201509.23
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RMV Stolen Car Records Presumptively Reliable for Traffic Stop

On August 14, 2015, the Massachusetts Appeals Court reversed a judge’s suppression of evidence that was found by a state trooper.  The lower court had allowed a defense attorney’s motion to suppress evidence, after applying the well-known Aquilar-Spinelli test to the evidence (Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) records indicating that the motor vehicle at issue…

201509.19
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OPEN AND GROSS LEWDNESS OR SIMPLY INDECENT EXPOSURE?

In an August, 2015 Massachusetts Appeals Court decision, the conviction of a defendant who exposed his penis at an MBTA station was upheld, even though the only person who actually saw the act was an MBTA policeman who merely testified at the jury trial that he was disgusted and concerned for the females sitting nearby….

201509.17
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A new way to address drunk driving?

Some new research suggests that Massachusetts could benefit from a revision of its drunk driving laws, from a “no driving” model to a “no drinking” model.  The issue is somewhat humorously illustrated by a traditional Alcoholics Anonymous joke about the alcoholic who gets arrested for operating under the influence enough times that he decides to…

201509.04
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CAN MY CHILDREN DECIDE WHO THEY WANT TO LIVE WITH?

Divorcing or divorced parents, along with parents of children born out of wedlock, often ask this question of their attorney around the time that their children become teenagers.  The quick and easy answer is no.  At least not if “decide” means “determine.”  If there is a custody order set by a judge, then only a…

201509.03
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PARENTAL PRIVILEGE DEFENSE TO CHILD SPANKING

In June of 2015, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts finally formally recognized that a parent may use reasonable force to discipline his or her child.  The SJC began its opinion by commenting that the Court had previously decided cases under the assumption that a parent had a “parental privilege,” to spank a child, and…