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Law Day

The Berks County Bar Association celebrated Law Day on May 3, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza. Keynote speaker, President Judge Paul M. Yatron, spoke about the 50th anniversary of Miranda v. Arizona. Fleetwood Area High School (below) emerged as the winner of the Mock Trials.

Pictured with Law Day Chair, Alexa Antanavage, Esquire, is Lauryn Massengill, first place winner of the Law Day Essay contest. Second and third place winners are (l-r) Elise L. Kirwan and Ignacio Gonzalez.

Looking for a Lawyer?

Have you just been served with a complaint seeking to foreclose on your home or to change the child custody arrangement or to evict you from your apartment?  Or are you considering bankruptcy?

You need to consult with an attorney.  Our members are skilled attorneys who can fight for your rights, draft valid legal documents and stand by you in the courtroom.  Don’t be misled by television ads for online legal forms.  Notaries and petition preparers cannot give legal advice or accompany you to court.  And “do-it-yourself” law is a fast lane to disaster.   Our members know Pennsylvania law, are available for personal consultations and are accountable to you. 

If you feel overwhelmed looking for the attorney right for you, go here for more information on what the Berks County Bar Association can do for you.


Foreclosure Mediation Program Continues

The Berks County Bar Association, in conjunction with the Berks County Courts and Neighborhood Housing Services, have created a program by which those threatened with the loss of their home can seek relief. The program began January 1 and is continuing.  Those served with a complaint in a consumer debt or home mortgage case may take advantage of the program.

Read More› for a description of the program.

The program is also explained on a recent "Ask a Lawyer" television show. Go here to view the program. As of July 16, 216 cases have requested to participate. Go here for a detailed update.


Australia PM proposes strict anti-terror legislation

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull [official website] on Monday proposed new counter-terrorism legislation [press release] that would allow for indefinite detention. Turnbull announced plans to introduce Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2016, which would allow for the indefinite detention of convicted terrorists who have served their sentences but are still deemed a threat to public safety. According to Turnbull, this would be, "supervised by the courts similarly to the arrangements that apply in a number of our jurisdictions for sex offenders and extremely violent individuals." The legislation would also allow for "control orders" to be placed on individuals as... Full Story››

UN: Afghanistan civilian casualties reach record high in first half of year

Civilian casualties have reached a record high [press release] in the first half of 2016, with 5,166 civilians recorded killed or maimed, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) [official website] reported [text, PDF] Monday. More than a third of those have been children, according to the report, and the total number of civilian casualties since 2009 has now climbed to 63,934, including 22,941 deaths and 40,993 injured. Remarking on the latest figures, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said:The violations laid bare in this report set in motion a cascade of potential human rights abuses... Full Story››

UK urges prosecutors to combat hate crimes with tougher sentences

The UK Home Office [official website] announced on Sunday that prosecutors will be encouraged to use tougher sentences against hate crimes in response to the nation's increasingly hostile environment since the EU referendum. Since the middle of June over 6,000 hate crimes and incidents have been reported [BBC report] to the authorities, and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) [official website] has also seen a record breaking increase in prosecutions for "violence against the person." The Home Office has denounced recent racially and religiously influenced hostilities, and the department now urges prosecutors to use the law to seek harsher penalties for... Full Story››

UN calls ISIS suicide bombings in Afghanistan a war crime

UN Special Representative to Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto stated [text] on Sunday that the recent suicide bombings in Kabul amounted to a war crime. On Saturday two suicide bombers targeted [CNN report] Shiite Hazaras who were holding a peaceful demonstration to push for more access to electricity in the region. Over 260 civilians were reportedly wounded from the attack. Yamamoto denounced the bombings and claimed that any attack targeting a large group of civilians counts as a war crime. While the Taliban has been the cause of recent bombings and kidnappings in Kabul, ISIS immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. As... Full Story››

Former Peru leader makes another presidential pardon request

Alberto Fujimori [BBC Profile; JURIST news archive], Peru's former leader who was jailed in 2007, submitted another request for a presidential pardon [Reuters report] on Saturday, just five days before President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski takes office. Fujimori is serving a 25-year sentence after being convicted in 2009 of committing human rights abuses during his 1990-2000 rule [JURIST report]. The Peruvian Supreme Court upheld the sentence [JURIST report] in January 2010, and Fujimori's previous request for a presidential pardon was denied [BBC report] in 2013. The request was made in light of Fujimori, who suffers from hypertension, turning 78 years old... Full Story››