Articles

February 17, 2021

What does it mean to be “held in contempt” by the court?

Contempt is a tool used by Probate and Family Courts to enforce parties to comply with court orders. This gives the court power to enforce judgments provided during divorce and custody proceedings. Someone who violates or disobeys a court order risks being held in contempt by the court. This includes failing to pay alimony or child support or refusal to comply with a parenting schedule ordered by the court. There are two types of contempt, civil and criminal. The purpose of civil contempt is to act as a  remedial step in enforcing compliance with a court order. In the event one party is not following a court-appointed order, the other party can file a Complaint for Contempt. This process requires the initiating party to provide a valid court order, show the defendant has knowledge of the order, and provide evidence that the defendant is willfully disobeying the order. A criminal contempt, on the other hand, is a tool to punish the defiant party. Someone found guilty of criminal contempt may face jail time. Either party can file a complaint for contempt to address non-compliance with any order, including temporary orders and final judgments. Whether you wish to file a Complaint […]
December 28, 2020

If You’ve Been Injured, Document Every Detail

When you incur an injury at the fault of another, it’s crucial to document your experience from injury to recovery. When filing a personal injury claim, the documentation needed to prove your claim is based on the nature of the injury, the events leading to an incident, and damage resulting from the accident. Every detail is essential. Follow these guidelines for documenting your injury. Official Reports First, immediately following an injury, you should seek medical attention. Doctors are required to create official reports documenting your injuries. Even if the injury doesn’t appear to be severe, having medical documentation can provide a baseline for injuries resulting from an incident later down the road. Be sure to request a copy of the medical report for your records. If any official workers attend your accident, such as police officers or emergency medical staff, you can request copies of their official reports. These reports are considered public record and can be obtained by all parties. Such information can provide a starting point for an investigation into your personal injury claim. Depending on where your injury occurred, additional incident reports may also exist. For example, if you are injured at a business, employees are sometimes […]
December 16, 2020

Understanding Medical Malpractice in Massachusetts

Medical negligence is an unfortunate outcome, often attributed to an overburdened medical care system. Many parties can be held liable for negligence, from hospitals to doctors, nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, and pharmacists. Medical malpractice is defined as negligence in the medical care and treatment provided by a healthcare professional. There are many different types of medical malpractice claims. Injury from the following can be the result of medical negligence: failure to correctly diagnose a condition a misdiagnosed illness failure to adequately communicate with other medical providers prescribing the wrong medication or wrong dosage premature discharge or poor aftercare leaving a foreign object inside the body These are merely a few circumstances that can result from medical negligence. If you believe you have suffered an injury or a family member has passed away due to medical malpractice, contact us to discuss your situation. Massachusetts has specific legal requirements regarding medical malpractice cases. For example, when a claim can be made, damage limits and evidence requirements are strictly enforced. Proving your healthcare provider was negligent can be a difficult task. Massachusetts requires your medical malpractice attorney to take part in a tribunal panel to review evidence of negligence. A tribunal consists of […]
December 11, 2020

When to Modify Your Divorce Agreement

How long has it been since you terminated your marriage? Have your circumstances changed since then? While your divorce may last forever, your divorce agreement can change over time. There are many reasons to consider modifying your divorce agreement. Some examples include: a significant change in income that will impact child support or alimony payments a job change requiring a move needs of aging children the remarriage of the party awarded the alimony Child Support Modifications With regard to child support, you can request to modify your original order. Regardless of changing circumstances, under the child support guidelines, you are entitled to review your child support agreement every three years. Modifications to increase or decrease payments can be requested. Factors such as education, training, health, past employment history, and employment availability will be considered by the Massachusetts courts when determining modifications. Hardships and loss of employment will also be considered. Alimony Modifications A change in circumstance that significantly alters the financial situation must occur before the court considers an alimony modification. Whether seeking to increase or decrease alimony payments, a number of factors can be used to justify a change. For example, a job change, such as a demotion or […]
November 16, 2020

Will Independent Operators Be Allowed to Deliver Marijuana?

It is unfortunate that the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) postponed its vote a few weeks ago to expand delivery licenses to independent operators.  Under the current law, delivery is allowed only for medical marijuana patients.  For recreational use, however, delivery must be connected to an existing cannabis business, a la an “uberEats” style courier.  This format has had the effect of allowing a few large companies to dominate the market and stifle competition. The proposed expansion would allow two delivery licenses for the recreational use of cannabis.  The first would be for marijuana operators who buy products wholesale from growers.  The second license would allow the courier to charge a fee to make deliveries from retailers and dispensaries licensed by the state.  Both delivery license formats are also reserved explicitly for participants in Massachusetts’ Social Equity or Economic Empowerment programs, designed to allow individuals from communities most harmed by a decades long drug war to benefit from the emergence of the new industry, for a period of three years. On October 20, 2020, the CCC voted in favor of the new rules but a group of lawmakers from the legislature sought and received a delay in implementing the liberalized […]
October 2, 2020

How much time do I have to file a personal injury case in Massachusetts?

The timeframe in which you have to file your lawsuit is called the statute of limitations. Each state sets its own laws and regulations regarding time limits to file various claims. The majority of personal injury cases in Massachusetts have a statute of limitations of three years. The statute of limitations begins on the date in which the personal injury incident occurs. Therefore, you generally have three years from this date to start your lawsuit. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. For instance, if you are involved in a hit and run accident, a suit must begin within six months after you learn the defendant’s identity, and within three years of the accident. This includes filing for property damage, personal injury, or death. There also needs to be proper documentation of the time and place of the accident to the police and Registrar of Motor Vehicles within 30 days after the accident. Another exception involves actions against the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. You only have two years to file a suit for injuries you sustain as a passenger on public transit. To ensure your personal injury case is processed, you are encouraged to start your complaint immediately. […]
September 9, 2020

Liability And Wrongful Death With Covid-19

In Massachusetts, over 8, 000 people have already died from Covid-19. Along with hospitals, many of these deaths have also occurred in overcrowded, ill-prepared long-term care facilities. Despite this, many people continue to act as if there is no danger, with no regard for the deadly consequences of their actions. From inappropriate beach parties thrown by dozens or hundreds of teenagers at once, to thousands gathering to exercise their constitutional rights in protest, many Americans—and many Massachusetts residents—have knowingly and willingly acted in defiance of government safety recommendations. For the grieving survivors of COVID-19 victims or for patients slowly recovering, they may wonder—can these people be held liable for these reckless actions? Is this negligence and can one file a wrongful death claim if they caught Covid-19 at one of these gatherings and died? New Law Shields Many from Liability In April, a new law came into effect in Massachusetts that shields all caregivers, medical professionals, and medical facilities from liability for wrongful death or injury in the period beginning March 10, when coronavirus led to a state of emergency declaration. The bill, which also shields certain volunteer groups from liability, shields from liability any doctor, nurse, caregiver—or the facilities […]
September 4, 2020

Divorce When Only One Partner Lives in Massachusetts

Many married couples live separately, even across state lines, for reasons which have nothing to do with the health of their marriage. However, when living across state lines from each other, couples may find their marriage at a crossroads and begin considering divorce. Perhaps distance has created serious problem in the relationship or laid bare preexisting problems. Perhaps one partner has moved away, even across state lines, as part of a trial separation. Or perhaps a history of domestic violence and a need for safety has compelled one spouse to put considerable distance between his or her person and the other spouse. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt life, some people may find themselves stymied by closed courts, recommendations against travel, and derailed moving plans. Many are wondering how to file for divorce in Massachusetts. Whatever the circumstances that have led to divorce, if one member of a couple lives in Massachusetts and the other does not, there are certain requirements that need to be met before filing for divorce. Divorce in Massachusetts: An Overview First, it is helpful to review the types of divorce available in Massachusetts, as these rules can have an impact on whether a spouse […]
August 17, 2020

Follow These 5 Steps if You’re Involved in a Serious Automobile Accident

Despite advancing technology in auto safety, millions of car accidents still result in injury. If you’re involved in an automobile accident in Massachusetts, there are several steps to protect your rights and maximize your payout. Knowing how to navigate an experience resulting in a personal injury or property damage can go a long way in helping you recoup medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. To help you prepare, here are five tips to guide you through the post-car-accident process. Step 1: Dial 911 If you are able to do so, the first thing you want to do when you’re involved in an auto accident is to pull over safely and dial 911. The dispatcher will need information on the location of the accident, known injuries, and who is needed for help, such as paramedics and firemen. When police arrive on the scene, you are required to cooperate in their investigation of the accident. Law enforcement is not required to hear your version of transpired events and will most likely only obtain basic information. In the event an officer feels you have violated Massachusetts traffic law, you may be issued a traffic citation. Keep in mind this is […]
May 27, 2020

When Your Co-Parent Is an Essential Worker

Custody and COVID-19 These are difficult times for everyone, but for divorced and blended families there are particular and unique challenges. Many of these challenges center around custody. In a time when travel is discouraged and transportation—by plane, train, or public transit—is limited and fraught with worry, moving children between households, especially across great distances, is difficult. Also, there are concerns about safety. When the other parent lives in another state where social distancing restrictions are much laxer, it may create anxiety about children’s safety. After all, there is much still unknown about this virus, but there is growing evidence that children can suffer a delayed inflammatory response to coronavirus infection. Moreover, even if a child recovers quickly, there is a risk for a child passing the disease onto a diabetic parent, immunocompromised sibling, or fragile grandparent. Complicating factors is when the other custodial parent is an essential worker, whether a doctor, nurse, public safety officer, or grocery store worker. Again, while the virus remains mysterious, scientists generally agree that front-line workers are at a higher risk for exposure to the virus. There is also a significantly increased risk for front-line workers to bring home COVID-19 to their families. Searching […]
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