Important Statements of Support
Statement in Support of Federal Funding of Civil Legal Services
MidPenn Legal Services provides free representation to Berks County low-income families needing help with child custody, domestic violence, housing, public benefits, employment and consumer issues.
Berks County Bar Association Board of Directors Statement
on Judicial Independence
In light of recent, critical comments by the President of the United States directed at members of our judicial branch of government while litigation was pending, and in light of the fact that judges who have been criticized, by rule, are not permitted to respond publicly, the Board of Directors of the Berks County Bar Association has decided that it is appropriate to issue this statement in support of our Federal Constitution.
Access to Courthouse/Family Dockets
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.
Federal judge approves Volkswagen emissions settlement
The US District Court of Northern California [official website] gave final approval on Thursday for Volkswagen's [corporate website] settlement [text] related to cheating on the emissions of their 3.0-liter vehicles sold in the US. The settlement [Reuters report] requires Volkswagen to pay at least $1.22 billion to buy back or fix 80,000 3.0-liter vehicles. Owners of the vehicles will receive between $7,000 and $16,000 from Volkswagen to fix the cars if the emissions remedies are approved. If regulators do not approve the fixes, Volkswagen could end up paying up to $4.04 billion. The amount of compensation the owners receive will... Full Story››
AG Sessions orders more aggressive drug sentencing
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions [official website] on Friday issued a new charging policy [materials] urging prosecutors to seek the largest sentences for each crime. This reverses the past administrations policy regarding drug related crimes. The so-called Holder Memo [text, PDF] had been issued to urge that prosecutors to not seek the longer sentences for people charged with drug crimes that were not connected to large drug organizations. The new Sessions memo urges [Washington Post report] prosecutors to "charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense". This new policy is expected to lead to more federal prosecutions and raise... Full Story››
Former Florida congresswoman convicted of fraud
Former congresswoman Corrine Brown was convicted of fraud on Thursday. Brown represented the Jacksonville, Florida district from 1993 to 2017 as part of the Democratic party. She had lost re-election last fall after her indictment. Brown was convicted of 18 out of 22 charges related to the misuse of funds from the charity One Door for Education. The charity was meant to provide scholarships, but the court found [Florida Times-Union report] it had only given out one $1,200 scholarship to an unidentified person, despite bringing in $800,000 between 2012 and 2016. The rest was spent on lavish parties, trips, and... Full Story››
North Korea sends letter to US Congress over sanctions
The North Korean legislature on Friday sent a letter [text, KCNAWatch] to the US House of Representatives [official website] protesting new sanctions [materials] raised against the country. The letter is a rare communication between the two nations, who do not have any formal ways to communicate. The letter stated [Hill report], "As the U.S. House of Representatives enacts more and more of these reckless hostile laws, the DPRK's efforts to strengthen nuclear deterrents will gather greater pace, beyond anyone's imagination." Condemnation of sanctions and US actions is not uncommon by North Korea, yet this formal approach is not common. In... Full Story››
Trump signs executive order on cybersecurity
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order [text, JURIST] Thursday designed to strengthen IT and cyber security frameworks in the country by having agency heads manage security risks and modernize the IT infrastructure. The order also mandates the use of the National Institute of Standards and Technology framework to manage risks and a creation of a new cyber secure network. The order calls on all agency head to submit a risk assessment within 90 days which will outline the goals and vulnerabilities within each agency. Known but unmitigated vulnerabilities are among the highest cybersecurity risks faced by executive departments... Full Story››