Monday, November 24, 2008

Guide to Massachusetts Evidence

The Supreme Judicial Court issued the final Guide to Massachusetts Evidence today, and "recommends" its use. While not officially rules of evidence, "The Massachusetts Guide to Evidence assembles existing Massachusetts evidence law in an easy-to-use document organized similarly to the Federal Rules of Evidence," according to the press release.

The Guide is linked from our Mass. Rules of Court page.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tractors on the Road

The Boston Globe reported yesterday that a provision in the Massachusetts Dairy Farm Revitalization Act (St.2008, c.310) allows farm tractors to travel up to ten miles on roads. The limit had formerly been two miles. The new law, St.2008, c.310, s.7 amends MGL c.90, s.9.  

The change had largely gone unnoticed because of the language used (or not used) in the amendment. The law had read: "A tractor... may be operated without such registration upon any way ... between one-half mile and two miles if said tractor, trailer or truck is used exclusively for agricultural purposes and the owner thereof maintains in full force a policy of liability insurance." 

The amendment reads: "Section 9 of chapter 90 ... is hereby amended by striking out, in line 18, the word “two” and inserting in place thereof the following number:- 10. "

Unless you are closely following a given bill's progress through the legislative process,  sections like this one are easy to miss.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Identity Theft Regulation Implementation Delayed

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation announced Friday that the effective date of  201 CMR 17 would be delayed. The implementation of the regulations designed to protect individuals' privacy was delayed "to provide flexibility to businesses that may be experiencing financial challenges brought on by national and international economic conditions." 

New deadlines:
  • "The general compliance deadline for 201 CMR 17.00 has been extended from January 1, 2009 to May 1, 2009.
  • The deadline for ensuring that third-party service providers are capable of protecting personal information and contractually binding them to do so will be extended from January 1, 2009 to May 1, 2009, and the deadline for requiring written certification from third-party providers will be further extended to January 1, 2010
  • The deadline for ensuring encryption of laptops will be extended from January 1, 2009 to May 1, 2009, and the deadline for ensuring encryption of other portable devices will be further extended to January 1, 2010."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Small Businesses May Be Liable for Employment Discrimination

Last month in Thurdin v. SEI Boston, 452 Mass. 436 (Oct. 24, 2008), the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court held that an employee of a business with fewer than six employees (who is thus unable to sue under MGL c.151B) can sue for sex discrimination under a provision of the the Massachusetts Equal Rights Act (MGL c.93, s.102).

This case and more information on employment discrimination are linked from Mass. Law About Discrimination.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

New Child Support Guidelines

The Administrative Office of the Trial Court has released new Child Support Guidelines which will take effect on January 1, 2009. They have released a press release, the Guidelines, a worksheet, a chart and the Task Force Report.
The new guidelines will appear soon on our Child Support page, which will continue to maintain the link to the old ones.