Bench-Bar 2018 Handouts are still available
Important Statements of Support
Statement in Support of Federal Funding of Civil Legal Services
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.
Amnesty: Rohingya group behind massacre
Amnesty International [advocacy website] reported [report] on Tuesday that a Rohingya militant group known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) is behind at least one massacre against Hindus in the Rakhine State that took place last August, as well as other incidences of murders and abductions. Amnesty wrote that on August 25, 2017, ARSA murdered 53 Hindu villagers, including children, and abducted 16 others. The same day, 46 Hindus from a nearby village disappeared. Amnesty has also documented other acts of violence against Hindus. Amnesty called for an independent investigation into the crimes taking place in the Rakhine State.... Full Story››
UN rights expert urges Ireland to establish greater child sexual violence protection, redress past abuse
UN Special Rapporteur Maud de Boer-Buquicchio [official website] on Monday urged [press release] Ireland to include a national strategy to prevent and respond to sexual violence against children. "I recognise the considerable progress made by Ireland in passing laws which strengthen protection against child marriage, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, including through the use of Information and Communications Technology. However, more remains to be done," de Boer-Buquicchio said, highlighting for example, only one sexual assault treatment center for children across the country, burdening some to travel long distances to seek specialized treatment or forensic examination. De Boer-Buquicchio highlighted... Full Story››
UK criminal court dismisses Barclays' fraud charges
Britain's Southwark Crown Court [official website] dismissed charges against Barclays regarding agreements between the bank and Qatari investors during the 2008 financial crisis. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) [official website], a British anticorruption government organization, charged [press release] Barclays [corporate website] and four of its former executives in June 2017 [JURIST report] with conspiracy to commit fraud and violation of the Companies Act of 1985 by providing unlawful financial assistance. The Crown Court Dismissed charges against Barclays for two offenses of conspiring with certain former senior officers and employees of Barclays to commit fraud by false representations, and charges of... Full Story››
Palestine submits referral to ICC to investigate alleged crimes by Israel
The government of Palestine submitted a referral [text, PDF] to the International Criminal Court [official website], which was received by the ICC on Tuesday. Palestine urges the ICC to investigate what it deems "war crimes and crimes against humanity" carried out by Israel's government in Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem. Palestine alleges in its referral that Israel's government has destroyed property, unlawfully occupied Palestinian territory, killed and tortured civilians, created "a system of apartheid," and denied Palestinians their basic human rights. The referral read, "The State of Palestine stresses the importance of achieving justice for the victims of crimes, reaffirms... Full Story››
Trump nullifies Obama-era rule against racial discrimination in auto loans
US President Donald Trump signed a resolution [press release] Monday that overturns a 2013 lending rule intended to prevent racial bias in auto loan interest rates. The original rule was issued [bulletin, PDF] by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) [official website] and was titled the "Indirect Auto Lending and Compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act." Under this rule, automobile lenders were not allowed to discriminate against minorities by increasing their interest rates or otherwise charging them higher fees. The Senate voted 51-47 to overturn in mid-April, and the House voted 234-175 [JURIST reports] on May 8. Republican lawmakers... Full Story››