Law Day Celebrated with Luncheon Highlighting Right to Vote
On April 30 the Berks County Bar Association hosted more than 225 guests at our annual celebration of Law Day, a day set aside to highlight the importance of law in our society.
This year’s year theme is American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters. After all, to have “a government of the people, by the people and for the people,” it is necessary that all eligible citizens vote.
Each year the BCBA Law Day Committee conducts an Essay Contest for the 5th and 6th Graders of Berks County. This year, these questions were posed: When you become 18 years old, you will be able to vote in elections. Will you want to vote when you are able? Why or why not? Why do you think voting is an important right?
Left: the winners of the County Mock Trial Championship, Conrad Weiser
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 declares DC gun law unconstitutional
[JURIST] US Federal Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. [official profile] on Saturday ruled that the District of Columbia law prohibiting the carrying of pistols in public is unconstitutional. It is reported [Washinton Post report] that Judge Scullin issued an order addressed to the city and police department to end the ban on firearms. However, it has been undetermined if actual notice of the ruling has been received by D.C. officials and officers. Alan Gura, the attorney for the group trying to end the ban, stated that the order "is now a decision that the city is required to follow—the idea... Full Story››
European Court exposes illegal detention facilities linked to CIA's extraordinary rendition program in Poland
[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights [official website] handed down two rulings [judgments, PDF] finding the Polish government in violation of European human rights laws based on the establishment of prison center used for illegal detainment and torture of terrorist suspects. Amnesty International (AI) [official website] on Thursday reported [AI report] that the secret prison was established by the Polish Government in an effort to contribute to the US Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) [official website] extraordinary rendition program [JURIST news archive]. The secret prison was located near Warsaw and claimed to be operated from 2002 to 2005. Information about... Full Story››
US appeals court sets date for oral arguments on same-sex marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin
[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website] announced Friday that it will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin before a panel of three judges in August. The states requested that their arguments be heard en banc, but the court rejected the request [AP report]. Federal judges struck down Wisconsin and Indiana's [JURIST report] same-sex marriage bans in June, but both holdings [JURIST reports] were stayed while the Seventh Circuit heard the case. The court will hear oral arguments on both states' appeals on August 26. Since the... Full Story››
Congress passes legislation legalizing cell phone unlocking
[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] on Friday passed [bill status summary] a bill [text, PDF] that would make it legal for individuals to open the digital locks on their cellphones. The process, known as unlocking or jailbreaking, is currently illegal [text, PDF], punishable by fines of up to $500,000 and five years in jail for unlocking cellphones without the authorization of wireless carriers. The bill, known as the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, was passed [press release] by the Senate [official website] earlier this month. President Barack Obama [official website] has vowed to sign the... Full Story››
Gaza officials accuse Israel of war crimes at ICC
[JURIST] Top Palestinian officials on Friday filed a complaint to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website], accusing Israel of war crimes in Gaza. Palestinian Justice Minister Saleem Al-Saqqa and Gaza court public prosecutor Ismail Jabr started legal proceedings over the 18 days of fighting between Hamas and Israel that has killed over 800 Palestinians and 35 Israelis. The complaint [AP report] accuses Israel of war crimes, including apartheid, attacks against civilians, excessive loss of human life and colonization. The ICC must next decide whether it has jurisdiction in the Palestinian Authority. The territory is not a member of the... Full Story››