BBA's Policy Watch Newsletter
Boston Bar Association POLICY WATCH
Legal News from Beacon Hill

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Sweeping Criminal Justice Reforms
This week, the State Legislature passed the most sweeping reforms of the Massachusetts criminal-justice system in decades. The governor has ten days to decide whether to sign the legislation into law, veto it, or send it back to the Legislature with recommended changes. Read about our recent criminal justice working group report and our longtime advocacy in this arena.
BBA Supports Full-Bench Review of Petition for Court to Ban ICE Arrests in Courthouses
Because of the potential implications of a ruling on a petition asking the Court to ban U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials from making civil arrests in and around Massachusetts courthouses, the BBA supports a full-bench review by the Supreme Judicial Court. 
BBA Files Amicus Brief in U.S. v. Brian Joyce
In the interest of protecting the sanctity of the attorney-client relationship and safeguarding the constitutional right of lawyers to advocate on behalf of their clients, the Boston Bar Association filed an amicus brief opposing the government’s motion to disqualify defense counsel in U.S. v. Brian Joyce.
BBA Ethics Committee Members Weigh in on ABA Formal Opinion 480
A recent ethics opinion from the American Bar Association (ABA) offers lawyers guidance about the care needed when using social media to discuss their work. Ethics Committee co-chair Paul Tremblay and committee member Jeffrey Woolf expand on the opinion's relevance in Massachusetts.
ICYMI: Supreme Court Won’t Review Ajemian v. Yahoo, Inc.

Last year, the Supreme Judicial Court held, in Ajemian v. Yahoo!, Inc. that a federal law, the Stored Communications Act, did not prohibit disclosure of a deceased individual’s email to personal representatives. Following this decision, Yahoo! filed a writ of Certiorari with the Supreme Court, which was denied last week. The BBA, however, is still hoping for reform at the legislative level, as we continue to advocate for adoption of the full Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assetts Act (RUFADAA) here in the Commonwealth.   

BBA Submits Letter in Response to New Policy on Prison Visits

Last month, BBA President Mark Smith submitted a letter to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) expressing concerns with the new Department of Corrections policy on prisoner visits currently under consideration.

ICYMI: Politico Previews November Battle over Transgender Rights

Last week, Politico ran a piece on the ballot question that will appear in November, asking voters whether they approve of the current state law that extended protections against discrimination for transgender individuals to public accommodations. The article highlights that proponents of the protections are taking this challenge seriously, citing past similar challenges in other jurisdictions like North Carolina and Houston, and gearing up for a strong fight to keep the law on the books.  Earlier this year, the BBA joined the Freedom for All MA coalition in their campaign to vote YES in November and uphold these important protections. You can read more about the campaign, and how to get involved, here.

Upcoming Events
Fifty Years after MLK: Civil Rights in a Changing Landscape
Join us on April 19 for a panel discussion on the history of the civil rights movement in Boston. Our speakers will discuss the landscape from the 1960s to today, and what the future holds.
Examining the “Fair Share Amendment”
Our prestigious panel will consider the policy and legal aspects of the “Fair Share Amendment”, which is currently set to be on the Massachusetts ballot on November 6th, 2018. This proposed constitutional amendment would amend the Massachusetts Constitution to add a 4 percentage-point tax on the portion of a personal income tax filer’s income in excess of $ 1 million.  
Political Pursuits: How Non-Profits Can Participate in Political Campaigns, Advocacy and Lobbying
This presentation will discuss the issues faced by nonprofit organizations seeking to be involved in political issues, campaigns for office, ballot initiatives, and advocacy for particular public policies. 
Lobbying 101: A Guide to the Legislative Process in Massachusetts and Tips for Advocating with your Legislators

It’s probably been a long time since you watched that Schoolhouse Rock episode that explained how a bill becomes a law! Join us for Lobbying 101 to refresh your memory about the legislative process and learn some tips for successful advocacy with the Massachusetts legislature.

Other News
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