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Happy New Year!


The crew of the Berks County Bar Association, on behalf of Your Community of Lawyers, wishes all a holiday season filled with happiness and good cheer.

As 2016 comes to an end and we look with anticipation the 2017 ship setting sail, may your dreams for the new year’s cruise be realized.  The attorneys of the Berks County Bar Association stand ready to help.  If you are facing a troubling legal issue and are having difficulty finding the right legal counsel for you, please consult our Lawyer Referral Service.  Information about the service can be found here.

For those feeling economic pressure and have a need for an attorney but  fear not being able to afford one, please consult with MidPenn Legal Services to determine if you are eligible for free representation or at a reduced fee.  While we are not always successful, the Berks County Bar Association strives to provide access to justice for all.

Maybe you are already actually engaged in litigation, and your hope for the new year is that the matter be resolved.  Our Alternative Dispute Resolution Program is equipped to help parties in litigation realize just such a dream through private arbitration or mediation.  Information on the program can be found here. Bringing closure through compromise lessens stress and is more cost-effective, thus, usually making it the right approach.

Your Community of Lawyers wants to help you achieve your dreams when legal counseling is required to do so.

Our crew’s hope for you is that 2017 will be a year of sailing with peace and prosperity.

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.


Palestine leader warns President-Elect Trump against moving embassy to Jerusalem

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a recent letter, warned [Independent article] President-Elect Trump against moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Specifically, Abbas said the move would have a "disastrous impact on the peace process, on the two-state solution and on the stability and security of the entire region." The new administration's plan has also been criticized by many in the international community, who have hypothesized that the move could lead to violence. Palestinian officials have expressed their belief that the move could put to a halt the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and one official has even... Full Story››

Philippines President threatens martial law to combat drug problem

The Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday said he plans to declare martial law [Reuters report] if the country's drug problem becomes "very virulent." Duterte, who recently called reports that he intended to institute martial law "nonsense," has made a concerted effort to combat drugs in the country, a campaign which has resulted in the killing of 6,000 people and the arrest of over 1 million drug traffickers and users. Specifically, Duterte said "[i]f I wanted to, and it will deteriorate into something very virulent, I will declare martial law," and, in reference to the Supreme Court and Congress, he... Full Story››

Former Haiti coup leader pleads not guilty to US drug charges

Former Haitian coup leader Guy Philippe pleaded not guilty [BBC report] on Friday to charges of drug trafficking and money laundering in the Federal Court for the Southern District of Florida [official website]. Philippe was arrested on January 5 and flown to the US to stand trial on longstanding charges, after appearing on a Haitian radio show. His arrest came just days before he was set to be sworn in as a senator in the Haitian senate, which would have afforded him some immunity from being prosecuted in the US. Many of Philippe's supporters showed up to the hearing at... Full Story››

Three Bahrain prisoners executed for killing policemen

Three men were executed [Bahrain News Agency report] by firing squad in Bahrain on Sunday after being convicted of killing three policemen in March 2014. The execution came a week after a the high court upheld their sentence, leading to the first documented execution in Bahrain in six years. The executions have been controversial and heavily critized, especially because of the fact that all the three men were Shia. The execution sparked several protests in Shia villages and several policemen were wounded in the clashes between police and protesters. The human rights organization Reprieve [advocacy website] has further warned that... Full Story››

Japan Takata company pleads guilty, agrees to pay $1 billion fine for airbag defects

Japanese company Takata Corp. on Friday agreed [DOJ report] to plead guilty to criminal wrongdoing charges and pay $1 billion as a result of a US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] investigation into airbag defects which caused the death of at least 16 people. The $1 billion is made up of a $25 million fine, $125 million to compensate victims - current and future and $850 million to compensate automakers for recall costs associated with the airbag defects. The plea agreement, which must still be approved by the Michigan District Attorney, was announced just after three Takata executives were... Full Story››