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Attorney J. Christopher Amrhein, a Top 100 Trial Lawyer, has been providing Massachusetts and the New England area with the highest quality legal repr... (more)

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Construction, Real Estate, Estate Planning, Family Law
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LEGAL TERMS

REAL PROPERTY

Another term for real estate. It includes land and things permanently attached to the land, such as trees, buildings, and stationary mobile homes. Anything that... (more...)
Another term for real estate. It includes land and things permanently attached to the land, such as trees, buildings, and stationary mobile homes. Anything that is not real property is termed personal property.

INVITEE

A business guest, or someone who enters property held open to members of the public, such as a visitor to a museum. Property owners must protect invitees from d... (more...)
A business guest, or someone who enters property held open to members of the public, such as a visitor to a museum. Property owners must protect invitees from dangers on the property. In an example of the perversion of legalese, social guests that you invite into your home are called 'licensees.'

HEIR

One who receives property from someone who has died. While the traditional meaning includes only those who had a legal right to the deceased person's property, ... (more...)
One who receives property from someone who has died. While the traditional meaning includes only those who had a legal right to the deceased person's property, modern usage includes anyone who receives property from the estate of a deceased person.

SEVERANCE PAY

Funds, usually amounting to one or two months' salary, frequently offered by employers to workers who are laid off. No law compels employers to provide severanc... (more...)
Funds, usually amounting to one or two months' salary, frequently offered by employers to workers who are laid off. No law compels employers to provide severance pay, although the employer may be legally obligated to do so if it was promised in a contract or employees' handbook.

UNJUST ENRICHMENT

A legal doctrine stating that if a person receives money or other property through no effort of his own, at the expense of another, the recipient should return ... (more...)
A legal doctrine stating that if a person receives money or other property through no effort of his own, at the expense of another, the recipient should return the property to the rightful owner, even if the property was not obtained illegally. Most courts will order that the property be returned if the party who has suffered the loss brings a lawsuit.

COMMERCIAL FRUSTRATION

An unforeseen and uncontrollable event that excuses a party to a contract from performing his or her duties under that contract. For example, a landlord can bre... (more...)
An unforeseen and uncontrollable event that excuses a party to a contract from performing his or her duties under that contract. For example, a landlord can break a lease if the property she agreed to rent accidentally burns down before the tenants move in.

ESTATE

Generally, all the property you own when you die.

SECURITY DEPOSIT

A payment required by a landlord to ensure that a tenant pays rent on time and keeps the rental unit in good condition. If the tenant damages the property or le... (more...)
A payment required by a landlord to ensure that a tenant pays rent on time and keeps the rental unit in good condition. If the tenant damages the property or leaves owing rent, the landlord can use the security deposit to cover what the tenant owes.

EVIDENCE

The many types of information presented to a judge or jury designed to convince them of the truth or falsity of key facts. Evidence typically includes testimony... (more...)
The many types of information presented to a judge or jury designed to convince them of the truth or falsity of key facts. Evidence typically includes testimony of witnesses, documents, photographs, items of damaged property, government records, videos and laboratory reports. Rules that are as strict as they are quirky and technical govern what types of evidence can be properly admitted as part of a trial. For example, the hearsay rule purports to prevent secondhand testimony of the 'he said, she said' variety, but the existence of dozens of exceptions often means that hairsplitting lawyers can find a way to introduce such testimony into evidence. See also admissible evidence, inadmissible evidence.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

SMYRNA REBAR, INC. v. MODERN CONTINENTAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC.

75 Mass. App. Ct. 1103 (2009). SMYRNA REBAR, INC. v. MODERN CONTINENTAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC., & others. No. 08-P-59. Appeals Court of Massachusetts. September 11, 2009. Decision Pursuant to Rule 1:28. Judgments affirmed.

DiFiore v. American Airlines, Inc.

... was correct. [10]. 2. Discussion. The question before us is one of statutory construction. Where the meaning of a statute is not plain from its language, familiar principles of statutory construction guide our interpretation. We look ...

Wheatley v. Massachusetts Insurers Insolvency Fund

... Moreover, the issue in this case is one of statutory construction, which we also review de novo. Commerce Ins. Co. v. Commissioner of Ins., 447 Mass. 478, 481 (2006). ... [13]. Other rules of statutory construction are operative in this case. ...