2017 news

YLD Summit 2017 

Report From the PBA YLD Summer Summit 2017

Beau Hoffman Attends Young Lawyer's Event

The Lycoming Law Association sponsored Beau Hoffman's attendance at the 2017 PBA YLD Summer Summit held July 26-28, at the The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center. Here is his report:

Overall, I had a wonderful experience. I was able to meet many other young lawyers, and several people involved in the PBA and YLD leadership.

YLD Summit 2017Wednesday evening we had a nice dinner, followed by comments from Jonathan Koltash (YLD Chair), and a speech by Judge James Ross (Beaver County County). The Judge’s comments were on the importance of serving the young attorneys and, in general, how serving others always produces a more fruitful community.

Thursday morning began with a YLD business meeting. The two most significant issues for the YLD were: (1) the YLD voted to amend its bylaws, to increase the age of a young lawyer from 38 to 40; now membership in the YLD will be permitted up to 40, which was done as a method to increase women in leadership, and (2) a vote to recommend that the PBA combine the YLD with the Law Student Division. Currently only very few law students attend any PBA events, so this would allow the law students to be a part of the YLD program without the need for their own leadership board.

After the business meeting was a State Practice Tips course, led by Commonwealth Court Judge Michael H. Wojcik and Superior Court Judge H. Geoffrey Moulton, Jr. I found this to be the most beneficial course of the Summit. The judges compared and contrasted the two courts, particularly in relation to behind the scenes handling of the cases on appeal. For example, the Commonwealth Court will automatically determine an appeal solely on the briefs unless: (1) the Court thinks it is a significant case in which they require argument (very few times per year), or (2) a party specifically requests argument. Also, every Commonwealth Judge (not just the ones on the panel) will all review an opinion before it is issued. Therefore, Judge Wojcik stated that it is virtually useless to seek reconsideration. However, with the Superior Court, because there are so many non-precedential opinions, and because the judges do not read all of the opinions before they are issued, Judge Moulton thought it is a good idea to seek reconsideration, particularly if you can find non-precedential, related opinions written by a current Superior Court Judge who was not on the panel that heard your argument.

The next course was the importance of Pro Bono services, led by David Treveskis. It was evident from his lecture that Lycoming County is leading the charge with its pro bono initiatives and the Wills for Heroes events.

YLD Summit 2017Thursday evening was a dinner, followed by a dance, which was followed by some members of the PBA and YLD leadership inviting me to have enjoy a bottle of whisky with them. I gladly obliged.

Friday morning was a Federal Practice Tips course, led by Judge Kim R. Gibson of the Western District of Pennsylvania and Judge Mark A. Kearney of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Their course focused on the difference between state and federal practice, and the slight difference in procedure between the districts. Most significantly, the Judges noted their frustration with the increase of motions to dismiss in federal court, and how they thought the overwhelming majority of the motions to dismiss that are filed are without merit.

The last course was Planning for Disaster, which dealt with cyber threats to law firms and incident response planning.

Overall it was a great event that I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to attend. I intend to stay in touch with several of the other young lawyers I met, and may even contemplate YLD leadership opportunities (don’t hold me to that).