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NEWS
June 2, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Wisconsin ad said a Supreme Court hopeful had protected a priest accused of sex abuse. An Alabama mailing portrayed a high-court candidate there as a marionette with his strings pulled by President Obama, dressed like Marlon Brando in The Godfather . A Michigan TV ad asked "How could you?" because a Supreme Court candidate once aided a Guantanamo Bay detainee's defense. Could these be a preview of Pennsylvania's Supreme Court race? Each attack was funded not by a rival candidate, but by outside conservative and progressive groups that increasingly see judicial races as a fertile ideological battleground.
BUSINESS
May 29, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
State Superior Court handed its second smackdown Wednesday to lawyers seeking to collect a fine of nearly $1 million against Philadelphia-area insurance defense lawyer Nancy Raynor. In a one-paragraph ruling, the court barred Philadelphia lawyers Matthew D'Annunzio and Joseph Messa from collecting the fine while it considers Raynor's appeal of the penalty. Raynor was fined $946,127 in November by Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Paul Panepinto, who accused her of permitting an expert witness to introduce banned testimony in a medical-malpractice trial in 2012.
NEWS
May 22, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Contending that Pennsylvania's method of school funding is broken, lawyers representing a group of parents, school districts, and statewide associations are taking their case to the state's high court, they said in court papers filed Wednesday. Commonwealth Court judges in April tossed a lawsuit filed by the William Penn School District, Philadelphia parents, and others, ruling that education funding was a matter for the legislature and not the courts to decide. During oral arguments, lawyers arguing for the state said that Pennsylvania was meeting its constitutional obligation merely by keeping schools open.
NEWS
May 21, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia Judge Kevin Dougherty and Anne Covey, from Bucks County, were among six candidates who won the right Tuesday to vie for three open seats on the state Supreme Court. "I'd like to believe that my message of being the advocate for the marginalized, the at risk, the working poor . . . " Dougherty said Tuesday night, "resonated throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. " Along with Dougherty, the Democratic nominees for the high court are Allegheny County's David Wecht and Christine Donohue, both Superior Court judges.
NEWS
May 21, 2015 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia advanced 15 judges closer to the city benches Tuesday - including several who were previously filling vacancies, and one with a disciplinary record. The winners of the Democratic primary - most of whom are expected to win the general election - will make up close to 10 percent of the bench in an election year with many vacancies. Voters had to choose from 52 names on the ballot - a record number in recent history - after a rush of candidates signed up for a shot this year.
NEWS
May 20, 2015 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
Truebright Science Academy Charter School says it's not ready to shut down. The board of the charter in Olney has decided to appeal Friday's Commonwealth Court decision that said the School Reform Commission had ample grounds to close the school for poor academic performance. The three-judge Commonwealth Court panel affirmed a finding by the state Charter Appeal Board, which had upheld the SRC decision. The board found that Truebright had failed to deliver the academic performance it promised in its application and had not met state standards.
NEWS
May 19, 2015 | Chris Brennan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Democratic candidates for mayor in Tuesday's primary election took their pitches to the pulpits on Sunday, seeking the support of the party faithful. Those pitches were framed by race and the struggle for civil rights - in very different ways - by two of the six Democrats in the race. Former Councilman Jim Kenney urged churchgoers to be voters in honor of those who suffered for the right to cast ballots. State Sen. Anthony H. Williams and his supporters took an even more impassioned approach at a "righteous rally" at Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church in Nicetown.
REAL_ESTATE
May 18, 2015 | By Jacob Adelman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Drexel University's newest housing complex won't have a dining commons or a study lounge. But it will have two floors of high-end day care and apartments at prices your typical undergrad would struggle to afford. Administrators hope the $55 million 3201 Race St. project on university-owned land will provide homes and child care to a mix of faculty and staff and a yearned-for influx of researchers and techies with ties to the private sector, not necessarily the school itself. The permanent year-round population of young professionals at the residential tower - and others like it to come - are part of Drexel's bid to tip the balance in its surrounding neighborhoods from gown toward town.
NEWS
May 17, 2015 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
The troubled Truebright Science Academy Charter School in Olney will close at the end of the academic year next month - unless it obtains a stay from the court to remain open. A Commonwealth Court three-judge panel on Friday affirmed a state Charter Appeals Board decision that said the School Reform Commission had ample grounds to close Truebright for poor academic performance. The judges said that Truebright had promised that its students would "realize high academic rank" and would score proficient or higher on the state's standardized math and reading tests.
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