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Business Litigation Archives

Revocation of Acceptance of Goods under the U.C.C. in Massachusetts

The Uniform Commercial Code ("U.C.C.") is a uniform act that applies to certain commercial agreements, including the sale of goods. The U.C.C. addresses issues such as non-conforming goods, acceptance of the goods, and revocation of that acceptance. The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently addressed the issue of revocation in the case of New England Precision Grinding, Inc. vs. Simply Surgical, LLC.

Massachusetts Arbitration Required Only for Claims Covered by Arbitration Agreement

Many businesses include alternative dispute resolution provisions as a standard part of their contracts. Sometimes, however, one party would prefer to litigate its claims against the other. Under Massachusetts law, a party cannot be required to arbitrate any claim that is not covered by the agreement to arbitrate.

Contracting with Massachusetts Resident Not Sufficient for Jurisdiction

Businesses frequently contract with other businesses on the other side of the country, or even on the other side of the world. Although most business arrangements do not result in litigation, jurisdiction can be very important when they do. Litigants often prefer a local venue, for convenience and familiarity with the courts.

Manufacturer's All Risk Insurance Doesn't Cover Loss of the Product due to "Faulty Workmanship"

Sometimes things go wrong in the performance of a contract. A failure to meet contractual requirements may result in a significant financial loss. Before making an agreement that it has not met required standards, a party should examine whether there is insurance coverage for the loss.

Massachusetts Telecommuters and Jurisdiction Over Out-of-State Employers

Many employees now telecommute or work from home for businesses that may be down the street or across the country. When disputes arise in employment arrangements in which the company and its employee are in different states, the question of jurisdiction arises. 

Massachusetts Statute of Frauds Doesn't Bar Promissory Estoppel

The Statute of Frauds, codified at Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 259 Section 1, requires that certain contracts be in writing in order to be enforceable through the courts. Among those contracts are land sales, agreements that will not be performed within a year, and promises to pay the "debt, default or misdoings of another." 

Who Can Sign? Authority Of Corporate Officers Of Charities In Massachusetts

Like for-profit businesses, charities also have corporate boards and corporate officers. The board and officers of a charity have a fiduciary duty in conducting the charity's affairs. Under Massachusetts law, the board of a charity cannot broadly delegate to corporate officers the authority to enter into extraordinary transactions or enter into contracts that would encumber or divest the corporation of a substantial portion of its assets.

Formally Ending Business Arrangements in Massachusetts

Things can get ugly when a business relationship breaks down. To avoid problems, when parties decide to stop doing business together, it is best for them to formally terminate any agreements, dissolve any businesses, and try to reach a formal agreement on the terms of those terminations and dissolutions. Parties who fail to do so may find themselves before the Massachusetts court, as in the recent case of Beliveau v. Ware.

Equitable Adjustments in Massachusetts Public Construction Contracts

Sometimes businesses must bid on jobs and sign contracts while there is still some level of uncertainty regarding the extent of work that must be performed and how much it will cost. Massachusetts law allows a contractor entering a public contract to ask for an equitable adjustment if the actual conditions are materially or substantially different from what was stated in the plans or contract documents. In a recent case, the Massachusetts Appeals Court decided what happens when a contractor underbids a unit price based on an assumption of the total amount of units involved. 

Employers Beware: When A Lateral Transfer of an Employee Constitutes An Adverse Employment Action

A Massachusetts Court recently decided that a lateral transfer of an employee could be considered an "adverse employment action" for the purposes of a retaliation claim despite no wage or benefits cuts. In Kelley v. Commonwealth, et al., the Plaintiff worked as a clerk for the Department of Conservation and Recreation's sign shop at a location near her home. In 2006, a co-worker and a supervisor engaged in a romantic relationship, which made the Plaintiff uncomfortable and led to the co-worker receiving favorable treatment in the workplace. On January 19, 2006, the Plaintiff reported to a supervisor her discomfort and how the relationship was making it hard for her to do her job. 

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