Premises Liability – What is it and Who is at fault?

Winter is coming, and there will be snow and ice. In fact, if it’s anything like last year, there may be a lot of snow and ice.

Injuries due to snow and ice may be cause for damages in a premises liability case. Premises liability in Massachusetts, however, applies to many types of injuries and accidents, not just those caused by our weather.

The term “premises liability” covers any kind of accident that arises from a condition on a property. This can include snow or ice, an obstruction, defective workmanship, inadequate maintenance, a slippery floor, broken stairs, or any other environment that causes one to fall, slip, or trip. The range of potential conditions covered by premises liability is very wide; because of the numerous conditions potentially covered and the complexity of the law, it is highly advisable to consult an experienced personal injury attorney if you have questions. [Read more…]

Massachusetts Child Support Law

In a Massachusetts divorce, one parent may be ordered by the court to pay child support. Under Massachusetts law, both parents are required to support their children—and this is true regardless of marital status (whether the parents are married, divorced, separated, or were never married). The parent the child lives with is termed the custodial parent. The noncustodial parent may be required to pay child support.

Massachusetts child support law is complicated, but there are several things you should know.

One, child support may be used to pay for housing, food, clothing, education, and insurance and medical costs. [Read more…]

Who Has Child Custody When Parents Are Separated

Making the decision to separate from your spouse is difficult and often occurs over a lengthy period of time. During that time, it’s common for spouses to begin living in separate households. If the partners have children, this raises many questions about where and with who the children should live.

Massachusetts law has put in place some very distinct laws to handle this sort of child custody dispute.
If the parents are not married, the mother automatically has sole legal and physical custody until a court orders something else. However under Massachusetts law, if the parents are married to each other, both parents share legal and physical custody of the children until a court decides otherwise. [Read more…]

Divorce Modifications in the State of Massachusetts

When the terms of your divorce no longer fit your present circumstances, petitioning for divorce modification can help alter the terms accordingly. In the state of Massachusetts, overturning a divorce decree requires an appeal. This process is often drawn-out because one appellate court will need to overturn a lower court’s decision. These appeals are usually unsuccessful except in the case of exceptional and compelling circumstances. These are common examples of situations that warrant a divorce modification. [Read more…]

Employment Law: Massachusetts Sick Leave Law Now In Effect

If you work in a company of 11 or more people you are now entitled to paid sick leave. The law became effective on July 15, 2015 and requires that you be credited with one hour of paid leave for every thirty hours worked. According to the state statute you may use this time for yourself, your spouse, child, parent or parent – in –law for issues such as:

  • Medical treatment for physical or mental illness
  • Conditions that require home care
  • Preventative medical care
  • Routine medical appointments
  • Physical or legal issues concerning domestic violence

In most instances you do not have to produce documentation, or a “doctor’s note “ unless you are absent for more than 24 hours. [Read more…]

An attorney who will get the job done!!

7 years ago Steve handled my difficult divorce with professionalism and to my satisfaction. I rehired him to work through the support part of our divorce which was left unsettled due to the inability of one party to compromise. Although it took longer than I had hoped, through no fault of Attorney Morte, the support issue was also resolved to my satisfaction. I would hire Attorney Morte again in a heartbeat.

Pam, divorce client

Massachusetts Law and the Role of Insurance Adjusters

With over 110,000 auto crashes a year in the state of Massachusetts, it is a sad likelihood that you or a loved one could be severely injured in an auto accident at some point. This can be a very disturbing event, and potentially a very debilitating one. Both emotional and physical effects from an accident can significantly affect your daily life.

You have prepared for this contingency by purchasing auto insurance. In the event of an accident, you expect that your insurance policy or that of the party a fault will provide whatever is needed for your continued health and well-being.

However, it is important to know that the insurance companies will always try to limit the costs associated with payment of claims. With that in mind, there may be some things that the insurance representative will not tell you. [Read more…]

Contempt and Enforcement of Family Law Court Orders

When a divorce decree is finalized by the court, the decree often contains specific orders to one party specifically called court orders. These orders may include payment of child support or spousal support or a transfer of property to one spouse. The courts may also order specific visitation schedules for the non-custodial parent. Too often, former spouses may elect to ignore these orders which can create numerous problems. The penalties to the offending party for these transgressions can be severe but oftentimes the party who is being harmed needs to file a claim in order to call the court’s attention to the situation. Your family law attorney may suggest you file a contempt of court case against the offending party.

What do I have to prove?

Before you can file a contempt of court charge against the person who is violating a court order, there are certain conditions that must be met. You will have to be able to prove to the satisfaction of the court some of these conditions:

  • The order is valid – a contempt of court case requires the agreement between the partners was ordered by the court and that one person is violating that order.
  • The defendant is aware of the order – in some divorce cases, both parties may not have attended the court hearings. If a judge orders support payments or visitation, the other person has to be aware these orders are in place in order to obey them. In most cases, this can be accomplished by sending a copy of the orders to the other party immediately following a divorce.
  • The person is knowingly in default – if your former spouse calls you and tells you they will not make a support payment or that you cannot see your child, this is clear evidence they are knowingly violating a court order.

[Read more…]

Negligent Entrustment – $625,000.00

A Marlborough, MA man received a $625,000.00 Judgment after having been injured in a motorcycle accident in 2006. This young man was injured when another motorcycle operated by a person, with limited driving experience and a poor driving history, caused the motorcycle crash. This person was also operating an uninsured and unregistered vehicle.

Suit was brought against the company that entrusted the motorcycle to this person. Initially, this case was decided in favor of the company by a Judge in the Superior Court. The case was appealed to the Massachusetts Appeals Court, where the Superior Court’s decision was overturned, ultimately resulting in a settlement of $625,000.00.

This case is a good example of how persistence and hard work can result in a successful outcome.

Auto Accidents: Back and Neck Injuries

If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, don’t ignore the minor aches and pains. You may think you’re not seriously injured and that its too much trouble to go to the doctor to check out such a minor issue. The fact of the matter is many types of back and neck injuries can take weeks and even months to surface and that minor ache often turns in to something much more serious. Here are a few examples of serious back and neck injuries that may take weeks to materialize .

  • Herniated and bulging discs. The 23 discs in your vertebrae sit between 24 vertebrae. Trauma can cause one or more of these to bulge or be herniated and it can take some time to be noticeable depending on the severity of impact.
  • Dislocation fractures. This is one of the most common injuries suffered in a car accident. When one or more vertebrae fracture, the soft tissues move into the damaged area over time.
  • Soft tissue bruising and tearing. During a car accident, a number of muscles, tissue ligaments, and tendons can suddenly break or stretch. This type of back injury can cause excruciating pain, affecting thousands of nerve endings.
  • Axial bursts. If you were in an accident that caused a big impact, multiple vertebrae in your lumbar and cervical regions might have been damaged.

[Read more…]