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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.
Singapore court jails teen blogger
A teen blogger in Singapore was sentenced to six weeks in jail on Thursday for "wounding religious feelings" after he pleaded guilty to posting comments on the Internet criticizing Christianity and Islam. The 17-year-old defendant, Amos Yee, told reporters he thought the sentence was very fair [Reuters report]. However, others have criticized the sentence as deterring freedom of expression. Last year Yee was also jailed [JURIST report] after posting images and video insulting the country's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew [BBC backgrounder]. A UN rights expert warned [JURIST report] that Yee's trial was a sign of increased criminalization of... Full Story››
Amnesty: Sudan government used chemical weapons against civilians
The Sudanese government used chemical weapons on civilians in a region of Darfur between January and September 9, an Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] investigative report claimed [press release] Thursday. During this time, the Sudanese army engaged in a military offensive targeting the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid. AI believes that during this time 30 attacks occurred and more than 200 civilians died, including young children. The evidence [materials] includes hundreds of interviews with survivors and satellite imagery. AI Director of Crisis Research, Tirana Hassan, said the military's use of chemical weapons is a war crime. She further stated: "Chemical weapons... Full Story››
California governor signs bill clarifying felons' right to vote
California Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed [press update] legislation [AB 2466 fact sheet, PDF] clarifying felons' voting rights. The law now clarifies that those sentenced under the third category of Criminal Justice Realignment Act of 2011 [AB 109 and 117]—a term in county jail—are not stripped of their constitutional right to vote and confirms that only those serving a state-prison sentence or on parole and under California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation [official website] supervision lose the right to vote. Bill sponsor Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) said the legislation is expected to ease the transition back to society and... Full Story››
Pennsylvania top court allows defendants to sue over inadequate public defender funding
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that indigent defendants may sue counties to ensure that public defenders' offices are more adequately funded. The case presented the issue of: "whether a cause of action exists entitling a class of indigent criminal defendants to allege prospective, systemic violations of the right to counsel due to underfunding, and to seek and obtain an injunction forcing a county to provide adequate funding to a public defender’s office." Justice David Wecht wrote the opinion and concluded that when:the level of funding provided by a county to operate a public defender's office... Full Story››
India top court lets marine stay in Italy pending arbitration decision
[JURIST] The Supreme Court of India [official website] ruled Wednesday that an Italian marine under investigation for murdering two Indian fishermen may stay in Italy pending a determination of where jurisdiction lies in the matter. Salvatore Girone, another marine involved in the 2012 incident, was allowed by the court to return to Italy [JURIST report] in May under similar circumstances. Massimiliano Latorre, the marine involved in Wednesday's ruling, returned [NYT report] to Italy in 2014 seeking medical treatment following a stroke. The court has stated that the two marines must await a decision from the Permanent Court of Arbitration [official... Full Story››