Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Author Archives: Gary Smith

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How a judge is selected in Massachusetts posted on Aug 21

In the United States, some states elect their judges, while in others they are appointed. Judges in Massachusetts are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Executive Council, also known as the Governor’s Council.  This has been so ever since 1780,   …Continue Reading How a judge is selected in Massachusetts

Chocolate Chip Cookie: the official state cookie of Massachusetts

Chocolate Chip Cookie: the official state cookie of Massachusetts posted on Aug 9

Massachusetts has a glorious heritage, with important historical figures such as John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Paul Revere.  Shots fired at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts in 1775 initiated the American Revolution.  Great literary figures such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau,   …Continue Reading Chocolate Chip Cookie: the official state cookie of Massachusetts

Word(s) of the month-- habeas corpus

Word(s) of the month– habeas corpus posted on Jul 17

  Words of law is a regular feature of Massachusetts Law Updates, highlighting a particular word or phrase and its meaning in law. Today’s phrase is habeas corpus. habeas corpus. [Law Latin “that you have a body”] (18c) A writ employed to bring a person before a   …Continue Reading Word(s) of the month– habeas corpus

The Law Against Lying and False News in Colonial Massachusetts posted on May 7

Lying or spreading “false news” was treated as a crime in colonial Massachusetts.  In 1645 the Massachusetts Bay Colony passed a law which stated: “Whereas truth in words as well as in actions is required of all men, especially of Christians, who are the professed   …Continue Reading The Law Against Lying and False News in Colonial Massachusetts

Witchcraft law up to the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692 posted on Oct 31

Early in 1692, a group of girls in Salem Village (now the town of Danvers) began to accuse people of witchcraft.  Accusations swelled, and soon, many people had been examined and jailed, awaiting trial. What laws were followed during the Salem witch trials of 1692? Under   …Continue Reading Witchcraft law up to the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692

Can You Take your Dog to a Restaurant or Grocery Store?

Can You Take your Dog to a Restaurant or Grocery Store? posted on Sep 26

Massachusetts regulations (105 CMR 590.007) follow the federal Food and Drug Administration’s Food Code (1999 edition) (section 6-501.115), which states that “live animals may not be allowed on the premises of a food establishment”, with certain exceptions, which include fish in aquariums or edible seafood under refrigeration   …Continue Reading Can You Take your Dog to a Restaurant or Grocery Store?

Hate Speech Law in Massachusetts posted on May 23

Hate crime and hate speech are related, but not identical topics.  A hate crime is a crime that is motivated by bigotry.   See our earlier blog post about hate crime in Massachusetts. Hate speech is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed., 2014) as: “Speech   …Continue Reading Hate Speech Law in Massachusetts

Hate Crime Law in Massachusetts posted on Apr 20

“Hate crimes” and “hate speech” are hot topics in the realms of education, the courts, the media, and in our daily lives.  These are two separate but related issues.  “Hate speech” will be a subsequent post. According to Black’s Law Dictionary (10th edition), a “hate   …Continue Reading Hate Crime Law in Massachusetts

Can You Move that Squirrel?

Can You Move that Squirrel? posted on Sep 12

Many of us have pesky squirrels stealing bird seed from our bird feeders.   Sometimes it looks like a particularly smart squirrel has figured out a way to get to the feeder, while others haven’t figured it out yet.  We’d like to get rid of the   …Continue Reading Can You Move that Squirrel?

Endangered Species Day

Endangered Species Day posted on Sep 9

Saturday, September 10, 2016 is “Endangered Species Day” in Massachusetts. American Bittern (Botaurus Lentiginosus) According to Massachusetts General Law chapter 6 section 15EE: “The governor shall annually issue a proclamation setting apart the second Saturday in September as “Endangered Species Day” and recommending that said day shall   …Continue Reading Endangered Species Day