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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 3: Rules; power to make and promulgate

Section 3. The courts shall, respectively, make and promulgate uniform codes of rules, consistent with law, for regulating the practice and conducting the business of such courts in cases not expressly provided for by law, for the following purposes:

First, Simplifying and shortening pleadings and procedure.

Second, Prescribing the terms upon which amendments will be allowed or unnecessary counts and statements stricken from the record; discouraging negligence and deceit; preventing delay; securing parties from being misled; placing the party not in fault as nearly as possible in the condition in which he would have been if no mistake had been made; distinguishing between form and substance; and substituting fixed and certain requirements for the discretion of the court.

Third, Conducting trials.

Fourth, Presenting distinctly the questions to be tried by the jury.

Fifth, Giving a party such notice of the evidence which is intended to be offered by the adverse party as will prevent surprise and enable him to prepare for trial.

Sixth, Prescribing such forms of verdicts as will place upon record the finding of the jury.

Seventh, The entry of judgment by the clerk under a general order in all cases ripe for judgment.

Eighth, Expediting the decision of causes and securing the speedy trial thereof.

Ninth, Remedying abuses and imperfections in practice and diminishing costs.

Tenth, Filing and hearing motions to set aside verdicts and notifying adverse parties thereof.

Tenth A, Making effective the declaratory procedure provided by chapter two hundred and thirty-one A.

[There is no clause Tenth B.]

Eleventh, The superior court may also make and promulgate such rules for the regulation of the printing, publication and distribution of trial lists and for notifying attorneys of trials in civil causes as the public convenience in the several counties requires.

The rules of the superior court, promulgated under the authority of this section, shall be subject to the approval of the supreme judicial court.