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Recent Blog Posts

What can I do about my neighbor’s tree branch or roots entering my property?

26 October 2017 Answer: Try and work it out with your neighbor, but if you have to, you can prune the offending branch or root back to the property line under Massachusetts law. Some rules never change, at least they haven’t yet.  This one is known as the “Massachusetts Rule” and goes way, way back.  […]

What should I do if I am not satisfied with my attorney?

25 October 2017 Answer: Try and work it out, and if necessary, replace your attorney (only), but do not speak out to third parties about your dissatisfaction. It is more common than it should be for a client to be unhappy with his lawyer.  It is hardly ever a joyful task to address the issue.  […]

Can I sue for wrongful foreclosure after my property was sold to a third party buyer?

19 October 2017 Answer: Maybe, but if the foreclosure sale occurred during the Great Recession time period, unless you have already sued, you are probably too late. During the Great Recession there were many foreclosures, as we all know.  Some of these foreclosures in Massachusetts were done by companies that did not have a proper […]

A harassment protection order was brought against me and it was denied because the petitioning accuser was lying, can I get the record of it expunged?

26 March 2017 Answer: Maybe, but it is unlikely due to the standard that must be met. It is a common occurrence; a harassment protection order is issued ex parte (without notice or the presence of the opposing side) and the defendant is served with it.  The required hearing is scheduled in 10 days from […]

I am pro se in a civil action in Massachusetts and the other side has sent me Interrogatories, do I have to answer them?

12 February 2017 Answer: If you want to have avoid possibly losing your case you have to answer and/or object properly. Knowledge of the basics of the rules of civil procedure is necessary to either defending or pursuing a civil case.  One basic idea is to understand that for almost all cases not filed in […]

Should I grant a deed to my children or other family member and not tell them?

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 […]

How to draft a complaint to file in the Massachusetts district court.

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 […]

Will the restrictions in my non-compete agreement be dischargeable in bankruptcy?

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 […]