Massachusetts Consumers Rejoice – National Debt Collector Pays Millions for Debt Collection Tactics Found to be Deceptive and Unfair

By Justin Dion

Debt collection is a necessary evil in the world of lending and finance. The higher a lender’s non-payment rate, the more other borrowers end up paying to borrow money with higher interest rates to offset other losses. Due to historically barbaric practices, debt collection is now a heavily regulated industry, with broad federal and state regulations in place. Current regulations seek to balance the contractual rights of creditors to be repaid the money they loaned, with borrowers rights to be treated fairly and honestly. Read More

Are Puerto Rico and the United States Separate Sovereigns for the Purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause?

A case recently decided by the Supreme Court considered the legal nature of the relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States for purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause. In Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle, the Supreme Court examined whether defendants in a criminal case can be prosecuted under the local laws of Puerto Rico if they have been previously convicted under the jurisdiction of the U.S. federal courts for the same conduct. Read More

Law Review Symposium Will Celebrate 100 Years of Women’s Right to Vote

The goal of this year’s Law Review Symposium is to commemorate the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment by providing a forum to discuss the historic centennial of women’s suffrage and explore its relevance in politics today. As is evident throughout history, the representation of women in politics has not always been an equal one. The Symposium will discuss and analyze the different pathways women have taken during their journey to acquire equal rights under the law as it pertains to voting. Although the Nineteenth Amendment affords women the right to vote, it is imperative to note the fight for equality is one that is ongoing. Read More

Democracy, Defamation, and Defining the Right to Petition: Slapping Some Sense into Anti-SLAPP Litigation

When I began drafting my Note, “See Ya in Boston, Bruh”: Making the Link Between the Right to Petition, Activism, and the Massachusetts Anti-SLAPP Statute, in September 2017, democracy was in the midst of a decade-long global recession. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, the United States’ democratic status was particularly precarious. Plagued by high levels of distrust in political institutions and low levels of political participation, the United States dropped in rank from a full democracy to a flawed democracy—joining the ranks of over fifty countries, including Guatemala, Thailand, and Sierra Leone. Read More

After Mueller: A High Crimes and Misdemeanors (But Not Necessarily an Impeachment) Investigation

In the wake of Special Counsel Mueller’s largely uneventful testimony late last July, no one can envy House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment dilemma. Presented with ample evidence of offenses justifying President Trump’s removal (the appalling violations of immigrants’ human rights are alone sufficient) she also knows that no matter what he has done, or how compelling the evidence offered against him, Mitch McConnell’s Senate will never vote to remove this President from office. Read More

The Family Resolutions Specialty Court: Hampshire Probate and Family Court’s New Legal Pathway for Families in Litigation

Families in the midst of a divorce, separation, or post-divorce legal process don’t usually thrive in a hostile, polarized, legalistic environment as they carve out a pathway to the new lives they’ve chosen. In its focus on “you versus me,” the adversarial atmosphere very often poisons any chance for the parents to achieve a collaborative coparenting relationship. Read More

Seeing Commonwealth v. Gerhardt in Action

I found myself in district court last week—it was a trial readiness day, and so the room was abuzz with attorneys trying to broker pleas and argue motions in anticipation of the trials that would be held within the next few days. Generally, the motions were heard without incident. The court allowed countless motions to “exclude the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test,” “sequester the witnesses,” and “keep out the defendant’s breath test refusal” without even an objection from the Commonwealth. Read More

Statement of Bruce Miller to the Committee on Public Health

For the past eight years, I have been working with the Massachusetts Campaign Against Torture, a citizens’ group dedicated to ending the involvement of health care providers, particularly psychologists, in the torture and abusive treatment of prisoners and detainees. I’m grateful to the Joint Committee on Public Health for its careful consideration of Senate Bill No. 1194 and House Bill No. 1149, which would prohibit such involvement by Massachusetts licensed professionals, and for the opportunity to speak in support of these important Bills. Read More