Thursday, January 31, 2008
You can find the notice "including the proposed revised rule and comments and dissenting statement, and redlined copies of the Committee's proposed revisions to Rule 1.14 indicating how the Committee's proposal differs from American Bar Association Model Rule 1.14 and from current Massachusetts Rule 1.14" at Notice Inviting Comment: Proposed Revisions to Massachusetts Rule of Professional Conduct 1.14.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
(9) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a judge shall abstain from public comment about a pending or impending Massachusetts proceeding in any court, and shall require* similar abstention on the part of court personnel*.
(a) A judge is permitted to make public statements in the course of his or her official duties or to explain for public information the procedures of the court, general legal principles, or what may be learned from the public record in a case.
(b) This Section does not prohibit judges from discussing, in legal education programs and materials, cases and issues pending in appellate courts. This education exemption does not apply, however, to comments or discussions that might interfere with a fair hearing of the case.
(c) This Section does not apply to proceedings in which the judge is a litigant in a personal capacity.
According to Mass. Lawyers' Weekly, "The appointment of the 11-member panel comes two months after Superior Court Judge Kathe M. Tuttman came under withering criticism for her decision last summer to release on personal recognizance a man convicted of having killed his mother and now charged with the November murder of a newlywed couple in Washington. "
Monday, January 28, 2008
According to the Daily News Tribune, the committee heard from Patrick Holland, who was eight years old when his father killed his mother. His father wanted to see Patrick's school reports and otherwise stay involved in the boy's life from prison, and it took Patrick four years in court to terminate contact with him. Patrick asked legislators to ease the process for other children in his situation. According to the article,"'Kids in my situation have already been through a loss. They don’t need to go through more hardships,' Holland said. 'This law would create options and allow them to do what they want, where I was never able to.'"
Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Drivers over 18 may use cellphones with hands-free capability. "A violation of this section shall be punishable by a fine of $100 for a first offense, by a fine of $250 for a second offense and by a fine of $500 for a third or subsequent offense."
Drivers under 18 may not use cellphones at all, even with hands-free headsets. In addition to the fines above, a junior operator who violates the law will have their license or permit suspended for 60 days for a first offense, 180 days for a second offense, and a full year for a third offense.
Exceptions are provided for calls to emergency services. According to the Boston Globe, "an amendment approved yesterday stipulates that drivers can use their hands to dial and hang up the phone without a violation, as long as they use an earpiece or speakerphone during their calls."
The Senate has yet to vote on the measure. The Globe reports, "knowledgeable Senate source said Senate President Therese Murray is not likely to bring the measure up for a vote in the near term."
Thursday, January 17, 2008
The Dept. of Environmental Protection has an information page on mercury, and has posted the final regulations for recycling mercury-added products. At this time, recycling options are limited, but the regulations kick into gear starting in March.
Now we can save energy and not adversely impact the environment.
Monday, January 14, 2008
- Finding Resources and Programs for Caregivers in Massachusetts
- Massachusetts Family Caregiver Support Program
- What Do They Provide?
- Who Is Eligible?
- How Is the Program Organized?
- Caregiver Support Programs through Ethnic and Faith-based Organizations
- Caregiver Support Programs through Organizations Linked to Specific Diseases
You'll find links to this and many other publications at our Massachusetts Law About Elders' Issues.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Last month, the Division of Insurance issued DOI Bulletin 2007-15: Written Notice to Claimants of Payment of Claims in Third Party Settlements. Insurance companies are now directed to notify clients when payment of a settlement of $5000 or more has been made to the client’s attorney. Surprisingly, no notice to the claimant had been required in the past. Notice must include:
- The amount of the check and the party to whom the check was mailed; and
- The address of the party to whom the check was mailed; and
- If payment is made by a draft or check, a copy of such draft or check; or
- If payment is made by the electronic transfer of funds, the amount of such transfer, the date of such transfer and the party to whom the transfer was made; and
- The statement, “If you have any questions about this notice, please contact your attorney.”
According to the Boston Globe, the new rule comes as a result of a very public case of malfeasance in which a Massachusetts attorney kept insurance settlement checks without notifying his clients that they had been received.
Monday, January 07, 2008
The court did not require "an investigative or interactive process" in all cases, however. An "employer is not required to engage in fruitless dialogue if it is absolutely clear no accommodation could be made without undue hardship. Such a demonstration, however, will often be difficult to make without the employer's having engaged in an interactive process with the employee and having made a good faith effort to explore the options that come out of such a process. The MBTA has amply demonstrated this point in the case before us."
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
- Mass. SJC and Appeals Court cases
- Mass. General Laws
- Mass. court rules
- Federal court cases
- US Code
- Federal court rules
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
- The minimum wage is now $8.00!
- Stores must start selling fire-safe cigarettes (but they can deplete their existing inventories first)
- Monthly penalties begin to accrue every month for failure to have health insurance
- Adoptees born from today forward may have access to their original birth certificates at age 18 (their adoptive parents may have access before they turn 18)
Happy new year!