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Massachusetts Contracts Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Consumer Law, Contracts and Entertainment / Sports for Massachusetts on
Q: Fitness training company charging me for services that were not provided. What are my options?

I signed up for personal fitness training with a company for 6 months from Dec-2019 to May-2020 ($600 for each month & 10 sessions each month). No services were provided between Mar 2020 to May 2020 due to COVID. The company was not reachable on phone during that time for cancellation enquiry.... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Oct 9, 2020

Most lawyers' rates would make legal representation impractical. Look carefully at your contract and see what your options are. Contact your credit card company and have them stop the automatic payments. I suggest you consider filing a small claims suit yourself. If nothing else, it will get... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Business Law, Contracts and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: We have signed a P&S to sell a building in MA. The deposit check is in foreign currency. Can we void the contract?

The buyers declared residency as being CA, but have moved out of the country without disclosing that information to us. We're being told the check could take 6-8 weeks to clear. It has not been deposited. Their lawyer has not responded since we contacted them about the foreign bank/foreign currency.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 24, 2020

You need counsel to review the terms of your offer and acceptance and purchase and sale agreement carefully. Don't do anything at all yourself in this situation without good representation.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: signed a lease agreement with 2 other roommates. 2 of us wanna move out now can we break the lease without the consent

break the lease without the consent of the 3rd roommate?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Sep 4, 2020

If you signed the lease, you move out before the lease ends, and you stop paying rent, under most leases you are liable for the rent for the remainder of the lease term. This is so regardless of whether the other lessees do the same thing or not. The two lessees will have broken the lease and will... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Massachusetts on
Q: Could the phrase "may have guests for a duration of no more than X days." be taken as either "at a time" vs "in total"?

I am wondering if there is any ambiguity in that statement given that a duration could be considered a consecutive period of time and there is no mention of any actual total term or time frame

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Sep 2, 2020

A Massachusetts attorney could answer best, but your post remains open for two weeks. You raise a valid point. As a general matter, those terms could be seen as ambiguous. They could have probably been drafted in a manner that was clearer as to whether it meant guests for any given visit, or total... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I get away with NOT paying rent considering the following "Force Majeure" statement in my rental lease document?

The Force Majeure paragraph: (Pandemic part)

Whenever a period of time is prescribed for the taking of an action by Landlord or Tenant (other than the payment of the Security Deposit or Rent), the period of time for the performance of such action shall be extended by the number of days... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Aug 20, 2020

No. The definition you are relying upon expressly excludes "payment of the Security Deposit or Rent."

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Business Law and Civil Litigation for Massachusetts on
Q: The plumber who is fixing my boiler has been in and out over 3 weeks. If i hire someone else instead, do I have to pay?

It's been 3 weeks without hot water, the plumber I called keeps not showing up, or he will just suddenly show up at 8pm. He hasn't fixed my boiler in three attempts. No paperwork has been signed, and he hasn't really communicated the problem. If i hire someone else to fix my boiler,... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jul 16, 2020

If you have not agreed on the work he is to perform and what you are required to pay him, you do not have a contract. He may have a right to compensation for his visits but it would be up to him to show what he did and the basis for any compensation he claims to be entitled to. I suggest you hire a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Immigration Law, Business Law and International Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Would any one have any contact for pro bono lawyers in South Africa (Pretoria) for US citizens

One of my US citizen friends is currently in Pretoria and has urgent legal trouble. He has contacted the US consulate for weeks, which at this time is only overwhelmed and has provided no help. thank you

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Jun 22, 2020

There is an organization - Pretoria Society of Advocates. They are known as the Pretoria Bar. They could be a starting point in your friend's search. If they do not know of such attorneys or resources on how to locate them, maybe they could direct your friend to a different bar association or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Criminal Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: As tenants do we have a legal claim to use of common space? How do we address harassment by neighbors who won't share?

My husband and I moved into an apartment in an upstairs/downstairs duplex last year. The upstairs tenants had been living there for several years before we moved in. In our leases each apartment has rights to two parking spots in the shared driveway, but the neighbors have taken three, making our... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on May 23, 2020

You should send a polite email to the landlord asserting that your lease provides you 2 parking spots and they have taken one of yours. He needs to tell them they have only 2 and to move the 3rd car someplace else. He should also tell them in writing that you are entitled to half the garden and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Bankruptcy, Consumer Law and Contracts for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I reopen a CH 13 BK from years ago as its related to CURRENT litigation?

This CH 13 BK and adversary proceeding was handled by an attorney I hired (and who is now deceased). I ONLY started digging into the facts because the opposing attorney brought it up There are strong possibilities that not only was FOTC committed, but also, the judge's order was not complied... Read more »

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison answered on May 5, 2020

You can try. The reopening fee is $260.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Contracts and White Collar Crime for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I be removed from a Mass LLC without consent?

I've been removed from a Mass LLC that I was 50% owner of by the other 50% owner. The original LLC filing has me on it. My partner filed an amendment to the LLC that removed my name. And another amendment that changes the name of the LLC. Is it possible for this to happen without my consent?... Read more »

Kas DeCarvalho
Kas DeCarvalho answered on Feb 10, 2020

Short answer: No, probably not.

You're response: "But my partner did--now what?!"

...and that's a longer answer.

So, unless your LLC's Operating Agreement provides for some mechanism for a single 50% Member to remover the other (which is possible,...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Criminal Law, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: A new const. apt. has been pushed back 7x's totalling 6+months. We have no more timeshare points and are nearly homeless

Multiple leases signed over the course of this fiasco. Is there any way to sue for reimbursement for timeshare being exhausted, multiple hotel and resort stays plus the mental pain and suffering from all of this?

Michael Hales
Michael Hales answered on Jan 30, 2020

I would need more information to give an answer. I've worked with most timeshare companies, but I'm not entirely sure what happened. It's possible there's a breach of contract claim, but that would largely depend on the agreement and additional facts I don't have. Feel free... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Collections, Contracts, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: does a homestead act on a home in mass prevent a contractor collecting money if homeowner refuses to pay final bill

I completed a foundation replacement on a property to stop the house from collapsing and the home owner is refusing to pay there final bill even tho the job passed all state inspections upon completion

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jan 2, 2020

The Homestead Act itself does not. It may impact your ability to lien the house, however.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a job that already offered me a position (signed offer letter) take back their offer due to my medical condition?

As part of the job I was required to get a medical evaluation before starting, it involved me disclosing any medical conditions I have and some blood work. My blood work came back great, but I have a herniated lumbar disc. Can a job take back their offer, even though I had already signed everything... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jul 22, 2019

In addition to certain federal agencies that may be able to help you, every state has its own set of employment laws, some of which may cover your particular situation. Contact an employment lawyer near you.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Massachusetts on
Q: How long are waivers of liability good for?
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jul 16, 2019

Waivers of liability for what?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation and Contracts for Massachusetts on
Q: Medical Practice Owner in Breach of Contract

Practice owner has been approached by an investment party that want to buy 51% o the share. Owner is now giving notices and terminating all previous 'profit sharing' or branch partnership contract without any reason.

1. Is this legal?

2. As the investment company started... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jul 1, 2019

Your important questions cannot be answer here on Justia The concerns expressed are dependent upon the terms of all the written contracts involved; so you should contact a local business lawyer to advise you.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Contracts for Massachusetts on
Q: Medical Practices - Breach of Contract by owner doctor

Medical doctor invited me to help stabilize and develop business for a percentage of his all businesses including his offshore billing company. I turned his one branch office into 6 branches, increased clinical staff from 3 to over 30 and increase revenue 5 fold in less than 3 years. I also got him... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jun 25, 2019

The only thing you can do is sue him for breach of contact.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Massachusetts on
Q: advice on how to offer an idea to a company and not lose the idea to them - how do I protect myself please?

I have an idea for a product, a company has the technology for this product and it compliments what they are doing. How do I present this and not lose my idea?

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Jun 6, 2019

It sounds like it would be helpful for you to speak with a patent attorney. You could additionally post your question in the Patents (Intellectual Property) section. It would have a better chance of being seen there by attorneys who practice in that area.

Tim Akpinar

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I have clarification on abandoned vehicle law and who has rights in my situation?

I live in MA and was going to sell a vehicle to a person who lives in RI. The title has yet to be sent to me by the previous owner who lives out of state. The vehicle has been sitting in the garage of the RI resident for 8 months. Since the title is not in my name and no agreement was signed, am I... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 16, 2019

This question cannot be answered completely without first seeing the title to the car--the title that you do not have yet. In the meantime, you certainly must know that you cannot lawfully sell the car to anyone without owning it; right?

Then your next task is either get the title from...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Civil Litigation for Massachusetts on
Q: Is This a case of fraud and Grand Larceny?

The tow and storage fees services at Lynch (Manoli's) Towing are unfair after my vehicle was towed there after a car accident when my steering-wheel locked on April 26, 2017 ! I contacted an employee at Lynch Towing about the prices for tow storage and I was told inaccurate prices on two... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 6, 2019

Neither. This is a contractual issue. Based on your facts as stated, you have known that your car was towed and secured behind locked gates since April 26, 2017--the date of the accident. Right?

You have also known since May 5, 2017 that the towing company charged a $455 towing fee, and...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If my company had me sign a contract saying that everything I invent is theirs, is it binding without consideration?

I am an hourly employee. The contract was an "Updated" contract, mid employment. I am a Technician not paid to engineer or invent. Now they want to patent my idea.

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 1, 2019

If you sign the new contract your employer will probably have the legal right to seek a patent on your idea; and the consideration will be your continued employment, which they may try to make "at will."

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