The Supreme Judicial Court: A Year of Review on the Cusp of Transition

Event Start:
05/01/2024 4:00 PM
Event End:
05/01/2024 6:00 PM

Date & Time: Wednesday, May 1, 2024 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET

Webinar Fee: $65

This Program is Online Only

CPCS has approved this program for 2.0 credit hours for the YAD, YAD Appeals, Adult Criminal Trial, Adult Criminal Appeals panels.

Hon. Richard G. Stearns, U. S. District Court, District of Massachusetts


Hon. Richard G. Stearns, U. S. District Court, District of Massachusetts. Judge Stearns is a former Massachusetts Superior Court judge and the author of the MASSACHUSETTS CRIMINAL LAW: A PROSECUTOR'S GUIDE


Judge Stearns will begin with what he considers the most important recent Supreme Court decisions which had an impact on Supreme Judicial Court jurisprudence, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen being a prominent example.

Similarly, Judge Stearns will be discussing what he considers the most important of the Supreme Judicial Court’s criminal law cases of the past year (as of the time of this description). These cases include discussions of the separation of powers, the admissibility of identification evidence, threshold inquiries, the collective knowledge doctrine, as it applies to searches incident to arrest, the expanded Daye rule, the future of the third-party records doctrine, and attorney conflicts of interest.

Judge Stearns will also discuss in general, developing law governing the authentication of social media evidence, bail and pretrial detention in the post COVID-19 era, developments in the prosecution of drunk driving offenses, the implementation of the Police Reform Law, and its impact on the doctrine of qualified immunity and police practices, as well as recent cases addressing racial profiling.

Other subjects covered include a discussion of the possible impact of impending retirements of Justices Cypher and Lowy on the shape of future Supreme Judicial Court jurisprudence as well as the progress of Justice Kafker’s advocacy of rethinking of the sovereign state constitutional jurisprudence. Finally, Judge Stearns will be pointing to some cases of exceptional judicial craftsmanship and innovation, Justice Georges’s opinion in Commonwealth v. Bateman and Justice Cypher’s opinion in Diaz v. Commonwealth being prominent examples.



Online registration is encouraged. For assistance, questions on group discounts, accommodations requests, special billing, program content, out-of-state CLE credits, and general contact CLE Coordinator, Michael Saporito by email at Registrations accepted in order of receipt. Registration fees are non-refundable. Most Social Law Library CLE events are recorded and recordings are sent to all who are registered. The recording is available by digital download, generally within a week after the program date. CLE credit, when applicable, is only granted when 80 % of the live webinar is attended. To insure getting the video, please register.

Add event to: ICal Outlook Google Calendar

Event Registration


Our programs are open to all for the same price. Social Law Library Membership is NOT required. The items you wish to purchase require either a Social Law Library account, or a free guest account.

Choose one of the following options:

  • I already have a Social Law membership account. Click here
  • I am not a Social Law Library member, and I need to create a free guest account. Click here to create one.

Forgot password? Click here.