Bucks Writs - Summer 2019 - 4

contents
SUMMER 2019

CONTACT INFO
President
Robert T. Repko
Vice President/President Elect
Daniel M. Keane
Secretary
Julie D. Goldstein
Treasurer
Sean M. Gresh
Past President
Jessica A. Pritchard
Writs Editor
Jason R. Weiss
Writs Committee
Susan Dardes
Scott I. Fegley
Scott L. Feldman
Nancy Larkin Taylor
Dianne C. Magee
Theresa Martin Golding
Paul Perlstein
Christopher J. Serpico
David J. Truelove
Writs Photographer
Dylan Gilheany
Bar Association Office
Greg Nardi, Executive Director
135 East State Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
215.348.9413
www.bucksbar.org
email submissions to
WritsEditor@BucksBar.org
PUBLISHER
Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc.
2921 Windmill Road
Reading, PA 19608
610.685.0914 x201
HoffPubs.com

Judge Boylan: A Look Back On Twenty Years

feature

JUDGE BOYLAN:

A LOOK BACK ON TWENTY YEARS

Judge Rea Boylan, whose twenty years of service render her the
longest-tenured member of the Bucks County Court of Common
Pleas, will be retiring at the end of this year. Consequently, our

By Chris Serpico

UDGE REA BOYLAN, WHOSE
JRENDER
TWENTY YEARS OF SERVICE
HER THE LONGEST-

During her tenure, Judge Boylan
has become well known for her
pioneering efforts to provide alternatives to more traditional methods
of punishing persons convicted of
committing crimes, especially when
it comes to defendants with drug
addictions. Programs with which she
has been closely involved include The
Youthful Offenders Program, Drug
Court, the Community Accountability
Program, and the District Court Drug
Diversion Program.

TENURED MEMBER OF THE
BUCKS COUNTY COURT OF
COMMON PLEAS, will be retiring

at the end of this year. Consequently,
our Court will have three new judges
installed in January 2020.
When I asked Judge Boylan why she
decided not to seek retention this year,
she told me that she felt the time was
right to step aside, especially since
she believes that when a judge runs
for retention, he or she should be
willing to serve out the entire ten-year
term. As she determined that she
wasn't ready to make that commitment, she thought it
best to complete her term and move on. She also thinks
the Court will benefit from the addition of new judges
with fresh ideas and perspectives to share with their
colleagues on the bench.

She believes that diversion, when
successful, is the best way to protect
the community and avoid recidivism.
In her opinion, trying to teach an
incarcerated person how to curb drug use in the future
is nearly impossible. Rather, the individual must develop
those skills in a way that will enable them to stay "clean"
as they try and make it on the outside. Judge Boylan
maintains that the most successful diversion programs

.......................................................................................... Page 10

During her tenure, Judge Boylan
has become well known for her
pioneering efforts to provide
alternatives to more traditional
methods of punishing persons
convicted of committing crimes,
especially when it comes to
defendants with drug addictions.

When she no longer dons her legal robe, Judge Boylan
envisions using her life experiences and professional
background - as a middle school teacher, lawyer,
community leader, and jurist - to advocate and work for
change in a way one cannot do as a judge. She would also
consider teaching, especially in the field of trial advocacy.
She is open to the idea of serving as a Senior Judge if
requested by President Judge Bateman, but at the present
time, that possibility remains unclear.

feature

ORGANIZATIONS OFFER
PRO BONO SERVICE &
PFA DEFENSE CLE CREDITS

Judge Boylan, who was sworn in on January 3, 2000,
says that she has witnessed a shift over the past two
decades in the way that criminal cases are approached
and adjudged. In juvenile court, a greater effort is made to
avoid detaining children and placing them in the juvenile
system whenever possible. And in adult court, there is a
growing realization that incarceration is not necessarily the
best way to stop individuals from using drugs.

promote accountability, which can be a challenge for
people caught in the clutches of addiction. In Drug Court,
the two most important rules are: (1) Don't lie, and (2) Ask
for help when needed.
the program is based on hours of service, LASP can provide
hrough new PA Supreme Court pilot project,
CLE credits not just to volunteers who take cases, but also
Legal Aid of Southeastern PA offers CLE credit for pro
10
volunteers who help with clinics, outreach, trainings and
bono service and BCBA offers CLE credit for PFA defense.
intake. LASP is pleased to be able to reward hardworking
If you haven't had time to provide pro bono service because
pro bono attorneys and to offer an incentive to engage
you've been busy taking CLE courses, you now can do
new volunteers."
both at once, by earning free CLE credits for your pro
"The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is committed to providing
bono work at LASP! In Bucks County, you also can get CLE
access to justice for all and has a long-standing history of
credit through the Bucks County Bar Association if you
support for providing civil legal aid for those with limited
volunteer for Protection from Abuse Defense, noted Jennifer
resources," Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Sallie Updyke
Pierce, LASP Doylestown Managing Attorney and Bucks
Mundy said. "This pilot program furthers our commitment to
County Bar Association Pro Bono Coordination/Pro Bono
legal aid while providing opportunities for licensed attorneys
Committee Chair.
to fulfill their annual CLE requirements. I am grateful for the
Through a pilot program approved by the Pennsylvania
efforts of former Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Alan
Supreme Court and launched in 2019, attorneys who
Feldman and former chair of the CLE Board Robert Heim for
donate pro bono service can receive continuing legal
their tireless advocacy on behalf of the pilot program."
education (CLE) credits. In offering the three-year pilot, the
Interested in finding out how you can tailor your pro bono
PA Supreme Court's goal is to increase support for civil legal
service to your interests AND get CLE credit at the same
aid for low-income Pennsylvanians. Legal Aid of Southtime? Please contact Jennifer Pierce at 215-340-1818 or
eastern PA (LASP) now has Approved CLE Provider status.
jpierce@lasp.org, or Kesha James, LASP Deputy Director for
Thus, attorneys who provide pro bono service to LASP's
Advocacy and Pro Bono Director, at 610-275-5400 x131
low-income, vulnerable clients can get CLE credit.
or kjames@lasp.org. To volunteer for PFA Defense, please
Developed in conjunction with the CLE Board, the program
contact Emily Carrillo at the Bucks County Bar Association at
allows registered Pennsylvania lawyers to receive one
emilyc@bucksbar.org or 215-348-9413 x100.
CLE credit for every five hours of pro bono legal work
completed, up to 3 CLE credits for 15 hours of service per
Emeritus status for retired attorneys
By Susan E. Dardes
compliance period.

T

Organizations Offer Pro Bono Service
& PFA Defense CLE Credits
Through new PA Supreme Court pilot project, Legal Aid of
Southeastern PA offers CLE credit for pro bono service and

........................................................................................ Page 12

feature

Meet District Judge

MICHAEL PETRUCCI

to provide pro bono service

LOSE TO THE LOVELY CENTER
C
OF NEWTOWN BOROUGH IS
MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT JUDGE

"LASP is excited about being a part of this pilot project. Free
CLEs are hard to come by, so this is a great opportunity for
attorneys to earn credit while doing very fulfilling work," said

Are you a retired attorney with some time to give back? You
can now apply for emeritus attorney license status to do
pro bono work on behalf of those in need! In May 2018,
the PA Supreme Court adopted Pennsylvania Rule of Disciplinary Enforcement 403, which creates an emeritus status
for retired attorneys and enables them to provide pro bono

Kesha James, LASP Deputy Director for Advocacy and Pro
MICHAEL "MICK" PETRUCCI'S
Director. "LASP's volunteers gain valuable experience
Petrucci
COURTROOM. I sat down with MDJBono

pro bono work, so the credits are merited. Since
last week for a lengthy talk on how he got tofrom
be atheir
District
Judge, how he runs his court and what he describes as
his "passion." Newtown Township is his home, where
he resides with his wife, and his 20-year-old son and
18-year-old daughter, both of whom were Council
Rock graduates.
Petrucci was sworn in on January 4, 2016, to serve as the
Magisterial District Judge ("MDJ") of Newtown Borough,
Newtown Township, Upper Makefield Township and
Wrightstown Township. He was elected to replace the long
serving Magistrate District Judge Donald E. Nasshorn, who
died in 2014. Of the eight people who ran for the Nasshorn
seat, Petrucci was the only one who was not a lawyer.
Describing Nasshorn as his boss, his friend, and his most
profound mentor, Petrucci is grateful to Nasshorn and to
everyone who gave him the opportunity to be where he is
and, Petrucci says, he thinks he was always meant to be.

14

Meet District Judge Michael Petrucci
Close to the lovely center of Newtown borough is Magisterial
District Judge Michael "Mick" Petrucci's courtroom. I sat
down with MDJ Petrucci last week for a lengthy talk on how

e ...................................................................................... Page 14

import on facial expressions and body language. This ability
to read people assists him in determining who is telling the
truth in a given matter.

Petrucci is 3 ½ years into his 6-year term as MDJ, but he is
not new to that Newtown courtroom. Prior to having been
elected as a District Judge, Petrucci spent seven years as one
of the five constables assigned to Judge Nasshorn. In his
constable days, it was not uncommon for Petrucci to log in
over 80 hours a week.

In the Newtown area, where he has lived for thirty plus years,
he knows the people, he knows the community and he sees
a lot of litigants in front of him who aren't your typical court
goers. He tries to help those people turn a negative experience

into a positive
one, so that next
time they
are faced with the
Bucks
County
Bar
Foundation
Golf Outing

Now, his schedule is hectic in a different way. He sees the
constable-to-District Judge transition as a continuation of his
law enforcement service. He told me that every DJ might get
the same sets of facts, and access to the same PA statutes;
but the hard part, he said, is knowing the correct procedures
and interpreting the law in a way that solves problems and
genuinely helps people.

same or similar set of circumstances, they will make better
Tina Mazaheri, President, Bucks County Bar
decisions and learn from their mistakes. He takes his time
with all cases, civil or criminal, so that he can understand the
situation and how both sides got to his courtroom on that day.

Foundation

Bucks County Bar Foundation Golf Outing

In the case of a juvenile arrested for a first time underage
drinking or possession of a small amount of marijuana, DJ
Petrucci doesn't want a teenager's future ruined for one poor
choice. He is a big believer in second chances, and this is
his passion - putting someone on the path to that second
chance. He could just set a fine for these juveniles, have their
parents pay the fine, and send them on their way. But that
doesn't help anyone in the long run. So what Petrucci does,

Petrucci isn't one to bang his gavel for effect as he feels
it is rude. He only has done that once, he told me, when
a criminal defendant was talking loudly out of turn. He
isn't one for video conferencing, unless he is covering a
vacationing judge's courtroom, because he places great
12

ON A BEAUTIFUL MONDAY MORNING, 80
GOLFERS ASSEMBLED TO PLAY GOLF AT THE
TOP-NOTCH COMMONWEALTH NATIONAL GOLF
CLUB (WHAT I REFER TO AS THE FOUR SEASONS
OF GOLF COURSES). THE GOLFERS RANGED IN
ABILITY, AGE, DIVERSITY OF LAW PRACTICE AND
SIZE OF LAW FIRMS. AMONGST OUR GOLFERS,
WE HAD JUDGES, BOTH COUNTY AND FEDERAL,
AS WELL AS NON-ATTORNEY FRIENDS OF THE
BAR FOUNDATION.
The golfers started out with a superb lunch buffet and
then were off to the greens. Keith Williams organized the
golfers, and was also a member of the team who placed
first, which included Bill Strein, Greg Mitsch and Tom Brolle.
The winner of the longest drive for the women was the
Honorable Nitza Quiñones Alejandro, and for the men,
Ryan Frain. John Conroy won closest to the pin and Dan
Montefor won for the straightest drive.

The Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Bucks
County Bar Association, was formed to spotlight the
positive contributions our members make to the greater
community and to make an even greater impact on our
community in the name of the legal profession. With
your help, we continue this mission. Thank you for
being so generous and for coming out to support us
throughout the year.

After what can only be described as a breathtaking day, the
golfers came back to cocktails and a scrumptious dinner
and dessert buffet.

We hope you can join us on September 19 for our movie
night, which includes dinner at the Bar Association and
the movie 12 Angry Men at the County Movie Theatre,
as well as our 15-year anniversary party to be celebrated
on October 10 at the nationally acclaimed Inn at
Barley Sheaf Farm.

On a beautiful Monday morning, 80 golfers assembled to
play golf at the top-notch Commonwealth National Golf
Club (what I refer to as the Four Seasons of golf courses). The

........................................................................................ Page 21

feature

When it's a Rainy Day
and Your Kids are
Bouncing off the Walls

Thank you to Greg Nardi and the staff of the Bar
Association for attending to every detail to make this an
amazing and profitable event. We netted close to $19,000,
which By
willRobin
be used
to support
Schleifer
Weiss our programs, including
scholarships for which we awarded over $20,000 this year,
Looking for some free indoor fun with
and for our annual Learning with Lawyers program, in
your kids? Look no further than the Bucks which we teach constitutional law to over 200 5th grade
County Free Library - Langhorne Branch. students in economically challenged areas of Bucks County.
Like the other Bucks County libraries, the
Langhorne Branch has a lot of exciting
events: themed story time for all age
groups (with music and finger puppets for
the little ones), Earth day activities, reading
with dogs, wildlife shows, Franklin Institute
space programs, and visits from special
performers including magician Ran'D
Shine, Center for Aquatic Sciences' Animal
Champions, and Strongman Eric Moss.
The calendar of upcoming events can be
accessed on the Bucks County Library
District's website.
In addition to a full calendar of events, the
Langhorne Branch features a children's
area with kid-height bookshelves, tables
and chairs, and sensory activities and
games. However, the most unique feature
of the Langhorne Branch is Penn's Little
Village, designed for young children up to
age five. Penn's Little Village is a miniature
play town featuring various storefronts
and buildings, including a schoolhouse,
a library, and a camper. Your children
can deliver mail, go grocery shopping at
Penny's Market, bring out their inner auto
mechanic at Woody's Service Center, and
don a fireman's jacket and hat at the fire
station complete with a fireman's hose and
a Dalmation. There's also a baby garden,
which is a play area designed for infants
and those who are not yet walking.

It has been my pleasure to be the President of the Bar
Foundation these past four years and I thank you for
allowing me the opportunity to interact with so many
fabulous people, both within our Association and in our
greater community. 
SUMMER 2019

21

When it's a Rainy Day and Your Kids
are Bouncing off the Walls
Looking for some free indoor fun with your kids? Look no
further than the Bucks County Free Library - Langhorne

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

"The Times They
Are A-Changin"

1

By Ronald L. Stockham
The Langhorne Branch, located at 301
and cell phone technology which does not need to be
S. Pine Street (413 & Flowers Ave.) in
On November 18, 1968, at a special bar admissions session
restated here. Besides, sleep deprived lawyers suffering
Langhorne, is a great place for kids to
before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held in the majestic
from stress or insomnia can fall asleep reading the hundreds
work off some energy while learning aboutSupreme Courtroom in City Hall, Philadelphia, we newly
of pages of Bucks County Courts & The Bucks County Bar
the world around us. 
admitted, apprehensive lawyers could not have anticipated
Association - A History from William Penn to 2003 after
the fast pace of the many changes in the practice of law
they have finished reading their thousands of unread emails,
that we would see22over the next 50 years.
tweets, text messages, social media, and other multiWhen I now walk by the Court House on my way to the
tasking distractions.
new Justice Center, I reminisce about how times have
Therefore, I will focus on the end of an era for lawyers
changed. So, when past BCBA President Jessica Pritchard
invited me to write something for the Writs about changes
from 1968 through 1974, plus or minus, a time which was
over the years, I accepted without reservation the challenge
significantly different from subsequent years. Changes in the
to write this article.
practice of law since then are obvious to the reader and do
not need to be re-stated here in tedious detail.
SCOPE OF ARTICLE. Unapologetically, this article is
somewhat autobiographical because it is based almost
entirely upon my recollections and experience in practicing
in Lower Bucks County and as former assistant district
attorney under part-time DAs, Ward Clark and then Kenneth
Biehn ("Biehn").

We had only two female lawyers in the 1968
Bucks County Bar, Kathryn Renzulli and
Harriet Mims.

My first draft of this article was many pages longer than
this final version. I originally had planned on preparing a
timeline beginning in 1968 and listing significant changes
in the rules, ethical practices, technological differences
leading to the digital age, the advent of social media, and
on and on. That proved to be totally impracticable and may
have tempted my editor to delete my "war stories." Senior
lawyers love to tell "war stories" which improve with age,
unlike their tellers.

DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGES. Unlike today, most law
students and lawyers were mostly Caucasian males. My full
time, day Temple Law Class of 1968 of about 80 students,
more or less, included only one female student, who was
called on every day in every class. This reduced the chance
of the rest of us being called on by our all-white male
professors who behaved like the proverbial Harvard Law
professor Charles Kingsfield in The Paper Chase. This is in
stark contrast to the statistics of the entering Temple Law
Class of 2018 which consisted of 33% students of color,
54% women, 78% who worked between college and law
school, 6 serving in or with the military, and students from
29 states and counties. The present day bars reflect these
statistics. We had only two female lawyers in the 1968
Bucks County Bar, Kathryn Renzulli and Harriet Mims. Mims
spent most of her time doing title searches in the Recorder
of Deeds Office. The 1968 all-Caucasian male Bucks County
Court consisted of a mere seven judges.

"The Times They Are A-Changin"
On November 18, 1968, at a special bar admissions session
before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held in the majestic
Supreme Courtroom in City Hall, Philadelphia, we newly

........................................................................................ Page 27

In any event, today's lawyers who grew up with computers
are very familiar with the ever-changing computer
technology, word-processing, legal software programs,

For the most part, law school graduates
entering the legal profession had little or no
student loan debt.

SUMMER 2019

27

Also in This Issue:
* From the Editor... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
* President's Letter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
* Minute with a Member . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
* John J. Rufe Softball Game . . . . . . . . . 16
* Pro Bono Honor Roll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
SUMMER 2019

BUCKS COUNTY

* Bucks Knocks Out Hunger. . . . . . . . . . 23
* Federal Courts CLE,
Swearing in & Reception. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
* Foundation Scholarship Presentation . . . . 26

L to R - Robert T. Repko, Esq., BCBA 2019 President, Greg Nardi,
BCBA Executive Director, and the Honorable Cynthia M. Rufe,
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of PA

BAR ASSOCIATION

Here to Serve You

JUDGE BOYLAN:
YEARS
A LOOK BACK ON TWENTY
FOR CLE CREDITS
PRO BONO SERVICE

Advertising Contact
Alicia Lee 
610.685.0914 x210
Alicia@HoffPubs.com

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