Attorney Acting as Mediator May Be Liable for Malpractice

Many mediators in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are also attorneys. The Superior Court recently issued a decision that demonstrates that such mediators are not insulated from a legal malpractice claim if they cross the line from providing mediation services to providing legal advice. In Reid v. Kroll, et al., Plaintiff and his then-wife had mediated […]

Happy Holidays from O’Connor, Carnathan & Mack

Wishing our clients and colleagues a very happy holiday season and best wishes for a successful new year in 2022. View past Razor issues O’Connor, Carnathan and Mack LLC is a commercial litigation law firm located in Burlington, Massachusetts that helps companies and individuals resolve complex business disputes, insurance coverage disputes, and personal injury claims. […]

Lyft Drivers Compelled to Individually Arbitrate Misclassification Claims

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit recently held that Lyft drivers are not entitled to invoke an exception to the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) applying to workers engaged in interstate commerce. In Cunningham v. Lyft, Inc., Lyft drivers brought a putative class action alleging that Lyft misclassifies them as independent contractors. […]

Federal Courts Need Not Abstain from Hearing Eviction Actions

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit recently made clear that federal district courts in this Circuit may hear eviction actions over which they have jurisdiction. In Forty Six Hundred LLC v. Cadence Education, LLC, the plaintiff lessor (“FSH”) brought a summary process action against Cadence in Massachusetts state district court, seeking […]

Conservation Commissions May Bring Enforcement Actions for Decades-Old Violations of Wetlands Protection Act

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) recently issued a decision interpreting the three-year statute of repose under the Wetlands Protection Act (“WPA”), G.L. c. 131, § 40, to restart each time real property is sold. In Conservation Commission of Norton v. Pesa, the Conservation Commission of Norton (“Commission”) issued an enforcement order under the WPA to […]

Condominium Unit Owners May Not Adversely Possess Common Areas

The Massachusetts Land Court recently decided an issue of first impression in the Commonwealth: whether condominium unit owners may adversely possess a portion of a common area. The court held that they cannot. In Pisano v. Thunberg, Plaintiffs Charles Pisano and George Nader (“Plaintiffs”) owned a condominium unit in Provincetown, Massachusetts. When Plaintiffs purchased their […]

Ex-Girlfriend Entitled to Retain Life Insurance Proceeds Despite Separation Agreement

The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts recently decided a case – McCormick v. Lischynsky – that upheld a beneficiary designation in a life-insurance policy in favor of a decedent’s ex-girlfriend, despite the parties’ subsequent agreement to separate their financial affairs. Patrick McCormick (“McCormick”) was in a romantic relationship with defendant Sara […]

Employers May Bring Chapter 93A Claims Against Former Employees Who Misappropriate Materials During Employment

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) recently made clear that Chapter 93A applies to employees who misappropriate their employer’s proprietary information during their employment and then use that information to their benefit in the marketplace. In Governo Law Firm LLC v. Bergeron, the plaintiff, Governo Law Firm LLC (“GLF”), spent over twenty years amassing an […]