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Author Archives: George Bourguignon

Author Archives: George Bourguignon

False statements: the relationship between who published them and what claims may be brought.

7 June 2020 Defamation comes is many forms and can occur in all types of mediums.  In addition, who (or what) made the false statement determines what type of additional claim a victim may have.  The example highlighted in this post is a statement made by a public official. In C.M. v. Commissioner of the […]

Look before you leap (or declare) in the law; one reason why is judicial estoppel

5 June 2020 People too often make statements, declarations, and take positions in legal matters without properly realizing the impact or ramifications of same.  Here we have one story of how a debtor in bankruptcy was held to their declaration. In In re Ciampa the debtor filed four different chapter 13 plans, each of which […]

My son/daughter was suspended from school for statements they made that seem too minor to warrant discipline to me, does he/she have a claim?

14 April 2020 Answer: Maybe.  Students do have first amendment rights that are balanced with the power of the school to maintain order.  The question is whether the speech did or could substantially disrupt school operations or will interfere or interfered with the rights of others.  Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Comty Sch. Dist., 393 […]

Convicted of a crime that wasn’t a crime: a story of perseverance and how unpredictable the law can be.

27 March 2020 In Commonwealth v. Mansur the defendant was charged with a few crimes, one being possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.  Defense counsel objected to the charge and argued it was just a civil infraction and not a crime.  The judge rejected the argument, relied on precedent, and […]

Long term disability policies: read the fine print.

24 March 2020 We turn today to not necessarily a legal topic, although the law is involved, but to more of a consumer tip or warning by reviewing the case of Martinez v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada.  948 F.3d 62 (1st Cir. 2020).  Martinez is not a complicated case or one with a […]

How do I decide what claims to bring in a civil action?

30 January 2020 Answer: With careful analysis. It is very common for plaintiffs to bring a law suit that is in essence and in all legal reality only one type of claim, such as defamation, and raise other claims, sometimes many, that do not lie.  It appears they may be under the belief that the […]

I received a nasty gram from an opposing attorney making false claims about me that was also published to others, do I have a defamation claim against the opposing attorney?

16 December 2019 Answer:  Maybe, it depends on the facts.  Below appears an example where a person like you had a claim. In The Patriot Games, LLC v. Edmunds the defendant was an attorney that sent a letter largely drafted by his client to the plaintiff and a few other entities.  96 Mass. App. Ct. 478, […]

I had a harassment prevention order wrongly issued against me and I need relief from it soon, what can I do?

14 December 2019 Answer: There are a few options, move for reconsideration and/or appeal, and if you appeal, since it takes a long time for a decision, you many seek a stay of the order while the appeal is pending.  But whatever you do, do it NOW. One of the most common mistakes an unsuccessful […]

I had a harassment prevention order issued against me; can I ask the trial court to reconsider the decision at the same time that I appeal it?

12 September 2019 Answer: Maybe, as there is case law to support it, but it is safer to obtain leave from the appeals court that is handling the appeal to ensure that you don’t get tripped up by a trial court that may think otherwise. The general rule is that once an appeal is perfected […]

My bank is refusing to accept my mortgage payment, do I have a legal claim against it?

6 September 2019 Answer: Maybe, as there was a recent case that seemed to indicate it is grounds for a claim of breach of contract.  We will look at a recent case in which it was found to be grounds, but the author warns facts in a different situation must be similar enough to be […]