Court and Community News

Thursday, May 18, 2023
2023 edition of Massachusetts Guide to Evidence now available; Committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure seeks comments on proposed new rule


2023 edition of Massachusetts Guide to Evidence now available

The Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) and its Advisory Committee on Massachusetts Evidence Law has announced the release of the 2023 edition of the Massachusetts Guide to Evidence. For this 15th anniversary edition, the print version of the Guide will appear in a larger format with a durable spiral binding, enabling readers to lay the book down flat for ease of use. 

The justices of the SJC recommend use of the Guide by the bench, bar and public. 

The Massachusetts Guide to Evidence assembles existing Massachusetts evidence law in an easy-to-use document organized similarly to the Federal Rules of Evidence. The Guide includes extensive explanatory notes and citations to pertinent authorities.

An electronic version of the Guide is available without charge on the court's website, where it can be searched and downloaded. The Official Print Edition is published by the Flaschner Judicial Institute, which is again providing a complimentary copy to every sitting judge in the commonwealth. The 2023 Guide will be available for purchase from the Flaschner Judicial Institute and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

The 2023 edition of the Guide incorporates 45 opinions issued by the SJC and the Appeals Court between Jan. 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021, and an additional 43 appellate court decisions that did not appear in prior editions. The 15th anniversary edition also includes substantial revisions of several sections to reflect the current state of the Massachusetts evidence law. 

In 2006, the SJC established the Advisory Committee to prepare a Massachusetts Guide to Evidence at the request of the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association and the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys. Since 2008, the SJC has appointed a standing committee to monitor and incorporate new legal developments and produce annual new editions of the Guide.


Committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure seeks comments on proposed new rule

The Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure is soliciting comments on proposed new Mass. R. Crim. P. 49.

The proposed new Rule 49 codifies procedures for the ordering of restitution as a condition of probation and for the method of calculating and scheduling the payment of restitution. Click here to view the proposed new rule and draft Reporter's Notes.

Comments should be directed to Timothy E. Maguire, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Boston, MA 02108 on or before Sept. 8, 2023. Comments also may be emailed to Comments received will be made available to the public.