Latest Blogs

1 person recommends this.
In an unusual context, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently answered questions put to it by the Connecticut Supreme Court about its view of whether the decanting of a divorce litigant’s trust assets to another trust, with spendthrift provisions, was permitted by Massachusetts law. The SJC concluded that the trustee’s maneuver, which likely placed the trust assets outside the equitable division reach of the non-beneficiary’s divorcing wife, respected the probable intent of the settlor, making the asset transfer permissible, even though under the original trust’s terms, the beneficiary-husband had the unfettered right to withdraw 75% of the trust ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
At our Annual Dinner on May 4, seven attorneys and one law firm will receive Access to Justice Awards for their exemplary legal skills and service to the community. New this year, we invite you to hear the 2017 Access to Justice Award honorees’ inspiring stories in their own words on our MassBar Beat podcast. Honorees include Rebecca Jacobstein, Committee for Public Counsel Services (Defender Award); Kevin J. Curtin, Middlesex District Attorney’s Office (Prosecutor Award); Andrew Troop, Pillsbury Winthrop (Pro Bono Publico Award); Christopher Mirick, Harvest Power Inc. (Pro Bono Publico Award); Brian Flynn, Greater Boston Legal Services (Legal ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
1 comment
Be the first person to recommend this.
At least in Massachusetts, we now know two things: You shouldn’t send a bible to a judge before whom you are a litigant; and If you do, you should not expect him to rule in your favor before recusing himself. In the Appeals Court’s recent Lasher v. Lasher , a three –judge panel reversed a trial court judge who offered to entertain a motion to remove him from the case after he determined that a bible inscribed with his name sent to his lobby had been sent by the other party to the case. The non-gifting party took the judge up on his offer and sought recusal. The judge complied. But, before doing it, he denied the only other motion that was ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Over the last year, BV Wire , an excellent publication of Business Valuation Resources, LLC, has been chronicling the New Jersey trial of Wasniewski v. Walsh , in which three Superior Court judges addressed a shareholder withdrawal case, with serial appeals and remands. The issue presented is if the trial judge acted properly in applying a 15% discount for lack of marketability (“DLOM”) in setting the buyout of the withdrawing 50% shareholder, not because the interest difficult to sell, but rather to redress the plaintiff’s oppression of the shareholder-defendant. (New Jersey law apparently permits the application of a DLOM in fair value determination ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
In the Washington Court of Appeals’ recent case, Marriage of Cheng (denominated “unpublished” as in our Appeals Court Rule 1:28) the court set out an interesting marker for double counting analysis with closely held businesses that are valued by income methodologies: if it is a business with expectations for income growth, awarding alimony (they call it “maintenance”) from its future earnings is not a “double recovery” or, as we call it “double count” or “double dip”. The husband in Cheng ran a consulting business with 2013 net income to the owner of over $900,000.00. Both experts valued the practice by capitalizing the “excess earnings” over the owner’s ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
I need to find out about the criminal history about a Chilean citizern in his home country and in other countries. What is the best way to do this?
1 comment
1 person recommends this.
"I just want it to be over with." It's a phrase that most experienced mediators have heard fairly often. It's almost always heard in private caucus, to be concealed from the other side, but not infrequently we hear it in both rooms. The parties are stuck and in agreement only on the shared desire to make the case go away. And so what is a mediator to do? Obviously, we have a number of tools in the mediation tool box to deal with impasse, including use of brackets to move the parties closer, or a "mediator's proposal. If none of those work, there is a hybrid procedure called "Med/Arb," the process by which a mediator (by agreement of the parties) switches hats ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
[ Preface : We do not accept parenting coordinator assignments, but as divorce mediators, we do address parenting coordination in agreements from time to time, with clients. Our observations follows the order of appearance in the rule and not any editorial priority.] 1. No review process for binding PC decisions : Rule (1)(e) asserts that a PC appointment does not divest a court of continuing jurisdiction over child matters even where the parties have agreed to [PC] binding decision-making authority... But, Rule 1-17 provides no special limitation on the scope of issues on which an agreed PC may make binding decisions. More surprisingly, there is no requirement ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
I recently moderated the Second Annual Cybersecurity and Healthcare panel discussion, produced by HITECH Answers , with some all-star panelists: Mac McMillan, Lee Barrett, Bridget Wahlstrom and Iliana Peters. We discussed a range of current issues, and prognosticated about the future. Check out the video, below. Heres the introduction that I offered to set the stage for our conversation: It seems that almost every day we read news of a new significant breach, a new ransomware attack, a new settlement with the HHS Office of Civil Rights . There are also other areas of concern for those of us who are employed by or who represent health care providers ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
The Appeals Courts recent Ludwig v. Lamee-Ludwig approaches the intersection of unvested stock options and double counting, colloquially known as double dipping, in divorce litigation. Relying on the Supreme Judicial Courts (SJC) Bacanti v. Morton, they got it right. But, was the SJC precedent correctly decided? It is worth revisiting. In Baccanti, the SJC addressed the question of unvested stock options at divorce, concluding that options granted during marriage but to be vested thereafter may be treated as marital property by the trial court. As we have discussed here before, may is plainly a word that grants discretion, meaning that the grantee is permitted, ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
From the time that I started practicing law others have told me do act in a particular way or do things differently using the argument that's how everybody else does it. In most instances this advice was accompanied by an explanation based on law, facts, or logic. In many instances I accepted this advice and changed my behavior. If a logical argument exists to do things in a better way then I support the better way. In many instances the advice could be summed up as the difference between how things are taught in school and how they are done in the real world. In a number of instances other lawyers have presented arguments to do something differently ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Both can last up to four years, eight with appeals. Both can feel a lot longer and the effects will outlast it. Facts are often alternative facts. Objective truth is aspirational. Memory is selective. Transparency is an illusion. Ad hominem is de riguer. Spokesmen never get the message quite right. Zealous is conflated with blind. Sound and fury signifies nothingbut doesnt stop anyway. Ethics are situational. Approval is conflated with effectiveness. Volume exceeds quality. Yes-men (and women) abound. People want more service for less cost. Positions over-ride interests. The person who has the last word thinks ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Imagine with us for a moment. You represent the lower earning spouse whose income is insufficient to fully meet his lifestyle needs. His job is insecure, but not enough to convince the judge to discount it as best evidence of earning capacity. Or, his spouses earnings curve is ascending, with the resulting potential for a greater alimony award for your client, if only the alimony determination were made, not now, but later. The presumed durational alimony limit is 7 years, and the potential payor is 15 years shy of social security retirement age. So, your client can play for up to 8 years time before his spouses retirement age threatens the presumed maximum ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
I recently negotiated a separation agreement in a divorce in which the opposing attorney insisted on inserting a clause that on its face prevented the parties from receiving the benefit of bankruptcy laws if one of them filed a bankruptcy petition in federal court. The clause that she tried to insert was as follows: "Each Party agrees that neither shall attempt in any way to discharge any obligations contained in this Agreement in bankruptcy proceedings, and that in the event that s/he does, any discharge in bankruptcy for any such obligations shall have no effect upon his/her responsibility as contained in the Agreement. The obligations of the ...
0 comments

My Advice for Divorce Month

Be the first person to recommend this.
My Advice for Divorce Month Posted on January 24, 2017 By: Anthony C. Adamopoulos, Divorce Arbitrator, Mediator & Collaborative Lawyer Divorce Month is almost here. In 2016, I saw one of the saddest, unnecessary, adversarial divorces ever. The cost in emotions, future harmony and money was enormous and unnecessary. So again, I urge everyone who is facing divorce to consider seriously staying out of the public adversarial divorce system. It will hurt and it will hurt way into the future. Staying out of the system generally means choosing one of two processes, either confidential mediation or confidential Collaborative ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Sometimes, a Massachusetts Appeals Court Rule 1:28 Memorandum and Order (a/k/a unpublished opinion) addresses an issue or cluster of issues that make it noteworthy, despite its paucity of detail and lack of formal precedential value. The Appeals Courts Heystek v. Duncan is one of those cases, tackling 3 significant issues in understated but significant ways: The factor future opportunities in property division; Illiquidity as a factor of equitable distribution; and Intent in automatic restraining order violations. Future Opportunities A phrase search for M.G.L., ch. 208, 34s opportunities for future acquisition of income and ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
With more employers sending employees offshore to work, and with an increasing number of self-employed taxpayers crossing international borders for work, several international tax issues that were once only rarely encountered are becoming commonplace. One such area involves the application of key provisions in various totalization agreements that exist between the U.S. and several other countries. Dual Taxation U.S. Social Security typically applies to U.S. citizens and resident aliens employed abroad by U.S. employers as well as those engaged in self-employment activities abroad. In addition, U.S. citizens or residents working for foreign affiliates ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
In a Rule 1:28 Memorandum and Order, a panel of the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled that a pre-marital agreement applied to the death of a spouse, based on contract language that described its scope. Here is that term, fully as reported in the opinion, but broken down by clause: a final and complete settlement of all matters relating to the interest and obligations of each [party] with respect to all future property matters, including but not limited to alimony, support, maintenance, property assignment, and the rights of the parties under G.L., c. 208, 34, as amended, in the event of divorce. Yet, here is how the Appeals Court must have read it: ...
0 comments