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Pat Pierce Joins Legal Network for Gender Equity

By: devweb

Partner Patricia V. Pierce of Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt and Flores, LLC has recently joined the Legal Network for Gender Equity, a national task force of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), as a member attorney.

The effort stems from the NWLC’s desire to mobilize a nationwide network of attorneys willing to represent women and girls who have experienced harassment or other forms of sex discrimination at work, school or in health insurance or health care settings. As an attorney in the Legal Network for Gender Equity, Ms. Pierce will provide bro bono consultations to women referred by the NWLC. The NWLC will foster referrals, training and updates on key issues in the law of sex discrimination. To support the effort, and in light of recent sexual harassment scandals reported in the news, a group of Hollywood attorneys and executives came together to establish the “Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund” to offset the costs of litigation arising from network referrals relating to sexual harassment.

The NWLC began in 1972, when secretaries at a public interest law firm made four demands: better pay for women, more women staff attorneys, work on women’s rights, and no serving coffee. Since then, the center has worked to protect and promote equality and opportunity for women and families through research, public education, and advocacy of changes in public policy. For more information, visit www.nwlc.org.

Founded over 20 years ago as an aggressive criminal defense law practice,Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt and Flores, LLC is a full-service law firm offering individuals assistance in virtually all areas of criminal, employment, personal injury, civil rights, and family law. The firm has offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Visit gpffstaging.wpengine.com for more information.

James Funt Discusses Police “Double Standard” on KYW Newsradio

By: devweb

Philadelphia – February 12, 2018 – James A. Funt, a founding partner of  Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt and Flores, LLC was interviewed this week on “Flashpoint,” a weekly show on KYW Newsradio where local and national influencers share their points of view on Philadelphia news stories of the week.

Topics on the show focus on community affairs, political news, civil rights and grassroots issues impacting the region. Guests on this week’s program included Funt, Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Joseph Sullivan and Shani Akilah and Abdul-Aliy Muhammad, co-founders of the Black and Brown Workers Collective (BBWC). The group discussed the post-Super Bowl celebrations in the streets of Philadelphia.

While much of the revelry was lawful, some fans chose to commemorate the win with acts of vandalism to personal and commercial property. Images of the more excessive instances of damage made headlines across the nation. While a number of individuals have been arrested, representatives of Black Lives Matter have criticized the city’s response as mild, saying that large gatherings for civil protests by black people are more aggressively approached. “You can riot if you’re white and your team wins, but if you’re black and being killed, you can’t speak out,” said Black Lives Matter of Greater New York president Hawk Newsome in an interview with Newsweek. During the program, Deputy Commissioner Sullivan discussed how the sheer number of fans celebrating was “overwhelming,” and that the majority celebrated “as they should,” while stressing that investigation and arrests would continue. “These are serious charges,” he said. “It’s a top priority to get to these people who committed acts of vandalism.” Akilah queried whether a protest and the Super Bowl night could even be compared in terms of preconceived notions – that football fans are considered “rowdy,” while protestors are often called “hostile” and “violent.” Funt clarified that, often, the difference is asking whether the action is true freedom of speech. Many methods of expression are considered as such, from online posts, to dance, clothing, signs, even kneeling during the National Anthem. However, when something starts out as free speech but ends up as a threat to one or more individuals, “that’s not speech,” he said. “That is a criminal act.” He stressed that, sporting celebration or a political protest, if someone crosses that line, “certain actions have to be taken – the question is going to be – is it going to be uniformly taken regardless of the skin color of the person…?” Muhammad indicated skepticism. Citing BBWC involvement in a number of local events in the past year, he characterized police presence as appearing overly aggressive in terms of numbers or presence. “If you look at…a coalition of white-led organizations in Philly, you don’t see that kind of surveillance that you don’t see at a black-led direct action. There’s just not the same police presence, the police don’t organize in a same way [and] they don’t flank the crowd in the same way that they do when it’s black organizers.” Deputy Commissioner Sullivan offered that the police approach any large gathering of celebration or protest, whether it be Black Lives Matter or the recent Women’s March, in the same way: trying to work with the group beforehand for its own protection, taking initiatives like issuing street closures if a march is planned. “We want to make it a safe environment for them to exercise their First Amendment rights.” Akilah cautioned that the very purpose of some protests make such communication impossible. “That is not the goal,” she stressed. “We are not there to work with the police [when] the police are implicated in this larger system of violence against black bodies.” Funt capped off the program with encouragement of all to continue to discuss the issues. “[The issue of] whether or not there is a larger issue of a police state and that people have been mistreated has to be dealt with and has to be dealt with– in my mind – First Amendment issues – dialogue and speech,” he said. “You attack… that speech with more speech.” “Shows like this are important to bring together very disparate conversations, and in that way I hope that we can really bring people together,” he continued. “There has been a greater move toward dialogue with the police and I am hopeful that Philadelphia is going to move forward in that.” To listen to the full program, click here. James A. Funt has spent his entire career helping those who have been discriminated against, both in his legal practice and volunteer work. He specializes in blue collar and white collar criminal defense, civil rights issues, and plaintiff employment discrimination matters. Founded over 20 years ago as an aggressive criminal defense law practice,Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt and Flores, LLC is a full-service law firm offering individuals assistance in virtually all areas of criminal, employment, personal injury, civil rights, and family law. The firm has offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Visit gpffstaging.wpengine.com for more information.

Attorney Larry Krasner leaves WGP to become Philadelphia District Attorney

By: RDKInteractive

Attorney Larry Krasner, who previously merged his law practice with Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt and Flores prior to launching his successful campaign, will leave the firm effective December 31, 2017 to be sworn in as the next District Attorney of the City of Philadelphia. Mr. Krasner won the election with a promise to bring criminal justice reform to Philadelphia, including halting the death penalty and ending mass incarceration.

Mr. Krasner is a graduate of Stanford Law School, where he served on the Stanford Law Review, and has practiced for the past thirty years as a leader in the Philadelphia Criminal Defense and Civil Rights community. His election to this position is widely seen as part of a wave of progressive district attorneys committed to fairness in justice throughout the county.

Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt and Flores, LLC proudly supports Mr. Krasner in his efforts to bring criminal justice reform to Philadelphia. WGP Managing Partner Ronald Greenblatt, who started his career with Mr. Krasner at the Defender Association of Philadelphia in 1987, said of his longtime friend and colleague: “We wish him the best. We know he will do the best he can for the citizens of Philadelphia to protect them and keep them safe while bringing true change to the criminal justice system in Philadelphia.”

Founded over 20 years ago as an aggressive criminal defense law practice, Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt & Flores is an established, full-service law firm with experienced attorneys skilled in all areas of criminal, employment, personal injury, civil rights, and family law. The firm has offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. For more information on the firm or its attorneys, please see gpffstaging.wpengine.com or contact Ronald Greenblatt at 215.735.1600.

Prominent Philadelphia Attorney Sues City Sheriff’s Deputies

By: RDKInteractive

Clifford E. Haines, Esq., a prominent attorney who has practiced law in the City of Philadelphia for close to half a century, has filed a civil action against five deputies in the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office, stemming from an attack and resulting injuries inflicted in August of 2017 at the city’s Criminal Justice Center.

[  Haines v Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office (PDF)  ]     [ Video of Clifford Haines Incident ]

 

Media coverage on this case:

Bella Schnall Elected to Partnership

By: RDKInteractive

PHILADELPHIA, PA – September 29, 2017: Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt & Flores, LLC (WGP) is pleased to announce that attorney Bella Schnall has been elected to partnership.

Ms. Schnall is Director of the firm’s Family Law Division. She has over 30 years’ experience in the area of family law/domestic relations. Ms. Schnall handles a wide range of matters including divorce, child support and child custody cases as well as drafting of pre- and post-nuptial agreements. She practices in state court in Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Bucks Counties.

A trained Collaborative Divorce Attorney, Ms. Schnall served as a co-President of Collaborative Lawyers of Southeastern Pennsylvania (formally Collaborative Family Law Affiliates) for two years. In that capacity, she participated in creating and expanding the visibility of Collaborative Family Law in the five-county area as well as providing training for attorneys seeking to learn more about this growing area of practice. A trained mediator, Bella has substantial experience working to solve clients’ family law problems without the need for court action or intervention—resulting many times in a quicker, less expensive and contentious proceeding.

A lecturer for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and the Pennsylvania Institute for Certified Accountants, she has served as a faculty member of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. In addition, Ms. Schnall served on the Board or Directors of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Volunteers for the Indigent Program VIP from 2011 to 2016. Ms. Schnall was a clinical instructor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law for four years, teaching in the civil litigation clinical program. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania (B.A. 1973) and attained a JD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 1976.

Founded over 20 years ago as an aggressive criminal defense law practice, Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt & Flores is an established, full-service law firm with experienced attorneys skilled in all areas of criminal, employment, personal injury, civil rights, and family law. The firm has offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. For more information on the firm or its attorneys, please see gpffstaging.wpengine.com or contact Ronald Greenblatt at 215.735.1600.

[  View Press Release  ]

Attorney Larry Krasner Joins WGP

By: RDKInteractive

PHILADELPHIA, PA – September 6, 2017: Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt & Flores, LLC (WGP) is pleased to announce that Lawrence S. Krasner, Esquire, one of Philadelphia’s preeminent criminal defense and civil rights lawyers, has merged his firm of Krasner and Associates, with Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt and Flores, LLC. Mr Krasner will be joining the firm on an Of Counsel basis. Mr Krasner, his associate Liam Riley, Esquire and staff provide representation in the areas of criminal defense, civil rights and personal injury. During Mr. Krasner’s thirty years of practicing law he has established himself as one of the region’s finest attorneys for his zealous advocacy on behalf of his clients in both criminal defense and civil rights matters. Mr. Krasner, who is the Democratic nominee for Philadelphia District Attorney, will be transitioning his entire practice should he win the election in November 2017.

Ronald L. Greenblatt, Esquire, managing partner of Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt & Flores stated, “we are so proud to have Mr. Krasner and the other members of Krasner and Associates join our firm. We are thrilled that he has selected us to be the firm that he wishes to transition his clients to while he pursues his goal of becoming Philadelphia’s next District Attorney. We look forward to working with Mr. Krasner in these upcoming months and to easing his transition back into public life. As importantly, we also look forward to serving his clients.”

Mr. Krasner noted his long connection with the firm stating “the lawyers at Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt & Flores are among the finest in their field. I have worked with many of the attorneys there for decades. I know the quality of their work. Ron Greenblatt and I started as Philadelphia Public Defender together in 1987 and have co-counseled numerous cases over the years. Additionally, the late Meg Flores, Esquire, who was a named partner in the firm, was my colleague in representing literally hundreds of protesters during the Republican National Convention in 2000. For so many reasons, this firm is a natural fit for me.”

Mr. Krasner received his undergraduate at the University of Chicago in 1984 and his law degree from Stanford Law School in 1987. Mr. Krasner has worked as both a State and Federal Public Defender. He went into private practice in 1993 and has since represented thousands of clients charged with criminal offenses and has prosecuted hundreds of civil rights claims, including over 75 police misconduct lawsuits over corruption and physical abuse. Throughout his decades-long career, Mr. Krasner has also demonstrated a steadfast commitment to social justice, having represented protesters pro bono involved in movements including ACT UP, Black Lives Matter, Casino-Free Philadelphia, DACA Dreamers, Decarcerate PA, Heeding God’s Call, Kensington Welfare Rights Union, Occupy Philly and Reclaim Philly, among others.

Mr. Krasner is also widely recognized as one of the top criminal defense and civil rights lawyers in the area, reflected by his Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating of “AV Preeminent”, which is the “Highest Possible Rating in both Legal Ability & Ethical Standards”, for at least the last ten consecutive years. He was also selected in 2012 to an elite group of only 12 attorneys considered qualified to handle death penalty homicides for the court system in Philadelphia. Mr. Krasner has participated in numerous speaking engagements, including a presentation at the University of Pennsylvania on how the use of cell phone video to document police misconduct has transformed the landscape of police accountability.

Founded over 20 years ago as an aggressive criminal defense law practice, Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt & Flores is an established, full-service law firm with experienced attorneys skilled in all areas of criminal, employment, personal injury, civil rights, and family law. The firm has offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. For more information on the firm or its attorneys, please see gpffstaging.wpengine.com or contact Ronald Greenblatt at 215.735.1600.