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The “at-will” employment relationship is extremely common, offering both the employer and the employee the ability to terminate the relationship on short notice and with no conditions.  Despite the flexibility this arrangement offers, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, an employee cannot be fired for reasons that violate public policy (such as discrimination).  […]

After a summary process trial before him (without a jury), a Superior Court judge recently held that a commercial landlord could not evict a tenant despite proving the tenant had repeatedly breached provisions in the lease because the breaches were not material. While the facts in making this decision were unique and specific to this […]

The old adage “Failing to plan is planning to fail” can easily be applied to owning a business. Business owners need to be prepared for the many contingencies that come up during the lifecycle of their business. Much like a person’s estate plan, proper planning should be taken to ensure as little disruption as possible […]

The Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), long a thorn in the side of employees who desire litigation, has now been limited by the expansion of its prominent exception. Before considering the expansion of the FAA’s exception, it is important to understand the FAA. Scope of the Federal Arbitration Act The FAA requires enforcement of arbitration agreements […]

A recent Massachusetts Land Court case examined the validity of a “two-tier” condominium project. This two-tier condominium approach is also referred to as a condominium within a condominium. A two-tier condominium is a condominium comprised of a primary condominium (the “Primary Condominium”), pursuant to which a landowner then creates one or more condominiums within and […]

In Massachusetts, it is not unusual for public construction contracts to include Project Labor Agreement (“PLA”) provisions that mandate a successful bidder only hire union laborers and subcontractors. The purpose behind this is that union labor, though more expensive because of prevailing wage regulations, will agree not to strike or engage in work stoppages, thus […]

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently issued a noteworthy opinion regarding a property owners’ responsibility to remedy violations of the Wetlands Protection Act (the “Act”). The Court held that a local conservation commission may bring an enforcement action against a new property owner for up to three years following the property owners’ date of acquisition—even […]

To protect their business interests, many employers include noncompetition clauses in their employment agreements, which place prohibitions on employees working for competitors or within the same industry after parting with their current employer. However, in October 2018 Massachusetts passed G.L. c. 149, § 24L, which governs noncompetition agreements. The failure to meet the requirements of […]

In the matter of Trustees of 10 Porter Street Condominium Trust v. Cerda, the Massachusetts Appeals Court has, for the first time, distinguished the types of condominium charges that must be “paid under protest” as a condition of challenging their propriety. Based on longstanding law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the appeals court affirmed the […]

Imagine you are a parent paying tuition totaling almost $50,000 a year to send your child to a to a well-regarded, pricey liberal arts college in southern Massachusetts. In the spring of 2020 COVID-19 hits, and the college closes its campus to students and transitions to “virtual learning” for the foreseeable future. As a result, […]

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