Burns & Levinson LLP

IRS Proposes Regulations That Will Eliminate Most Valuation Discounts on Family-Owned Entities

On August 2, 2016, the IRS issued proposed regulations that would eliminate or limit the use of certain valuation discounts regularly applied when valuing interests in family-owned entities for gift and estate tax…more
| Business Organizations, Taxation, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

It’s Back to School Time Again!

Hi there, Despite the oppressive heat, it’s almost back to school time again. By this point in the summer most parents are pretty ready for school to begin. One of the best ways to make the school year smoother for your…more
| Family Law

Military Pensions Could See Significant Changes

Pending Federal legislation could have a huge impact on how judges will divide military pensions during a divorce. In a previous post, I discussed at length how military pension plans currently could be divided in the context of…more
| Elections & Politics, Family Law, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Spouse’s Trust Interest Shielded from Division in Divorce

Hi there, I continue to be amazed by the distinguished group of divorce and probate lawyers I have the privilege to work with at Burns & Levinson. Today’s decision on Pfannenstiehl v. Pfannenstiehl, a case which will guide…more
| Family Law, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Why You Should Care About Federal Computer Privacy

An often-stated truth is that you shouldn’t access the email of others. Here, “others” means the person you have divorced, are now divorcing, or plan to divorce in the not too distant future. No matter how often this is said,…more
| Communications & Media Law, Family Law, Privacy, Science, Computers, & Technology

The Validity of Oral Modifications and Waivers Is Not Always Intuitive

In an ideal world, any modification of a contract would be in writing, signed by the parties, notarized and witnessed by an independent third party. In the real world, not only are contracts modified, or terms waived, without…more
| Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Construction Law

Potential Changes to Interstate Custody Dispute Law in Massachusetts

After a three month maternity leave, and a few months adjusting to being a full-time working mom, I’m excited to be back to contributing my thoughts to this blog! I’m also excited to be writing on a topic that I not only find…more
| Civil Procedure, Family Law

Auto Dealers Lead the Way for Ignoring Certain Federal Regulations

Not all federal regulations reflect a rule of law. In fact, some are not even given deference by the courts as a legitimate interpretation of the law. The U.S. Supreme Court recently concluded that certain federal regulations…more
| Labor & Employment Law

Misinterpreting the Law Doesn’t Negate an Alimony Agreement

The Appeals Court decision in DeMarco v. DeMarco reminds us that a deal is a deal, even when it’s entered into based upon advice from a trial judge who misinterprets the law…more
| Family Law

Beware: Sending A Text Message Can Be Just as Binding as Signing a Document By Hand!

We have all heard stories about the dangers of social media, whether it be an inappropriate tweet, a regrettable Facebook posting or a misdirected “sexting.” The decision issued by the Massachusetts Land Court in St. John’s…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Communications & Media Law, Real Estate - Commercial

Public Records Overhaul Signed Into Law

After a year of intense debate, legislation overhauling the state’s public records law for the first time in over 40 years was signed by Gov. Charlie Baker on June 3rd (becoming Chapter 121 of the Acts of 2016, the “Act”). The…more
| Administrative Law, Elections & Politics

Definition of Cohabitation Set in Recent Alimony Reform Act Interpretation

The latest in a series of cases interpreting and clarifying the Alimony Reform Act of 2011 has just been decided. Duff-Kareores vs. Kareores was decided by the Supreme Judicial Court on June 15, 2016…more
| Family Law

Supreme Court Substantially Lowers Standard for Proving Enhanced Damages for Patent Infringement

In Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., the Supreme Court issued a longawaited opinion dramatically altering the standard Federal Courts use for determining whether to increase patent infringement damages under 35…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Intellectual Property, Science, Computers, & Technology

Even Conduct That Is Not Barred by a Contract Can Lead to Contract Damages

In Exercising Contractual Rights Can Be Risky If It Is for an Ulterior Purpose, I discussed how a business can subject itself to multiple damages and attorneys’ fees under Mass. General Laws, Chapter 93A if it attempts to…more
| Business Organizations, Commercial Law & Contracts, Securities Law

It’s STILL Not Too Late to Act!

Hi there, I usually take no position on pending legislation but the proposed changes to the alimony law will adversely affect thousands of pre-existing divorce agreements. If you can, please take the time to read this…more
| Elections & Politics, Family Law
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125 Summer Street
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