2016 Edition of the Massachusetts Guide to Evidence Now Available | Massachusetts Law Updates
The new edition of the Massachusetts Guide to Evidence3 has been released and is available without charge on the court s website4, where it can be searched and downloaded. The Massachusetts Guide to Evidence5 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. The 2016 edition of the Guide reflects developments in Massachusetts evidence law that occurred between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015. In addition to incorporating dozens of new opinions issued in 2015 by the Supreme Judicial Court and the Appeals Court, the 2016 edition contains substantial revisions, including: (1) an expansion of Section 403 to include the admissibility of similar occurrence evidence and courtroom experiments and demonstrations; (2) an in-depth discussion of aspects of the attorney-client privilege in Section 502; (3) an overhaul of Section 509 (Identity of Informer, Surveillance Location, and Protected Witness Privileges); and (4) a modification of Section 511 (Privilege Against Self-Incrimination) to include new rules on criminal responsibility examinations and the use of suppressed statements.