The Massachusetts Constitution lets citizens verbally confront public officials, even to the point of calling them Hitlers, and officials can't just kill the microphones to shut up angry people up at public meetings, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled today, throwing out a Southborough town bylaw that required "civility" at Town Hall meetings. Read more.
Sam Adams was hardly civil to authorities and Massachusetts residents today don't have to be, either, court rules
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Court orders new trial for Dorchester man convicted of 2010 murder because his lawyer never used potentially exculpatory information handed him by prosecutors
The Supreme Judicial Court today ordered a new trial for Omay Tavares, convicted of a 2010 murder on Rosseter Street in Dorchester, because his attorney, leading his first ever murder case after serving a two-year suspension for "gross incompetence" that got two other clients imprisoned, failed to act on a document from prosecutors that seemed to another man as the killer. Read more.
Black, Muslim man who pleaded guilty to being a violent, drug running pimp seeks new trial because his lawyer was a virulent racist Islamophobe
The state's highest court is considering the question of whether a hate-spewing lawyer ranting on Facebook can put aside his abhorrent beliefs when he walks into a courthouse and fairly represent somebody who is a member of groups he despises. Read more.
Former Army sharpshooter's murder conviction upheld for shooting a man in the head after an argument outside a Fenway bar over whether the Yankees suck
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld a man's first-degree murder conviction that stemmed from some banter-turned-fight over another man's Yankee's cap at closing time outside An Tua Nua on Beacon Street in 2004, so he will spend the rest of his life in prison. Read more.
Online retailer doesn't have a 'physical' presence in Massachusetts just because some of its cookies and apps are stored in a data center here, court rules
The Supreme Judicial Court concluded today that "electrons" stored at a Cambridge data center and used to assemble Web pages and feed apps for a California auto-parts retailer do not mean the retailer has a "physical presence" in Massachusetts. Read more.
If you move next to a golf course, what's a reasonable number of golf balls hitting your house? Court orders new trial on the question
The Supreme Judicial Court today ordered a new trial for a Kingston couple who had been awarded $3.5 million because their house and yard kept getting pummeled by golf balls from a neighboring course, ruling the judge in the case had bogeyed his instructions to the jury. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that the state constitution does not allow a physician to help a terminally ill patient die, that, in fact, it could be considered a form of manslaughter. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that a man facing OUI charges can't also be charged with defacing a police lockup with a "noxious or filthy substance" for having urinated all over the floor and through the bars of his cell, because the law used to charge him was aimed at pre-Civil War anti-temperance protesters and they didn't hurl bottles of urine through windows at the homes of people fighting demon rum. Read more.
Court overturns juvenile's gun convictions because judge in case failed to get a handle on possible bias in deliberations by a jury from hell
The Supreme Judicial Court today overturned a teen's gun convictions because the judge in the case failed to try to figure out what the jury foreperson meant when she approached him and said other jurors were throwing around "discriminating comments" during deliberations. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld the possible license suspension of a doctor who does hair-restoration procedures because his Web site made it sound like he was board certified in hair restoration, when there's no such thing, and said his center had doctors waiting to give people back their hair when, in fact, he was the only licensed doctor in the place. Read more.
Man convicted of killing two doctors in their South Boston condo gets to spend the rest of his life in prison
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld Bampumim Teixeira's two first-degree murder convictions for the stabbing deaths of Drs. Lina Bolanos and Richard Field in their condo in their home in 2017. Read more.
Covid-19 delays in court proceedings don't help contractor that had trouble figuring out who to sue when it didn't get paid for work on North Station movie theater
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that rules it issued in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic to temporarily halt statutory time limits on court actions are of no help to a contractor that kept suing the wrong corporate entities for payment for work it did to build North Station movie theaters - because the suit it also filed was largely based on the "mechanic's lien" it filed in the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds, which is not a court. Read more.
Court makes it easier for people charged for holding small amounts of marijuana to have their records deleted now that marijuana possession is decriminalized
The Supreme Judicial Court today ordered records related to a Dorchester man's arrest on marijuana-possession charges in 2003 and 2006 permanently deleted from court and criminal databases, under a state law that allows for "expungement" of such records for what are now legal activities. Read more.
Court upholds continued imprisonment for man convicted of Brookline rape in 1976, when he was a teenager
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that Jose Martinez, now 61, will have to wait until 2025 to re-apply for parole for the life sentence he got for raping a BU student in Brookline, when he was just 16. Read more.
State's highest court details why Mass GOP is wrong and should feel wrong in effort to block expanded early voting
The Supreme Judicial Court had already ruled against an effort by Jim Lyons and the rump state Republican Party to block early voting, but today it released its detailed reasons for why the Republicans are wrong in so many ways, from their claim the Legislature has no right to expand early voting to their alleged fears of "zombie votes" by people who die after casting an early ballot. Read more.
Prosecutors can't use results of man's blood-alcohol test in OUI case because he didn't give his consent for the test to be run, court rules
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that state law requires police to get an OUI suspect's permission to have his blood tested before they can hand over the results to prosecutors. Read more.
Raping altar boys not part of Church's charitable mission, so abuse lawsuit can continue, court rules
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that a western-Massachusetts man who says he was raped repeatedly in the 1960s by various Catholic Church clergy, including the then bishop of Springfield, can make his case to a jury that he is owed damages not only for that but for the way the church handled his case after he came forward in 2014. Read more.
Court tosses wage, tips suit against GrubHub, says drivers have to go to arbitration just like the long agreement they clicked on says
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that a federal law that lets certain workers engaged in interstate commerce file class-action suits over pay disputes doesn't apply to GrubHub drivers who clicked their agreement to settle any disagreements in arbitration with the company. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that the state's environmental secretary went too far in approving a plan that would let developers replace the Aquarium garage and the James Hook seafood store with skyscrapers - not on the merits but because the legislature didn't give her specific permission to put her stamp on waterfront projects. Read more.
State's high court rules unlicensed gun possession still a legitimate reason to hold somebody without bail in some cases
Unlike in some other states, you still need a license to own a gun in Massachusetts. The state's highest court ruled today that in certain cases, judges can order people arrested for violating the law to be held without bail before trial as a danger to society - such as a man arrested after driving through a police barricade at the Franklin Field housing project early one morning last year, allegedly with a loaded gun in his glove compartment Read more.
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