A GUIDE TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION IN MASSACHUSETTS
This guide was prepared for students working in the Suffolk University Law School Pro Bono Program although some of the resources may be useful to others doing criminal prosecution research.
Criminal Prosecution is a special subset of criminal law. Whereas many resources deal with criminal law, they are often generic or with the criminal defense attorney in mind.
This guide introduces some important resources for criminal prosecution and information on how to find additional materials particular to the legal problem you are researching. Where appropriate, this guide links to other guides prepared for the Suffolk University Law School Pro Bono Program or by the Moakley Law Library.
Moakley Law Library Catalog
The best search to run in the law library catalog is a keyword search.
The library has many databases available to current law students, faculty, and staff. The Social Law Library database has superior court cases, court rules, etc..
Secondary Sources of Law
National Prosecution Standards - Annotated; KF 9640.N37
Peter Joy, Do No Wrong: ethics for prosecutors and defenders - Treatise; KF 9619.J69
- Wharton's Criminal Procedure, 4 Volumes - Treatise; KF 9619.W43
- Lee Bailey & Kenneth Fishman, Complete Manual of Criminal Forms - Treatise; KF 9616.B3
- O'Malley, et al, Federal Jury Practice and Instructions, Criminal Companion Handbook - Treatise; KF 8984.D4 Criminal
- Frumer, et al, Bender's Federal Practice Forms - KF 8836.B45
- David Nissman & Ed Hagen, Law of Confessions - Treatise; KF 9664.N57
- Iriving Goldstein & Fred Lane, Goldstein Trial Technique, 4 vols. - Treatise; KF 8915.G62
- John Hall, Search and Seizure - Treatise; KF9630.H34
- Wayne Le Farve, Search & Seizure: a Treatise on the Fourth Amendment - KF 9360.L26
- Michele Herman, Search & Seizure Checklists - Treatise; Case Snippets; KF 9479.M37
- Susan Brenner, Federal Grand Jury: A Guide to Law and Practice - Treatise; KF 9642.B73
- Weinstein's federal evidence : commentary on rules of evidence for the United States courts - Treatise; KF 8935.W39
- Faigman, Modern scientific evidence : the law and science of expert testimony - Treatise; KF 8961.M63
Massachusetts Criminal Law, a District Court Prosecutor's Guide
The beginning point for all prosecutors. Contains a in-depth treatise, with practice fact patters/questions; primary law; citations; available on Reserve: KFM 2975.S73
Justice John M. Greaney & James F. Comerford, The Law of Homicide in Massachusetts (2009)
Great treatise written in part by former SJC justice; notes; up to date; primary law; available on Reserve: KFM 2927.H6.G74
Stephanie Page, et al, Trying Murder and other Homicide Cases in Massachusetts (MCLE)
Treatise; available on Reserve: KFM 2967.H6 T79
Joseph Grasso, Supression Matters under Massachusetts Law (2010)
Narrow treatise dealing with supression matters; seminal; available on Reserve: KFM 2980.A15 S87
James F. Comerford, Fundamental Principles of Massachusetts Criminal Law
Treatise concentrating on case law divided by criminal law topic; available on Reserve: KFM 2961.C65
Massachusetts guide to evidence - the official print edition of the Supreme Judicial Court Advisory Committee on Massachusetts Evidence Law (2010)
SJC's guide to evidence in Mass. courts - though not binding, very persuasive; available on Reserve: KFM 2940.M372
Michael Avery & Mark Brodin, Handbook of Massachusetts Evidence (2010)
Formerly known as "Liacos," a well-known and used treatise on Massachusetts evidence; available on Reserve: KFM 2940.Z4 B3
Peter Lauriant, et al, Massachsuetts Expert Witnesses (MCLE)
Multi-chaptered guide written by attorneys; Available on Reserve: KFM 2980.5.E9 E943
West's Massachusetts Criminal Law and Procedure (2010)
Collection (in one place) of Mass. criminal laws and rules of procedure; Available on Reserve: KFM 2961.A29.M37
Edward M. Swartz, Trial handbook for Massachusetts lawyers 3rd Edition
Treatise; Available on Reserve: KFM 2938.S95
Massachusetts Practice Series (2010)
Summary Judgments, Vol. 55 - KFM2480 .M3 v.55
Motions in Limine, Vol. 54 - KFM2480 .M31
Criminal Law, Vol. 32 - KFM2480 .M3 v.32
Discovery, Vol. 49 - KFM2480 .M3 vol. 49 2008
Criminal Practice and Procedure - KFM 2480.M3 2007
Excellent treatises covering various topics. All available on Westlaw.
Criminal Model Jury Instructions for Use in the District Court
Available on Reserve: KFM 2983.M377
Robert Bohn, et al, Massachusetts Superior Court Criminal Practice Manual
Available on Reserve: KFM 2975.M386
Frances McIntyre, et al, Massachusetts Superior Court Criminal Practice Jury Instructions
Available on Reserve: KFM 2983.M37
Hrones, et al, Massachusetts Jury Instructions, Criminal
Available on Reserve: KFM 2983.H66
Massachusetts Rules of Court (State) (West 2010)
Available on Reserve: KFM 2430.A421
Massachusetts District Attorney's Association (ADAA)
The MDAA's website provides links DA directories, pending legislation, and other materials.
"The MDAA legal staff [also] reviews published decisions issued by the United States Supreme Court, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Massachusetts Appeals Court that relate to criminal law and procedure. We summarize selected decisions and issue the summaries electronically statewide to prosecutors and law enforcement collegues and post them on this inernet site for easy public access."
Model Jury Instructions on Homicide (as issued by SJC)
Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libary - Law about Criminal Law and Procedure
Plenty of great links to sources, forms and primary laws.
District Court Department Complaint Manual
Lists complaint language for all MA crimes
Felony and Misdemeanor Master Crime List
Lists crimes type, sentancing and citations
District Court Standards of Judicial Practice, The Complaint Procedure
"Unlike rules of court, the Standards of Judicial Practice are not mandatory in application. They represent a qualitative judgment as to best practices in each of the various aspects of the Complaint procedure. As such, each court should strive for compliance with the Standards and should treat them as a statement of desirable practice to be departed from only with good cause. In addition, many references are made throughout the Standards to provisions of statutory and case lawwhich, of course, must be observed."
Primary Sources of Law
Links to Massachusetts and Federal statutes and regulations are to free sources of law. These sources may not be updated frequently and are unannotated.
Criminal Cases are heard in District, Superior, Juvenile and Housing Courts. The Social Law subscription provides opinions to these courts, but with limited coverage. Remember the type of criminal case you are dealing with, misdmeanour/felony, etc, and what court approriate cases will appear in.
For more information on the Massachusetts Courts see the Massachusetts Case Finding Guide.
Federal Statutes & Cases
Title 18 - Crimes and Criminal Procedure
Federal District Court for Massachusetts
*Note: Westlaw and Lexis are subscription databases with limited availability. Other databases or resources may only be available to members of the Suffolk community or from computers at the Law Library.
If you have questions or comments, please email email@example.com.
Created: November 19, 2009.