Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Monthly Archives: February 2015

Starting or building a law practice? Posted on Feb 20

In 2014, 1,598 people passed the Massachusetts Bar exam. Many of them went to established firms, governmental agencies, or decided not to enter the legal field at all. However, some graduates choose to open their own practice. Once the decision to strike out on one’s   …Continue Reading Starting or building a law practice?

Cell Phones Must Now Be Unlocked at Owner’s Request Posted on Feb 19

If you complete a contract and now own your cell phone outright, your U.S. wireless carrier must ­unlock the phone from their network at your request as of February 11, 2015.  The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act (P.L. 113-144) repeals and replaces Library of Congress rules made   …Continue Reading Cell Phones Must Now Be Unlocked at Owner’s Request

200th Anniversary Celebration of the Establishment of Massachusetts Public Law Libraries Posted on Feb 18

200th Anniversary Celebration of the Establishment of Massachusetts Public Law Libraries

  An Act approving the establishment of law libraries by lawyers in each county was approved by Governor Caleb Strong on March 2, 1815.  Beginning in 1842, these law libraries were open to the public.  For 200 years the libraries have provided access to the   …Continue Reading 200th Anniversary Celebration of the Establishment of Massachusetts Public Law Libraries

Parent has a Right to an Attorney in Guardianship Cases Posted on Feb 11

In Guardianship of V.V., decided yesterday, the Supreme Judicial Court held that “a parent whose minor child is the subject of a guardianship proceeding pursuant to G. L. c. 190B, § 5-206, and who cannot afford counsel, has a right to have counsel appointed and   …Continue Reading Parent has a Right to an Attorney in Guardianship Cases

Suicide Prevention for Veterans Posted on Feb 10

The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act has passed unanimously through the House and Senate and now awaits President Obama’s signature. The act calls for: Better access to mental health information, Establishing a community outreach pilot program to help veterans transition from active   …Continue Reading Suicide Prevention for Veterans

New Rules for Plea Bargains Posted on Feb 9

Effective May 11, 2015, judges will be allowed to take part in pleas negotiations pursuant to the newly amended Massachusetts Rule of Criminal Procedure 12. Judges will be required to impose a sentence contained in a plea bargain in certain cases. If the parties have   …Continue Reading New Rules for Plea Bargains

Start your engine, but don’t idle too long Posted on Feb 6

Start your engine, but don't idle too long

During the cold winter months, many drivers turn on their cars to let them warm up.  However, be aware of a Massachusetts law that limits the amount of time a car engine can legally be idling.  (Mass. General Laws, chapter 90 sec. 16A) The law   …Continue Reading Start your engine, but don’t idle too long