• Find Legal Articles
Expert Witnesses

Massachusetts Legal Articles

Law related articles writen by lawyers
and experts witnesses practicing in Massachusetts



Unmarried and in a Relationship: Protecting Your Rights with a Cohabitation Agreement in Massachusetts

  June 8, 2014     By Scafidi, Juliano & Hurd, LLP
Massachusetts does not recognize any rights for a couple that cohabit. This means that if your in an unmarried relationship and it fails, you do not have the right to palimony, separate support, alimony, property division or claim for loss of consortium. On top of this, the Commonwealth does not recognize “common law marriage”.

Warrantless Blood Test Case Waits for U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision

  November 28, 2013     By Nicole Colby Longton, Attorney at Law
A recent decision by the United States Supreme Court could have a large impact on state laws relating to drunk driving. Many states, including Massachusetts, have what is known as an implied consent law. This law basically gives law enforcement the right to use blood tests or some other kind of test to determine drivers’ blood alcohol content. The reasoning behind the law is that drivers have given their consent simply by obtaining a driver’s license.

Crime Lab Mistakes Raise Concern over Convictions in Massachusetts

  November 28, 2013     By Nicole Colby Longton, Attorney at Law
The arrests of two chemists at two separate Massachusetts crime labs earlier this year have raised a lot of questions over the validity of hundreds, if not thousands of convictions in the state. In the most recent case, a chemist is alleged to have tampered with evidence in drug cases, replacing illegal drugs with non-illegal substances according to Reuters. Apparently the chemist used the drugs for her personal consumption.

What Exactly Is Federal Tax Fraud?

In most tax cases, the IRS only wants to get the money it is owed, along with some interest and penalties. In some cases, the IRS can impose a penalty for negligence, or perhaps a penalty for filing late. However, during an audit, the IRS may suspect that you have been committing tax fraud.

44 Ways to Beat the Cops

A careful review of your case may find critical mistakes. Each may work in your favor and result in a dismissal of your case

Time of Arrest is Key in Drunk Driving Arrests

What happens after you've been arrested for a OUI in Boston?

Feds Investigate Unsafe Honda Motorcycles & ATVs

Federal agencies are investigating allegations that the largest Honda dealer in the country intentionally and knowingly sold unsafe motorcycles, dirt bikes, and all terrain vehicles to the public.

How to Deal with Foorne Illness and Infection

Listeria, salmonella, vibrio, and campylobacter are some of the main pathogens that cause foorne infections and illnesses in our country. The University of Massachusetts recently completed a five-year study of Salmonella to identify ways to prevent and detect foorne illness bacteria that has been making millions throughout our country seriously ill.

Stay Safe This Summer

Accident risks will remain disproportionately high over the next few weeks, as thousands of Bostonians take to the highways for summer trips and vacations. The months of May right through August are some of the most accident-prone months of the year, with the most dangerous days of the year falling during these weeks.

Massachusetts High Court Extends Retaliation Protection to Former Employees

  By Kurker Law
On May 12, 2011, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) upheld a trial court ruling that an employer who filed a baseless lawsuit against a former employee, two years after that employee had filed a discrimination charge against the employer with the MCAD, violated the anti-retaliation provisions of Massachusetts General Law chapter 151B, §§4(4) and (4A).

How Employers Can Host A Summer Party Without Getting Burned

  By Kurker Law
From Memorial Day barbeques, Fourth of July fireworks, Labor Day soirees and many pub-crawls and Friday afternoon happy hours in between, the summer season offers employees and employers the opportunity to bond outside of the workplace. While these events can serve to strengthen employment relationships and build morale, they also can be a hotbed for employer liability.

Massachusetts High Court Rules Whether Employee that Accepted Lay-Off Package Gets Unemployment

  By Kurker Law
On June 16, 2011, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) considered whether the plaintiff, a former employee of Verizon, was entitled to unemployment benefits even though she accepted an incentive-based voluntary termination package. Affirming a decision by the district court, the SJC ruled that the former employee, Kristen Connolly, was not entitled to unemployment benefits because she could not show that her decision to leave her job was involuntary.

Massachusetts Extends Protection to Transgendered Employees

  By Kurker Law
On November 23, 2011, Governor Patrick signed a bill that protects transgendered individuals from discrimination in employment. “An Act Relative To Gender Identity,” makes Massachusetts the 16th state to extend protected class status to its 33,000 residents who identify as transgender. The law will become effective on July 1, 2012. The passage of this bill follows Governor Patrick’s February 2011 executive order prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in state employment.

Massachusetts Extends Protection to Transgendered Employees

  By Kurker Law
On November 23, 2011, Governor Patrick signed a bill that protects transgendered individuals from discrimination in employment. “An Act Relative To Gender Identity,” makes Massachusetts the 16th state to extend protected class status to its 33,000 residents who identify as transgender. The law will become effective on July 1, 2012. The passage of this bill follows Governor Patrick’s February 2011 executive order prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in state employment.

Round 2 of CORI Reform

  By Kurker Law
On Friday, May 4, 2012, the second round of the Criminal Offender Record Information (“CORI”) provisions become effective. The initial CORI requirements went into effect in August and November 2010. Click here to read a prior alert regarding the 2010 CORI requirements.

Choose Your Words Wisely: First Circuit Provides Employment Application Guidance

  By Kurker Law
On July 17, 2012, the First Circuit provided employers with useful guidance regarding the enforceability of an arbitration provision contained in an application for employment. The court warned employers to “choose their words wisely,” or forego the right to compel arbitration. The panel of judges ruled the arbitration clause contained in an employment application was ambiguous, and therefore, would be construed against the employer that had drafted it.

Are You at Risk of Drowsy Driving?

Drowsy driving is a very dangerous activity. It can be just as dangerous as drunk driving or driving while texting. There are certain risks that one should avoid when driving to prevent drowsy driving. Driving while sleepy or fatigued is a highly underestimated factor in auto accidents around the country. That can be seen in the fact that no state, except New Jersey, has any law that prevents persons from driving while they are sleepy or fatigued.

Considering Divorce? Ask Yourself These Important Financial Questions

Divorce is a difficult time in anyone's life, and is a route that is only taken after much thought and deliberation. Although many attempt to prepare for the consequences of a split, some of the financial implications are often overlooked.

An Example of Why Estate Planning is So Important

Although you may not know the name, you have probably read the novel or seen the movie based on the novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which was written by Larsson. Larsson was a lifelong journalist -- often authoring controversial political pieces. As do many writers, Larsson had a novel in his head that had to be put down on paper.

What Happens When You Fail to Plan for the Possibility of Your Own Death

Death is not a popular topic for obvious reasons. Most of us prefer not to spend much time thinking about the possibility of dying, at least not anytime soon. It can happen though, and being financially and practically prepared is important.

The Future of Social Security

If you have worked hard all of your life, and are at the point where you are starting to think about your golden years you are probably counting on Social Security retirement benefits to fund at least a portion of your golden years.

Something is Not Right about My Parent

If you have recently lost a parent, you are undoubtedly going through the grieving process that follows such a deep loss. The loss of a parent is never easy. If you are also concerned that something is not right about her Last Will and Testament, your grief is likely also joined by worry.

Estate Planning for the GLBT Community

Marriage in the United States is much more than an emotional commitment between two people--it is an official status that comes with numerous financial and legal benefits to the partners. Anyone who is in a same sex relationship is all too aware of this fact.

The Hurdles Faced by America

If you are one of America’s farmers or ranchers, estate planning includes some significant hurdles for you that it does not include for other types of businesses. Although estate planning is always important, for a farmer or rancher it often takes on a heightened importance to ensure that the farm or ranch assets are not lost to estate taxes upon your death.

More Steps Needed to Prevent Worker Fatalities in Massachusetts

A total of 58 workers died in accidents on the job in Massachusetts in 2011. That translates into approximately 1.1 worker fatalities every week. That’s not even including the number of people killed by occupational diseases. According to a new report Dying for Work in Massachusetts, approximately 580 Massachusetts workers died from occupational illnesses in 2011. At least 1,800 workers are believed to have been diagnosed with work exposure-related cancer in 2011.

Feeling Conflicted about Seeking Guardianship of a Parent? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t

For any adult child who is facing the decision whether or not to petition to become his parent’s legal guardian, feelings of conflict are normal. Being appointed as your parent’s guardian is the ultimate in role reversal. Many adult children feel as though seeking guardianship means taking away your parent’s independence. Concerns that you may be over-reacting are also common.

Estate Planning Uncertainty in an Election Year

Creating a comprehensive estate plan is a complicated undertaking and requires a thorough understanding of all the myriad tax laws that will impact your plan. This can be difficult under normal circumstances. In an election year, it becomes increasingly difficult as the fate of many tax laws is uncertain. This is not, however, the time to become complacent. Doing nothing could cost you a substantial amount in taxes.

Are Estate Planning Documents Public Record?

In recent years, the rate at which technology has developed is mind boggling. Just a generation ago, the internet was virtually non-existent. Today almost anything can be located and viewed on the internet, giving rise to privacy concerns for many people. Are your estate documents public information?

How to Handle an Unexpected Inheritance

If you recently received a letter or a telephone call telling you that you just inherited a small fortune from a long lost relative you probably feel as though you just hit the lottery. The next thought is likely “What do I do with the money? If you are already financially secure, then you can probably answer that question yourself.

What Do I Need to Do After the Death of a Family Member?

We all hope never to need to know the answer to that question; however, if you do find yourself in the position of trying to figure out what practical steps need to be taken after the death of a loved one. It is good to know where to start. Often, the emotional impact of a death prevents us from thinking clearly. While each death may require unique steps, there are some universal steps that most people find must be taken.

Protecting Your Elderly Family Members -- Signs of Elder Abuse

The vast majority of us will need to entrust an elderly family member’s care to a stranger at some point in time. This may be for anything from a monthly home visit by a caregiver, to full-time, around the clock nursing home care. Unfortunately, statistics tell us that elderly Americans are also being abused, neglected and generally taken advantage of at an alarming rate.

Estate Planning for Parents

When it comes to making sure young children are taken care of in the context of estate planning, parents have two main areas to address the management of their children’s finances, and the upbringing of the children themselves. It’s a possibility that is tough to think about, but who should be in charge of your children and their inheritances in the unlikely event you and your spouse pass away before your children reach adulthood?

Should Motorcycle Riders be Required to Wear Helmets by Law?

The governor of Michigan just signed a law that overturned the state’s long-standing helmet requirement for motorcyclists. Senate Bill 291 overturned the 35 year old safety requirement that was created to protect motorcycle riders from traumatic brain injuries and fatalities in the event of a crash. This decision has sparked national controversy and debates about the costly affects that the repeal will have on the lives of motorists in the state.

Passing on a Worcester Family Business

As the owner of a Worcester family owned small business, you have likely devoted your lifetime to growing the business from the ground up. As a result, you certainly have a stake in the future of the business, including what will happen to it upon your death. You have probably considered passing down the business to your children, but is this a wise choice?

Estate Planning and Tax Consequences for Leominster Residents

As a Leominster resident, you have probably given considerable thought and consideration to how you wish to structure your estate plan in order to transfer your estate assets to family members and loved ones upon your death.

The Landscape of Broker-Dealer Compliance and Exception Reporting Systems

The landscape of compliance and exception reporting has changed significantly since 2002. Many brokerage firms were resistant to advancing their compliance and supervision efforts for years based on two factors: that the regulatory “bar” would be raised for firms using advanced compliance systems, and that the data, notes and documentation of the system would be discoverable. As it turns out, both of these facts have come to pass.

All Attorneys Are Not Created Equal

Picture this: you find out you need heart surgery, and you bypass the board certified heart specialist in favor of your family practitioner, just to save some money. It’s a ridiculous idea, isn’t it? And yet, when the issue is estate planning, people are quick to make a similar decision. All too often, clients entrust the future security and well-being of their families to lawyers who just aren’t equipped to do the type of detailed, careful planning that is necessary.

Estate Planning for a Special Needs Child

Every parent should consider estate planning as important, but it is extremely important if you have a special needs child. When a parent has an estate plan, they are given a chance to decide who will raise their minor children, and how best to set money aside for those children so that they can be cared for if the parent is no longer there to provide for them.

How to Choose a Long-Term Care Insurance Policy

With the rising cost of long-term care in our elderly years, it makes sense to look for a good long term care insurance policy early on. However there are so many different kinds of policies available that it can be very difficult to compare apples to apples. Here are some tips to make sure that you are choosing the correct company for your insurance needs.

Avoiding Tax Scams

Tax scams involve trying to cheat individuals out of their money. But it can also involve cheating the government, too. While some of these scams can be very persuasive, it is possible to stay out of their cross-hairs, if you know what to be on the lookout for.

Your Health Care Agent

Creating a durable power of attorney for health care is an important part of the estate planning process. After all, you want to make sure that the right person is in charge of your medical care in the event that you become incapacitated. Not having a durable power of attorney for healthcare can cause a variety of different issues between family members who have to make important and difficult decisions on your behalf.

Long Term Care Insurance

Planning for your care in your older years is critically important. The unfortunate fact is that so many seniors find themselves in a very bad situation in their later years because they did not create a plan that would protect their interests later in life.

Incentive Trusts

It can be a real dilemma: on the one hand, you want to pass on the wealth you’ve worked hard to earn but on the other hand, you don’t want a large inheritance to dull your children’s work ethic, or leave them with a sense of entitlement. One possible solution to this dilemma is the incentive trust.

Why a 401(k) Loan May Not be the Best Idea

Times are tough, and credit is still in limited supply. A sign of this is a recent statistic quoted by the Wall Street Journal: 30% of 401(k) savers have an outstanding loan against their retirement plan.

Not Having a Healthcare Power of Attorney May Leave You Unprepared

Part of creating your estate plan should include executing a healthcare power of attorney document. This tool allows you to have some control over your medical care, if you’re ever incapacitated. The health care power of attorney is important if you want to make sure that you’re receiving the best care possible and that someone is making good decisions on your behalf. Take a look at some of the information below, to better understand the use of the document.

Why Would Someone Renounce a Will?

Renouncing a will means giving up your inheritance as provided in the will of a deceased. But why would anyone want to give up their inheritance? Renunciation may be a tactic used by a spouse who would choose to take a share of an estate as specifically provided by state law, rather than a smaller portion of the estate that may be provided for in the will.

Dividing Your Personal Property

Unlike cash or real estate that can be divided neatly into shares, tangible personal property, including jewelry, furniture and family heirlooms, can pose a challenge when creating a Will.

Asset Planning Can Help Avoid Probate

Avoiding probate requires thoughtful planning. Creating a Living Trust through an experienced Estate Planning attorney is an important tool in ensuring your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes and without much of the hassle associated with probate. But there are a number of other tools available to help keep your assets away from the probate court.

Updating Your Grafton Will -- There May Be More Reasons to Do So Than You Realize

Your Last Will and Testament is the a starting point for your entire Grafton estate plan. For this reason, your Will should be well thought out and updated on a regular basis. While there are some precipitating events that commonly prompt most people to make a change in their Will, there are some other reasons that may also warrant an update that are frequently overlooked.

Hollywood Highlights the Need for Estate Planning

Hollywood is never short on sensational accounts of legal disputes over money. Often, these disputes are over million dollar deals for recording contracts or movie scripts of publishing rights topics that have little relevance to the average American’s life. Sometimes, though, Hollywood money disputes can be relevant and actually teach us something.



Find a Local Lawyer