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.
ICC orders interim release of four suspects with ties to Bemba case
[JURIST] Judge Cuno Tarfusser of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Tuesday reviewed the detention status of four suspects motu proprio and ordered [ICC order, PDF] their interim release in a case pending before the ICC related to the detention of former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo [BBC profile], whose case is also pending before the ICC. The four suspects [ICC case materials] are Aime Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidele Babala Wandu and Narcisse Arido, and all of the individuals are citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Three of the four men were arrested [JURIST... Full Story››
Federal jury returns guilty verdict for Blackwater security guards
[JURIST] A federal jury in the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] returned a guilty verdict on Wednesday for four ex-Blackwater security guards, now Academi [official website], who shot and killed 14 Iraqis and wounded 17 in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad. Nicholas Slatten was found guilty [NPR report] of first-degree murder, and three others were found guilty of multiple counts of voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and gun violations: Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard. The men were serving as private contractors, hired to protect members of the US Department of State (DOS) [official website],... Full Story››
UN rights expert concerned over drone use in domestic law enforcement
[JURIST] A UN rights expert said Wednesday that the increase in the use of armed drones in domestic law enforcement may violate human rights [press release]. In his report [text, PDF] to the UN General Assembly, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns [official website] raised a number of serious concerns with regards to the use of armed drones by the police as well as private security firms. Heyns noted:Questions that are asked about the use of armed drones and autonomous systems on the battlefield intensify when they are used in ordinary policing. The relationship between... Full Story››
Oklahoma judge allows law banning abortion pills to take effect
[JURIST] An Oklahoma District Court judge on Wednesday said that he will allow a law that bans abortion-inducing drugs to take effect as planned on November 1. The lawsuit was filed [JURIST report] by the Reproductive Services in Tulsa and the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice [advocacy websites] earlier this month, claiming that Oklahoma House Bill 2684 [text] will lead to increased use of surgically-induced abortions for cases where drugs can be used. Those in favor of the law said that the drugs could harm pregnant women because their use in abortion procedures have not been approved by the US... Full Story››
Idaho governor asks entire Ninth Circuit to review same-sex marriage ruling
[JURIST] The governor of Idaho CL "Butch" Otter [official website] filed a petition [text, PDF] Tuesday night asking for the entire US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] to review an earlier Ninth Circuit ruling [text, PDF] against the Idaho constitution's definition of marriage. The petition is a major positional change for Otter, coming two weeks after he stated in a press release [text] that "we are a nation of laws. Idaho now should proceed with civility and in an orderly manner to comply with any forthcoming order from the 9th Circuit." Three days later on October... Full Story››