OUI and a police officer’s conflict of interest

Police in Massachusetts only have limited immunity from day to day decisions they make in the course of their work. In 1986, in Irwin v. Ware, the High Court ruled that if a police officer let someone go, after the officer smelled alcohol on the driver's breath, and then if that driver drove away and [...]

By |2021-09-16T16:56:54-04:00September 16th, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on OUI and a police officer’s conflict of interest

OUI and videotape

Police tried videotaping defendants doing OUI field sobriety tests in the late 1970's and early 1980's, but when juries started coming back with substantially more verdicts of "Not Guilty", police departments and district attorneys jettisoned this new technology and reverted back to simple police testimony, where the officer could control the narrative through his/her own [...]

By |2021-09-16T16:42:38-04:00September 16th, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on OUI and videotape

tips regarding the courts’ preferences for police using more video in criminal cases

The Massachussets' higher courts have expressed a preference that when technology is is available to record/preserve evidence, police should make an effort to do so. Comm. v. Tavares (2011) (confessions), Comm. v. Silva-Santiago. (2009) (photo arrays). Videotape enhances accuracy of what conduct transpired. Comm. v. Robinson (2011). So, when police fail to use video, as [...]

By |2021-09-16T16:33:12-04:00September 16th, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on tips regarding the courts’ preferences for police using more video in criminal cases

How to File a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment

You can file a suit for Declaratory Judgment (only in Superior Court) when you are a party to a contract where an actual controversy has arisen, and is current, and ripe, and where the contract has added and/or omitted some material and substantial issue that persists and which cannot be remedied in law, but only [...]

By |2021-07-13T11:48:36-04:00July 13th, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on How to File a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment

Landlord / Tenant Evictions: Notices to Quit

Landlords should make sure that they are aware that there are two different types of notices to quit in Massachusetts: Notice to quit for non-payment of rent Notice to quit for a violation of the lease other than non-payment of rent or for notice that the lease will not be extended further Failure to use [...]

By |2021-05-16T12:24:27-04:00May 6th, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Landlord / Tenant Evictions: Notices to Quit

Mediation Tips for Litigants with Cases In Supreme Court

Supreme Court judges like to see parties make an effort to settle their cases. Most mediators are voluntary and non-binding but parties may commit to binding arbitration, with or without ceiling/floor targets. Mediators usually charge around $700.00 per party for four hours of mediation. If you decide to participate, prepare your case like you were [...]

By |2021-05-16T12:19:25-04:00February 1st, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Mediation Tips for Litigants with Cases In Supreme Court

Injury caused by a dog

If another person's dog's conduct caused you to suffer physical injury, Massachusetts has a statute, MGL Ch. 140, s. 155, which creates automatic liability on the part of that dog's owner, unless you were committing either a trespass or some other tort, like teasing or tormenting the dog at the time of the injury. A [...]

By |2021-05-16T12:16:55-04:00March 22nd, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Injury caused by a dog

There is a way to keep out prior OUI convictions from other states

If you are charged with an OUI in Massachusetts and because you have a prior plea or conviction in another state, thereby increasing the severity of the punishment of the crime, there are at least five legal problems for a prosecutor before any such prior disposition can be admitted into evidence. If you find yourself [...]

By |2021-05-16T12:02:24-04:00September 18th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on There is a way to keep out prior OUI convictions from other states

Harassment orders ; how to defend against them

MGL Ch. 258E requires three or more acts of willful and malicious conduct aimed at a specific person. There has to be an intent to cause fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property. Actions that are merely abusive in the disruptive sense are not enough. FWT v. FT, 93 Mass. App. Ct. 376 (2018). "Boorish [...]

By |2021-05-16T11:56:53-04:00August 28th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Harassment orders ; how to defend against them

Watch out for mistaken contacts in 209A orders

If you have a 209A restraining order against you and you then, by mistake, send that person an electronic message or you run into that person in a store, be ready for that person to call the police, even though the contact was not intended. This statute is not a "strict liability" statute ; in [...]

By |2021-05-16T11:53:52-04:00July 6th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Watch out for mistaken contacts in 209A orders
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