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Author Archives: George Bourguignon

Author Archives: George Bourguignon

If I am accused of some wrong doing, especially a crime, or something that is not true and hurtful to my reputation, should I deny it or should I simply not say anything?

4 July 2016 Answer:  This brings into play the evidentiary idea of admission by silence, which in criminal law parlance is known as pre-arrest silence, and falls under the evidentiary topic known as prior inconsistent statement.  It also can arise in civil contexts, especially defamation cases, when a defendant raises a defense that the statement […]

Can I exempt my house in bankruptcy if I pay for it but it is in someone else’s name?

1 July 2016 Answer:  Maybe, if the facts are right and you are willing to accept some risk. Recently in the case of In re Sullivan a debtor was successful in claiming the Massachusetts homestead for a condo that was in her family member’s name.  In re Sullivan, Case No. 15-30544, (Bankr. Mass. May 2, […]

Should I attempt to make an offer of settlement under Rule 68 of the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure?

22 June 2016 Answer:  An offer of settlement under Rule 68 is a tool to consider using, however, if you do considering using it be very careful you understand it very well because you may be stuck paying a settlement amount you thought you did not offer. For example, recently in the federal case of […]

Am I required to amend my schedules with newly acquired assets during a chapter 13 bankruptcy?

7 February 2016 Yes, you are required under bankruptcy law to do so, especially in Massachusetts where post-petition assets become part of the bankruptcy estate. Another very good reason to list assets acquired post-petition in a chapter 13 is to avoid falling victim to the doctrine of judicial estoppel. Judicial estoppel exists to protect the […]

Do I need to have damages to have a valid legal tort claim in Massachusetts?

Answer: Yes, in some form, examples being actual damages, injury in fact, or the invasion of a legally protected interest under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act. It is often that people believe that they have been wronged and the question arises, but do you have damages? For the most part, unless you have damages, you […]

If I am not paid by an employer that is an LLC, do I have a claim against the manager of the LLC personally in addition to the LLC itself?

18 January 2016 Answer: You might. The Massachusetts Wage Act is a sweeping statute that imposes personal liability on officers of corporations for non-payment of wages in addition to the corporate entity itself. Most recently, that liability was formally expanded to managers of LLC’s as long as they are considered a “person having employed in […]

Some concepts to expect to face in a Massachusetts housing court eviction case.

When facing an eviction case, there are some typical legal concepts that will be in play that could change the course of events. These concepts that will be discussed herein along with some practical items first. When faced with an eviction, tenants usually fight back by raising counterclaims. This is easy enough to do as […]

If a third party pays for the legal representation of another person, are they entitled to keep tabs on the case and have input in decisions and actions taken?

No. It is common for some potential clients that need legal help to seek and need a third party to pay for the legal representation. In that case, it is also common for that third party payer to expect to have access to the communications between the attorney and client and have input on decision […]

What is the fastest way to appeal a Massachusetts district court decision?

The answer is the expedited appeal under Rule 8A of the Massachusetts District/Municipal Courts Rules for Appellate Division Appeals. An appeal under this rule was designed to be the fastest of the three avenues of appeal of a district court decision, namely the expedited appeal under Rule 8A, the agreed statement of the case under […]

Am I able to obtain an injunction against a person to stop them from continuing to defame me?

Maybe, to a limited extent, and likely only after it has been determined that the speech is in fact defamatory.  Keep in mind, we are discussing a different type of relief than what one can obtain through typical restraining and harassment protection orders under Mass. Gen. Laws c. 209A and c. 258E.  What we are […]