Many Owners, Many Problem: What to Do?

So what happens if two or more people own property and can’t agree on how to manage it, or what should be done with it? Under Massachusetts law, the remedy for that problem is known as a petition for partition….

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Can I Challenge a Will or a Personal Representative Appointment in an Informal Probate?

For many people who are involved in estate disputes, such as a will contest or personal representative appointment, their first formal interaction with the dispute occurs when they receive a “Notice of Informal Probate” from the estate’s attorney.    The informal…

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A Better Way of Resolving Attorney’s Fees Disputes

I’ve been receiving more inquiries in recent months from prospective clients who are in disputes over fees charged by an attorney who previously represented them in a matter, and who now claims that fees are owed by the client.    In…

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“Pit Bull” v. “Peaceful Warrior”: Is There A Difference?

A few years I was taking the deposition of a defendant in a will contest. During a particularly tense of line of questioning the defendant’s attorney started ranting that the questioning of his client was “demeaning” and “inappropriate”. He threatened…

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What are My Rights in Massachusetts if My Contractor Abandoned Our Renovation Project?

Posted by Alan Fanger Your rights as a homeowner against a contractor depend on whether the contractor was registered with the state as a Home Improvement Contractor (go to to determine whether the contractor is registered). If the contractor…

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How Do I Challenge or Contest a Will or Trust in Massachusetts on the Basis of Undue Influence?

Posted by Alan Fanger It is not uncommon for wills or trusts to be made or changed due to undue influence, and fortunately, there are remedies available to challenge such actions and law that can work to the challenger’s benefit….

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How do I know when I have a claim for unpaid commissions?

Attorney Answer: This is where there’s been a great deal of litigation.    The Wage Act statute states that an employer violates the Wage Act where it fails to pay commissions that have been “definitely determined”.     That phrase leaves a great…

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My employer discharged me without paying me a bonus. May I sue under the Wage Act ?

Attorney Answer: No.  Bonuses are specifically exempted from the Wage Act.   However,  if you were terminated under circumstances where the employer got out from under having to pay a substantial bonus,  you may have a claim against the employer for…

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Can my employer retaliate against me for complaining internally that I was not paid my salary or commissions?

Attorney Answer:  No,  and in fact,  I can claim some credit for establishing this precedent.   In a 2003 case,  Dobin v. CIO View Corp.,  in which I represented a fired employee, a Superior Court judge ruled that an employer cannot…

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Is there anything I need to do prior to suing my former employer for unpaid salary or commissions?

Attorney Answer: Yes.    Under applicable law,  you cannot sue your employer unless you first file a “Non-Payment of Wages Form” with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office.     That office will typically issue you a “right to sue” letter, which will then…

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