Monday, March 03, 2014

2014 Edition of Massachusetts Guide to Evidence Released

The Supreme Judicial Court and its Executive Committee on Massachusetts Evidence Law has announced the release of the 2014 edition of the Massachusetts Guide to Evidence.  The Supreme Judicial Court recommends it use by the bench, bar, and public.

"The Massachusetts Guide to Evidence assembles existing Massachusetts evidence law in an easy-to-use document organized similarly to the Federal Rules of Evidence. The Guide includes extensive explanatory notes and citations to pertinent authorities," according to the press release.

"The 2014 edition of the Guide reflects developments in Massachusetts evidence law that occurred between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013. In addition to incorporating dozens of new opinions issued in 2013 by the Supreme Judicial Court, the Appeals Court, and the United States Supreme Court, the 2014 edition contains the following new materials:  a section discussing the use of motions in limine (Section 103(e)); (2) an expansion of Section 404(a)(2)(b) to reflect the additional purposes for which character evidence may be offered by the accused in a criminal case and in rebuttal by the prosecution; (3) a synopsis of new case law concerning the scope of the attorney-client privilege under Section 502; (4) a new section 611(g) discussing the use of stipulations in both civil and criminal cases; (5) a clarification of the distinction between lay witness opinion testimony and expert witness opinion testimony in the Note to Section 701; (6) new cases addressing the evolving jurisprudence under the Sixth Amendment's confrontation clause; and (7) in Sections 801-804, a reorganization and improved explanation of the law dealing with hearsay and its exceptions, including, in particular, a clarification of the state of mind exception."

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