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NEWS
February 19, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
Nearly one-third of the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Law School have criticized a new university procedure for handling sexual-assault cases that they say undermines traditional safeguards for the accused and could lead to wrongful disciplinary actions against Penn students. The procedure, adopted under pressure from the Obama administration, establishes a new position at Penn - the sexual violence investigative officer - and became effective Feb. 1. The policy weakens standards for finding that a sexual assault has occurred, while offering the accused only limited rights to a defense, law school critics say. Given examples of high-profile sexual-assault charges that have unraveled under close scrutiny, notably the gang-rape allegation at the University of Virginia reported by Rolling Stone magazine, the university must take steps to ensure its procedure for adjudicating sexual-assault cases is fair, the faculty members say. "Due process of law is not window dressing; it is the distillation of centuries of experience, and we ignore the lessons of history at our own peril," the faculty members said in an open letter aimed at the Penn administration as well as the broader public.
NEWS
February 14, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayor Nutter signed mandatory paid sick leave into law Thursday, the same day City Council passed the legislation before a crowd of cheering workers. "The people who do not have paid sick leave are the people who need it the most," said Councilman William K. Greenlee, the bill's sponsor. "They're low-income workers, single mothers; they're college students or people just starting in the workforce. " In 90 days, businesses with 10 or more employees will be required to give workers at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked.
BUSINESS
February 12, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
Former Blank Rome chairman David F. Girard-diCarlo and his wife, Constance, announced a $5 million gift Tuesday to the Villanova University law school for the establishment of a center on ethics and compliance. The center, launched a few months ago, will offer course work, programs, and conduct research on corporate compliance and ethics, an area of increased focus by business, government regulators, and law enforcement. "Adhering to the highest ethical standards in your profession and encouraging others with whom you interact to do the same can and will create a culture that promotes achievement," said a statement released by Girard-diCarlo and his wife, a lawyer and former Aramark executive.
NEWS
February 11, 2015 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
FORMER Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Bob Kerns pleaded guilty to a sex crime last year. Now his license to practice law has been revoked. On Friday, the state Supreme Court's disciplinary board temporarily suspended Kerns' law license. According to his attorney, Brian McMonagle, he hasn't been practicing law anyway since his arrest. "He's disassociated himself from the law firm [Hladik, Onorato & Pearlstine, based in North Wales], and hasn't been practicing since," McMonagle said.
NEWS
February 7, 2015 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
TRENTON - A bill that opponents feared would open the door to the privatization and commercialization of Liberty State Park was signed into law by Gov. Christie on Thursday, but it is expected to be revised soon by new legislation to protect the site. The measure's sponsors, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and State Sen. Paul Sarlo, said in a statement that they would write legislation to address concerns about development of the site, a popular gateway to the Statue of Liberty. Christie says the law will help make government smaller and more affordable by merging two agencies - the Meadowlands Commission and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority - into the new Meadowlands Regional Commission.
NEWS
February 5, 2015
STATE TREASURER Rob McCord was obviously a desperate man last spring. His bid for the Democratic nomination for governor was lagging. He had already put $2 million of his own money into his campaign. But, he needed more - mostly to pay for a series of scummy TV commercials he was launching against the clear front-runner in the race, Tom Wolf. So, what did he do? He started pressuring would-be givers to write big checks to his campaign. It wasn't exactly pay-to-play. It was more like pay . . . or else.
NEWS
February 5, 2015 | By Chris Brennan, Inquirer Staff Writer
It may appear that James F. Kenney, who resigned from Philadelphia City Council last week to run for mayor, has the edge on other Democratic candidates when it comes to marijuana policy. But former State Sen. T. Milton Street Sr. got the jump on Kenney by introducing state legislation 32 years ago to decriminalize the cultivation and consumption of the drug. "Maybe we can say I was ahead of my time," Street said Tuesday, laughing about the issue finally sparking up. Kenney's stance and Street's response prompted The Inquirer to poll the half-dozen declared and likely mayoral candidates about their views on decriminalizing pot - and about whether they had ever used the drug.
NEWS
February 3, 2015 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Mayor Nutter signed an executive order last year requiring certain contract workers doing jobs for the city to be paid at least $12 an hour beginning in January, it seemed like a smart political move, especially given the attention the matter has received from progressives and Democratic politicians, including President Obama. Several weeks into the new year, however, the city is starting to get pushback from some contractors, especially nonprofits, that say they can't afford the new wage scale without help from the city.
NEWS
January 30, 2015 | BY GARY THOMPSON, Daily News Staff Writer thompsg@phillynews.com, 215-854-5992
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)
NEWS
January 30, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia City Council is moving to suspend about a dozen gun laws that are not being enforced in the hope of improving the city's chance of protecting other provisions, such as the requirement that lost or stolen firearms be reported to police. The city is being sued by the National Rifle Association over its gun ordinances, the result of a new and controversial state law that gives outside groups standing to file such litigation. More lawsuits are likely to be filed against the city, a city official testified Wednesday at a hearing on the bill to suspend the gun laws.
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