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Municipal Law Seminar

CLE on the Open Records and Open
Meetings Laws

For government agencies, the Right-to-Know Law (involving open records) and the Sunshine Act (involving open meetings) serve as important laws designed to ensure governmental transparency.  The County of Berks will be hosting a training session, co-sponsored by the Berks County Bar Association, presented by Office of Open Records Chief of Outreach and Training and Open Records Officer George Spiess on fulfilling governmental agencies’ obligations under these two statutes between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.  The training will take place in the Second Floor Auditorium in the County Services Center, located at 633 Court Street in Reading.   The training is free, except attorneys seeking 1.5 CLE substantive credits will be charged a $10.00 processing fee.

Register here››

The CLE processing fee will be collected at the door.


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.


Former Hong Kong leader sentenced for corruption

A Hong Kong Court [official website] on Wednesday sentenced Donald Tsang, the former Chief Executive from 2005 to 2012, to 20 months in prison [state media report] for his failure to disclose personal conflicts of interest when his cabinet was considering a broadcasting license application by a Chinese property developer. Tsang faced up to a seven-year sentence and his conviction would have originally called for around 30 months imprisonment. Judge Andrew Chan took Tsang's long public service and reputation into account and decided to remove the last 10 months for a total of 20 months, but noted that Tsang's "breach... Full Story››

UK Supreme Court upholds minimum income policy for immigrant spouses

The UK Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday upheld [judgment, PDF] immigration rules that require British citizens have a certain level of income to bring their foreign spouses into Britain. The Minimum Income Requirement [text] rule mandates that a British citizen must have a minimum annual income of at least 18,600 euros in order for their foreign spouse to live with them in Britain. The rules allow for a easy way for the government to assess that the couple can support themselves without the need for governmental assistance. The suit alleged that the rule violated to their human right to... Full Story››

Russia highest court releases political activist

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation [official website] annulled the 2.5 year prison sentence [RAPSI report] of Ildar Dadin, who was the first person to be convicted under a relatively new anti-protest law. Dadin was imprisoned in 2015 under a law that allows the Russian government to press criminal charges against anyone who was caught taking part in a series of unsanctioned protests. According to case files, Dadin was arrested five times during rallies held between August 2014 and January 2015. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe [official website] welcomed the news of the court's decision and... Full Story››

Supreme Court rules in favor of death row inmate over racial bias

The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF]Wednesday Buck v. Davis [SCOTUSblog materials] in favor of a death row inmate seeking a new sentencing hearing. The inmate, Duane Buck, claims that his own lawyers stated during trial that he was more likely to cause future harm due to the color of his skin. The court ruled that Buck has proven both that he suffered from ineffective assistance of counsel and has shown an entitlement to relief in the form of the appeal. The court ruled that it was irrelevant that Buck's race was only briefly brought up as "some... Full Story››

Supreme Court: supply of single component for manufacture abroad does not constitute patent infringement

The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] in Life Technologies Corporation v. Promega Corporation [SCOTUSblog materials] on Wednesday that the supply of a single component in a multi-component patented invention for manufacture overseas does not violate Section 271(f)(1) of the Patent Act [text, PDF]. Section 271 [LII materials] prevents the supply from the US of "all or a substantial portion of the components of a patented invention" for manufacture abroad. Under 271, the supply must actively induce [Patentlyo report] the combinations in a manner that would infringe if the manufacture had occurred within the US. Promega had sold... Full Story››