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October 20, 2014 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Riding the escalator in Philadelphia's new Family Court after last week's ribbon-cutting ceremony, I overheard a woman remark that the building didn't turn out as bad as she expected, given the grubby scandal that accompanied its creation. I concur. Sure, Philadelphia's first new courthouse in a generation is a dispiriting example of bland, office-park architecture plunked in the civic heart of the city. The exterior has all the charm of a cardboard box - and the proportions to match.
NEWS
October 19, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
A skirmish between two rival Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices over pornographic e-mails erupted Friday into a full-court brawl, with a third justice stopping just short of lobbing blackmail accusations, and other colleagues fretting that the fighting had begun to erode the public's confidence in the bench. Responding to reports that he had received racist and pornographic content on a private e-mail account, Justice J. Michael Eakin said he never viewed those messages and accused another colleague caught up in the scandal, Justice Seamus P. McCaffery, of threatening to leak them to the media.
NEWS
October 19, 2014 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
THE PHILADELPHIA Federation of Teachers filed several legal motions Thursday in response to the School Reform Commission's decision last week to cancel its contract. After that Oct. 6 announcement, the district and its co-plaintiff, the Department of Education, sought to affirm the SRC's right to cancel the contract by filing a request for declaratory judgment in Commonwealth Court. But the PFT, through its lawyers with the Center City law firm of Willig, Williams & Davidson, have asked the court to change the venue from Commonwealth Court to Common Pleas Court, where they contend the case rightfully belongs.
NEWS
October 18, 2014 | By Joe Dolinsky, Inquirer Staff Writer
Following years of drama, litigation, and scandal, the ribbon was officially cut Thursday on the new $122.3 million Family Court building at 15th and Arch Streets. Speakers included a who's who among Philadelphia and state court officials, many of whom were inside the marble-laden lobby for the first time, including former Gov. Ed Rendell; Kevin M. Dougherty, administrative judge; and Ronald D. Castille, chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. "What they get will be equal to what they see here," Castille said.
NEWS
October 17, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis and Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery sent or received more than 230 e-mails that included sexually explicit content between late 2008 and mid-2012, including messages sent to state e-mail accounts of government employees, according to an analysis released Wednesday by the chief justice. In a statement, Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille said the analysis found McCaffery had sent or received 2,800 messages unearthed during an internal review by the Attorney General's Office.
NEWS
October 17, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania Superior Court on Wednesday reheard an appeal in a 20-year-old lawsuit in which a housing developer argues that the entire Montgomery County Court bench should have recused itself. The developer's attorney, Thomas A. Leonard, argued that there was at least "an appearance of impropriety" for one Montgomery County jurist to decide both the verdict and monetary damages in a case in which his colleague stood to receive a $600,000 referral fee. Leonard mentioned other Pennsylvania jurists who have faced investigations in recent years over referral fees or campaign donations paid to themselves or their relatives.
NEWS
October 16, 2014 | By Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writer
For years, the residents of the tiny, unassuming borough of Newfield in southeast Gloucester County have wondered what would happen to the piles of radioactive waste sitting at a former metal manufacturing facility. Hopes of a cleanup plan being approved, let alone executed, dimmed as authority over the material remained in limbo. Twice, a federal agency's decision to cede its oversight of the waste to New Jersey was halted after complaints by the metals company. But on its third attempt, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's effort to shift its authority to the state Department of Environmental Protection withstood Shieldalloy Metallurgical Corp.'s challenge in court.
NEWS
October 16, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
THE ATTORNEY representing the contractor charged with helping cause the building collapse at 22nd and Market streets that killed six people last year was found to be in contempt of court yesterday and fined $100. Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner convicted defense lawyer William Hobson of indirect civil contempt for violating a gag order the judge issued Sept. 16 that barred attorneys working on the case from talking to reporters. Lerner initially fined Hobson $250 but reduced the amount to $100 after Hobson apologized, said he would not speak to reporters again and asked if he could perform community service instead of paying the fine.
NEWS
October 13, 2014 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Judge Meyer C. Rose, 96, of Fairmount, died Wednesday, Oct. 1, of aortic stenosis at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Judge Rose always had a story to tell. Whether it was about an interesting court case - he was on the Philadelphia Municipal Court bench for 22 years - or an experience abroad (he served in Europe and Scandinavia during World War II), his family likely had been regaled with the tale many times over. "At bedtime, I didn't get Cinderella and Snow White, I would get his life stories," said his daughter Margie Rose.
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