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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.
Former Peru leader makes another presidential pardon request
Alberto Fujimori [BBC Profile; JURIST news archive], Peru's former leader who was jailed in 2007, submitted another request for a presidential pardon [Reuters report] on Saturday, just five days before President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski takes office. Fujimori is serving a 25-year sentence after being convicted in 2009 of committing human rights abuses during his 1990-2000 rule [JURIST report]. The Peruvian Supreme Court upheld the sentence [JURIST report] in January 2010, and Fujimori's previous request for a presidential pardon was denied [BBC report] in 2013. The request was made in light of Fujimori, who suffers from hypertension, turning 78 years old... Full Story››
UN condemns fighting in Mali
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon [official website] released a statement [text] on Friday condemning the recent fighting in Kidal, Mali [UN News Centre report]. The fighting arose at the end of last week between the Platform Movement and the Coordination of movements of Azawad (CMA), two signatories to the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali. The Secretary General, along with the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) [official website], are calling for restored peace [MINUSMA statement] after this first violation of the country's ceasefire in September 2015. Mali has been facing a humanitarian crisis since 2012 that... Full Story››
Alaska Supreme Court rejects parental consent requirement for under-18 abortions
In a 4-1 opinion on Friday, the Alaska Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] that the state's parental "notification law" requiring doctors to inform the parents of minors seeking an abortion is unconstitutional, and cannot be enforced. The Court stated that "we are not concerned with whether abortion is right, wrong, moral, or immoral, or with whether abortions should be available to minors without restriction. We are concerned only with whether, given its stated underlying justifications, the current Notification Law complies with the Alaska Constitution’s equal protection guarantee — and it does not." Alaska's parental notification law applies to... Full Story››
Virginia Supreme Court strikes down governor's order restoring felon voting rights
In a 4-3 ruling on Friday, the Virginia Supreme Court [official website] held [opinion, PDF] that Governor Terry McAuliffe's [official website] executive order [order, PDF] granting a blanket restoration of the state's felon voting rights is unconstitutional. The voter-disqualification provision in Article II of Virginia's Constitution [text] provides that "[n]o person who has been convicted of a felony shall be qualified to vote unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority." Article II also enables the Governor to consider and act on any request from felons to have their voting rights restored. Noting that... Full Story››
Federal judge rules in favor of Missouri lawmaker to exclude contraception in his health insurance
A federal judge on Friday ruled [opinion, PDF] in favor of a Missouri lawmaker "who cited religious objections while challenging the inclusion of birth control coverage in his government-provided health insurance." The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that health insurance issuers provide minimum essential coverage to women- including coverage for all contraceptive methods and sterilization procedures provided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The lawsuit began when Catholic Senator Paul Wieland and his wife filed suit against the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the government agency that enforces the ACA, alleging that... Full Story››