Event Start:
06/11/2024 4:00 PM
Event End:
06/11/2024 6:00 PM

Date & Time: Tuesday, June 11, 2024 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Webinar Fee: $40
This program is Online Only

This CLE has been approved for 2.0 credit hours by the CPCS Adult Criminal Trial and Appeals, CAFL Trial and Appeals, YAD Trial and YAD Appeals, Mental Health and Mental Health Appeals, and SDP/SORB panels.

This program is also being offered in May for state/court attorneys; if you are a state attorney and interested in the May program please email CLE Coordinator, Michael Saporito at


Neal Quenzer, Esq., Senior Counsel, WilmerHale, former Chief Staff Counsel, Supreme Judicial Court (SJC)
Brian Harkins Senior Reference Attorney Social Law Library

Determining legislative intent is a critical component whenever interpreting Massachusetts statutory law, especially when a statute is ambiguous and susceptible to various interpretations, does not adequately address a particular issue, or when there appear to be drafting errors.

In these and other instances, the legislature’s intent must be inferred from the statute’s legislative history, which successful advocates must stitch together from a variety of sources including, but not limited to:

  • The text of the bill and proposed amendments that were accepted or rejected
  • Reports of Legislative Committees and other House and Senate documents, as well as speeches or floor debates prior to the bill’s passage
  • Executive Branch messages and related statements that might shed light on the legislative intent

WilmerHale Senior Counsel, Neal Quenzer, formerly Chief Staff Counsel for the SJC, and the Social Law Library’s Senior Reference Librarian, Brian Harkins, will show “how” and “where” to find and interpret these and other sources from which legislative intent can be deduced. The program will feature both traditional hard copy and new online resources.

Successful advocacy often depends on using the research skills that this program will teach to reconstruct a statute’s legislative history, and artfully arguing for the correct legislative intent in pleadings, briefs, and oral argument.



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 the live webinar is attended.

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