September 17, 2014 |
GERALD GIBSON, a fired Philadelphia narcotics cop and former son-in-law of Gov. Corbett, sat stone-faced in court Tuesday 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.
September 16, 2014 |
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 " But in the last year, the cameras began begging for repairs, much like an outdated laptop.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.
September 10, 2014 |
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.
September 8, 2014 |
State senators plan to meet Monday to consider ways of toughening Pennsylvania's DUI laws. Changing four words could do the job. A 2009 state Supreme Court decision defanged the state's decade-old efforts to impose harsher penalties on drivers awaiting trial on a string of DUI arrests. The court ruled that the wording of the 2003 law required judges to use the date of past convictions - not the date of arrests - to determine whether someone is a second offender. Legislators could fix the wording by saying past DUI convictions can trigger more aggressive penalties "if the violation occurred" before sentencing for subsequent offenses.
September 7, 2014 |
A leadership change is underway at the DLA Piper law office in Philadelphia. Carl Buchholz, who has focused his practice on commercial litigation and government relations, has taken over as office managing partner. James Brogan, who preceded Buchholz as the Philadelphia managing partner, will serve as cochair of the firm's sprawling U.S. litigation practice. For Buchholz, a former White House official who served as a special assistant to President George W. Bush on Homeland Security, the move marks a return to law firm management.
August 31, 2014 |
For 36 years, Daniel Wilson taught Spanish and English as a second language at Finletter Elementary School in the city's Olney section. He retired two years ago for another position - caregiver for his aging father. "I just couldn't keep up with a full-time job and doing for him," says Wilson, 60. "I'm a housekeeper and a caregiver before I'm anything else at this point. " Retirement meant Wilson needed health insurance. He decided against staying on the Philadelphia School District's Personal Choice or HMO plans through COBRA until he was 65. Instead, Wilson opted to buy Aetna's PA High Deductible 3000 HSA policy.
August 25, 2014 |
After all the hand-wringing and anguish over out-of- state firms flocking to file lawsuits in Philadelphia - the law firms you see advertising on late-night television - is Philadelphia still the notorious plaintiffs' paradise of common lore? It all depends on your idea of civil litigation bliss. A look at medical malpractice awards is revealing. There is no question: Philadelphia remains the most favorable jurisdiction in Pennsylvania for lawyers seeking big payoffs, a maddening fact to the many physicians and hospitals here.
August 22, 2014 |
AS A GROUP of law-enforcement and elected officials called yesterday for a mandatory two-year sentence for people convicted of illegally carrying a firearm, kids in the South Philadelphia neighborhood watched and played. It was a beautiful, sunny day. But on Aug. 1, horror enveloped the area after Tynirah Borum, 3, who was getting her hair braided on a porch on Etting Street near Dickinson, was fatally shot. The alleged gunman, Brandon Ruffin, 22, had been released from jail on July 3, after serving 23 months on an 11 1/2-to-23-month sentence after pleading guilty to illegally carrying a weapon.
August 20, 2014 |
Pennsylvania has joined a small but growing number of states requiring that a Down syndrome diagnosis be accompanied by useful, accurate information about the genetic disorder. The Down Syndrome Prenatal and Postnatal Education Act, effective Oct. 1, mandates that medical practitioners give expectant or new parents "informational publications," to be provided online by the state health department. The Down syndrome advocates behind such state laws - five in the last two years, including in Delaware and Maryland - promote them as a way to give unbiased information to pregnant women at a momentous, stressful juncture.
August 11, 2014 |
JAMES JONES was nervous last November when I asked him to comment on allegations by the Pennsylvania Treasury Department that he'd pocketed tens of thousands of dollars in unclaimed money that didn't belong to him. "This isn't going into the paper, is it?" Jones asked when, after months of trying, I finally tracked him down. "Is this a big deal?" Seeing how it was going on the cover of the Daily News , yeah, it was a big deal. I called Jones again last week, to see if he wanted to comment on brand-new regulations that aim to keep people from doing what Treasury investigators alleged Jones had done.