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Both the Democratic Governor and Republican legislators are proposing to increase the sales tax and, for the first time, apply it to legal services.  Providing legal representation is not a commodity.  It is not a luxury.  For many Pennsylvanians, hiring an attorney is a necessity.  Do not be misled to think that this is a tax on lawyers. It is instead a tax on clients.

Access to justice is a basic constitutional right that should not be taxed and treated as a commodity.  Increasing the cost of effective legal representation by imposing a sales tax impacts people of limited means.  The public should not tolerate this added cost to protect its rights under the law. It will hurt people who are already hurting and in need of legal assistance.

Please reach out to your state legislators to ask them to vote AGAINST this proposed tax.  While we appreciate the need to change the way we fund our schools and lessen the burden of property taxes on individuals, taxing legal services is not the way to go.  You may use the links below to find the email address for your legislators and to contact the governor.  Even a short message expressing opposition is important and effective!

Click here to find your legislator.

Click here to then contact your state senator.

Click here to then contact your state representative.

Click here to then e-mail Governor Wolf. 

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.


Obama announces new EPA air quality regulations

US President Barack Obama on Monday announced [statement, video] a set of new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] power plant pollution regulations [EPA materials] designed to improve air quality and reduce green house gas emissions. The so-called "Clean Power Plan" sets carbon and other pollutant emission standards for states and requires them to submit plans to meet the standards by September 2016. It also provides incentives for the adoption of solar and other alternative energy production methods and recommended guidelines for states to use in creating their plans. Obama said the plan would help the country reduce its carbon... Full Story››

UAE indicts 41 on terrorism charges

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Attorney General Salem Saeed Kubaish announced Sunday that the country has indicted 41 people for attempting to organize a terrorist organization. According to the announcement [WAM report], the suspects created the 'Al Manara Youth Group' and collected guns, ammunition, and funding in an effort to start its own country based on 'takfiri' ideology. The government also alleges that the group worked with other terrorist organizations and was developing Islamic-State-style online propaganda techniques. The suspects will be tried [National report] by the Federal Supreme Court [official website] on August 24. Last month, the UAE passed a... Full Story››

Texas AG indicted on felony fraud charges

[JURIST] Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton [official profile], along with a former state legislator, were indicted on felony securities fraud, it was reported [NY Times report] on Saturday. Officials said that the three-count indictment against Paxton was handed up on Tuesday, and is to be unsealed on Monday when Paxton is expected to turn himself in to authorities at the Collin County Jail. The charges consist of two counts of first degree securities fraud and one count of third degree failure to register with the state securities board. The charges stem from his involvement in soliciting clients and investors for... Full Story››

British and French governments warn of global migration crisis

[JURIST] The British and French governments have warned in a joint article by British Home Secretary Theresa May [official profile] and French Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve [official profile] that the world is facing a "global migration crisis." The two government officials stressed that countries must make dealing with the increasing number of migrants a top priority. Britain and France have recently seen the desperate measures that immigrants will take to reach their destination. Those attempting to cross the 20-mile wide area of the English Channel between Calais, France and Dover, UK have been taking more dangerous risks [Telegraph... Full Story››

Closing UN health clinics will have devastating effect, Iraq parliament warns

[JURIST] Iraq's Parliament [official website] on Sunday warned that the UN decision to close many of the country's health clinics will have a "profound effect" on its people. The parliament announced that the decision will affect over 3 million refugees [Rudaw report] within the country and at least half a million children. Abdulhussein Mousawi, a member of the parliament's health committee, stated that the decision was more devastating than the war with the Islamic State (IS) [JURIST backgrounder]. He also criticized the Iraqi government for not providing the funds needed to keep the clinics running. According to estimates by the... Full Story››