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Lecture to Explore Challenges Facing the Press

Reading, Pa. – Attorney Selina MacLaren will present the Berks County Bar Association Lecture in Contemporary Legal Issues on Monday, October 2, at 7:30 PM, in Albright College’s Wachovia Theatre.

The lecture, “Leaks, Lies, and Litigation: The Press’s Challenges in Holding Government Accountable,” is presented through a partnership between Albright and the Berks County Bar Association. The event is free and open to the public.

Read more information››

Important Statements of Support

Statement in Support of Federal Funding of Civil Legal Services

MidPenn Legal Services provides free representation to Berks County low-income families needing help with child custody, domestic violence, housing, public benefits, employment and consumer issues.

Statement in Support of Federal Funding of Legal Aid continued››


Berks County Bar Association Board of Directors Statement
on Judicial Independence

In light of recent, critical comments by the President of the United States directed at members of our judicial branch of government while litigation was pending, and in light of the fact that judges who have been criticized, by rule, are not permitted to respond publicly, the Board of Directors of the Berks County Bar Association has decided that it is appropriate to issue this statement in support of our Federal Constitution.

Statement on Judicial Independence continued››

Access to Courthouse/Family Dockets

Access link here››

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.


HRW details abuses by Ethiopia security forces at festival

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] released a report [text] on Monday detailing the violence carried out by the Ethiopian security forces during the Irreecha festival, the annual harvest celebration observed by the country's ethnic Oromo people. According to the report, possibly hundreds of people died after being shot by security forces or drowning after attempting to flee from bullets and tear gas. The security forces were allegedly responding to anti-government chants. "One year on, government has failed to meaningfully investigate the security forces' response, and there is no independent and credible determination of the death toll," said HRW. The... Full Story››

Aung San Suu Kyi condemns human rights violations in Rakhine

Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile] in a national address on Tuesday condemned [Reuters report] human rights violations in the nation's state of Rakhine, without addressing accusations from the UN and rights groups concerning the country's campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya Muslims. Suu Kyi pledged that, "[a]ction will be taken against all people, regardless of their religion, race and political position, who go against the law of the land and violate human rights." Suu Kyi has been sharply criticized by rights groups and the international community for her silence with respect to the plight of... Full Story››

Senate approves $700 billion defense bill

The US Senate [official website] on Monday voted 89-8 [roll call] to approve HR 2810 [text, PDF], a $700 billion defense bill, authorizing support for defense programs and combat operations at home and overseas. Among other things, the bill authorizes appropriations to the Department of Defense [official website] for: 1) procurement, including aircraft, missiles, weapons and tracked combat vehicles, ammunition, shipbuilding and conversion, and space procurement, 2) research, development, test, and evaluation; 3) operation and maintenance; 4) working capital needs 5) the Joint Urgent Operational Needs Fund; 6) chemical agents and munitions destruction; 7) drug interdiction and counter-drug activities; 8)... Full Story››

Moscow court rejects Holocaust hero family's lawsuit

The Moscow Meshchansky court rejected a lawsuit [Moscow Times report] Monday filed by a relative of Raoul Wallenberg, seeking to access uncensored documents concerning Wallenberg's death in Soviet captivity. Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat who is said to have rescued thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War II. Soviet forces captured Wallenberg in 1945 for espionage and placed him in KGB's Lubyanka Prison. The USSR released a document in 1954 saying Wallenberg died in the Lubyanka Prison of heart failure in 1947. The actual cause of Wallenberg's death is still speculative. Wallenberg's niece, Marie Dupuy filed the lawsuit against [AP... Full Story››

Ohio arrestee files lawsuit alleging police used excessive force

Recent Ohio arrestee Timothy Davis filed a civil rights lawsuit [complaint, PDF] in federal court on Sunday alleging Columbus, Ohio, police used excessive force to detain him in a convenience store. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division [official website], named defendants as the City of Columbus, Officer Joseph Bogard, Officer Matthew Baker, and Other Unknown Officers or those officers who participated in Davis' arrest. Columbus police officers arrested Davis on September 1 on a warrant for assault of a police officer [NYT report], but the officers allegedly failed to disclose... Full Story››