August 25, 2011 |
Arnold B. Cohen, 72, of Valley Forge, a professor at Villanova School of Law for 41 years who was an innovator in the use of computer technology in the classroom, died of complications of leukemia Tuesday, Aug. 23, at home. Mr. Cohen specialized in bankruptcy, secured lending, and e-commerce. In 1997, a law textbook he authored on bankruptcy was published as an electronic casebook employing hypertext technology, which enabled students and other users to link to cases, statues, forms, and other relevant materials early in the Internet era. Mr. Cohen contributed to several other books on bankruptcy, and wrote numerous articles on bankruptcy and secured lending issues.
July 24, 2011 |
As a former assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia, Michael A. Schwartz was acutely aware of the enormous power a prosecutor wields. But it wasn't until he left the Justice Department and became a white-collar defense lawyer that he truly grasped how a government case can take a terribly wrong turn. Schwartz, a partner at Center City-based Pepper Hamilton L.L.P., defends pharmaceutical executives and other business figures in criminal investigations that can involve enormous gray areas.
June 23, 2011 |
H. Peter Somers, 88, of Willistown Township, a retired lawyer, equestrian, and conservationist, died of melanoma, Friday, June 17, at Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester. Mr. Somers began his career with a law firm in Boston before joining Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Philadelphia in 1956. He became a senior partner, chaired the firm's personal-law section, and served on its management committee. He retired in 1989. For 50 years, Mr. Somers was a member of the Radnor Hunt Club and was still riding to the hounds with the Cheshire Hunt at 87, his son Stephen said.
June 12, 2011 |
Four months nearly to the day after Villanova University disclosed its law school had inflated grade-point averages and other admissions data, seemingly to improve its ranking in the pernicious yet all-too-closely followed U.S. News & World Report survey, the university appears to have settled on a communications strategy. And that would be to say nothing. Neither law school dean John Gotanda, who took over in January after the falsifying of data had ended, nor university spokesman Jonathan Gust is returning phone calls on this one. Although the disclosure deeply shamed the university and set off a wave of campus anxiety, Villanova has decided the most comfortable course of action is to, in a public-relations and marketing sense, plead the fifth.
May 17, 2011 |
It took the Haddonfield law firm of Archer & Greiner P.C. nearly five years of painstaking research and negotiation before landing a long-desired merger partner in North Jersey, a deal completed May 2 when the two firms officially combined. The merger in a single stroke boosted the firm's lawyer head count 20 percent to slightly more than 200, no small accomplishment in an economy that so far is managing only an anemic recovery. And that is what makes the Archer & Greiner merger interesting: It's not so much that some firms are growing, but how and why they are pulling it off. Law-firm mergers on a national basis began to tick upward for the first time in years in the fourth quarter of 2010, and the results for the first quarter of this year suggest a continuing recovery.
May 17, 2011 |
Oscar S. Schermer, 77, a retired lawyer, formerly of Huntingdon Valley, died of pneumonia Sunday, May 15, at Dresher Estates, an assisted-living facility. Mr. Schermer grew up in Northeast Philadelphia and graduated from Olney High School. After graduating in 1955 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, he served in the Army. He was assigned to a ski patrol in Colorado, though he had never skied, and was later stationed in France, said a daughter, Stephanie Richman.
April 28, 2011 |
Gladys Willard died at 97, leaving her estate to Emmanuel United Methodist Church of Penns Grove, N.J., where she and her husband, who had passed away a few years before, had long been members. Her will was a simple document instructing the executor to sell her house and cars and pay whatever bills remained before writing a check to the church. But when church leaders tried to find out what was left in Willard's estate from her executor, Judith Karr, a local lawyer, they hit a brick wall.
March 31, 2011 |
Unemployment remains stubbornly high, banks continue their tightfisted ways, and housing is, well, still a mess. Don't ask about ballooning state and federal budget deficits or ongoing chatter about possible municipal defaults on a historic scale. But the kind of corporate deal-making that traditionally has powered some of Center City's biggest law firms is on a distinctly upward arc. Firms in Philadelphia and around the nation have been reporting a steady flow of transactions for several months now. The pace doesn't yet match the merger frenzy of 2007, when Wall Street was a transactional assembly line and law firms were so flush that a chairman in Philadelphia offhandedly remarked he could save a million dollars or more a year if the firm and its lawyers didn't waste so much of the catered food served at lunches and dinners.
March 16, 2011 |
Throughout the bitterly fought legal battle over allegations that Chevron despoiled hundreds of square miles of once-pristine Amazon jungle in eastern Ecuador, rife as it is with charges of fraud and corruption, the plaintiffs consistently have argued their science is sound and the Ecuadoran judicial system is well-equipped to evaluate it. But on March 7, their case was dealt a severe setback. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, ruling in Manhattan, unleashed a withering broadside barring the plaintiffs, at least for the moment, from seeking to enforce an $18 billion judgment handed down by an Ecuadoran judge against Chevron.
February 20, 2011 |
To understand why Wayne Streibich's law practice defending mortgage lenders against claims by delinquent borrowers is taking off, imagine for a moment what happens when parents are away on business and teenagers take over the house. There are some suburban towns in this country where police spend a good part of Friday and Saturday nights responding to calls from irate neighbors over out-of-control teenage parties. A small clutch of kids gets together, alcohol is procured, and the party is on. Thanks to text-messaging and other information-revolution miracles, every teenager within a short drive is a potential guest.