"End of Life: Legal, Medical and Ethical Issues" - March 18, 5 P.M., McGlinn Conference Center at Alvernia University - More information here
May 1 is officially recognized as Law Day. First proclaimed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958, the Day is intended to highlight the importance of law in our society. As President Eisenhower noted, “It is fitting that the people of this Nation should remember with pride and vigilantly guard the great heritage of liberty, justice, and equality under law which our forefathers bequeathed to us.”
This year’s theme is American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters. As part of his Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln expressed the hope “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” The very foundation of a government by the people is the right to vote. Striving to establish and protect every citizen’s right to vote has been a central theme of American legal and civic history. We see it today as part of the litigation over the recently passed Voter Photo ID law in Pennsylvania.
The Berks County Bar Association will be celebrating Law Day with its annual luncheon on April 30 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The program will include music provided by the Fleetwood High School Choraliers, announcing the winner of the County Mock Trial Competition, recognizing the winners of the 5th and 6th grade essay contest and the awarding of the Howard Fox Scholarship.
To reflect on the importance of the citizen’s right to vote, there is no one more qualified to be our keynote speaker than Susan B. Anthony, who fought for women to be granted the right to vote. The actress, Margaret Goldman, from the American Historical Theatre in Philadelphia, will portray the famous suffragette. It will be entertaining and educational!
Tickets are $20 each. Please email Andrea to make your reservation. Please include "Law Day" in the subject line.
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.
Oman court sentences former executive to 15 years for bribery
[JURIST] On Sunday the Oman Court of First Instance sentenced the former executive of Galfar Engineering and Contracting, Muhammad Ali, to 15 years in prison and a fine of 1.7 million Omani rials for conviction in five cases of graft. A similar sentence along with a smaller fine was given [Gulf News report] to Ali's deputy for being found guilty of being a direct accomplice. Ali was formerly sentenced [Reuters report] to three years in jail in January for bribes paid to Petroleum Development Oman, allegedly to encourage contracts to be awarded to his company. These trials are part of... Full Story››
North Korea holds first parliamentary elections under Kim Jong-un
[JURIST] On Sunday North Korea held its first parliamentary elections under the leadership of Kim Jong-un, [BBC profile] successor and son of the late Kim Jong-Il. The elections are held at five-year intervals and are considered more a formality than an actual democratic process, as constituents vote [BBC report] "yes" or "no" for the single, party-approved candidate for their district. The Supreme People's Assembly is considered a "rubber-stamp" parliamentary body, meeting [Al Jazeera report] only a few times per year to give their approval to programs and laws developed by the Worker's Party. The elections are seen by foreign observers... Full Story››
Administrative judge strikes down FAA ban on commercial drones
[JURIST] An administrative judge for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) [official website], Patrick Geraghty [official profile] dismissed [text, PDF] a fine brought by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) [official website] against a drone operator Thursday. The ruling effectively strikes down [Politico report] the FAA's bans on the use of commercial drones put in place in 2007. Geraghty found that the ban was not enforceable because the FAA did not comport with an official rule-making process before it issued the rule. With this decision, it is now legal to use drones at a low altitude for commercial purposes. On Friday... Full Story››
China considering limiting use of death penalty
[JURIST] China's legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC) [JURIST news archive], on Sunday announced measures that would subject less crimes to capital punishment if passed. Various government departments are reportedly beginning to study the topic [Reuters report] by bringing in legal scholars on the subject. Capital punishment currently applies to 55 different offenses in China. Human rights groups say that China overuses the death penalty [JURIST report], specifically for non-violent crimes like fraud and illegal money-laundering. The government is not, however, considering dropping the death penalty for crimes of corruption. The Dui Hua Foundation [advocacy website] estimated that 3000 people... Full Story››
Federal judge rules challenge to Colorado tax law may continue
[JURIST] On Friday, a judge for the United Stated Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [official website] ruled [text, pdf] that a challenge to Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) [text] could continue. The plaintiffs in the suit, consisting of 33 lawmakers, argue that TABOR is unconstitutional [Denver Post report] because it limits state spending and bars lawmakers from raising taxes without a public referendum, violating the US Constitution [Cornell LII materials] guarantee that every state is to have a republican form of government rather than a direct democracy. In rejecting the state's claims that the plaintiffs lack standing,... Full Story››