Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Monthly Archives: January 2013

Voir dire, or what to ask? Posted on Jan 31

When going to trial, a lawyer needs to know who is sitting on the jury. Ask the right questions and you may get a sympathetic jury. Ask the wrong ones, and you miss the fact that one of the jurors has a close relative who   …Continue Reading Voir dire, or what to ask?

Mass. Mental health records and FBI background checks Posted on Jan 30

You may have read various reports lately that Massachusetts law prohibits the sharing of mental health records with the FBI for purposes of background checks, in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System or NICS. The Globe has a review of the situation in Massachusetts   …Continue Reading Mass. Mental health records and FBI background checks

SJC Upholds Gun Storage Law Posted on Jan 30

In Comm. v. McGowan, decided yesterday, the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the state’s gun storage law, MGL c.140, § 131L(a) does not violate the Second Amendment. The court said, in part: “We hold that, because § 131L is consistent with the right to   …Continue Reading SJC Upholds Gun Storage Law

Drug overdose _no criminal charge if one goes to hospital Posted on Jan 30

Effective August 2, 2012, the law in Massachusetts reads: Massachusetts General Law ch. 94C, § 34A (2012)§ 34A. Controlled Substances — Drug-Related Overdose. (a) A person who, in good faith, seeks medical assistance for someone experiencing a drug related overdose shall not be charged or prosecuted   …Continue Reading Drug overdose _no criminal charge if one goes to hospital

Law Journal Articles with TCLL Borrower’s Card Posted on Jan 28

Link to HeinOnline and use your Trial Court Law Library (TCLL) borrower card number to access 1,200 law review articles, the Federal Register from 1936, as well as treaties, statutes-at-large, and US Supreme Court decisions.  If you don’t have a card, visit one of the Commonwealth’s   …Continue Reading Law Journal Articles with TCLL Borrower’s Card

Thinking about divorcing? Posted on Jan 27

Even a no-fault divoce is not a simple process.  Before going to court, learn about Massachusetts divorce basics on our webpage “Law about Divorce.”   There are links to forms and instructions, as well as court procedures and rules.  The “Best Bet” is an entire online   …Continue Reading Thinking about divorcing?

Check out the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries! Posted on Jan 25

The homepage of the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries has (at the bottom right hand corner) animated the historical development of county, state and territorial boundary lines! You can select Massachusetts (or any state), and will have use of all these features for each state: – Interactive   …Continue Reading Check out the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries!

Publicly accessible estate and administration cases now available electronically Posted on Jan 25

The Probate and Family Court has announced new access to their records through eAccess. Only those cases that are publicly available, and were created in, or coverted to, electronic format will be available.

Tax time Posted on Jan 24

Don’t forget to mail your 2012 1099 and W-2 statements to your contractors and employees by January 31, 2013. To order official IRS forms, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676) or you can order online. You may file Forms W-2 and W-3 electronically on the Social Security Administration’s   …Continue Reading Tax time

Martin Luther King, Jr. and holidays Posted on Jan 21

Massachusetts passed it’s MLK, Jr. holiday law in March of 1971, as Chapter 6 section 15S of the general laws. The act was Chapter 69 of the Acts and resolves of 1971. While it states that the governor shall proclaim the 15th of January to   …Continue Reading Martin Luther King, Jr. and holidays