Your family and the law: Be on guard against scams unleashed by thieves who prey on the elderly

Behind almost every news event, there seems to always be some scammer who is trying to find tricky ways to steal money from unsuspecting elderly victims. We read about examples like this almost every day in the newspaper. Older people get visits at their front doors from someone who says they won a contest and have to pay a fee to collect their prizes. [caption id="attachment_865" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Scammers bait the hook and steal money,...

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Summer Safety: Sharing the Road with Bicycles and Motorcycles means Being Careful

With the warm, lovely weather of summer upon us, it's a great time to remind drivers that we're sharing the road with others who aren't wrapped protectively in vehicle cocoons of steel, plastic and rubber. Thousands of others are out there on the roads with only two wheels on bicycles and motorcycles and are much more vulnerable to serious injury. As motorists, we all need to be careful and more aware to protect ourselves from...

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Summer Safety: Don’t forget playground safety

Playgrounds are fun – at home, in a public park, at camp or on private property, but at the same time, they can be dangerous. We here at MyPhillyLawyer.com don't want to ruin your summer, but it's a good idea to at least be thinking about playground safety at this time of year. You want to be sure to protect your families while they are playing outdoors and at the same time protect yourself from...

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Summer Safety Tips: Home Swimming Pools and Your Responsibilities

Summer is almost here, but your home swimming pool has probably been open for a few weeks and life is feeling pretty good. That's great, but don't be complacent. There are a myriad of safety and legal issues for you to be thinking about in connection with your pool, and it's much better to think about them before something tragic happens. [caption id="attachment_799" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/jane"][/caption] Swimming pools, hot tubs and spas...

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Stupid traffic law: Ohio court rules that cops can ticket you for speeding if it “looks like” you’re speeding

Now here's a truly bogus traffic law. In a 5-1 ruling, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled last week that police officers can pull you over and legally ticket you if it "appears" to the officer that you are speeding. [caption id="attachment_794" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/Stratol"][/caption] No radar is needed. No mechanized speed checks required. No VASCAR timing has to be set up. None of those are needed in Ohio anymore. Nope.  Just a...

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Detroit police involvement in accidental shooting death of 7-year-old girl must lead to changes

Police departments across the nation can learn lessons from this tragedy There's no argument to the idea that police officers obviously have incredibly difficult, complex jobs. They have to deal in the pressure of the moment with unpredictable, dangerous and violent suspects who commit crimes.  Sometimes, they can't instantly recognize who the bad guys are and who the good guys are.  Every day, they also have to deal with people who have been victimized by...

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Update: U.S. Supreme Court makes the right decision by banning teen life sentences without parole in non-murder cases

Back in November, we wrote here that sentencing juvenile offenders to life in prison without any chance for parole is cruel and unusual punishment and should be outlawed when their crimes don't include murder. Across our nation in non-homicide cases, 129 teens are serving life sentences without parole, including 77 in Florida, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal. No teens in Pennsylvania are serving such sentences. In cases that do involve murder,...

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Is cursing a crime, or is it free speech?

Imagine you are driving in traffic on a public street and another driver cuts you off. Imagine going to a sporting event and watching a player on your favorite team doing something that really irks you, like dropping a ball. Or imagine walking down a street on the sidewalk and having an outrageously loud vehicle drive by, disturbing the peace. How would you react to any of these scenarios? You might angrily yell something out,...

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Bad cops: When the police can’t be trusted, we are all endangered

It is one of the nightmares of a free society when bad cops break their oaths and crush the very laws they are sworn to uphold. That's what happened recently in Camden, N.J., when one Camden police officer pleaded guilty in March to federal conspiracy charges. According to reports in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the officer and at least four of his fellow officers "planted evidence and threatened suspects with arrest if they did not provide...

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