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.
California governor signs bill banning plastic bags
[JURIST] California Governor Jerry Brown [official website] on Tuesday signed [press release] a bill [SB270 text, PDF] issuing a statewide ban against single-use plastic bags. Beginning in July 2016, grocery and convenience stores across the state will be required to supply reusable, multi-purpose bags to customers, to be sold for profit. This law, the first of its kind in the US, is in response to the growing amount of trash and litter building up along the coastline, damaging the ecosystem. Upon the governor's signing, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins stated that "Removing the harmful blight of single-use plastic bags, especially along... Full Story››
UK prosecutors drop terrorism charges against former Guantanamo detainee
[JURIST] The UK's Crown Prosecution Service [official website] on Wednesday dropped terrorism charges against Moazzam Begg [Guardian backgrounder], a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was arrested on suspicion of terrorism offenses related to the war in Syria [JURIST backgrounders]. Begg was scheduled to stand trial next Monday for charges including the funding and training of terrorist activities, but last-minute evidence was determined to undermine the prosecutors' case. While the police have defended his arrest, Begg accused authorities of demonizing the Muslim community. Begg was in prison for seven months following his arrest and has become an outspoken advocate [JURIST report]... Full Story››
ICC: Kenya president must attend hearing
[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Wednesday found [judgment, PDF] that Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta [ICC case materials; JURISTnews archive] must appear in court for his hearing next week, rejecting a request by the leader to be excused due to scheduling conflicts. The ICC stated that the case had reached a "critical juncture" and that "the requirements of justice in this case necessitate the physical presence of the accused in court." The defense had suggested [BBC report] that if the hearing could not be postponed, Kenyatta could appear via video link, though this was also rejected by... Full Story››
Karadzic denies link to Bosnian war atrocities
[JURIST] Former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday insisted upon his innocence during closing remarks at his genocide trial at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website]. Karadzic, who is charged [ICTY case summary, PDF] with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws of war, continues to claim that he was unaware of the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre [JURIST news archive] where more than 7,000 Muslims were killed by Serb forces, and asserts [AP report] that the prosecutors had no evidence linking him to the crimes charged.... Full Story››
Federal judge rules against health care tax subsidies
[JURIST] A U.S. District judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma [official website] on Tuesday struck down [order] federal tax subsidies under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [text, PDF]. Judge Ronald White found that the Internal Revenue Service rule, which provides subsidies to individual customers in states that have declined to set up a health care marketplace, is an "invalid implementation of law." White has put his holding on hold pending appeal. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said, "[t]oday's ruling is a consequential victory for the rule of law. ... The administration... Full Story››