As we enter the summer months, we can expect to again hear of air pollution alerts. This is due to ground level or "bad" ozone that is created by chemical reactions between nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight. Exposure to VOCs can have adverse health effects depending on the length and type of exposure and the toxicity of the chemical.
If your contract doesn't have an arbitration clause, and a dispute arises you will most likely end up in Court. That means time, expense, legal fees and, in most cases, a result which is less than satisfactory. Arbitration offers an excellent alternative to resolving disputes in Court.
For many years, divorced people in Massachusetts subject to alimony orders have been unable to retire because they would not earn enough from Social Security and their 401(k) accounts to continue making the required alimony payments. Those days are over for most individuals, thanks to recent alimony reform legislation.
In 2011, the Massachusetts legislature enacted a bill that made sweeping changes to the alimony laws. Effective March 1, 2012, the new law affects alimony orders that were in effect at the time the law was passed, as well as new alimony orders going forward.
The nationwide foreclosure crisis has attracted much media attention. Revelations included robo-signed mortgage documents and courts voiding home mortgage foreclosures by financial institutions lacking documentation that they even owned the mortgage. A similar but less publicized situation is credit card debt collection. About $100 billion in credit card debt is sold annually in the U.S.
With another Valentine's Day upon us, some of you may be wondering what to get that special someone in your life. Instead of flowers and candy, neither of which last very long, you could give your loved ones the lasting gift of planning for your death or incapacity. It may seem morbid, but as Ben Franklin said "there's nothing certain except death and taxes." Putting an estate plan in place now could provide your loved ones with the tools to deal with your incapacity or death.
Many of us have learned that a Thanksgiving meal with family can quickly turn into a real stomachache. Your sister suggests that it might be time to get help caring for Dad, and your brother responds that's not necessary. An argument ensues, feelings are hurt, and nothing is resolved. Many times the children agree to put their feelings aside and reconcile to keep Dad happy. But what happens when Dad no longer has the capacity to realize that the family is fighting? Worse yet, what happens after Dad passes away and these feelings resurface, but Dad is no longer alive to keep the peace?
Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR, has become increasingly popular in recent years for providing more efficient and cost-effective ways to resolve legal disputes. The "Alternative" in ADR refers to dispute resolution procedures that are an alternative to filing a lawsuit in court. In Massachusetts, state budget limitations have led to staffing cuts nearing 20% since 2007. This has caused "tremendous voids" in court operations and "a real crisis," in the words of a top state judicial official.
The Massachusetts law regarding homesteads received a significant overhaul recently. The new law, effective March 16, 2011, clarifies many questions not addressed by the prior statute, and at the same time affords new protections to homeowners.
While the terms "Loss Payee" and "Lender's Loss Payable" sound similar, there is a world of difference between the protections afforded the lender as it relates to a lender's ability to recover on an insurance loss to machinery, equipment or other personal property where the policy carries a "Lender's Loss Payable" endorsement.
Every year, about 350 home heating oil spills are reported in Massachusetts. Many are leaks from tanks and supply lines. Since last fall, Massachusetts law has required owners of residential oil-heating systems to upgrade their equipment to prevent such leaks.