October 28, 2014 |
The damage former Justice Seamus P. McCaffery did to the credibility of Pennsylvania's highest court by engaging in juvenile, if not illegal, conduct could be mitigated by his resignation - which, thankfully, he submitted Monday. McCaffery - who recently dropped an unrelated defamation suit against the Inquirer and Daily News - apologized last week for sending more than 230 pornographic e-mails to associates over a nearly four-year period. But he tried to downplay his outrageous conduct as simply a lapse in judgment.
October 20, 2014 |
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.
October 18, 2014 |
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.
October 17, 2014 |
THE HARRISBURG porn circus consuming the state's Capitol added a third ring yesterday. The first ring: Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane last month released a selection of explicit emails sent and received by Gov. Corbett 's top deputies when he was attorney general. The second ring: State Supreme Court Justice Ron Castille and Justice Seamus McCaffery continued their long-running feud, swapping accusations this week after Castille disclosed that McCaffery sent and received many of the explicit images.
October 10, 2014
ISSUE | GAY UNIONS Courts proper venue In the wake of the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, I have little doubt we will be treated to cries that the people should decide such an issue ("Court sends clear signal to states," Oct. 7). But should we really put equality up for a vote? Did racial segregation fall as a result of a vote? The courts are designed to protect all citizens and ensure that constitutional rights are accorded to everyone. That's what happened Tuesday.
September 12, 2014 |
A 15-year-old Wissahickon girl who police say used a brick to smash the face of a Temple University student, during an attack in which two other girls also beat the victim and her boyfriend, has been ordered to stand trial as an adult. Zaria Estes of the 200 block of Rock Street was ordered to stand trial by Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner after a hearing Tuesday in the March 21 assault that left Abbey Luffey with a broken nose, a broken palate, and severely damaged teeth. Photos of the damage to Luffey's face and teeth were shown in court.
September 11, 2014 |
CALLING HER alleged use of a brick to bash the mouth and face of a Temple University student a "determined" and "vicious" attack, a Philadelphia judge yesterday ordered a 15-year-old girl to stand trial as an adult. Zaria Estes used her shirtsleeves to wipe tears from her eyes as Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner explained why the unprovoked March attack on Abbey Luffey a block west of campus was too serious to be sent to Family Court. The incident, during which two other teenage girls punched and kicked Luffey and her boyfriend, Andrew Mazer, affected the entire Temple community, Lerner said.
August 29, 2014 |
The fast-paced growth of Philadelphia's lower Spring Garden neighborhood quickened Wednesday, with the official groundbreaking of a massive, $160 million luxury apartment complex. The project promises to further transform an area that 20 years ago was a dead zone, and that 20 years from now may be unrecognizable. "It's overused in real estate," said Brady Nolan, one of the developers, "but every great project must have three things: location, location, and Whole Foods. " A big Whole Foods - twice the size of the current market nearby - will anchor the building, just off the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
August 6, 2014 |
Nicholas Kozay Jr., 86, of Philadelphia, a retired Common Pleas Court judge, died Thursday, July 31, of congestive heart failure at his home. While training as a lawyer, Judge Kozay began his career in the Municipal Court system as a clerk. In the early 1970s, he was appointed jury commissioner. He went on to implement the "one day/one trial" system for jurors. Under the one-day model, a potential juror comes to the courthouse knowing that if he or she is not chosen for jury duty by the end of the day, the obligation to serve has been met. His family said that the program was very well-received, and that he traveled to other cities to show officials how to implement it. Judge Kozay was appointed to Common Pleas Court in 1989 as a Family Court judge.