Friday, September 19, 2014

September is disaster preparedness month

Hurricane, flood, fire.  Nobody wants to think they will be the victim of a natural disaster, but the successful attorney needs to plan for such contingencies.  What are you doing to preserve client files and other critical office documents?  Here are a few online resourses that you might want to investigate before disaster strikes:

American Bar Association, Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness. Resources for Lawyers and Law Firms.   

Massachusetts Bar Association, Law Practice Management Committee. Resources for Disaster Recovery and Preparation.

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.  Massachusetts Ready.

Northeast Document Conservation Center. Resources on Disaster Planning.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency. Ready Business Section.

Receive emergency alerts and critical information on your Smartphone by downloading the free "Massachusetts Alerts" app today! The app is available for both Apple and Android phones and tablets.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Massachusetts State Undergraduate and Law School Degree in 6 Years

Fitchburg State University and the University of Massachusetts Law School have signed an agreement making it possible for motivated students, set on a career in law, to complete both degrees after three years spent studying at each institution.  Qualified students are guaranteed admission to UMASS Law and spend their senior undergraduate year in law school.

Many students will not be ready to commit to a career as they begin undergraduate school.  Besides the obvious cost savings, there are other factors to consider when deciding on an accelerated J.D. program. Interested candidates should look carefully into what being a lawyer is really all about. 

Introduction to the Study and Practice of Law in a Nutshell, is a lighthearted, but informative resource for those contemplating law school and a legal career.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Massachusetts Law about Domestic Violence

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994. In the intervening twenty years since the Act became law, federal crime statistics reveal that the overall rate of intimate partner violence in the United States has declined by nearly two thirds. The Bureau of Justice Statistics collects data on nonfatal crimes reported and not reported to the police from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households. While these statistics might point to the efficacy of the law, the problem has not gone away.

Recently, domestic violence has been in the news because of the release of a video showing Ray Rice, former running back for the Ravens, assaulting his fiancĂ©e in an elevator. A national debate on the subject of intimate partner violence has ensued. David Kocieniewski has made an attempt to put the case in perspective regarding how the criminal justice system treats the crime in his New York Times article, “Ray Rice Case Draws Attention to a Crime Often Obscured.”

The Mass. Trial Court Law Libraries webpage, “Massachusetts Law About Domestic Violence” is a rich source of links to both information about the law itself and help for victims and survivors of domestic violence. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Roosevelts: An Intimate History

Ken Burns' new film, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, premiers tonight from 8 pm to 10 pm ET on PBS stations and will run for 7 consecutive nights.  The film chronicles the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor from the birth of Theodore in 1858 to Eleanor's death in 1962.

According to the overview on PBS, "Together, these three individuals not only redefined the relationship Americans had with their government and with each other, but also redefined the role of the United States withing the wider world.  The series encompasses the history the Roosevelts helped to shape: the creation of National Parks, the digging of the Panama Canal, the passage of innovative New Deal programs, the defeat of Hitler, and the postwar struggles for civil rights at home and human rights abroad.  It is also an intimate human story about love, betrayal, family loyalty, personal courage and the conquest of fear."

Tomorrow the entire 14 hours will be available to stream through PBS stations' video sites,, and PBS branded digital platforms including ROKU, Apple TV and Xbox for 2 weeks through September 29th.

The film can be previewed here.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

New Titles, New Editions!

Have a problem with a Student Loan? Need to prepare Witnesses in Criminal Cases? Dealing with Parental Alienation in a family law matter? Or a Post-Foreclosure Eviction? You’re in luck! These are some of the issues addressed in new additions to our collections at the Trial Court Law Libraries.

Want the latest information on the Special Education Law in Massachusetts? Concerned about Identity Theft from the consumer viewpoint? Handling SSI & SSDI Claims? Involved in Mental Health Proceedings in Massachusetts as defense counsel? We have hot-off-the-presses new editions available for borrowing.
You can also use your long commutes to learn the law, by listening to a seminar on CD in your car. Want to learn about Bankruptcy? Immigration Law? New to divorce practice? Have questions about Single Justice Practice? Or Post-Conviction Relief & Appellate Advocacy in criminal cases? Want to listen to a seminar on Post-Foreclosure Evictions or Student Loan law?
You can use our online catalog to look for the books or CDs you need, then use your Trial Court Law Library card to have them sent to and held at the Trial Court Law Library most convenient for you.

 With your Trial Court Law Library card, you can also access our HeinOnline (law review articles and more), NOLO Self-Help Law Books (legal publications written by lawyers for non-lawyers) and RetrieveLaw (specialized legal database for searching Massachusetts and Federal law) databases from home or office to complete your research on these issues.

Good Reading!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11 . . . . thirteen years later . . . .

The National September 11 Memorial Museum opened on May 21, 2014 
clearly defining its mission.

"The mission of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, located at the World Trade Center site, is to bear solemn witness to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. The Museum honors the nearly 3,000 victims of these attacks and all those who risked their lives to save others. It further recognizes the thousands who survived and all who demonstrated extraordinary compassion in the aftermath. Demonstrating the consequences of terrorism on individual lives and its impact on communities at the local, national, and international levels, the Museum attests to the triumph of human dignity over human depravity and affirms an unwavering commitment to the fundamental value of human life."

A list of the days commemorative events in Massachusetts can be found at:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Animal cruelty, rock wall climbing, wage complaints and registered land law changes

A review of some of this year's more recent session laws bring us a variety of topics.

  • Animal Cruelty : 2014 C. 293, amends General Law Ch. 11 § 58B.  Mandatory reporting by veterinarians.
  • Rock Wall Climbling : 2014 C. 305. amends General Law Ch. 140 § 205A.  Improves safety measures for inflatable rock climbing.
  • Interior designers and state contracts : 2014 C. 299, amends General Law Ch. 7C §§44-55.
  • Wage complaints : 2014 C. 292, amends General Law Ch. 149 § 150. Tolling of statute of limitations while awaiting notice from Attorney General's office.
  • Registered Land : 2014 C. 287, eases land owners ability to remove property from the Torrens system.
  • Food Trust Program : 2014 C. 286, General Law Ch. 23A § 65.  Financing infrastructure for increasing access to healthy food options.