Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Monthly Archives: March 2016

Some Law Firms Must Register as Debt Collectors Posted on Mar 28

According to Mass. Division of Banks Opinions 13-018 and 16-002, “if a law firm’s principal purpose is the collection of debts, or where the firm regularly collects or attempts to collect debts owed or asserted to be owed to another, such law firm is required to   …Continue Reading Some Law Firms Must Register as Debt Collectors

Happy New Year? Posted on Mar 25

Until 1752, England and its British dominions, including those in America, celebrated March 25th as the first day of the calendar year. Since ancient times, England had used the “Julian calendar”, instituted by Julius Caesar in 45 BCE.  The Julian calendar followed a solar year   …Continue Reading Happy New Year?

Evacuation Day Posted on Mar 17

Evacuation Day

According to, “on this day in 1776, British forces are forced to evacuate Boston following General George Washington’s successful placement of fortifications and cannons on Dorchester Heights, which overlooks the city from the south.” March 17 is a holiday in Suffolk County, but MGL   …Continue Reading Evacuation Day

Celebrate Pi Day on March 14 – Truth or Law? Posted on Mar 14

Celebrate Pi Day on March 14 – Truth or Law?

Pi by Hart Zeitler, 2003 First celebrated at the San Francisco Exploratorium in 1988, Pi Day has become an international holiday, celebrated live and online all around the world. What has Pi Day to do with the law? In 1897, an amateur mathematician in Indiana   …Continue Reading Celebrate Pi Day on March 14 – Truth or Law?

What’s a Usufruct? Posted on Mar 9

What's a Usufruct?

Reading a case from 1884 the other day, Moulton v. Newburyport Water Company, 137 Mass. 163, we came upon the following: “The petitioners contended that they had the right to dispose of all the waters running in the brook, as there were no lower owners   …Continue Reading What’s a Usufruct?

Word(s) of the Month: Certiorari Posted on Mar 7

Word(s) of the Month: Certiorari

  Words of Law is a regular feature of Massachusetts Law Updates, highlighting a particular word or phrase and its meaning in law. Today’s word is certiorari. Certiorari: (ser-shee-rair-ee)[Law Latin “to be more fully informed.”] An extraordinary writ issued by an appellate court, at its   …Continue Reading Word(s) of the Month: Certiorari

Can Felons Vote in Massachusetts? Posted on Mar 4

In Massachusetts and some other states, the right to vote is temporarily suspended while a person is incarcerated for a felony offense.  They may vote again after they are released from prison. In some states, even people convicted of a misdemeanor cannot vote while incarcerated. In other   …Continue Reading Can Felons Vote in Massachusetts?

911 Good Samaritan Laws Posted on Mar 3

In April 2015 the Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed that the number of cases of unintentional overdose in 2014 represents a 33% increase over 2012 and a 3.3% increase over 2013. Some of these deaths could have been prevented by calling 911. Massachusetts Technical   …Continue Reading 911 Good Samaritan Laws

Why do we drive on the right side of the road? Posted on Mar 1

Why do we drive on the right side of the road?

An Act establishing the Law of the Road was approved by the Governor of the Commonwealth on February 14th, 1821. It said “That in all cases of persons meeting each other on any bridge, turnpike, or other road, within this Commonwealth, travelling with carriages, waggons,   …Continue Reading Why do we drive on the right side of the road?