York County Bar Association
Committee-Bench Bar
The Bench Bar Committee has the responsibility to plan and organize Bench Bar Conference activities.
Traditionally the Bench Bar Conference is held at an out-of-County resort hotel within a reasonable automobile drive from Friday to Sunday in odd-numbered years.  In even-numbered years, a mini Bench Bar Conference is held at a York location. Often there are several mini Conferences dealing with various areas of the law.
The purpose of the Conferences is to promote professional and personal relationships among the bench and the bar, to provide an opportunity for CLE (CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION), and to address issues of efficiency in the court system.
2009 Bench Bar Committee
Suzanne Griest, Co-chair
Andrea Marceca, Co-chair
David Moellman
J. Robert Chuk
Kyle Gee
Donald Hoyt
T. Korey Leslie
Glenn Smith
Hon. Richard K. Renn
Evan Kline
Richard Konkel
Brian Strong



            The Bench Bar Committee held a local one-day Bench/Bar conference on Friday, October 24, 2008, at The Valencia.  Attendance at the event was phenomenal.  We had 183 attorneys and judges with good representation from the public defender and district attorneys’ offices. 


            The conference began at 8:30 with registration and breakfast.  The Professionalism Committee presented a one hour ethics presentation that included vignettes applicable to all areas of practice.  We then conducted a general session entitled Bench meets Bar from 10:30 to noon.


            During the morning break, representatives from the Foundation gave a brief updates on Diversity, Endowment and LRS initiatives.


            After a buffet luncheon, there were two breakout sessions from 1:15 until 4:00 p.m.  Attendees had four choices of topics during each session to choose from.  The committee attempted to cover as many practice areas as possible and included a presentation in each session from Ellen Freedman, the PBA Law Practice Management Coordinator.  She spoke in the first session on Disaster Prevention and Preparedness and in the second session on the Virtual Office and Remote Technology.


            The committee wanted to present breakout sessions in the Estate Planning/Orphans Court and municipal law areas, but was not able to schedule because of the timing of another seminar previously planned by the Estate Planning section.


            Heavy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails were held from 4:00 – 6:30 p.m. with music supplied by the Musical Chairs.


            The committee did not solicit sponsors for this event.  The event was heavily subsidized by the Association.  The large attendance is attributed to the low registration fee of $15.00, the opportunity to receive three CLE credits, good food and the breakout session on the New Local Rules by President Judge Renn.


            The committee circulated an evaluation form to all attendees. Based on the 93 who responded, the majority would attend another in-town Bench Bar.  A copy of the results is attached to this report. 


            The Bar Association subsidized the event in the amount of $9,500.00.  The event cost $12,105.00.


            The next out-of town Bench Bar will be in 2010.  Next year’s committee will need to select and reserve a venue.  The top choices from the evaluation form were Cape May, New Jersey and Annapolis, Maryland.


            The committee makes the following recommendations:


1.                  Out of town Bench Bars to be scheduled in 2010;
2.                  Out of town Bench Bars scheduled every other year or more and not in a year when the Bar Stools perform;

3.                  In 2009, Section chairs should be encouraged to schedule their own mini-Bench Bars, family law, criminal, estate;

4.                  Consideration for larger in-town Bench Bar;

5.                  The Bench Bar Committee should be including representation from the following groups: Court Administrator, Section Chairs or representatives from the sections, judicial liaison, professionalism and social committee for planning purposes.


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