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by Beth Brennan O’Donnell, Attorney at Law
http://www.bbod.law

Tax Law

Amazon.com sales tax agreement
Effective 11.1.2013
6.25% sales tax collected on Amazon.com purchases
The short lived MA tax on computer software and services
Effective 7.31.2013 and retroactively repealed 9.30.2013

New Massachusetts DOR option to settle tax disputes faster than traditional appeal methods
Mediation option available (http://www.mass.gov/dor/businesses)

Benefits and Insurance Law

The Affordable Care Act in Massachusetts – http://www.massresources.org/health-care-2014.html

Changes in benefits for same sex married federal employees as portions of the Defense of Marriage Act were held unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court (United States v. Windsor, decision 6.26.2013)

Pension reform efforts in Massachusetts

February 12, 2013, Governor Patrick filed legislation (HB-59) entitled, “An Act Providing Retiree Healthcare Benefits Reform” which was referred to the Joint Committee on Public Service, and a public hearing was held on October 31, 2013 – http://www.mass.gov/anf/opeb-commission.html

Long Term Care Insurance – new regulations in Massachusetts apply to insurance policies delivered or issued for delivery in Massachusetts on or after January 1, 2013. The regulations establish various standards for long term care insurance.

Employment and Wage Law

Several important Wage and Hour cases in 2013

Employee vs. Independent Contractor still hot issue

Fed Ex cases

Real Estate brokers/agents case pending before the Appeals Court (Monell v. Boston Pads, LLC, Mass. Superior Court, July 15, 2013)

Liability for wage and hour violations can attach to managers of limited liability entities personally

New law provides temporary workers with “right to know”

Real Estate Law

New foreclosure regulations in Massachusetts

Commercial Law

The Uniform Commercial Code was amended

New Benefit Corporations (effective December 2012)

Probate, Family and Juvenile Law

Massachusetts Alimony Reform laws became effective last year. New forms became available in 2013

The child support guidelines were revised in 2013

Juvenile Court expanded its jurisdiction to include 17 year olds

Access to electronic accounts after death (Ajemian v. Yahoo!, Inc., 83 Mass. App. Ct. 565, May 7, 2013)

Courts

Major changes in electronic discovery rules in Massachusetts; becomes effective 1.1.2014

New Veterans Court in Massachusetts

Filing Fees in Federal Court in Massachusetts significantly increased in 2013

Criminal Law

CORI Reform 2010-2012 now in full effect. New web access

SJC ruled the state’s wiretap statute authorizes Superior Court judges to issue search warrants permitting the interception of cellular telephone calls and text messages. (Commonwealth v. Moody, and four companion cases)

Misc.

The federal government shutdown

Casinos in Massachusetts

The law permits for licensing up to three full resort casinos in three geographically diverse locations statewide and one slots facility to be located anywhere in the state.

Legal issues include jobs, repeal on the ballot in 2014, effect of the upcoming Governor’s race, NIMBY reactions, and MA Gaming Commission itself.

The medical marijuana regulations in MA finalized (effective 5.24.2013)

For answers to frequently asked small business legal questions:

Massachusetts Business One Stop Web Site up and running in 2013 http://www.mass.gov/portal/business/

Beth Brennan O’Donnell, Attorney at Law
Office located in Peabody, MA
Telephone 978-548-5380

http://www.bbod.law