Seder & Chandler, LLP
Worcester 508-471-3018
Westborough 508-709-0024

September 2012 Archives

Thirty-Six-Year Marriage Ends with Spousal Support Dispute

Along with the division of marital property and debts in a divorce, courts are often called upon to decide whether to award spousal support, also known as alimony, to the less well-off spouse. Unlike child support, courts have broad discretion in entering spousal support orders. With a Massachusetts divorce, courts make decisions on a case-by-case basis.

Is it cheaper to buy a home than rent one in Worcester?

The answer to that question is a resounding YES, according to Trulia, a residential real estate and data trending group. The group recently compiled data that examined homes for sale and homes for rent in the top 100 metro areas considered the largest in the country, including Worcester, Massachusetts. The data came from its database for listings in the months of June, July and August of this year. In every single market buying a home was less expensive than renting one, and by a big margin. It also stayed that way over a seven year period.

Slow going for plaintiffs so far in currency-trading suits

Civil court cases in two states that involve Bank of New York Mellon being sued for allegedly overcharged clients for currency trades are getting bogged down in the morass of the court system.Many of these business litigation suits filed under the False Claims Act have been dismissed in partially or completely due to lack of evidence. The plaintiffs have been unable to convince judges that there were fraudulent events that constitute violations of this law. They may soon re-file their cases, however.

Man wins $7.2 million over claim that popcorn made him sick

Of all the consumer products in the typical American house, one that few people would pinpoint as being potentially hazardous is popcorn -- as a choking hazard maybe, but not as something that could induce illness. But that's just what a man in Colorado claimed -- and a jury agreed with him. He was awarded more than $7 million this week in a business litigation case against the maker of the popcorn and the store that sold him the snack, which he consumed at the rate of two bags every day for a decade.

Divorced Dad Owes Nearly Half a Million in Past-Due Child Support

Two former wives of a Massachusetts man joined forces and searched 10 years to find the father of their children. By the time they caught up with him in another state, Massachusetts officials calculates he owes $481,000 in child support.

Worcester Diocese to be sued over housing discrimination

Residential real estate transactions can be a complex maze of rules, regulations and paperwork. Any number of things can go wrong from title declarations to land use and zoning issues when it comes to commercial real estate. And there are always price negotiations and inspections to deal with. But what went wrong for two men is they claim they were discriminated against by the Worcester Roman Catholic Diocese because they are gay. The two men were in negotiations with the Diocese over the purchase of a Northbridge mansion that sits on 26 acres and they intend to sue the Diocese for housing discrimination in the matter.

The Unromantic Side of Marriage: Why You Should Have a Prenuptial Agreement

As many couples prepare for their wedding, the last issue they want to discuss is prenuptial agreements. Some believe the mere mention of the words signify a level of mistrust or is an indication that a divorce is already part of the plan. However, many view such agreements as a way to avoid future conflicts; preferences regarding financial planning, housing, child care and the like can be discussed and committed to paper before disagreements arise.

Massachusetts AG highlights foreclosure issues facing homeowners

Attorney General Martha Coakley is again focusing attention on the foreclosure crisis in the state of Massachusetts and the resources recently made available to struggling homeowners. Since 2007, more than 45,000 homeowners have lost their homes to foreclosure and because of that a number of initiatives have been put in place to stymie the pace of foreclosures in the state and provide homeowners with more options for mortgage loan modifications. As we have reported previously on our blog, the HomeCorps program is available to mortgage borrowers to assist them with legal questions regarding loan modifications and initiatives in an effort to prevent unnecessary home foreclosures.

Federal court reverses decision over patent dispute

An initial ruling by a lower court was reversed by the U.S. District Court involving a coronary stent patent held by Boston Scientific Corporation. In 2005, a business litigation lawsuit filed by a doctor claimed that Scimed Life Science, a subsidiary of Boston Scientific, failed to pay licensing fees for patents he held for a stent used in the procedure known as balloon angioplasty. The U.S. District Court held that the lower court erred in interpreting the language of the patent and that the doctor was free to file a new claim based on his assertions. Boston Scientific recently won a patent lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson over a similar stent issue.

Taking Paternity Testing On the Road: A New Trend in Establishing Paternity?

Unmarried parents in Massachusetts may deal with many issues when preparing to raise their children, including child custody, child support payments and visitation schedules. Determining paternity is often the first step before addressing any of these issues. An East Coast man is taking a fast and blunt approach to the matter of paternity testing and paternity disputes.

Apple wins a verdict that could stagger its smartphone rivals

Apple's victory over Samsung in a $1 billion patent lawsuit last month means that Apple has the opportunity to corner smartphone technology over Android rival companies. The verdict in this business litigation case was applicable only to Samsung; the company was found to have copied software technology exclusively owned by Apple. However, this could spell trouble for other competitors who rely on Google's Android platforms to power their phones.Companies currently using features like "bounce back" and "touch zoom" could opt to pay a fee to Apple for copying the technology, although this may well result in costs being passed on to the customer and a drop in competitive price sales for these companies.

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae informed of new Massachusetts law

A letter from Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley was sent to the two government-controlled mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae instructing them of a new Massachusetts law that requires them to offer loan modifications that are "commercially reasonable." The letter was sent to the regulator of the two finance companies in hopes of raising the stakes in their dispute over whether helping struggling homeowners cut mortgage debt is beneficial. The letter informs the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Ed DeMarco that Freddie and Fannie, along with other creditors are to take commercially viable steps to help homeowners avoid foreclosure on certain mortgages. The agency is currently reviewing the letter and will respond to it at some point, according to an agency spokesperson. Ms. Coakley said the new law promotes the concept that reducing the mortgage debt and providing loan modifications for some homeowners is a useful tool in preventing unnecessary foreclosures.

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