Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Monthly Archives: September 2013

Pittsfield Housing Authority moves toward non-smoking policy Posted on Sep 30

The Pittsfield Housing authority, following the example of the Boston Housing Authority, has decided to implement a non-smoking policy for its public housing units.  The move was announced in an article in the Berkshire Eagle on July 23, 2013.  It may take a full year   …Continue Reading Pittsfield Housing Authority moves toward non-smoking policy

New Electronic Discovery Rules in Massachusetts Posted on Sep 27

The Mass. Rules of Civil Procedure have been amended effective January 1, 2014 to incorporate new provisions for handling electronic discovery. The Reporter’s Notes to Rule 26 provide an extensive history of the changes: “The 2014 amendments to Rule 26 were part of a series of amendments   …Continue Reading New Electronic Discovery Rules in Massachusetts

Legal Research 101: Check Those Citations! Posted on Sep 27

A recent case from the U.S Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, reminds us to take no citation for granted.  For over 30 years the Department of Homeland Security and its predecessors had been relying on an article of the Mexican Constitution that never existed to deport people.    …Continue Reading Legal Research 101: Check Those Citations!

Adult Adoption Posted on Sep 26

The most common scenario in adult adoption; former foster children — now adults — who are being adopted by their long-time foster parents. In rare cases, adoption experts say, adults who have lost or are estranged from their biological parents befriend older people who begin   …Continue Reading Adult Adoption

Probate and Family Court has created a Pilot Program Offering Free Settlement Conferences Posted on Sep 25

Did you know the Probate and Family Court has just announced the “creation of a pilot program designed to settle cases where the majority of the contested issues have already been resolved?” Here’s the link to the Press Release as well as more details about   …Continue Reading Probate and Family Court has created a Pilot Program Offering Free Settlement Conferences

Ok, so you filed your complaint, now what do you do? Posted on Sep 25

Often, people unfamilar with trial practice think they can file a complaint and walk away. Then at some point, “someone” will contact them about the result. The truth is there is a lot to do between the filing of the case and the final judgment.   …Continue Reading Ok, so you filed your complaint, now what do you do?

An Act Expanding Juvenile Jurisdiction Posted on Sep 23

On Sept. 18, 2013 Chapter 84 of the Acts of 2013 was signed into law.  This Act, effective immediately, expands the law to now include 17 year olds into the juvenile justice system. As reported by The Daily Free Press Massachusetts now joins 39 other states that include 17-year-olds   …Continue Reading An Act Expanding Juvenile Jurisdiction

Using an index to find a law Posted on Sep 22

When you need to find a statute, one of my favorite tools is the index.  Using  an index is quick way to get right to the section you need.  Sometimes full text searching for common terms is just too cumbersome.  You may get far too   …Continue Reading Using an index to find a law

Finding the Law 101 Posted on Sep 21

Understanding the structure of our government is a key to being able to find the law. The United States Constitution sets out how the three branches of government are organized and work together at the federal level. The Massachusetts Constitution delineates the workings of three   …Continue Reading Finding the Law 101

Petition for partition of real estate Posted on Sep 19

The right of co-tenants to petition for the partition of real estate goes back almost five hundred years to the reign of Henry VIII.  While most patrons approaching the reference desk at a Trial Court Law Library are not at all interested in the history   …Continue Reading Petition for partition of real estate