“Executive Power in the Age of Trump”

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania Chapter held a CLE on “Executive Power in the Age of Trump” on February 9, 2017, at the federal courthouse in Philadelphia. Despite a snowstorm that morning, turnout was strong, and audience participation was lively. Members of the panel included Michael Moreland (professor at Villanova University Widger School of Law), moderator William M. McSwain (partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and president of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Chapter), Mark Rahdert (professor at Temple University Beasley School of Law), and Scott Coffina (senior deputy chief counsel to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie).


(l to r) Michael Moreland, William M. McSwain, Mark Rahdert, and Scott Coffina

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16 Brown-bag CLE

On June 20, 2016, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Chapter hosted a successful brown-bag CLE at the court house complex in Philadelphia. Originating from a proposal by Judge Schmehl, the session offered guidance and insights regarding Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16. The session was well-received according to post-session feedback. The large audience included more than 20 law clerks who attended for free thanks to the Chapter's generosity. The Chapter expresses its thanks to Michael Finney, Supervisor of Court Operations, for his help coordinating law clerk attendance and with the facilities and technology.


Presenters for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Chapter's "How to Use Rule 16" included Andrew N. Howe of Spruce Law Group, LLC, Hon. Jeffrey L. Schmehl, and Jeffrey R. Elliot of Kozloff Stoudt. The Panel also included Magistrate Judge Richard A. Lloret (not shown).
Attorney James Kozuch, in collaboration with Federal Magistrate Judge Henry Perkin and others, Spearheaded an Incredible Program Resulting in Record-Breaking Attendance

On September 10, 2015, the Judge Donald E. Wieand Barristers’ Inn of the Bar Association of Lehigh County hosted a record-breaking number of attendees at a CLE program titled, “A Dialogue with the Judges of the Northern Tier: Advice and Guidance on Federal Practice.” As a result of a collaboration between various committees including Lehigh and Northampton County Bar Associations’ Federal Practice Committees, the Eastern District’s Federal Bar Association, and the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Federal Practice Committee, the Inn welcomed an esteemed panel of judges who preside over federal cases in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s northern tier, an area which covers Northampton, Lehigh, Berks and Lancaster counties.

All of the federal judges currently assigned to the northern tier appeared on the panel, including The Honorable James Knoll Gardner (Allentown), The Honorable Lawrence F. Stengel (Reading), The Honorable Jeffrey L. Schmehl (Reading), The Honorable Edward G. Smith (Easton) and The Honorable Joseph F. Leeson, Jr., (Allentown). The panel was moderated by the Honorable Henry S. Perkin (Allentown). With questions posed by Judge Perkin, each of the judges provided guidance and insights on their expectations of attorneys appearing before them. There was specific emphasis on how important it is to refer to each judge’s specific policies and procedures, available online, as they may differ slightly from judge to judge.

To avoid one of the judges’ pet peeves, here are some helpful points that were discussed:

(1) At the Rule 16 Conference, lawyers are expected to report the status of settlement negotiations. It is important to have at least had a conversation with your client as to what your expectations will be and a demand figure with which to start.

TAKE AWAY: Always be prepared to discuss your client’s position regarding settlement, even if there are issues that may play into the final result.

(2) The judges do not always find oral argument useful. However, some of the judges will schedule argument when they think the issues in a summary judgment are close and could go either way.

TAKE AWAY: If argument is scheduled by one of the judges of the district court, it is likely that the judge may be considering granting summary judgment and so it would be wise to take preparation for argument very seriously.

(3) The judges indicated that agreeing to allow a Federal Magistrate Judge to preside over your trial may result in your case being heard more quickly. The District Judges have to ensure speedy trials particularly for some of their criminal matters and, therefore, in many cases, their criminal dockets will get priority over their civil dockets.

TAKE AWAY: If you want to ensure a more timely resolution, a trial with a Federal Magistrate Judge may be a good option.

Reception Honoring New District Judges
On March 10, 2015, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Chapter hosted a reception in honor of the district’s six newest judges at the Union League in Philadelphia. This is a video of speeches delivered at the reception by EDPA Chapter President Bill McSwain and Past National President Bob DeSousa.

Pennsylvania Judge Advocates CLE


COL Robert DeSousa, Past National President, LTC Frank McGovern, Eastern District of PA Chapter President and CPT Mike O'Brien Middle District of PA Chapter Membership Committee recently hosted the PA Army and Air Judge Advocate at an FBA Sponsored CLE for all State of PA Judge Advocates at Ft. Indiantown Gap.


COL (Mil Judge) Ray Bily EDPA Chapter is given a retirement Flag and Judge Gavel by COL Robert DeSousa, Past national President at Ft. Indiantown Gap.

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