Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The importance of the civil action cover sheet

A recent superior court decision has underlined the importance of a full and accurate reporting of the injuries on the Civil Action Cover Sheet.  The form requires a listing of expenses as well as a description of the injury, including the nature and extent.
In Stankiewicz v. DiStefano, Judge Curran admonished counsel to comply with Superior Court rule 29.  The case was dismissed since the cover sheet did not include a detailed listing of injuries that were caused by the defendant.  Plaintiffs must meet the burden of showing that they have a reasonable likelihood of recovery of over $25,000 to proceed in Superior Court.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Blue no more!

Blue laws have been a part of our history since Colonial times and were enforced in Massachusetts until the 1990's when alcohol sales were allowed on Sundays. First it was the border towns that were allowed to open, then in 2003 Governor Romney approved a bill that allowed all stores in Massachusetts the opportunity to open on Sunday. However, the opening time was Noon. That changes this month on the 26th when stores can start selling alcohol at 10:00 am. It is hoped that the earlier opening time will generate more sales, and will help the supermarkets that sell beer and wine to stock the shelves. The earlier opening time is not mandatory and will have to be approved.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mass.gov: Gateway to All Things Massachusetts

Massachusetts' website, www.mass.gov, is a user friendly resource for a surprising variety of information related to Massachusetts.  Citizens can use the site to navigate their way to pertinent data when registering a new car, paying their state income taxes, or checking to see if they won the lottery.
But this portal can also help you to plan some hikes, select a wedding venue, or find the nearest Farmers' Market. 

So think of the Mass.gov gateway when you are searching for topics such as Asbestos Removal, Preventing Conflicts With Wildlife, Bar Exam Information  or tracking down a state agency. But also remember that you can get help planning a college education, starting a business, locating a parking spot at a transportation hub or finding directions to your closest Trial Court Law Library.

Friday, October 17, 2014

New Report on Legislative Research

The Congressional Research Service recently issued a new report ( R43434) on how to find legislative materials.   "It is intended to serve as a finding aid to sources of information... used in legislative research."  Although it is compiled for use by congressional office staff, it contains resources available to the public.  Helpful information is contained in Table 1 as it shows the access points for executive and legislative branch documents.  Table A-1 gives a detailed description of the resources listed in Table 1 along with their URL.  The report also contains a flow chart and explanation of the legislative process of how a bill becomes law. 


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Where to find the latest recalls

According to a recent USA.gov blog, recalls are not uncommon.  Some are easy to find out about because they hit the national news, others don't get media attention but they're still important to be aware of.  Make it a habit to check these places to make sure the products you buy and the food you eat are safe:
  • Recalls.gov lists government initiated recalls from federal agencies
  • NHTSA.gov publishes safety information on vehicles and equipment such as children's car seats
  • FSIS.USDA.gov lists recalls that involve meat, poultry or processed egg products
  • FDA.gov lists recalls that involve food, medicines, medical devices, cosmetics, biologics, radiation emitting products, veterinary drugs and pet foods
If you have an issue with a product, you can report incidents and safety concerns with consumer products, or search for incidents reported by others at saferproducts.gov

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Massachusetts Insurance Law

A notable new arrival at the Lawrence Law Library is the newest addition to Massachusetts Practice:
Massachusetts Insurance Law.  Covering Massachusetts motor vehicle, property, life, health, and  business insurance as well as consumer protection claims, claims against insurance agents, and claims brought by an insurer against another insurer.  This one won't sit on the shelf very long so come on in and check it out!

Friday, October 10, 2014

New Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Safety Code

The Board of Fire Prevention Regulations has posted the future Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Safety Code, which will go into effect January 1, 2015.  They are not "official" yet, but they are posted for training purposes.
The new code adopts, in large part, the National Fire Prevention Association’s (NFPA) Model Fire Code (NFPA-1- 2012 Edition), with Massachusetts amendments.  The new code replaces 527 CMR almost  in its entirety, but will retain chapter 12, which is the Electrical Code amendments.
The Board has also published a cross reference document, which is a table referencing the old code numbers to the new code numbers.  The cross reference is call the Cross Walk.