SJC Issues Order Restricting Court Appearances to Emergency Matters Until May 4

In light of the ongoing and urgent public health concerns regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the Supreme Judicial Court today issued an Order that continues to restrict the number of people coming to Massachusetts state courthouses. Effective April 6, 2020, the new order repeals and replaces two earlier court orders; the Order Regarding Empanelment Of Juries, issued by the court on March 13, 2020, and the Order Limiting In-Person Appearances In State Courthouses To Emergency Matters That Cannot Be Resolved Through A Videoconference Or Telephonic Hearing, issued by the court on March 17, 2020. All trials, whether jury or bench,
Continue Reading

An Overview of the Massachusetts Melanie’s Law

Legislation known as “Melanie’s Law” was passed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2005. This Massachusetts statute is intended to make penalties for operating under the influence of alcohol (OUI) more severe. The enactment of this law helped to usher in new and enhanced periods of license suspension or revocation and further established the Commonwealth’s Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Program. Melanie’s Law is named for 13-year-old Melanie Powell, who was struck and killed by a driver who had multiple OUI convictions. Under this law, penalties for repeat offenders are stronger and prosecution is easier. For example, anyone who is found
Continue Reading

Berid & Schutzbank – Prepared and Ready to Help Clients.

As our society as a whole deals with the pandemic COVID-19 crisis, I want to share with your our plans for keeping our clients, employees and community safe. Berid & Schutzbank will be adhering to all protocols issued by the Commonwealth. My top priority will be to ensure the safety of those we come into contact with while balancing that with continuing to provide the high quality level of legal representation you have come to expect from Berid & Schutzbank. Your safety is our top priority as we continue to navigate this global crisis together. The New Hampshire Courts have
Continue Reading

Court Operations Under the Exigent Circumstances Created by COVID-19

This just in from the Probate and Family Court. We are all in the process of trying to sort out how this effects open cases. Berid & Schutzbank clients: Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns about how this impacts your case. I will contact those of you with upcoming court dates early in the week. Please take care during this trying time and be assured that Berid & Schutzbank is here to help you resolve your family law or Probate Court matter through the Court process as quickly and efficiently under these new temporary rules. Probate
Continue Reading

The Massachusetts Divorce Process: Know Your Options

The decision to file for divorce is never easy. When the determination has been made, it’s essential to understand the process, which varies by state. To begin the divorce process in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, here are a few things to consider. To file for divorce in Massachusetts, one of the following must apply: (1) you have lived in the state for one year, or (2) the reason the marriage ended happened in Massachusetts, and you have lived in Massachusetts as a couple. You have several options available when it comes to legally dissolving your marriage: mediation, collaborative law, and
Continue Reading

Holidays, New Years, Superbowl Cheer – Disorderly Conduct and Public Intoxication

Winter brings with it some of the calendar’s most-anticipated holidays. In colder parts of the world—of which Massachusetts is certainly one, as anyone who has lived through a nor’easter will tell you—people draw together inside to escape the falling snow and the quickly-falling, long winter nights. The winter holidays have something for everyone: the religious and cultural observances of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa; the universal excitement of New Year’s Eve; the shared experience of Super Bowl Sunday. For many people, with celebration there comes alcohol. And with alcohol there comes additional responsibility and potential criminal prosecution. Driving under the influence
Continue Reading

Don’t Be Blindsided By The Division of Marital Property in Your Divorce

Many people fail to realize divorce requires more than simply signing a few documents. If you’re divorcing in Massachusetts, don’t be blindsided by the many decisions you’re about to face regarding the division of your marital property. Not all property is valued or taxed in the same way; therefore, the process can be long and confusing without the help of a knowledgeable attorney at your side. It’s important to consider that even though different financial accounts are valued at the same amount, the account owner may receive different withdraw amounts. This is because withdrawals will not be taxed in the
Continue Reading

Cannabis DUI

Marijuana and derived cannabis products are now legal for private, at-home consumption in Massachusetts. With the use of THC products now legal and in the open, it becomes even more important to remember continuing legal restrictions on and best practices surrounding their consumption. One of the foremost issues at the intersection of law, good citizenship, and cannabis is that of driving under the influence of marijuana and marijuana-derived products. Most people are familiar with the laws surrounding DUI, or at least they think they understand these laws. Let’s take a moment to review the laws regarding alcohol and the operation
Continue Reading

Massachusetts RMV Scandal and License Suspension

Imagine this: one day you open your mail to discover your license has been suspended for a violation that occurred months, maybe even years, ago. How did this happen? And what can you do? A scandal has engulfed the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles this summer, one which promises not to end any time soon. While the scandal suggests a long-term investigation to turn over every rock, hundreds and hundreds of Massachusetts drivers have already been affected in the short-term by having their licenses suspected. Many more may also soon find their licenses suspended as the RMV races to repair
Continue Reading