Payal Salsburg presents a Boston Bar Association webinar on Friday, February 19th entitled, “Do’s and Don’ts of Depositions.” Payal and her co-presenter, Scott McConchie, will discuss taking and defending depositions, sharing valuable insight into preparing for depositions, effectively questioning deponents and objecting while defending a deposition. Panelists will provide time for Q&A. The program is sponsored by the New Lawyers Forum and the Business & Commercial Litigation sections of the Boston Bar Association.
Laredo & Smith is thrilled to be named to the 2021 Edition of U.S. News– Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” in the Metropolitan Tier 2 Boston for Commercial Litigation. The annual list recognizes professional excellence with consistently high ratings from clients and peers. The firm is also pleased to have 3 attorneys recognized as Best Lawyers this year: Marc Laredo, Mark Smith and Matt Kane.
From proactive prevention of problems to tenacious representation in court when needed, Laredo & Smith attorneys are known for obtaining excellent results for clients. At Laredo & Smith, our attorneys are proactive problem solvers. We work hard to reduce legal risk and get involved quickly to minimize damage and find legal solutions. And, when negotiations are not reasonable or appropriate, our attorneys are strategic and tenacious in court to obtain the best possible result.
ABOUT “BEST LAW FIRMS”
The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in the field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. To be eligible for a 2021 ranking, a law firm must have at least one lawyer recognized in the 26th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America list for that particular location and specialty.
ABOUT U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT U.S.
News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. A digital news and information company focused on Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars and Civic, USNews.com provides consumer advice, rankings and analysis to serve people making complex decisions throughout all stages of life. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
ABOUT BEST LAWYERS
Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected lawyer ranking service in the world. For almost 40 years, Best Lawyers has assisted those in need of legal services to identify the lawyers best qualified to represent them in distant jurisdictions or unfamiliar specialties. Best Lawyers rankings are published in leading local, regional, and national publications across the globe.
As businesses and executives accelerate their transition to a primarily online environment, a greater need has arisen to monitor one’s online reputation. A recent opinion by the Massachusetts Appeals Court warns that one must act quickly when that reputation is wrongfully maligned.
At 1:00 a.m this morning, Senate leader McConnell announced an agreement in the Senate on the principle terms of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or “CARES” Act, S.3548, subject to minor and technical revisions. A vote in the Senate is expected soon. Much of the relief proposed in the bill would be accomplished through amendments to the tax code, so we urge our clients to consult early and often with their tax professionals.
The Senate bill could affect small businesses in a number of ways.
- The bill would expand lending to small business through the SBA and participating lenders. The bill would make “small business interruption loans” available to employers with fewer than 500 employees. Loan payments would be deferred for up to one year, and loan amounts used for “maintaining payroll continuity” March 2020 and June 2020 would be eligible for forgiveness. The amount of loan forgiveness would be reduced pro rata, however, for reductions in workforce.
- The bill would provide payments to individuals, including small business owners, in the nature of refundable tax credits. The bill would provide up to $1200 for individuals ($2400 for couples filing jointly). The credit would be reduced by 5% of adjusted gross income in excess of $75,000 ($150,000 for joint returns), but would not be less than $0. And additional $500 credit would be provided per taxpayer dependent.
- The bill would provide cheaper access to qualified retirement funds. The bill would eliminate the 10% tax penalty on early withdrawals from qualified retirement plans for coronavirus related distributions, up to a maximum withdrawal of $100,000. If withdrawals are repaid within three years, then the early distribution would be treated as a rollover (i.e., a direct transfer to a trustee) for purposes of capital gains taxes.
- The bill could permit certain employers to defer payment of payroll taxes due in 2020 for up to two years.
- The bill places some limitations on the recent coronavirus related amendments to Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, which was passed as part of Congress’s Phase 2 response. If enacted, the bill would cap an employers’ obligation to pay for coronavirus-related sick leave at $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate per employee for that employee’s government or doctor ordered self-quarantine or self-care and at $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate per employee for that employee’s absence to care for others as a result of coronavirus or coronavirus related school closures.
Laredo & Smith’s Matt Kane is closely monitoring any additional changes and will keep you informed of emerging items that could impact you and your business. Please do not hesitate to to reach out to any Laredo & Smith attorney with questions or concerns about your small business. We are here to help.
On Wednesday, March 18th, the Senate passed a slightly revised version of H.B. 6201 and the President signed the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” into law. The relevant revisions narrow the application of the Act’s leave provisions to exclude employees caring for any persons other than immediate family members due to COVID19 related illnesses or closings. The Act goes into effect on April 2, 2020. Thus, it concludes a so-called “Phase 2” of the federal government’s coronavirus response (Phase 1 was a supplemental appropriations bill with direct impact on small businesses).
As things escalate in the United States, Congress is already pivoting to Phase 3: a fiscal stimulus package that could top $1.5 trillion. A draft bill has yet to be published, but we expect it to include up to $250 billion in funding for small business loans, as well funding for direct cash payments to individuals. A draft bill could be published before the end of the week, at which point new details will emerge.
Laredo & Smith’s Matt Kane will closely monitor Phase 3 and keep you informed of emerging items that could impact you and your business. In the interim, please do not hesitate to contact any Laredo & Smith attorney with your questions. We are here to help.
The COVID 19 pandemic is slowly stopping the U.S. in its tracks. As governments find ways to flatten the curve, the U.S. House did its part by passing H.B. 6201, entitled “Families First Coronavirus Response Act.” H.B. 6201 is not yet the law, but we anticipate versions of the bill’s most significant provisions will become law as early as this week. This will have significant implications for small businesses. Below is a summary of those potential impacts:
- The bill incorporates the proposed “Emergency Paid Leave Act of 2020,” which establishes a federal emergency paid leave benefits program to provide payments to employees taking leave due to the coronavirus outbreak retroactive to leaves begun on or after January 19, 2020. Under this proposed act, subject to certain exceptions, employees who take a coronavirus related leave, including for purposes of caregiving in connection with a school closing, would be eligible for payment of 2/3 of their monthly wages, up to $4,000 per month, for up to three months. This federal benefit would be reduced dollar-for-dollar, however, for any State or private payments for leave over the same period.
- The bill will expand the employee protections the Family Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2611 et al., to include employees absent due to a “public health emergency leave.” Additionally, the bill would expand application of the FMLA for “public health emergency leave” to allemployers, regardless of number of employees, and cover employees with only thirty days of service, rather than twelve months. An employee would be permitted to elect to substitute an accrued paid leave benefit, but an employer would not be permitted to require the employee to do so. For employers with fewer than twenty five employees, the requirement to hold the employee’s position open would be relaxed under certain enumerated circumstances.
- The bill incorporates the proposed “Paid Sick Days for Public Health Emergencies and Personal and Family Care Act.” This act would require employers to provide their employees with at least 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to at least 56 total hours of paid sick time. Importantly, employers with existing paid sick time policies (including those that are imposed by state law) that are as good or better than the proposed federal program would notbe required to provide any additional sick time benefits under federal law. The act would require, however, that employers notify each of their employees and include in any employee handbook certain information concerning the new federal law.
As with the pandemic, the situation is still fluid. And these rules are still subject to revision before passage. Laredo & Smith will be monitoring the bill closely over the next week and communicating information as it becomes known. In the interim, please do not hesitate to contact your Laredo & Smith attorney with any questions. We are here to help you ride this out.
On January 14, 2020, the highest court in the Commonwealth held that, while a former shareholder and employee of a closely-held company breached a restrictive covenant with the company, the trial judge’s decision to extend the restrictive covenant beyond its plain terms was erroneous under the circumstances.
Laredo & Smith, LLP, an established law firm with a collegial practice located in downtown Boston, is looking to hire an attorney for its corporate/business law practice. Candidates must have at least three years’ experience, including familiarity with closely-held entities. The firm is open to a part-time or flexible hours arrangement. Some portable billings or interest in developing a practice would be a plus.
Please send a cover letter and resume to Matthew Kane, Laredo & Smith, LLP, 101 Federal Street, Suite 650, Boston, MA 02110 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Payal Salsburg will moderate a panel of speakers for a Boston Bar Association program entitled, “Litigating Derivative Suits in Closely-Held Businesses.” This CLE covers considerations of bringing derivative claims versus a direct claim on behalf of shareholders in a closely-held business. The panelists will discuss particular considerations under Massachusetts Law as well as strategies through differing goals for resolving disputes, whether recovery of damages on behalf of a company or a business divorce. They will also discuss special issues in shareholder litigation in the context of limited liability companies. The event takes place on Tuesday, December 10th from 3-430pm at 16 Beacon Street in Boston. For more information and to register, please visit the BBA website.
Laredo & Smith offers clients big-firm expertise with the client-centered, cost-effective strategy that only a small firm can offer.
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Laredo & Smith, LLP
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Boston, MA 02110