On June 13, the Law Foundation hosted the sponsors of previous Holiday Benefit Luncheons with a reception held at the Berkshire Country Club. Greg Luzinski was well received as the special guest. The Law Foundation of Berks County and PICPA Reading Chapter present the 10th Anniversary Holiday Benefit Luncheon on December 1, 2017, featuring keynote speaker, Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia Phillies Hall of Fame 3rd Baseman.
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.
Access to Courthouse/Family Dockets
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.
Supreme Court rules for church-affiliated hospital in pension case
The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Monday in Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton [SCOTUSblog materials] that a church-affiliated hospital's pension fund is exempt from the federal pension law. The court held that under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) [materials], a defined-benefit pension plan maintained by a church-affiliated organization qualifies as a "church plan," even though it was established by the healthcare facility, not the church. Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court:ERISA provides (1) that a "church plan" means a "plan established and maintained ... by a church" and (2) that a "plan established... Full Story››
Supreme Court to rule in cell phone location privacy case
The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in Carpenter v. United States [docket; cert. petition, PDF] to determine, "[w]hether the warrantless seizure and search of historical cell phone records revealing the location and movements of a cell phone user over the course of 127 days is permitted by the Fourth Amendment." The Stored Communications Act (SCA) [text] allows the government to obtain records without a showing of probable cause whenever it "offers specific and articulable facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe" that the records sought "are relevant and material to an... Full Story››
Supreme Court affirms order finding North Carolina racial gerrymandering
The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday affirmed [order list, PDF] a lower court decision striking down a North Carolina state House and Senate redistricting effort as racial gerrymandering that disproportionately impacted black voters. The court affirmed the order by summary disposition. Also Monday the court vacated [opinion, PDF] an order requiring North Carolina to hold special elections, finding that the lower court failed to perform an adequate analysis:Although this Court has never addressed whether or when a special election may be a proper remedy for a racial gerrymander, obvious considerations include the severity and nature of the particular... Full Story››
Guatemala judge pleads guilty in FIFA fraud case
[JURIST] Hector Trujillo, a Guatemalan judge who served as general secretary for Guatemala's soccer federation, pled [Reuters report] guilty Friday to fraud and conspiracy in the FIFA [official website] scandal. Judge Trujillo entered the plea before US District Judge Pamela Chen [official bio] in the Eastern District of New York [official website]. Trujillo has agreed to pay back $175,000 that he received as kickbacks in exchange for marketing for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Trujillo could face up to 20 years in jail at his sentencing on September 20. FIFA has struggled with corruption charges. In May 2015, US... Full Story››
HRW: fifty years of human rights violations in West Bank
[JURIST] Israel has occupied the West Bank through human rights abuses for the past fifty-years, stated [report] Human Rights Watch (HRW)(advocacy website) Sunday. According to HRW, Israel has violated international humanitarian law during the occupation through "unlawful killings; forced displacement; abusive detention; the closure of the Gaza Strip and other unjustified restrictions on movement; and the development of settlements, along with the accompanying discriminatory policies that disadvantage Palestinians." Israel claims that the human rights abuses were committed to ensure Israeli security as a response to Palestinian armed groups carrying out lethal attacks against civilians. Sarah Leah Whitson [official bio], Middle... Full Story››