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NEWS
June 17, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
CHANGES COULD BE coming to the way Philadelphia seizes property under its civil-forfeiture program. The program - aimed at stopping drug activity - has caught innocent people in its net, violating their constitutional rights, critics say. Lawyers on both sides of a federal civil lawsuit yesterday told U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno that the parties are close to settling the first two of the plaintiffs' six claims in the lawsuit. A status report filed by lawyers for the city and the District Attorney's Office - the defendants in the lawsuit - also said three more claims could be settled.
NEWS
June 10, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
It's officially safe to carry signs to School Reform Commission meetings. Three former Philadelphia teachers have settled a civil-rights lawsuit they filed against the SRC, Commissioner Bill Green, the city, and others, splitting $32,500 in what they say were First Amendment violations. At a crowded and contentious February SRC meeting, officials confiscated placards from Lisa Haver, Ilene Poses, and Barbara Dowdall. City police also removed Poses from Philadelphia School District headquarters after she refused to surrender the sign she wore around her neck.
NEWS
April 23, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham and Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writers
A lawsuit contending that Pennsylvania's system of school funding is broken will move to the state's top court, attorneys vowed Tuesday after a lower court dismissed the case brought by school districts, parents, and advocates. Lawyers said they would appeal to the state Supreme Court after the Commonwealth Court ruled that education funding was a legislative issue and not a legal matter. "This is a question of paramount importance to all Pennsylvanians, and we always knew this would ultimately be decided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court," said Jennifer Clarke, executive director of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, part of the team that represents petitioners in this case.
NEWS
March 13, 2015 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
THREE RETIRED Philadelphia School District teachers have filed a federal lawsuit against the School Reform Commission, former chairman Bill Green, the city and other parties for allegedly violating their constitutional rights during an SRC meeting. The trio - Ilene Poses, Lisa Haver and Barbara Dowdall - say the violations occurred during a Feb. 18 meeting at which commissioners voted on charter-school applications, according to the suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.
NEWS
March 13, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
LAWYERS representing six Pennsylvania school districts, parents and education advocates argued yesterday that state courts must hold the Legislature accountable for providing adequate funding for public education. The arguments before a panel of Commonwealth Court judges in Harrisburg were to determine whether the lawsuit should move forward. The plaintiffs, which also include seven parents from Philadelphia and the NAACP, claim the state has not provided sufficient funding for most students to pass mandatory graduation exams.
NEWS
March 13, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's system of education funding is broken, and the courts must force lawmakers to make it right, attorneys for school districts, parents, and organizations that have sued the commonwealth told a panel of judges here Wednesday. The suit - brought by school systems, including the William Penn district in Delaware County, and parents, including two from the Philadelphia School District - argues that Pennsylvania's education funding system is "irrational and inequitable.
BUSINESS
January 30, 2015 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
David Kessler, the former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner, testified Wednesday that as a pediatrician, it "certainly is a red flag to me" that a Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. study of the use of its antipsychotic drug Risperdal in young children and adolescents, mainly boys, showed high rates of breast growth. Kessler was FDA commissioner from 1990 to 1997, when Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, received approval in 1993 for the drug to be prescribed to adults with psychosis.
NEWS
January 15, 2015 | By Michael Boren, Inquirer Staff Writer
Federal judges in Philadelphia raised questions Tuesday about a New York Police Department surveillance program that critics say unfairly targeted Muslim communities after 9/11. The 11 plaintiffs in the case - including an Army sergeant, a former schoolteacher, and an imam - have argued that the surveillance intimidated people from attending Muslim businesses and places of worship. Julio Fuentes, one of three appeals court judges hearing the appeal, said he would not want to attend a mosque if it was being watched, and compared the effect to a business losing money.
BUSINESS
December 26, 2014 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
A group of 45 Philadelphia taxi companies filed suit in federal court Tuesday alleging that Uber, the app-based taxi enterprise, is waging unfair competition against medallion owners who must operate under state laws and regulations. Lead litigant Checker Cab Philadelphia and the other cab operators accused Uber of racketeering. "Not since the days of bootlegging has there been a criminal enterprise so brazen and open as to attract hundreds of millions of dollars in investment from investment bankers and to operate in blatant violation of federal and state law as Uber," reads the complaint.
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