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

Homeowners: Emails to Contractors Could Establish a Contract!

Having work done on your home? Be careful when you are exchanging emails with contractors, or you may end up with an extra lien on your home!

Domestic Violence Help At Your Job

Public scrutiny has recently focused on the NFL’s response to accusations against its players of domestic violence. Massachusetts is currently addressing another side of domestic violence— employers’ treatment of the victims of domestic violence. On August 8, 2014, Governor Deval Patrick signed a new law that requires employers with fifty or more employees to provide […]

Putting Police Interviews on the Hot Seat

Recent news coverage has increased public concern over the police’s treatment of suspects, witnesses, and bystanders. Family members of individuals with special needs may fear that their loved one’s special needs will put him or her at increased risk in an encounter with police or the legal system. Concern is merited. In some situations, special […]

No You Can’t Have A “Sneaky Sleepover” With My Daughter! Oh; I Guess You Can.

Online sexual predators are a legitimate and terrifying concern for many parents. Can a parent get a restraining order to protect his or her teenager against someone the parent dislikes? An S.J.C. case limits the situations where a protective order may be issued.

Surprise! You Have a 17 Year Old Child You Never Knew. Now Pay Up!

Massachusetts laws provide formulas for the calculation of child support, but judges have considerable discretion to adjust their child support orders to fit individual circumstances. In one interesting case, a judge’s child support order required a father to pay seventeen years’ worth of back child support. See O’Meara v. Doherty, 53 Mass. App. Ct. 599 […]

My Employer Isn’t Paying Me!

The Massachusetts Wage Act was first enacted in 1879 to ensure that municipalities paid “laborers” a minimum weekly wage. The Wage Act has been expanded over time to include all private employers, generally requiring them to pay employees’ wages weekly or bi-weekly. See G.L. c. 149, § 148. If employers fail to pay wages, the […]

Is Your Yard a Lawsuit Waiting to Happen?

Summer is here, and it’s time for pools, trampolines, and outdoor fun. Is there danger lurking in your yard or your neighbor’s property? Outdoor equipment can be a major source of liability for homeowners and landlords. In recent years, Massachusetts courts have increased landowners’ potential liability for injuries suffered by visitors. A 2013 S.J.C. case […]

New Guidance on Alimony Reform Act of 2011

In 2011 the Massachusetts legislature completely overhauled the alimony system, eliminating lifetime alimony. Appeals of alimony cases under the new law are now reaching appellate courts for review. The recent Massachusetts Appeals Court decision in Hassey v. Hassey is one of the first broad appellate treatments of the Alimony Reform Act of 2011. See Hassey […]

Nice Try, Sistah!

Have you ever signed a contract while you were upset about something—angry, sad, depressed, or ill? In Massachusetts, a contracting party must be able to understand the nature and quality of the transaction or grasp its significance. A “mental breakdown” may be enough to avoid enforcement of a contract, but it will require medical evidence […]

Leave Me Alone!

Have you or a loved one been the target of abusive or harassing conduct? Is there someone that you wish would just leave you alone? This year the S.J.C. clarified what is needed to obtain a “harassment prevention order” in Massachusetts.