Keeping Your Massachusetts License – A Message To Young Drivers

You have worked hard to obtain your Massachusetts Driver's License. You have studied the rules of road, taken driver's education, obtained your learner's permission, you will pass a road test, and you will be issued a Massachusetts Driver's License. This license is one of the most important things that you will get in your life. Do not take it for granted. There are thousands of individuals throughout Massachusetts, and the country, who would give anything to get their license back. The loss of a license, especially for a long period of time, can be catastrophic. As a lawyer who represents clients who are trying to get their licenses back, I have personally seen the consequences of a license suspension: embarrassment, humiliation, financial and financial problems, the loss of a job, missed educational opportunities, and the imposition of a tremendous burden on the suspended driver's family and friends. Neverheless, there is no right to a Massachusetts Driver's License. Driving is a privilege which the Registrar voluntarily grants and can easily take away. The Registry suspends licenses by the thousands. As a new driver, you should make sure that you are not one of the unlucky individuals who receive a suspension letter. If you do, you should contact me or another lawyer who specializes in Registry law.

Massachusetts has what is known as graduated licensing. Under this system, you typically receive more driving privileges as you get older. You start out with a learner's permit, which allows you to drive when accompanied by someone who is at least 21 years of age, with at least one year of driving experience. The adult driver must be located in the front passenger seat. You must have a clean driving record for six (6) months prior to taking a road test. This means that if you have any surcharged accidents, traffic tickets, license suspensions, or drug / alcohol violations, you will not be allowed to schedule a road test until you have 6 months of incident free driving.

Once you obtain your Junior Operator's License, for the first six months, other than an immediate family member, you can not transport a passenger who is under 18 years of age, unless you are accompanied by a sponsor who is over 21 years of age, sorted in the front passenger seat, and has at least one year of driving experience. A JOL Passenger Restriction Violation will result in an automatic 60 day license suspension for the first indemnity and a 180 day suspension for the second indemnity. It is next to impossible to get a hardship license if your license is suspended because of this violation.

If you are under 18 years of age, you can not drive between 12:30 am and 5:00 am unless you have your parent in the vehicle. Driving during these restricted hours without your parents is considered unlicensed operation, you could have arrested and you may be punished by a 60 day license suspension for a first violation. If you are driving on a JOL and you are found responsible for speeding, you license will automatically suspend for 90 days for the first indemnity and one year for the second indemnity. If you are found responsible for drag racing while on a JOL, you license will be suspended for 1 year for the first indemnity and 3 years for the second indemnity.

If you are under 18 years of age and are found to have alcohol in your system, as evidenced by a breathalyzer reading of .02 or above, your license will be suspended for one year. You may be able to reduce this suspension to 180 days. Contact a Registry Lawyer to find out how.

If your breathalyzer reading is .06 or higher you may be charged with drunk driving and you will incur additional suspensions.

If you are under 18, refusing to take the breathalyzer will result in an automatic license suspension for at least one year, even if you are found "not guilty" for drunk driving or the charges are dismissed.

There are also enhanced suspension penalies for drivers under 21 years of age who refute the breathalyzer or have any alcohol in their systems, as evidenced by a breathalyzer reading of .02 or above.

Certain convictions may trigger license suspensions of at least 180 days for the first indemnity and 1 year for the second indemnity. These crimes include: Operation Under the Influence, Operating to Endanger Leaving the Scene of an accident, Drinking from an Open Container of an Alcoholic Beverages, OUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury, and Motor Vehicle Homicide.

Your license can also be suspended for manufacturing, selling, or possessing a false ID as well as possessing alcohol or trying to purchase alcohol.

As you can see, there are numerous ways that you can lose your driver's license. It is important to not consume alcohol and to drive carefully. The Registry has taken a zero-tolerance approach regarding young drivers who commit violations. Cautious driving and compliance with the law will help you avoid these harsh license suspensions. If you receive a citation or license suspension notice, you should contact a lawyer to discuss your rights. I wish all young drivers the best of luck as they join the ranks of the motoring public in Massachusetts.

Source by Brian Simoneau

How Massachusetts General Law 93A Affects Online Businesses

Massachusetts General Law 93A, titled Regulation of Business Practices for Consumers Protection, is designed to protect those consumers who would otherwise be unaware of their legal rights. Mass. Gen. Law 93A. As it was originally drafted, 93A did not create a private right to sue, an issue which was quickly addressed by the legislature, and now both consumers and businesses can use 93A as a basis for enforcing their rights through private law suit. Unlike some other states, the Massachusetts consumer protection statute provides for an express, rather than an implied, right to sue for businesses who feel they have been victim of a deceptive or unfair act. It is often easy to spot a consumer protection issue with standard businesses, such as: bait and switch advertising, failure to disclose defects, price-fixing, faulty warranty claims and un-bargained for return/refund policies. It becomes much more difficult to determine when a consumer protection claim based upon Mass. Gen. Law 93A exists when the business involved is only involved in electronic commerce, and especially when that business is not located within the state.

When evaluating a potential consumer protection claim, it is necessary to keep in mind that the required elements are different for a business and a consumer. A consumer must follow certain procedural and substantive requirements outlined in section 9 of the act. Among other elements, section 9 requires a 30 day demand letter, a showing that they are in fact a consumer, an unfair or deceptive practice, and a showing of damages.

Businesses, especially online businesses, differ substantially in their required elements. Section 11 sets out the requirements for a business 93A claim, and requires that a business show:

  1. That they are a “business” – [involved in the conduct of any trade or commerce];
  2. That the defendant engaged in an “unfair method of competition” or the defendant’s actions were “unfair” or “deceptive;”
  3. That these actions occurred primarily and substantially within Massachusetts (the burden is on the defendant to disprove this presumption as a defense); and
  4. That these actions resulted in a loss to the business plaintiff of money or property, real or personal, for money damages to issue; or
  5. That these actions “may have the effect of causing such loss of money or property.”

Mass. Gen. Law 93A

Because of the openness of the internet, and the anonymity involved, it can be extremely difficult to demonstrate that a certain method was either unfair or deceptive. More difficult, especially in the context of an online business, is demonstrating that a certain act has the effect of causing damages or loss. Since online transactions vary in amount and since the market is continually expanding, it can be extremely difficult to demonstrate actual loss, or even potential for loss. Since each element must be present before filing a claim, the prudent advocate will research the facts of the case prior to initiating a 93A claim. Without the properly pled elements, most judges will discard with the case at the first possible opportunity.

In addition, online businesses present unique jurisdictional issues that may confuse the use of 93A for consumer protection purposes. In order for there to be any hope of applying 93A to an online business, the “unfair or deceptive act” must have primarily or substantially occurred within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. When neither the deceptive/unfair act, nor the harm takes place in MA, a consumer protection claim will be barred based upon 93A, even if the victim is a Massachusetts resident or business. In the recent Massachusetts Superior Court case of Fillmore v. Leasecomm Corp., the judge dismissed a consumer protection claim brought by a Massachusetts company against a California company because the allegedly deceptive sales tactics and the unfair contracts were all consummated in California. Fillmore v. Leasecomm Corp., 18 Mass. L. Rptr. 560, 2004 WL 3091642 (Mass. Super. Ct. Nov. 15, 2004). In Fillmore, the plaintiff’s pleadings failed the ‘center of gravity’ test applied for jurisdictional purposes, and the claim was therefore dismissed. When deciding whether or not to file a consumer protection claim in Massachusetts, it is best first to look at the act, the harm and the jurisdiction. The more that occurred within Massachusetts jurisdiction, the more likely the claim will be allowed to proceed. However, Massachusetts courts do find in favor of Massachusetts companies when all the elements, including the jurisdictional ones are met. If a contract was to be performed in Massachusetts, and the damages took place in Massachusetts, then the jurisdictional element will be met and the court will find for the claimant, as the Massachusetts appeals court did in Auto Shine Car Wash Sys. v. Nice ‘n Clean Car Wash, Inc. In Auto Shine, the parties frequently met in Massachusetts, and the misrepresentation originated in Massachusetts. The court held in favor of the plaintiff for double damages, as there was a willful and knowing violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A 58 Mass. App. Ct. 685 (Mass. Appeals Ct. 2003).

Filing a consumer protection claim presents a substantially increased level of evidence and jurisdiction requirements when your client is a business. Beware of the consequences and potential wasted time you may use when filing a claim without having every element met. Simply because Massachusetts provides for an express right for businesses to file claims, doe not mean that judges will be willing to overlook even the smallest discrepancies in the pleading requirements.

Source by Nicholas Deleault

Massachusetts Seat Belt Laws and Accident Liability

Massachusetts seat belt laws are strict, provide penalties for people in defiance of them, and specifically cover child restraint devices. These seat belt laws were created to ensure the best possible protection for you and your passengers should you be involved in a car accident. Violating Massachusetts seatbelt laws only results in minor fines, but the injuries that could have been prevented by their use often cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Massachusetts Requires Seat Belt Use

Massachusetts seatbelt laws require anyone operating or riding in a private motor vehicle under 18,000 pounds to wear a properly fastened and adjusted safety belt. The only exceptions to the Massachusetts seat belt law are:

– Children under 12 years of age subject to child restraint laws;

– Operators or passengers in vehicles manufactured prior to July 1, 1966;

– Any person physically unable to use safety belts as designed;

– United States Postal Service employees in performance of their duties;

– Anyone involved in the operation of taxis, liveries, tractors, and trucks weighing more than 18,000 pounds, buses, and passengers of authorized emergency vehicles.

Violation of Massachusetts seat belt laws will result in a fine for any occupant of the vehicle not wearing a safety belt. You will be assessed the fine for every violator 16 years of age or under.

Should you be involved in a car accident in Massachusetts and an unrestrained passenger is injured when they should have been restrained, you may be held responsible for those injuries.

Massachusetts Child Restraint Laws

Massachusetts seat belt laws relating to child restraint laws mandate:

– Every child under 5 years old and weighing 40 pounds or less must be properly fastened and secured by a child passenger restraint;

– Every child between 5 -12 years of age must be properly fastened and secured by a safety belt;

– Every child under 8 years of age must be fastened and secured by a child passenger restraint unless the child is more than 57 inches in height;

– Every child under 13 years of age must wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt unless required to be secured by a child passenger restraint.

Massachusetts seat belt laws define child passenger restraints as infant seats, car seats, and booster seats. Every child must be securely fastened-whether in a child passenger restraint or by seatbelt-in a federally approved manner that is consistent with manufacturer’s instructions.

The only exceptions to the Massachusetts seat belt laws as they relate to child restraint laws are:

– Passengers in school bus;

– Passengers in a motor vehicle manufactured before July 1, 1966; and

– Child passengers physically unable to use a conventional child passenger restraint.

Violating the Massachusetts seat belt laws regarding child restraints is punishable by fines, but the violation cannot be used as evidence of contributory negligence in a Massachusetts personal injury lawsuit. This does not however, relieve you from ensuring that you and your car’s passengers are properly restrained.

If you are considering filing a Massachusetts personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to contact an experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled cases similar to yours.

Source by Thomas M. Kiley

The Best Ways to Play The Games of The Massachusetts State Lottery

Instant Win Scratch Tickets

Have you ever been to a corner store and witnessed an unusual flood of people there, many in and out of their cars, some just sitting mesmerized in a trancelike state, and wondered, 'what on earth is going on here'? What you have just witnessed is the result of a new release of an Instant Win Scratch Ticket from the Massachusetts State Lottery. I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you that it's all about entertainment and money. There really is only one thing capable of generating that type of excitation at corner stores and 'quick stop gas stations' throughout the state so, there's also no wondering why the state holds a 'legalized monopoly' on the industry.

You may however, have wondered, 'how do all those people know when a new instant win game is released'? The answer is, they watch for new release announcements on the New Lottery Instant Game Tickets page of the Massachusetts State Lottery Official Web Site. In this way they are always apprised of new opportunities to hit the jackpot.

As for the mysterious furor of it all, it can be explained simply with what's well know through the 'scratching community', in an attempt to gain popularity for a game, each new instant games release is scheduled with winning tickets.

So, now a week as gone by and the crowds have dissipated at the 'scratching posts' and you have some former candidates burning a hole in you pocket. Short of a cold shower, you decide what to do, buy yourself some instant win lottery tickets! Now comes the dilemma, which games tickets to buy? Before extinguishing those fiery historical figures, refer to the Instant Prizes Claims page of the Massachusetts State Lottery Official Web Site. Additionally you may want to check the Instant Prizes Under 1,000,000 page.

What you are looking for is the claimed vs. total columns on the right side on both of the listing pages. By scanning those two columns you can easily see how many prizes are both available and claimed. Now at this point it becomes perfectly obvious that you only want to purchase tickets for games that have more unclaimed prizes than claimed prizes. After all, why throw away your hard earned money on a 46 claimed prizes out of 50 available prizes game ticket when you can purchase a 28 vs. 66 or 18 vs. 80 and have something on the order of 30 to 60 more chances of winning the grand prize amount! Granted though, all those winners will not be in circulation at the time of your purchase.

This begs the question of how much money to spend on your instant win ticket purchase. Most "professional 'scratchers'" remark, you must spend at least $ 100 on one game at one time to have any real chance of winning a jackpot, claiming, you really need some full fresh sheets of tickets in order to better your chances of your scratching revealing that jackpot. However conviction dictates you can only buy as many scratch tickets as your budget will allow. So, if spending $ 100 simply is not in your budget today, sometimes over time, putting some money aside for a 'new instant win release treat day' would be an acceptable way to both play by the 'rules' and, make it relatively' affordable 'to do so.

Cash WinFall

A 'one wheel' game, Cash WinFall, being the Massachusetts State Lotteries newest game, has an interesting twist on its jackpot. The money is rolled down to lesser winners! If no grand prize has been won before the jackpot pool reaches $ 2 Million, that $ 2,000,000.00 or more then gets dissipated through to all lower level wins of that draw. Meaning, if the jackpot is $ 2 Million or more, and there is no jackpot winner, that $ 2 Million goes to all the prize winners in that drawing. Pretty neat! Now it's quite obvious when to play Cash WinFall!

Mega Millions

A two wheel game, Mega Millions is the Massachusetts version of the highly popular multi state game PowerBall. Being a 2 wheel game, the odds are quite high against picking all 6 winning numbers. In fact they are quite a bit higher than PowerBall odds. One would naturally assume because the odds are higher, there would be less frequent winners with higher jackpots. That simply is not the case. PowerBall has jackpot winners, on average over the past year, approximately once every 6 weeks (8 winners) with 9 figure jackpots numbering 4. While Mega Millions has jackpot winners, on average once every 4 weeks (14 winners) ) with 9 figure jackpots also numbering 4. One can reasonably assert that those figures are a result of the participation states population and economic demographics.

So how do all those people win? The Official Web Site of Mega Millions states quite clearly on its Winning Picks page [] that 'Lottery games such as Mega Millions are random and it is impossible for anyone or any lottery analysis software to predict exactly what will be the next drawn balls. However, patterns can still be observed from the balls that are randomly drawn for different periods of time ' . That being said, you can obviously have a better chance of winning through a lottery related form of Statistical Analysis . For more information on Statistical Analysis and how it applies to the Massachusetts State Lottery, visit So, when should you play this game? You should really only play Mega Millions about the 4th week after every jackpot winner!

The Numbers Game

A 4 wheel game and the oldest of the Massachusetts State Lottery Games, The Numbers Game has been in operation since 1975. More than 10,000 drawings have made players the happy winners of tens, hundreds and, thousands of dollars every day. Number odds being quite reasonable, one would assume winning this game to be reliably easy. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The fact is, the way you are forced to play this game aids in stacking the odds much farther against you than you may think. With it's all 4 any 4, first 3 last 3 any or exact, 2 digit combinations, .25c, .50c, $ 1, $ 2, and $ 5 play options, coupled with payouts less than $ 10,000, playing this game is a real challenge, as too is it's worthiness of being played. What the designers of this old lottery game looks to have overlooked is, it's not how to play but what you win, something the newer games embrace fully. That being said, The Numbers Game does have its merits. There are lots of people out there who only want to bet .25c or .50c and, not even Keno offers that option. What this game really needs is a simple 'any 3' option including a '$ 5 only' bet and a maximum $ 500 payout. That alone could catapult the popularity of The Numbers Game to stratospheric levels. So what's the best way to play this game? .25c and 50c bets only, any combinations you want. The layman perspective is, pick 4 out of 40 on The Numbers Game and maybe win $ 10,000. Pick 5 out of 35 on MassCash and definitely win $ 100,000, spending $ 1 or more should be saved for MassCash.


An older 'one wheel' game that, since its inception in 1991, has paid its $ 100,000 jackpot to more than 2500 winners! With its reasonable odds and reasonable payouts it's easy to see why this older game continues to be popular. With jackpot winners nearly every drawing, and multiple winner too, you can play this game whenever it's drawn!


An older 'one wheel' game that, since itsception in 1982, has paid more than 1700 winners varying prize amounts totaling about $ 2.5 Billion. A fairly tough game to win, jackpot winners are, on average, paid out every 10 -12 drawings. So, naturally you only play this game every 10 – 12 draws after a jackpot winner.


A 'newer one wheel' computer driven game and a masterpiece of modern gambling Keno, is designed for people with a lot of time on their hands. After all, where else can you have a chance to win $ 1 Million every 5 minutes 21 hours a day, 6 days a week, and 13 hours on Sunday! When should you play this game? Whenever you've had just enough to drink to think you can actually pick 12 of the 20 numbers drawn from a pool of 80. Seriously, Keno is a very fun game and, when played correctly, can create hours of enjoyment for little to no money spent. In fact people have been known to play all night and leave no poorer than when they started! How is that? Keno allows you to win if you do not pick any of the winning numbers! Amazing! Well, maybe not all that amazing as Lottery Officials have obviously figured out that it's harder to not pick any of the winners than to pick 1, 2, 3 or 4 winners when playing a 12, 11 or 10 spot game as you do not win anything for picking less than 5 winning numbers. But, if you are the unluckiest person around you could win all night long! So how do you play this game? The odds are just as good winning a prize on the 7 spot wager as the 1 spot wager so play the 7 spot although the best over all odds are on the 2 spot wager. Simply show up, pick you numbers, pay for however many games your visit will cover and, cash out when you leave.

Source by Jim Corbett

Developing the Next Generation of School Leaders in Massachusetts

Call it what you will: building management capacity, growing a new crop of potential leaders, or just planning ahead. However you want to describe it, there's a real need for it in Massachusetts.

Fact: In recent years, school districts have found it increasingly difficult to fill many top positions. In some cases, few (or no) qualified candidates even apply.

If you accept the promise that the teachers of today are the school administrators of tomorrow, we need to redouble our efforts to develop more leaders from within the teaching ranks. We need to do so immediately.

Granted, some positive efforts are already underway. To help fill the gap, professional organizations such as the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators' Association (MSSAA) and the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators (MAVA) have established their own programs to train teachers to enter management. MSSAA runs a Leadership Licensed Program (LLP) and a Leadership Licensation Program – Superintendent (LLPS). MAVA runs a Leadership Academy for Middle Managers (Leadership Academy I) and a Leadership Academy II to train future Principals and Superintendents.

The Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials (MASBO) runs a licensing program for would-be School Business Managers. The Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS) runs an Induction Program for newly-appointed Superintendents.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) helps fund many of these programs.

These are all commendable efforts, but more must be done.

As a veteran school administrator, I believe that school districts and the leaders in them have an obligation to help fill this management gap. And I think we can do it, with little cost or effort.

Here are five specific ideas for school superintendents to consider:

Idea # 1: Annually enroll at least one staff member in an MSSAA or MAVA leadership program.

• Advantages: Steady buildings management capacity, at a reasonable annual cost of $ 2,000- $ 8,000. May be eligible for funding through one of the district's federal entitlement grants.

• Possible negatives: There's a cost. Teachers who receive the training may leave the district.

Idea # 2: Establish in-school internship programs to get more teachers licensed to take administrative jobs.

School districts already have mentoring programs for teachers. Simply expand yours to include an internship program for aspiring administrators. In a formal program, team up aspiring administrators with current administrators who are willing to share insights with their protégé and guide them through a series of practical projects.

• Advantages: There's little or no cost to the district. And it's easy to get such programs approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Education. Upon successful competition, teachers earn administrative licenses.

• Possible negative: You need mentors for each of the teachers. Teachers need to put in hundreds of hours of work to obtain a license. Teachers may encounter confidential information. Teachers who receive a license may leave your district.

Idea # 3: Allow teachers to take part in the budget development process.

• Advantages: No cost to the district. Simple way to train teachers to develop annual spending plans. Many would-be administrators have no experience in this key area.

• Possible negative: Teachers may get access to confidential information. Current administrators lose some measure of control.

Idea # 4: Let teachers take part in real planning, on important topics to the school.

Including teachers in self-studies / and planning for Coordinated Program Reviews and visits by regional accreditation teams.

• Advantages: No cost to the district. Gives teachers practical experience in areas of planning that administrators actually encounter regularly.

• Possible negatives: Teachers are likely to avoid problems within the school of which they were previously unaware. Current administrators may feel loss of control.

Idea # 5: Let teachers do some of the real "heavy lifting" in the school.

Do not isolate them. Involve them. Ask them to do substantive presentations to the School Council or School Committee. Have them make presentations to Town Meeting or the City Council.

• Advantages: No cost to the school. Hones public presentation skills. Many would-be administrators, while comfortable in a classroom, have no experience making presentations to large public bodies. This is a key skill.

• Possible negatives: Teachers are likely to avoid problems within the school of which they were previously unaware. Teachers may make errors in public. Current administrators may feel loss of control.

Sharp-eyed superintendents will notice that these ideas cost little or nothing. They do not require a tremendous amount of work by the district. And they do not require added personnel.

But they have a big payoff: They help would-be administrators develop key skills. And they help build management capacity in the teaching ranks.

Source by Steven C Sharek

What Happens to Client Files When a Collaborative Case Fails: The Massachusetts Rule for Lawyers

You have represented a client in a Collaborative Law case. Your whole professional team has done its best. At the end of the day, though, the parties have decided in good faith that they are no longer willing to negotiate and need a court to provide them with clarity. Your client pays you in full, but then requests for a copy of her files. What documents do you need to turn over? Do they include the analysis of the parties' rights and obligations you prepared for an offline conversation with the other lawyer? Does it not seem inconsistent with the whole notice of a Collaborative process to turn over a roadmap for a lawsuit to the next professional in line? You are especially mindful of Standard 5.5 of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals' Ethical Standards for Collaborative Practitioners, which calls on you to avoid contributing to the conflict of the client.

There are two new developments to give us guidance. On July 1, 2015, the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility released Formal Opinion 471, "Ethical Obligations of Lawyer to Surrender Papers and Property to Which Former Lawyer is Entitled." On the same day, a new version of the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct became effective, which preserves a deviation from the ABA Model Rules.

The ABA opinion notes that there are two lines of cases, the more common "entire file approach," under which a lawyer must turn over the entire file with only a few commonly recognized exceptions, and the "end product approach," in which a client is entitled to the end product of a lawyer's work but not necessarily all the documents that lead up to it. The opinion then explores some of the nuances of these definitions. For instance, documents often do not need to be disclosed under the entire file approach if disclosure would violate a duty to a third person, such as private attorney form files used in drafting documents.

Massachusetts follows a version of the minority rule, the end product approach, which is embodied directly in the text of the Commonwealth's variation of the Rules. Rule 1.16 (e) is a holdover from the former Code of Professional Conduct. It states that a lawyer must turn over the following to a client at the end of representation:

"(1) all papers, documents, and other materials the client provided to the lawyer.

"(2) all pleadings and other papers filed with or by the court or served by or upon any party. The client may be required to pay any copying charge consistent with the lawyer's actual cost for these materials, unless the client has already paid for such materials.

"(3) all investigatory or discovery documents except those for which the client is then subject to pay under the fee agreement but has not paid, including but not limited to medical records, photographs, tapes, disks, investigative reports, expert reports, depositions , and demonstrative evidence. The lawyer may at his or her own expense retain copies of any such materials.

"(4) if the lawyer and the client have not entered into a contingent fee agreement, the client is entitled only to that portion of the lawyer's work product (as defined in subparagraph (6) below) for which the client has paid.

"(5) if the lawyer and the client have entered into a contingent fee agreement, the lawyer must provide copies of the lawyer's work product (as defined in subparagraph (6) below) The client may be required to pay any copying charge consistent with the lawyer's actual cost for the copying of these materials.

"(6) For purposes of this paragraph (e), work product shall consist of documents and tangible things prepared in the course of the representation of the client by the lawyer or at the lawyer's direction by his or her employee, agent, or consultant , and not described in paragraphs (2) or (3) above. Examples of work product include without limitation legal research, records of witness interviews, reports of negotiations, and correspondence.

"(7) notwithstanding anything in this paragraph (e) to the contradiction, a lawyer may not reflect, on grounds of nonpayment, to make available materials in the client's file where retention would prejudice the client unfairly."

In other words, if the client has paid for "work product" in a Collaborative matter, the lawyer must turn it over. However, even though the definition of "work product" broadly includes "documents and other tangible things" produced by the lawyer in the course of representation, the examples include only end-product items. What does this mean? You must turn over:

-A written analysis you have prepared at the client's request, whether you have previously sent it to the client or not; and

-Legal research you have done as part of your analysis

The Massachusetts rules do not specifically address a lawyer's personal notes, drafts or internal memoranda, although the Opinion notes that other these items need not be disclosed in other jurisdictions that follow the end product rule. It is unclear which line of reasoning the Supreme Judicial Court would follow. In the absence of specific direction, the better approach may be to tread lightly: consider carefully what you put in writing, since you may need to turn it over to successor counselor.

Source by Jeffrey N Fink

A Limousine Trip To Plymouth Massachusetts

One is never restricted as to how a limousine can be chartered – whether it is for your business or pleasure use. Whether it is going to a long journey or a short trip, hiring a limousine for your travel needs in Plymouth, Massachusetts is never a bad idea.

When you book a limousine for your trip to Plymouth, you can be rest assured that you will be able to enjoy your holiday with your friends and loved ones without having to stress yourself out driving and asking for directions to the places that you want to go , looking for a parking space, or having to get done in a bad traffic, as these are all taken care of by your limousine driver.

Once you have gathered all your friends for that special trip to Plymouth, your limousine driver is more than ready to pick all of you up and start your journey. Perhaps if you and your friends are into some sight seeing on the waters, you may want to tell your limousine driver to take you to Mayflower II State Pier, for you to cruise Plymouth Harbor in comfort on the Pilgrim Belle, which is a Mississippi- style paddlewheeler. Due to the protected nature of Plymouth Harbor, you and your limousine friends will have a smooth ride on Pilgrim Belle.

On the Pilgrim Belle, you and your limousine friends may choose to sit outside on the spacious sundeck while sipping your favorite drinks, or enjoy some food and cocktails (for those 21 years and older only) at their galley. Do not forget to ask the bartender about the Paddlewheel Punch! Taking a cruise aboard the Pilgrim Belle is definitely a perfect way to get acquainted with Plymouth and the cruise takes just over an hour.

Next, you and your limousine friends may want to experience some whale watching and you will find that at Captain John Boats and they have now expanded its education program for both public and charter whale watches. You will also get to listen to your naturalist who will describe historic points to you and your limousine friends. When you pass Gurnet Light and leave Plymouth Harbor, take a walk down below inside the main cabin and join the naturalists for a short introductory video – that features sequences of the most common whales, dolphins and porpoises that migrate to New England waters to feed through the season. This is not just a whale watch experience, but a marine wildlife cruise that you will remember for a long time to come!

After that, you can ask your limousine driver to take you to Hearth 'n' Kettle at the John Carver Inn for some unique dining experience in an attractive Colonial setting. When you and your limousine friends finally climb back into the limousine to head home after dinner, you can have a peace of mind knowing that your limousine driver will send you home safely.

Source by Marsha Maung

Massachusetts Loan Officer Licensing

Massachusetts just recently passed legislation making additional requirements for prospective licensees. Among those changes were audited financial requirements, increased bond requirements, and other minor changes. This has made it difficult for smaller mortgage brokers to get licensed since they do not have they time or money to complete audited financials. Audited Financials often can cost between $2,000 to $10,000 to complete and weeks of gathering paperwork for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Massachusetts has now passed another bill requiring loan officers to be licensed. Details have not been released about exactly what the timeframes will be for licensing, but with the US Senate looking at a bill to require Loan Officer licensing in every state, we may see more of this soon.

New licensing requirements should be coming out very soon. I am expecting the state of Massachusetts to require fingerprint background checks, tests, continuing education, and a hefty fee between $200 to $300 per Loan Officer.

Massachusetts Senate Passes Homeownership Protection Legislation

The Massachusetts Senate passed House Bill 4306, a bill protecting and preserving home ownership on October 25, 2007. The bill, which the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed on October 18, will be returned to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

Highlights of the legislation include:

o New requirement for loan originator licensure;

o 90 day right to cure to borrowers of owner-occupied family homes who default on a mortgage payment;

o Felony or misdemeanor offense for mortgage brokers or lenders operating without a license;

o $3 million appropriation to fund staff at the Division of Banks to implement and enforce mortgage loan originator licensure; and

o $2 million appropriation to fund at least 10 foreclosure education counseling centers through the Division of Banks.

The legislation also offers incentives to lenders to revise adjustable or variable rate home loans to fixed terms.

Source by Steven Sheasby

The Massachusetts Habitual Traffic Offender Law

In Massachusetts, a Habitual Traffic Offender is someone who, in any rolling 5 year period, has three or more convictions for operating under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, reckless driving, or leaving the scene of an accident; or twelve or more convictions for other reportable violations such as speeding, failure to stop for a red light or stop sign, failure to stay within marked lanes, etc,

When determining whether someone qualifies as a habitual traffic offender, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles uses conviction dates and not the dates upon which the motor vehicle offenses were committed. Also, out of state convictions are counted just as if they had occurred in Massachusetts. Once someone is declared a Habitual Traffic Offender, the accumulation of any new qualifying violations will generate additional Habitual Traffic Offender license revocations unless and until the older violations drop outside of the rolling 5 year HTO look-back period.

It is possible to become a Habitual Traffic Offender overnight, in a single incident. For example, suppose a driver is convicted of operating under the influence, which is commonly referred to in Massachusetts as DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. This is a common scenario where a driver is alleged to have crashed into something and left the scene, because he or she had been drinking. In addition to the license suspensions associated with the DUI and the 60 day suspensions for leaving the scene and negligent operation, the driver will automatically be declared a face a Habitual Traffic Offender and face four (4) year revocation of his or her license or right to operate a motor vehicle in Massachusetts.

Someone could lose their license for four (4) years, as a Habitual Traffic Offender, by accumulating minor violations such as speeding tickets over any rolling 5 year period. It is for this reason that drivers should not only drive carefully, but they should also consider appealing traffic citations within the 20 appeal period. Once labeled as Habitual Traffic Offenders, many people regret not having appealed their tickets. Once the 4 year license revocation is triggered, it is too late to appeal.

The good news for Massachusetts Habitual Traffic Offenders is that both the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the Board of Appeal of the Division of Insurance can consider you for a limited 12 hour hardship license, after you have served 1 year of the 4 year mandatory license revocation. It is important not to have any recent charges showing that you were driving on a suspended license, to receive favorable hardship consideration, which is completely discretionary. This means that there is not automatic right to a hardship license, even in the case of a 4 year HTO revocation.

Source by Brian Simoneau

Regionalizing of Emergency Dispatch Services in Massachusetts

The regionalizing of emergency dispatch services is a hot topic in many Massachusetts counties as of late. Grants are being given, committees are being formed, and studies are being conducted. Why all the time and effort, when, if you simply look to the rest of the country, it seems like a worthwhile trend?

As a matter of fact, Massachusetts is one of the only states that has not, for the most part, regionalized its dispatch services. Granted, it takes years, investment and dedication to accomplish such an undertaking. Case in point: the State of Oregon worked for 16 years to regionalize the dispatch of its state police services, but it was worth it. Now, there are two command centers that act as primary points of contact for all state police needs across the state – instead of 26. Tax payers’ money is saved, scales of economies are realized, and updated technologies are enjoyed throughout the state.

These are the emergent themes from all around the country – taxpayer savings, efficient dispatch processes, more dependable higher-tech technologies. According to Thomas Dubas who runs a dispatch center in Lackawanna County, Pa, and was hired to advise on the regionalizing proposal, “The level of expertise, the level of training, and the level of service that a regional center can provide is just so much more responsive for the communities,” he said. Why, then, hasn’t Massachusetts followed suit?

It’s not that the ideas haven’t been presented. In the last three years, Essex, Plymouth and Worcester counties have all brought up proposals for regionalizing emergency dispatch services. And with any Massachusetts proposal, there have been dissenters. Those opposed to the combining of services, site possible layoffs, lack of presence in overnight facilities to greet visitors, and varying degrees of dispatcher familiarity with towns involved, as main reasons to veto.

It’s not that they don’t see the financial and procedural benefits of such a project, but those opposed do not want to rush into something without looking at it from every angle. The reason to regionalize emergency dispatch services should not be for finances alone. There is an obviously-human element to the work performed by dispatch personnel. A large degree of the work the dispatchers perform now is to walk-ins, as well as monitoring late-night activities. If towns combined dispatch efforts, those high-touch elements would be eliminated.

However, it is hard to overlook the hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money that could be saved, especially in a time where agencies are expected to do less with more, and budget cuts are forcing every department to look more thoroughly than ever at its expenditures. And when you get right down to it, almost every other state is already combining emergency service management – and doing it successfully. If nothing else, then there are plenty of case studies to show us the way to regionalize emergency dispatch for our own success.

Source by Jennifer K. Harris