News from the courts

Thursday, Mar. 5, 2015
SJC amends Rule 1 and Rule 6 of the Commission on Judicial Conduct; Mass. R. Civ. P. 45; Mass. R. Crim. P. 12
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The Supreme Judicial Court has recently announced amendments to the following rules:

Rule 1 and Rule 6 of the Commission on Judicial Conduct: On January 29, 2015, the SJC adopted amendments to Rules 1 and 6 of the Rules of the Commission on Judicial Conduct. The amendments became effective on March 1, 2015. The amendment to Rule 1 permits the Commission to adopt a broader definition of the term "complainant," for purposes of its rules. The amendments to Rule 6 reflect the replacement of the position of Chief Justice for Administration and Management with the position of Chief Justice of the Trial Court, pursuant to M.G.L. c.93, sec. 137.

Mass. R. Civ. P. 45: Through amendments to Rule 45, Massachusetts adopted the practice of a "documents only" subpoena directed to a non-party, a practice that has existed under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure since 1991. With the adoption of a documents only subpoena as of the effective date of April 1, 2015, there is no longer a need in Massachusetts to use deposition practice in regard to a non-party for the sole purpose of document production.

Mass. R. Crim. P. 12: As the title of Rule 12 suggests (Pleas and Plea Agreements), the 2015 revision of the rule resulted in a more carefully delineated and somewhat expanded role for plea agreements in the process of a judge's consideration and acceptance of a proffered guilty plea. The amendments, resulting from proposals of the Court's Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure, will become effective on May 11, 2015.