Questions Answered by Jonathan R. Roth

Q: What's the first step to evaluating a franchise? What should I look out for?

1 Answer | Asked in Mergers & Acquisitions for California on
Answered on Apr 6, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
First determine the reputation of the organization. Analyze what the costs are and what the training provides. Ask to talk to existing franchisees or simply go to a relatively close franchisee and speak to them. Check to see if they are registered in your state and if there are pending complaints against them.

There is a very good article written by Susan Adams on things to look at before you buy a franchise. I recommend you read it....

Q: whats the best way to say i came of my own free will to a lawyer

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Answered on Mar 27, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
The statement is I am signing this document of my own free will. It is a statement you make in front of witnesses and notaries.

Q: Can my employer mandate that I sign a release of all claims because I filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC?

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Rights, Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Mar 26, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
If this is part of a Settlement of your claim, then he can make it a condition of settlement. It is up to you whether you sign it or not.

Q: what differences are there between NY and CA laws governing VCs ?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Mergers & Acquisitions for California on
Answered on Mar 22, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
More information is needed to answer your question. Most VC firms manage funds they create using investors money. In creating those funds they have to comply with SEC rules as well as state rules to the extent they apply. As to the use of the funds that is dictated by the terms of the fund and the agreement governing the investments and the payment of expenses. There are rules governing the fees one can take from investment funds.

If your company is a VC fund, then the limitations...

Q: How many people do I need to witness a will?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Answered on Mar 21, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
Massachusetts requires two witnesses or a notary. Most attorneys do both and have the notary certify the witnesses and the Testator signed the Will.

Q: I was just fired from teaching without any evidence of wrongdoing and I was never given an opportunity to give testimony

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Mar 16, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
Unless there is a specific provision at your employer that limits the grounds for termination, you are considered an employee at will and can be terminated for any reason or no reason. I strongly suggest you contact an employment attorney who litigates and meet with her/him to determine what options may be available to you.

You have a right to see any comments or statements that are put in your personnel file. You have to make that demand in writing. The employer must provide that...

Q: My son wants to purchase part of the family business from his brother

1 Answer | Asked in Mergers & Acquisitions for California on
Answered on Mar 16, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
There are a number of ways to do this but the two most common are:

1. have someone independently value the stock being purchased without adjustment for minority ownership or lack of control (there are a variety of ways to deal with selection of who values the business);

2. look at any stockholder agreement that exists for how it determines value;

If they can't agree upon price of the stock, are they going to be able to work together? Are both sons going to work in the...

Q: If I get fired in MA do I lose my company stock? Is it better to resign or get fired? Can you resign while suspended?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Mar 16, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
It depends if your ownership has vested or not and the reason for the termination. Absent a provision that calls for forfeiture of vested stock for specific reasons, any stock you have that has been vested will be retained. Any non-vested stock will be forfeited.

Q: Does Massachusetts state law require employers to pay an employee for their accumulated sick time?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Mar 12, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
Any accrued vacation pay is required to be paid. Accumulated sick pay is not required under MA law unless the employer has a stated policy to that effect.

Q: I am a handyman and I canceled a job to do for a customer, the dates got pushed up a few times. He called me and yelleed

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Massachusetts on
Answered on Mar 2, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
The issue is was there a binding contract, if there was and you breached it - theoretically he could sue for damages. Assuming there was a contract and you breached it, then what were the direct consequential damages as a result. He has to have a direct damage. Theoretically if you quoted him $200 to do the job and he hired someone else to do it and it cost him $300, he could sue you for $100. If the repair is critical like patching a roof before it rains there could be additional damages if...

Q: My uncle died with no will, no children, what are my rights as an heir to find out what was in bank accounts he had?

1 Answer | Asked in Mergers & Acquisitions for North Carolina on
Answered on Mar 2, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
There is a difference between an estate which is subject to probate and a Trust. A Trust is not part of probate generally. The Estate consists of all property held by the decedent directly, personal bank and brokerage accounts, real estate owned by the decedent in his own name or as the beneficiary of a nominee trust. Generally, retirement accounts are not part of probate unless they name the estate as the beneficiary.

I would ask an attorney to review the waiver. The waiver should...

Q: is there anything I can do?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Mar 2, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
The question involves a lot of complex issues. However without going through a detailed analysis and determining what employment policies your firm has, the answer to can he force you to take a week-off the answer is yes he can lay you off for any reason he wants so long as it does not violate his employment policies that may exist.

As for telling everyone what you earn, while that may be a bad policy it is not illegal. To determine what claims you may have and their strength is a...

Q: My friend’s Grandma left her $15,000 but she is not talking to her family. What kind of lawyer would she need to get?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 24, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
You need an estate planning or probate attorney to assist her.

Q: If I rescind my refinanced home improvement loan before work was done, will I still owe money on the original loan?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Massachusetts on
Answered on Feb 24, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
Without reading the relevant contracts, I cannot make a definitive answer. If you rescinded the second loan, the funds should not have been disbursed and there should not be money owed.

However, on the first loan you will owe the money but the funds should be repaid or not issued to the vendor if the work was not done. Assuming the money was paid to a vendor, you need to get a refund and use the money to repay the loan. You will likely lose some money on the transaction.

If the...

Q: I have a 1 year lease that automatically becomes a month to month agreement signed when I moved in. is that legal?

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Answered on Feb 20, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
Yes, it is legal. If you want a new lease you can ask the landlord for one.

Q: When two companies decide to merge, what financial information are they legally obligated to disclose to each other?

1 Answer | Asked in Mergers & Acquisitions for California on
Answered on Feb 17, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
In any transaction each party should disclose any material information that might impact the other party's decision to move forward. Generally, each company should disclose their financial information and any known potential liabilities such as potential lawsuits, potential liabilities for recalls of products. There should be a discussion of the retention of key employees and whether licenses held by one company or the other can be assigned without the consent of the owner of the license. The...

Q: My son and daughter in law signed a financial agreement to repay me $150000 over a period of 20 years.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Collections for Massachusetts on
Answered on Feb 16, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
If you have a mortgage on the property you can foreclose, if not you can sue them for repayment and attach a lien against the home.

Q: If tenants in common disagree on a partition by sale will verbal agreements which are not recorded be considered

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Real Estate Law, Intellectual Property and Mergers & Acquisitions for California on
Answered on Jan 31, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
The right to partition is generally independent of verbal agreements. While they can be considered, the real issue is can the property be divided equitably without requiring sale.

Q: Can I sue?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Massachusetts on
Answered on Jan 30, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
Contact an attorney who specializes in suits under the American's with Disabilities Act. You can call the Boston Bar Association or the Massachusetts Bar Association for a free referral. It would seem that the Company has terminated you for an invalid reason. One issue is however if you were a probationary employee, meaning you worked for the Company less than 90 days.

Q: I have been married 40 yrs this year. I am on SSDI. We had to sell the family home in 2006.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Answered on Jan 23, 2018
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
Assuming your wife is still living, then no you have no direct ownership rights save as to perhaps your limited rights under CHAPTER 189 DOWER AND CURTESY. If the property is titled as joint tenants and your wife predeceases you, then you probably have no rights. if the property is owned at tenants in common, then you would have a statutory right to inherit at least half of her interest in the property under the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code or more if you have no living children. I would...

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