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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 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 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 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 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 13, 2014 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
JOEY MERLINO is crossing Market Street wearing a pair of oversized aviator sunglasses on an overcast day. Dark suit, dark tan. A copious amount of gel keeps his slicked-back hair locked in place, but the orange-and-blue floral tie keeps you guessing. You don't know whether he's going to shake your hand, punch you in the mouth or buy your family a Thanksgiving turkey. The 30-something gangster they used to call "Skinny Joey" on Passyunk Avenue in the 1990s is now a muscular 52-year-old who actually looks like the ruthless mob boss that prosecutors have described in past indictments.
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.
NEWS
October 12, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Former mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino cut a colorful figure Friday as he swaggered into a federal courtroom in Philadelphia for his first appearance before a judge here in more than a decade. Dressed in a floral tie, designer shades, and a dapper suit, he needled the FBI agents who have tracked him for years and joked with court onlookers. "Can't wait to go to the parade," he quipped to news cameras on his way to court. Though Merlino says he has sworn off mob life since moving to Florida, for a few fleeting moments it was almost as if the mouthy, media-friendly former head of the city's crime family had never left.
NEWS
October 12, 2014 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
The leader of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers said Friday that he expected the union's lawyer to go to court next week to fight the School Reform Commission's decision to cancel the union's contract. At a news conference, PFT president Jerry Jordan was joined by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, who came to the city to blast the SRC's action. Weingarten called the SRC's move "reckless, illegal, and immoral. " The union leaders were backed by a large contingent of city and state political leaders showing their support for the union's 15,000 teachers, counselors, nurses, and secretaries.
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