It is the position of the Philadelphia Bar Association that civil asset forfeiture should be abolished, and that forfeiture occur under state law only after the property owner is convicted of a crime, as part of the underlying criminal proceeding. This would guarantee that no property is forfeited by default, that in every case the government proves the connection between the property and the crime for which the property owner was convicted, that property owners receive adequate notice of the government's intent to seek forfeiture in the criminal charging document, that property owners have a right to appointed counsel when contesting forfeiture and that people convicted of crimes can challenge forfeiture of their property without sacrificing their constitutional rights in their criminal case.
Consistent with this position, the Philadelphia Bar Association filed an amicus brief in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court case of Commonwealth v. Real Property and Improvements known as 416 S. 62nd Street, Philadelphia, Pa and 1997 Chevrolet and Contents Seized From James Young. The Barristers' Association of Philadelphia and the Hispanic Bar Association joined the Philadelphia Bar Association in the amicus brief.
The brief was authored pro bono by Matthew Lee, partner at Blank Rome LLP.