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Massachusetts Department of Revenue, penalties, interest, and payment allocation.

13 July 2013 Benjamin Franklin said “the only things certain in life are death and taxes.”  Although we know there are more things certain that can be added to that list, we must concede that paying taxes is indeed one of them.  In dealing with the tax man, many find themselves being assessed an unpaid […]

Corporate sales taxes, personal liability, and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

11 July 2013 Business owners who are behind on paying their corporate sales taxes may find themselves in a big mess. Generally, these amounts are considered to be held in trust for the Commonwealth.  Should corporations fail to pay these sales taxes, the Commonwealth is able to collect the amount due from the officers of […]

How long do I have to bring my legal claim to court?

1 July 2013 This is a common question and one that has the typical legal answer, it depends.  The author herein recommends a comprehensive approach to this type of question.    Initially, let’s point out that we must back up and ask whether there is a claim to being with.  Typically a person answers this […]

I signed a general release effective in Massachusetts, can I now bring a claim against the party I gave the release to?

1 July 2013 Answer: Probably not. Although any release must be assessed with consideration of all the facts and its particular language, the idea behind a general release is that the party providing it releases all claims, not just the claim or claims the parties were disputing initially, whether known or unknown at the time […]

If my picture has been attributed to someone else’s bad conduct incorrectly, do I have a defamation claim/case?

10 June 2013 It is quite likely and depends on the context, content, and presentation of the statement(s)/publication.    In the case of Stanton v. Metro Corporation, it was about a plaintiff’s picture being displayed in association with an article published by Boston Magazine.  Stanton v. Metro Corp., 438 F. 3d 119 (1st Cir. 2006).  […]

Before filing bankruptcy, realize it is a liquidation and take the power of the trustee seriously.

2 June 2013 When people file for bankruptcy, their focus is usually entirely on getting rid of their debts.  They typically fail to realize that there is another side of bankruptcy, the liquidation of non-exempt assets.  What most need to realize is that when they file bankruptcy, a bankruptcy estate is created that contains all […]

Am I liable for an accident caused by my friend when he was driving my car with my permission?

1 June 2013 Yes, in Massachusetts at least.  When you lend your car to a friend, you take on risk.  As you can imagine, the losses can be significant.  Take the factual situation described in In re Gentile, where a judgment was entered against car owners for millions for an accident caused by their grandson […]

What happens if I do not provide my bankruptcy attorney with the documents he requested?

16 May 2013 Your case will likely be dismissed.  As an aside, if your attorney filed the case for you without requiring that you provide the basic required documents then you probably hired the wrong attorney. Section 521 of the bankruptcy code addresses “debtor’s duties,” which includes the requirement to provide documents.  All jurisdictions known […]

Someone defamed my business and/or property, is there anything I can do about it?

1 May 2013 There certainly is.  Initially one may want to consider making a traditional defamation claim (specifically slander if the falsehood was published orally, libel if published in writing).  The facts will need to be assessed to see if traditional defamation is applicable.  But there is a claim recognized under Massachusetts law known as […]

What happens to my student loan debt in a chapter 13?

25 April 2013 It depends.  Student loan debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy, generally, under chapter 7 or chapter 13.  So, as opposed to other unsecured debt, like credit card debt, it will still be owed at the end of the chapter 13 plan.  This makes student loan debt quite unique and a topic of ongoing […]