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.                

NH Legal Perspective: Cloudy with a Chance of Trade Secret Forfeiture

CLOUD COMPUTING has become ubiquitous. These days, every tech company seems to be promoting a cloud-based service. And it makes sense. It sells. Who doesn’t want the universal accessibility, cost-saving programs, and unparalleled storage that cloud computing provides? Read the full story here.            

How State’s New Social Media Access Law Will Work: Measure Gives Employees Privacy in Their Personal Email and Social Media Accounts

A new state law imposing civil fines on employers who attempt to invade employees’ personal email and social media accounts – which becomes effective Sept. 30 – applies to accounts used by employees and prospective employees “primarily for personal communication unrelated to any business purpose of the employer.” Read the full story here.     

Sheehan Phinney Attorneys Assist in $52 Million Sale of New England Wood Pellet

(May 19, 2014, Manchester, NH) – Seven Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green PA attorneys successfully represented the firm’s client, New England Wood Pellet, LLC (NEWP), in its sale to Rentech, Inc. (NASDAQ: RTK), a wood fibre processing, wood pellet production and nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing company based in Los Angeles, CA. In the transaction, Rentech acquired all of the equity interests in NEWP for $34.5 million in cash and the assumption of $13 million of debt. The purchase agreement also calls for an earn-out payment of up to $5 million. The Sheehan Phinney attorneys assisting in the transaction were Robert P. Cheney, Michael J. Drooff, Colleen Lyons, Peter T. Beach, Margaret E. Probish, Susan A. Manchester and Daniel K. Fink.

Sheehan Phinney Attorneys Assist MRSI Systems with Purchase Agreement

(Boston, MA, April 2, 2014) – Attorneys from the law firm Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green PA assisted MRSI Systems, LLC, in its recent purchase of the MRSI Group of Newport Corporation (Nasdaq: NEWP). MRSI Systems was formed by three long – time managers of the division, which makes and sells precision equipment used in high technology manufacturing.

Three Doors Do Not Equal One Entrance

CLIENT ALERT By John Perten The MA Appeals Court has ruled that for purposes of handicap accessibility, all doors to a commercial establishment must comply, not just some. Hollister, a clothing retailer, leases and operates a store at a shopping mall. When it took over the space, there was a single central entrance door that 

Subleasing is Not as Simple as It Seems

Subleasing is a common tool both for tenants who are trying to downsize by becoming sublandlords and for tenants who are seeking temporary space or looking to upgrade the quality of their space or location by becoming subtenants; this is particularly common during a recession. Tenants and prospective subtenants should evaluate the nuances – and 

Buying Debt: The Next Best Thing to Owning Property

During the last great recession, which lasted from the late 1980’s to the mid-1990’s, massive amounts of real estate loans were sold at significant discounts, and buyers of these loans often made staggering returns.  So, naturally, when the current recession hit the real estate and banking industries, investors holding debt started gearing up for another 

Sheehan Phinney Attorneys Win Important Decision

(April 11, 2012, Boston, MA) – Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green PA attorneys Charles M. Waters and Patrick J. Hannon recently won an important decision before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in a matter of first impression regarding claims based upon misrepresentations made by insurance agents.

Sheehan Phinney Attorneys Win Against Starbucks

(January 9, 2012, Manchester, NH) – Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green PA shareholders Christopher Cole and John-Mark Turner successfully defended Black Bear Micro-Roastery, a family-owned, New Hampshire coffee purveyor, in a 14-year long, David and Goliath-like trademark dispute against Starbucks Corp. On December 23, 2011, a federal district court in New York confirmed that Black Bear’s use of the term “Charbucks Blend” did not infringe upon, or dilute the value of Starbucks’ trademark and service mark.

Sheehan Phinney Represents NetProspex In Venture Financing

(December 23, 2010, Boston, MA) – Sheehan Phinney lawyers recently represented NetProspex Inc. (www.netprospex.com), a Waltham MA based company, in its securing of $5.5 million in venture financing. This was NetProspex’s second round of financing, bringing their total investment to $7.5 million to date. The lead investor in the financing was Edison Ventures; existing investors also participated.