Real Estate Transactions in the Digital Age: Authority and the Pitfalls of Electronic Communications in Brokerage Negotiations.
A recent decision by the Massachusetts Land Court has critical implications upon a real estate broker’s authority and electronic communications in real estate transactions. In St. John’s Holdings, LLC v. Two Electronics, LLC, No. 16-MISC-00090 (RBF) (Mass. Land Court, October 24, 2016), the Land Court concluded that real estate brokers must have express or apparent authority from the seller to enter into an enforceable contract. However, acting as a mere conduit for the exchange of information does not meet this standard. The Court further held that text messages between a broker and an interested buyer may, in some circumstances, qualify as a written contract to meet the requirements of the Statute of Frauds.
To read more from this legal bulletin by Jen Hardy and Elizabeth Murray, click here.
Massachusetts Appeals Court Says Liability Can Be Reasonably Clear Under Chapter 93A and 176D Even With Other Identified Joint Tortfeasors
The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently further articulated when liability can be “reasonably clear” for purposes of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Statue, Chapters 93A and 176D, and in the context of matters involving more than one possible tortfeasor. In McLaughlin & another v. American States Insurance Company, the Appeals Court determined that an insurer cannot escape its responsibility to offer a settlement once a policyholder’s liability becomes reasonably clear, even if the liability of other wrongdoers’ is still in question.
To read more from this legal Bulletin by Louise Saunders, click here.
The Supreme Judicial Court Expands the Scope of the "Mode of Operation" Approach to Premises Liability by Attorney Jenny Sheehan
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) recently issued a decision which could potentially expand the application of the “mode of operation” theory in premises liability cases. In Bowers v. P. Wiles, Inc.¹, SJC-11923 (July 28, 2016) (slip opinion), the SJC found that this theory applied to landscaping and similar aesthetic decisions made by a retailer regarding its retail space, and not, as has previously been the case, only in cases where the claimed injury was a direct result of a retailer’s customers being permitted to directly access the goods for sale.
To read more from this legal Bulletin by Jenny Sheehan, click here.
Rick Shea Takes the Web by Storm
Rick Shea recently presented a webinar to a national audience of the Resort Hotel Association. Rick lectured on a variety of topics relative to claims preparedness, accident investigation and risk management. The Resort Hotel Association is a recognized leader in the hospitality industry.
Vinny Dunn Is In Demand In Dental Risk Management - Presents to Dental Groups
Recently, Attorney Dunn has had no lack of requests for his engaging and informative presentations to various dental groups on Risk Management for the Dental Practitioner, BORID to Tears, Ethics Obligations and Exposures for the Dental Practitioner, and Practical Dental Ethics. This summer he has presented to the Massachusetts Dental Society, Syrian Dental Association, and Academy of General Dentistry. In a highly enlightening display this July, Attorney Dunn conducted a Mock Dental Board Hearing of his fellow presenter, Dr. Ray Martin, before a group of dentists.
Attorney Megan Kures Interviewed for Emergency Department Physicians Publication
In an article recently published in ED Legal Letter by AHC Media, HMDRS’ own Megan Kures was interviewed to provide an experienced legal perspective on the practice of “boarding” patients in the Emergency Department. In Who’s Responsible if Orders Are Written for ‘Boarded’ Patient?, Kures discusses the reality of the ED’s continuing responsibility to patients that are handed off to admitting teams on a floor but are kept in the ED when no other bed is available. Offering insight from one of her cases, Megan demonstrates how providers can reduce their exposure through a coordinated plan, excellent communication, and continuous monitoring of the boarded patient. To access this publication from ED Legal Letter, click here.
Presentation to Mass Board of Real Estate Appraisers Receives Much Praise
MBREA recently hosted a one-hour webinar titled "From Complaint to Discipline". Attended by many, the webinar proved to be a hit with the audience. In a letter to the editor of the Association's Member Newsletter, members praised the presentation stating, "Attorneys Vincent Dunn and Thomas Toby Bright did a fantastic job explaining what happens in the disciplinary process and offered several suggestions for anyone receiving a complaint notification." A copy of the full text of the letter can be found by clicking here.
HMDR&S Names New Directors
We are thrilled to announce that four HMDR&S attorneys have been promoted to the position of Director within the firm. Please join us in congratulating Megan Kures, Alexandra Power, Ryan McCarthy and Matthew Sweet on their new appointments.
They have proven themselves through their incredible commitment to our clients, dedication to the firm, and top-notch litigation skills. We are proud to have them as part of our organization.