Seder & Chandler, LLP
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December 2012 Archives

Track Palin reaches settlement three weeks after divorce filing

When facing divorce, images of drawn out court battles and contentious litigation often come to mind. That does not always have to be the case, however, as the traditional path of litigation is often avoidable in divorce proceedings. An experienced MetroWest Boston divorce lawyer would be able to explain possible alternatives to litigation, such as mediation and arbitration.

Providence-New Bedford-Fall River foreclosure rates down

The possibility of foreclosure remains a major concern for many living in Massachusetts and across the nation. Data and analytical firms measure foreclosure rates for real estate throughout the country, reporting to banks, lenders and government officials to help gauge growth or shrinkage in home markets. Those contesting a foreclosure or seeking to make adjustments to existing rates on loans should strive to understand how this information may affect their chances at reaching an amenable agreement.

Copyright dispute over yoga poses goes to federal court

The U. S. District Court in Los Angeles ruled that yoga poses cannot be subject to copyright in a business litigation case between a yoga college in India and several yoga studios in various cities. The U. S. Copyright Office had already ruled that a sequence of yoga poses could not be copyrighted, but the Indian company brought suit anyway against yoga studios in Los Angeles and New York. The owner of the yoga college contended that he had thought up the unique sequence and deserved protection from others copying his intellectual property. However, the federal judge ruling on the case stated that books or photographs depicting certain arrangements of exercises could be copyrighted, but the sequence itself is not protected by copyright law, as the U. S. Copyright Office stated. He noted that individual poses are not subject to copyright law, and therefore the sequence itself could not be protected.

Real estate investment may be affected by fiscal cliff deal

Homeownership is part of the American dream. The United States tax code has numerous provisions to incentivize residential real estate investment, and the home mortgage interest deduction is one of the most well known. However, the deduction is not cheap for the U.S. government, and it is under scrutiny as the government attempts to increase the amount of revenue it takes in.

Payment of child support in Massachusetts

Many issues arise in the course of a divorce, especially if children are involved. Child custody, visitation and child support are all things that must be addressed. Establishing a child support order is extremely important as it guarantees children have the monetary support they need to thrive. Massachusetts has child support guidelines that generally apply in all cases. A Massachusetts divorce attorney can assist a parent in establishing or modifying a child support order.

Eastern Bank merges with Community Bank

The Community Bank recently announced a merger that gives Eastern Bank an additional 99 branches and 128 ATM machines around eastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod and converts more than 16,000 customers. Eastern Bank promises customers new advantages from the business formation, including online banking and mobile deposits. State and federal regulators approved the merger, and no premiums were paid as Eastern is a mutual company and Community is a cooperative bank.Eastern Bank is a mutually owned bank that was formed in 1818 and is one of the most stable banks in New England. The merger with The Community Bank, based in Brockton, was advantageous for both partners. Eastern has previously merged with Sharon Cooperative Bank in 2007, a company that evolved from Plymouth Savings Bank in 2005. In all, Eastern has merged five times in its history.

Walt Disney asks for a dismissal of Spider-Man lawsuit

In a case regarding two of the biggest and best-known names in entertainment, Stan Lee Media Inc. is asking for billions of dollars in compensation from the Walt Disney Co. for copyright infringement. Disney has asked the court to dismiss the claim, calling the lawsuit "frivolous." Stan Lee Media, or SLMI, has filed six different business litigation suits in the past dealing with copyright infringement, but judges have been dismissive of the bankrupt company's claims.At issue is the use of images for Spider-Man, X-Men and Fantastic Four, especially in movies such as "The Avengers." SLMI claims that Disney never recorded an agreement with the now-defunct Marvel Comics to use these images and is asking for billions in payment for the alleged copyright misuse. Disney maintains that SLMI terminated its rights to the images in a 1998 agreement.

Dennis Quaid files for divorce from third wife

Actor Dennis Quaid has officially filed for divorce from his third wife, Kimberly Buffington-Quaid. The divorce filing came six weeks after Kimberly filed for legal separation from the actor. She originally filed for divorce in March of 2012, but later withdrew the request. Quaid is seeking joint custody of the couple's twins and is offering to pay Kimberly spousal support. In addition to his other ex-wife, Quaid was previously married to actress Meg Ryan. Quaid and Ryan were divorced in 2001, and have one son, Jack Quaid, of the "Hunger Games" fame.

October foreclosure numbers show continued improvement

With the collapse of the housing and financial markets leading to the most-recent recession, Massachusetts homeowners found themselves facing a real estate market filled with mortgages that could no longer be easily modified and underwater house values. This combination led to a significant rise in the number of foreclosures. With economic recovery comes a reversal of the rising foreclosure trend, resulting in a significant drop in the number of foreclosures statewide.

Hallmark awarded $31.3 million in trade secrets lawsuit

A federal jury in a business litigation case involving Hallmark Cards Inc. recently reached a decision to award the company $31.3 million in damages from another company that used inside information illegally obtained from the behemoth greeting card company.Monitor Clipper Partners was accused of breaching confidentiality when it allegedly used information acquired during its 2001 work with Hallmark when Monitor was hired to help redesign the Hallmark business model. Four years later, Monitor purchased Recycled Paper Greetings Inc., a direct competitor of the Hallmark Company. The lawsuit alleged that Monitor used confidential insider information to give an unfair advantage to the new company, which enabled them to make money illegally using this information.

The benefits of a Massachusetts marital agreement

Although not incredibly romantic, asset and financial planning for a marriage has many benefits. Whether to enter into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is a very personal decision. Many factors must be taken into consideration to determine whether doing so may be the right choice for your particular situation. A Massachusetts divorce attorney can discuss with you the pros and cons of entering into one of these marital agreements.

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