Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Monthly Archives: September 2013

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!

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?

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

Employers cannot force employees to receive their pay on electronic ‘payroll’ cards Posted on Sep 16

After complaints from employees about high and unexpected fees on debit cards, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued a new bulletinwarning employers against using only so-called payroll cards to pay employees.  The CFPB says that workers must be able to choose how they   …Continue Reading Employers cannot force employees to receive their pay on electronic ‘payroll’ cards

Changing Lives Through Literature Posted on Sep 12

An alternative sentencing program has been reducing recidivism in Massachusetts for over twenty years.  In 1991, UMASS-Dartmouth Literature Professor Robert Waxler, Judge Robert Kane and Probation Officer Wayne St. Pierre started the program called “Changing Lives Through Literature.”  For 12 to 14 weeks, probationers, Judges   …Continue Reading Changing Lives Through Literature

I was just wondering … Posted on Sep 9

How does one start the process of divorce?  Where can I find information on probating an estate?  Are there any resources out there that can help me research legislative history?  What exactly are the rules about wearing white after Labor Day?       With the exception   …Continue Reading I was just wondering …

School Bus Laws Posted on Sep 4

School is back in session and school buses are back on the road.  Here are a few rules of the road that you might not have known as they pertain to a school bus. Everyone knows to stop when a school bus is loading and unloading passengers,   …Continue Reading School Bus Laws

Judgment of $40 Million Entered In Custody Case Posted on Sep 3

Last week, in Bower v. El-Nady, et al. (August 27, 2013), a divorced mother who fled to Egypt, taking her two children with her without the consent of the children’s father and in violation of a Massachusetts court order granting sole custody to the children’s father, has   …Continue Reading Judgment of $40 Million Entered In Custody Case