Divorce Mediation Blog

Lawyers Weekly Takes On Rule 1:28: We Agree

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

We have commented here, on a number of occasions, about the Appeals Court's use and misuse of Rule 1:28's so-called "unpublished" opinions.

They are informal, scant on facts and often reasoning, sometimes obscure and too-often just confusing to family law discourse. If the Appeals Court is not going to stand behind its cases as precedent, or if an opinion is truly for the sole benefit of the captioned parties, the public record would be better served by a simple "affirmed" or "reversed" notation. As public records, the "full" opinions would be available to the highly motivated, but the cases would not be citable from the current netherworld of "persuasive but not precedent", to which the Appeals Court has assigned them.

For that reason, we delighted in reading October 26th's Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, wherein the Editorial Board opined, at p. 38, that newly minted Chief Justice Scott L. Kafker should pay "immediate attention" to the problem of Rule 1:28. Lawyers Weekly described the intent of the rule to address "straightforward cases" and that the Appeals Court overuses the rule to the public's detriment. While our critique goes further, the editorial's targeting of the issue is welcome; and we thank the board for its call to action.

Either way: elevate all opinions to the level of precedent, then analyze and write them accordingly; or reduce them to simple announcements of the action taken on appeal. We respect the burden that the Appeals Court's unchecked, non-discretionary caseload poses. But do something please, Chief Justice Kafker, about this unhelpful practice.

Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.:

Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles

recent posts


Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC alimony reform legislation The Seven Sins of Alimony General term alimony Child Support Guidelines Massachusetts lawyers divorced Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly divorce mediations mediations divorce mediators med-arb LDRC divorce and family law divorce lawyers Baseball litigation Massachusetts alimony medical benefits Obamacare Divorce Agreements MLB labor agreement Levine Dispute Resolutions lawyers family law arbitrator support orders Act Reforming Alimony in the Commonwealth Baseball Players IRC §2704 self-adjusting alimony mediation pre-ARA alimony divorce arbitrator high-risk methodology Boston child support divorce judgment Baseball Arbitration COLA SJC divorce litigation mediator rehabilitative alimony family law arbitrators Levine Dispute Resolution lawyer Levine Dispute Resolution Center alimony statute divorce arbitration arbitrator traditional negotiations Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act divorce process conciliation Family Law Arbitration divorce agreement divorce mediation DOMA alimony laws Alimony Reform Act mediators special master alimony orders arbitrators Twinkies private dispute resolution Matrimonial Arbitration health coverage Cohabitation Divorce resolve disputes Massachusetts alimony and child support lawyer-attended mediation dispute resolution Chouteau Levine family and probate law disputes divorce and family law mediators med/arb separation divorce arbitrators how baseball arbitration works disputes family law mediation divorce mediator family support family mediation alternative dispute resolutions alimony law alimony Defense of Marriage Act Massachusetts family law Major League Baseball Arbitration arbitration Same Sex Marriage Massachusetts divorce mediators Self-adjusting alimony orders health insurance Uniform Arbitration Act facilitated negotiations