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NEWS
September 21, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
DESPITE VIDEO evidence of Gov. Corbett's former son-in-law taking $140 in marked money during a 2013 FBI and Police Department sting operation, a Philadelphia jury yesterday failed to reach a unanimous verdict. Common Pleas Judge Diana L. Anhalt declared a mistrial after the jury indicated it was hopelessly deadlocked on all seven charges faced by fired narcotics officer Gerold Gibson, 44. The jury of nine women and three men began deliberating yesterday morning and worked for five hours before being released by Anhalt.
NEWS
September 21, 2014 | By Mike Newall, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf joined a growing chorus Friday calling for expanded state hate-crime laws after a Center City assault that left a gay couple seriously injured. In a statement, Wolf described the Sept. 11 incident near Rittenhouse Square as "vicious" and "incomprehensible. " "No one, no matter their race, gender, or sexual orientation, should ever have to live in fear of walking down the street," Wolf said of the assault, in which two men said they were attacked by a group of 10 to 12 people hurling antigay slurs.
BUSINESS
September 20, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
They say it is good to be king. It might be better, though, to be a very successful trial lawyer. Thomas R. Kline, who unveiled a $50 million gift to the Drexel University law school on Wednesday, and Shanin Specter, his partner at Kline & Specter P.C., would seem to fit that description. From its founding in 1995, the firm has grown to 35 lawyers and 115 employees overall, the largest personal-injury law firm in Pennsylvania and one of the largest in the country. The firm is known for big-ticket, emotional cases, and devotes considerable time to screening matters before agreeing to represent a client, with three staff members, a nurse, and two lawyers, one with a nursing degree, doing the intake.
NEWS
September 20, 2014 | By Aubrey Whelan and Mike Newall, Inquirer Staff Writers
As investigators interviewed more witnesses and reviewed additional video footage of a Center City assault that sent a gay couple to the hospital last week, calls began anew for Pennsylvania to expand its hate-crimes law. A law enforcement source said that police were still taking statements from men and women involved in the Sept. 11 incident near Rittenhouse Square. The couple and police have said members of a group of 10 to 12 people hurled antigay slurs, held and punched the couple, and beat one man so severely he had to undergo surgery and have his jaw wired shut.
NEWS
September 19, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
In one of the largest gifts ever to a U.S. law school, Drexel University said Wednesday that Philadelphia trial lawyer Thomas R. Kline would give the eight-year-old school $50 million to bolster its effort to reach the top ranks of legal education. Drexel president John A. Fry said the money would be used to fund scholarships, add faculty, and expand the law school's trial-advocacy program, which provides training for lawyers who plan to focus on courtroom practice. Included in the gift is the former Beneficial Saving Fund Society building at 12th and Chestnut Streets, an imposing Classical Revival-style structure that has been vacant since 2001 and that will house the law school's Institute for Trial Advocacy.
NEWS
September 18, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
GEROLD GIBSON, a fired Philadelphia narcotics cop and former son-in-law of Gov. Corbett, sat stone-faced in court yesterday as a prosecutor told a jury that he was a "thief" who had disgraced his badge. "Honor, service and integrity. These are the pillars of the Philadelphia Police Department," Assistant District Attorney Douglas Rhoads said in his opening statement at Gibson's trial. "This trial, however, is about one officer who not only failed to live up to that oath, but he committed crimes while on duty.
NEWS
September 18, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
In response to the police shooting of a young black man in Ferguson, Mo., about 100 people gathered Tuesday night in Norristown for a public forum on race, law enforcement, and community relations. The discussion, hosted by Zeta Phi Beta sorority's Montgomery County chapter, spanned a wide range of topics, from arrest and incarceration to education, ingrained social systems, and economics. The moderator, community activist Buck Jones, read a list of more than a dozen names - all young black men, unarmed, killed by police in recent years across the country.
NEWS
September 16, 2014 | By Michael Boren, Inquirer Staff Writer
For most of the last nine years, the $52,000 camera system in West Deptford's police cruisers functioned well. It recorded intoxicated drivers swerving through lanes or later stumbling on their feet. Sometimes the footage helped prevent lengthy drags through the court system, because, as West Deptford Prosecutor John Moustakas said, "You really don't have a defense. " But in the last year, the cameras began begging for repairs, much like an outdated laptop. Some recorded audio but no video, or vice versa.
NEWS
September 10, 2014 | By Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writer
LANCASTER - Witnesses at a state Senate committee hearing Monday called for a dramatic strengthening of DUI laws, saying current statutes are too weak to stop repeat offenders who endanger everyone. Patrick Crowley, whose 24-year-old son Liam was killed last year by a man prosecutors called the worst drunk driver in Chester County, testified that people are dying because of Pennsylvania's lax laws. "We watched our son, Liam, die," Crowley said, reading a statement written by Liam's mother.
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