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The 8th Annual Holiday Benefit Luncheon

hosted by the Law Foundation of Berks County and the PICPA, Reading Chapter, was a big success with more than 440 people in attendance.  As part of the festivities, Law Foundation President John J. Speicher, Esquire (L), presented Christopher E. Pruitt, CPA, President of East Penn Manufacturing with the Sidney D. Kline Award for Outstanding Community Service.


A highlight of the program was the “conversation” with Joe Morgan, Hall of Fame second baseman, and Brian C. Engelhardt, Esquire, baseball connoisseur (L), and Mark S. Caltagirone, CPA, (R) chair of the event.

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.


Federal appeals court affirms decision in Somalia torture case

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] affirmed [opinion, PDF] the decision of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website], holding Monday that a Somali torture claim lacked a "sufficient nexus" with the US to allow jurisdiction under the Alien Tort Statute [text, PDF]. In 1987, during political turmoil, Farhan Warfaa was taken from his home in Somalia, beaten, and tortured for approximately three months. Yusuf Ali was a colonel in the Somali National Army and had questioned Warfaa several times during his detainment for political opposition prior to shooting him... Full Story››

China courts convict 14 connected to fatal factory blast

Chinese courts convicted 14 government officials and company executives on Wednesday due to their involvement in a 2014 factory explosion that killed 146 workers because of inappropriately stored chemicals. The sentences [Xinhua report], for the crime of causing a major labor safety accident or dereliction of duty, range from three to seven-and-a-half years. The arrests come after China's procuratorate opened an investigation [Xinhua report] on more than 26 individuals and after the Tianjin Mayor Huang Xingguo announced that the owners of the hazmat facility that exploded [JURIST report] in the city used their political connections to build the facility despite... Full Story››

Germany approves bill modifying asylum laws

The German Cabinet [official website] approved new asylum laws on Wednesday in response to the hundreds of thousands of refugees [CFR backgrounder] that have entered the country since the beginning of 2015. The bill [press release] will speed up asylum procedures and related legal appeals and will bar entry into the country for some asylum seekers' families for a period of two years. Benefits provided to asylum seekers were modified. The cabinet also designated Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia as safe countries of origin and thus it will be more difficult for refugees from those areas to find harbor in Germany.... Full Story››

Florida Supreme Court stays execution amid constitutional concerns

The Florida Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday stayed [order, PDF] the execution of Cary Michael Lambrix amid growing concern about the constitutionality of Florida's death penalty scheme. The stay [case docket] comes after the US Supreme Court [official website] determined in Hurst v. Florida [opinion, PDF] that the death penalty was being improperly administered in the state and that the state's capital sentencing statute was unconstitutional [JURIST report]. Lambrix's attorneys argued, and the Florida Supreme Court agreed, that his execution must be stayed until state law is reconciled with the Supreme Court's holding in Hurst, in order to avoid... Full Story››

US House fails to override veto of health care repeal bill

The US House of Representatives failed [official summary] Tuesday to garner enough votes to override the president's veto of the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015 [HR 3762, PDF], the most recent legislative effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) [official website] and defund Planned Parenthood [advocacy website]. Congress passed [JURIST report] HR 3762 in January to "clear the way for genuine, compassionate, patient-centered health care reform." The house needed a two-thirds majority to override the veto, but failed [official vote] by a vote of 241-186. This was the 64th time Congress has attempted to repeal the... Full Story››