Serving up-to-the-minute information about state and federal regulation, and what it means for you…

Holding Attorneys Accountable

Have you ever had to deal with a difficult attorney? Did you ever wonder what it would take for the judge to punish that attorney, by making the attorney pay legal fees?

The Terminator: No More Parental Rights

Occasionally we’re asked what the law requires in order to terminate a parent’s rights to their child. Here’s the answer: “[A] judge must find, by clear and convincing evidence, that the natural parent is unfit to further the welfare and best interests of the child.” See Adoption of Peggy, 436 Mass. 690, 701 (2002). Beyond […]

No Really; I Promise To Pay You. (Yeah, Right!)

In another time, a man’s word was his bond. Today, it’s preferred to get a “man’s word,” in writing, as opposed to relying on his oral promise. Nonetheless, our legal system still provides for enforcement of a verbal guarantee. See Barrie-Chivian & another v. Lepler, Mass. App. Ct., No. 14-P-780, slip.op. (July 31, 2015)

Security Deposit Law in Massachusetts

Security deposits can be a major source of frustration for both landlords and tenants. A would-be immigrant family from China recently found themselves fighting over their security deposit and last month’s rent in Massachusetts courts, following a failed attempt to send their kids to Massachusetts schools. See Karaa v. Yim, Mass. App. Ct, No. 14-P-17, […]

Slip & Fall On School Property: Parent/Teacher Conferences Make All The Difference!

With winter cold settling in here in Massachusetts, it is time to get the snow blowers, shovels, and ice melt ready! But what about area schools? What obligation do cities have to keep schools and other municipal properties snow- and ice-free? One Massachusetts parent took that issue to the Supreme Judicial Court. See Wilkins v. […]

Is It Stealing If You Didn’t Think It Was?

Could you go to jail for bringing home someone’s old table or bike that is left by the side of the road? Could you be stealing, or committing “larceny,” without knowing it? A recent Massachusetts S.J.C. decision, Commonwealth v. Liebenow, held that to prove larceny, the Commonwealth must show that a defendant (1) took and […]

Massachusetts New “Earned Sick Time” Law

Are you or your business ready for the new sick leave law? Beginning July 1, 2015, Massachusetts will require employers with 11 or more employees to provide paid sick leave for all employees— including part-time employees. Employers with fewer than 11 employees must provide the same amount of sick leave, but are not required to […]

“No; Joe. Our Clients Don’t Want To See Your Awesome Tattoo.”

While your body piercings or tattoos may be fantastic expressions of your personhood, Massachusetts employers are not required to appreciate their greatness. If you have a body piercing or tattoo, or are thinking of getting one, you should know that your employer can probably make you remove it, cover it up, or even fire you […]

Hey! Can I Check Out Your Zip Code?

Do store clerks still ask you for your zip code when you pay with a credit card? Did you know that your zip code and name is enough for businesses to access your other personal information, including your address and phone number? In 2013 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that the your zip code is […]

Wait! That’s Not What I Meant to Sign!

When negotiating an agreement, parties sometimes make verbal or written commitments that are not recorded in the final, written contract. Confusion and disagreement can arise when parties disagree over whether prior or contemporaneous commitments are part of a final deal between the parties.