Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Category Archives: Court Rules

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

Uniform Bar Exam in Massachusetts Posted on Jul 26

The Supreme Judicial Court issued the following Notice on Monday: The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court have endorsed the recommendation of the Committee to Examine the Uniform Bar Examination (Committee) to adopt the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), with an effective date of July 2018. The   …Continue Reading Uniform Bar Exam in Massachusetts

Comments Invited on Proposed Changes to Model Jury Instructions on Homicide Posted on May 5

The Supreme Judicial Court Model Homicide Instruction Committee invites comments on proposed revisions to the Model Jury Instructions on Homicide. The proposed revisions largely serve to update the instructions to reflect changes arising from opinions in recent years and to clarify portions of the instructions   …Continue Reading Comments Invited on Proposed Changes to Model Jury Instructions on Homicide

Frivolous Lawsuits Posted on Feb 4

If one files a frivolous claim in court, the court shall award to the defending party “an amount representing his reasonable costs, expenses and effort in defending against such claims“. According to the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure, “if the appellate court shall determine that an appeal is frivolous,   …Continue Reading Frivolous Lawsuits

Extension until May 4 for Comments on Proposed Public Access to Court Record Rules Posted on Jan 29

In response to requests for extensions of time, the Trial Court Committee on Public Access to Court Records has extended the comment period for all comments on proposed Trial Court Rule XIV, Uniform Rules on Public Access to Court Records to May 4, 2016.  All comments   …Continue Reading Extension until May 4 for Comments on Proposed Public Access to Court Record Rules

Ex Parte Communications with Specialty Court Teams Posted on Jan 14

This week, the Massachusetts Trial Court released new Standing Order 1-16: Authority of the Judge with Respect to Communication with Specialty Court Teams which allows “A judge presiding over a specialty court … to initiate, permit or otherwise consider ex parte communications about defendants, juveniles or probationers with members of   …Continue Reading Ex Parte Communications with Specialty Court Teams

Uniform Rules of Impoundment Procedure Posted on Oct 1

Changes to the Uniform Rules of Impoundment Procedure  go into effect today. The extensive changes were approved by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on April 24, 2015. The Uniform Rules now apply to criminal proceedings. Rule 13, Maintaining Confidentiality of Impounded Material, is new. The Trial Court   …Continue Reading Uniform Rules of Impoundment Procedure

Free Books for Your Mobile Device Posted on Sep 28

Free Books for Your Mobile Device

The Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries began posting the court rules on the web as eBooks in 2012.  We believe we were the first state in the nation to do so. The rules are formatted for any mobile device so that the text flows on   …Continue Reading Free Books for Your Mobile Device

Criminal Procedure Rule 23: Stipulations, effective July 1, 2015 Posted on Jun 4

The text of new Rule 23 and the initial paragraph of the Reporter’s Notes, which explains the reason for its creation is reproduced here: (a) Essential Elements. Any stipulation to an essential element of a charged offense entered by the parties before or during trial shall be in writing and   …Continue Reading Criminal Procedure Rule 23: Stipulations, effective July 1, 2015

Preventing Trial by Ambush Posted on Jun 1

“To begin preparing for trial, both sides engage in discovery. This is the formal process of exchanging information between the parties about the witnesses and evidence they’ll present at trial. Discovery enables the parties to know before the trial begins what evidence may be presented.   …Continue Reading Preventing Trial by Ambush