10/6/14

Driving in Vermont? Put Down the Phone!

Driving while using a hand-held device is now illegal in Vermont. As of October 1, 2014, drivers may not use hand-held cell phones, music players, or computers. Drivers may use some mobile devices if they employ hands-free technology such as "Bluetooth" or voice activation. The new law imposes fines of up to $200. For more information on the new law, see: Vermont's Cell Phone Ban Explained, where you can also access links to frequently asked questions, and a guide from the Vermont Agency of Transportation that describes hand-free options for using a cell phone in the car.

Another good resource is this broadcast from Vermont NPR: The Logistics of the Hand-held Cell Phone Ban, which describes what the law allows and does not allow.

Vermont joins New York state and Quebec, it's neighbors in banning cell phones while driving. New Hampshire has a similar law that will go into effect in July of 2015. See: Gov. Hassan signs handheld cellphone driving ban in the Seacoast Online.

Drive safely.

9/21/14

Two Boston-Area CPA Firms Merge

Johnson O’Connor Feron & Carucci LLP (Wakefield, MA) and Hartnett & Company (Winchester, MA) announce the merger of their two accounting firms effective October 1, 2014. The combined firm will operate under the name Johnson O’Connor Feron & Carucci LLP (JOFC) and operate out of a new office in Wakefield at 101 Edgewater Place. Michael Hartnett, owner of Hartnett & Company, will become a partner at JOFC. All staff of the two firms will be retained and the newly merged firm will employ 40 individuals.

The merger provides additional resources and expertise allowing JOFC to better serve its core client base of middle-market, owner-managed, family run, and entrepreneurial-backed entities throughout the greater Boston area. JOFC serves industries including real estate, professional services, high technology, construction, healthcare and medical/dental, retail, and manufacturing. The firm also has dedicated service teams providing employee benefit plan audits and third-party administration of retirement plans.

Johnson O’Connor Feron & Carucci LLP is among the 50 largest CPA firms in the Boston area as ranked by the Boston Business Journal.

Source:  PRWeb, Two Boston-Area CPA Firms Merge

9/11/14

Granite State Title Services Expands

CONCORD, NH — Cleveland, Waters and Bass, P.A., announces expansion of its title services company Granite State Title Services and the naming of Tenley Callaghan as managing director.

Granite State Title Services provides title and closing services in commercial and residential transactions throughout New England.

According to Callaghan, "We are comprised of professionals with expertise in all areas of real estate and commercial transactions."

"The vast experience of our staff enables us to provide service that is highly professional, fast, flexible and able to meet our clients’ needs. We strive to provide outstanding customer service in every deal."

Granite State Title represents buyers, sellers, and lenders in all types of real estate and business transactions, including cash sales, seller financing, for sale by owner and loan transactions. See full service listing at granitestatetitle.com.

9/9/14

Christopher Maley Named Best Lawyers® Medical Malpractice Plaintiffs "Lawyer of the Year” for Burlington, Vermont

Trial attorney Christopher J. Maley has been selected by Best Lawyers® as the 2015 “Lawyer of the Year” for Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs, Burlington, Vermont. Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. Maley is an active member and past president of the Vermont Association for Justice. As chair of the organization's legislative committee, he worked to help pass House Bill 62 to prohibit the use of handheld devices while driving. The bill was signed into law by Governor Shumlin in June of this year.

Maley is a Vermont native and personal injury plaintiff lawyer practicing with Maley and Maley, PLLC — a firm he founded with his father John P. Maley (who was selected for the same “Lawyer of the Year” distinction for 2014).

Source: PRNews

9/4/14

Robert Higgins Named 2015 Best Lawyers® "Lawyer of the Year" for Med Mal in Boston

Attorney Robert M. Higgins has been named by Best Lawyers® as the 2015 "Lawyer of the Year" for Medical Malpractice Law - Plaintiffs. Higgins is a partner with Lubin & Meyer PC, Boston, and has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America each year since 2008. Only one lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the peer-review assessments.

Higgins, who achieved Massachusetts’ largest personal injury award — a $40 million verdict for a baby brain damaged at birth, is known as one of the state’s top medical malpractice trial attorneys. In 2014, Higgins secured 2 of the 4 largest verdicts — $16.7 million for a failure to diagnose lung cancer resulting in the death of a 47 year old, and $4.8 million for failure to diagnose myocarditis resulting in the death of a 23 year old.

Lubin & Meyer PC is recognized as New England’s most successful medical malpractice law firm. The firm is committed to reducing the medical risks faced by patients in the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

8/25/14

How To Save Time and Money Filing a Patent Application

Massachusetts patent attorney Lisa Warren shares in a recent article: "How To Save Time and Money Filing a Patent Application," 10 important questions to answer in preparation for meeting with a patent lawyer. The first 5 are:
  1. Can you describe the invention and its key features in no more than 3 sentences?
  2. Can you describe the business model related to the invention? 
  3. What is the closest thing to your invention already on the market? 
  4. Is the invention in final form or will there be continuing updates?
  5. Have you already publicized or sold the invention?
 For more detail and the full list of questions you need to be able to answer in depth, please see the full article here: Patent Application Tips.

7/23/14

Lubin & Meyer Land Top 3 Largest Verdicts in Massachusetts

Medical malpractice law firm Lubin & Meyer tops the list of the largest verdicts of the year as reported in Mass. Lawyers Weekly in its mid-year issue which features the largest verdicts, settlements and government settements from June of 2013 through June of 2014.

The verdicts include:


7/7/14

Stephen Eldridge Recognized as Top Financial Advisor

Stephen F. Eldridge, a financial advisor with Eldridge Investment Advisors, Inc. of Manchester, NH, has been recognized as a top financial advisor by LPL Financial. Eldridge is named to the LPL Financial Executive Council, a distinction that is awarded to less than 1% of the firm's approximately 13,500 advisors nationwide.

6/23/14

New Hampshire's Distinction: Fewest Health Insurers in Federal Marketplace — One

A new report released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finds that people who selected silver plans, the most popular plan type in the federal Marketplace, with tax credits paid an average premium of $69 per month. In the federal (Obamacare) Marketplace, 69 percent of enrollees who selected Marketplace plans with tax credits had premiums of $100 a month or less, and 46 percent of $50 a month or less after tax credits.  The report also looks at competition and choice nationwide among health insurance plans in 2013-2014, and finds that most individuals shopping in the Marketplace had a wide range of health plans from which to choose. On average, consumers could choose from five health insurers and 47 Marketplace plans. Sadly, New Hampshire was the one state with only one health insurer to choose from. (An increase of one issuer in a rating area is associated with 4 percent decline in the second-lowest cost silver plan premium, on average.) Read more...

6/2/14

Boston-area Law Firm Expands into Utah's Hot Emerging Growth Market

Boston-area business law firm Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton (MBBP) has announced it is expanding its reach to serve clients from its new Salt Lake City, Utah office. MBBP is known for serving emerging high tech and life sciences companies and their investors in the Boston area, and sees the fast-growing market in Utah and the broader Mountain West region as a natural fit. Utah has the second-fastest rate of job growth in the US, as well as first-rate universities, vibrant tech and life sciences industries, and highly educated workforce with an entrepreneurial culture.

According to the firm's managing partner Lisa Warren Treannie, "Utah is a perfect fit," with the region's increasing demand for lawyers who represent high tech, medical device, and life sciences companies as well as the investors who invest in these companies.

Partners Jeff Steele and Jim Kelly will head up the Salt Lake City effort.

5/30/14

Isles of Shoals 1614 Monument Marks 400 Years Since Captain John Smith Expedition

To commemorate Captain John Smith’s historic 1614 expedition and 400th anniversary of the first mapping of the Isles of Shoals, the N.H. Department of Resources and Economic Development will erect a granite obelisk and granite benches on Ragged Neck at Rye Harbor State Park, Rye, NH. The Isle of Shoals 1614 Monument, with a view out to the Isles of Shoals, will be dedicated on Thursday, August 14, 2014. This new historic monument honors the former obelisk dedicated to Captain Smith, which was erected on Star Island in 1864 to commemorate the 250th anniversary Smith’s journey.

Historic Significance: Predates Plymouth Rock

In 1614, Captain John Smith explored and mapped the local coastline from Penobscot Bay to Cape Cod. He was the first European to map the Isles of Shoals, which he named “Smith’s Isles.” While that name did not endure, with the consent of King James I, Smith named this region “New England.” John Smith’s map and 1616 best-selling book “A Description of New England” detailed the region’s teeming fishing banks, abundant game, clean rivers, heavily forested land and native people. The book was a major inspiration in the subsequent flood of English migration to these shores. It was this map that guided the Pilgrims to “Plimouth” in 1620 and led John Winthrop to “The River Charles” in 1630.




5/22/14

Data Security for Small Law Firms

The Social Law Library is hosting a continuing legal education (CLE) two-hour seminar on Data Security for Small Law Firms on May 29, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. at Special Collections Room at One Pemberton Square, Suite 4100, in Boston.

What you need to know: Hackers are now targeting small law firms because of the wealth of info in client files that can be used for identity theft – in family law, estate planning, real estate, elder law and other matters. And Massachusetts law requires you to notify clients of a data breach – do you really want to have to do that? Many IT providers will tell you that you’re “safe,” but they actually provide minimal safeguards and lawyers often inadvertently undermine them.

The program will cover:
  • Requirements of the Massachusetts data protection laws 
  • How to protect laptops, backup media, cloud storage and thumb drives 
  • How to use cloud storage smartly and securely 
  • Password mistakes lawyers constantly make 
  • Dangers of wireless networks 
  • Data encryption 
  • How to safely dispose of old equipment 
  • Risks of using older software versions
  • Insurance coverage 
To register, go to: Social Law Library registration page.

5/6/14

NH Legislature Considers Changes to Uniform Trust Code

NH trust and estate lawyer Jan Myskowski writes in the NH Estate Planning Blog that a bill before the NH Legislature would impact estate plans. Senate Bill 289, says Myskowski is "a fairly sweeping piece of legislation" that is likely to pass. It's impact will be felt in areas of:
  • How creditors may assert claims against a decedent’s revocable trust
  • Post-mortem litigation
  • Technical revisions to New Hampshire’s Uniform Trust Code. 
For more information on NH's SB 289 and its affect on estate documents, please see the blog post: Bill Before NH Legislature Would Impact Estate Plans.

3/27/14

CPA CPE Forum Slated for June 12 in Manchester, NH

MANCHESTER, NH — Eldridge Investment Advisors will host it annual CPA CPE Forum on Thursday, June 12, 2014 at The Derryfield in Manchester, NH. The keynote speaker will be Natalie B. Choate, a leading speaker on estate and distributuion planning for retirement benefits.
Topics for CPAs and clients will include:
  • IRA Punishments and Remedies
  • Minimum Distribution Rules
  • Lifetime Retirement Distribution Strategie
  • Social Security
  • Investment Insights.
For more information or to register, go to: CPA CPE Forum 2014

1/27/14

Trends: NH Legal Services Landscape

The New Hampshire Business Review explores the changing legal services landscape in the state interviewing a handful of attorneys in the state for their opinions on what is shaping the market for local and regional law services. The article positions:
"Attempts to commoditize and a growing do-it-yourself attitude about legal services are just two trends contributing to the post-recession struggles of lawyers and law firms nationwide. Negative news — such as layoffs, closures, mergers, rate cuts and lawyer under- and unemployment — have dominated headlines in the national legal press in recent years."
Read the full article here on NHBR.com: New Hampshire attorneys, firms confront a changed legal services landscape

12/11/13

Robert Shea To Be Chair of SBANE Board

The Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) has announced that Massachusetts Employment Lawyer Robert Shea has been elected chair of its board of directors for a two-year term. Shea is a partner at Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton where he focuses on employment law matters.
He has served on the Board and Executive Committee at SBANE for several years, most recently as Secretary, and has been very active in supporting SBANE committees, programs and events. See full press release.

12/9/13

Law Firm Offers Fixed-Fee ATM Patent Troll Solution

Law firm Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell has negotiated a Master Sub-License Agreement providing a streamlined, flat-rate group settlement approach for financial institutions challenged by patent infringement letters from Automated Transactions LLC. Many banks, credit unions and ATM networks have received these letters claiming that their ATM operations infringe patents held by the company.

The Gallagher firm has organized numerous financial institutions into groups over the last two years to negotiate sub-license agreements from Automated Transactions, resulting in substantial discounts and cost efficiencies as an alternative to expensive litigation. While no financial institution is happy about paying for a sub-license, it is a solution to a vexing problem and can provide finality. The firm has advised approximately 200 financial institutions in assisting them to make a decision.

For more details on the Master Sub-License Agreement to the ATM patent troll solution, click on: Innovative Solution to ATM Patent Troll Claims Now Available.

11/1/13

Vermont Personal Injury Lawyers Create New Law Firm — Maley and Maley PLLC

BURLINGTON, VT — Two prominent Vermont trial attorneys, John and Christopher Maley, have opened a new law firm dedicated to personal injury and medical malpractice plaintiff litigation. Maley and Maley PLLC, founded the father-and-son team of John P. Maley and Christopher J. Maley, will represent individuals who have been seriously injured or the families of those who have been killed due to negligence or medical malpractice. The firm is located at 30 Main Street, Suite 450 in Burlington, Vermont.

Both Maleys are Burlington natives and have distinguished careers as trial attorneys. Each has received the highest (AV Preeminent ®) peer-review rating from Martindale Hubbell and is listed in the current edition of The Best Lawyers in America® for medical malpractice law and personal injury litigation.

10/29/13

New England Super Lawyers® Includes Eight Attorneys from Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell

CONCORD, NH — Eight attorneys from Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, PC, have been named to the 2013 list of New England Super Lawyers® and New England Rising Stars®. Those chosen represent 5% of the attorneys in New Hampshire for the Super Lawyers® list, and no more than 2.5% of the lawyers in the state for Rising Stars® list. Attorneys are listed with the area of practice for which they are being recognized.

10/18/13

Health Reform for Emerging Markets

William Gallagher Associates' Employee Benefits and Consulting Services presents Health Reform for Emerging Markets: Effective Cost Strategies To Mitigate PPACA's Impact, on Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 3:00-5:00 p.m. at The Waltham Westin, Waltham, MA.

The program is designed to assist Massachusetts human resource teams and C-level decision-makers in deciphering the overwhelming amount of information now being presented regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Areas of focus will be:
  • Health reform compliance and due diligence
  • Rating factor changes
  • Exchanges – private vs. public
  • Evaluation of plan design and creative options (Wellness incentives, Contribution strategy, Self-funding)
For more information and to register, go to: Health Reform for Emerging Markets


9/22/13

Infoworks! Wins Web Design Award for Law Firm Website

Boston-based marketing and communications consultant Amy Campbell is pleased to announce that her firm Infoworks! has been selected for a 2013 WebAward for development of the website funkandzeifer.com. The website entry earned a "Standard of Excellence Award" in the legal category in the Web Marketing Association's annual web design competition that judges websites in over 50 categories on criteria including design, content, technology, copyrighting and ease of use.

Campbell said, "It is particularly gratifying for a small shop like Infoworks! to win alongside some large agencies and to know that we can deliver comparable, top-rate website experiences for law firm customers."

Campbell cites three of the chief assets of the winning site are responsiveness, content and search engine optimization (SEO).

For more information is available at infoworks1.com.

9/12/13

Cooley Manion Jones Announces Split

Cooley Manion Jones LLP has announced the firm will become two new firms: Manion Gaynor & Manning LLP and Jones Kelleher LLP, effective January 1, 2014. The decision comes during a period of significant growth for the firm and allows each new entity to optimize its position.

Both firms will focus on their core competencies. Jones Kelleher LLP attorneys will focus on personal injury and medical malpractice representation in New England. Manion Gaynor & Manning LLP’s 56-lawyer firm will continue its practice of business litigation, products liability and complex tort litigation with offices in Boston, MA, Los Angeles, CA, Providence, RI, San Francisco, CA and Wilmington, DE. 

7/16/13

Two NH Retirement Plan Advisors in LPL Financial's Top-Tier Group

Manchester, NH — Two retirement plan advisors at Eldridge Investment Advisors, Inc. — Stephen F. Eldridge and Sean P. Riley, have been named to newly launched Retirement Partners Group (RPG), an exclusive network of highly experienced LPL Financial-affiliated advisors who focus primarily on advising retirement plans for small to large companies. Only a small percentage of LPL Financial advisors are qualified for membership in this elite group. Read full news item here.

7/2/13

Obamacare: Business Mandate Delayed One Year

Announced on the Treasury Notes blog, the Obama administration announced today a one-year delay in applying the employer mandated insurance requirement of the Affordable Health Act (ACA):
"The Administration is announcing that it will provide an additional year before the ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin. This is designed to meet two goals. First, it will allow us to consider ways to simplify the new reporting requirements consistent with the law.  Second, it will provide time to adapt health coverage and reporting systems while employers are moving toward making health coverage affordable and accessible for their employees. Within the next week, we will publish formal guidance describing this transition.  Just like the Administration’s effort to turn the initial 21-page application for health insurance into a three-page application, we are working hard to adapt and to be flexible about reporting requirements as we implement the law."
To read the full announcement, go to the Treasury Notes blog post here: Continuing to Implement the ACA in a Careful, Thoughtful Manner.

6/21/13

Christopher Maley To Lead Vermont Trial Lawyers Group

Attorney Christopher J. Maley was elected president of the Vermont Association for Justice at its annual convention on May 17. Maley will serve as the organization’s president for the 2013-2014 term. Maley is a native of Burlington, Vermont, and a partner in the law firm of Maley and Maley PLLC. He is a plaintiffs trial attorney practicing is the area of personal injury law, medical malpractice and products liability.

See full release.

5/30/13

Massachusetts Employment Law Blog Features Monthy Wage and Hour Tips for Employers

Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton has launched a new blog authored by its employment law team. The Massachusetts Employment Law Blog features legal news and updates for Massachusetts employers including a regular feature called The Wage and Hour Law Monthly Tip. Massachusetts employers can subscribe to the blog by filling out the form in the right hand column of on the blog. You can find the blog at: employmentlawblogma.com.

Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton's employment attorneys represent employers that range in size from small technology start-ups to Fortune 1000 companies across a wide spectrum of industries, including software, medical devices, professional services, financial services, construction, manufacturing, retail, non-profit and healthcare.

5/3/13

Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell Selected Construction Law Firm of the Year in NH

CONCORD, NH — Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell has been selected the 2013 Corporate Intl MagazineConstruction Law Firm of the Year in New Hampshire.’ Corporate INTL conducts comprehensive research before carefully selecting winners in various areas of law from all over the world. Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell represents buyers, sellers, developers, investors, lenders, franchisers, municipalities, utilities and individuals in a wide range of real estate transactions across New Hampshire. The firm’s real estate attorneys are uniquely positioned to assist clients with acquisitions and sales, entity selection and tax advice, real estate development, and secured financings. They are also well versed in the intricacies of New Hampshire shoreland development and represent clients in matters related to shoreland development permits, waterfront site assessment studies, and shoreland enforcement actions.

4/29/13

Kevin Whitmore Receives Divorce Financial Analyst Certification

Kevin Whitmore, an investment representative with Eldridge Investment Advisors in Manchester, NH, has received certification as a Divorce Financial Analyst from the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts.™ The role of the CDFA™ is to assist the client and his/her lawyer to understand how the financial decisions he/she makes today will impact the client’s financial future.

Whitmore joined Eldridge Investment Advisors in 2005 where he manages investment portfolios for growth and income with an emphasis on tax efficiency. As an independent financial advisor, he is dedicated to providing personal wealth planning and asset management services through a fee-based platform.

4/19/13

How To Avoid Employee Retaliation Claims

Massachusetts employment lawyer Robert M. Shea writes in a recent article on retaliation claims, that such claims now account for 37% of all claims filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). He cites two reasons: the laws have broadened the scope of those protected against retaliation, and that by their nature, retaliation claims have a higher success rate when compared to other types of claims such as harassment.

Shea offers for employers these five steps on how to avoid retaliation claims:
1. Implement a policy prohibiting unlawful retaliation
2. Provide managers and supervisor with training
3. Do not ignore or isolate claimants
4. Consider additional protective measures
5. Closely review subsequent employment actions
Each of these steps is discussed in more detail in the full article. To ready the article, click on: Steps to Avoid Claims of Unlawful Retaliation.

3/29/13

H-1B Visa Cap Expected To Be Reached Quickly

Immigration attorney Grant Godfrey has published an H-1B Cap FAQ to explain what employers and employees can expect regarding the FY 2014 H-1B Visa season that opens on April 1, 2013. This is important for companies wishing to sponsor foreign nationals for new H-1B “specialty worker” visas. The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service and cautioned that this year’s H-1B Cap could be reached within weeks, if not days of the cap opening up. Attorney Grant's FAQs help employers, and their employees, understand the implications if the H-1B Cap is reached quickly. Grant is an immigration attorney with Massachusetts business law firm Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton with offices in Waltham and Cambridge, MA.