HR Takeaways from the Patriots Loss

Monday morning, Jan. 25, in New England after the Patriots loss in the AFC championship to Denver left many fans, in a word, deflated. With the words of coaching legend, Vince Lombardi, ringing in their ears, “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser,” many are looking for something to occupy their 

Health Law: One Year In: NH Healthcare Surrogacy Decision-Making Law

Adults have the right to make their own health care decisions, unless they are incapacitated. Until 2015, the only people who were able to make health care decisions for an incapacitated adult in New Hampshire were an agent appointed under a durable power for attorney for health care (DPOA-H), or a guardian appointed by the 

Time Is Running out to Participate in a New Hampshire Tax Amnesty Program

CLIENT ALERT By Russell J. Stein New Hampshire taxpayers may have an opportunity to become current on their tax obligations, avoid penalties and pay 50% of outstanding interest on past-due amounts through a New Hampshire tax amnesty program that is running from now until February 15, 2016. The tax amnesty program is available to both 

Essential Documents for Retirement

You are on the verge of retirement. Things to do, people to see, places to go and time to do it.  But before taking the final leap, make sure you have your documents in order. While this list doesn’t include everything you’ll need, this provides a good starting point. You should speak with your attorney 

Regardless of What Your Client Says, As a Builder, You Are Ultimately Responsible for Code Compliance

CLIENT ALERT By John H. Perten In 2006, in Reddish v. Bowen, the MA appeals court affirmed a ruling that a home improvement contractor who installed an in-ground swimming pool within the side-yard setback, violated the Home Improvement Contract Law, M.G.L. c. 142A (“HIC”) and Chapter 93A, notwithstanding that the homeowner had represented that the 

NH Legal Perspective: Commercial Debtor-Tenants and Their Landlords

THE BANKRUPTCY code offers a commercial debtor many important tools to assist in its reorganization efforts. One such tool at the debtor’s disposal is the ability to either preserve, through assumption, or void, through rejection, a debtor’s pre-bankruptcy property lease with its landlord. Read the full story here.            

When Your AdWords Keywords Land You in Court

Google’s AdWords and other programs can be a boon to small online retailers. For a modest fee, a company reserves a keyword on Google. Whenever that keyword or phrase appears in a search request on Google, the company’s name and advertising are displayed at the top of the search results. Read the full story here. 

NH Legal Perspective: Splitting Equity in Jointly Owned Property

IT’S A COMMON story. You were in love, but you weren’t married. You lived in a small rented apartment. One day, one of you said, “Hey, wouldn’t it make sense for us to buy?” And the other one said, “Why, yes, it would. That way, we could build some equity, rather than throwing rent money 

Open Source Software: What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You

Open source (or so-called “free”) software has become a popular tool for software developers and technology companies that write software applications, because the source code is available at no charge and it saves the developer from having to write code from scratch or hire a third party to write it for a fee. Read the 

NH Legal Perspective: Employer’s Obligations Under Pregnancy/Maternity Laws

IN THE PAST year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“the EEOC”) issued an Enforcement Guidance about pregnancy discrimination and related issues, and this March, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision about the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“the PDA”). What are some steps that an employer can and should take to make sure it is 

NH Legal Perspective: ADA – What’s Reasonable and to Whom?

THE AMERICANS with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) requires an employer to make certain job accommodations for disabled employees. Because the definition of “disability” was expanded several years ago when the ADA was amended, employers must accommodate more workers and may face increased requests for accommodation. As a result, there is more opportunity for employers and employees 

Worker’s Compensation & Personal Injury: Beyond the Numbers: Controlling Workers Compensation Costs

When a business encounters a rise in workers compensation costs, the immediate response often focuses on loss control, reducing spending and overall insurance costs. However, given the continued annual rise in insurance premiums, and the fact that New Hampshire has been identified as one of the most expensive states for workers compensation coverage in the 

New Hampshire Legislature Passes, Governor Signs New Securities Law

CLIENT ALERT By Michael J. Drooff The New Hampshire legislature passed and Governor Hassan signed into law on July 27, 2015 a new Uniform Securities Act which comprehensively reforms New Hampshire’s securities laws. The new Act goes into effect on January 1, 2016 and is intended to simplify and facilitate capital-raising by small- and medium-sized 

NH Legal Perspective: Helpful Tips for Compliance with OSHA Requirements

WITH THE MANY changes in the modern workplace there is one constant, employers must protect employees from or correct known workplace safety hazards. The law has changed over the years to adapt to the evolving workplace, technologies and materials. This article is intended to help guide employers through the health and safety laws and regulations 

Federal Practice & Bankruptcy: Mediation Use Grows in Bankruptcy Cases

As an effective tool to combat the associated costs and delay in litigation, mediation has gained momentum and popularity as an efficient method to resolve disputes in state and federal courts. This trend has been emerging in bankruptcy matters as well, where limited resources and time make mediation an attractive alternative dispute resolution mechanism. Read 

NH Legal Perspective: Governor Hassan Signs Law Allowing Hospital Patients to Designate Aftercare Giver

MANY SENIORS rely exclusively on family, friends and community members to provide care once they are discharged from a hospital. According to a recent study published by AARP, family caregivers in the United States provided an estimated $470 billion in unpaid services and care to their loved ones in 2013 — more than total Medicaid 

NH Legal Perspective: Social Media and the Employee – From Hiring to Departure

EMPLOYEES CONTINUALLY encounter new ways that social media impacts their workplaces. Social media touches on the entire lifecycle of employment as employers more frequently turn to social media to advertise and fill positions, confront employees’ on-line postings, and contend with former employees’ use of social media. Even though the laws regarding social media in the 

Attorney General Issues Final Regulations under Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law

CLIENT ALERT By Mark J. Ventola and David L. Hansen On June 19, 2015, Attorney General Maura Healey issued the final regulations (the “Regulations”) further defining the provisions of the new Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law (the “Law”). As reported in our previous Client Alert, the Law requires that all employers provide employees with a 

Sheehan Phinney Attorneys Win Significant Bankruptcy Case

(June 19, 2015, Boston, MA) – Sheehan Phinney attorneys Charles M. Waters and Christopher M. Candon won a significant dismissal of claims asserted by a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee alleged to be worth millions of dollars and brought against the firm’s clients in an effort to hold them responsible for the debtor’s liabilities based on 

What is a Farm? Zoning Laws Need Updating

A Henniker Christmas tree farmer has lost before the state Supreme Court in a case that could spell the end for some struggling New Hampshire farms. Citizens who don’t want to see more small farms turned into developments will need to act to prevent that. Read the full story here.  

Seven Deadly Sins for Design Pros

Here are some of the most important issues commonly encountered by design professionals in basic owner-design professional agreements: Read the full story here.                

CEO on the Go: David McGrath

As the newly appointed leader of one of NH’s largest law firms, clients and employees alike look to David McGrath for help. When McGrath needs to resolve his own issues, he runs. Sometimes it’s 4 p.m. before working a few more hours. Other times it’s seven at night when he needs to ponder work problems 

Client Alert – Attorney General Issues Final Regulations Under Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law

On June 19, 2015, Attorney General Maura Healey issued the final regulations (the “Regulations”) further defining the provisions of the new Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law (the “Law”). As reported in our previous Client Alert, the Law requires that all employers provide employees with a minimum of 40 hours of sick time each year. The 

NH Legal Perspectives: When Does the Work Day End? It Depends

WHEN IT COMES to wages, employees and employers are often at odds. Employees generally want to be compensated for all the time they are required to be at work. Employers, on the other hand, generally want to compensate employees only for the time they actually spend working and benefiting the company. In a rare unanimous 

Real Property Law: Environmental Risks in Real Estate Transactions

At every step along the way and for every party involved, contamination and even potential contamination can pose significant and expensive risks Environmental contamination can pose multi-faceted risk to those involved in real estate transactions. Exposure related to environmental factors can affect each phase of the transaction, including purchasing, financing, development and sale. Read the 

NH Legal Perspective: Key Consideration to Using Staffing Companies to Find Temp Workers

EMPLOYERS TURN to staffing companies to locate temporary workers with increasing frequency. Staffing companies generate savings for their employer/clients by locating temporary workers to fill employers’ needs. There are, however, several key components to the three-party relationship formed between the employer/client, the staffing agency and the temporary worker. Resolving these issues, usually by contract, is 

IRS Amnesty Program Available to Minimize Significant Taxes and Penalties from the Misclassification of Workers as Independent Contractors

CLIENT ALERT By Russell J. Stein Classifying a worker as an employee or an independent contractor is one of the first questions a company faces when establishing, retaining or increasing its workforce. The classification affects how the worker is taxed as well as the worker’s rights under various benefit plans, unemployment insurance policies, workers’ compensation 

Marijuana Legalization Clashes with Drug Testing in the Workplace

James Reidy featured in The Guardian article. At a Society for Human Resource Management conference in Washington DC last month, a session on drug testing in the workplace was so heavily attended that organizers had to switch rooms to accommodate the audience. Even then, it was standing room only. And the hour set aside for the talk 

Land Use Regulation, Codes and Business Planning

Assume for a moment that your highly successful business needs to expand. Whether looking for land on which to build, expanding up or out from your existing space, or renovating within your current four walls, attention to various documents and laws that affect your property at the outset will avoid expensive mistakes later on. Read 

Employee Verification Roulette, By the Rules

In recent months, immigration has reemerged as a hotly-contested political issue. Although the ultimate resolution is difficult to predict, the potential for millions of undocumented immigrants to obtain deferred action or other temporary employment benefits will undoubtedly create challenges for employers. Read the full story here.

Sheehan Phinney Named 2015 “Best of Business”

(March 16, 2015, Manchester, NH) – The law firm of Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green PA was selected as a winner in New Hampshire Business Review’s 2015 BOB Awards, which honor the “Best of Business” in New Hampshire in over 90 categories. Sheehan Phinney was honored in a statewide reader’s survey with awards for Bankruptcy Law. 

The Newest Arrow in the Health Care Collection Quiver?: New Hampshire Legislature Introduces Bill to Allow Special Conservatorships for Medicaid

Over the past several years, New Hampshire health care facilities have lobbied the New Hampshire Legislature to pass measures to help solve the chronic problem of patients or residents who linger in facilities with no means of paying their bill. These people often have sufficient assets or an appointed financial agent upon admission, but when 

Ventola Prevails in Independent Medical Examination Case

(March 23, 2015, Boston, MA) – Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green shareholder Mark J. Ventola prevailed before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in favor of the firm’s client, Examworks. The SJC weighed in on the state’s personal injury protection statute, addressing, independent medical examinations (IMEs) required of parties injured in auto accidents.

SJC Ruling on PIP Statute Provides Needed Clarity

This article originally appeared in the March 19, 2015 issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. To see the online version of the article, click here. *** The Supreme Judicial Court has once again weighed in on the state’s personal injury protection statute, this time addressing independent medical examinations, or IMEs, required of parties injured in auto 

Family Enterprises: How to Build Growth, Family Control and Family Harmony

Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green PA shareholder Janet B. Fierman was a contributor in the book Family Enterprises: How to Build Growth, Family Control and Family Harmony. Her chapter focuses on the challenges presented when a family business owns real estate. Purchase Family Enterprises on Amazon here.            

DES Weighs Changes to Contaminated Site Rules

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Service regulations governing the investigation, long-term cleanup and management of contaminated sites were set to expire on Feb. 1. And while the existing rules remain in effect during the rulemaking process, the agency is proposing to amend various sections of its contaminated site management regulations before readoption. Read the full 

Dividends: It’s the Least Tax-Efficient Way to Withdraw Money from a Corporation

THE LIMITIED liability company and S corporation are generally regarded as the entities of choice for closely-held businesses, in large part because the owners can access company cash tax-efficiently. However, for a variety of good non-tax reasons many businesses still operate as corporations without electing to be treated as an S corporation. These so-called C 

Winter Weather and New Hampshire Wage Laws

There is an expression that if you don’t like New England weather, just wait a minute – it will change. We have all experienced the challenges of getting to or from work in bad weather, especially during winter months. One of the biggest challenges for employers during these dark and cold months is determining if 

Sheehan Phinney Assists in Sale of NetProspex

(January 14, 2015, Boston, MA) – Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green PA successfully represented its client, NetProspex Inc., in its sale to Dun & Bradstreet. The $125 million cash transaction closed on January 5, 2014. The Sheehan Phinney attorneys assisting in the transaction were Alexander H. Pyle, Colleen Lyons, Michael J. Drooff, Peter T. Beach and Russell J. Stein

NH Legal Perspective: 2014 Top Ten List of Wage and Hour Violations

THE STAKES for noncompliance under state and federal wage and hour laws are higher than ever before. In FY 2014, inspectors from the NH Department of Labor conducted 566 workplace inspections. Those inspections resulted in proposed civil penalties and wage adjustments in the amount of $1,275,134. While this is a decrease from FY 2013 the 

Benefit Corporations: Coming Soon to New Hampshire

Beginning Jan. 1, New Hampshire will join over two dozen other states in permitting business and professional corporations to be formed as “benefit corporations” – a hybrid form of corporate entity that allows a for-profit corporation to pursue social responsibility as one of its stated business purposes. Read the full story here.       

Massachusetts’ Mandatory Sick Time Law

CLIENT ALERT By Karen A. Whitley and Mark J. Ventola On January 7, 2015, outgoing Governor Patrick signed into law “An Act relative to parental leave” (“Parental Leave law”), which will replace the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Law (“MMLA”), Mass. G.L. c. 149, §105D.  The new law took effect on April 7, 2015, and applies to 

NH Legal Perspective: Some Basic Patent Tips for Start-Ups

If you’re involved in a technology-based start-up, chances are you have a lot on your mind.  Research and development, raising capital, managing cash flow and marketing are just a few of the important, time-consuming issues on your plate.  And, if your company just happens to be developing some cool, innovative technology, you probably have patents on 

Licensing to Begin of New Hampshire Med Techs

In the fall of 2011 the news broke that David Kwiatkowski, a traveling medical technician, had infected more than 30 Exeter Hospital patients with Hepatitis C, using covert drug-diversion tactics that eluded criminal background checks and drug tests. Read the full story here.