Harrisburg Vice Dean John L. Gedid
spoke at the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Division Day on the Hill CLE program that took place on May 4th and 5th. Vice Dean Gedid, who serves as a Pennsylvania Commissioner to the National Conference of Commissioners for Uniform State Laws, spoke on several pending Commission statutes that are about to become final. Once the statutes are finalized, the Pennsylvania Legislature will consider them for adoption.
Vice Dean Gedid spoke at length about the Revised Model State Administrative Procedure Act, for which he served as reporter. He suggested that the Model APA should be used to improve the Pennsylvania Administrative Agency Law, which dates back to 1946, when administrative law was in its infancy.
Professor Gedid also spoke at length about the new Uniform Collaborative Law Act, which addresses an emerging area of the law for which there is no statutory guidance. Private groups have created a settlement-encouraging practice of party collaboration to settle. The practice involves parties by contract agreeing to appoint lawyers solely to represent them in negotiation, and those lawyers are barred from litigating the same case. This practice creates incentives to negotiate honestly and productively, and replaces arbitration and mediation. The Act prevents or discourages the practice of using negotiation in order to gain an advantage during the litigation phase of a case if negotiations fail. The new uniform act draws upon collaborative practices that have worked successfully and provides default rules for parties to follow in pursuing collaborative settlement.
In addition to his participation in the Day on the Hill CLE, Vice Dean Gedid was an organizer and the keynote speaker at a Pennsylvania Bar Institute continuing legal education symposium held on April 14, 2009 at PBI headquarters in Mechanicsburg, PA. The symposium, attended by about one hundred lawyers, also included Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Cynthia Baldwin, Commonwealth Court Chief Judge Bonnie Leadbetter, and Commonwealth Court Judges Renee Kohn-Jubelirer and Dante Pellegrini.
Vice Dean Gedid spoke on the subject of procedural due process in agency litigation, a subject on which he has published extensively. He addressed the confusion in the definition of procedural due process that federal cases beginning in the early 1970's have caused in Pennsylvania procedural due process cases.