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United States — Massachusetts
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Reviewed 15 September 2013 E-mail: Administrator@LawSource.com

Massachusetts Court Decisions

A diagram of the state court system (called a “Court Structure Chart” and including a summary of each court’s jurisdiction) is available on the web site of the National Center for State Courts.

    Additional Resources
    Supreme Judicial Court opinions and Appeals Court opinions as well as Superior Court opinions … [Social Law Library (Mass.)] — Slip opinions (with a search function), going back six months only.


Massachusetts Constitution and Legislation

See also a database of statewide ballot measures maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  1. Constitution (Mass. Const.)

    Additional Resources
    Constitution … [Town of Bellerica]

  2. Bills
    See also the Massachusetts Great and General Court [Legislature] web site.

  3. Acts and Resolves of Massachusetts (Mass. Acts)
  4. General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Mass. Gen. L.)
    See also uniform laws and interstate compacts.
  5. Additional Resources
    Massachusetts Laws by Popular Name … [Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries] — “The purpose of this table is to provide links to information on legal topics which are in the news or are of general interest to people living in [Massachusetts]. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, these references are meant to serve as a quick guide only.”


Massachusetts Rules of Procedure and Practice

  1. Rules of Procedure

    Note—In general the rules of procedure for Massachusetts trial courts are not officially available on the internet. Selected rules are presented by the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries.


Massachusetts Administrative Law Sources

See also a page of links to sources of rules, maintained by the Administrative Codes and Registers Section of the National Association of Secretaries of State.
  1. Regulations
    1. Code of Massachusetts Regulations (Mass. Regs. Code)
    2. Massachusetts Register (Mass. Reg.)


Massachusetts Ordinances and Home-Rule Charters

Ordinances are local laws, commonly organized into codes, that have been enacted by municipalities — cities, towns, etc. — and counties. Charters are organic laws (similar in function to a constitution) of those local government entities for which “home rule” is authorized by state law. For local laws not found through the links given here, try the county web sites and municipality web sites at “State and Local Government on the Net” by Piper Resources, or a publisher’s web site:
  • American Legal Publishing Corp.
  • Code Publishing Co.
  • General Code, LLC
  • Municipal Code Corp.
    1. Charters
      Note that a charter could be included in a collection of ordinances (see below) instead of being separately accessible.
    2. County Ordinances
    3. Municipal Ordinances
      In Massachusetts, municipal ordinances are known as by-laws. For links to the by-laws of a large number of cities and towns, see the web site of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries.
      Click on the button keyed to the name of the municipality. NOTE: On some web sites, selecting the state is necessary for access to the ordinances link.


    Massachusetts Law-Related Periodicals

    Periodicals providing on-line articles are linked here. See also links to all Massachusetts law-review web sites as well as links to web sites of all U.S.-published law reviews and periodicals.

    1. Boston College International and Comparative Law Review (B.C. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev.)
    2. Boston College Law Review (B.C. L. Rev.)
    3. Boston College Third World Law Journal (B.C. Third World L.J.)
    4. Boston University Law Review (B.U. L. Rev.)
    5. Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (Harv. Civ. Rts.-Civ. Liberties L. Rev.)
    6. Harvard Environmental Law Review (Harv. Envtl. L. Rev.)
    7. Harvard Human Rights Journal (Harv. Hum. Rts. J.)
    8. Harvard Law Review (Harv. L. Rev.)
    9. Harvard Negotiation Law Review (Harv. Negot. L. Rev.)
    10. Intellectual Property and Technology Forum (Intell. Prop. & Tech. F.) … [Boston Coll. Law Sch.]
    11. Journal of High Technology Law (J. High Tech. L.) … [Suffolk Univ. Law Sch.]
    12. Journal of Science and Technology Law (J. Sci. & Tech. L.) … [Boston Univ. Sch. of Law]
    13. Massachusetts Law Review (Mass. L. Rev.) . . . [Massachusetts Bar Ass’n]
    14. New England International and Comparative Law Annual (New Eng. Int'l & Comp. L. Ann.) … [New Eng. Sch. of Law]
    15. Suffolk University Law Review (Suffolk U. L. Rev.)
    16. University of Massachusetts Law Review (U. Mass. L. Rev.) … Formerly titled University of Massachusetts Roundtable Symposium Law Journal (until 2012); Southern New England Roundtable Symposium Law Journal (2006–2010).
    17. Western New England Law Review (W. New Eng. L. Rev.)


    Other Massachusetts Commentary

    1. Tax Publications for IndividualsTax Publications for Businesses … [Revenue Dep't] — The most commonly requested tax publications, in PDF files.

    2. Doing Business in Massachusetts. Foley Hoag LLP. … [Lex Mundi]

    3. Massachusetts Wage & Hour Laws: What Every Manager Needs to Know. James W. Bucking / Foley Hoag LLP.

    4. Books About Massachusetts Law … [Mark J. Bernardin, Esq. (Mass.), dba The Forum for Massachusetts Law] — A bibliography of books that “were written with the layperson in mind, focus on Massachusetts law, and are available at public libraries.”


    Massachusetts Law-Related Topical Web Sites


    Massachusetts Court Information

    See also links to state court web sites, maintained by the National Center for State Courts. Additionally, the Ballotpedia.org web site presents information about courts and judges in the state, covering both state courts and federal courts, in a Wikipedia-style format.
    1. Web Sites


    Massachusetts Forms

    1. General Legal Forms … [Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries] — Links to Massachusetts legal forms, arranged by topics, as well as selected federal forms.

    2. U.S. District Court — Local Forms

    3. Revenue Department — Tax Forms

    4. Business Entity Forms …[Paracorp, Inc. (Cal.)] — Convenient interface to view and print in-blank official state forms (in PDF files) for filing by business entities. A JavaScript-enabled browser is required.


    Other Massachusetts Resources

    1. Government-Related Web Sites

      See also the Piper Resources list of sites.
    2. Additional Resources
      ¶ Vital Records — Contact Information … [Elizabeth Orsay (Ind.)]
      ¶ Workers’ Compensation — Agency Contact Information … [Robert W. McDowell / N.C. Indus. Comm’n]

    3. Bar Associations • Law-Related Organizations

      See the National Federation of Paralegal Associations for links to websites of member organizations.
    4. Law Schools • Admission to Practice • Continuing Legal Education
      Note: The University of Massachusetts School of Law – Dartmouth in 2009–2010 succeeded to the assets of the Southern New England School of Law, which is now defunct.
    5. Consulate General of Canada in Boston

    6. Consulate General of Mexico in Boston • Consulado General de México en Boston


    Legal Research and Assistance

    1. Law Libraries
      See also additional information about Massachusetts trial court law libraries.

      See also links to web sites of public law libraries and catalogs of academic law libraries, maintained by the library at Washburn University School of Law; and the LibrarySites.Info database of library web sites (“Libcat”).
    2. Massachusetts Law About . . .… [Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries] — Topical arrangement of links to sources of, and commentary on, Massachusetts law on numerous subjects.

    3. Massachusetts Bar Association — Legal Information
    4. Step by Step: A Simple Guide to Filing a Civil Action in the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts … Available also in a Spanish version.

    5. Bankruptcy Law and Procedures for Massachusetts Residents … [Calicchia & Kinast LLP (Ohio)] — This web site, presented by a Cleveland bankruptcy law firm, covers basic information about the bankruptcy process, describes debt consolidation and credit counseling as alternatives to bankruptcy, lists the property that an individual is allowed to keep (with citations to governing provisions of Massachusetts law), and gives information about the bankruptcy courts and how to contact bankruptcy attorneys in Massachusetts.

    6. Low-Cost Legal Aid … See also the web site for LawHelp.org and the web site for SelfHelpSupport.org.
      1. MassLegalHelp.org … This site “provides information about your legal rights as a Massachusetts resident, written in plain English or Spanish.” The site includes a form for finding an appropriate legal-services program.
      2. Massachusetts Legal Help for the Poor … [Am. Bar Ass’n] — Contact information for statewide and local legal-aid programs, from the ABA’s Directory of Pro Bono Programs. The ABA also provides a page of links to pro bono programs’ web sites. The Massachusetts Bar Association also provides some help on finding reduced-fee or free representation.
      3. WomensLaw.org — Sources of Legal Help … [WomensLaw.org (N.Y.)] — Sources of legal help (not limited to legal help for women) include statewide domestic-violence resources, local domestic-violence resources listed by city or town, free or low-cost legal services, and lawyer referral services.



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