Luther Stearns Cushing


Prior to his career as Reporter for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Luther Cushing began his legal career working with Charles Sumner and George S. Hillard of "The American Jurist and Law Magazine" in Boston.

In 1832, Mr. Cushing became Clerk of the House of Representatives and held this office for fourteen years. He was then appointed as a member of the State Legislature in 1844. After this, Mr. Cushing became a judge in the Court of Common Pleas in Boston. He served in that judicial position for four years.

After his service as judge to the Court of Common Pleas, Mr. Cushing was appointed as the Reporter of Decisions. In this capacity, he prepared twelve volumes of reports (Cushing 1-12). These volumes covered the period from 1850 through 1856, the final year being the year of Mr. Cushing's death.

Mr. Cushing is best recognized for his "Manual of Parliamentary Practice" (Boston, 1844), a work that became a main reference for proceedings in deliberative assemblies. This work is usually referred to as "Cushing's Manual," and it is used in legal meetings and legislative activities to this day. Another contribution to the subject of assemblies is Cushing's "Elements of the Law and Practice of Legislative Assemblies" (1856).

Mr. Cushing's other literary contributions include two treatises: "Treatise on Trustee Process" (1837) and "Treatise on Remedial Law" (1837); and several translations, such as an English translation of Savigny's "Recht des Besitzes," law of possession (1838), Pothier's "De la vente," contract of sale (1839), and Mattermaier on "Effect of Drunkenness on Criminal Responsibility" (1841). Mr. Cushing also compiled "Reports of Controverted Election Cases in Massachusetts" (1852).

Mr. Cushing was the sole graduate from Harvard Law School in 1826. He lectured at Harvard from 1848 to the time of his death. He was born in Lunenberg, Massachusetts, on June 22, 1803, and died in Boston on his date of birth in 1856.

Office of the Reporter of Decisions  

The Reporter of Decisions makes true reports of decisions upon all questions of law argued by counsel before the Supreme Judicial Court and the Appeals Court, and prepares them for publication, in print and electronic form, with suitable headnotes, tables of cases, and indexes.

Massachusetts Court System  

The Massachusetts court system consists of the Supreme Judicial Court, the Appeals Court, the Executive Office of the Trial Court, the 7 Trial Court departments, the Massachusetts Probation Service, and the Office of Jury Commissioner.