Hi there,

It’s a lousy, rainy day in Boston (don’t you hate rainy Mondays), so I decided to deal with an acrimonious, non-legal issue that can cause real problems.

Catholics and Orthodox Jews both have a requirement that the believer obtain a religious divorce before he or she can remarry in their faith.

The Catholic divorce is actually an annulment.  In other words, the individual must show the tribunal which handles annulments that the marriage was not a marriage from the beginning, due to a basic failure of the parties to have a true religious commitment.  This can, as you might imagine, cause a great deal of consternation both to the former spouse and the children.  Although the Church says that the children are legitimate (of course they are!) there can be a real feeling of abandonment and betrayal of the actual years of the marriage.

In the Jewish religion, the religious divorce is called a Get.  Only the husband can give the wife a Get and if he refuses then she can’t get remarried in her faith.  Often, the commitment to obtain a Get is set forth in the civil divorce agreement.  Oddly enough, there are often … Keep reading

Hi there,

I am sitting in court waiting (lawyers do a LOT of waiting).  It’s going to hit 90 degrees and it’s extra busy today.  I am having a major “what not to wear” moment, so this post is about how to best present yourself in court.

First, be on time.  The odds are good you will have to wait, but if you aren’t on time you risk having your matter heard without you.  If you don’t know how to get to the courthouse and the courtroom, do a dry run a couple of days early.  Most court proceedings are open to the public so you can sit in and watch what happens.

Second, remember that your appearance really counts.  You show respect for the judge by wearing proper, respectable, clean clothing.  Today and usually, I am seeing folks in outfits (costumes?) that will hurt them before they open their mouths.  Do NOT wear tummy bearing outfits, cleavage that leaves little or nothing to the imagination, no shorts – Bermudas or otherwise, no mini skirts that you can’t sit down in, no beach cover-ups etc, you get the point!  And guys, none of those wide pants that fall off … Keep reading

After reading the article, “Lawyer reports twice as many calls about elder financial abuse” I asked my colleague Lisa Cukier to write a guest post, as she has years of experience dealing with this issue. This type of problem seems to surface when families are under stress.

Hope this is useful,


Guest post by Lisa M. Cukier, Esq., Partner at Burns & Levinson LLP.  Ms. Cukier concentrates her practice in all aspects of probate litigation, fiduciary litigation, planning & litigation for blended families, same-sex couples, guardianship, conservatorship, mental health law, elder law and domestic relations.

Unfortunately it is not uncommon for friends, family and home health companions to exploit elders for their money and property. All too often, people step into an elder’s life in their final years, initially offering help, but later insidiously swaying elders’ thoughts about family members and creating fear about being placed in a nursing home or about the government taking the elders’ assets. These folks who may have had good intentions at first, later insinuate themselves into others’ estate plans and convince elders to gift them money or deed real estate over to themselves. Sometimes, elders feel dependent and … Keep reading