Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Category Archives: Law Books and Websites

Word(s) of the Month- Guardian ad litem Posted on Jul 29

Word(s) of the Month- Guardian ad litem

  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 “ guardian ad litem” Guardian ad litem  (ad Li-tem) (18c) A guardian, usu. a lawyer, appointed by the court to appear   …Continue Reading Word(s) of the Month- Guardian ad litem

New MUPC Procedural Guide for Administration of Estates Posted on Jul 21

The Probate and Family Court has published the second edition of the MUPC Estate Administration Procedural Guide.  It reflects the development of procedures since the publication of the first edition four years ago.  It is an excellent source, and we recommend it for anyone involved   …Continue Reading New MUPC Procedural Guide for Administration of Estates

Legal Deposit in the Electronic Age Posted on May 10

All works under copyright protection published in the United States are subject to the mandatory deposit provision of the copyright law. Two copies of each work must be sent to the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office within three months of publication. (17 U.S.Code § 407)   …Continue Reading Legal Deposit in the Electronic Age

ABA Criminal Justice Standards Posted on Apr 5

American Bar Association Standards for Criminal Justice are available, with commentary, on the internet. The standards were first created, beginning in 1964, and implemented as part of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Standards Project . “When the final volume of the first edition of the Standards   …Continue Reading ABA Criminal Justice Standards

Plain Language and the Law Posted on Jan 19

legalese. (1914) The peculiar language of lawyers; esp., the speech and writing of lawyers at their communicative worst, characterized by antique jargon, pomposity, affected displays of precision, ponderous abstractions, and hocus-pocus incantations. plain language. Plain language (also called Plain English) is communication your audience can   …Continue Reading Plain Language and the Law

Legal Treatises Considered Posted on Jan 12

Black’s Law Dictionary defines the treatise as “an extended, serious, and usually exhaustive book on a particular subject.” Joseph Story (1779-1845), lawyer and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, set the bar high in the early years of our country by writing the formative   …Continue Reading Legal Treatises Considered

Massachusetts Legal Literature in a Nutshell: Secondary Source Law Posted on Jan 7

Massachusetts Legal Literature in a Nutshell: Secondary Source Law

Secondary source material, information about the law, rather than the law itself, is not so readily accessible online for free. Secondary sources are invaluable for analysis and understanding what to do with the primary sources. Black’s Law Dictionary can help define the words; but much   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Legal Literature in a Nutshell: Secondary Source Law

Massachusetts Legal Literature in a Nutshell: Primary Source Law Posted on Jan 6

Massachusetts Legal Literature in a Nutshell: Primary Source Law

Understanding the structure of how legal literature is organized depends upon understanding how the three branches of government work. In Massachusetts, we can access primary source law from all three branches online.   Legislative material Acts and Resolves: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Search  (1997-Date)                            http://archives.lib.state.ma.us/handle/123456789/2   (1692-2009) Each bill that   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Legal Literature in a Nutshell: Primary Source Law

Visualizing the Law – Creating Online Tools to See Context Posted on Dec 8

Visualizing the Law – Creating Online Tools to See Context

Reading law, in a print environment, allows the reader to see context. Bibliographies, research guides, tables of contents, indices, and digests add meaning to place the statute, case or treatise in context. Some of the meaning gets lost when we access the law in an   …Continue Reading Visualizing the Law – Creating Online Tools to See Context

A Rare Book: The Case of Tilton v. Beecher Posted on Dec 2

A Rare Book:  The Case of Tilton v. Beecher

  In addition to the most up-to-date law books, serials, and online legal resources, the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries maintain collections of rare and historical books on legal topics.   These rare book collections are distributed among the various law libraries in the statewide system.   …Continue Reading A Rare Book: The Case of Tilton v. Beecher