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Massachusetts Superior Court Holds That Plaintiffs Can Sue Distinct Corporations Under Single Integrated Employer Theory

In the recent case of Fitzgerald v. The Chateau Restaurant Corp., No. 14-01990-J, 2016 WL 344155 (Mass. Sup. Ct. Jan. 4, 2016), a former manager at The Chateau Burlington and The Chateau Andover restaurants filed a putative class action against parent company The Chateau Restaurant Corporation, Inc. and several related corporations which owned individual Chateau restaurants in the Massachusetts Italian restaurant chain. In his complaint, the Plaintiff alleged that he was routinely denied the opportunity to take his off-site meal break--because of a company policy that if only one manager was on site, that manager could not leave the restaurant--yet he still had his pay automatically deducted to account for such a thirty-minute meal break. Id. at *1-2. Fitzgerald filed a putative class action on behalf of himself and other similarly situated hourly managers at any Chateau restaurant location during the six-year period preceding the commencement of the action, alleging violation of the Massachusetts Wage Act, violation of the Massachusetts Overtime Act, breach of contract and unjust enrichment. Id.

As a Trustee or Personal Representative, How Do I Resign From My Fiduciary Appointment?

With the recent enactment of the Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code and the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code, there are procedural changes governing how an appointed fiduciary voluntarily resigns.

The Role of Bifurcation in an Arbitral Hearing and its Real World Applications

In a major decision, an arbitral tribunal in the International Chamber of Commerce ("ICC") has issued a ruling on the liability of YPF, the state-controlled energy company of Argentina, for its role in the suspension of natural gas exports to Brazil.  The claim that YPF unlawfully rescinded its contracts was brought forward by AES Uruguaiana and by Transportadora de Gas del Mercosur in 2009. They are reportedly seeking $1.6 billion dollars in compensation. YPF is controlled by the Argentinian government following its nationalization last year - another dispute that is currently also in arbitration.

Arbitration Clauses Binding on Contract Assignees

Mandatory arbitration clauses present in contracts are binding on assignees of those contracts, even where the transfer agreements assigning those contracts do not themselves contain arbitration clauses, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has ruled.

How to Keep Your Arbitral Proceedings Confidential

Aside from the flexibility to tailor the process to the particular needs of the case, arbitration also enjoys another major advantage over litigation: The ability to keep the proceedings confidential. Although a party involved in litigation can move to seal the court proceedings, public access to court records is a central tenet of the American legal system that cannot easily be restricted.

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