The smartest trial lawyers in Southeastern Pennsylvania gathered for the annual Musmanno Dinner at the Bellevue Stratford last week. The Philadelphia trial lawyers’ annual event was packed with notable litigators and savvy legislators. Among the litigators were TOM KLEIN, RON KOVLER, RICH KOHL, SAM POND, GERRY LEHOCKEY, TOM ANAPOL and MARK TANNER, to name just a few. Among the legislators attending were STATE SENS. VINCE HUGHES, MIKE STACK, DAYLIN LEACH, LARRY FARNESE and JAY COSTA, and STATE REP. BRENDAN BOYLE.
Several Common Pleas judges were also on hand. Among the judges were TERESA SARMINA, BILL MANFREDI, SANDRA MOSS and MARK BERNSTEIN. The Philadelphia trial lawyers are champions of justice who continue to fight for sanity regarding the rights of injured people. Also on hand was the Majority Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee STEWART GREENLEAF.
CONGRESSMAN BOB BRADY once again was the smartest guy in the room. When Mike Stack recently decided to run for Lieutenant Governor, the Chairman endorsed him and agreed to be chairman of Stack’s campaign committee. Brady’s endorsement means a great deal in Philadelphia and a substantial deal in Pennsylvania. Soon thereafter, Brady endorsed CONGRESSWOMAN ALLYSON SCHWARTZ for Governor. He has therefore made even more friends in Southeastern Pennsylvania than he had before.
PEDRO RAMOS, the highly respected member of the School Reform Commission, abruptly resigned the position, citing undisclosed family problems. His loss is Philadelphia’s loss, because he was one of the few members of the Commission who actually understands public education in Philadelphia. As a former member of the Board of Education, he was familiar with the people and the problems.
Now the SRC will return to being an amorphous and unresponsive bureaucratic commission. One that is largely controlled by the Governor. And the Governor has shown he is not really responsive to the needs of Philadelphia schools.
On that note, the Governor released $45 million in emergency funds for the School District of Philadelphia. But he did it without giving the Mayor or City Council any heads up. He continues to demonstrate he will pay to keep the district up and running but he will not form a partnership with the leaders of Philadelphia. This is a sharp turn from previous Governors, Republican or Democrat, who realized that they needed to work in conjunction with the players on the field. This Governor simply holds his nose and writes the check.