There are few ‘hotter’ topics in corporate boardrooms these days than understanding the risks from a cyber attack and the measures to thwart, or at least minimize risk of, a cyber breach. Indeed, the consequences of a cyber breach can be severe, including loss of valuable intangible property, a drop in share price, disclosure and reporting obligations to the SEC and other agencies, and litigation against the company and its board of directors.
Arbitration – the private means of resolving a dispute – is a well- accepted and often encouraged alternative to the court system. Whether arbitration is the right choice for your business contract, however, is a more nuanced question. As a starting point, all contracts should contain language regarding the resolution of disputes, including which state and/or country’s law will apply, where disputes will be resolved (a particularly important issue when parties are located in different states or countries) and whether arbitration or the court system will be used. It is this last choice that is the focus of this article.
When young adults are away from home in a collegiate atmosphere, sometimes they get into trouble. So, what is a parent to do? First, have a basic awareness of the rules that govern student conduct– rules that may have changed dramatically since our collegiate days. Discuss them with your college-bound children. A school may impose an array of disciplinary actions up to and including expulsion, a potentially devastating, life-altering consequence for a young man or woman. If a student is facing any kind of disciplinary charge, it is important that he or she consult with an attorney immediately– before speaking to the authorities and making potentially damaging statements with far reaching (including criminal) consequences. Experienced counsel can guide the student through the disciplinary process, advocate to the administration on a student’s behalf, and keep an eye out for due process issues.
A recent ruling of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, while reaching the fair and just result, serves as a cautionary tale of the importance of written agreements and a reminder of the adage that no good deed goes unpunished. Learn more about this case study: A couple lent money to their son-in-law’s business after the son-in-law promised to provide personal guarantees for the loans. Despite his promises, he never signed written personal guarantees and never repaid his in-laws. Was the promise enforceable? Barrie-Chivian v. Lepler, 87 Mass. App. Ct 683 (2015).
Following a sharp increase in mortgage foreclosures, in the wake of a steep decline in the housing market, growing numbers of defaulted mortgage borrowers (typically homeowners) and their attorneys seized on the so-called “try-title statute,” G.L. c. 240, §§1-5, as a simple and low-cost way of forestalling foreclosure.
While healthcare providers may have felt some relief after a recent U.S. Court of Appeals decision regarding “worthless services,” this ruling does not eliminate the risk associated with such claims. In United States ex rel. Absher, et al. v. Momence Meadows Nursing Center, Inc., 764 F. 3d 699 (7th Cir. 2014), the Court overturned a $9 million verditct awarded to two whistleblowers under the federal False Claims Act (FCA).
For the first time in 30 years, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has substantially updated its rules concerning pregnancy discrimination.
The need for a company to have a strong corporate compliance program is directly related to the risk of a government enforcement action: the greater the degree of government regulation, the greater the risk and need for compliance.
The Supreme Judicial Court recently issued an important ruling concerning the rights of individuals testifying before a grand jury. In Commonwealth v. Woods, 466 Mass. 707 (2014), the court announced a prospective rule requiring self-incrimination warnings to be given to all grand jury witnesses who, at the time of their testimony are, or are likely to become, a target of that grand jury investigation.
Regular check-ups are important – for you, your house, your car and your business. The start of a new year is a good time to review your company’s legal needs. Each year, as a courtesy and an important part of our client relationships, we ask our business clients a series of detailed questions about their companies.
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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