FAMILY LAW SECTION YEAR-END REPORT FOR 2008
Report Submitted by: Bernard Ilkhanoff, Esquire
Chairperson/President: Bernard Ilkhanoff, Esquire
Vice-Chair/Vice-President: Andrew B. Brown, Esquire
Secretary: Victor A. Neubaum, Jr., Esquire
Treasurer: Heather Z. Reynosa, Esquire
Ann Marie McElwee
Hon. John Thompson
Hon. Joseph Adams
Hon. Maria Musti Cook
Hon. Michael Bortner
Hon. Richard Renn
John Bergdoll, III
John Mooney, III
Victor Neubaum, Jr.
William C. Anderson
1. 2008 Family Law Section Goals:
A. To maintain and increase the Pro Bono Program for custody cases.
B. To have at least four (4) Continuing Legal Education Seminars for the year.
C. To invite guest speakers from various organizations affecting family law to speak at monthly section meetings.
D. To promote a social component to the membership that includes food and libations at section meetings.
E. To support the implementation of Parent Coordinators to assist parties in resolving custody disputes without going to court.
F. To provide regular updates to the Section to include relevant case law, rules, legislation and topics of interest.
II. Project Status Report:
The Section is blessed with outstanding talent and a strong sense of pro bono commitment to the community. The Section, through the support of Mid-Penn Legal Services, Inc., the Pro Bono Committee, and the tireless work of Ann Marie McElwee, Esq., offered the citizens of York County 5 custody workshops throughout the year. They were all very well received by the parties and counsel who donated their time to this worthy cause.
The Section offered the Bar four (4) CLEs to include “York County Divorce Procedure 101,” “Essential Tips for Your Next Appeal,” “Tips & Practices That Will Help Navigating Through A Support Conference” and “Uncovering the Hidden Secrets of a Personal Income Tax Return.” All were well attended and well received.
We were fortunate to offer guest speakers at our regularly scheduled meetings to include State Representative Bev Mackereth, Carol Davenport from the Child Advocacy Center and Robin Sterner of Family Child Resources, Inc. to address topics of import to the bar, bench and the parties.
Many of our meetings were complimented by serving food and refreshments for our members and guests. Some meetings were held away from the Bar Center to include the offices of Stock and Leader for a Cinco de Mayo party, attending a York Revolutions baseball game, and celebrating the year end holiday party at Judge Cook’s residence. This adds to the camaraderie for the members.
This year alone has seen the implementation of several Parent Coordinators either appointed by the Court or agreed to by the parties to assist the litigants in resolving disputes without court intervention. This is a trend that is increasing both state and nation-wide and may very well be the wave of the future. Members of our Section such as Audrey Woloshin, Esq., Kathleen Prendergast, Esq. and Barbara Stump, Esq. are all trained and court approved to serve as Parent Coordinators.
Through various list serves throughout the State, new legislation, cases and alerts have been disseminated to the Section for current status on topics of interest affecting Family Law.
Other highlights include participating in the Bench Bar Conference with scheduled programs prepared for by the Section and the Bench, approving court mediators, offering “low bono” credit for dependency attorneys and expediting IFP applications through the County for custody workshops.
III. Recommendations for the Section for 2009:
Recommendations include offering quality guest speakers to attend regular meetings, continuing CLEs on topics of import to the Section, and fostering a spirit of pro bono endeavors to help those in need of legal services.
Our Board for 2009 is Andrew B. Brown, Esquire, as Chairperson/President, Sydney Benson, Esquire as Vice-Chair/Vice-President, Victor Neubaum, Esquire as Secretary, and Heather Reynosa, Esquire as Treasurer.
We are fortunate to have such a high caliber and gifted group of attorneys to lead the Board next year and we can expect success from this Section with its incoming leadership.