January 30, 2015 |
IN "BLACK SEA," obsolete blue-collar guys stick it to the system that's discarded them while on a risky salvage job aboard a rusty, death-trap submarine. If you surmise that the vessel is a metaphor for the doomed class of wrench-wielding labor, written off as "s---," you are correct. Which leads to the movie's money line. "This time the s--- is fighting back. " Throwing roundhouses is Jude Law, as Robinson, a Scottish salvage expert whose life at sea has cost him his marriage and hence most of his income, which he loses entirely when he's made redundant, as they say in the UK. So he accepts a high-risk (and illegal)
January 28, 2015 |
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's order curtailing government seizures of property from people never accused of a crime should be a signal to Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. His aggressive use of civil forfeiture laws has been not only unjust, but also oblivious to the growing outrage over unfair confiscations. Over the course of a decade, Williams' office has taken $60 million in cash, homes, cars, and other property from thousands of people, including parents whose adult children were charged with selling drugs in or near their houses.
January 24, 2015 |
At the end of the last legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill effectively encouraging the National Rifle Association to sue cities and towns trying to prevent their residents from being shot and killed with illegal weapons. According to plan, the NRA last week sued Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Lancaster for passing reasonable laws requiring gun owners to tell the police when their weapons are lost or stolen. The cities' laws are aimed at so-called straw buyers, who purchase guns on behalf of criminals who are prohibited from doing so. When the guns are found at crime scenes and traced back to these straw buyers, they invariably claim the weapons were lost or stolen, avoiding responsibility and charges.
January 18, 2015 |
Sharpe James, the former mayor of Newark and New Jersey state senator, violated campaign-finance laws when he used tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to pay legal fees in response to a 2006-07 federal criminal investigation, a state appeals court affirmed Friday. James, a Democrat who served as mayor from 1986 to 2006 and as a senator from 1999 to 2008, was indicted in July 2007 by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy, embezzlement, and fraud. Accused of using city-issued credit cards to fund personal vacations and using his power to sell city land to a friend in a sweetheart deal, he was convicted in 2008 and sentenced to 27 months in federal prison.
January 16, 2015 |
JON A. BAUGHMAN was an outstanding Philadelphia lawyer - but that's not all he was. "He was a man of total integrity, who loved life, loved his family and loved his job," said his lawyer son, Michael E. Baughman. His father was a man who delighted in feeding the homeless on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with his church, playing tennis and nurturing seeds in his garden in Fort Washington to produce corn, tomatoes and peppers and flowering fruit trees. But most of all, Jon Baughman, longtime partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP, was a family man. "I keep hearing what a great lawyer he was," said his son. "But he was an even greater father.
January 16, 2015 |
A new program aimed at providing legal assistance to vulnerable elderly veterans has been launched by the SeniorLaw Center, a public interest group that focuses on the legal needs of the aged. Karen Buck, the center's executive director, said the program was developed to reach elderly veterans who typically are reluctant to ask for assistance. "We had been getting a number of calls for assistance from senior veterans with really dramatic cases and dramatic issues," she said. "We found there was quite a huge need, but our senior veterans were not reaching out for assistance.
December 30, 2014 |
A Bucks County baby who this year became the namesake for a state law requiring hospitals to test newborns for certain rare disorders, died Sunday, Dec. 28. Hannah Ginion would have turned 2 on Jan. 15. She suffered from Krabbe disease, an inherited condition that destroys nerve cells. "Hannah was called home to be with the angels this morning," said a post on a Facebook page that had provided updates about her condition. "She went peacefully. " Hannah was diagnosed with Krabbe disease when she was 5 months old - too late for a cord blood transplant that could have stopped or slowed its progression.
December 23, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - It was a strange experience for Jim Gerlach: After more than 20 years in public office, he was sitting out an election. Gerlach, a Chester County Republican, had decided to leave office after a decade in the state legislature and 12 years in Congress - making for some odd feelings as he saw campaigns ramp up last fall without him. Gerlach, 59, is one of three local members of Congress who leave office Jan. 3. He, Jon Runyan (R.,...
December 22, 2014 |
It's not just your parents moving back into an in-law suite - more often these days, it might be your adult children. In-law suites are more popular than ever among homeowners. These suites add value to the home and might allow three generations to live under one roof. Contractors and builders say they're having trouble keeping up with demand for in-law suites - renovations, say, of a porch or a garage, or for an addition to customers' existing homes. Dave Martin, president of Remodeling Concepts in Langhorne, hears this from his clients.
December 20, 2014 |
Philadelphia prosecutors agreed Thursday to halt efforts to seize the homes of two of the lead plaintiffs in a widely publicized federal suit challenging the city's use of civil forfeiture laws in drug cases. But Christos Sourovelis and Doila Welch, both of whom saw their houses threatened after police arrested a relative dealing drugs on their properties, said they intended to keep on fighting. In agreements of dismissal filed in Common Pleas Court, the District Attorney's Office agreed to drop its cases against properties owned by Sourovelis and Welch as long as both owners took "reasonable measures" to ensure no further drug crimes occurred there.