Abraham Lincoln at Bar's Law Day Luncheon
Above: Abraham Lincoln, portrayed by re-enactor Jim Getty from Gettysburg, was the keynote speaker.
The Berks County Bar Association celebrated Law Day 2013 with our annual Law Day Luncheon on April 30 at the Reading Crowne Plaza, Wyomissing. This year’s theme, marking the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th Anniversary of the "I Have a Dream" speech, was Realizing the Dream: Equality for All. We honored the winning high school mock trial team, the three elementary students who submitted winning essays on the theme and the Fox Scholarship Awardee. Right: Local child music prodigy, Isabel Lacatus, provided the music. View video of her performance.
Left to Right: The winning Mock Trial Team from Conrad Weiser and the winning 2013 Law Day Essay Winners posing with Dominic A. DeCecco, Esq., Co-Chair, Law Day Committee, Abraham Lincoln, and Berks Bar President, Eugene Orlando, Jr., Esq.
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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.
Senate Judiciary Committee approves immigration reform bill
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Zimbabwe president signs new constitution into law
[JURIST] Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday signed the country's new constitution [text] into law, clearing the path to pivotal elections later this year. The new constitution limits future presidents to two five-year terms. The provision limiting presidential terms will not apply retroactively, so the 89-year-old Mugabe will be able to run in the next election [Reuters report] and potentially continue to serve as president for the next decade. Mugabe has been Zimbabwe's president since the country's independence from Britain in 1980. Wednesday's actions come as a result of a January agreement [JURIST report] between... Full Story››
Ninth Circuit strikes down Arizona 20-week abortion ban
[JURIST] The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that the Arizona law banning abortions at 20 weeks violates women's rights, making it "per se unconstitutional." The opinion, authored by Judge Marsha Berzon, focused on balancing fetal viability and a woman's right to medical autonomy. The state defended the statute [text, PDF] by arguing that it was not an outright ban because it permitted procedures in the event of a medical emergency. The court rejected this argument: "the state may not ... impose an undue burden on her [the mother's] choice through regulation. Allowing... Full Story››
UK House of Commons approves same-sex marriage bill
[JURIST] The House of Commons of the UK Parliament [official websites] voted 366-161 on Tuesday to approve the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill [HC Bill 3]. The legislation was introduced in January [JURIST report] and will effectively extend the application of the Marriage Act of 1949 [materials] to same-sex as well as opposite-sex couples. The bill allows for an exception for any religious institutions that do not wish to perform same-sex weddings. Same-sex couples in England and Wales have been permitted to enter into civil partnerships since 2005 [BBC report], which has allowed them to receive many of the same... Full Story››
Federal appeals court rules bin Laden photos may remain classified
[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official site] ruled Tuesday that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official site] has no legal obligation to release photos [opinion, PDF] of Osama bin Laden [CFR profile; JURIST news archive] after his death. The decision was in response to a Freedom of Information Act [official website] request seeking to have more than 50 photographs released which show bin Laden's body after he was killed by US special forces in Pakistan in 2011. The decision was made in the interest of safety for the American people, and included an... Full Story››