Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Monthly Archives: May 2014

SJC Rules Pledge of Allegiance Recitation in Public Schools Does Not Constitute Religious Discrimination Posted on May 27

On May 9th, in Jane Doe v. Acton-Boxborough Regional School District, 468 Mass. 64, the SJC ruled that even though the words “under God” were part of the Pledge of Allegiance, which is recited every morning in school, the words do not discriminate against atheist students.  The court stated   …Continue Reading SJC Rules Pledge of Allegiance Recitation in Public Schools Does Not Constitute Religious Discrimination

SJC affirms charitable tax exemption for forest land Posted on May 23

Although the recent case between the New England Forest Foundation and the Board of Assessors of Hawley, 468 Mass. 138, was only about a bill of $173, the issues are much bigger than that would lead you to believe. Forest land of over 10 acres   …Continue Reading SJC affirms charitable tax exemption for forest land

The Law about Proper Display of the American Flag Posted on May 22

There can be confusion and questions about how to properly wear and display the American flag, especially around the summer holidays of Memorial Day and July 4th when many people want to display a flag. Here is what the law (4 US Code) says about   …Continue Reading The Law about Proper Display of the American Flag

Managing someone else’s money, help for the general public Posted on May 21

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released a series of short publications written for the uninitiated who have to serve as a fiduciary for another person’s property.  Attorneys might consider referring people to these as a way to offer some simple information to those thrust   …Continue Reading Managing someone else’s money, help for the general public

SJC rules for clearer advice on immigration consequences of criminal convictions Posted on May 20

The Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that vague advice that a defendant could be “eligible for deportation” was constitutionally deficient, and as a result, Elan DeJesus suffered prejudice. Ruling that the consequences of conviction of possession with intent to distribute are clear and explicit, since   …Continue Reading SJC rules for clearer advice on immigration consequences of criminal convictions

Mass. Bar Association Issues Report on Salaries for Criminal Justice Attorneys Posted on May 17

The Massachusetts Bar Association recently published a report entitled “Doing Right by Those Who Labor for Justice.” The salaries of Massachusetts prosecutors, public defenders and bar advocate attorneys were compared to “to those of attorneys performing the same functions in comparative jurisdictions, to publicly employed attorneys   …Continue Reading Mass. Bar Association Issues Report on Salaries for Criminal Justice Attorneys

Massachusetts Appeals Court affirms recovery of reasonable vet bills for damage caused by dogs Posted on May 13

The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently affirmed a decision in favor of the owner of a dog, attacked by another dog, whose vet bills exceeded the market value of the injured dog. Both plaintiff and defendant assumed that the over $8,000 veterinary bill exceeded the market   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Appeals Court affirms recovery of reasonable vet bills for damage caused by dogs

Six Eastern Division Towns moved to Bankruptcy Court Central Division Posted on May 7

In order to balance caseloads among divisions, the following cities and towns will be shifted to the Central Division (Worcester) for all cases and all chapters filed on or after May 1, 2014. Ashland Bellingham Framingham Franklin Holliston Medway The 341 Meetings of Creditors will   …Continue Reading Six Eastern Division Towns moved to Bankruptcy Court Central Division

Governor signs new bullying law, protects gender identity Posted on May 1

Recognizing that certain students are more vulnerable than others, the updated bullying law (St. 2014, c. 86) includes the following language : “… based on actual or perceived differentiating characteristics, including race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socioeconomic status, homelessness, academic status, gender identity   …Continue Reading Governor signs new bullying law, protects gender identity