Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Alimony Law Effective Tomorrow

The Massachusetts Alimony Reform Law becomes effective tomorrow. See Mass. Law About Alimony for links to the law and websites that explain it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Comments Sought on Proposed Pro Hac Vice Rule

The SJC is soliciting comments on proposed new Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:15: Pro Hac Vice Registration Fee.  According to the court:
"The new rule was originally proposed to the Rules Committee by the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission in response to the crisis in funding civil legal aid services to low-income families and individuals.  
"The proposed new rule would require lawyers, except those who will provide pro bono service to indigents, to pay a $300 registration fee per case to the Board of Bar Overseers.  The Board may retain a portion of the fee to cover costs, and shall pay the balance to the IOLTA Committee for distribution in accordance with S.J.C. Rule 3:07." 
Send comments by March 9, 2012 to or mail to: Christine P. Burak, Secretary, Supreme Judicial Court Rules Committee, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Boston, MA, 02108.

District Court Dept. Mental Health Standards

Standards of Judicial Practice: Civil Commitment and Authorization of Medical Treatment for Mental Illness have been revised effective January 3, 2012.  The Standards cover the issues of civil commitment and authorization of medical treatment in great detail. According to the document,
"Unlike rules of court, the Standards of Judicial Practice are not mandatory in application. They represent a qualitative judgment as to best practices in each of the various aspects of the civil commitment procedure.  As such, each court should strive for compliance with the Standards and should treat them as a statement of desirable practice to be departed from only with good cause."
 The standards and other information on mental health proceedings are available at our Mass. Law About Mental Health.

New FCC Telemarketing Rules

On Wednesday, the FCC issued Report and Order FCC 12-21: In the Matter of Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. According to the FCC,
The Order adopted today helps put an end to these intrusions by empowering consumers with increased rights under the FCC’s telemarketing rules.  The new rules reduce regulatory uncertainty with minimal burden on industry and maximize consistency with those of the Federal Trade Commission.  Specifically, the rules protect consumers by:
  • Requiring telemarketers to obtain prior express written consent from them, including by electronic means such as a website form, before placing a robocall to a consumer;         
  • Eliminating the “established business relationship” exemption to the requirement that telemarketing robocalls to residential wireline phones occur only with prior express consent from the consumer; 
  • Requiring telemarketers to provide an automated, interactive “opt-out” mechanism during each robocall so that consumers can immediately tell the telemarketer to stop calling; and, 
  • Strictly limiting the number of abandoned or “dead air” calls that telemarketers can make within each calling campaign.
The provisions of the new rules take effect over the next year. For specific information on effective dates, see paragraph 66 of the order.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Hein Online iPhone/iPad App for Law Library Users

If you visit one of our law libraries at least once every thirty days, you can use the new HeinOnline App. Here's how:
  1. In the iPhone/iPad app store, download and install HeinOnline 2012. The app is free.
  2. Go to one of the law libraries, and connect to the wireless network within the library. The network will be named "lawlibrary" or lawlibrary followed by a number.
  3. Once you are connected, open the HeinOnline app. Click on "IP Authentication." This will authenticate you via the library's IP address. You will be able to use the app for thirty days.
  4. At least once every thirty days, go back to a Mass. law library and follow steps 2 and 3 again. This will keep the app working for you.