Exploring legal issues facing businesses and individuals in IP-intensive fields

From Issue Spot: A Glimpse Into the Judiciary Committee’s Agenda

As we mentioned in last week’s blog post, almost all of the BBA’s bills end up in the Judiciary Committee.  That’s because the Judiciary Committee historically considers all bills relating to crimes, sentencing, the judiciary, judicial salaries, parole, and other corrections issues.  The Judiciary Committee also gets a handful of proposals to change the Constitution each session. 

 This session, there are three new House appointees to the Judiciary Committee:  Representative Bruce Ayers, freshman Representative Claire Cronin, and Representative Jeffrey Roy.  The new senators on the Judiciary Committee include the Chairwoman Katherine Clark and Senator Will Brownsberger.  Of the seventeen members of the Judiciary Committee, nine are lawyers.  Other members of the committee include a small business owner, a community activist and a funeral director. 

With 771 bills already assigned to the Judiciary Committee there will probably be between fourteen and sixteen public hearings during the two-year session that started in January.  To put this number in perspective, the committee with the next largest number of bills currently before it, the Joint Committee on Public Service, currently has 390 bills.  The Joint Committee on Public Health currently has 349.  

One of the first public hearings the Judiciary Committee will schedule will pertain to matters relating to amending the Constitution.  The joint rules of the House and Senate mandate specific time frames for amending the constitution. Any such amendment filed by April 24, 2013 must receive the Judiciary Committee’s recommendation that same day…

Pending in the Judiciary Committee this session. . .

Public accommodations protections for transgender individuals – Building upon the success of last year’s transgender equality law there is a proposal before the Judiciary Committee that would grant transgender individuals access to sex segregated public facilities based on their own gender-identity. .

Changes to the wiretap statute .Both Judiciary Committee Chairs have co-sponsored the bill, but that does not mean this proposal won’t be without controversy or complication.  Changing the wiretap statute has long been a priority of the Attorney General’s Office and other law enforcement officials.  Those in support of the bill refer to it as an “update.”  Those that don’t necessarily endorse the bill see it as a “broad expansion.”  The list of crimes that will ultimately be included in the wiretap statute will constitute the crux of the debate. 

Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act- This uniform law has been adopted in all 49 states and its purpose is to provide a remedy for conflicts that occur under the current Massachusetts child custody jurisdiction law.  Under the UCCJEA, once a state has exercised jurisdiction over custody, that state has exclusive jurisdiction over potential changes in the judgment or order — providing a parent, the child, or someone acting as a parent remains in the original state.

Not pending in the Judiciary Committee this session. . .

Gun control bills – While the House referred a gun control bill to the Judiciary Committee, the Senate referred the same bill to the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.  In the end, the House concurred with the Senate. So it looks like the bills dealing with changes to our gun laws will not be handled by the Judiciary Committee. 

 - Kathleen Joyce
Director of Government Relations
Boston Bar Association

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Intellectual Property Law Committees

  • Arts, Entertainment and Sports Law Committee
    This committee provides resources for lawyers who represent clients in the arts, in entertainment and in associated industries, including visual artists, writers, publishers, film and TV producers, songwriters, music producers and publishers, performing artists and those involved in other creative pursuits.

    Contact Information

    Stacey C. Friends

    Ruberto, Israel & Weiner, P.C.

    (617) 570-3578

    Michael J. Cavaretta

    Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, PC

    (781) 622-5930

  • Computer and Internet Law Committee
    This committee covers areas including federal and state regulation, intellectual property, contracts, employment, civil and criminal litigation, corporate and business law, taxation, export control, finance, libel, privacy and publicity rights, obscenity, defamation, antitrust and international law, as well as technical standards and commercial protocols.

    Contact Information

    Sara Yevics Beccia

    Burns & Levinson LLP

    (617) 345-3648

  • Intellectual Property Law Committee
    This committee brings together lawyers from diverse IP law fields, including patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret and transfer of technology, know-how and publicity rights law.

    Contact Information

    Robert Silverman

    Foley & Lardner LLP

    (617) 342-4000

    Daniel A. Lev

    FastCAP Systems Corporation

    (857) 239-7500

  • Intellectual Property Litigation Committee
    This is a joint committee between the Intellectual Property and Litigation Sections. This committee provides education concerning the enforcement of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secrets rights as well as the defense of those accused of infringing on such rights, in federal and state courts and before the International Trade Commission.

    Contact Information

    Dalila Wendlandt

    Ropes & Gray LLP

    (617) 951-7884

    Kelli Powell

    Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

    (617) 526-6819

    Kerry L. Timbers

    Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP

    (617) 443-9292

  • International Intellectual Property Law Committee
    This committee brings together practitioners and others concerned with the state of IP in multiple countries and pursuant to multinational accords. Areas covered include perfection and protection of IP rights, defenses against IP abuses, technology transfer and other licensing and venture transactions, as well as collateral affecting IP development and exploitation.

    Contact Information

    Hsuanyeh Chang

    Burns & Levinson LLP

    (617) 345-3218

    Asya Calixto

    Prince Lobel Tye LLP

    (617) 456-8110

  • Life Sciences Committee
    This committee addresses the business and patent issues that arise in biotechnology, health care services, laboratory services, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

    Contact Information

    Lesley Chuang

    Campbell Campbell Edwards & Conroy, PC

    (617) 902-0501

    Lawrence Cogswell

    Hamilton, Brook, Smith & Reynolds, PC

  • Privacy Law Committee
    This committee covers the full range of issues involved with the collection, use, sharing and securing of personal information, as relevant to Massachusetts-based entities. Areas covered include website and online privacy; information management practices; physical and system monitoring; healthcare, financial and other sector-specific privacy rules; international data collection and transfers; RFID and other tracking technologies; workplace privacy concerns; and new developments in privacy and compliance law and practice.

    Contact Information

    Ellen Giblin

    Ashcroft Law Firm

    (617) 573-9400

    Seth Carlton Harrington

    Ropes & Gray LLP

    (618) 951-7226

  • Steering Committee
    The leadership committee of the Section organizes programs and discusses policy. To inquire about opportunities, please contact the Section Co-Chairs.