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NEWS
June 7, 2015 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Salahudin Shaheed made six recon trips near National Watch & Diamond Exchange to observe the store's employees, and that was how, authorities said, he identified whom he thought was the owner to rob. But Shaheed had erred. He, along with his cousin Basil Buie, appeared in federal court Friday as details of their arrests in the kidnap and torture of a Jewelers Row employee two months ago emerged. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials said three confidential sources led them to Shaheed and Buie.
NEWS
June 4, 2015 | By Michael Boren, Inquirer Staff Writer
As Camden Municipal Court's chief judge, Steven P. Burkett sought to balance empathy and forgiveness - values he held as a devout member of Cherry Hill's Congregation M'kor Shalom - with meting out punishment to domestic abusers and drunken drivers. In court, friends and family said, he tried to teach life lessons to such defendants, even while handing down punishment. "He felt he needed to make a connection," said Judge Burkett's older brother, Bob. The absence of Judge Burkett in the courtroom this week, following his sudden death Sunday, had those who knew him remembering his careful approach, as well as the decade he spent working to make the court more efficient.
NEWS
June 4, 2015 | By Chris Palmer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jim Thorpe's sons asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to overturn a ruling that prevents them from moving the great American Indian athlete's remains from the Pennsylvania town that bears his name to the Oklahoma tribal lands where he was born. In a 128-page filing, William Thorpe and Richard Thorpe, as well as the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma, argued that a Philadelphia-based appeals court last year wrongly interpreted a law designed to protect the remains of American Indians.
NEWS
June 3, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a closely watched case testing the limits of free speech, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday overturned the Philadelphia federal court conviction in 2011 of an Allentown-area man for threatening on his Facebook page to kill his estranged wife and an FBI agent. The case has drawn national attention, in part because of its potential to define how the government can prosecute violent statements made on social media and on the Internet. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said prosecutors must show that defendants knowingly intended in their threatening statements to issue a real threat in order to secure a conviction.
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 SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
A LAWSUIT ACCUSING the state of failing to adequately and equitably fund education is headed to the state Supreme Court. The plaintiffs, which include six school districts and two statewide organizations, filed an appeal yesterday challenging a Commonwealth Court decision last month to dismiss the suit, claiming that school funding is a function of the Legislature, and therefore not a matter for the courts. "Our Supreme Court bears the responsibility for ensuring that our most precious constitutional rights are protected.
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.
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