Welcome Guest | Your Account | Sign In

Celebrating Law!

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.  Download the registration form here. Once completed, please send it, together with payment, to BCBA, P. O. Box 1058, Reading, PA 19603 so that it will arrive at the office by April 22.

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.

provided by the UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH SCHOOL OF LAW

Court orders Berlusconi to perform community service at center for elderly

An Italian court ruled [ANSA report] Tuesday that former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi [BBC profile] must perform community service at a home for the elderly as his sentence for tax fraud [JURIST report]. The order was requested by Berlusconi, a three-time prime minister, media magnate and billionaire, as a way to serve the remaining year of a four-year sentence, the first three years having been covered by amnesties. Berlusconi, 77, is legally considered too old to serve prison time and would have been subjected to house arrest had he not consented to community service. He has been assigned to... Full Story››

Ohio AG approves proposed constitutional amendment to overturn gay marriage ban

[JURIST] Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine [official website] determined [press release] on Monday that a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would overturn its current ban on gay marriage had obtained the requisite number of signatures and satisfied the requirement that it be a "fair and truthful statement of the proposed law." The proposed amendment, entitled the "Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment," would replace Article XV, Section 11 [text] of the Ohio constitution, which currently states that Ohio will only recognize a marriage between a man and a woman and will not recognize any form of civil... Full Story››

New Mexico Supreme Court rules state must recognize Fort Sill Apache tribe

The New Mexico Supreme Court [official website] ruled on Monday that the state must recognize the tribal status of the Fort Sill Apache [official website]. Consisting of 712 members, the Fort Sill Apache, formerly known as the Chiricahua and Warm Springs Apache, were forced from their homelands [AP report] in 1886 and relocated to Oklahoma, where they now have their tribal base. About 47 percent of the tribe still lives in Oklahoma. An attorney for Governor Susana Martinez [official website] made an official statement [The New Mexican report] opposing the ruling, claiming that the tribe does not have members residing... Full Story››

ICTY upholds genocide charges against Ratko Mladic for 1995 Srebrenica massacre

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [official website] determined [press release] during a session on Tuesday that sufficient evidence exists to uphold charges on two counts of genocide against Ratko Mladic, [BBC profile] the former Bosnian Serb general, for his alleged role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [BBC backgrounder]. The Srebrenica massacre is considered to be one of Europe's worst atrocities since the Second World War, during which more than 7,000 people were killed. Mladic's lawyers had filed a Rule 98 bis motion, arguing for acquittal on the basis that there exists no evidence capable of supporting... Full Story››

Egyptian court refuses candidacy for Muslim Brotherhood members in 2014 elections

[JURIST] Egypt's Primary Alexandria Court on Tuesday declared the nation's Supreme Election Commission is forbidden from accepting a nomination from members of the Muslim Brotherhood [BBC Profile; JURIST news archive] in the upcoming presidential election scheduled for May 26-27 and the parliamentary elections to follow. The ruling came after an anti-Brotherhood group filed a petition [National UAE report] calling for the ban. A lawyer for the anti-Brotherhood group stated: “It is illogical to receive such candidacies after the government designated the Brotherhood a terrorist organization." Egyptian voters ratified a new constitution [JURIST report] in January 2014 and Article 74 of... Full Story››