Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Author Archives: Gary Smith

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Do Ecosystems Have Standing?  posted on Oct 21

  Ecosystems, such as lakes, valleys, and forests, are treated by the courts, for the most part, in the same way that animals or species are, when it comes to legal standing to sue. (See our recent posts: Do Animals Have Standing? parts 1 & 2)    …Continue Reading Do Ecosystems Have Standing? 

Do Animals Have Standing to Sue?  Part 2: Animals filing as individuals

Do Animals Have Standing to Sue? Part 2: Animals filing as individuals posted on Oct 20

  A dolphin walked up to the bar in Massachusetts, but was told it had no standing. Well, at least legally. A male dolphin named Kama was named as a plaintiff in a case in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts   …Continue Reading Do Animals Have Standing to Sue? Part 2: Animals filing as individuals

Do Animals Have Standing to Sue?  Part 1: Animals filing as species.

Do Animals Have Standing to Sue? Part 1: Animals filing as species. posted on Oct 19

    “[The Palila] wings its way into the federal court as a plaintiff in its own right.”   With these words in 1988, the U.S. Court of Appeals of the 9th Circuit gave hope to animal rights supporters  everywhere that animals could finally sue   …Continue Reading Do Animals Have Standing to Sue? Part 1: Animals filing as species.

Do Corporations Have Standing?

Do Corporations Have Standing? posted on Oct 18

“Corporations are people, my friend.”— Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, (Aug. 11. 2011)       Artificial person. (17c) An entity, such as a corporation, created by law and given certain legal rights and duties of a human being;  a being, real or imaginary, who for the   …Continue Reading Do Corporations Have Standing?

Criminal solicitation as a crime posted on Mar 27

Black’s Law Dictionary (10th edition, 2014), defines “criminal solicitation”, under “solicitation” (2), as:   “The criminal offense of urging, advising, commanding, or otherwise inciting another to commit a crime <convicted of solicitation of murder>.   Solicitation is an inchoate offense distinct from the solicited crime.  Under the   …Continue Reading Criminal solicitation as a crime

Legal research: print or online? posted on Sep 27

When doing legal research, is it easier to use online sources or books?  Which produces better results?  Can you even do it all online, if you want to? As part of the answer to this, the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries have a web page   …Continue Reading Legal research: print or online?

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