Due to the COVID -19 crisis, KJC Law Firm, LLC has transitioned to a remote workplace. We are committed to doing our part to reduce the spread of the virus.

Our attorneys and support staff have full access to telephone messages, email and our files. Our office is almost entirely paperless, and we plan to move our cases forward with videoconferencing tools. Our clients remain our first priority, and we are available to support and assist during this time of crisis.

Our email addresses are as follows: kjcook@kjclawfirm.com; jmartin@kjclawfirm.com; twilton@kjclawfirm.com; bduggan@kjclawfirm.com; mweaver@kjclawfirm.com; jryan@kjclawfirm.com; and dkelley@kjclawfirm.com. Please feel free to contact us.

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If you were a party to a trial in Massachusetts, would you want your lawyer to be able to ask potential jurors about their past experiences that relate to your case?  How about questions regarding their preconceptions or biases?  If your answer to either of these questions is “YES!” you might be surprised to find out that, until recently, Massachusetts law did not entitle trial lawyers to ask ANY questions of prospective jurors.  While the vast majority of states have long allowed lawyers to ask such questions of prospective jurors, it was not until our Commonwealth recently enacted An Act Relative To Certain Judicial Procedures In The Superior Court that Massachusetts got its own rule dealing with parties’ right to have their lawyer ask these questions of potential jurors.

Here at KJC Law Firm, we make it a priority to stay abreast of such developments in the law.  To that end, our managing partner, Kathy Jo Cook, recently attended a training designed to provide insights into how best to ask questions of potential jurors through a process called voir dire.  In fact, all of the KJC Law Firm members have been closely studying the Superior Court Order that, starting February 2, 2015, will implement Massachusetts’s new law regarding lawyers asking questions of potential jurors.

Rest assured, when KJC Law Firm brings your case to trial, we will skillfully use every available tool to sit an unbiased, fair jury, who are prepared to award you everything that the law entitles you to.

Two very recent legal developments that KJC Law Firm is closely following relate to our newly established criminal defense practice, headed by our associate, John Martin.  In Commonwealth v. Gomes, SJC-11537 (January 12, 2015), the Supreme Judicial Court, which is the highest court in Massachusetts, recognized that “eyewitness identification is the greatest source of wrongful convictions,” and set forth a full eighteen pages of new jury instructions designed to prevent wrongful convictions based on inaccurate identifications.

Even more recently, the Supreme Judicial Court also clarified the definition of the term “moral certainty,” which has been part of the Reasonable Doubt jury instruction that jurors in our Commonwealth have received for the past 150 years.  In Commonwealth v. Russeel, SJC-11602 (January 26, 2015), the Supreme Judicial Court wrote that the term “moral certainty” means “the highest degree of certainty possible in matters relating to human affairs — based solely on the evidence that has been put before you in this case.” Attorney Martin’s familiarity with these new instructions will provide our criminal defense clients with the best available means to contest any unreliable eye-witness evidence that the government offers against them, and to emphasize how strong the evidence against them must be in order for them to be convicted of having committed a crime.

Moreover, our newest associate, Luke Rosseel, will also be using these jury instructions to argue against inaccurate identifications and insufficient evidentiary showings in the criminal appeals practice that KJC Law Firm is now undertaking.  Attorney Rosseel was recently certified for appeals and other post-conviction assignments from the Committee for Public Counsel Services Post Conviction Appellate Assignment Unit.  Said more simply, Attorney Rosseel will be accepting appointments to represent people who cannot themselves afford attorneys, and whose criminal convictions involved errors that suggest they were misidentified, and may not have committed the crimes they were convicted of.

Employees in the Commonwealth will soon be legally entitled to up to 40 hours of earned sick time per year, thanks to Massachusetts voters. Starting next summer, employees will be able to earn and use sick time to: a) care for the employee’s own physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition; b) care for a child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse with a physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition; c) attend routine medical appointments of the employee or the employee’s child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse; or d) address the effects of domestic violence on the employee or the employee’s dependent child. The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2015.
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