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NEWS
March 8, 2014 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
    Montgomery County lawyer Gregory Noonan, arrested in December on drug charges, has been disbarred and will be seeking treatment for an addiction problem, his attorney said. Acting on a request by Noonan and the board reponsibile for disciplining lawyers, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court signed an order last week accepting Noonan's resignation from the bar. Samuel C. Stretton, Noonan's attorney in this proceeding, said his client was trying to address problems in his life, beginning by seeking his own removal from the bar. "That was the right thing to do," Stretton said.
BUSINESS
March 6, 2014 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court should take the unusual step of immediately overturning a Philadelphia judge's decision that Delaware is the only place to settle the Inquirer ownership dispute, according to a request filed by one group of owners. Not so - on several levels, the other group said Tuesday. In a filing last week, attorneys for owners Lewis Katz and H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest argued that not only were their clients harmed by the "unfounded" opinion last month of Common Pleas Court Judge Patricia A. McInerney, but it "improperly deprives Pennsylvania citizens of their right to seek recourse in the local courts," and could have "far-reaching implications even beyond Pennsylvania.
NEWS
March 6, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Staff Writer
TRENTON A housing advocacy group is set to ask a state appellate court Wednesday to direct a special authority to produce new rules governing affordable housing, after Gov. Christie's administration failed to meet a Supreme Court-ordered deadline to complete the task. Administration officials last week requested an extension from the Supreme Court, which in September ordered the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) to rewrite rules for determining how many homes municipalities must provide for lower-income residents.
NEWS
March 5, 2014 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ending a closely watched case, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal of a controversial 2006 Hazleton, Pa., ordinance that barred undocumented immigrants from renting homes in the Luzerne County city. The ordinance was not being enforced pending the outcome of the legal battle, but it had been among the first in a series of restrictions enacted by municipalities nationwide, and challenged by advocates for immigrants and by the federal government. The ordinance was deemed unconstitutional last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, which held that Hazleton's attempt to regulate immigration "unduly interfered" with a fundamental function of the federal government.
NEWS
March 3, 2014 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ron Castille had no trouble coming up with a million dollars to pay Jeff Rotwitt's law firm a finder's fee for identifying the site of Philadelphia's new Family Court. And when details emerged about Rotwitt's money-grab with the project's developer, it was no stretch for Castille to locate another million to sever the deal. Nor did he stint when he hired a friend to investigate the mess, paying $1 million for fact-finding that was never made public. Yet somehow Castille can't scrounge together a modest $500,000 to purchase art for the new Family Court at 15th and Arch, the most visible and important government project built in Philadelphia in two decades.
NEWS
March 1, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
In what experts are calling an extraordinary legal gambit, Philadelphia lawyer Richard A. Sprague is asking the state Supreme Court to yank a case from the hands of three lower-court judges for taking too long to rule. Using language usually reserved for an opposing lawyer in a hotly contested trial, Sprague's motion says "inexcusable" delay by the three-judge Superior Court panel in a defamation case "reflects a deliberate indifference to their judicial duties. " His motion also asks the state's highest court to direct its watchdog agency, the Board of Judicial Conduct, to begin an inquiry into the conduct of the panel, composed of President Judge Susan Peikes Gantman and Judges Mary Jane Bowes and Judith F. Olson of Superior Court.
NEWS
March 1, 2014 | By Seth Zweifler, Inquirer Staff Writer
The city's court system has taken steps to help Philadelphia's growing immigrant communities navigate their way around the courtroom. This month, the First Judicial District released Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese translations of some of the most frequently used documents in Family Court and Municipal Court. The translation project, a $25,000 undertaking, is designed to make life easier for non-English-speakers who have a tough time making sense of jargon-loaded court documents.
SPORTS
February 28, 2014 | BY TOM MAHON, Daily News Staff Writer mahont@phillynews.com
THE NFL's competition committee is contemplating issuing a 15-yard penalty for players using the N-word or other slurs on the field. Yesterday, Heat forward Chris Bosh said he wouldn't mind if the NBA followed suit. "Ban all slurs," said Bosh, who is African-American. "It is in mainstream America now," he said of the N-word. "A lot of people say, 'I'm not racist because I use it in a friendly way.' Like I said, if you're going to use one word, put them all in there, use every slur, every negative curse word and that will kind of simplify it a little bit. I think it's too gray right now.' " The problem, Bosh rightly points out, is enforcing the policy.
NEWS
February 28, 2014 | By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
Daniel Dougherty has always insisted he's innocent, that he didn't set the fire that killed his two young sons in 1985. Nobody believed him. Not the officers who arrested him, 14 years after flames destroyed the family's Philadelphia home. Not the fire marshal who testified that the blaze was arson. Not the jury that took three hours to find him guilty of murder, and 31/2 more to sentence him to death. But in the 15 years between the fire and Dougherty's trial, and during the 131/2 years he's been in prison, something important changed: the science of forensic fire investigation.
NEWS
February 26, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - The Commonwealth Court has blocked a Radnor Township man from intervening in two lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's same-sex marriage ban. In a hearing Monday, James Schneller, 58, said he wanted to provide a voice for "the more moral, ethical, and religious population" that opposes same-sex marriage and to present arguments that go beyond what the state's attorneys would say to defend the ban. Judge Dan...
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