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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…]

OUI Self Representation in Massachusetts -Things to consider

Many people who receive a driving under the influence (DUI) or operating under the influence (OUI) charge, as it is known in Massachusetts, assume that the offense is relatively simple and thus believe they should represent themselves when the case comes to court. Each individual is entitled to do so. However, below are several facts to consider before making a decision.

Certain attorneys specialize in drunk driving defense. They understand the intricacies of the law and the administration of the court. Although you may have read up on issues such as blood alcohol content (BAC) levels and other requirements of the law, presenting your case in court is quite different and only an experienced OUI defense attorney is capable of effectively navigating the process and identifying defense opportunities. [Read more…]

Three things about OUI/DUI you wish you had known sooner

If you’ve been pulled over and charged with OUI in Massachusetts, there are three things about Massachusetts OUI/DUI laws that you’ll wish you’d known sooner.

Let’s start with some definitions. OUI means “operating under the influence” of alcohol, while DUI means “driving under the influence” of alcohol. While many states refer to drunk driving arrests as DUIs, in Massachusetts, the term OUI is used for all such charges.

Things you should know:

1. The penalties for OUIs in Massachusetts are some of the most severe in the nation. You could receive a fine of $500-$5,000, jail time of up to 2 1/2 years, and have your license suspended. The penalties go up sharply for repeat offenses. For a second OUI, at least 30 days in jail is mandated, the fine could be $600-$10,000, and you could lose your license for two years. [Read more…]

Snow and Ice. Slip and Fall

Winter in Massachusetts is a time of snow, ice and even hail. Property owners now have to worry about the potential liability they face from snow and ice, which can cause slip and fall injuries more than ever before. In 2010, the MA Supreme Court basically changed property liability rules to include what is known as “unnatural” accumulation as a hazard.

What is unnatural accumulation?
Property owners always had to worry about clearing sidewalks. This holds true for homeowners, businesses and even municipalities. However, many never think about someone being injured on their property once they have cleared snow-covered areas. With this new rule, Massachusetts defines unnatural accumulation as piles of shoveled snow, snow that has been tamped down by foot traffic and even ice patches that are formed because water was dripping from a gutter or off a roof. There may be other cases where this may apply, but in general, this is what is considered.

Under what is known as “reasonable care” statutes, Boston business owners are allowed up to three hours to clear snow and ice from their storefronts. Residents are allowed up to six hours. Worcester on the other hand is allowed up to 12 hours. [Read more…]

Massachusetts Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Losing a family member is painful and when your family loses a family member because of the action or inaction of another person, the loss is compounded with anger. In addition to losing your loved one, you are facing a life without their companionship and in addition, very real monetary losses. There is no doubt that no amount of money will ever mitigate the loss but the fact remains, you have the legal right in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts per Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 229, Section 2 to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Filing Wrongful Death Claims
To file wrongful death claim, the personal representative of the decedents estate must work with a personal injury attorney in Massachusetts who understands the statutes that apply to wrongful death. Should the decedent not have a will at the time of their death, the probate court will appoint a person to bring the claim. A successful suit that results in damages awarded will be distributed according to the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. [Read more…]

Auto Accidents – A Skilled Injury Attorney Will Make The Difference

Car accidents happen all the time, and they oftentimes leave one or both parties with injuries that require medical attention. Medical bills are expensive and it is important that you are not financially ruined because of the fault of another. Consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to fight for your interests, and make sure you are compensated for your medical bills and suffering.

Personal injury lawyers are especially important when you are in an accident with a commercial truck or other large corporately insured vehicle. The insurance and transportation companies want to settle with you as quickly as possible. Do not sign any papers they put in front of you without consulting an experienced personal injury lawyer even if what they are offering seems like a lot of money. If you waive them of liability by accepting their offer and it turns out you have more extensive medical bills than you thought at the time of signing, you are out of luck; you will have to cover the costs for yourself. [Read more…]

Massachusetts Law Regarding Dog Bites

Dog bites are terrifying when they happen. They are painful and may become a major medical problem for the person bitten. If the bite is serious enough, it may require stitches. Infection is also a problem in this case. Massachusetts law, Part I, Title XX, Chapter 140, Section 155 is specifically written to deal with this personal injury matter.

Is The Dog Owner Always Liable?
Dog bites happen for different reasons and the law takes this into account. If a person is committing trespass or teasing the dog, then the law recognizes this as provocation of the animal. The dog owner will not necessarily be held liable if provocation is a factor. If there is no proven provocation, the responsibility is with the dog owner for the actions of their dog. [Read more…]

NEWS: Obama and Executive Action on Immigration

For over a decade now, Congress has been unable to do anything about the country’s broken immigration system. Tired of their unwillingness to act, it seems that President Obama is willing to take action on his own. If we can believe the rumors coming from Washington, D.C., Obama is weeks away from announcing a deferred deportation program that could benefit some 5 million illegal immigrants. Many believe that this program will extend the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals) Program, which the President introduced two years ago, to the parents of those children. If true, this would allow those qualified to apply for work authorization and prevent their deportation. For now, we here at Bostonian Legal Group, urge you to stay on top of the news and once an announcement is made, do not hesitate to contact us at 617-956-0956 to see if you qualify.

Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program for Massachusetts

Massachusetts’ Gov. Deval Patrick unveiled a $100 million economic development proposal that includes a program to keep foreign-born entrepreneurs in the state. The goal of the “Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program” is to allow more high-skilled international students to stay in Massachusetts upon graduation if they are growing or starting a business.

H-1B Visas Needed
Currently, international students’ visas expire when they graduate. In order to stay in the U.S. they must find an employer willing to sponsor their H-1B visa application. However, there are only a limited number of H-1B visas available each year and the application process is challenging for emerging entrepreneurs. Gov. Patrick asserts the U.S., and specifically Massachusetts, is losing valuable talent when these students are educated here then go to other countries to launch their businesses. [Read more…]

TelexFree Class Action Suit

ATTENTION TELEXFREE INVESTORS, PROMOTORS, AND INDEPENDENT SALES ASSOCIATES

The TelexFree bankruptcy case is filed and will be heard in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, United States.

The Honorable Judge Hoffman of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has extended the deadline for creditors to file their proofs of claim against Telexfree and it’s affiliates. [Read more…]

TelexFree co-owner arrested in Worcester

The Boston Globe has reported that the co-owner of TelexFree Inc. has been arrested in Worcester, Massachusetts. Here’s the story.

Boston Globe By Priyanka Dayal McCluskey

James Merrill, co-owner of TelexFree Inc., the Marlborough company accused of bilking investors in an elaborate pyramid scheme, has been arrested, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s office confirmed today.

James Merrill

Authorities also have issued a warrant for the arrest of co-owner Carlos Wanzeler, who is now a fugitive, thought to have fled to Brazil amid a criminal grand jury investigation of the company.

Merrill was arrested by Homeland Security agents this afternoon on Route 9 in Worcester. Charges against him will be filed in US District Court in Worcester.

An attorney for Wanzeler said at a hearing Wednesday that he didn’t

know the whereabouts of his client, but it “wouldn’t terribly surprise anybody” if the TelexFree principal had traveled to Brazil recently. He said Wanzeler had dual citizenship in Brazil and the United States.

Regulators sued TelexFree and froze the company’s assets last month, alleging the business and its principals were operating an illegal pyramid scheme that may have raised more than $1 billion from people around the world. [Read more…]

TelexFree, Inc. Bankruptcy

If you invested money or worked for Telexfree, Inc. and its affiliates, you can protect your rights by submitting a Proof of Claim through Bostonian Legal Group by August 13, 2014.

The Telexfree bankruptcy cases were recently transferred to Judge Melvin Hoffman in the Federal Bankruptcy Court located in Worcester Massachusetts. On May 8, 2014, Judge Hoffman issued Orders for victims and will be convening a hearing on the matter on May 27, 2014. If you invested money or worked for Telexfree and its affiliates, you can protect your rights by submitting your TelexFree claim to the Bostonian Legal Group.

Bostonian Legal Group is a Massachusetts bankruptcy law firm. We represent victims throughout the world and the United States who have lost money in corporate bankruptcy cases. We offer TelexFree victims a free Claims Evaluation and  the opportunity to join the Class Action Suit against TelexFree. We will file the Bankruptcy Proof of Claim Form on your behalf, preserve your rights as a TelexFree victim, and represent your interests during the TelexFree bankruptcy process in an effort to return your investment.

The Deadline to file your Proof of Claim Form is August 13, 2014

 Background Information:

On April 13, 2014, TelexFree, Inc. filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. TelexFree is accused of running a multi-level pyramid and Ponzi scheme, receiving approximately $1,000,000,000 in allegedly fraudulent sales, and owing in excess of $4,000,000,000. If you participated in any of the company’s programs, including the sale of voice over Internet telephone service (“VOIP”), or the sale of advertising packages, you may have claims in the bankruptcy case.

We regularly represent clients in front of Judge Hoffman and are experienced with the Worcester Bankruptcy Court. We will protect your rights and meet the requirements under the Bankruptcy Code.

TelexFree bankruptcy case back to Mass.

Boston Globe By Beth Healy

A federal judge in Las Vegas has ruled that the TelexFree Inc. bankruptcy case will be moved to Massachusetts, after regulators argued that the Marlborough phone-service company had virtually no operations in Nevada.

US Bankruptcy Judge August B. Landis made a ruling from the bench Tuesday to move the case to Massachusetts and temporarily suspend proceedings, a court official confirmed.

TelexFree filed for Chapter 11 protection on a Sunday night last month, 2,700 miles away from its main office in Massachusetts, just days before state and federal securities regulators brought civil fraud charges against the company’s principals.
Related

Federal agents raided TelexFree’s Marlborough office on April 15, two days after the bankruptcy filing, and regulators soon froze the company’s assets. Secretary of State William F. Galvin accused the company of luring $90 million from Massachusetts residents who signed up for TelexFree’s Internet phone service and opened investment accounts with the company on promises of large returns. [Read more…]

The H-1B Visa Application Process

In general terms, an H-1B visa applies to individuals who have attained at a minimum a bachelor’s degree or it’s equivalent in a specialty occupation. Only 65,000 of these visas are allowed by the U.S. each year, plus an additional 20,000 for those individuals with U.S.-earned Master’s degrees or higher. The H-1B filing season begins on April 1st. This season, for employment starting October 1st, 2014, the Government announced that it had reached the cap on April 7th, just one week after the application period began. This is why it is imperative for a company who would like a foreign specialist to work for them in the U.S. to hire immigration attorneys familiar with the H-1B Visa application process.

Note that the H-1B Cap does not apply to most employment at institutions of higher education, or related/affiliated nonprofit entities, nonprofit research organizations or government research organizations. [Read more…]

The L1 and L2 Visa for Massachusetts Businesses

An L1 Visa is considered an Intra-Transfer. This type of visa allows a firm to temporarily hire a foreign executive to handle high level firm business within the U.S. The visa allows the foreign executive to move to a position with an office of an affiliate, subsidiary, parent company, or different company branch or department.

At first, this type of visa only applied to large multinational companies; however the laws have expanded to nurture the international growth of young start-up firms. This allowance has helped small start-ups to extend their reach to the U.S.

The L1 Visa allows individuals the ability to work in the U.S. without requiring them to maintain a foreign residence or prove they have any intention of moving to the U.S. permanently. These exemptions are what make an L1 Visas considered dual intent. [Read more…]

United States Visa Options and Requirements for Green Cards

Visa options for immigration to the United States are quite varied depending on your circumstances and what you want to do. Some visas relate strictly to employment or education and others are given to individuals who have a special expertise in areas of particular interest such as technology, medicine, etc.

A Green Card
This is the most common visa and one that comes in six different categories. The first one is an EB-1 that allows extraordinary researchers and professors from another country to live and teach in America permanently. An EB-2 is for foreign students who hold advanced degrees and want to live or continue education here. The EB-3 is designed for skilled laborers and similar professionals. An EB-4 is made for religious workers or for medical graduates from foreign countries. The EB-5 visa provides a method of obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States, creating or preserving jobs.
[Read more…]

How Can I-601A Waivers Help Those Who Are in the U.S. Illegally?

In May of this year, I-601A waivers went into effect in the United States. This provisional waiver can help individuals who entered the U.S without inspection to excuse their illegal presence in the United States. Upon approval by the USCIS, this waiver will allow the applicants to become eligible for their appointments for immigrant visas.

How Do You Qualify?

An individual can qualify for this type of visa if they are 17 years old and are the beneficiary of a I-130 visa petition as an immediate relative of a current U.S. citizen.

An immediate relative is considered a spouse, parent, or child of a U.S. citizen. If applying as a parent, the sponsoring progeny must be 21 years of age, but they may be older and still be considered a child under the Child Status Protection Act. [Read more…]

Immigration Attorneys Explain How Overturning DOMA Affects Same-Sex Couples

In 2003, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize marriage for same-sex couples. Despite this new law, the state could not provide any federal benefits granted to heterosexual couples because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Such benefits included the right to bring a spouse into the country based on the marriage. Seven same-sex couples from the state decided to challenge the law. Their case eventually led to the Supreme Court decision in 2013, which declared DOMA to be unconstitutional.

Same-sex spouses can now immigrate to the U.S. under the same regulations that allow admittance to opposite-sex husbands and wives.

  • The most commonly known option for same-sex spouses is the permanent resident visa, or “green card.” A foreign national can apply for the visa if his or her spouse is a U.S. citizen.
  • Foreign nationals who are in the country and are not permanent residents can bring spouses depending on their visas. For example, an H-1B holder, who is a non-immigrant worker, can bring their spouses to the United States through the H4 visa category.
  • A foreign citizen who is engaged to a U.S. citizen can apply for K-1 visa to enter a same-sex marriage. The visa-holder can then become a permanent resident due to the marriage. [Read more…]

What Could the New Immigration Bill Mean for Me?

Our Massachusetts Immigration Attorneys Provide Answers

On April 16, 2013 a bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced an immigration reform bill that could change the lives of thousands of immigrants in Massachusetts, not to mention millions across the nation. The bill addresses a number of key issues in the immigration debate, including legalization for the country’s undocumented population. The legislation proposes a 13-year path to citizenship, which, among other requirements, calls for immigrants to undergo background checks, pay fines and learn English.

Immigrants currently in the U.S. without authorization and who were in the country before December 31, 2011, may be able to apply for a new status called Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI), which grants work authorization and permits workers to change employers and travel outside the country. An individual may apply for a green card after ten years in this provisional status if they meet specified requirements; three years later, they may apply for citizenship. [Read more…]

Selecting the best bankruptcy attorney for your needs

For those considering bankruptcy, one of the first things that needs to be understood is the difference between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While there are similarities, there are tremendous differences as well.

  • Chapter 7 defined – The simplest form of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 literally wipes away consumer debt through a liquidation process. Some assets such as a primary residence and automobile may be exempt depending on your individual case.
  • Chapter 13 defined – More commonly called wage-earners bankruptcy, this allows the debtor to restructure existing debt. Borrowers who do not qualify for Chapter 7 are often able to file Chapter 13.

Qualifying for Chapter 7

Debtors cannot simply decide to file Chapter 7, they must first pass a means test. The means test is based on a formula based on median income which the Census Bureau shows was $65,981 in Massachusetts between 2006 and 2011.  The median income is different for each debtor since factors like household size do have an impact on the rate. Borrowers who earn less than the median income for a family their size are generally eligible to file for Chapter 7. [Read more…]

Qualifications for Deferred Action

Hundreds of thousands of people who entered the United States as children but without documentation can now apply for Deferred Action which will allow them to remain in and work in the country without fear of deportation for at least two years.

Below is a short list of qualifications to help determine if you are eligible.

  • Have come to the United States before your sixteenth birthday.
  • Have continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, and up to the present time.
  • Be present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for deferred action.
  • Not have lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012. This means you must have entered the U.S. without papers before June 15, 2012, or, if you entered lawfully, your lawful immigration status must have expired as of June 15, 2012. [Read more…]

Deferred Action

Deferred action is a discretionary determination on the part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It is an act of prosecutorial discretion. The new policy will allow certain foreign-born individuals who entered the United States as children to apply for 2-year work permits, and possibly for extensions. It is not a path to a green card or to U.S. citizenship.

Do you qualify for the Deferred Action program?

Hundreds of thousands of people who entered the United States as children but without documentation can apply for Deferred Action — beginning Wednesday, August 15, 2012 — to remain in and work in the country without fear of deportation for at least two years. Learn if you qualify for the Deferred Action program.

Deferred Action application forms

You are required to submit form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. If you are applying for employment authorization, you must also submit forms I-765 and I-765WS. In order to receive employment authorization, you must demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment”.  Contact our immigration attorneys to begin your application process by completing the appropriate Deferred Action Forms.

Start your Deferred Action Application process now

Our immigration attorneys serve clients throughout the country and in Massachusetts. We have law offices in downtown Boston, as well as in the Boston Metrowest and Boston South Shore. Contact our immigration attorneys now for a consultation and advice on the next steps in the Deferred Action legal process.

Bankruptcy Attorneys Can Help with Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy and live in Massachusetts, you need to know the difference between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. These are the two main types of personal bankruptcy but each have their own set of rules and stipulations that are paramount in choosing the right one for your own personal needs.

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy filing is known as straight bankruptcy. What it involves is a liquidation of your assets that are not considered exempt. Exempt property can be tools for work, automobiles and some household furnishings. You can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every six years and some of your property may be sold or given to your creditors. You must also qualify for this type of bankruptcy since only those that cannot afford to pay on their debts are considered. If you can afford to pay some of your debtors then you have to choose the Chapter 13 status instead. Also keep in mind that some debts cannot be discharged. Some examples include back taxes and student loans.
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy is a little different. You receive a payment plan through the court as long as you have a steady income. You are allowed to keep your property that might otherwise be sold; this can include your home and automobiles. Once you have made the court approved payments, your debt is settled. This one is more of a debt consolidation as opposed to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is a total liquidation of assets that are nonexempt.

Since both require the help of bankruptcy attorneys simply contact us in order to research the right information and choose the most experienced and appropriate lawyer in Massachusetts.

Proposed Amendments to the Massachusetts Local Bankruptcy Rules

The United States Bankruptcy Court, with the valuable assistance of the Attorney Advisory Committee chaired by Chief Judge Frank J. Bailey and Judge Melvin S. Hoffman, has drafted new and proposed amendments to the Massachusetts Local Bankruptcy Rules (PDF Version).

PROPOSED NEW AND AMENDED LOCAL RULES
RULE 1009-1. AMENDMENTS

(a) A party filing a document amending a voluntary petition, list, schedule, statement of financial affairs, statement of intention or statement of current monthly income shall do so by notice as set forth in Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1009(a), except with respect to the following in an individual debtor’s case:
(1) amendment to add a creditor or to change a creditor’s address; or
(2) amendment to the schedule of exemptions after the deadline for objecting to the exemptions.
(b) If either exception set forth in subsection (a) applies, the debtor shall file a motion to amend seeking approval of the amendment.
(c) The following documents, to the extent applicable, shall be filed along with the documents required in subsections (a) and (b):
(1) the amended voluntary petition, list, schedule, statement of financial affairs, statement of intention, or statement of current monthly income, which shall clearly state in the caption that the document is “amended”;
(2) Official Form B6 -Declaration Concerning Debtor’s Schedules;
(3) an amended summary of schedules; and
(4) a certificate of service of notice to all parties in interest, including persons affected by the amendment.
(d) If the debtor is adding a creditor or is changing an existing creditor’s address on the mailing matrix, the motion to amend or notice shall include a separate list of the names and addresses of only the added creditors in compliance with MLBR Official Local Form 1.

[Read more…]

Selecting a Boston Bankruptcy Attorney

A Boston bankruptcy attorney can help you manage personal or professional debts you are unable to pay. Bankruptcy laws allow people and businesses to (1) get a “fresh start” by relieving most debts; and (2) repay the money owed to all creditors as fairly as possible.

When you file for bankruptcy protection, all other legal actions against you are put on hold. Creditors cannot sue you, garnish your wages, repossess your car or home entertainment system, or start or continue with a foreclosure action against your home. There are different types of bankruptcy filings and each has its own advantages. Since bankruptcy can significantly impact your future purchasing power and credit rating, you should see a bankruptcy attorney to make sure the benefits of filling bankruptcy outweigh the consequences.

The Boston bankruptcy lawyers at Esher Rossi will discuss your financial restructuring options. Our bankruptcy lawyers serve all of Massachusetts including Boston, the Greater Boston MetroWest region, Cape Cod and the cities of Boston, Cambridge, Cape Cod, Framingham, LowellNewton, and Worcester.

Bankruptcy Wipes Out Credit Card and Other Types of Unsecured Debts

The primary reason people file bankruptcy in Massachusetts is to obtain a court-ordered discharge of debt. However, not all forms of debt are dischargeable in bankruptcy. Before you file bankruptcy in Massachusetts, it is important to understand the nature of your debts, and which debts can and cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

Esher Rossi is a full service Massachusetts insolvency and financial restructuring firm. Our bankruptcy attorneys represent consumer and business debtors as well as creditors, trustees, creditors’ committees, and investors, in all aspects of distressed economic  and bankruptcy situations including Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, mediation and arbitration services. [Read more…]

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