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NEWS
April 16, 2014 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
THE PHILADELPHIA School Partnership and PennCAN, two controversial education-reform groups, want the state's highest court to decide whether the School Reform Commission can impose work-rule changes on teachers. The two pro-school-choice organizations sought the review in an amicus brief filed yesterday with the state Supreme Court. It "is crucial for this Court to fully consider this case and breathe life into the legislative command that the [SRC] is to be empowered with the flexibility to quickly respond in times of budgetary crisis and provide for the long-term sustainability of City public education," the filing read.
NEWS
April 13, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA It's been 18 months since Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Willis W. Berry Jr. retired on the day he was to pay a $180,000 civil fraud judgment involving a property that a jury found he acquired by deceiving a client. Now, that same ethical violation has cost the 71-year-old Berry his license to practice law for the next year. The state Supreme Court on Wednesday approved without comment the suspension recommended in October by its lawyer Disciplinary Board. The board's report called Berry's violation "serious misconduct" that requires suspension to "protect the public and preserve the integrity of the legal profession.
NEWS
April 9, 2014 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission told the state Supreme Court on Monday it's important for the court to rule quickly on whether the commission has the power to impose work rule changes for teachers next fall. The SRC's filing is the latest volley in a legal dispute between the SRC and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers over the powers granted to the commission by the law that led to the 2001 state takeover of city schools. Two weeks ago, the commission asked the state's top court to declare that it has the authority to make unilateral work-rule changes, including disregarding seniority for teacher assignments, transfers, layoffs, and recalls.
NEWS
April 5, 2014 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia teachers union on Thursday asked the state Supreme Court to toss out the School Reform Commission's request for unilateral authority to change work rules for teachers. In its filing, the 11,000-member Philadelphia Federation of Teachers challenged the commission's assertion. The PFT said nearly every change the SRC wants to make on its own - including disregarding seniority for new teacher assignments - has been subject to collective bargaining for years. "This action by the SRC and its new chairman, Bill Green, is just the latest attempt by the commission - an unelected and unaccountable body - to strip teachers and other school employees of their rights, but even more important, the SRC's actions do nothing to improve the learning conditions for our city's children," PFT president Jerry Jordan said in a statement.
NEWS
April 4, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
THE PHILADELPHIA Federation of Teachers asked the state Supreme Court yesterday to toss out a petition from the school district and the School Reform Commission that seeks to eliminate seniority and other work rules, claiming they are bargained privileges. In its response to the district's March 24 filing, the union says the work-rule changes sought by the SRC have long been a part of the collective-bargaining agreement and are subject to the grievance-and-arbitration process, therefore the court has no jurisdiction.
NEWS
April 4, 2014 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jerry Sandusky's latest attempt to overturn his conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse was denied Wednesday as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said it would not hear his appeal. The former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach, convicted in 2012 of sexually abusing 10 boys he met through his charity for underprivileged youth, had asked the court to review his case because he said his attorneys were not given adequate time to prepare for his 2012 trial. His defense team had to review thousands of pages of transcripts and other documents, some of which they said they received just weeks before trial.
BUSINESS
April 2, 2014 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday helped Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. by saying it would review an appeals court decision on the company's top-selling drug. The move could delay introduction of generic competitors to Teva's Copaxone and might eventually change patent litigation in other industries. "This could potentially be a huge decision," Rutgers-Camden law professor Michael Carrier wrote Monday via e-mail. Carrier, who focuses on antitrust and patent law, wrote a friend-of-the-court brief in a 2013 Supreme Court case that reshaped how brand-name drug companies and their generic competitors must operate when they negotiate with each other over patents.
NEWS
March 28, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery and his wife, Lise Rapaport, sued The Inquirer on Wednesday, accusing the newspaper of maliciously tarnishing their reputations in a series of stories on fees Rapaport received for referring clients to personal-injury law firms. In a defamation suit filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, the attorney for the couple criticized the paper's reporting for what he described as its "calculated and premeditated incompleteness and intentionally malicious slant.
NEWS
March 27, 2014 | By Robert I. Field, For The Inquirer
  WASHINGTON - The Affordable Care Act faced its second trip to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, with the justices considering whether corporations have religious rights and can restrict contraception coverage for employees. As a freak March snowstorm raged outside, the questioning seemed to split along ideological lines, just as it largely did two years ago when President Obama's health-care law was first considered. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who asked challenging questions of both sides Tuesday, seemed most likely to cast the swing vote if a liberal-conservative split occurred.
NEWS
March 24, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON Stuart Rabner rose from the ranks of federal prosecutor to New Jersey's chief justice with accolades from his former boss, Chris Christie. As U.S. attorney for New Jersey, Christie recommended Rabner to Democratic Gov. Jon S. Corzine, who recruited Rabner in 2005 as his chief counsel. Within 18 months, Corzine had nominated Rabner to the Supreme Court. Calling Rabner "a fabulous choice," Christie said: "There is not a job in the law that Stu Rabner could not do well.
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