Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP

Massachusetts And New Hampshire Law Blog

How does civil litigation work?

Going to court to resolve a problem is not something many Massachusetts residents feel comfortable doing. Sometimes, taking legal action is the only way to resolve a dispute. The good news is, while civil litigation can be intimidating or seem over the top, filing a claim in no way means one will end up battling things out in court.

All civil cases start with the plaintiff filing a complaint with the court. From there, the complaint is served to the defendant. The defendant must then be given time to answer.

Dealing with an insurance dispute?

Insurance is a great thing to have until insurance providers fail to pay out as they should. Numerous people in Massachusetts and across the country fight their insurance companies for fair coverage every year. If you are dealing with an insurance dispute, it is okay to seek help with addressing the matter.

Business owners and individuals purchase insurance -- be it medical, auto, property or any other type needed -- believing their losses will be covered should anything happen. What they are finding, though, is that, when they go to file claims, those claims are denied, slow to process or fail to cover their losses. Insurance companies do what they can to pay as little as possible. They will look for any reason to deny a claim or offer minimal coverage. It isn't right, but it is how it works.

Are you considering who to put in charge of your business?

When you started your Massachusetts business, you may have been a young, bright-eyed enthusiast. As the years went on, you garnered various successes and knew that your business would continue thriving for years to come. At first, you may have pictured yourself gray-haired and experienced sitting behind your desk until the days the doors closed, but now, you understand that you need to appoint someone to handle the business after you retire or leave the business for other reasons.

You may be considering the succession of your company, and you certainly do not want anything to hinder its continued growth and success. Fortunately, you can create a business succession plan that allows you to still have some say in how the company operates after your departure.

Was it sexual harassment?

Every day, millions of Massachusetts residents leave the comfort of their homes to go to work. While there, numerous individuals find themselves subjected to questionable behavior from their co-workers and/or their employers. Sometimes, it is difficult to discern if that behavior is just an annoyance or of legal concern. This is particularly true in cases of suspected sexual harassment.

What is sexual harassment? It is any unwanted or uninvited conduct, comments or behavior of a sexual nature. It does not have to be physical, which is what many people assume. A few examples of sexual harassment include:

  • Sending suggestive notes
  • Sharing sexually inappropriate media content
  • Unwanted touching
  • Making sexually inappropriate comments

Yes, you can mediate a high net worth divorce

Do you want a divorce? Do you have a lot of assets? If you do, you may think that going to court to finalize your dissolution is inevitable. The good news is, fighting things out in court does not necessarily have to be in your future. Alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, can be used successfully when working through a high net worth divorce in Massachusetts.

Mediation is a process that involves both parties coming together to negotiate the terms of their divorce. They do this with a trained mediator present. The mediator's job is not to help one party get a better settlement. He or she must remain neutral and simply work to keep the conversation going and help the couple reach settlement terms that are in line with state laws.

The process of passing on a private company can be complicated

There will be a time in every Massachusetts business owner's life when leaving his or her company behind is a want/need. Waiting to figure out how to pass on one's business until the last minute is not the wisest decision. The simple truth of the matter is, the process of changing company ownership can be complicated.

When passing a business to another person, the new owner needs to be named, and the old owner removed. This is done by restructuring the company. Along with naming the new owner, new business documents need to be filed with the state and the Internal Revenue Service. The business itself may not change much, but in the eyes of the government, changing business ownership creates a new business entity.

Successful women more likely to divorce

While today is still very much a man's world, more women in Massachusetts and elsewhere are finding success in the business world. This comes at a cost, however. It is believed that successful women are more likely to divorce than women who are not as successful as their husbands. Why is that?

A lot of times, it all comes down to pride. There are plenty of men out there who are okay with their wives being the breadwinners in the family. There are others, though, who are not. These individuals who believe in the traditional roles of men and women often struggle to reconcile with their situations, which causes friction in the relationship and, in many cases, ultimately leads to divorce.

Massachusetts civil litigation: Victim of a breach of contract?

Contracts are legal documents that are used in the business world to hold parties who enter into agreements with one another accountable to one another. When one party fails to hold up his or her end of the deal, this is known as a breach of contract. When a breach of contract occurs, the offended party may seek compensation for any damages suffered by pursuing civil litigation in a Massachusetts court.

A breach of contract may occur for several reasons. The most common are the failure to stick to timelines, failure to perform or the failure to perform as agreed to. When a breach of contract occurs, it can cost the offended party substantially.

Woman claims sexual harassment complaint was ignored

A woman in another state claims that she was sexually harassed while she was working at a middle school. She says that her complaints were not taken seriously, and now she wants something done about it. It doesn't matter if one resides in Massachusetts or elsewhere, sexual harassment claims should always be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.

According to reports, the victim -- a 44-year-old female -- was working as a registrar, getting kids signed up for classes at the beginning of the school year, when a male teacher allegedly came up from behind her and rubbed himself, while aroused, against her rear-end. She immediately told the principal, but nothing was done about it. The footage of the incident was eventually taped over.

How to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace

While no working environment is perfect, there are certain things Massachusetts residents should not have to deal with when either on or off the clock. Sexual harassment is one of those things. What can people do when they are dealing with this form of harassment?

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there is a very specific way sexual harassment should be attacked. First, victims should ask their harassers to stop -- if that is something they feel comfortable doing. Sometimes, they don't, and that is okay. Second, victims need to report the problem to the human resources department and/or management.

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