Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 3

contents
SPRING 2017

CONTACT INFO
President
David J. Truelove

President's
Message .......................................................................................... Page 4
The Bucks County Justice Center:
Two Years Later

feature

THE BUCKS COUNTY
JUSTICE CENTER
Two Years Later

Vice President/President Elect
Jessica A. Pritchard

Since it's now been over two years since the largest public
works project in Bucks County history first opened its doors...

- By -
Chris Serpico

Secretary
Daniel M. Keane
Treasurer
Robert T. Repko
Past President
Grace M. Deon

ince it's now been over two years since the largest
public works project in Bucks County history first
opened its doors to the public on January 10,
2015, your crackerjack investigative reporters here at the
Writs thought it an opportune time to make inquiries
into how things have been going, and what might be
expected to unfold at the "new" Justice Center and
the "old" Courthouse - now known officially as "The
Administration Building."
President Judge Jeffrey Finley feels that most of those
who work in the Justice Center are pleased with the
building. Although as with any new structure, there have
been issues that have arisen, he has heard mostly positive
comments from Justice Center employees as well as the
general public. In fact, he had a unique chance to hear
from the man in the street recently when he spent a day
on jury duty as Juror #22. He found the jury room to be
very comfortable, and observed most of the jurors using
the high tech waiting area to stay connected to their jobs
or their loved ones.

Bar Association Office
Stacey Mulholland, Executive Director
135 East State Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
215.348.9413
www.bucksbar.org
email submissions to
WritsEditor@BucksBar.org
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COVER PHOTO: Dylan Gilheany

2017 Mock Trial Competition

with Mercer tiles on display throughout the building as
well as the strategic placement of municipal emblems
in certain areas.

He continues to hear nice things about the appearance
and the aesthetics of the lobby areas, which were
intentionally designed to have a "Bucks County feel,"

He also praised the work of county maintenance workers
who have "busted their butts to address any concerns."

2017 MOCK TRIAL COMPETITION
8

- By Breandan Nemec -

T
feature

he Young Lawyers Division
of the Bucks County Bar
Association recently sponsored
Bucks County's District level for
Pennsylvania's annual Mock Trial
Competition. The Commonwealth's
competition is one of the largest
in the nation - this year 294 teams
competed, comprised of students
from 252 high school and middle
schools. Locally, Bucks County entered
17 schools at the district level.

to argue evidentiary issues such as
the admissibility of prior bad acts
(including arson), and the admissibility of other evidence including
web browser search history and text
messages sent by the Defendant.

ollowing the initial rounds of
the competition, seven teams
moved on to the playoff rounds,
culminating in our four district
semi-finalists: Bensalem, Central Bucks
South (the 2016 defending champs),
Council Rock South and Central
Bucks East. After two hard-fought
semi-finals, the championship round
pitted Bensalem versus Central
Bucks South. The Honorable John J.
Rufe presided over the final trial in which Bensalem High
School emerged as the victor. For the second straight year,
our district winner then went on to further success at the
regional level and beyond. Bensalem defeated teams at the
regional level from Chester and Delaware Counties, and
proceeded to represent our region at the state competition,
which took place in the Dauphin County Courthouse in
Harrisburg. Following a round 1 victory, Bensalem eventually

The school teams took
turns trying the case as
After volunteering
at Legal and
the Commonwealth
Aid, and finding
deep the defense.
alternately,

This year, the writers created a
hypothetical centered around the
criminal prosecution of Taylor Edsel,
an employee of Nash Electromotive,
Inc., a vehicle manufacturer. A
criminal complaint was filed against Edsel alleging arson
in the first degree, in violation of 18 Pa.C.S. §3301(a)(1)
(ii), after Edsel was found at the Nash plant immediately
following a fire which reduced the plant and the company's
revolutionary new car, which was about to hit the market,
to ashes. The school teams, comprised of six students for
each trial, took turns trying the case as the Commonwealth
and alternately, the defense. The student-attorneys had

satisfaction in working with
clients who needed Protection
from Abuse orders and who
were facing custody issues, her
interest shifted in the direction
of Family Law. She has been
a solo practitioner in the field
since 1998.
12

María Judith
Rodríguez-Martyak
A Strong Advocate for Access to Justice
for the Spanish-Speaking Community
- By Barbara Overholser -
Communications Manager,
Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania

feature

Attorney María Judith Rodríguez-Martyak believes
deeply in the value of public service and access to justice.
For more than twenty-two years she has been a steadfast
pro bono volunteer for Legal Aid of Southeastern PA's
(LASP) Bucks County office. "For the longest time I kept
my Wednesdays open just in case someone needed
assistance for a Protection from Abuse case at the last
minute," says Ms. Rodríguez-Martyak.

The Hispanic population in Bucks County has grown
119% since 2000. The number of residents whose
primary language is Spanish hovers around 3% of
the overall population, creating the need for Spanish
language translation in many areas, including legal and
social services.

María Judith Rodríguez-Martyak: A
Strong Advocate for Access to Justice for
the Spanish-Speaking Community
Attorney María Judith Rodríguez-Martyak believes deeply...

Ms. Rodríguez-Martyak grew up speaking Spanish
and English in Puerto Rico. When she arrived in the
United States at the age of 21 for a graduate program
in Chemistry at SUNY Binghamton, she didn't foresee
a career in law. But after a happenstance meeting on
an airplane with an attorney from Bell Labs where she
worked at the time, and a conversation with a friend who
was also contemplating a career change, Ms. RodríguezMartyak headed down a new path.

e ...................................................................................... Page 16

With her law degree from St. Louis University School of
Law in hand, she moved to the Doylestown area in 1994.
"I didn't know anything about Doylestown when I came
here. But I found out it was a county seat and that there
was a legal aid office here. I stopped in and said I'd be
happy to work with you and volunteer," while she awaited
the results of her bar exam.
For those facing a critical legal issue and who
"My first inclination when I went to law school was to
cannot afford an attorney, access to justice can seem
focus on patent and intellectual property law, using my
unattainable, especially when English is not their
- Susan E. Dardes -
backgrounds in chemistry and math," she says. But after
primary language. Using her legal skills and her English/
volunteering at Legal Aid, and finding deep satisfaction in
Spanish bilingual ability, Ms. Rodríguez-Martyak provides
working with clients who needed Protection from Abuse
guidance and representation for LASP's Bucks County
orders and who were facing custody issues, her interest
Spanish-speaking clients, helping them navigate the court
shifted in theDiane
direction
of Family Law. She has
beeninnate
a solo community involvement and her empathy
system, file Protection from Abuse petitionsI and
handle
have
known Commissioner
Ellis-Marseglia
Diane's
practitioner
in the
since 1998.
Family Law issues.
for others sent her to the University of Pennsylvania
going back to the time
when the
old field
Courthouse

Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW

Interview with the
Commissioner

to earn her Masters in Social Work after obtaining
her Bachelor's Degree. She was asked to serve on the
Neshaminy School Board which was an honor as a young
mom, but it was a part time occupation that she did

was the new modern Courthouse, and she was my
wise and witty middle
school classmate known simply
16
as "Diane Ellis."
Our Moms were friends at Church and we were junior
deacons, sharing donuts and tea between morning
services at Morrisville Presbyterian. I had always wanted
to be a lawyer and go into politics. She had always
wanted to be a social worker. We got it half right, I
think. I am a lawyer, she is a licensed clinical social
worker and she went into politics. She is also a part
time faculty member of the Social and Behavioral
Sciences Department at Bucks County Community
College. So, I asked her how it came to be that she
is in her third term as the minority Commissioner
of Bucks County, on the 5th floor of that old post
mid-century Courthouse.

feature

The Young Lawyers Division of the Bucks County Bar
Association recently sponsored Bucks County's District level
for Pennsylvania's annual Mock Trial Competition...

........................................................................................
Page 12
F

In 2005, Ellis-Marseglia began
working with the Neshaminy
School District to create a
suicide prevention task force,
after the death of her daughter,
Becky. Now county-wide, the
task force raises awareness of
mental health conditions and
suicide risk.

Let's go back about four decades. Diane was raised
in Lower Makefield, the older of two children in a family
of active committee people, so local politics was in her
blood all along. When one of our eighth grade teachers,
Mr. Bergman, mentioned a career in social work during
class, it seemed a natural fit for Diane.

Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW:
Interview with the Commissioner
I have known Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia going back
to the time when the old Courthouse was the new modern...

........................................................................................ Page 20
after the full time work day had ended. Then, she was
recruited for the Board of Supervisors of Middletown
Township, where she has lived for more than 20 years.
She supported healthy families by serving on the
Youth Aid Panel for Offending Youth from 1986 to
1998 and later, in 1999, created the Teen Task Force in
Middletown Township, to help create an environment
where teens had a voice in their community and planned
healthy activities. In 2005, she began working with the
Neshaminy School District to create a suicide prevention
task force, after the death of her daughter, Becky. Now
county-wide, the task force raises awareness of mental
health conditions and suicide risk. Each passing year sees
additional districts joining the program and participating
in a fundraising walk, called #holdonyoumatter. Diane

And then the Congressman dropped by. Peter Kostmayer
was elected in 1976 on Jimmy Carter's coattails as
the freshman Congressman for the 8th District of
Pennsylvania and came to speak at a Pennsbury High
School assembly. I don't recall the visit, but Diane did;
Kostmayer's talk made a great impression on her. So it's
no surprise that she came to be one of three women
delegates elected to represent Bucks County at the
Democratic National Convention this past July.

20

The Hungry Lawyer:
Barley Sheaf Farm Restaurant
The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm advertises itself as being in New
Hope but, really, it's Holicong or Mechanicsville, definitely...

Barley Sheaf
Farm Restaurant
THE INN AT BARLEY SHEAF FARM advertises itself
community

as being in New Hope but, really, it's Holicong
or Mechanicsville, definitely somewhere in results. A big website that is continually updated with
fresh content like a weekly blog is critical to a ranking
Buckingham. But what are six or seven miles
on the first page of Google Search. If you already
have a website for your firm just ask that they turn on
when it comes to great dining?

........................................................................................ Page 22

Driving Clients to
your Law Practice
with Blogging and
Social Media

the blog feature.

2. Do your keyword research: Keywords are the specific
he Hungry Lawyer and his gorgeous bride often wondered
about
words
and phrases that individuals use when trying to
the place during many years driving north and south onfind
202.your
We information on the internet. For instance, I
knew that it had once been the home of the acclaimed playwright
could ask Google "who is the best personal injury law
George S. Kaufman. Had great dinner parties with guests suchfirm
as Oscar
in Bucks County, PA?" Personal Injury, law firm and
- By Jennifer
Gardella
-
Hammerstein
II taken
place there? Maybe Pearl Buck dropped by
to County, PA are all keywords, so if you want your
Bucks
borrow a cup of sugar? The entrance from the road is impressive
but we
website
to show up on the first page they need to be
were always too intimidated to turn into the long driveway to naturally
see for written into the content of your website.
As you build your law practice, either inside a firm or
ourselves how the place looked. Our interest was only piqued when we
on your own, it is critical to make sure you are viewed
3. Get together an editorial calendar: Your editorial
as an expert. In today's modern world this means having
calendar should be organized by month and list the
22
a strategic plan for your blog and a substantial social
blogs you are going to write each week. For instance,
media presence.
if you are a divorce attorney your blog posts for
summer may include "How to handle the first time
Unfortunately, they didn't teach you much
you take your children on a vacation alone." Your
marketing in Law School.
editorial calendar can also include ideas and dates so
you remember to write about them as they relate to
With a busy practice to run, how can you get started
your practice and clients. The fourth of July and start
building your digital footprint? Just like so many of life's
of summer are good examples. Make sure to leave a
endeavors, success all starts with a plan.
bit of room in your editorial calendar to comment on
1. Make sure you have a blog internal to your website:
important changes to the law as they relate to how you
One reason you want to blog is to build up the number
help your clients.
of pages on your website. There are many factors
4. Set-up your Social Media profiles: Every attorney should
that go into your site "showing up" in Google search
have profiles set-up on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter,
and Google+. They should be uniquely written with
standardized pictures and a logo that represent your
firm. Do not forget to link the profiles to one another
and then have the connect buttons on your website.
5. Chip away at it every day and week: Have a plan for

when you are going to blog each week and how you
are going to find time to find content to share on social
media. Building out your digital footprint will take
some time and effort but, when done correctly, has the
potential to help you build your law practice.

Driving Clients to your Law Practice
with Blogging and Social Media
As you build your law practice, either inside a firm or on your
own, it is critical to make sure you are viewed as an expert...

........................................................................................ Page 29
© twindesign / 123RF Stock Photo

Writs Photographer
Dylan Gilheany

As for future plans relating to the fifth
floor, Finley believes that the decision
to leave that area unfinished may prove
to be fortuitous as lessons learned from
the first two years of operating the
building can be applied in the future
when the fifth floor is built out.

feature

Writs Editor
Scott L. Feldman
Writs Committee
Susan Dardes
Scott I. Fegley
Dianne C. Magee
Paul Perlstein
Christopher J. Serpico
David J. Truelove
Jason Weiss

.......................................................................................... Page 8

S

As you build your digital presence make sure to craft all
of your writing so that you speak to your ideal client and
the problem they need solved. Successful digital marketing
strategies highlight attorney expertise but are framed so
that the individuals who need you and are looking for your
services can easily understand how you will help them. 

Jennifer Gardella, PhD, helps attorneys build their law practice
to attract ideal clients.
29

SPRING 2017

Also in This Issue:
* BCBF St. Patrick's Day Fundraiser
* BCBA Business Law Institute
* BCBA Opening of Assizes
* Tech Tips From a Recovering Geek:
* Music Snob's Top 5 List

The written and visual contents of this magazine are protected by copyright. Reproduction
of print or digital articles without written permission from Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc.,
and/or the Bucks County Bar Association is forbidden. The placement of paid advertisement
does not imply endorsements by Bucks County Bar Association.

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