2. View schedule here and select break-out sessions on page four. Please return page four* to email@example.com or drop off to a BCBA staff member.
*If you wish to print the registration form and schedule, please select the landscape format on your printer.
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.
Federal judge dismisses challenge to federal marijuana prohibition
A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Monday dismissed [text, PDF] a lawsuit challenging the Schedule I classification for marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act [text]. Judge Alvin Hellerstein granted the government's motion to dismiss because the plaintiffs failed to exhaust all administrative remedies prior to initiating the lawsuit. The exhaustion rule requires "that parties exhaust prescribed administrative remedies before seeking relief from federal courts." The plaintiffs presented the case as a constitutional issue, arguing that marijuana's Schedule I classification lacks rational basis and therefore violates due process. The court,... Full Story››
Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to EPA rule
The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday declined [order list, PDF] to hear a case challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) interpretation of the permit requirement codified in the Clean Water Act (CWA) [text, PDF] The question for the court in Riverkeeper v. Environmental Protection Agency [docket] was whether the CWA requires dischargers to have a permit for every water transfer, pursuant to the CWA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System provision. The petitioners argued [text, PDF] in their brief that, "the Water Transfer Rule does not represent EPA’s initial, or even consistent, interpretation of the term 'addition' in the... Full Story››
China Communist Party proposes constitutional amendment to extend presidential term
The Communist Party of China (CCP) [party website] Central Committee on Sunday announced [Xinhua report] plans to abolish the presidential term limits, which would permit President Xi Jinping to stay in office indefinitely. The CCP proposed removing Article 79 from China's constitution [text], which states "[t]he term of office of the President and Vice-President of the People's Republic of China ... shall serve no more than two consecutive terms." The CCP also proposed inserting Xi's official ideological framework entitled "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" [text] into the constitution, which has already been adopted... Full Story››
UN group: detention for asylum seekers should be last resort
[JURIST] The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention [official website] said [statement] Monday that detaining migrants and asylum-seekers violated international law unless it is done as a last resort. In the Revised Deliberation Number 5 [text, PDF] released at the beginning of February, the organization said, "The irregular entry and stay in a country by migrants should not be treated as a criminal offence." The deliberation goes on to say that migrants and asylum-seekers have, at the very least, the same rights as detainees in the criminal justice system. Migrants and asylum-seekers also have the right to challenge their detentions.... Full Story››
Supreme Court hears arguments in union case
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [judicial website] heard two oral arguments on Monday. Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31s [transcript, PDF] concerns whether mandatory agency fees violate [SCOTUSblog report] the First Amendment. The petitioners argued that previous cases that failed to apply heightened scrutiny to this issue should be overruled. The respondents argued that agency fees are a government necessity. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed concern that employees will opt-out of the fees not for ideological reasons, but because they know they will still be able to receive union benefits without making payments. Chief... Full Story››