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07/21/2014

Pennsylvania Bar Association - Your Other PartnerA first-of-its-kind educational tool is now available to help Pennsylvania Family Court judges, lawyers and families reduce the anxiety caused by the courtroom interviews of children at the center of custody disputes.

The Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section has produced a 73-minute video program, “Judicial Interview of the Child,” that will be distributed statewide to family court judges and posted on YouTube. The video is being premiered to PBA Family Law Section members on Friday morning, July 11, during the section’s summer conference in Cambridge, Maryland.

07/18/2014

The Practising Law Institute is launching its first Pro Bono Open Interactive Course, Effective Communication with the Legal Services Client, on August 4-8, 2014. The course will run for five days (varying between 10-45 minutes each day), from August 4-8, 2014. It is open to all, without cost, and blends traditional course materials with videos, discussion forums (to which you will be asked to contribute your observations) and other activities that can be viewed at any time of day or night.

The program will show you how to create an environment in which you can educate and empower your clients — and achieve the best possible outcomes.

07/14/2014

A website redesigned to better serve attorneys, financial institutions and others who support civil legal aid for the state’s poorest individuals and families has been launched by the Pennsylvania Interest on Lawyers Trust Account, or IOLTA, Board.

Among other things, the new website (www.paiolta.org) highlights the “I Bank on Justice” Campaign — an initiative to recognize attorneys and firms that use a “Platinum Leader Bank,” or one that pays a 1 percent premium yield on IOLTA accounts.

07/03/2014

The Internal Revenue Service has introduced a new, shorter application form to help small charities apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status more easily.

The new Form 1023-EZ, available on IRS.gov, is three pages long, compared with the standard 26-page Form 1023. Most small organizations, including as many as 70 percent of all applicants, qualify to use the new streamlined form. Most organizations with gross receipts of $50,000 or less and assets of $250,000 or less are eligible.

07/01/2014

Pennsylvania Health Law ProjectThe June edition of the Health Law PA News, a free monthly newsletter from the Pennsylvania Health Law Project is now available.

For prior editions or more information about the Pennsylvania Health Law Project, please visit the PHLP website at www.phlp.org.

06/24/2014

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) is partnering with the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) to bring employers a solution to help businesses efficiently and accurately respond to unemployment compensation (UC) information requests and to speed the processing of claims.

The State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) and SIDES E-Response offer employers – free of charge – a secure, electronic and nationally-standardized format to better anticipate and supply the data needed to respond to UC information requests, reduce follow-up phone calls and streamline UC response processes.

06/23/2014

Visit www.SocialSecurity.govSocial Security has published new instructions that allow the agency to process more claims in which entitlement or eligibility is affected by a same-sex relationship. These instructions come in response to last year’s Supreme Court decision in U.S. vs. Windsor, which found Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. 

This latest policy development lets the agency recognize some non-marital legal relationships as marriages for determining entitlement to benefits. These instructions also allow Social Security to begin processing many claims in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages or non-marital legal relationships. 

06/23/2014

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez has announced a proposed rule extending the protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act to all eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages regardless of where they live. The proposal would help ensure that all families will have the flexibility to deal with serious medical and family situations without fearing the threat of job loss. Secretary Perez is proposing this rule in light of the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor, in which the court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act provision that interpreted "marriage" and "spouse" to be limited to opposite-sex marriage for the purposes of federal law.

The FMLA, enacted in 1993, entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. Employees are, for example, entitled to take FMLA leave to care for a spouse who has a serious health condition. Millions of workers and their families have benefited since the FMLA's provisions became effective and even more American families would be made secure as a result of the proposed rule.

06/18/2014

The Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, in collaboration with the Access to Justice Initiative and the Elder Justice Initiative, has released the first three modules of a free self-paced Online Elder Abuse Training for legal service providers.

This interactive Web-based training program offers a variety of information, tools and resources, from interactive client scenarios to printable resources for your office.

06/05/2014

Friends of Farmworkers/Amigos de los Trabajadores AgricolasFriends of Farmworkers was awarded a $100,000 Project Grant by Impact100 Philadelphia at the conclusion of their sixth annual meeting on June 3. The organization awared a total of $328,000 in project and operating grants at that time.

Friends of Farmworkers (FOF) works to improve the living and working conditions of Pennsylvania’s vulnerable low-wage agricultural, landscaping and food processing workers and their families through the provision of legal services, education and advocacy. 

With Impact100 funding, FOF will launch Voces de Trabajadoras/Voices of Women at Work (Voces) to address the needs of a growing number of women working in the Philadelphia agricultural sector, most of whom are Latina immigrants, who suffer disproportionately from wage theft, discrimination, sexual harassment and assault in the workplace and are unlikely to take action.