Issue April 2014

April 2014

Post-judgment issues in Massachusetts landlord-tenant matters

Summary process proceedings, though designed to move quickly through the judicial process, can sometimes consist of substantial post-judgment litigation by attorneys practicing in landlord-tenant actions. New attorneys, especially those unfamiliar with housing law, can benefit from an understanding of these matters, as the efficient use of time is crucial to both sides in a residential summary process case. While these post-trial issues are commonplace in other civil categories, knowing the housing law challenges can be a useful tool for any young attorney who is representing either a landlord or a tenant.

Civil service law today

Civil service was a great 19th century reform to deal with the problem of patronage in public employment. However, the expense of classifying jobs and administering examinations has given way to other budget priorities in our age. Without examinations, the agencies fill up with provisional employees, who have few rights under civil service law. Public sector labor unions fulfill some of the functions of civil service, including disciplinary hearings based on "just cause" instead of "at will."