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Author Archives: George Bourguignon

Author Archives: George Bourguignon

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 […]

I was just sued and have conclusive evidence that the allegations are false, can I show the court my evidence and have the case dismissed right away?

3 October 2020 No.  Motions to dismiss are, with very limited and minor exceptions, limited to the “four corners” of the plaintiff’s complaint and evidence from the defendant is not considered at this early stage of the case. This concept is very well known in civil law practice and even followed in criminal cases as […]

A default entered against me in a civil case in Massachusetts, how do I get it removed?

20 September 2020 The summons will clearly state that responsive documents from the defendant, whatever that may be, need to be served within 20 days from the date the defendant was served with the complaint, etc., but this requirement doesn’t seem to be realized by many defendants.  This leads to defaults in situations where the […]

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 […]