U.S. First Circuit - The FindLaw 1st Circuit Court of Appeals News and Information Blog

August 2013 Archives

Providers, Public, Push for Medicaid Expansion in NH

Hospitals, nurses, doctors and other medical providers have urged New Hampshire to expand Medicaid to an additional 49,000 poor adults under the Affordable Care Act.

But the state legislature must pass a law in order to expand Medicaid -- and they're deadlocked in a split.

There once were four men: Joseph Lally, businessman, Richard W. McDonough, lobbyist, Richard Vitale, financial advisor and (now former) Speaker of the House of Representatives Salvatore F. DiMasi. Allegedly, Lally paid DiMasi to look out for his business interests in his political capacity -- let's call it a bribe. The money was funneled through McDonough, Vitale and Steven Topazio (not charged). Vitale was acquitted, Lally plead guilty and cooperated. And then there were two ...

DiMasi and McDonough were convicted and sentenced to eight, and seven years, respectively. They appealed raising a host of issues, but the First Circuit affirmed their convictions and sentences, reports the Boston Herald.

MA Supreme Court: MA Wiretap Statute Covers Cell Phones and Texts

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled that the state's wiretap statute permits the interception of cell phone calls and text messages -- even though neither form of communication is mentioned in the Massachusetts wiretap statute.

The court's decision is girded by legislative intent and clings to inference, opting for an "it's close enough to federal law" line of reasoning.

Class Action Residuals Civ Pro Rule Change: Your Input Is Wanted

The Supreme Judicial Court's Rules Committee would like you to weigh in on proposed amendments to Rule 23(e) of the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure.

The proposed amendments would require that at least fifty percent (50%) of class action residual funds be given to the Massachusetts IOLTA Committee to "support activities and programs that promote access to the civil justice system" for low income Massachusetts residents, according to the notice.

Matthew and Sondra Knowles ("the Knowleses") owned a mixed-use five-story rental property in Massachusetts. In 2008, they weathered a tropical storm that resulted in excess rain water pooling on the roof of the building, which in turn resulted in property damage because water leaked through two glass skylights.

Nova Casualty Company ("Nova"), the Knowleses' insurance provider denied the insurance claims citing "rain limitation" and "faulty workmanship" provisions. The Knowleses ended up having to vacate the building and couldn't afford repairs. As a result of the long vacancy, the building was vandalized and robbed of its copper piping, which led to even more water damage. Due to the lost income from the rental property, the Knowleses defaulted on their mortgage, and Fidelity Co-operative Bank ("Fidelity") foreclosed.

James 'Whitey' Bulger Found Guilty of Murder, Racketeering

James "Whitey" Bulger has been found guilty of murder, as well as racketeering and conspiracy, as part of the infamous "Winter Hill Gang" during the 1970s and 80s.

Although Bulger, 83, was charged in the murder of 19 victims over the course of the last four decades, a federal jury found that prosecutors had only proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he'd committed 11 of the slayings, reports The Boston Globe.

After almost two years of trial, what remains for the convicted murderer?

Former Student Sues High School Under Mass. Anti-Bullying Law

A high school graduate from a Massachusetts public school filed a $2 million federal suit against the school district, its officials, and the towns in which the school district is located, creating the first suit of its kind to be brought under Massachusetts' Anti-Bullying Law.

Eighteen-year-old Isabella "Belle" Hankey alleges that the bullying she experienced during her time at Concord-Carlisle High School, which included "death threats, crude slurs, . . . and feces smeared on her car," caused her to suffer a pulmonary embolism, reports The Boston Globe.

Hankey finished the rest of her senior year in an alternative school program following her embolism, but should the school be responsible?