Partners Patrick T. Jones and Richard W. Paterniti recently obtained a landmark decision in favor of a patient in a medical malpractice case from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of their client. In this decision, the SJC created new law and adopted an evidentiary rule (Mass. R. Evid 804(a)(3)) that allows a declarant to be deemed unavailable for the purposes of an exception to the hearsay rule if he or she testified to a lack of memory about the subject matter in question. In this case, the SJC determined that a lack of memory allowed the declarant to be deemed unavailable for admission of a statement against the interest of the declarant, an exception to the hearsay rule. The Court vacated the jury’s verdict against the firm’s client, ordered a new trial, and, with the new law, will allow previously excluded critical evidence to be admitted.

Click the link to read the Court’s full decision: