"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.
UN establishes inquiry into CAR rights abuses
[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] has established an International Commission of Inquiry [UN News Centre report] on the Central African Republic (CAR), tasked with examining reports of human rights violations, compiling information, and helping identify perpetrators. Bernard Acho Muna, the chairperson of the three-person inquiry and a former prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [official website], has said [DW report] that the situation in CAR is similar to that of Rwanda in the weeks leading to the Rwandan genocide, and worries that the collapse of law and order in CAR could be a precursor to genocide.... Full Story››
Supreme Court rules right of way abandoned by railroads reverts to private property
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] 8-1 Monday in Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States [SCOTUSblog backgrounder; JURIST op-ed] that a right of way granted under the General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875 [Cornell LII backgrounder] is an easement which can be terminated by the railroad's abandonment, leaving the underlying land unburdened. The majority opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts leaned heavily on the court's 1942 decision in Great Northern Railway Co. v. United States [opinion], which held that land given away by the government under the Railroad Right-of-Way Act returns to the... Full Story››
Rights group accuses Syria government of war crimes
[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Monday accused Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's forces of committing war crimes [report, PDF] and crimes against humanity on Palestinian and Syrian civilians in Yarmouk, on the outskirts of Damascus. The report, entitled "Squeezing the Life Out of Yarmouk: War Crimes Against Besieged Civilians," discusses the deaths [press release] of nearly 200 people since the tightening of the siege and cutting off of access to food and medical supplies in July, with 128 of those deaths caused by starvation. The report also states that government forces and government allies have repeatedly attacked civilian buildings,... Full Story››
Maldives Supreme Court sentences election commission members
[JURIST] The Supreme Court of the Maldives [official website] on Sunday dismissed the country's four top election commissioners, giving each a six-month jail sentence and three-year suspension for "disobeying orders." The commission members were tried [BBC report] after the passage of new rules that allowed the Supreme Court to initiate the proceedings. The rules enabled the court to essentially act as prosecutor, judge and jury during the trial. The charges resulted from [Reuters report] officials failing to follow election guidelines in allowing a presidential run-off after three previous attempts had been postponed or annulled by the court, and for disbanding... Full Story››
Supreme Court to rule on statute of limitations in class actions
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari [order list, PDF] Monday in Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi v. IndyMac MBS, Inc. [docket; cert. petition, PDF] to rule on the statute of limitations in class action suits. In American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah (1974) [opinion] the court held that "the commencement of a class action suspends the applicable statute of limitations as to all asserted members of the class who would have been parties had the suit been permitted to continue as a class action." Section 13 of the Securities Act of 1933 [text, PDF] provides... Full Story››