Author Archives: George Bourguignon
31 December 2016 Probably not. The legal books are filled with instances where people grant deeds and make gifts to family members and do not tell them of the gift before it transfers or even well after. This is usually a big mistake because there is not consideration that the asset given could be taken […]
A person sent a letter to me threatening a lawsuit that was defamatory, do I have a legal claim for defamation?
3 November 2016 Answer: Probably not. There are many pitfalls and obstacles to a defamation claim, but even before addressing those, you must meet the initial elements of the claim. One of those elements is that the defamatory subject matter be published, that means communicated to a third party. In the above example, it appears […]
Do I have to make all my post-petition mortgage payments to my bank during a chapter 13 case to receive my discharge?
1 October 2016 Answer: When you are curing an arrearage on your mortgage through your chapter 13 plan, probably. Initially, one needs to understand the basics. Many people file a chapter 13 plan to “cure” an arrearage (the amount a homeowner is behind) on their mortgage and save their home. A debtor in a chapter […]
7 September 2016 There are many considerations and requirements when drafting a complaint. (Keep in mind, we are discussing the district court, not small claims.) Some are very basic, such as using a legal caption, numbered paragraphs, an acceptable font size, and a logical format. The order typically goes: an introduction (optional), followed by the […]
20 August 2016 Answer: Maybe, it depends on the language of the agreement and the judge deciding the issue. Initially, one needs to understand the basics, which is that rights against others are generally either equitable on the one hand, or legal (or at law) on the other. Roughly speaking, equitable rights are those which […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]