Monday, February 26, 2007

Electronic Discovery

We've added a new page, Law About Electronic Discovery, to provide easy access to the many resources that are now available both online and in print on this topic. Two particularly helpful sites are EDD-ucating Yourself about Electronic Discovery, which includes links to many other web resources including web portals, blogs, cases, articles, and podcasts, and Materials on Electronic Discovery: Civil Litigation, from the Federal Judicial Center. This site includes Managing Discovery of Electronic Information: A Pocket Guide for Judges, 2007, as well as links to articles, state and local rules and forms.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Announcing Full Text Self-Help Books Online

Yet another reason to stop by your law library to get a library card! We are now offering access from your home or office to full-text books from Nolo online. Over 100 titles are available via E-Books Library. Titles include legal forms, help with legal issues such as bankruptcy, estate planning, small business planning and management, as well as day-to-day life concerns, like dog law, neighbor law, parenting agreements, small claims court and much more. Nolo books are known for their clarity of presentation, forms and timely coverage of the law.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Superior Court Rules

Massachusetts Superior Court Rules are now available on our website, along with many other state and federal rules. We are working toward the goal of providing comprehensive access to Massachusetts rules. In the meantime, if a rule is not available online, remember that our Document Delivery service is always happy to help.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Jury Duty Scam

According to a press release from the Office of the Jury Commissioner, "Citizens from around the state have received calls from people claiming to be court officials chasing scofflaws who have missed jury duty. When the target protests that they knew nothing of the supposedly missed jury duty, the caller demands personal identifying information (such as Social Security numbers and dates of birth) to confirm that the target is not at risk of fine or arrest." The office never phones individuals, and all legitimate communication from them is done by mail or email. They urge, "If you receive a telephone call claiming that you or someone you know has missed jury duty, under no circumstances should you give the caller any personal information about yourself or anyone else."

Friday, February 09, 2007

Drunk Driving Procedures Challenged

Since the state passed the "per se" blood alcohol law in 2003, defining blood alcohol of .08 or higher as a crime, rather than as only a presumption of intoxication, defense attorneys have had great success challenging blood alcohol tests in court, according to a January 22 article in Mass. Lawyers Weekly. Defense lawyers are demanding expert testimony on both the validity of the tests and the maintenance of the machines, and when it is lacking, judges are often excluding the breath test evidence.

Prosecutors believe that expert testimony should not be routinely required and have appealed the exclusion of blood alcohol test results in two cases still pending in lower courts. Yesterday, the Supreme Judicial Court held oral arguments in the cases, Comm. v. Thomas and Comm. v. Colturi. According to the February 8 Boston Globe, a key issue is how to extrapolate from the blood alcohol at the time of the test to the blood alcohol at the time of the stop, which may have been one hour or more earlier.

More information on drunk driving laws in Massachusetts is available at Mass. Law About Drunk Driving.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Older Acts and Resolves Now Available

To our great delight, the State Library of Massachusetts has digitized Acts and Resolves from 1692 to 1996 and made them available for searching and viewing on their site. Coupled with acts from 1997 to date from the State Legislature, this gives us complete coverage of acts available in digital form for no charge. Many thanks to the great people at the State Library!