High Swartz Holds Professional Educational Event on Engaging Younger Generations

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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (April 16, 2014) –Law firm High Swartz, together with Dunleavy & Associates, a project management firm for not-for-profit organizations, recently hosted a complimentary educational program for clients at the Montgomery Bar Association titled “Engaging Younger Generations as Donors, Volunteers and Employees.”

Nancy Dunleavy, CEO, Dunleavy & Associates, who currently serves on four boards, led a panel of emerging professionals, all of whom are actively engaged in their communities, in a discussion of the attributes and behaviors of Millennials, also known as Gen Yers, the fastest growing population in today’s multigenerational workplace. Panelists included:

–   Kat Armstrong, project manager, Dunleavy & Associates, and board member, Young Professionals Networks

–   Emily Coffin, development director, Byerschool Foundation

–   Festo Okidi, senior business partnership specialist at Philadelphia Youth Network, and vice chairman, Advisory Board of Directors, Young Professionals Networks (Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce)

–   Lauren Hirshon, director, Research and Consulting at Fels Institute of Government, University of Pennsylvania, and board member, Young Professionals Networks

Participants learned how to identify and leverage the characteristics of these young professionals, and realign assumptions to best engage them, whether for business, philanthropy or community service.

Founded in 1914, High Swartz LLP is a general practice law firm with a rich history and tradition of excellence serving clients in Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and the Mid-Atlantic.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured above are High Swartz Managing Partner Joel Rosen and CEO of Dunleavy & Associates Nancy Dunleavy.

In Custody Litigation: Why Do I Have To Go To Mediation?

13D0656-Custody MediationBy High SwartzApril 9, 2014Whenever a custody petition is filed in Montgomery County, the parties are directed to contact a designated mediator to arrange for a required mediation orientation session.  The one exception to the attendance requirement would be a case where there is an active Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order or – even without a PFA Order – the mediator screens out a case with an abuse potential.  This requirement can be confusing to those parents undergoing custody litigation; after all, the parties have already concluded they are in disagreement and are looking to the court to resolve their dispute.

Why Mediation Orientation is Mandatory

The irony of the mandatory attendance requirement is that mediation by its very nature is a voluntary process, where parties come together in good faith seeking an amicable resolution of their conflict.  Bringing a case to a judge is always the last resort and most expensive option, after all other options have been explored and exhausted.  It makes sense to ensure the parties involved are aware of less severe alternatives one last time before determining that litigation is the only way.Although the parties in the custody case are required to receive an orientation to the precepts of mediation and how it may help in addressing a custody dispute, going beyond orientation into an actual mediation must be a decision agreed to by all parties involved.  As a result, some parents will leave right after the fifteen or twenty minute orientation, while others will stay on for the full two hours to try their hand at mediation.   If mediation is elected, the parties are free to leave at any time if one or both of them should feel the process is not being productive.

The Fruits of Mediation

While the mediator is trained to facilitate the discussion, any points of agreement will be the work of the parties themselves.  At the end of the session, they may ask the mediator to prepare an informal and unsigned Memorandum of Understanding, summarizing what they have achieved.  However, this is not a legally binding document, and the parties are free to reconsider the tentative decisions made.  If represented by counsel, the parties will surely wish to discuss with their respective lawyers what went on during the mediation.  Often tentative agreements will be formally adopted later, thereby sparing the parties the expense and uncertainty of custody litigation.Although a parent in a custody case may not wish to or be able to use mediation to resolve the dispute, the reminder that it is an option may be able to help some parents during this difficult process.The information above is general; we recommend that you consult with an attorney regarding your specific circumstances.  The content contained herein is not meant to be considered as legal advice or as a substitute for legal representation.

Norristown Municipal Council Honors High Swartz Centennial

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (April 7, 2014) – The Norristown Municipal Council acknowledged the 100th anniversary of law firm High Swartz at its meeting on April 1.  Representatives from the firm were present to receive the tribute, which included a plaque and Key to the City.“High Swartz is honored by this recognition. For the past century, we have been privileged to serve the people and businesses of Norristown and the surrounding area for their legal needs,” said Joel Rosen, managing partner. “That’s why it’s so important for us to give back to the communities that have given us so much for so long.”To celebrate its centennial, the firm recently launched the initiative “Setting the Bar High: 10 Deeds for 10 Decades – High Swartz Gives Thanks for 100 Years in Norristown.”  Throughout 2014, attorneys and staff will participate in a different volunteer or fundraising event each month, reflecting a range of causes.“In a day and age when businesses come and go it is rare for a business to operate in one place over the course of a century. The firm of High Swartz has reached that mark. We want to congratulate them on 100 years in business and wish them continued success in the next hundred,” said William Caldwell, Norristown Municipal Council president.Founded in 1914, High Swartz LLP is a general practice law firm with a rich history and tradition of excellence serving clients in Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and the Mid-Atlantic.

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Pictured (from left) are: William Caldwell, Norristown Municipal Council president; and High Swartz attorneys Mary Cushing Doherty, Joel Rosen, and Gilbert High, Jr.