Author Archives: George Bourguignon
I am a public employee and I think I might have been fired for my first amendment expressions, what can I do and what do I have to prove?
24 February 2023 Answer: You can bring a claim in court, and what you have to prove is to meet the burden shifting test enunciated in a 1977 United States Supreme Court decision named Mt. Healthy City Sch. Dist. Bd. of Educ. v. Doyle. The Mt. Healthy standard was just applied to a recent case […]
My adversary in a civil action in Connecticut just sought to withdraw his jury claim, what does this mean and what should I do?
23 February 2023 Answer: It means that the other party made a jury claim earlier in the case and paid $400.00 for it and the case was set for jury and now they want it to be tried in front of a judge instead (and they also may want their $400 returned). What to do […]
I sued someone and they responded in their answer with sidestepping, indirect statements that neither admitted nor denied my allegations, what can I do?
22 February 2023 Answer: Move to strike the offensive responses and have them deemed admitted. Alternatively, you may simply regard them as admitted and proceed accordingly. It is common for defendants of claims when answering the complaint to provide evasive responses to many of the allegations when they really should just expressly admit them. In […]
Settlement of class actions is tricky business.
7 February 2023 As a general matter, settlement of a class action, either before or after a class is certified, requires court approval. The concern is that the named parties collude to settle the matter at the expense of the purported class. In more specific words, that the plaintiff will improperly use the threat of […]
I was just kicked out of college after an investigation by the school that wasn’t a fair one, do I have rights to challenge the decision?
4 February 2023 It is possible you do, one pertinent question is whether the college followed its own rules in the investigation. Recently in the case of Doe v. Stonehill College the student convinced the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to overturn a decision of the trial court that ruled his […]
The federal FACE act, an acronym standing for “freedom of access to clinic entrances” has teeth and protects both access to reproductive health service clinics and religious places of worship.
8 June 2022 The FACE act is widely know as the federal law that supports the enforcement of “buffer zones” around abortion clinics across the country or otherwise prevents people from interfering with others accessing the clinics. However, the act, in the body of the law but not in its title, provides the identical protection […]
Should I hire the cheapest lawyer I can find for my bankruptcy (or any other legal needs I have)?
13 May 2022 Probably not. One reason is that it is likely the least expensive lawyer is not completing all the tasks necessary to ensure your best interests and you are taking risk you are unaware of. A recent ruling provides information that will display the kind of task the cheapest lawyer, at least in […]
Am I entitled to see a chapter 209A complainant’s evidence submitted to the judge, cross-examine the complainant, and offer my own evidence before a judge issues a 209A against me?
18 April 2022 Yes, yes, and yes, at least at the second “extension hearing” that a defendant is required to have notice of. The case of Idris I v. Hazel H. recently decided by the Massachusetts Appeals Court is a good example of a defendant being denied basis due process rights by a trial court. […]
Can I negotiate a claim made against me with a legal adversary without concern my communications will be used against me?
14 January 2022 Not completely. You should be safe from having the communications used to establish liability of the claim (at issue) against you, but the communications can be used for other purposes. In a general sense, the law and society desires to, and does, encourage settlement of legal claims. This is also for the […]
With 1st Amendment claims, a plaintiff/victim must be willing to go the distance.
22 November 2021 A recent case in Texas displays just how much endurance a first amendment litigant/victim needs to have a chance to prevail. The case is Villarreal v. City of Laredo et al. and stems from criminal charges being brought against a non-traditional reporter’s actions of asking questions of the police to gather information […]