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Legal Blog

Parking lot Accidents

You may have heard the song, “Parking Lot Party”? Well getting in a car accident in a parking lot is no party. It is one of the most common locations for a car accident and one of the most difficult to obtain a recovery from. The insurance companies have all but thrown their hands up in the air and generally make the dertmination that both parties are equally at fault unless you can convince your

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The Reality of Assault and Battery in Massachusetts.

Harry Hands sees Sally Shoulder. Harry likes Sally. He calls to her and she does not answer. Perhaps she is ignoring him. Perturbed, he walks up to her and taps her on the shoulder. Did Harry break the law? The answer is probably yes. Under Massachusetts law, an assault is when you place someone in fear that they are about to be touched. The battery is when they are actually and intentionally touched and that

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Consent to search of vehicle does not extend to engine compartment.

A recent Supreme Judicial Court decision has limited the scope of what constitutes a permissable search of a vehicle when consented to by the Operator of that vehicle. In a 4-3 decision in the Hampden County case Commonwealth v. Anthony C. Ortiz, Chief Justice Ralph Gants wrote: “In this case we must decide whether a driver’s consent to allow the police to search for narcotics or firearms ‘in the vehicle’ authorizes a police officer to

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Should an abuser get unsupervised parenting time with their children?

Over and over again, I come face to face with a huge inadequacy of our Probate Court system and I want/need to vent about it today. I have several clients whose soon to be ex spouses have either been convicted of domestic abuse or are in the process of facing criminal charges for it. All of my clients happen to be women but there are many cases where the abuser is a woman and the

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Are you an immediate threat?

Did you know that the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) can pull anyone’s license on the basis of the fact that they pose an immediate threat to the public. Let’s say that you get pulled over by the police and the police call the RMV and tell them that you were driving erratically, the registry can immediately suspend your license. Indefinitely. Your only recourse at this point would be a registry hearing. Let’s say the

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Divorce and College Financial Aid

Believe it or not there is an upside to divorce when it relates to matters of college financial aid. The FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) is the dreaded form that every parent with college aged children must fill out every year. In conventional families, the income of both parents is taken into consideration. In divorced families, the custodial parent fills out the FAFSA and it’s only their income that’s considered. In many cases,

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A day in the life of an ambulance chaser

Having done personal injury work for the last 23 years, people often tease me about being an ambulance chaser. When I was describing a case to a friend (without revealing any confidential information), she was blown away with what the attorney has to deal with in these types of situations. Far too many times in my career, I have gotten a call at some odd hour from a distraught family member or friend that their

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Is mediation better than hiring a lawyer for your divorce?

As an attorney, you may think my answer to this question is a little biased. What most people don’t know is that essentially a joint divorce agreement which is what a mediator helps a couple draft, can just as easily be done by an attorney for about the same cost. There is one advantage to using an attorney however. An attorney will also take care of all of the court filing and the necessary paperwork

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What is a hung jury and what does it mean for Bill Cosby?

The recent criminal trial of famous Actor Bill Cosby ended in a hung jury. A hung jury occurs when the jury cannot unanimously agree on whether a defendant is innocent or guilty. That’s a requirement in most states in criminal cases. In civil cases however, only a majority is required. When a Judge determines that a jury will be unable to reach a verdict, he or she will declare the jury hung. The Prosecution then

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Restorative Justice

I am involved with a terrific organization called Communities for Restorative Justice (C4RJ). C4RJ partners with local police departments in an effort to steer first time offenders away from a life of crime. In an effort to bring awareness to the perpetrator of the effects of his or her crimes and healing to the victim, both parties agree to go through the process and if completed successfully, the offender avoids a criminal record. In criminal

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