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We have commented here, on a number of occasions, about the Appeals Court's use and misuse of Rule 1:28's so-called "unpublished" opinions.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


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