Questions Answered by Jonathan R. Roth

Q: I'm a songwriter. I write lyrics for a band. They want to have a formal contract where I get 10% of royalties. Fair?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 15, 2017

Fair is in the eye of the beholder. A lyricist who composes a song with someone else gets 50% of the royalty for the song, not the recording of the song. The royalty is split between the song writers and the publisher. If there is no publisher, then the song writers get the entire royalty. Now the song Royalty is not the same as what the band gets for recording and selling its recording. The band pays a royalty for playing the song and for each recording sold of the song. The royalty is...
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Q: Does a will need to be written down, or can an audio recording count?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 14, 2017

A will has to be in writing.
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Q: My father passed away last year and my sister who was appointed executor of his estate claimed to be an only child!

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 13, 2017

Yes, contact an attorney immediately and file a complaint in the probate court, if the matter is still pending their or in Superior Court if the probate matter is closed for fraud. A great deal of additional information is necessary. However, lawsuits are expensive.
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Q: The building of my condo caught on fire. I would like to use my own contractor. Management said no.Is this legal?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 12, 2017

Without reading your master deed or the association by-laws and rules it is impossible to be precise, but the answer is yes. Moreover there is likely a more important issue, the insurance carrier for the association is not going to deal with multiple contractors and claimants under its coverage. To the extent your own insurance is willing to contribute to repairs, you can have your own contractor deal with issues related to the interior of your condo once the major repair is completed.
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Q: Please read and answer, very important

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 12, 2017

Your funds are not subject to collection for your husbands child support. Open a separate savings or checking account and put the money away for your own use.
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Q: Salaried exempt employee's pay being docked due to sick days

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 11, 2017

First, any deduction for sick time has to be consistent with company sick time policy. If the company does not have a formal policy, they still have to charge your absences against your accrued sick time. MA requires that every employee shall be entitled to accrue and use 40 hours of sick time over a 12 month period.

Your employer can reduce your pay for periods you do not work. However, the employer must follow company policy and must comply with MA law regarding accrued sick time.
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Q: If my company get acquired, how will it impact my employees' H1B statuses?

1 Answer | Asked in Mergers & Acquisitions for California on
Answered on Dec 8, 2017

It will depend on the manner and terms of the acquisition. Assuming the buyer wants to retain the employees with the Visa then you need to speak to an immigration attorney prior to finalizing the acquisition documents.
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Q: What could I sue for in this drug test instance?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Employment Law, Constitutional Law and Employment Discrimination for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 4, 2017

First of all if the medical director's wife is here on a Visa that does not permit her to work, then she is prohibited from administering any drug test for your company or any other company. In that event the use of the drug test can be challenged. Second, Massachusetts does not have a defined law on drug testing. The MA SJC in Webster v. Motorola, the Court found that the validity of an employer’s policy of random drug testing had to be weighed on a case-by-case basis, taking into account...
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Q: What are the laws in MA regarding testing positive for marijuana on a new employer drug test if I have a MA medical card

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Nov 30, 2017

Since the use of Marijuana is still illegal under Federal law companies that have a no drug use policy can still refuse to hire an employee that tests positive for the use of marijuana or fire one that tests positive. The law is still in its infant stage, but unless an employer wants to change its policies the use of marijuana by an employ may result in discharge. Moreover, the Medical Marijuana act does not require an accommodation under the ADA provisions of MA law and would not be required...
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Q: QUESTION CONCERNING A FAMILY ISSUE, ESTATE, AND INHERITANCE

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Nov 27, 2017

The only way your brother can get a new mortgage on the property is if he takes an ownership interest in the property or he enters into a rental agreement with your mother and she gets the mortgage and he can guarantee it. The issue is how the $400K in current equity is split between your brother and the rest of your family upon your mother's death. I would suggest you meet with an attorney and work out a plan which serves everyone's interest.
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Q: Mother was left our home in grandmothers will, she will only have to split profits of the home if sold with ctd..

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Massachusetts on
Answered on Nov 25, 2017

There is something off here. I would start by getting a copy of the deed to the property and obtaining a copy of the probate file and any applicable trust documents. It the property is co-owned, then your mother has a right to participate in the management of the property or designate someone to represent her interest. The first thing to do is to get a copy of the title to the property-the Deed. If it shows ownership as Tenants in Common, the next step is to determine what your grandmother's...
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Q: Are mergers and acquisitions regulated by each state or is that governed by federal law?

1 Answer | Asked in Mergers & Acquisitions for New York on
Answered on Nov 16, 2017

The answer is both state and federal law apply.
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Q: Is there a limit of hours an adult is allowed to work? Is a job responsible after shift has ended (ex: car accident)?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Nov 13, 2017

Basically, with few exceptions such as a Truck Driver, there is no limit on the number of hours an adult employee is allowed to work. There are conditions and limitations on an employer's right to force overtime, although most hourly employees like a little overtime.

As to the responsibility of an employer for an employee being in an auto accident, that is a little more complex. However, generally an employer is not responsible for an employee's actions once they sign out. There may be...
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Q: Who pays taxes for the current fiscal year during a small business aquisition?

2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Mergers & Acquisitions and Tax Law for California on
Answered on Nov 10, 2017

If the terms of the purchase and sale are drafted by an attorney who knows their business, the only thing you will be obligated to pay for are the assets you buy and any debts you agree to assume. If you in fact are going to buy substantially all of the assets of the business then you need to make sure you are properly protected so that both creditors and government agencies do not have a claim against you.

So you need to know what the debts and taxes that are currently owed by the...
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Q: I wanted to know if employers could see my health records when i apply or want a job and how much can they see.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Nov 7, 2017

Unless you grant them permission to look at your health records they are not entitled to see them. I am not sure what you are concerned about, but you cannot lie on a job application. For jobs that require security clearance, the entity which checks your history for security clearance may be able to find out if you were ever in drug rehab or had other disqualifying health problems. Likewise, if the job you are applying for requires certain health conditions to be met, such as passing a...
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Q: How do I know if I need to create trusts or if a will is sufficient for my estate?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Answered on Nov 3, 2017

A Will states how your estate is to be disbursed upon your death. Trusts are created for a variety of reasons, to avoid probate and the costs associated with probate, for tax purposes if needed, and finally to make sure the proceeds of your estate are passed over more than a single generation. Unless you have someone who need a Special Needs Trust or you have a large estate that would be subject to estate tax, which for MA purposes is more than $1 Million and for Federal purposes under current...
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Q: If i walk into court put down a tape recorder and announce I am recording, can they stop me? Open and known, in public

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Mergers & Acquisitions and Family Law for Florida on
Answered on Nov 2, 2017

Yes. If you want to record a court proceeding you need the Courts permission.
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Q: If a business that's being acquired has a sharp spike or drop in value before it's officially acquired, should the

1 Answer | Asked in Mergers & Acquisitions for New York on
Answered on Oct 24, 2017

Depending upon the rights to the initial agreement including the right to make changes based on material changes in one or other of the businesses, all things being equaled the terms of the merger and more importantly the reason for the material change should be discussed and if appropriate be changed.
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Q: Should two businesses trying to merge have separate attorneys to most effectively represent both sides?

2 Answers | Asked in Mergers & Acquisitions for California on
Answered on Oct 24, 2017

All things being equal each business should have their own legal counsel. As a practical and ethical matter, no attorney should represent both sides to a transaction.
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Q: what do i do in this situation

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Business Formation for Massachusetts on
Answered on Oct 24, 2017

If they do not comply sue them in small claims court. I assume you can document the instruction and read whatever you signed with respect to the repair.
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