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Massachusetts Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi, I would like to get a computer software patent. I would like to have an idea of the price and procedure. Thanks
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Apr 7, 2020

The costs vary greatly, but generally to a patent costs about as much as a car: anywhere from about $10,000 to over $30,000.

The procedure is easy: go see a lawyer who specializes in computer software patents. He'll walk you through the process.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Will a surrender agreement hold up in a Massachusetts court?

My ex-husband surrendered his dog to our daughter Dec. 2018. She surrendered the dog to me January 2019. He now wants the dog back. Does he have any legal rights to the dog.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Apr 7, 2020

The courts view pets as property, therefore this isn't really a family law issue even though all the parties are (or were) family members. He could file a claim in small claims court or if he has documentation that the dog belongs to him (registration, etc.) he might be able to bring a criminal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello my name is Lori my boyfriend is being held dangerous for a hunt 120 days. The police never read him his rights
William Barabino
William Barabino answered on Apr 6, 2020

Hello Lori,

Thank you for your question.

Without knowing more, it appears that your boyfriend is being held after a 58A Dangerousness Hearing. A Dangerousness Hearing occurs in Massachusetts when a court allows police to hold a person in custody who is determined to be too...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I have a theoretical question for my graduate class about autism spectrum disorder and the CJS that I was hoping to ask.

I have to come up with a theoretical scenario about a suspect and discuss competency, capacity, and mitigating factors. If someone went into someone's home without permission and stole a bike, would this be a crime that could be brought to court in front of a jury? I know you don't have all the... Read more »

William Barabino
William Barabino answered on Apr 6, 2020

Dear Questioner,

Thank you for your question.

The answer is yes. A jury trial could eventually occur if the person is found competent to stand trial. However, there are a number of situations that could occur before a jury trial takes place.

First, an attorney would have...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Massachusetts on
Q: Would I be the "Sole Rights Holder of the material?" It's my video of a comedy show I taped with permission of the club?

I recently discovered a vhs tape of a stand-up comedy shot that I shot in 1993 at a Comedy Club. I was given permission by the comedy club to tape it as I was one of the comedians performing that night. I recently viewed the video again for the first time in almost 30 years....and 2 of the... Read more »

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Apr 3, 2020

Very likely you are not. It is very possible the people in the video have some rights over the video.

You may have to reach out to the people live or their estate and get permission from them.

You should consult with an attorney, and also talk with an insurance company that...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: I owe back child support, will my stimulus go directly to my ex wife? I ask because that's what hoping for
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Apr 3, 2020

I would think it would go directly to the MDOR to reduce your outstanding Child Support arrears.

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can my C corp forgive a loan to myself?

I have a business that is set up as a C Corporation. Last year, I took a personal loan from the company of $10,000. Can the corporation forgive that loan as long as I show it as income on my personal return? It seems it might be looked at as a way to circumvent Social Security taxes. Is it better... Read more »

D. Mathew Blackburn
D. Mathew Blackburn answered on Apr 2, 2020

It creates a dividend when forgiven. You also add interest at a minimum of the applicable federal rate for the period.

Dividends are not subject to employment taxes, but they are taxed twice. Once at the corporate level and once a dividend. If you're trying to minimize taxes an S-election...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Due to a chronic health condition (and COVID) I have an MD letter to work from home. Can work deny this?

Work will not allow me to work from home. I need help understanding my options and the best way to proceed but getting this information from work has been exceedingly difficult. I recently requested to start paperwork for short-term disability. This paperwork was provided along with the suggestion... Read more »

Kyle Anderson
Kyle Anderson answered on Apr 1, 2020

I would recommend reaching out to an employment attorney in your state for a consultation. More information is needed on your medical condition to determine if it qualifies as a disability under the ADA. If it does, you might try to request a reasonable accommodation of working from home. Looking... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My US L1 visa denied amid the Covid outbreak, Is there any way i can get extension.

I am requires to go back as soon as the flights ban to India is over, i have 2 kids and wanted to know what are the options to stay here until the health crisis of coronavirus is over. I am also not able to work and is out of pay.

Hector E. Quiroga
Hector E. Quiroga answered on Apr 1, 2020

You can try to change your status, but it is unlikely that you will be able to find a status that will allow you to remain in the US and work, under the circumstances.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: Emails accepted as proof of service of divorce process? Weekends/holidays counted in time required for response?

On Dec 17, plaintiff's divorce atty emailed copy of divorce/separate support summons & track assignment notice served on defendant by MGL c. 223A, stated to be considered sufficient since defendant lives in Louisiana; certified letter sent by plaintiff's atty but def. did not see email until after... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Apr 1, 2020

Whatever happened before the Alternate Service by Publication was ordered is not relevant. The Answer to the Complaint should be promptly filed once notice of the Complaint is received by you. You may be eligible for legal services from a local legal aid organization. Bear in mind that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I send a counterclaim to divorce complaint to my spouse's attorney or to the (Massachusetts) court, or both?

I am not able to afford an attorney and am having difficulty in figuring out who to send the counterclaim to.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Mar 31, 2020

The Court gets the original and the spouse's Attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can my wife trade in her car that was owned outright for a lease; I believe she is liquidating assets. She has a lawyer,

She says she wants a divorce; but hasn’t served me yet. She makes roughly $40,000 more a year than me but has only $10,0000 in savings. I have substantially more money in the bank than her. We have always had separate accounts since marriage began 12 years ago and split bills evenly. She likes to... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Mar 25, 2020

It's good that you have kept separate finances throughout the marriage, but anything acquired during the marriage is generally considered to be part of the marital estate and subject to equitable division. That doesn't mean everything will be equally divided, just fairly divided based on the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: I have a question regarding enforcing an item in my separation agreement.

Our agreement was that I’d stay on my ex’s health insurance until I had the option of employer provided insurance somewhere. I had recently been laid off when we got divorced. I’m currently doing contract work so I still have no employer insurance option. My ex just got laid off today and his... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Mar 20, 2020

Your Separation Agreement would need to be reviewed before this could be answered responsibly. During the COVID emergency you would likely need to scan the agreement to any attorney you contact.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My ex had our daughters wisdom teeth removed without my knowledge. She went thru surgery and anesthesia.

Me ex and i have 2 kids (daughter 16, son 14). We were never married, we split up 14 years ago. We have 50/50 joint, physical and legal custody. My daughter had her wisdom removed over Feb vacation, unbeknownst to me. Only reason i found out is paperwork from my insurance. My ex is always hiding... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Mar 19, 2020

It really depends on the details of the parenting plan. If there is a set schedule that she isn't following, she can be found in contempt and you could be awarded some make-up time. It doesn't sound like physical custody is shared 50/50 currently. That may have been the intent when the plan was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Looking for help to have my daughter come spend time with me at my own house. My kids mother is making rumors about me.

I need help to get custody of my daughter her mother is unfit and has been prostituting for the last 3 years, she has sexual intentions with police officers. I need help to get my daughter away from all this nonsense. Please help

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Mar 19, 2020

Is the child being neglected or abused? If so you need an emergency order and should engage counsel in your geographical area. Otherwise you should consider filing a Modification of your current custodial orders.

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy and Civil Litigation for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I file a motion for relief from the automatic stay associated with a debtors bankruptcy in MA?

We hired a general contractor to build an addition to our home, and he filed bankruptcy in the middle of the project. We can attempt to obtain money from a state guarantee fund, however in order to file a claim with this fund we need a judgement against the contractor. In order to obtain a... Read more »

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison answered on Mar 18, 2020

You are really going to need a lawyer to guide you through an adversarial proceeding to attempt to obtain a judgment. Consult a competent bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options.

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I sign a temporary contract with a company meanwhile another company (no contract sign) is sponsorin my green card?

Hi,

A future employer is arranging me my green card; they are paying immigration lawyers and all. We already sent all the documents, paid fees, and I will have my biometrics next week. I will sign a contract as soon I have the GC. The process is taking time and in the meanwhile my current... Read more »

Adan Vega
Adan Vega answered on Mar 18, 2020

Your fact pattern involves an employment/ labor law issue and immigration law issues. I highly recommend that you consult with a labor law attorney to assess your obligations prior to entering into an employment agreement with your current employer. You also should seek guidance from an experienced... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: I hit a pole while driving during a rainy night, the officers came unexpectedly and I told them my mom texted me.
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Mar 18, 2020

There isnt really a question here. However if you appeal the ticket and go to the clerk's hearing there is a decent chance they will give you a break if you havent had any driving infractions before, on the distracted driving aspect. However, there can be some complications with insurance... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Health Care Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Will the Judge in Family Probate, still require me to take a drug test if I prove I'm being falsely accused?

My daughter's father is falsely accusing me of using drugs and/or improperly using drugs. He's requesting I take a hair follicle test but I have evidence to prove that. How would I go about filing for slander, disobeying court orders and being falsely accused? Also, I entered a modification to be... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Mar 12, 2020

Usually random drug screens through the Court's probation department provider would be ordered where there is such an accusation. If you are willing to do so you can also ask the Court to have father so screened. The focus should be on establishing that you are not abusing drugs and are able to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Products Liability for Massachusetts on
Q: Can court order me to stay unemployed

Tell me I legally can't have a job

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Mar 6, 2020

A court or a panel could make a determination that a person is disabled (and hence, unable to work), based on the findings of an examining physician, and that benefits they are slated to receive reflect the fact that they are cannot work. As such, not working would be a condition for benefits. Your... Read more »

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