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October 2015 Archives

Pennsylvania Federal Court Rejects Plaintiff's Attempt to Invoke Discovery Rule To Toll Statute of Limitations in UCC Check Fraud Case

Section 4-401 of the Uniform Commercial Code provides that a bank may charge the account of a customer if it is presented with a "properly payable" check or other item "authorized by the customer," and "in accordance with any agreement between the customer and the bank." Section 4-401 also provides the basis for forged check liability in the case in which a plaintiff alleges that a bank is liable for charging her for a check that was not properly payable to a third party. UCC Section 4-111 provides that "an obligation, duty, or right" stemming from Article 4 must be commenced within three years from the time the cause of action accrues.

"Parental Privilege" Recognized As An Affirmative Defense In Child Spanking Case

In a decision handed down on June 25, 2015, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recognized a "parental privilege" to use reasonable physical force to discipline a minor child as an affirmative defense in a criminal action.  (See Com. v. Dorvil, 472 Mass. 1 (2015)).  

The Specialized Role of the Business Litigation Session

Suffolk Superior Court in Boston is home to an innovative session called the Business Litigation Session, commonly abbreviated as "BLS".  Brought about by the advocacy of administrative judges, civil litigators, and leaders in the business community, the BLS has served as a statewide forum for the resolution of complex commercial disputes since 2000.  

International Bar Association Annual Conference in Vienna 2015

The International Bar Association is the world's foremost organization of lawyers, bar associations, law firms and law societies. Its membership includes more than 55,000 lawyers from over 160 countries, in addition to nearly 200 bar associations and legal societies.

Things to Look for in a Home Improvement Contractor

Most people don't realize that there are a series of important facts they should know about their building contractor before hiring them to build or renovate their home.  First, make sure that the contractor you are dealing with is registered with the state as Home Improvement Contractor ("HIC") and has a Construction Supervisor's License ("CSL").  Contractors who have registered as an HIC are required to pay a fee to a Guaranty Fund held by the Office of Consumer Affairs that may be available to partially reimburse the homeowner if the contractor does not perform or performs negligently.  A Construction Supervisor's License can only be obtained after the contractor has passed a test showing that he or she has knowledge of the building code, which will be important when the work is reviewed by a building inspector.  More detailed information regarding HICs and CSLs can be found on the website for Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.  This website also details the complaint process homeowners can use when something goes wrong.  

MERS Requires No Authorization to Assign Mortgage

A Judge of the Massachusetts Superior Court, relying on earlier Massachusetts Appeals Court cases, has held that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. ("MERS") does not need authorization from the holder of the promissory note secured by a mortgage before assigning the mortgage to another entity.  O'Neil et al. v. The Bank of New York Mellon, 33 Mass. L. Rptr. 1, 8 (Mass. Super. July 20, 2015).

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