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We have commented here, on a number of occasions, about the Appeals Court's use and misuse of Rule 1:28's so-called "unpublished" opinions.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


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