Articles/Publications

Massachusetts Commercial Lease: Acceleration Clause

Unlike Massachusetts residential leases, under which a landlord is required by law to mitigate its damages, commercial lease provisions are more flexible and often contain a so-called “acceleration clause.”  An acceleration clause, in its most basic form, addresses whether a landlord may accelerate rent (i.e. demand all of the rent that is remaining due under […]...

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Massachusetts Court Holds That Strict Condominium Bylaws Preclude Lawsuit Against Trustees

Massachusetts Court of Appeals recently affirmed the legal validity of a condo’s bylaws requiring the consent of eighty percent (80%) of unit owners as a prerequisite for owner standing in lawsuits against the trustees of the condominium’s board. The bylaw in question made it functionally impossible for unit owners to sue the trustees as, by […]...

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Keeping up Formalities: Protecting Assets Across Commonly Owned Companies

A recent Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court decision should serve as a clear reminder to business owners that, in order to enjoy the benefits that limited liability entities afford, one must respect established corporate formalities and comport business accordingly. Briefly, in In Re: Cameron Construction & Roofing Co., Inc. the  Bankruptcy Court held that the assets of […]...

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Proposed Legislation to Restrict Reasons for Evicting Tenants in Boston

Mayor Walsh’s administration recently proposed a new bill aimed at limiting the available reasons to evict a residential tenant. The proposal, known as the “Jim Brooks Community Stabilization Act,” would eliminate no-fault evictions in many instances, a common practice used to remove tenants without listing a violation. Proponents of the act claim that it is […]...

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Negotiate Your Lien Waiver Terms with Your Contract

Most construction project owners require general contractors to provide periodic lien waivers from subcontractors and material suppliers to verify they received payment. This is generally a good thing, as it helps ensure payment is flowing down to the proper parties. Lien waivers, however, can become the source of conflict when parties can’t agree on their […]...

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Attorney Fees Awards are Mandatory for Prevailing Massachusetts Subcontractors and Suppliers Under MGL c. 149, s. 29

In Aggregate Industries – Northeast Region, Inc. v. Hugo Key & Sons, Inc., 90 Mass.App.Ct. 146 (2016), the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled in favor of Strang Scott’s position, reversing part of the trial court’s earlier decision. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) recently declined to further review the case. As such, the Appeals Court’s decision […]...

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New Hampshire Supreme Court Refuses to Extend Statute of Limitations for Municipalities in Public Construction Context

In the matter of City of Rochester v. Marcel Payeur et al., the New Hampshire Supreme Court had occasion to consider whether the common law doctrine of Nullum Tempus Occurit Regi (literally “time does not run against the king”) tolled the the statute of limitations against breach of contract claims against private entities filed by […]...

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Sports Bar Liable for Wrongful Death in Patron’s Fall Down Stairs

The Massachusetts Court of Appeals recently affirmed a lower court ruling that held a sports bar liable for the death of a patron who entered a door marked “Employees Only” and was subsequently killed falling down a flight of stairs, in Bernier, et al. v. Smitty’s Sports Pub, Inc. (MA Appeals Court 14-P-1967). The bar, […]...

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Massachusetts Commercial Lease: Unenforceable Indemnification Provisions

I will concede that discussing indemnification provisions in commercial leases is not the most riveting topic. However, this is a critical issue for landlords and tenants alike. Nearly every commercial lease I have reviewed, from small transactions (e.g. a boutique Boston restaurant) to larger, complex transactions (e.g. a state-of-the-art laboratory facility in Cambridge), has a provision […]...

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Strang Scott Prevails on Summary Judgment in Case Involving Falsified Payroll Reports on Federal Construction Project

     In the case of United States for the Use and Benefit of Metric Electric, Inc. v. CCB, Inc. and the Hanover Insurance Company, Civil Action No. 15-11934, in the United States District Court in Massachusetts, the court ruled in favor of Strang Scott’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing all of the plaintiff’s claims.  […]...

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