Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Monthly Archives: August 2016

Rescuing pets from hot cars Posted on Aug 26

Rescuing pets from hot cars

A new law for animal welfare gives pets more protections from extreme heat and weather. St. 2016, c. 248 An Act Preventing Animal Suffering And Death was signed in a ceremony by Governor Charlie Baker August 24 after Bill S.2369‘s enaction in mid-August. Massachusetts joins   …Continue Reading Rescuing pets from hot cars

No Right to Counsel Prior to Breathalyzer Test Posted on Aug 25

No Right to Counsel Prior to Breathalyzer Test

A recent decision from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court stated that a driver asked to take a breathalyzer test does not have right to counsel prior to their decision to take or refuse the test. In Commonwealth v. Neary-French, SJC-12057 the court stated that there is   …Continue Reading No Right to Counsel Prior to Breathalyzer Test

Going back to school law Posted on Aug 16

Going back to school law

It’s nearly that time of year, so we thought we would highlight some of our pages that relate to schools and education.  We get questions about access to student records in divorce, CORI checks for people who work with children, internet bullying, and rights of   …Continue Reading Going back to school law

American Bar Association adds diversity portal to website Posted on Aug 15

“ABA President Paulette Brown (2015-16) led the Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission in its one-year inquiry into how to develop sustainable action plans that would advance diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, the judicial system and the ABA itself.”  The Commission’s work resulted in policies, online   …Continue Reading American Bar Association adds diversity portal to website

Massachusetts Enacts Pay Equity Act Posted on Aug 15

Massachusetts Enacts Pay Equity Act

Massachusetts’ pay equity act was signed by Governor Charlie Baker earlier this month on August 1 after the legislation unanimously passed both the House and Senate. Statute 2016, c. 177 An Act to Establish Pay Equity includes several components to strengthen fairness in hiring and   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Enacts Pay Equity Act

Uniform Rules on Public Access to Court Records Posted on Aug 11

The SJC has approved new Uniform Rules on Public Access to Court Records, and a new Rule 1:24 on Protection of Personal Identifying Information, both effective November 1, 2016. Below is the Statement of the Justices: The Supreme Judicial Court has approved Trial Court Rule   …Continue Reading Uniform Rules on Public Access to Court Records

Clemency, pardons, commutations Posted on Aug 9

Recently the President signed a number of commutations for federal prisoners; most had been sentenced under now outdated standards for nonviolent drug crimes. Under Article II Section 2 of the Constitution, he has the power to “grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United   …Continue Reading Clemency, pardons, commutations

Every Woman Her Own Lawyer Posted on Aug 2

Every Woman Her Own Lawyer

Representing yourself in court without a lawyer is not a new idea. Books designed to help self-represented litigants were published as early as the second quarter of the eighteenth century. “Some earlier books were aimed partly at a non-legal audience, particularly readers dealing with the   …Continue Reading Every Woman Her Own Lawyer

New Appeals Court Order: Fewer Copies Required Posted on Aug 1

Effective August 1, the Appeals Court has issued an Order Governing Number of Copies of Brief and Record Appendix to be Filed. It says, in part: “Notwithstanding the requirement in Mass. R. App. P. 19(b)(1) that 7 copies be filed, hereafter only 4 copies of   …Continue Reading New Appeals Court Order: Fewer Copies Required