Both the Democratic Governor and Republican legislators are proposing to increase the sales tax and, for the first time, apply it to legal services. Providing legal representation is not a commodity. It is not a luxury. For many Pennsylvanians, hiring an attorney is a necessity. Do not be misled to think that this is a tax on lawyers. It is instead a tax on clients.
Access to justice is a basic constitutional right that should not be taxed and treated as a commodity. Increasing the cost of effective legal representation by imposing a sales tax impacts people of limited means. The public should not tolerate this added cost to protect its rights under the law. It will hurt people who are already hurting and in need of legal assistance.
Please reach out to your state legislators to ask them to vote AGAINST this proposed tax. While we appreciate the need to change the way we fund our schools and lessen the burden of property taxes on individuals, taxing legal services is not the way to go. You may use the links below to find the email address for your legislators and to contact the governor. Even a short message expressing opposition is important and effective!
Click here to find your legislator.
Click here to then contact your state senator.
Click here to then contact your state representative.
Click here to then e-mail Governor Wolf.
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.
UNESCO: bombing of Syria temple a war crime
[JURIST] Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) [official website], on Monday condemned [press release] the destruction of Palmyra's ancient temple of Baalshamin by Islamic State (IS) militants, labeling it a war crime. The site was demolished by the Daesh group one week after the killing of Professor Khaled al-Assaad, the archaeologist in charge of caring for the ruins for four decades. Bokova said that "[t]he systematic destruction of cultural symbols embodying Syrian cultural diversity reveals the true intent of such attacks, which is to deprive the Syrian people of its knowledge, identity, and... Full Story››
Federal judge orders Palestinian Authority to post $10 million bond in terror case
[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Monday ordered the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization [official websites] to post USD $10 million in bond or cash while they appeal a finding [JURIST report] that they supported the militant attacks in Israel between 2002 and 2004. The February jury verdict was worth $655 million in favor of 10 American families. The defendants have also been instructed to deposit $1 million per month in excess of the aforementioned bond or cash instruction. US courts continue to try terrorists that... Full Story››
Thailand court indicts labor rights activist for report on food industry
[JURIST] A Thai court on Monday indicted British labor rights activist Andy Hall for making false statements in a report [text, PDF] he co-authored that alleged sever labor abuse issues in Thailand's food industry. Natural Fruit, the company at the center of the dispute and the target of Hall's labor abuse allegations, filed a series of criminal and civil cases against Hall, the most severe of which will force Hall to appear in the Southern Criminal Court [court backgrounder] on October 19. If convicted, Hall could face up to seven years in jail. Hall's report, titled "Cheap Has a High... Full Story››
UNESCO marks slave trade remembrance day with call for understanding diversity
[JURIST] The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition was celebrated Sunday, coinciding with the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024) [official website]. Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) [official website] declared [press release] that the day "is both a tribute to every victim and their resistance against slavery and a call for truth, justice and dialogue between peoples." Bokova said:Faced with the permanent dangers of racism and extremism, UNESCO is taking action to ensure that memory and history be forces for dialogue, tolerance and mutual understanding.... Full Story››
Amnesty: Burundi protesters tortured by security forces
[JURIST] Burundian security used belts and iron bars to intimidate and extract confessions [press release] from opponents of President Pierre Nkunrunziza [BBC profile], Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] said in a briefing [text, PDF] Monday. The briefing highlights an increase in the use of torture in Burundi since April, when Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term in office. One detainee claimed he had to stare at the midday sun while being beaten, while another pair of detainees were held for days at a time in the Burundian capital of Bujumbra where they were prohibited from having legal... Full Story››