker at the 2010 National Symposium for Minority Professionals in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The purpose and focus of this year's program was to encourage scholarly dialogue about the impact of ADR on minority groups. Judge Lewis spoke on the topic of "Diversity in ADR: Expanding Opportunities for Minority Neutrals."
· Judge Lewis received the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Minority Bar Committee Award of Achievement. Judge Lewis also was the expert presenter at the second meeting of the U.S.-Russia Roundtable on Democracy and Human Rights, co-sponsored by The Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights of the Russian Federation and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The event was held in Moscow, Russia, February 13-14, 2008. He delivered the opening statement on behalf of the U.S. delegation, which focused on the history of habeas corpus issues in the United States in the context of human rights.
· Jeanne Schubert Barnum (female partner) was named a “New Jersey Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers.
· Al Dandridge (African-American partner) was named in The Best Lawyers in America for corporate law, and noted as a “Pennsylvania Super Lawyer.” Before joining Schnader, Mr. Dandridge served the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as associate director of small business and international corporate finance in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. In addition, he served as special counsel in the Division of Corporation Finance.
· Marilyn Kutler (female partner) is repeatedly noted as a “Pennsylvania Super Lawyer” and listed in The Best Lawyers in America.
· Elizabeth Ainslie (female partner) was recognized in “Women of Influence,” a special supplement published by American Lawyer Media. She was also named one of “America’s Top 50 Women Litigators” by the National Law Journal and included in the 2006 and 2007 editions of The Best Lawyers in America. She is also a “Pennsylvania Super Lawyer,” recognized as one of the top lawyers (male and female) in the state. Liz is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.
· Our attorneys are frequently asked to comment on diversity issues. For example, an interview with Judge Lewis was highlighted in the Dispute Resolution Journal (February – April 2008 edition) article “Striving for Diversity in ADR & Why It Matters.” In the article, Judge Lewis, chairman of the American Arbitration Association Diversity Committee and a member of the association’s Board of Directors, discusses his interest and involvement in promoting and supporting diversity in decision-making professions, and why it’s critical to provide equal employment opportunities for minorities and women.
· Also, Schnader partner Scott Wenner has co-chaired a session in Singapore on sex, race and age discrimination in law firms. This session considered why some law firms seem to limit partnership opportunities for women and protected minorities, refusing to embrace diversity and multiculturalism and limiting the talent available as a result. The session addressed diversity strategies and the limits of discrimination laws for promoting opportunities for victims of discrimination in law firms.
G. Enhancing Diversity in Our Communities
We also have long strived to foster diversity beyond our own doors. In March 2001, Schnader was among the founding members of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group (PDLG), a city-wide organization of approximately a dozen major law firms and five corporate legal departments. PDLG focuses on encouraging and supporting the promotion of diversity in the practice of law, particularly in the greater Philadelphia area, by recruiting and retaining attorneys of color, and is committed to fostering a diverse group of lawyers in the region to make the profession stronger‚ more productive and better equipped to address modern challenges. Schnader has actively supported the PDLG First-Year Summer Program, which offers first-year students from participating area law schools summer employment in law firms and corporate law departments throughout the region, and Schnader has been pleased to have a first-year PDLG summer associate in its summer program each year. This highly successful program allows law students to come away with valuable experience and a good impression of Schnader, often resulting in permanent employment with the Firm once a participant has graduated.
Also in Philadelphia, we are a founder of, and active participant in, the Philadelphia Minority Job Fair and among the original signatories of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Statement of Goals for Increasing Minority Representation and Retention.
Schnader's Pittsburgh office is an active, supporting member of the Western Pennsylvania Diversity Initiative (WPDI), which seeks to promote regional economic growth in Pittsburgh and the surrounding region by providing resources to employers to attract, hire, and retain employees from a variety of diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Schnader Pittsburgh has hired individuals from the WPDI summer associate program for the entire time Schnader’s Pittsburgh office summer program has been in existence, with resounding success.
Schnader attorneys also serve on boards of a wide array of religious, multicultural and community organizations:
· David Smith, the Firm's Chairman, is a past Chairman of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, a local affiliate of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He is a former member of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Professional Competence. He is President of the Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education, a past President of The Jewish Publication Society, a past president of Jewish Outreach Partnership and Community Hebrew Schools of Philadelphia, and a past Vice-President of the Perelman-Schechter Jewish Day School of Philadelphia. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.
· Marilyn Kutler (female partner) is a past President and current board member of Akiba Hebrew Academy, located in Merion Station, Pennsylvania.
· Marilyn Kutler and David Smith are both board members (and Smith is current President, as noted above) of the Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education, which was established by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia in 1987 for the purpose of developing and enhancing strong and positive Jewish identity, lifelong Jewish learning, and commitment to and participation in the Jewish community in the United States, Israel and throughout the world.
· Hon. Timothy K. Lewis (African-American counsel) serves as a member of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution Diversity Committee and also serves on its Board of Directors.
· Nancy Winkelman (female partner) is a member of the Board for the Disabilities Rights Network of Pennsylvania.
· Jerry Tanenbaum, a partner in our Cherry Hill office, served as the area chair for the Anti-Defamation League of New Jersey from 2001 to 2003.
· Rosa Copeland Miller (African-American female partner), named among the “Top 40 under 40” by the Pittsburgh Courier and Pittsburgh Magazine, is the Governance Chair for the Board of the Multicultural Arts Initiative, a Pittsburgh-based group whose objective is to enhance the cultural landscape of the region by funding consistently high quality African-American and African-influenced arts programming. The Initiative also strives to focus on Latin, Asian, and Native American culturally-specific arts. Ms. Copeland Miller also serves on the Development Committee for Pennsylvania Cultural Trust.
· Co-Chair of Schnader’s Family Law Department, Albert Momjian plays a special and important role in the city’s Haitian community – he serves as the honorary Consul to the Republic of Haiti for the Philadelphia region, and sits on the board of the Haitian Community Culture Development Abroad Association (HCCDA). In 2004, he was central to organizing a fundraising event for Haitian children at the Wachovia Center, which included the presentation of a trophy to Samuel Dalembert, a Haitian native who played for the Philadelphia 76ers, and the donation of money from Dalembert and other friends for the purchase of medical supplies for the children of Haiti. In March of 2010, Mr. Momjian delivered the opening remarks at a fundraising event being held at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in support of Haiti earthquake relief. In his role as honorary Consul, he routinely assists Haitian nationals with various issues and concerns, and promotes friendship and understanding of the Haitian community within Philadelphia.
· Rachel Branson (African-American female associate) is an elected Executive Board member of The Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
· Keith Whitson, chair of the Product Liability Practice and administrative partner of Schnader's Pittsburgh office, has volunteered as a mentor for several years with the University of Pittsburgh's Black Law Students Association's (BLSA) "Footprints Mentorship Program." "Footprints" provides minority law students with academic and professional guidance from mentors who are legal professionals with experience in the students' areas of interest.
H. Schnader’s Relationships with Diverse Businesses
Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP works in conjunction with or represents several minority- and/or woman-owned business enterprises, including attorneys, vendors, benefits providers, legal employment search firms, and others. Schnader is committed to minority and women’s business enterprise growth and involvement throughout the United States. For example, we have a history of partnering with diverse vendors:
· Our benefits broker is The Commonwealth Consulting Group in Jenkintown, PA; the principal is Ivy Silver, a recent Women's Way leadership award recipient.
· prWerks serves as the public relations firm on retainer with the Pittsburgh office. The firm is founded by and owned and operated by Kelley Denny and Lynn Seay.
· Schnader uses TransPerfect, a litigation support service company that was named Fifth Fastest-Growing Women-Led Company in America by the Women Presidents' Organization and American Express.
· Schnader uses Strategic Design, a woman-owned, full-service graphic design company, for many of its graphics and marketing needs.
· We also have partnerships with the following woman-owned legal employment search firms: Laura Segal & Associates; McCanney, Esposito & Craybill; Oxford Legal Associates and Abelson Legal Search.
Our representations of diverse businesses include:
· Splash Media, a media buying company owned by Wendy Clayton-Gonzalez, for all of its needs.
· PITG Gaming, the company owned by Don Barden, which will operate the Majestic Casino on Pittsburgh’s North Shore.
· J.E.Stuckert, Inc., a service station and towing company owned by Gladys Stuckert, for all of its needs.
· Advanced Systems Advisors, Inc., a medical software reseller owned by Nancy Novic.
· Innovation Exhibits, Inc., a company, owned by Laura Gables, which provides display systems for booths at conventions, etc.
· Paula Lysy, a sole-proprietor graphics artist.
· Mary Olliffe, an architect.
· CAM International, Inc., an evangelical nonprofit, mission-sending agency, and a WBE contractor.
· ImbuTec, an energy consultation and contracting services company, is an MBE contractor.
· Peoplechart, a woman owned and run business.
· Mad Maps, a woman owned and run business.
· Etcetera Edutainment, a woman owned and operated business
· Iremsys, a new technology company being formed by an African professor from CMU.
I. Looking to the Future
While Schnader is proud of these and other examples of our diversity and our efforts to enhance it, we do not rest on our laurels. We remain committed to enhancing our reputation as a law firm in which people of diverse backgrounds want to work, a place where they can thrive professionally and become part of a multifaceted team that serves the needs of our diverse clients in the global marketplace. The Firm recently began a formal assessment of its progress toward its diversity goals, with an eye toward defining objectives and next steps for the near future.