Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Category Archives: Legal Topics

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

New Guide to Gathering and Using Massachusetts Legislative History Posted on Apr 27

Reconstructing the legislative history of a Massachusetts statute has always been “difficult at best.” Sean J. Kealy, a clinical associate professor of law at the Boston University School of Law has written “A Guide to Gathering and Using Legislative History in Massachusetts” in the latest   …Continue Reading New Guide to Gathering and Using Massachusetts Legislative History

New and Revised Estate Forms Available Posted on Apr 26

The Massachusetts Probate and Family Court has released new and revised estate forms along with instructions.   The forms are required for cases filed before and after the effective date of April 15, 2016, but there is a two week grace period during which the old forms will   …Continue Reading New and Revised Estate Forms Available

Answers to Questions about US Supreme Court Vacancies Posted on Apr 14

Answers to Questions about US Supreme Court Vacancies

With the sudden death of Justice Scalia, many people are wondering about the process of replacing US Supreme Court judges and how current cases will be handled. The Congressional Research Service has issued a report which answers many of the questions about how vacancies are   …Continue Reading Answers to Questions about US Supreme Court Vacancies

Attorneys Won’t Need to Register as Debt Collectors After All Posted on Apr 8

Just last week we reported on a requirement that attorneys whose primary business was debt collection register as debt collectors. On April 1, the Division of Banks changed its position. The agency has withdrawn its previous opinion letters and issued Opinion 013-018w, which says, in part:   …Continue Reading Attorneys Won’t Need to Register as Debt Collectors After All

A Burning Question Posted on Apr 6

The Open Burning Season in Massachusetts starts January 15 and ends May 1. In many communities, residents may burn tree limbs, brush and other organic debris, remnants of storms and winter winds in order to clean up their yards. What can be burned, when, and   …Continue Reading A Burning Question

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

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

Leap Day Legal Issues Posted on Feb 29

Leap Day Legal Issues

In general, life goes on as normal when February 29 rolls around. The only legal issues involve computation of time. When has a year passed for someone sentenced to one year in prison if there is a leap year? Is a 365 -day sentence the   …Continue Reading Leap Day Legal Issues