Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Massachusetts Criminal Practice


Today’s post comes from the Division of Shameless Self-Promotion here at the Law Library:  did you know that a long standing resource for criminal law research – Massachusetts Criminal Practice – is now available on-line and it’s FREE?

Professors Eric Blumenson of Suffolk University Law School  and Arthur B. Leavens of our own Western New England University School of Law, co-edited the 4th edition of this bible for criminal law practitioners. And, for the first time, this resource includes a chapter devoted to researching criminal practice and procedure written by me and my colleague, Patricia Newcombe, our Associate Dean for Library & Information Resources.

As stated in the Preface, this edition “marks a new era in the life of Massachusetts Criminal Practice. Commenced in 1990 as a hardcover book, and continuing through the following two editions, Massachusetts Criminal Practice was available only to subscribers and purchasers. But the purpose of the project was always to disseminate legal knowledge to lawyers, law students, and others involved in the criminal justice system, including defendants – and the commercial imperatives of book publishing necessarily detracted from this goal. With this edition, we take a long step towards making the book more accessible to our intended readers … Massachusetts Criminal Practice is now available to all who can access the internet, without charge.”

If you haven’t used this book in a while, I think you will be surprised to be reminded about what a rich resource it is. Chapters range from the probable cause hearing, confessions, issues in eyewitness identification cases, opening statements, examination of witnesses, all the way to postconviction remedies.  The authors of the substantive chapters are experts in the criminal practice field and the experiential knowledge they bring to this work is invaluable. Take the opportunity to become reacquainted with Massachusetts Criminal Practice at your soonest convenience.

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