Allegheny County Bar Association to Continue Building on its Successful Impact 250 Program With New Spring Programs to Assist the Public

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — March 27, 2009. The officers of the Allegheny County Bar Association today announced that its members will again be working to answer the legal needs of area residents during its Spring Forward with Impact Program. This program is a continuation of the association’s successful Impact 250 program that was held last fall to recognize the city of Pittsburgh’s birthday. Association members were able to assist nearly 10,000 area residents through clothing drives, telethons and legal clinics throughout the city.

Spring Forward with Impact will feature similar programs but will be centered around three main events: The 25th annual KD and You and Law legal call-in show will be held on April 21 on KDKA-TV. The Truth About Probate and Living Trusts clinic, which will be held on March 31st, will provide answers to questions about living trusts and probate and guarding against scams. Practicing Green, a neighborhood clean-up event, will be held on April 25th.

According to Jay Blechman, president of the Allegheny County Bar Association, “It was gratifying to see so many of our city residents being helped by our members during our Impact 250 program last October that we decided this should be a regular goal of the association to complement the thousands of hours that our members already commit to pro bono activities each year. A good example of the impact these programs are having was our Calling All Suits Drive in October. We reached our goal in a matter of days and ended up with more than 200 business suits for clients of the Project Employ organization. That is the level of assistance we are striving for with Spring Forward with Impact.”

Members of several of the bar’s committees, divisions and sections are participating, including members of the Young Lawyers Division, Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee, Workers Compensation Section, the ACBA Diversity Collaborative and the Civil Litigation Section.

The 25th annual KD and You and the Law Program which will run on April 21 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on KDKA-TV will include more than 100 attorneys answering legal questions from the general public. Typically, more than 2,000 telephone calls are received during the event. During Practicing Green on April 25th, members of the Young Lawyers Division, in conjunction with PA CleanWays will pick up trash and plant trees at locations in the North Side, Millvale, and Lincoln/Larrimer. On March 31, the bar association is teaming up with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office to offer a clinic on living trusts and probate and to help senior citizens guard against scams involving living trusts. Reservations for the clinic filled up in a matter of days, but area residents can get a free copy of the Truth About Probate and Living Trusts by calling 412-261-6161. Additional clinics at locations in other parts of the city are being planned.

As part of Spring Forward with Impact, the Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee has released the attached list of helpful tips for dealing with conflict.

Chartered in 1870 and headquartered in downtown Pittsburgh, The Allegheny County Bar Association is a professional organization with more than 6,600 member attorneys, judges, magisterial district judges, legal administrators, and paralegals.

Jay Blechman, Esquire, 412-263-3700

Additional Contacts:

For Practicing Green:
Michael K. Feeney, Esquire, 412-553-5356
For the The Truth about Probate and Living Trusts Clinic:
Scott Magnuson, Esquire, 412-372-2200
For KD and You and the Law:
Tom Loftus, 412-402-6620
How to Deal With Conflict?
Mary Cate Coleman, Esquire, 412-341-9300

How to Deal With Conflict?
Allegheny County Bar Association Offers Tips

As part of the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Spring Forward with Impact Program, members of the Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee of the Allegheny County Bar Association released some helpful tips for dealing with conflict or disputes.

According to Mary Kate Coleman, chairperson of the bar association’s Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee, “many disputes or conflicts can be settled if people could just communicate and listen better.”

According to the ADR Committee, the following tips, although they seem very simple, can help in dealing with conflict.

  • Listen to the other person and let the other person know that you have heard him or her. Conflict often occurs because someone does not feel like they were heard.
  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Try to envision what the situation looks like from their perspective.
  • Be respectful.
  • It is not only what you say that is important, it is also important how you say it.
  • Pay attention to your body language when discussing a situation with another person.
  • Understand the difference between positions and needs. Positions are what you want. Needs are why you want what you want. Collaborate on how you each can get what you need.
  • If all else fails, try mediation.