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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.
Alabama Supreme Court vacates ruling refusing to recognize same-sex adoption
[JURIST] The Alabama Supreme Court [official website] on Friday vacated its prior ruling refusing to recognize same-sex adoption. In its short opinion [decision, PDF], the court stated that "the Court of Civil appeals and the Jefferson Family Court erred in giving full faith and credit" to a Georgia state court decision declaring the woman the adoptive parent of her then same-sex partner's children. The court had ruled [decision, PDF] earlier this year that it would vacate its decision so long as it was determined that the "adoption decree appeared on its face to have been rendered by a court of... Full Story››
Iowa top court rules juveniles cannot be given life without parole
[JURIST] The Iowa Supreme Court [official website] on Friday ruled [opinion, PDF] that juvenile convicted of first-degree murder may not be sentenced to life without parole. The court reasoned that sentencing a juvenile to life without parole was cruel and unusual punishment and emphasized that "sentencing courts should not be required to make speculative up-front decisions on juvenile offenders' prospects for rehabilitation." The court noted that it may be determined that an individual is beyond rehabilitation after time has passed, "after a record of success or failure in the rehabilitative process is available." The court also emphasized that parole was... Full Story››
UN rights office warns lack of funding for inter-American rights body
A spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] warned [UN News Centre report] Friday that the severe financial crisis facing the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) [official website] is negatively impacting its ability to function. Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the OHCHR issued a briefing [press release] Fridaymorning in which she stated that if the IACHR does not receive additional funds, the ability of the rights systems currently in place to respond to potential violations could be severely curtailed. Shamdasani said, "[w]e urge States to reaffirm their commitment to human rights by... Full Story››
Federal appeals court rules employer cannot make employees sign class action waiver
[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that an employer may not coerce an employee to waive his or her right to bring a class action suit. In its decision, the court stated that section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act [materials] (NLRA) prevented Epic, the employer, from imposing its arbitration agreement upon its employees. The pertinent portion of the statute reads in part, "[e]mployees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage... Full Story››
HRW: Myanmar parliament should amend proposed public assembly law
Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Friday urged [official report] the Myanmar Parliament to reconsider a proposed law that they say has the potential to limit free expression and peaceful assembly. HRW acknowledged that the proposed law would replace a more restrictive law that had previously imprisoned activists, but said that the statute under consideration still contains shortcomings that could be overcome by consultation with legal experts, bringing the law within international standards of speech and assembly. According to HRW Asia Director Brad Adams, "[t]he government needs legal reforms that don’t just weaken the tools of repression, but removes... Full Story››