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MONTGOMERY BAR ASSOCIATION

DESCRIPTIONS OF COMMITTEES AND SECTIONS

ALTERNATE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

       This committee facilitates MBA member use of alternate dispute resolution techniques including mediation, private arbitration, mini-trials and other methods of resolving disputes outside the public court system.

AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP AND LAW DAY     

      A merger of the former "American Citizenship" and "Law Day" Committees, this committee spearheads MBA's efforts to educate the public on the importance of American law and lawyers in society.  The committee continues to plan and implement two MBA traditions -- naturalization ceremonies for new American citizens in Montgomery County and the Law Day celebration, which takes place every spring.

AUDIT COMMITTEE            

     This committee oversees the MBA’s yearly expenditures and assists the MBA's accountants in conducting annual audits.

AWARDS

      This committee will set criteria for awards to be given out.

BANKRUPTCY/CREDITORS AND DEBTORS RIGHTS

      This committee, which was formerly known as the Collection/Foreclosure/Bankruptcy Committee, educates practitioners and acts as a forum for discussions on such topics as bankruptcy, foreclosure, confession of judgments, execution upon judgments, tax sales and other creditor/debtor issues.

BENCH-BAR

     This long-standing committee maintains and fosters the great relationship between the MBA and the judges of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, and it serves as the primary vehicle for the exchange of information between the Bench and the Bar.  In addition, it allows the MBA and its committees to forward ideas and suggestions to the Bench and enables the Bench to request feedback from the MBA concerning proposed rules and administrative changes, within the court.

BUSINESS, BANKING AND CORPORATE COUNSEL

    This committee educates MBA members about corporate, banking and business law issues and facilitates interaction between members serving as inside counsel and those serving as outside counsel.

BY-LAWS

    This committee reviews and recommends changes to the By-laws.

CHILD ADVOCATES COMMITTEE

   In 2006, we combined the Child Advocacy Committee and the Youth in the Law Committee.  With the formation of the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project in 2006, the Children’s Rights committee will focus on legal issues affecting young adults such as guardianships, school violence, peer mediation programs, etc.

CIVIL PRACTICE MANUAL COMMITTEE

     This Committee publishes paper and electronic forms for use by members in civil practice in Montgomery County in such diverse areas as domestic relations, civil trial practice, discovery, arbitration, motions, judgments and executions, mechanics’ liens, district justice and orphan’s court.

COLLABORATIVE LAW COMMITTEE

    This committee brings attorneys together to share, learn, promote, establish and engage in Collaborative Practice as a recognized and commonly used method of conflict resolution.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH COMMITTEE

    Originally begun to provide MBA members the opportunity to educate community leaders working in fields outside the law about the Bar Association and its members’ work, this committee, which is made up of MBA members and non-attorneys, allows the two groups to work together to determine the needs of the community and then meet those needs.

CONSTRUCTION AND PUBLIC CONTRACT LAW

   This committee, a merger of the former Construction Law and Public Contract Committees, educates its members about issues pertaining to the construction industry and government and public contracting.

CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION

   This committee provides continuing legal education programs on substantive, practice-related subjects as well as professionalism and ethics for MBA members.

COURTHOUSE TECHNOLOGY LIAISON (Ad-Hoc)

   Responsible for coordinating, reviewing and resolving technology issues arising in the Montgomery County Courthouse relative to the Montgomery Bar Association and its members.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE

   This committee educates and provides a forum for MBA members who handle criminal defense cases.

DIVERSITY COMMITTEE

  The Diversity Committee was created as a Task Force in 2007 and is open to all interested members.  The Committee meets regularly to discuss methods to promote diversity in the MBA and to address outreach initiatives to the entire Montgomery County legal community.

ELDER LAW COMMITTEE

   This committee, a combination of the former Elder Law and Mental Health Committees, addresses all issues pertaining to the elderly, physically disabled and mentally disabled, including topics such as nursing homes, assisted living, mental health hearings, ADA issues, special needs trusts, social security and durable powers of attorney. 

EMPLOYMENT AND LABOR LAW

  This committee educates and provides a forum for MBA members who represent employers and employees in private employment and organized labor settings.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND ENERGY LAW

  This committee educates and provides a forum for MBA members interested in environmental law issues.

FACILITIES COMMITTEE

   The Committee shall review and recommend property, liability and workers compensation insurance, house and property expenditures, and acquisitions and dispositions of real and personal property, and shall meet any other needs as to the Association facilities as assigned by the President in conjunction with the Executive Director.

FEDERAL COURT PRACTICE

    This committee focuses on practice in the federal courts, particularly the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

FEE DISPUTE COMMITTEE

    This committee conducts hearings on complaints initiated by clients of Montgomery County attorneys to determine whether those attorneys charged reasonable fees.  Five subcommittees, each comprised of groups of three attorneys, conduct the hearings and enter judgments concerning the fees charged.  The MBA president appoints members to this committee, and the committee does not hold meetings.  MBA members should direct requests to serve on the committee to the committee chair or the Bar Association president.

FRANCHISING COMMITTEE

    This committee provides a forum for and educates MBA members on issues pertaining to franchising and the increasingly important role franchising is playing in the business world.

GENERAL PRACTICE

    This committee focuses on the legal and practical issues faced by solo and small firm lawyers engaged in general practice.

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS             

  This committee, which replaces the former Legislative Committee, addresses governmental relations between the MBA and Montgomery County officials, local municipal officials, state and federal officials in the legislative and executive branches.

HISTORICAL COMMITTEE

    This committee engages the interest of MBA members in MBA history, preserves the history of the MBA and make the history easily accessible to MBA members.

IMMIGRATION COMMITTEE

    This committee was created in response to the increasing importance of immigration law across practice areas, especially domestic relations and criminal law. The committee will discuss ways in which immigration law practitioners can assist and serve as a resource for other attorneys, and will develop programs designed to heighten awareness in the profession of the increasing – and often unique – legal needs of the immigrant community.

INSURANCE COMMITTEE

   This committee reviews the coverage provided by health and property insurance providers and compares current coverage with coverage offered by other providers to ensure MBA members receive quality insurance at favorable rates.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND COMMUNICATIONS LAW

    This committee addresses all issues pertaining to intellectual property including patents, trademarks, computer law, electronic commerce, electronic communications and the ever changing telecommunications industry.

JOINT LIAISON WITH ACCOUNTANTS

    Mergers of the largest accounting firms in the world, the encroachment of the accounting profession upon traditional “legal” practice and other changes in the accounting/business consulting profession created the need for discussion between accountants and lawyers. This committee provides a forum for such discussion.  It’s structure should mimic the structure of the Joint Liaison with Real Estate Professionals Committee, which has existed for several years.

LAWYER REFERENCE/LEGAL ACCESS

    This committee supervises and promotes the lawyer reference and legal access programs and ensures they operate as a consumer friendly system that helps all segments of the public obtain legal services that meet their needs.

LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE

     The Leadership Initiative Committee has two main goals: Support our current leaders with state of the art leadership techniques and programs that are appropriate for bar associations; and, help identify future leaders.  Recognized MBA leaders will identify professional facilitators to work with the current MBA leaders at all levels, and will design programs at which leaders from different disciplines will share their leadership successes and skills.                         

LEGAL AID/PRO BONO SERVICE

    This committee serves as a conduit between Montgomery County Legal Aid and the MBA.  It will also implement a program, which will enable MBA members to volunteer legal services to non-profit corporations and organizations.

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT JUSTICE PRACTICE COMMITTEE

    This committee will be comprised of MDJ’s and attorneys who practice before them.  This committee will address potential rule changes to help the courts run more smoothly and efficiently from the perspective of both the bench and the bar.

MANAGING PARTNERS COMMITTEE

    This committee gathers those who lead or manage law practices in Montgomery County to address business, staffing and new innovations affecting the practice of law in Montgomery County.  The committee has issued a managing partners survey and continues to monitor the state of the art developments in managing law practices.

MEDICAL-LEGAL

    This committee, the oldest continuously functioning joint liaison committee between lawyers and medical professionals in the country, promotes open dialogue between the legal and medical professions.

MEMBER SERVICES COMMITTEE

     The Committee shall maintain and improve member services, and to assist members in their professional lives. e.g., maintain and improve social programs for members, establish outreach programs to all members, review publications for members, interface with the PBA and the PBI, educate lawyers as to advantages of the Association.  The Committee shall also review the coverage’s provided by health, property, and liability insurance providers to members, and compare current coverage’s with coverage’s offered by other providers to ensure members receive quality insurance at favorable prices.

MEMBERSHIP

     Members of this important committee interview candidates for membership in the various categories of the MBA.  This committee also formulates and implements plans for membership recruitment.

REAL ESTATE

     In 2011 the Municipal Law Committee was merged with the Real Estate Committee.  The functions of the committee remain the same, that being to educate and provide a forum for MBA members engaged in the practice of real estate, including purchase and sale, real estate development, zoning and related real estate practice areas.

RULES OF COURT

      The various Rules of Court Committees now fall under one Rules of Court Committee, which is made up of sub-committees that serve the same functions as the once separate committees.  The co-chairs of the Rules Committee oversee and coordinate the various sub-committees and serve as liaisons between the Board of Directors and the sub-committees.  Each sub-committee has co-chairs to facilitate the work of their sub-committee and answer to the Rules of Court Committee Co-Chairs.  Interested members are asked to sign up for one or more subcommittees of the Rules of Court Committee.

SIDEBAR

    The Sidebar committee publishes a quarterly newsletter which highlights achievements of individual bar members, alert members to bar services and special events, repots on committee activities, educates and entertains the members.

SPEAKERS BUREAU

     This committee provides speakers on a variety of legal topics to organizations and groups interested in having an MBA member address them.  It educates the public on legal issues and exposes individual Bar members to members of the public who are interested in learning about the law.

TASK FORCE ON THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM

      The Task Force will address the work of the Montgomery County judicial system and its needs, including specialized courts, its ability to address increased filings and activity, and funding on the state and county level.

UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE

      This extremely important committee addresses the unauthorized practice of law by various non-lawyers, including individuals and professions.  It monitors legislation proposed by certain interest groups, which would permit those groups to practice and/or engage in business in an area, which historically has been the province of the legal profession. 

WOMEN IN THE LAW COMMITTEE

      This committee addresses the professional and personal issues affecting women who practice law.

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

      This committee educates and serves as a forum for those interested in workers' compensation law. 

SECTIONS

FAMILY LAW

     This extremely active section has various subcommittees that address virtually every area of family law.  The full committee holds monthly luncheon meetings, which address timely topics and serve as forums for communication between MBA members and the family court judges of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County. This section charges $45 per year in dues, which should be paid when annual MBA dues are paid

PROBATE AND TAX

     This section charges $20 per year in dues, which should be paid when annual MBA dues are paid.  This section serves as a forum for those lawyers engaged in the practice of probate, estate planning, orphan's court and tax.

TRIAL LAWYERS SECTION

     Formerly the Trial Committee, this section serves the same functions and meets on the first Wednesday of each month at the Blue Bell Inn, except for June, July and August.  Dues are $45.00 each year.

YOUNG LAWYERS SECTION

     There are no dues charged for this section.  Every MBA member who is under the age of 35 or who has been in practice for less than five years is automatically a member of this section. The Young Lawyers Section is vibrant and active.  All young lawyers are strongly encouraged to sign up for at least one of the Young Lawyers Section committees:

Last updated January 2, 2014