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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How to stop the “flash mob” mentality

Two weekends ago, Philadelphia's South Street residents, merchants and community suffered from yet another "flash mob" incident, where bands of teenagers summoned each other via cell phone text messages and social media Web sites including Twitter, Facebook and MySpace to hang out and get together. But as it's happened in the past,  it was way more than just "hanging out."  Many of the teens became agitated, some became violent and all became essentially out of...

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Sexting update: Court rules teen girl can’t be charged with a felony

A U.S. Court of Appeals got it right recently when it ruled that a teenaged girl whose semi-nude photo was transmitted via a cell phone text message cannot be charged with felony child abuse charges. That was the correct decision in this so-called "sexting" case that got big headlines and showed just how ridiculous the legal system can get when it is fueled by ideologies rather than by reality. We last wrote about this case...

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Damage caps on injury cases harm accident and medical malpractice victims a second time

Are you willing to give up your rights to be compensated fully for ALL of the damages caused by another? If you are injured in an accident, you can be sure that you want to recover every dollar you are entitled to for your treatment and for your pain and suffering. But insurance companies for years have been trying to fight you tooth and nail to minimize what they pay out to you for pain...

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Need a lawyer? Here are some helpful hints about how to select the right one

At some point in your life,  you will probably need to hire a lawyer. It may be for help when you are injured in a vehicle accident or fall, or if you are going through a divorce, tax dispute, criminal charges or custody or other legal issues.  It's uncommon today if at some point you don't have to at least consult an attorney about something in your life. So if that happens, where in the...

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Gun rights on Main Street: more citizens with legal “open carry” guns is not the answer

You're sitting in Starbucks having a coffee and relaxing when another customer walks in with a big, shiny handgun in a holster on his hip and heads over to the counter. Do you: A)    Hit the deck in the fear that there's about to be a robbery? B)     Feel uncomfortable because of the menacing presence of this stranger and his gun in such a non-traditional, non-threatening setting? C)    Feel reassured due to the presence of...

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A bad idea: Here’s why the laws in Pa. shouldn’t be changed to allow beer sales on every corner

There's yet another effort underway in the state Legislature to try to change the decades-old laws that forbid beer sales in convenience stores and grocery stores across the Commonwealth. Right now, you also can't buy a six-pack of beer in a beer distributor in Pennsylvania -- you can only buy a full case by law. You are, however, able to buy individual six-packs of beer from bars and restaurants that have liquor licenses which permit...

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Outrage in Chester County: Five African-American voters allege Voting Rights Act violations when they tried to cast ballots in 2008

Five African-American voters in Chester County are suing the county and its Board of Elections, alleging that their rights were violated under the federal Voting Rights Act as they stood in seven-hour-long lines to vote in their polling place in November 2008. But the legal claims involve more than just long lines, according to the lawsuit, which was detailed in a story last week in The Legal Intelligencer. "The suit says the precinct, which includes...

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Update: FCC rules that Comcast can’t keep SportsNet to itself, but it’s not over yet — an appeal is likely

Hold on to your Phillies, Flyers and Sixers hats, Philadelphia sports fans -- the U.S. Federal Communications Commission ruled last week that Comcast Corp. now has to start making its Comcast-only SportsNet programming available to satellite TV providers. The FCC ruling came in a 4-1 decision to close a "terrestrial loophole" that had allowed Comcast to keep SportsNet all to itself and its customers for years, according to a story in The Philadelphia Inquirer. In...

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