The federal Circuit Courts of Appeal are split on the important question of what is required of a consumer who claims not to have received the proper disclosures from a lender and who wishes to rescind the loan within the three-year period following the closing.
The Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure govern almost all civil cases in Massachusetts state courts. Next year, new amendments to the Rules will take effect, significantly impacting the discovery process for many state lawsuits. Most of the new amendments govern the exchange of electronically stored information (e.g., email messages), and have received much attention recently from lawyers and legal publications alike. Another aspect of the amendments, however, has received less attention to date: the formalization of procedures providing for the return of privileged material that has been inadvertently disclosed.
The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts has held that failure to respond to a purported Qualified Written Request, sent to a loan servicer pursuant to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, 12 U.S.C. 2605 et seq. ("RESPA"), cannot serve as a defense to collection of a promissory note where a defendant suffered no actual damages as a result of any purported RESPA violation. Santander Bank v. Sturgis, et al., (C.A. No. 11-10601-DPW) (D. Mass. Nov. 13, 2013).
Massachusetts laws regarding the care, custody and maintenance of children of divorcing or never-married parents specifically address the issue of health insurance, presumptively placing the burden of providing health coverage for an unemanicpated child or children on the person who is obligated to pay child support. The statute applying to children of divorcing parents (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 208 Section 28) and the statute applying to children of never-married parents (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 209C Section 9) each state as follows: "When the court makes an order for maintenance or support of a child, said court shall determine whether the obligor under such order has health insurance or other health coverage on a group plan available to him through an employer or organization or has health insurance or other health coverage available to him at a reasonable cost that may be extended to cover the child for whom support is ordered. When said court has determined that the obligor has such insurance or coverage available to him, said court shall include in the support order a requirement that the obligor exercise the option of additional coverage in favor of the child or obtain coverage for the child."
In a rare setback to the growing arbitration field, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently struck down on a 2 to 1 vote Delaware's confidential state-sponsored arbitration program. The Court held that, as with the chancery courts, the public had a First Amendment right of access to the court's arbitration proceedings.
Many individuals serve as a co-trustee of a trust, such as a family trust holding real estate or a trust of a parent or close friend after their death. Individuals who serve as a co-trustee or, more importantly, are contemplating serving as a co-trustee or successor trustee should be aware of a significant change since the enactment of the Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code ("MUTC") on July 8, 2012, specifically a change concerning the number of trustees that must agree to act when performing their fiduciary duties.