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PBA Minority Attorney Conference 2021 - Day Two

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Marijuana Update 
Cannabis law has become a burgeoning topic in Pennsylvania. The session explores that latest status of marijuana legalization in the Commonwealth. Our panelists discuss the newest developments on the most pressing federal, state and municipal issues, including recent legislation, litigation, and regulations that lawyers need to know about. 

Jury Source Lists and the Perception of Justice: Increasing Representativeness
Too often, civil and criminal jury members are not being drawn from a representative cross-section of the community. Inclusive and representative jury pools are critical to preserving the right to a fair and impartial trial. 

This panel will describe the role of the court process in deriving jury source lists and in deciding strikes for cause and whether preemptory challenges are neutral as to bias. They will also review Jury Best Practices to ensure perception of justice is in the eyes of the people we serve.

Can We Rule Out Harassment and Discrimination in the Practice of Law?
The promotion of diversity and inclusion and the elimination of bias and discrimination in the justice system should be core values of every member of the justice system. The state recently passed Pennsylvania Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(g), which made it a violation to knowingly express bias or to harass anyone during the practice of law based on their race, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, ethnicity, marital status, disability, age, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status. However, the Third Circuit subsequently ruled in Greenberg v. Haggerty, et al. that rule 8.4(g) as drafted threatened to infringe on the free speech of members of the bar. 

This panel addresses the current state of play regarding harassment and discrimination in the practice of law and discusses what can we as concerned members of the bar can do to ensure that bias and discrimination are eliminated from the legal profession.

Recorded in October 2021.

Practice Areas


Judge Cheryl L. Austin Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas
Hon. Cathy Bissoon US District Court for the Western District of PA
Tauhid Chappell Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists
Hon. Lucretia C. Clemons Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
Jennifer S. Coatsworth Esq. Margolis Edelstein (Phila)
Lt. Gov. John K. Fetterman Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Lisette M. McCormick Esq. The PA Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Fairness
Hon. Theodore A. McKee United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (Phila)
Judge Carolyn H. Nichols Superior Court of Pennsylvania
Patrick K. Nightingale Esq. Cannabis Legal Solutions
Cherron Perry-Thomas DACO - Diasporic Alliance for Cannabis Opportunities
Jay N. Silberblatt Esq. Silberblatt Mermelstein, P.C.
Rhodia D. Thomas Esq. MidPenn Legal Services
Victoria L. White Esq. Pennsylvania Bar Association (1)
Kathleen D. Wilkinson Esq. Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP (Philadelphia)
Thomas G. Wilkinson Jr., Esq. Cozen O'Connor (Phila)
Su Ming Yeh Esq. Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project (Phila)
Faculty may vary by location.
PBI reserves the right to substitute speakers at all programs.
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