Divorce and The Best Interests of the Child

When you’re going through the divorce process and managing the child support and custody issues, you’ll hear the term “best interests of the child.” Generally, the court will consider the new family lifestyle after a divorce and where the court feels the child will best be able to adapt to the new changes. It is possible for you and your spouse to ease into your new family dynamic in order to make the transition easier on your child.

Amicable Relationship

In order for you and your spouse to best help your child through the divorce process, they should maintain an amicable relationship. While that may not be easy, especially at first, this is beneficial in helping your child’s transition into this new way of life. It’s best to avoid contentious debates about visitation, child support, visitation and other child-rearing issues. [Read more…]

Employment Law, Military Service, and Your Rights

Today’s military relies more and more on reservists and those considered to be part-time soldiers. While these individuals are ready, willing and able to serve their country when called, they know that time away serving their Country means time away from their regular employment. This is why there are laws that protect those called to active duty.

Re-Employment Rights

No doubt, the biggest concern to those called away is getting their job back when they return. An employee is considered to be on an unpaid leave of absence when he or she is called to active military duty. This means that they have the right to be re-employed once they return, as mandated by federal law. They are also entitled to the same benefits and salary.

Those that have been called away to serve must reapply for their job, depending on how long the reservist has been away. The service member has five years to retain his re-employment rights.

If the employee has been absent for 30 days or less, he can continue his health care coverage at the same cost during the time of his service. If he serves more than 30 days, he obtains a plan through the health plan offered by the military. [Read more…]

What Can Be Modified in Your Massachusetts Divorce Agreement

Having the provisions of a divorce agreement modified under Massachusetts law is possible, based on how the separation agreement was written and the circumstances bringing about the request for a modification. Before bringing your modification request to the court, you need to consult with an experienced divorce attorney.

The first thing to realize is that there must be a material change in circumstances to request a modification, such as an employment change, a significant change of residence, or change in income. These changes can affect custody agreements and spousal and child support.

When drafting a separation agreement, there are two types of provisions addressed in the agreement: surviving and merging. Merging provisions are open to modification. Merging provisions are generally child specific issues like custody arrangements, support, and health insurance. Sometimes alimony can be a merging provision. Surviving provisions are generally not open to modification. An example of surviving provision is the division of property. [Read more…]

Criminal Law Cases

With a background in criminal law and having served as an Assistant District Attorney, Attorney Morte has represented numerous clients who have been charged with criminal offenses.

A small sample of cases handled successfully by Attorney Morte have included:

  • Operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • General motor vehicle offenses including negligence, operating after suspension or other similar charges
  • Gun charges
  • Sexual assault charges
  • Registry of Motor Vehicle issues and including loss of license
  • Texting/Pornography related charges

General Civil Litigation – Sample Cases

Attorney Morte has represented several small and large companies in recovering outstanding amounts owned for goods and services provided.  A sample of the companies that Attorney Morte has represented.

  • A nationally known transportation company
  • A nationally known distribution and warehouse business
  • A Massachusetts Insurance Agency with offices throughout the State
  • Several banks that do business in Massachusetts
  • A well-established local coffee company
  • Several appliance stores located within Massachusetts
  • Several construction and development companies
  • A Packaging Company that does business worldwide.
  • Several carpet and tile companies in either their defense or in the collection of funds owed for goods and services provided.
  • A Real Estate and Development Company related to a mechanics lien
  • Attorney Morte has also defended individuals where there has been inadequate insurance coverage or wherein the insurance company has refused to cover claims whether the be related to homeowners or automobile coverage.

Motorcycle Group Ride – Accidents and Injuries

Many motorcyclists are quick to sign up for group rides.  There is no shortage of them especially in Massachusetts.  Our riding season is generally shorter than many parts of the country.

Every weekend there is a group charity ride going somewhere.  Many motorcyclists are willing to quickly sign up to participate for these rides because the cause is important to them.  They are quick to fill out the registration form and pay the fee and they often sign off on the release of liability agreement required to participate in such a run.  Signing a form of this type does not make the ride any safer or remove liability from all participants.
[Read more…]

Employment Law Cases

Attorney Morte has successfully handled numerous cases involving discrimination based on pregnancy, sex, age, disability or national origins.

A sampling of these cases that Attorney Morte has resolved or is presently working on one of the following:

  • A case where a woman was terminated working for a national known company, after she became pregnant and complained that she was being placed on a Personal Improvement Plan simply because she was a woman and pregnant.
  • A case where a woman was being sexually harassed by her supervisor who repeatedly asked her for sexual favors.
  • A man who was a whistleblower against a utility company that was falsely reporting statistics to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • Cases involving the wage and hour laws which allow for a trebling of damages plus Attorney’s fee where the employer fails to pay wages or overtime in accordance with the law.

[Read more…]

Personal Injury Cases

  • Attorney Morte has represented the Estates of a young man who was overprescribed medication and who eventually died from an overdose of the medication. Attorney Morte successfully recovered from both the physician who prescribed the medication, as well as the pharmacy who sold the medication to the young man.
  • Attorney Morte was able to secure the policy limits for a woman who was involved in a single car incident caused by a driver who left the scene of the accident. The accident happened at the intersection of Route 495 and Route 290 in Marlborough, MA.  The client suffered a concussion from the accident and which was ultimately diagnosed as a brain injury resulting in a large settlement.
  • Attorney Morte successfully negotiated a settlement for a mason who was injured at work due to the negligence of the general contractor and his employer. The client suffered a debilitation shoulder injury which prevented him from returning to work.  Fortunately, the settlement allowed the worker a financial settlement that allowed him to comfortably live out his retirement years.
  • Often Attorney Morte has represented clients with pre-existing injuries that were aggravated by another accident. These cases are often denied by insurance companies initially.  Attorney Morte has often been able to prove that the injuries are either new or aggravated be the recent events resulting in favorable settlements.
  • Attorney Morte has represented numerous motorcycle operators or bicyclists who were badly injured in motor vehicle accidents. Often there is a bias against these individuals, but the injuries that they sometimes suffer can be catastrophic.  Attorney Morte has successfully resolved a number of these cases.
  • Attorney Morte has represented a number of individuals when they have been injured while working. These cases are often covered under the worker’s compensation law, but there are occasions where the employer fails to properly provide for insurance coverage the employee as such and a direct claim can be made against the employer.
  • Attorney Morte has successfully pursued numerous third party cases against individuals or entities that caused injuries to client’s while they were working. Attorney Morte has successfully maintained third party cases on behalf of police officers, municipal workers, and many others.
  • Attorney Morte has represented a number of individuals who were badly injured when they fell due to the negligence of their landlord or others. Attorney Morte has been successful  in obtaining substantial recoveries for individuals who have sustained ankle fractures, arm fractures or other significant injuries.

Divorce Matters and Restraining Order Cases

Restraining Orders

Often times a Restraining Order will serve as the first step to a divorce action.

Attorney Morte has successful challenged Restraining Orders that were obtained without advance notice and a hearing.  When the time came for presentation of the full set of facts and there was an opportunity for cross-examination, these Restraining Orders were dropped.

Alimony

Attorney Morte has helped numerous clients obtain Alimony in accordance with the recently enacted Alimony laws in Massachusetts.  The new laws generally allow for a spouse to obtain Alimony that ranges between 30% to 35% of the difference in income where there has been a long-term marriage.  Attorney Morte has been successful in obtaining awards for both men and women. [Read more…]

Massachusetts Car Accident Expenses – Who Pays For What?

You’ve been in a serious car accident along the busy roads of Greater Boston.  The damage to your vehicle is great, but that doesn’t measure to the pain you’ve suffered from your injuries. Not only is your car totaled, but you’re about to receive numerous medical bills for thousands of dollars.  Who pays for what?

•    Medical Bills
The state of Massachusetts follows the “no fault” system.  When injury occurs from a car accident, automobile insurance will pay up to $2,000 of the medical bills.  After that $2,000, either your healthcare coverage, or P.I.P.(Personal Injury Protection) if you did not have health insurance during the accident, will cover the amount appropriate with the insurance you bought.  However, P.I.P. will only cover up to $8,000. [Read more…]