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Winter 2014 Vol. I Issue I


P ERSPECTIVE IS NOT JUST A MATTER OF WHAT YOU SEE , BUT YOUR VANTAGE POINT . Successful business ventures require perspective, from all vantage points. We offer you a clear view of the surrounding business landscape from the legal vantage point. This outlook provides insight into legal strategies for: business formation, external source financing, drafting contracts and leases, the hiring process, and protection of intellectual property. That amounts to more than just sound legal counsel; it gives our business clients ‘perspective from the legal vantage point.’ D OY L E ST OW N | ( 2 1 5) 2 3 0- 3 76 1 | L A W - B R OOK S .C OM


Table of Contents 1

FORMER ALLENTOWN STUDENT SUES SCHOOL DISTRICT

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BUCKS HAPPENING LIST 2014

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FORMER STUDENT SUES ASD OVER ALLEN HIGH ASSAULT

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AWESOME ATTORNEY 2013

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CHARTER SCHOOL CASE MOVING TO COURT

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NPSD USING DELAY TACTICS, CHARTER SCHOOL SAYS

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AWESOME ATTORNEY 2011

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AWESOME ATTORNEY 2010

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DEFENDANTS ADDED NORTH PENN/CB WEST LAWSUIT

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INJURIES IN HIGH SCHOOL BRAWL PROMPT LAWSUIT

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FORMER CB WEST STUDENTS SEEKING DAMAGES

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CB WEST-NORTH PENN FIGHT VICTIMS FILE LAWSUIT

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SEWER POLICIES HAVE RESIDENTS GRINDING TEETH

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APPEALS COURT ALLOWS FIRST MONTCO CHARTER

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SOUDERTON SCHOOL BOARD CRITICIZED

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PROPONENTS OF CHARTER SCHOOL PLAN APPEAL

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PANEL TO HEAR SOUDERTON CHARTER SCHOOL APPEAL

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PENRIDGE BOARD OKS RESIGNATION


Former Allentown student sues school district over attack that left him with broken Jaw

A former student is suing the Allentown School District over a 2011 assault at William Allen High School that his attorney said is similar to a student assault at the high school earlier this week. Onesimus Gayemen was attacked by four fellow students in March 2011 at the school and suffered a broken jaw, the lawsuit says. In addition to the school district, the suit names former students Shawndell Cannon, Gregory Goodin, Jacob Fernandez and Jahmeen Quick, all of Allentown. The school district's attorney, John Freund III, could not immediately be reached for comment. According to the suit, one of the four students named asked for beads Gayemen was wearing March 21, 2011, then sucker punched him, the suit says. Once Gayemen was on the ground the group started beating him, the suit says. Gayemen suffered a fractured jaw and was treated at St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill. Gayemen, who still lives in Allentown, claims the school district concealed previous violent assaults by his attackers, failed to remove them from the school, failed to report the assaults to police and harbored "an environment of student criminal activity and violence against other students." Gayemen's attorney said the goal of the lawsuit is two-fold. One is to compensate Gayemen for his medical costs and injuries, Michael Brooks said. The second "is to change the way the school district is doing things," Brooks said. Brooks said he learned of Monday's assault of a student at Allen, the facts of which are similar to Gayemen's assault. 1|P ag e


Brooks said all of Gayemen's attackers named in the suit were charged following the incident. Three were under the age of 18 and charges against them were filed in juvenile court, where records are confidential. Shawndell Cannon was 19 at the time of the attack and was charged as an adult with aggravated assault, conspiracy, rioting with intent to commit a felony, simple assault and harassment. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to two to five years in state prison, followed by five years of probation, records say. Gayemen's lawsuit was initially filed in Lehigh County Court, but the school district is asking that it be moved to federal court, Brooks said. Brooks said attorneys are scheduled to meet in May with Lehigh County Judge Michele Varricchio.

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jaw

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 Bucks County, Pennsylvania

2014 People: Lawyer | The Happening List WINNER: Michael J. Brooks, Law Offices of Michael J. Brooks (Doylestown)

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Former student sues ASD over Allen High assault By Peter Hall, of The Morning Call 11:32 P.M. EDT, MARCH 17, 2014 Allentown School District failed to take steps to prevent an attack by former Allen High School students with histories of violence that left a classmate with a broken jaw, a lawsuit on behalf of the injured student alleges. Omesimus Gayemen, now 19, was walking between the main building and the gym at Allen in March 2011 when four students surrounded him. One asked Gayemen for the beads he was wearing and then sucker punched him, the suit says. When Gayemen fell to the floor, the four students piled on, throwing more punches, breaking Gayemen's jaw and causing other injuries that required him to be hospitalized at St. Luke's University Hospital in Fountain Hill, according to the lawsuit. Attorney John Freund, who represents the district, said he believes the claims against the district have no merit and that they will be dismissed. "We view this purely as an undisguised effort to find a deep pocket," Freund said. Superintendent Russ Mayo called the claims broad and exaggerated. "They are an affront to the teachers and administrators who are vigilant in providing a safe school environment," Mayo said. In addition to the district, the suit identifies former Allen students Shawndell Cannon, Gregory Goodin, Jacob Fernandez and Jahmeen Quick as defendants. The suit was initially filed in Lehigh County Court, but was moved to federal court last week. Cannon, who was 19 at the time of the attack, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to two to five years in prison. The other three were charged in juvenile court, Brooks said. Gayemen's suit notes that at the time of his attack, the number of incidents involving student safety was steadily rising, with five aggravated assaults involving students the prior year, 12 the year Gayemen was attacked and 15 the following year.

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Brooks said at least one of the boys who attacked Gayemen had been disciplined for assaulting a fellow student and another had been disciplined for possession of prohibited materials, according to records provided to the attorney by the district. The suit alleges that the district concealed assaults by students, including those who attacked Gayemen; tolerated a level of violence in its schools that led to additional attacks; downplayed the severity of violent incidents; failed to notify police; and failed to summon medical help for students injured in assaults. The allegations are similar to those made by five former Central Elementary School students who suffered sexual assaults by an older student in 2003 and 2004. Easton attorney James Pfeiffer filed a suit against the district in 2006 and later amended it to include four more victims. The district settled with four of the boys for $825,000 after a federal judge in 2012 found the district's response to reports of the attacks to be "wholly inadequate." In a separate settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, the district agreed to implement district-wide changes to ensure educators comply with the federal law against sexual discrimination in schools it allegedly violated when it failed to stop the sexual assaults. Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-allen-high-student-assault-lawsuit20140317,0,2513430.story#ixzz2wLAzmZBM

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LAW OFFICES

Attorney@Law

MICHAEL J. BROOKS, ESQUIRE

2013 AWESOME ATTORNEY

SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW

With each issue raised in sports law it is intuitive to understand baseball's infield fly rule. In every case I think about the infield fly rule. I love that rule. It is trouble for anyone ignoring the rules of the game. It is the law of strict liability for a batter popping' up with runners on base and watch out infielders you didn’t find a loophole in your favor for dropping the ball just because you caught a break and the batter is automatically out. That is because of my favorite part, the batter's out but the runners advance if they are willing to assume the risk, and pay attention to the base coaches counseling them. That's the way sports law is, you choose when to advance, based on your abilities, and counsel, but you better have someone who knows the rules on your side. LAW OFFICES |MICHAEL J. BROOKS, ESQUIRE| Attorney@Law-Brooks.com |(215) 230-3761

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By: JENNIFER LAWSON jlawson@thereporteronline.com Section: News, Local Posted: Wednesday, 05/22/13 07:03 pm

Charter school case moving to court The petition signed by members of the public in support of North Penn Charter School Collaborative and submitted to the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas is “fatally defective” because it doesn’t include certain pieces of information, according to a brief filed by the North Penn School District’s legal counsel. The items allegedly omitted are the names of the applicants for the charter; a statement that the school board rejected the charter application and the date that this occurred; and the proposed location of the charter school. However, the attorney representing Wendy Ormsby and Jennifer Arevalo, directors of Souderton Charter School Collaborative who are trying to launch North Penn Charter School Collaborative, said this information is included in the petition paperwork, just not on the same page. Michael Brooks, the charter school’s attorney, said he was surprised by the argument made by Jack Dooley, the school district’s attorney. “There are four things that have to be included, and they are included, but what he’s looking for is for all of them to be in one place,” Brooks said. “It’s a relatively minor flaw, if it’s even a flaw at all.” Ormsby and Arevalo began the appeal process after the school board rejected their charter school application in February. 10 | P a g e


As required by law, they gathered more than 1,000 signatures of individuals 18 years or older who support the establishment of the charter school, then submitted the petition to the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas for certification. After that, the case would have been sent to the Charter School Appeal Board. Dooley filed the brief detailing his legal argument on Monday. It says that the Court of Common Pleas “essentially acts in the role of gatekeeper,” and that the legislative intent of charter school law is that “access to the appeal board and its authority is limited.” In order to have the Charter School Appeal Board consider the case, the applicant must fulfill certain requirements. “While the gathering of one thousand signatures is one of the required steps, it is not the only step,” the brief says. “Rather, the petition that is submitted for the court’s review must meet a number of specific requirements. Although the (charter school) may suggest that the gathering of signatures satisfies the core requirement of demonstrating a sufficient petition, the other requirements of the (charter school law) cannot be ignored.” The school district’s brief also argues that the Pennsylvania Department of Education developed a form to be used to petition for appeal of a denied charter school, consisting of four pages — a cover sheet; an appendix page consisting of a notarized affidavit asserting that the signatures are 11 | P a g e


valid; a second appendix page listing the names of the applicants for the charter, a statement that the school board rejected the charter application and the date that this occurred and the proposed location of the charter school; and a signature page. The charter school only included the cover page and the first appendix page. The school district’s brief admits that the information regarding the school board’s rejection of the application and the date is within the caption that appears at the top of the signature pages, but the paperwork doesn’t contain the names of all of the applicants or the proposed location of the school. “It’s difficult to imagine two more critical pieces of information for a potential signer of a petition for a charter school to consider than who, exactly, is creating the school and where it is going to be located,” the brief states. In his responding brief, Brooks says that the required information was included in the paperwork. It also says that members of the public who signed the petition were given all of the information required under charter school law, and the law doesn’t require that the front page or cover sheet be presented to the signer. Attorneys on both sides are scheduled to make oral arguments before a judge June 18 in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.

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By: JENNIFER LAWSON jlawson@thereporteronline.com Section: News, Local Posted: Monday, 05/13/13 06:30

NPSD using delay tactics, charter school says Souderton Charter School Collaborative’s appeal of their denied charter school application has hit an obstacle, with legal counsel for the North Penn School Board objecting to the petition form that was used in gathering signatures of those in support of the charter. “At this point, not having seen the opposing counsel’s brief, I suspect it might be a delaying tactic,” said Michael Brooks, attorney for Souderton Charter School Collaborative. Wendy Ormsby and Jennifer Arevalo, who run the Souderton Charter School Collaborative, are aiming to open a North Penn version of their charter school in the fall. They launched the appeal process after the school board rejected their charter school application in February. The first step is to gather signatures from at least 1,000 individuals 18 years or older who support the establishment of the charter school, and submit the signatures to the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas for certification. Then, the case would move to the Charter School Appeal Board. Ormsby and Avevalo gathered more than 1,000 signatures in support of their proposed school. Jack Dooley, attorney for the North Penn School Board, accepts the validity of the signatures, but he said there is an issue with the form.

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“The job of the court of common pleas is to determine the sufficiency of the petition that was circulated, and we feel the petition that was circulated was insufficient,” he said. He declined to elaborate, saying he will make his argument before the judge at the next court date, which is June 18. Brooks said he “is not 100 percent sure” about Dooley’s issue with the petition form, explaining that Ormsby and Arevalo’s form was based on one found on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s website. He said he expects to learn more after reading Dooley’s brief detailing the school board’s argument, which must be submitted to the court by May 20. Brooks’ response is due May 28. The judge is expected to issue a ruling at the June 18 hearing after oral arguments from both sides. If the case progresses to the Charter School Appeal Board after that hearing, it’s not clear if a decision will be made before the start of the school year. “It’s tough to say — it depends on how many cases they get hit with,” Brooks said. “We thought we would be near the top of the list, but with this delay, we don’t know, and there could be other delays.” This puts Ormsby and Arevalo in limbo, as well as families who are hoping to send their children to the school in the fall. “It’s frustrating because there are many families with interest who are wondering how soon we will be opening,” Ormsby said. “It’s very frustrating they are using these tactics.”

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SUBURBAN LIFE 2011 AWESOME ATTORNEYS BUSINESS LAW

MICHAEL J. BROOKS, who practices business law in the state and federal courts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, earned his law degree from Ohio Northern University. He studied economics at three prestigious universities and today advises entrepreneurs in how to form and successfully operate the small businesses that have been fueling the country’s slow but steady economic recovery. What’s one thing most people don’t realize about law or about being an attorney? An attorney offers entrepreneurs perspective from the legal vantage point. For example, the self-employment tax is set at 13.3 percent, the equivalent of the combined contributions of both employee and employer under the FICA tax. The rule enforces the legal fiction for taxpaying purposes that a self-employed taxpayer is both an employer and employee and pays taxes as both. However, a properly formed business entity, including LLC’s can file for tax purposes as a sub-chapter S corporation, and take part of one’s income as dividends, which are not subject to self-employment tax. Name one thing you would change about the U.S. legal system if you had it within your power. Making law firms approachable with flat-rate pricing models. Because we focus on a niche area of law, we can offer flat-rate pricing on almost all our business law services. Clients, especially entrepreneurs and small-business people whom we appeal to, like to know in advance what they need to budget. On the other hand, there are types of legal matters such as litigation where billable hours make more sense than flat fees. All that said, there are plenty of legal services that could be converted to flat fees. If you had to name one thing you like most about being an attorney, what would it be? Because of the interpretation and changes in the law, a legal practice is never stale or mundane. Even the traditional sea of paper—printed cases, multiple drafts of every contract, memoranda and more— are almost completely a thing of the past. We now take advantage of the digital age: review and edit on the computer, often limit communication to e-mail with attachments, which are stored electronically, and file documents with the courthouse over the Internet. Becoming “green” means becoming more efficient. What’s the best piece of free legal advice you can offer? Do not lose sleep over a legal matter you are concerned about. Stop by the office and explain your legal concerns. We will put in plain words what we can do to redress those concerns or point you in the right direction to find someone who can offer you help. Consultations are free as we do not bill you for services until we explain what we can do for you and how much it would cost should you decide to hire the firm.

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Growth Catalyst Attorney Michael Brooks helps entrepreneurs build companies based on big ideas by Jennifer Updike

While serving in the U.S. Air Force, Michael J. Brooks Esq., studied business at the University of New Hampshire and Pennsylvania State University, ultimately receiving his undergraduate degree in economics from Rutgers University in New Jersey and his law degree from Ohio Northern University. Today he’s an attorney who advises entrepreneurs how to form and successfully operate small-business models that are powering the nation’s current economic recovery. Having studied economics at three universities—and also having three children, Michael, Megan and Joey, at three different colleges at once—he appreciates the financial challenges currently facing the nation. His clients range from startups seeking guidance on business formation, to established companies exploring innovations to fuel their growth, to mature family-owned companies planning to transfer the business to the next generation. He also provides advice on buying a business for those starting out or expanding their existing operations and counsels others on selling their business or pursuing other exit strategies. “It might seem counterintuitive to start a new business during an economic downturn,” says Brooks, who now practices business law in both the state and federal courts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. “But a slow recovery can be the ideal time for launching a company. In fact, many well-known and successful business ventures were formed in times of economic turbulence.” This means that even during today’s economic slowdown, it is likely that some of tomorrow’s biggest employers are just getting their start. “Since 1851, the U.S. economy has been in periods of contraction roughly one-third of the time, says Brooks. “Yet 16 of the blue-chip companies that comprise the Dow 30, including Disney, Alcoa and Johnson & Johnson, were founded during recessions.” In fact, almost 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies began business in a bear market. Proctor & Gamble survived the panic of 1837, which then was the worst recession in our young nation’s history, while General Electric came out of the economic chaos of 1872, according to Brooks. And just as the United States was slowly pulling itself out of the Great Depression, restaurant owner Ruth Wakefield invented what would eventually become one of the most popular cookies in the world: the Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie.

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Clearly, there is no shortage of examples of strong companies that defied a weakened economy. McDonald’s Corp. sold its first burger just before the onset of World War II, and Charles Schwab sprouted out of the early 1970s as rampant inflation threatened to get out of control. “Frederick Smith, while he was a student, wrote an assignment advocating the use of airline routes for package delivery,” Brooks says. “He recognized a growing demand for business documents to be delivered overnight. Surprisingly, he didn’t get high marks for his assignment but stuck with his idea. Years after graduating, in 1973, his idea came to fruition in the midst of a recession. Smith began Federal Express with only 14 planes and did not make a profit until 1975. FedEx now delivers 7.5 million shipments every business day.” In Good Company It’s a natural reaction given all the scary economic headlines, but slowdowns do not have to be barriers to starting new enterprises, according to Brooks: “After all, Paul Allen and Bill Gates did not wait for the recession to pass before launching Microsoft in 1975.” He suggests many more examples from the late 1970s, namely Home Depot and Apple Inc., both of which emerged from the depressive post-Watergate era, when stagflation was choking the U.S. economy. Also, Verizon (which was originally known as Bell Atlantic), Adobe, Compaq and Lotus all withstood the recession of 1982, while the dot-com bust in the early part of this decade did not keep MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and a host of other socialmedia companies from achieving valuations of more than $1 billion in the span of a few years. The technology sector is a particularly rich source of inspiration. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started their business from a simple garage in Palo Alto, Calif., at the height of the Great Depression in 1939. Steve Wozniak, an electronic hacker, and Steve Jobs were college dropouts when they formed Apple. They developed an idea for a new type of computer and started their business in the dark economic times of 1976 by selling the Apple I to a retailer called The Byte Shop. Apple has since grown into a multibillion-dollar business. “Successful startups like these evade the cyclical downturns arrayed against startups and turn tidy profits,” Brooks says. “It is not merely innovation; it is viewing the business landscape from the economic vantage point. High unemployment means it is cheaper to attract and retain top talent. Office rents are lower, which lessens overhead, and negotiation with suppliers brings about more favorable terms. Investment money is used more efficiently; there’s much more of an emphasis on operating lean and mean.” Many businesses that were in their infancy during tough economic times are tremendously successful today. This is because the entrepreneurs who began these businesses started with small companies based on big ideas—and they likely had plenty of help. Brooks suggests 19 | P a g e


every entrepreneur early into his business plan will need assistance from two key professionals: an accountant and an attorney. The reasons for hiring an accountant are fairly obvious—having a professional to help organize a “chart of accounts,” review financials periodically and prepare all necessary federal, state and local tax returns. The reason for hiring a business attorney, however, might not be so apparent. “Successful business ventures require perspective, from all vantage points,” Brooks says. “We offer you a clear view of the surrounding business landscape from the legal vantage point. This outlook provides insight into legal strategies for business formation, drafting contracts, the hiring process and protection of intellectual property. That amounts to more than just sound legal counsel; it gives our business clients perspective from the legal vantage point.” Another generation of exceptional high-growth companies will not only emerge from the recent economic meltdown but also perhaps because of it. But you’d better get started now if you want to be among them; the economy just might be recovering.

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Michael J. Brooks Michael J. Brooks Esquire, Doylestown Education: J.D., Ohio Northern University College of Law Practice Areas: Business Law, Corporate law, Intellectual Property, etc. Who or what drove you to become an attorney? I have a brother, six years my senior who became a lawyer, and a brother seven years older who was interested in politics, and certainly as part of looking up to my older brothers influenced my decisions. Additionally, hearing all the negative comments about lawyers as reported in the media challenged me to see if I could do better. Finally, I have always had aspirations to become involved in law making, and a legal background is crucial in drafting new laws. What's something that most people don't know about attorneys, or the legal profession? That most of the things reported in the news about the legal profession are the exception and not the rule. That is why many of the lawyer bashing stories make the news, because they are the exception. What is your favorite book, movie or TV show dealing with the courtroom? My favorite portrayal of the legal profession is chronicled in the 1995 book A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr based loosely on the real life case Anne Anderson, et al., v. Cryovac, Inc., et al. The book became a best-seller and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction. The movie A Civil Action was produced in 1998, starring John Travolta and Robert Duvall, and I highly recommend to everyone. What's the best piece of free legal advice you can share? Understand the infield fly rule and how it applies to life. With every case I think about the infield fly rule. I love that rule. It is trouble for anyone ignoring the rules of the game. It is the law of strict liability for a batter poppin' up with runners on base and watch out infielders you didn’t find a loophole in your favor for dropping the ball just because you caught a break and the batter is automatically out. That is because of my favorite part, the batter's out but the runners advance if they are willing to assume the risk, and pay attention to the base coaches counseling them. That's the way life is, you choose when to advance, based on your abilities, and counsel... or not, but you better have someone who knows the rules on your side. Is there a particular law you find the most ridiculous or absurd? If so, why? The law imposing Self Employment tax on small business. The self-employment tax is currently set at 15.30% which is the equivalent of the combined contributions of the employee and employer under the FICA tax. The rule enforces the legal fiction for taxpaying purposes that a self employed taxpayer is both an employer and employee and is taxed as both on the same income. Of course like many absurd laws, there are other laws which at least partially rectify this situation such as filing for tax purposed as a sub chapter S corporation, and taking part of the business profits as dividends, which are not subject to self employment tax.

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Author: MARK D. MAROTTA; Staff Writer Section: News September 26, 2006

More defendants added in North Penn/CB West lawsuit The complaint filed by attorney Michael J. Brooks on behalf of victims Carl Illenberger and Steven Hochwind Jr. includes counts of assault, battery, concert of action, civil conspiracy and other claims against the 10 named defendants and one or more unknown individuals. The plaintiffs seek recovery of medical expenses lost wages damages for mental anguish punitive damages legal fees and other relief the complaint said. Earlier this year the two plaintiffs former C.B. West students filed a lawsuit seeking similar relief from 16 other defendants as a result of the same incident. Speaking Monday afternoon Brooks explained that review of police reports seemed to indicate that additional individuals had been involved in the July 22, 2004 incident at the Central Bucks West parking lot. Brooks said that amending the new defendants to the original lawsuit would require amending the original complaint which would require court permission and would take several weeks. He added that he will file a motion to consolidate the two actions. Brooks said he had not yet received any responses from any of the defendants because the complaint is still in the process of being served by the sheriff’s office. He added that the addresses of only four of the 10 additional defendants were known and the rest would have to be determined through further investigation. The complaint identified the additional defendants as Deanco Oliver, Russell Freer, Gerald Bell, Loren Lynch, Anthony Grillo, Beau Ziegler, Alex Johnson, John Trumbauer, Freddie Pantini, and Steve Park. Brooks said Lynch identified in the complaint as being from Hollister N.C. is the cousin of another individual involved in the fight. 22 | P a g e


According to the complaint a fight had broken out between North Penn and Central Bucks West football players at a summer passing camp on July 2, 2004. Another altercation between North Penn and C.B. West students allegedly occurred at Spring Valley Park in Montgomery Township on July 19. The complaint also alleged that the 10 named defendants and unidentified individuals went to Windlestrae Park in Montgomery Township on July 22 for the purpose of fighting two C.B. West football players. However the complaint alleged no C.B. West football players appeared at the park. Through cell phone conversations the complaint alleged the defendants learned that C.B. West students were in their high school parking lot. The complaint alleged that Illenberg and Hochwind were among students gathered to discuss plans for the evening. According to the complaint the defendants blocked the parking lot exits and raced toward Hochwind, Illenberger and other C.B. West students. The complaint said Hochwind went to the aid of a C.B. West student who had been knocked unconscious the complaint said. The defendants and several North Penn students punched kicked and stomped on Hochwind causing a broken jaw back strain neck strain and muscle pulls and strains the complaint said. Illenberger approached other C.B. West students to render assistance when he was repeatedly punched and stomped on the complaint said. He sustained a broken jaw and lost teeth and required facial reconstruction according to the complaint. Brooks said Hochwind has since graduated from C.B. West but Illenberger has not in part because of the fight. Memo: A civil action filed in Bucks County Court last week identifies 10 additional defendants allegedly involved in an altercation between North Penn and Central Bucks West high school students in July 2004.

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September 23, 2006

Injuries received in high school brawl prompt lawsuit Former Central Bucks West students who were beaten by a group of North Penn students are seeking damages from 10 young men who were not charged with any crime. BY JACOB FENTON Date: September 23, 2006 Page: C8 Section

Two former Central Bucks West High School students who were badly beaten in a July 2004 brawl expanded their civil case against their assailants in a suit filed this week. In March, the two students, Carl Illenberger Jr. and Steven Hochwind Jr., filed suit seeking financial compensation from 16 young men who were initially arrested, although one was eventually exonerated. This week, the two broadened their net, saying in a second suit that 10 other men who were never charged with a crime were still responsible for their injuries. "When the attorney went through the police reports and stuff, he found more people than he thought that were liable that weren't named in the first suit," said Illenberger's father, Carl Sr. Michael J. Brooks, the attorney representing the two men in civil proceedings, said he planned to consolidate the two filings into a single suit. Only five of the 16 defendants named in the first complaint had lawyers, and only one had responded, Brooks said. Brooks said he'd identified the additional names by subpoenaing records from the Bucks County District Attorney's office. At least three were identified in Doylestown police investigation reports Brooks received. The lawsuit claims that Deanco Oliver, Russell Freer, Gerald Bell, Loren Lynch, Anthony Grillo, Beau Ziegler, Alex Johnson, John Trumbauer, Freddie Pantini, Steve Park and other unidentified men assaulted and injured Illenberger and Hochwind. With the exception of Lynch, all the men named are from Montgomery County. Addresses are given for only four of the men named.

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The suit says each of the men took part with others in "punching, kicking and causing physical harm" to the two plaintiffs, although very few specifics are given. Loren Lynch, identified in the suit as being from Hollister, N.C., is the cousin of a man charged in the criminal proceedings and named in the first civil suit, Brooks said. Oliver, Bell, Johnson and Trumbauer played on North Penn's football team. Oliver, a wide receiver who graduated from North Penn High School in 2004 and is a student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, said he had no idea he'd been named in a suit. "That's crazy," he said. Oliver said he thought everything was behind him after police told him that "there's no conclusive evidence that I was hitting anybody and I didn't. I didn't touch anybody." While criminal proceedings require defendants to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, "in a civil case, you have to prove your case by preponderance of evidence, which is a lower standard," Brooks said. The brawl was sparked by bad blood between football players for Central Bucks West and North Penn high schools after an altercation at a summer football camp. After Central Bucks West students didn't show up for a fight planned in Montgomery Township, a mob of at least 50 young people, mostly current and former North Penn students at the time, drove to Central Bucks West High School and attacked a smaller group of teens. Some of the fracas was caught on video by security cameras and showed during criminal proceedings. Both Illenberger and Hochwind had their jaws broken in the attack. After being knocked down, Illenberger lost several teeth and suffered a collapsed palate after one student blew a whistle, took a running start and kicked him in the face. "There's been a lot of medical bills that still haven't been paid, and it's an ongoing thing; Carl's still not done with his reconstructive dental work," said Illenberger Sr. Hochwind's father, Steven Sr., declined comment. The suit seeks money for medical expenses, lost wages, mental anguish, pain and suffering, court costs and punitive damages. Brooks estimated that Illenberger's medical bills were between $5,000 and $10,000, although he said other damages could be larger. 25 | P a g e


Former Central Bucks West students who were beaten by a group of North Penn students are seeking damages from 10 young men who were not charged with any crime. By: Jacob Fenton THE INTELLIGENCER Date: September 22, 2006 Page: A1 Section: LOCAL

Two former Central Bucks West High School students who were badly beaten in a July 2004 brawl expanded their civil case against their assailants in a suit filed this week. In March the two former students, Carl Illenberger Jr. and Steven Hochwind Jr., filed suit seeking financial compensation from 16 young men who were initially arrested, though one was eventually exonerated. This week the two broadened their net, saying in a second suit that 10 other men who were never charged with a crime were still responsible for their injuries. "When the attorney went through the police reports and stuff, he found more people than he thought that were liable that weren't named in the first suit," said Illenberger's father, Carl Illenberger Sr. Michael J. Brooks, the attorney representing the two men in civil proceedings, said he planned to consolidate the two filings into a single suit. Only five of the 16 defendants named in the first complaint had lawyers, and only one had responded, Brooks said. Brooks said he'd identified the additional names by subpoenaing records from the Bucks County District Attorney's office. At least three were identified in Doylestown Borough Police Department investigation reports Brooks received. The lawsuit claims that Deanco Oliver, Russell Freer, Gerald Bell, Loren Lynch, Anthony Grillo, Beau Ziegler, Alex Johnson, John Trumbauer, Freddie Pantini, Steve Park and other unidentified men assaulted and injured Illenberger and Hochwind. With the exception of Lynch, all the men named are from Montgomery County. Addresses are given for only four of the men named. The suit says each of the men took part with others in "punching, kicking and causing physical harm" to the two plaintiffs, though very few specifics are given. Loren Lynch, identified in the suit as being from Hollister, N.C., is the cousin of a man charged in the criminal proceedings and named in the first civil suit, Brooks said. Oliver, Bell, Johnson and Trumbauer played on North Penn's football team.

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Oliver, a wide receiver who graduated from North Penn High School in 2004 and is now a student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, said he had no idea he'd been named in a suit. "That's crazy," he said. Oliver said he thought everything was behind him after police told him that "there's no conclusive evidence that I was hitting anybody and I didn't, I didn't touch anybody." While criminal proceedings require defendants to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, "in a civil case you have to prove your case by preponderance of evidence, which is a lower standard," Brooks said. The brawl was sparked by bad blood between football players for Central Bucks West and North Penn high schools after an altercation at a summer football camp. After Central Bucks West students didn't show up for a fight planned in Montgomery Township, a mob of at least 50 young people, mostly current and former North Penn students at the time, drove to Central Bucks High School and attacked a smaller group of teens. Some of the fracas was caught on video by campus security cameras and showed during criminal proceedings. Both Illenberger and Hochwind had their jaws broken in the attack. After being knocked to the ground, Illenberger lost several teeth and suffered a collapsed palate after one student blew a whistle, took a running start and kicked him in the face. "There's been a lot of medical bills that still haven't been paid, and it's an ongoing thing; Carl's still not done with his reconstructive dental work," said Illenberger Sr. Hochwind's father, Steven Hochwind Sr., declined to comment. The suit seeks money for medical expenses, lost wages, mental anguish, pain and suffering, court costs and punitive damages. Brooks estimated that Illenberger's medical bills were between $5,000 and $10,000, though he said other damages could be significantly larger.

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CB West-North Penn fight victims file lawsuit By:

Patrick Lester Staff Writer John Anastasi contributed to this report. Date: March 28, 2006 Page: B4 Section: LOCAL

Two former Central Bucks West High School students injured in a 2004 riot at the school are suing more than a dozen of the people that police charged in the attack. Carl Illenberger Jr., who has already had three oral surgeries, and Steven Hochwind Jr., who suffered a broken jaw among other injuries, are seeking money for medical expenses, lost wages, "mental anguish" and other costs in the suit filed Monday in Bucks County Court. Most of the young men named in the suit were current or former North Penn High School students at the time of the July 2004 attack. One is a former Central Bucks West student. All but one of the 16 young men named in the suit either pleaded guilty or were found guilty of varying offenses in connection with the incident, which evolved out of a dispute between members of the North Penn and CB West football teams. "He's just starting to come back around, starting to act like his old self," Carl Illenberger Sr. said of his son. "It's been a long, hard dramatic time for him." Mr. Illenberger said he's unsure what his son's medical bills have cost.

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Those named in the suit: * Thomas Romeo and Kevin Wood, who were sentenced to three to 23 months in prison, and Wesley Manning, who was sentenced to six to 23 months in prison. Romeo and Manning pleaded guilty to assault. Wood was acquitted of assault but found guilty of rioting, disorderly conduct and conspiracy. * Adam Hearns and twin brothers David and Steven Kornock, who were sentenced to probation, boot camp and 100 hours of community service for assault. * Peter Lee, Donovan Chung and Kyle Bell, who were found guilty in juvenile court of rioting. * Christopher Cazier, Eric Halberstadt, Zachary Raffle, John Kalis and Kyle Lynch, all of whom agreed to enter a rehabilitation program for first-time offenders for disorderly conduct charges, and Benjamin Komatick, a former CB West student who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. The suit also names Charles Thompson Jr., who was initially arrested but was the only alleged participant exonerated on all charges. The suit, filed by attorney Michael J. Brooks, says Illenberger suffered a broken jaw, an injured palate and tooth loss when he was "stomped upon and punched repeatedly." Hochwind suffered a broken jaw, neck and back strain and muscle pulls and strains after he was punched and kicked, according to court papers. All those named in the suit are accused of assault and battery. Illenberger and Hochwind, who did not mention a specific dollar amount they are seeking, were among four CB West students who wound up in the hospital after the July 22, 2004, attack.

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WEDNESDAY JULY 14, 2004

Sewer policies have residents grinding teeth The grinding sound you hear this morning is not the sound of machines making mulch of tree roots clogging clay sewer pipes in Levittown. Although that'd be nice. Instead, it is the grinding of Donato Gaspari's teeth. Live in Levittown? There's a good chance you could be grinding your pearly whites next. It'll start when you go to the mailbox and find your letter from the Lower Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority. The letter is a very real possibility. Seems the water and sewer authority is getting serious about clearing concrete, pools, sheds, fences and TREES, TREES, SO MANY NUISANCE TREES, from easements designed to give it access to the sewers for preventive maintenance and repairs. Gaspari, who moved into Levittown's Red Rose Gate section in Middletown in 1988, has been billed $4,500 by the authority for the removal of more than a half-dozen mature trees growing on top of the sewer lines running behind his home on Red Rose Way The way the authority tells it, it's up to homeowners to keep easements free and clear - read: spend about $800 to fell each tree - because tree roots penetrate the pipes and cause erosion, blockages and serious sewage backups. That is what happened in Gaspari's neighborhood. It might already have happened in yours. You would be surprised at how many roots show up in sewers under shallow-rooted trees. And the average sewer main is 7 to 8 feet deep," one authority official told me this week. "A favorite excuse [for the appearance of a tree on an easement] is a bird must have planted it 45 years ago. Well, someone carefully mowed around it year after year; allowing it to grow to a menacing size." Gaspari doesn't blame the birds, but he does say the offending trees in his yard were there before the time of Levitt. While he acknowledges the sewer easement and allowed the authority's tree removal service into his yard to work, he has no intention of paying for the removal. 30 | P a g e


Fratti: Residents grind teeth over sewer policies From page 1C So, for nearly two years via rams of legal letterhead, Gaspari's attorney has argued with the authority solicitor over responsibility for the cost. The first salvo from the authority went like this: "This letter is to inform you of a problem, which exists within the sanitary sewer easement located on your property. Many residents are not aware of the easement restrictions, which basically prohibit any permanent structures, including trees and other plantings. This includes the installation of fences over manholes." In bold face, it goes on to tell Gaspari he has 90 days to remove the trees and their stumps. But Gaspari's attorney, Michael J. Brooks of Doylestown, says he's searched titles of deeds for properties going back to the 1950's when Levitt & Sons Inc. built and sold the homes and granted the easement. Nowhere, he says, could he find any mention of the "easement" restrictions" cited in the letter from the authority. To say there are such restrictions is "a little disingenuous," he told me this week. In the absence of restrictions stating the homeowner's responsibility, Brooks argues, case law upholds his argument that the authority is responsible for the care of its easement. To date, authority solicitor James Downey has not provided Brooks with a copy of the restrictions or case law disputing his argument. The battle comes to a head at 9:30 this morning in District Justice Robert Wagner's court on New Falls Road in Bristol Township. "It'll be a good test case," said Phil Smythe. He's the field technician in charge of the program aimed at clearing trees from easements throughout Levittown, section be section, street by street, sometimes with offers of zero-interest loans for the tree removal cost. A good test case? sure. Setle things once and for all. But I can't help thinking it's odd that Downey didn't respond to Brooks' offer to settle out of court. Nor did the authority accept an offer from Gaspari's insurance company to pay the cost of tree removal. All State Farm needed was a letter stating the trees had damaged the sewer lines. Downey declined to provide it, according to Brooks. I was unsuccessful in getting Downey on the phone yesterday to confirm that or to explain it. With all the time I had on my hands waiting for his return call, though, I did get to wondering if maybe the authority ignored the settlement offer and the insurance company offer because it wants to go to court. Maybe because it wants to lose. Losing would make it a whole lot easier to raise rates to do the maintenance work and easement clearing that has gone largely undone all these years. "The judge made us do it," is how the increase would be explained to irate customers.

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January 4, 2001

Section: NEIGHBORS Edition: CNORTH Page: B05 APPEALS COURT ALLOWS FIRST MONTCO CHARTER SCHOOL TO STAY OPEN THE JUDGES REJECTED A CHALLENGE FROM THE SOUDERTON AREA SCHOOL BOARD, WHICH HAD DENIED THE SCHOOL'S APPLICATION. Michelle Jeffrey, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF

A Commonwealth Court panel has ruled that Montgomery County's first charter school may remain open. In a 3-0 decision, the court upheld a ruling by the state Charter School Appeals Board that allowed the Souderton Charter School Collaborative to open in September despite the objections of the local school board. In 1997, the Souderton Area school board unanimously rejected Ormsby's charterschool proposal. In 1999, the state's Charter School Appeals Board overturned the school board's decision, prompting the district to file the appeal in Commonwealth Court. The court's opinion, issued Friday, discounts several arguments made by the school district, including the position that the charter school filed with the appeals board too early and that the appeals board erred in its review of the charter school's application. Moreover, the court upheld a directive by the appeals board that granted the charter knowing that the location of the school might be changed. And it is on the topic of location that the Souderton school board apparently intends to direct its next steps. In the original application, the proposed location for the charter school was a strip mall in Harleysville. The Souderton school board rejected that location as inappropriate. The appeals board disagreed.

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January 4, 2001

CONTINUED

But because the application was two years old by the time it reached the appeals board, it acknowledged that the strip mall location might no longer be available, and directed the charter school collaborative to inform both the school board and the appeals board if it used a different facility. Michael Brooks, attorney for the charter school, said yesterday that when the school opened on East Broad Street in Souderton, it informed school board members and invited them to visit. Brooks said the board declined the offer. "I wonder why they never bothered to do that or thought it was such a big deal until now that this decision came out, " Brooks said. The school board will review the ruling at its meeting Jan. 11, Jeffrey Sultanik, the board's attorney, said. The school district could require the charter school, which has 67 students in kindergarten to fifth grade, to submit an application for the new location, Sultanik said. It also could appeal to the state Supreme Court, or ask for a reargument before Commonwealth Court.

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Author: FRANK DEVLIN, The Morning Call August 28, 1999 Pg. B07

SOUDERTON SCHOOL BOARD CRITICIZED CHARTER SCHOOL GROUP SAID IT VIOLATED SUNSHINE ACT WHEN IT REJECTED GROUP'S PLAN. The Souderton Charter School Collaborative says in a legal brief that the Souderton Area School Board either "abdicated (its) decision-making authority" to its solicitor or violated the state's open meetings law when it rejected the collaborative's plan for a charter school in 1997. The brief, filed Thursday with the Pennsylvania Charter School Appeals Board, centers on the collaborative's receipt of a draft rejection of the plan written by solicitor Jeffrey Sultanik Dec. 3, 1997. By law, the board wasn't supposed to decide on the plan until Dec. 8 at the earliest "after a minimum 45-day ... period of consideration," the brief says. The board unanimously rejected the plan at a public meeting Dec. 18, 1997. "Either the board has violated the requirements of the Sunshine Act by deliberating and coming to a formal discussion behind closed doors or the board has not decided the issue themselves and has abdicated their decision-making authority to Mr. Sultanik," the brief says. Sultanik said Friday he would file a motion to have the brief dismissed. Sultanik said alleged Sunshine Act violations must be challenged within 30 days. The collaborative "waived that argument" when it failed to address the alleged violation by January 1998, he said. "They don't have a defense for their position," Sultanik said.

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Sultanik said the brief also was riddled with procedural errors. "This is one of the worst briefs I've ever seen submitted," he said. "What it contains in my opinion is nothing, just words." The attorney who filed the brief for the collaborative, Michael Brooks, could not be reached for comment Friday. In a statement, however, he said "The most important thing to note is that educational experts across the state have consistently rated this application very high. Beyond that, our brief speaks for itself." Just after the draft rejection was received by a collaborative official, Sultanik said it had been mistakenly mailed by a temporary secretary at his law firm. He said the document was not an indication that the school board had reached a decision. Rather, he said, it was to be used as background for school directors in making a decision. Sultanik said he was also preparing a document containing reasons the charter school should be approved. The collaborative's plan calls for 64 students -- most selected by lottery -- to be part of a school for kindergarten through fifth-grade pupils, which would operate in the Harley Commons Shopping Center between Sumneytown Pike and Alderfer Road, Lower Salford. In denying the plan, the school board said it was too vague and essentially would create a private school funded by taxpayers.

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August 25, 1999

Section: NEIGHBORS Edition: CNORTH Page: B01 PROPONENTS OF CHARTER SCHOOL IN SOUDERTON PLAN TO APPEAL REJECTION \ SCHOOL BOARD OFFICIALS VOTED THE PLAN DOWN IN 1997. THE GROUP SAYS THE IDEA WAS IMPROPERLY DISMISSED. Matt Archbold, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF

More than 18 months after the Souderton Area school board rejected their proposal, proponents of a charter school will file with the state today a brief arguing that their idea was improperly dismissed. The matter could be taken up by the state charter school appeals board as early as next month. The legislation authorizing charter schools required that the appeals process not begin until this year. Michael Brooks, attorney for the Souderton Charter School Collaborative, said he would argue the merits of the plan based on four points: support from parents, community members and students; the proposed school's capability of providing students with a comprehensive learning experience; the extent to which the charter meets the intent of the state law; and the extent to which the charter may serve as a model for other public schools. Brooks called the Souderton school board's 8-0 vote in December 1997 "arbitrary and capricious," and said he hoped to see it overturned by the appeals board at a hearing, possibly in late September. At the time of the vote, then-board member Lucy Ruth said: "The bottom line is, I just think there were too many unknowns. They say they'll do a better job, but I think that has to be proven first." The seven-member appeals panel met for the first time in July. According to Brooks, the board overturned one of the four cases before it. Two appeals were denied and one will be considered again at the next meeting; a vote on that case was 3-3 because one panel member was absent, he said.

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August 25, 1999

CONTINUED

With only one of the four appeals being supported, Brooks said, "I would definitely say we have our work cut out for us." But even if the appeals panel upholds the charter school collaborative’s plan, the victory may be short-lived. School board member Susan Adkins, who is also a member of the collaborative, said yesterday: ''I'm optimistic that the appeals board will rule in favor of the charter school, but I am concerned that the school district would then appeal and stretch this issue out even longer." She said hers probably would be the sole vote against that course of action on the school board. Charter schools are largely funded by property taxes but are allowed more freedom to experiment with teaching methods because they are exempt from many of the government mandates that guide instruction at traditional schools. Wendy Ormsby, who wrote the Souderton proposal to establish a kindergarten-tofifth-grade school for about 64 children, said she looked forward to the appeals hearing. Al Bowman, deputy press secretary for the state Department of Education, said yesterday that appeals board meetings were scheduled for tomorrow, Sept. 15 and Nov. 8. No agendas have been set for the September and November meetings, he said. In case Souderton's appeal is not scheduled for those hearings, "there could be some meetings added to hear appeals," he said. The next step, Bowman said, would be a pre-hearing conference between the school district and the charter school collaborative.

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Author: JOSEPH P. FERRY, The Morning Call Date: July 6, 1999 Section: Pg. B 01

PANEL TO HEAR SOUDERTON CHARTER SCHOOL APPEAL THE 64-STUDENT PLAN WAS REJECTED AS VAGUE. IT CHALLENGES `ARCHAIC MONOPOLY.' The Pennsylvania Charter School Appeals Board has agreed to review the denial of a proposed charter school in the Souderton area. The board agreed to hear the case after members of the Souderton Charter School Collaborative collected about 1,000 signatures asking for the appeal, according to Linda S. Jacques, president of the collaborative's board of directors. Jacques said the collaborative will argue that it presented the Souderton School Board with a plan "that displayed innovation and a solid educational foundation." The school board unanimously rejected the proposal in December. The collaborative's plan calls for 64 students -- most selected by lottery -- to be part of a kindergarten-through-fifth grade school, which would operate out of the Harley Commons Shopping Center between Sumneytown Pike and Alderfer Road, Lower Salford. In denying the plan, the school board said it was too vague and essentially would create a private school funded by taxpayers. But Jacques said the collaborative's plan must have merit because it is the only one in the state to receive four planning grants totaling $45,000 from the Department of Education.

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Jacques said she expects the appeal to be heard this summer. The collaborative hopes to open the school in September 2000. School officials could not be reached for comment Monday. Jacques criticized school district officials for dragging out the approval process. "It's a shame that lawyers who defend the establishment intend to drag this out for as long as possible at the expense of taxpayers in this community," said Jacques. "My job is to continue focusing on educational issues, not litigation. After all, this is about kids, not lining the pockets of lawyers." Michael J. Brooks, attorney for the collaborative, also decried the district's legal maneuvering and unwillingness to discuss the educational merits of the proposed charter school. "Rather, they choose to attack the innovative charter school as a threat to their archaic monopoly on education," said Brooks. "Every step taken by the collaborative has conformed to the charter school law."

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Author:

LISA KOZLESKI, The Morning Call

Date:

Oct. 21, 1997

Start Page: B.01 Section:

LOCAL/REGION

PENNRIDGE BOARD OKS RESIGNATION CONTROVERSIAL CHIEF OF TRANSPORTATION QUITS. SHE IS AT CENTER OF 2 LAWSUITS. Transportation and the support staff contract are typical topics at any given Pennridge School Board meeting, and Monday night's gathering was no exception. The exceptional parts came when the board quietly but unanimously accepted the resignation of controversial transportation director Joanne Tomkiewicz and when the usually tense reactions between the board and the support staff members never surfaced during different discussions throughout the meeting. Tomkiewicz had been under fire by many bus drivers and community members since shortly after her arrival in 1996. She was at the center of two lawsuits filed by bus drivers in September and was the subject of heated public discussion at board meetings for allegedly harassing and abusing her staff. Supporters said Tomkiewicz was defamed by a group of drivers who were themselves negligent in their duties. Her resignation, which will be effective Dec. 31, was included as part of a vote on a 12-page personnel report and was not discussed by the board, although they accepted the report, including her resignation, unanimously. But Michael J. Brooks, attorney for the bus drivers association, brought the resignation to the attention of the packed and restless crowd of 100 people near the end of the meeting.

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"(Tomkiewicz's resignation) came as a surprise to me, but a pleasant surprise," Brooks said after the meeting. "We have brought many matters to the board to be addressed ... and when they asked what our bottom line was, we said the board should strongly consider removing her." Superintendent Robert S. Kish would not comment on the reasons behind Tomkiewicz's resignation, stating only that it was a personnel issue that could not be discussed with the public. The other surprise for many in the crowd came after observing the comparatively congenial attitude that existed between the board and the Pennridge Educational Support Personnel Association, which entered its fourth week of protests Monday and continues its walkout sparked by almost three months of work without a contract. Association President Suzie Wolfinger received a boisterous standing ovation after urging the board to accept the proposals made at last Wednesday's bargaining meeting "before each side becomes so entrenched in their positions that a reasonable compromise cannot be made." She added that she hoped the board would recognize that the proposal demonstrated good faith negotiations and compromise for both sides. "We look forward to a positive reaction by the board so the collective bargaining process can continue quickly and the secretaries, teaching assistants, nursing assistants, and clerks can get back to work," she concluded. Anderson said the board would discuss the contract during its executive session later that night. No formal negotiating meetings were scheduled at press time. 41 | P a g e


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SOME ROADS LIFE WILL CHOOSE FOR YOU, OTHERS YOU MUST CHOOSE. LEAVE A LAMP LIT TO GUIDE THE WAY.

Most of us do not have wills; as such, the law follows the well traveled road for distributing your assets to your family members when you die. What the law does not provide is an illuminated path to take care of you if you're still breathing but unable to make your own decisions because of incapacitating illness or injury. Who would pay your bills or wrangle with insurance companies about your care? Who would sign for you on jointly held property that needs to be disposed? Who would decide whether to shut off the respirator that's keeping you going? The legal system may eventually find someone to fill these roles, after a potentially costly and time-consuming court hearing. But it might not be the person you would choose. So at a time when you're most vulnerable, life-and-death decisions could be made for you by a stranger -- or an estranged, distant or greedy relative. That's why, along with charting a will we provide you with the following documents to light the way: • • •

A durable power of attorney for health care, which lets you identify who will make medical decisions for you. A durable power of attorney for finances, which designates who will handle money decisions. A living will, which tells doctors exactly what care you do and do not want to receive if you're terminally ill and incapacitated.

D O Y LES T O W N | ( 2 1 5 ) 2 3 0 - 3 7 6 1 | LA W - B R OO K S . C O M

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