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Joe Paterno

Guilty Pleasures – Celebrity Depositions

An inescapable fact of modern-day life is the assault we continuously withstand from Celebrity News – and with the advent of reality television, I use the term ‘celebrity’ very, very loosely.  It’s simply not our fault that, despite a near total lack of interest, we still know way more about the private lives of Tom […]

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Open Meeting Records

Quick Guide to the MA Open Meeting Law – Part 3 of 3

WHAT RECORDS MUST BE KEPT? GENERAL REQUIREMENTS Accurate minutes must be created, approved & maintained in a timely manner for all public body meetings, including executive sessions.  The record must specify: Date, time, and place of the meeting Members present, members absent, & members participating remotely along with the reason for remote participation Decisions made, […]

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Executive Session

Quick Guide to the MA Open Meeting Law – Part 2 of 3

WHEN ARE EXECUTIVE SESSIONS OK? SPECIFIC EXEMPTIONS TO THE OPEN MEETING LAW Although the Open Meeting Law requires that all meetings by public bodies be open to the public, it recognizes that discussion of certain topics may appropriately be held in executive, or closed, sessions.  The list of valid/approved executive session topics is limited and […]

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Open Meeting Law 2

Quick Guide to the MA Open Meeting Law – Part 1 of 3

WHEN DO OPEN MEETING RULES APPLY THE DECEPTIVELY SIMPLE ANSWER When members of a public body in Massachusetts deliberate with each other regarding matters under the jurisdiction of that public body, the exchange (verbal, written, or electronic) has to be open to the public. DETAILS BEHIND THE SIMPLE ANSWER On its face, the Massachusetts Open […]

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concussion lawsuit office solutions plus

The NFL’s Conundrum: Depositions or Autopsies?

Lawyers representing more than 1,500 ex-players and their families petitioned the US District Court in Philadelphia last week to expedite depositions in a case alleging the NFL willfully concealed information about brain damage arising from repeated hits to the head (Court Focuses On Easterling Suicide). The thrust of the plaintiffs’ petition was that many of […]

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Roger Clemens Oath

Are Clemens’ (Perjured?) Deposition & Testimony to Congress Important?

As Roger Clemens’ perjury trial resumed this week in Washington, an important, albeit unstated, question seems to have taken center stage for the defense – does lying to Congress really matter?  Aside from questions of actual guilt or innocence, a distinctly cynical view has emerged that Capitol Hill is wasting its time – and our […]

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Seal of Massachusetts

MA Attorney General Clarifies State’s Open Meeting Boundaries

In a ruling with implications for public bodies across the state, the beleaguered Board of Selectmen in Foxboro, MA – long-time home of the New England Patriots and current battleground over a proposed Bob Kraft/Steve Wynn gambling casino – got some good news when the Attorney General’s Office ruled in its favor regarding alleged violations […]

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hispanic.voters

Deposition Fight Over Texas Voter ID Law is a BIG DEAL

The State of Texas and the US Department of Justice are slugging it out in federal court over DOJ’s request to depose 12 Texas lawmakers on behind-the-scene details of the state’s 2011 Voter ID Law requiring voters to produce valid government-issued photo IDs (Court Orders More Briefings). The Issues.   Texas and a number of other […]

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Supreme Court

New Technology Rules for Journalists in Massachusetts Courts

The highest court in Massachusetts has updated its rules for news coverage of trials and other court proceedings.   The goal of the change is “to recognize the changes in technology and journalism” the court said. The rules permit electronic devices such as laptops in the courtroom, but require anyone seeking to use high tech gear to register […]

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Governor Brownback

Open Meeting “Sunshine” Blinds Politicos Far & Wide

The Judicial Branch really gets the concept of transparency.  Although there are occasional missteps, overwhelmingly the Courts understand how all this Open Meeting & Sunshine stuff really needs to work.  For example, when the Supreme Court has a closed-door, Justices-only conferenceto discuss the future of healthcare, the secrecy of those discussions is universally viewed as […]

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