Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Monthly Archives: December 2015

Looking Back on 2015 Posted on Dec 31

As we look back on significant events in 2015, we can mark the 200th anniversary celebration by the Massachusetts Trial Court of the legislation that created the first public law libraries in Massachusetts. On March 2, 2015, the day that the legislation was signed into   …Continue Reading Looking Back on 2015

Reexamining Sacco and Vanzetti’s Trial Posted on Dec 29

Reexamining Sacco and Vanzetti's Trial

Sacco and Vanzetti were two Italian immigrants accused of killing a payroll clerk and his guard in 1920. Their subsequent trial and execution became an international cause célèbre. While the press used Vanzetti’s words to characterize the two as the “good shoemaker” and the “poor   …Continue Reading Reexamining Sacco and Vanzetti’s Trial

“Lovely Weather for a Sleigh Ride” Posted on Dec 24

"Lovely Weather for a Sleigh Ride"

Although we have had a mild December, we know that living in New England at this time of year can mean only one thing–SNOW.  One way to enjoy the winter scenery is dashing through the snow in a horse-drawn sleigh.  According to the rule of the road,   …Continue Reading “Lovely Weather for a Sleigh Ride”

Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish and the Property Law of Whaling Posted on Dec 23

On January 3, 1841, Herman Melville set sail on the whaling vessel Acushnet from Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Melville’s time at sea on this voyage inspired and informed his masterpiece, Moby-Dick. The breadth and depth of this book marks it as one of the great works of   …Continue Reading Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish and the Property Law of Whaling

What is the Real ID Act? Posted on Dec 22

The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 after the 9/11 commission recommended more secure forms of personal identification and to set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses. According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the   …Continue Reading What is the Real ID Act?

IRS Offers Tips for Year-End Gifts to Charity Posted on Dec 21

As 2015 draws to a close, individuals and businesses are considering their year-end gifts to charity, and hoping to insure that they will be able to deduct the contributions from federal taxes. “IRS Tax Tips for Deducting Gifts to Charity” can help with planning gifts   …Continue Reading IRS Offers Tips for Year-End Gifts to Charity

Lifting the Cloud on Foreclosed Properties Posted on Dec 18

Recently Governor Baker signed into law chapter 141 of the Acts of 2015 giving homeowners three years to challenge a residential foreclosure.   The legislation was drafted in response to a 2011 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision. In U.S. Bank National Association v. Ibanez  the court decided that   …Continue Reading Lifting the Cloud on Foreclosed Properties

Hoping to Get a Drone This Year? Posted on Dec 17

Hoping to Get a Drone This Year?

You should know about new regulations for drones (80 FR 78594-78648) that the Federal Aviation Administration has recently announced.  Owners of small unmanned aircrafts (UAS) weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds must register no later than February 19, 2016. “Owners of any other UAS   …Continue Reading Hoping to Get a Drone This Year?

New Standard of Proof in Sex Offender Classification Posted on Dec 11

In Doe, SORB No. 380316 v. Sex Offender Registry Board, decided today, the Supreme Judicial Court announced a new standard of proof for classification of sex offenders. “In light of amendments to the sex offender registry law and other developments.. the preponderance standard no longer adequately protects … due process   …Continue Reading New Standard of Proof in Sex Offender Classification

Word(s) of the month: pro bono Posted on Dec 10

Word(s) of the month: pro bono

At the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries, we often get questions about the meaning of words or phrases. Black’s Law Dictionary or other legal dictionaries define words or legal terms. Another source in the search for meaning is the first section of many of the chapters of Massachusetts General Laws, which includes   …Continue Reading Word(s) of the month: pro bono