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August 7, 2018

Is the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission Going to Enforce the Cap on Host Community Agreements?

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission is finally putting some teeth into enforcement of the practice of cities and towns trying to extract additional fees from recreational marijuana businesses. At present, the law requires that recreational marijuana businesses obtain a “Host Community Agreement.” In other words, the marijuana operators must negotiate with the municipality to get their approval before they can locate their business within the community. This has opened up a point of leverage for the cities and towns to exploit their power. The Host Community Agreement allows the municipality to get a fee of up to 3 percent of their gross sales from the marijuana operators. Since the businesses must get the consent of the municipality when it applies for a license, the municipalities have used this opportunity to demand “voluntary” fees in excess of the 3 percent cap. As the Boston Globe reported recently, the municipalities are probably breaking the law.
July 9, 2018

Applying for an Alcohol License in Massachusetts

The first consideration in applying for an alcohol license in Massachusetts is to find-out if one is available. This may seem obvious but there are many factors to determine this. First, can the license be purchased from the city or town where it is located? The number of licenses available is determined by a quota system. The second question is what type of license is being sought? The availability of a license is determined in part by the type of license. Is it for a restaurant, club, hotel, package store, or other type of business? Is it a beer and wine license, or an all-alcohol license? If a license is unavailable from the city or town, then the applicant will have to purchase a license from a private party. The price will be based on the law of supply and demand. Licenses purchased from a private party are usually more expensive than those from a municipality. Once the application is made, detailed financial and personal disclosures are required. Residence and citizenship matter.
May 26, 2016

Massachusetts Car Accident Expenses – Who pays for what

You’ve been in a serious car accident along the busy roads of Greater Boston. The damage to your vehicle is great, but that doesn’t measure to the pain you’ve suffered from your injuries. Not only is your car totaled, but you’re about to receive numerous medical bills for thousands of dollars. Who pays for what? Medical Bills The state of Massachusetts follows the “no fault” system. When injury occurs from a car accident, automobile insurance will pay up to $2,000 of the medical bills. After that $2,000, either your healthcare coverage, or P.I.P.(Personal Injury Protection) if you did not have health insurance during the accident, will cover the amount appropriate with the insurance you bought. However, P.I.P. will only cover up to $8,000. In addition to P.I.P., Medical Payments (“MedPay”) coverage may also be available to cover medical bills. Unllike P.I.P., which is compulsory, MedPay is optional. In other words, your policy may have it but it is not required. MedPay is a good supplement to P.I.P. and healthcare coverage and having it may reduce your exposure to having to repay the costs incurred by the health insurance carrier when a case settles.
March 4, 2016

Town of Grafton, Massachusetts tries to permanently suspend beer and wine license of local business

My client, Village Dairy in Grafton, Massachusetts had served alcohol to a minor during a sting operation in 2013.  The Town of Grafton tried to suspend their beer and wine license permanently because this had happened before.  I successfully appealed the decision to the ABCC in Boston.  The ABCC directed the Town of Grafton to reinstate the license.  The town refused.  I successfully re-appealed the decision.  The ABCC again directed the town to reinstate the license but the town refused.  At that point, I asked the ABCC to reinstate the license, which the ABCC did in 2015. The Post Office Pub story is about a restaurant in Grafton which had multiple violations for selling to an underage minor but in that case, the town only suspended its license for three days.  The issue is why the selectmen gave The Post Office Pub a slap on the wrist but decided to punish my client, Village Dairy, with a permanent revocation of its license.
September 14, 2015

Car Accidents Require a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer

Car accidents happen all the time, and they oftentimes leave one or both parties with injuries that require medical attention. Medical bills are expensive. You didn’t ask to be in a car accident; you are the victim, but don’t be financially victimized too. Hire a personal injury lawyer to fight for your interests, and make sure you are compensated for your medical bills and suffering. Personal injury lawyers are especially important when you are in a wreck with a big rig or other large corporately insured vehicle. The insurance and transportation companies want to settle with you as quickly as possible. Do not sign any papers they put in front of you without a lawyer present even if what they are offering seems like a lot of money. If you waive them of liability and it turns out you have more extensive medical bills than you thought at the time of signing, you are out of luck; you will have to cover the costs for yourself.
July 22, 2014

Domestic Violence Laws in Massachusetts

In the state of Massachusetts, domestic violence laws include physical harm or the intent to physically harm, the infliction of fear of physical harm, and involuntary sexual relationship against a family or other household member. This crime is especially serious if the victim was violated by the suspect while a protective order was in place. Definition of a household member: people who are or have once been married individuals that have children together individuals that are related through marriage or by blood individuals who live together are have lived together, such as roommates Assault can range from actual physical harm or the intent to commit physical harm against another individual. This means that even a serious threat to commit physical harm can be considered assault. Simple assault is in itself a crime, but in Massachusetts, assault against a family or household member is considered a much more serious offense. In addition, stalking can be considered domestic violence if it is proven that the suspect intended to cause bodily harm or inflict fear to a household member. Repeatedly calling, emailing, or attempting to contact an individual after it was made clear they want contact severed can be considered stalking. Stalking can […]
August 23, 2013

New Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines – August 1, 2013

The Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines have been revised and went into effect on August 1, 2013. You may read the official document:  Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. Here are some of the highlights: 1.    If you have two or more children, there will be a slight upward adjustment in the amount of child support paid.  The adjustment will remain the same for one child. 2.    Income will be attributed to a spouse if the court determines that the spouse could be employed, or is underemployed and could be earning more. 3.    Modification of a child support order will occur when there is a deviation between the child support order and what the level of child support should be under the new Child Support Guidelines.
April 23, 2013

Parenting your children through divorce

The bottom line is, kids feel healthiest when their parents get along and divorce does not make things easier. There are several things you can do as parents to help manage parenting through your divorce. Breaking the News Depending on age, discuss the process openly in your family.  If possible, include both parents in the discussion.  Emphasize that while the family is changing, it is not ending.  Divorce means that a marriage is over, it does not mean that a parent’s relationship to his or her child is over.  Your children should feel secure that both their parents love them and neither parent will leave their lives.  Make sure they understand that the divorce is not their fault, that there is nothing that they can or should do to change things.  Remember to answer their questions with as much care and honesty as possible.  They will probably have quite a few questions, and answering them, repeatedly if necessary, will help them regain the sense of security that they’ve lost.  
March 29, 2013

Massachusetts Alimony Law and how it could affect You

The Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act was signed into law in 2011 and became effective a little over a year ago. This law brought about sweeping new changes in the way alimony is awarded in the state, and many orders issued prior to its enactment could be modified as a result. One of the biggest changes brought about by this act was the length of time a spouse may receive alimony. In the past, alimony was sometimes awarded for an indefinite period even when marriages lasted less than 20 years. The current law requires couples to have been legally married for at least 20 years before alimony will be awarded indefinitely. Those who were married less than that amount of time may receive spousal support for a period of time ranging from 50% to 80% of the number of months married depending on the length of the union. Alimony may be suspended under certain conditions including if the recipient later remarries. If he or she cohabitates with another for a period of time that exceeds three months, a judge may also order alimony be suspended. In most instances, payments will automatically cease when the spouse who is ordered to pay reaches […]
December 6, 2012

Options Available When Getting Divorced

Last night The Divorce Center and the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council presented a joint program, entitled, Options Available When Getting Divorced, at the Watertown Public Library in Watertown, Massachusetts. Attorneys David Rubin, Miriam Kosowsky, Linda Sternberg, and Linda Cohan, a collaboratively-trained coach, explained the options that are available to individuals when they are getting divorced. Attorney Rubin, a trial lawyer in Framingham, said that the best approach depends upon the facts of each case. In situations where there is physical or emotional abuse, litigation is probably the best course of action. The filing of a 209A restraining order, for instance, may result in the issuance of a Stay Away Order to the spouse who is abusing the other spouse or children and an Order to Vacate the Marital Home. The purpose of this is to protect the victim from irreparable harm if the abuse is not addressed immediately. Once the situation at home is stabilized, the parties can come to court again to obtain Temporary Orders to address other issues, such as Child Support, Parenting Plans, Health Insurance and other matters.
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