Boston, MA, November 20, 2014 — The Boston law firm of Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C. is pleased to announce that Howard P. Speicher has been appointed as a judge in the Land Court.  The Governor’s Council unanimously approved Mr. Speicher’s appointment on November 12. Mr. Speicher will fill the vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of Judge Harry M. Grossman.

“It has been an honor and privilege to practice with Howard for over 30 years, and we wish him all the best,” said C. Michael Malm, a founding partner of Davis Malm. “His litigation skills and dedication to the community will serve him well as a judge. While we will surely miss him and the many contributions he makes to our firm and our clients, we are proud of his accomplishments and have no doubt that he will serve the Land Court bench with distinction.” More…

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Digital Media, Technology & Privacy Alert >> Mobile Shopping Apps Do Not Provide Sufficient Disclosures to Consumers, FTC Staff Report Finds

A staff report issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2014 found that many “mobile shopping” apps do not provide consumers with important information prior to download (such as how the apps manage payment-related disputes or handle consumer data). As such, the report contains a number of recommendations to companies that offer these apps to improve transparency at point-of-download and beyond. More…

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Digital Media, Technology & Privacy Alert >> California Amends Data Breach Notification Rules, Which “May” Include Free Credit Monitoring

California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has now signed into law a bill that amends the state’s data breach rules – including a provision that references the provision of free credit monitoring, though the law does not appear to make these services mandatory.

In 2003, California became the first state in the United States to enact a security breach notification law, requiring businesses that own or license personal information of California residents to notify people of unauthorized access to their unencrypted information. More…

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Miller Samuel Movember Update – Week 3

Week 3

We’re now on the home straight. During the past week all 5 participants have had strange looks and various comments of a derogatory nature. Ryan is still sticking safe with the goatee look, but the four others have stuck to the 70s look as far as possible. One week left to match the efforts of Tom Selleck and Graeme Souness at his prime…

Of course, this is all for a good cause. Please donate what you can to Cancer Research by clicking on this link. Your donations are greatly appreciated.

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“Ban the Box” is Coming to Illinois

Jason Tremblay

Illinois has become the 5th U.S. state to prohibit inquiries about criminal history on initial applications from most private sector jobs. Commonly known as “ban the box” legislation, the “Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act” requires private employers or employment agencies in Illinois who employ at least 15 employees to evaluate an applicant’s skills and qualifications before inquiring into the applicant’s criminal history. While asking about criminal history is not prohibited, employers are prohibited from making inquiries into criminal backgrounds and convictions until later in the interviewing process. Specifically, an employer or employment agency cannot “inquire about or into, consider, require disclosure of the criminal record or criminal history of an applicant until the applicant has been determined qualified for the position and notified that the applicant has been selected for an interview….or, if there is not an interview, until after a conditional offer of employment is made to the applicant….”

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TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE advised Citycar OÜ on the sale of a share in Jazz Pesulad

Citycar OÜ sold its 38.5% share in Jazz Pesulad. Jazz Pesulad is a car wash chain that is based on Estonian capital and offers various vehicle cleaning services. Jazz Pesulad was founded in 2003 with an innovative and modern concept of car washing services.

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Connecticut State Court Rejects Trade Secrets Theft Complaint

After a bench trial, a Connecticut state court rejected a violation of trade secret complaint by an employer against a former employee in BTS USA v. Executive Perspectives, Superior Court, Waterbury, Docket No. X10-CV-116010685 (Oct. 16, 2014). The plaintiff, BTU USA, provides training and consulting services to corporate clients using learning maps, computer simulations and board games. The defendant, Executive Perspectives (“EP”), offers essentially the same services and products.

Marshall Bergmann, a former BTS Senior Director who had access to much of BTS’ proprietary information, had signed a non-compete clause stating, among other things, that when he left, he would not solicit current BTS customers, or any client BTS had, during the last two years of his employment. BTS claimed that after Bergmann left his employment, he violated the non-compete provision by contacting and soliciting BTS clients through LinkedIn, and he stole some of the technology and products, such as packaging, the name of the packaging vendor and client lists, in violation of the Connecticut Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Other claims included Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act Violation, tortious interference with business relationships and breach of contract.

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Pleadings, Pitfalls and Party Litigants – Running Your Own Court Case

Courts are intimidating environments, and if you find yourself having to go to court to settle a dispute – either as the Pursuer or the Defender – you would be well advised to instruct a solicitor.  Of course, on some occasions this will not be possible.  You may simply not have the funds or inclination to pay a solicitor, or view the sum being sued for as so small that it is not worth going to the expense of hiring a professional.  You may be eligible for legal aid funding for a solicitor.

This brief guide is designed to highlight the current differences in procedures in Scottish Sheriff Courts with respect to “pleadings” and “fair notice”, and what these might mean for you when bringing (or defending) a claim on your own.

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The Land Registration etc. (Scotland) Act 2012 – Scottish conveyancing’s coming of age.

Heritable property law in Scotland has undergone a turbulent period of reform within the last 35 years. From introduction of the Land Register in 1979 to the abolition of feudal tenure in the imaginatively named Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000, there has been a clear intention to simplify conveyancing. The Land Registration etc. (Scotland) Act 2012 aims to modernise the law further and will have a major impact on Scottish conveyancing practice on 8 December 2014 when the Act comes into full force. Given that for many Scots, the purchase of heritable property represents the most costly and significant investment they will ever make, any change to heritable property law, whether substantive or administrative, will naturally have a significant impact across society-at-large. So what does the Act do?

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Can trusts be trusted in the event of divorce?

Preserving family wealth is uppermost in many families’ minds.  Therefore, knowing how structures created to hold family wealth will perform in the event of a family member divorcing is crucial.
Unfortunately, the treatment of trusts on a beneficiary divorcing is to some extent uncertain.  The legislation is clear enough: anyone with an irrevocable, fixed interest in a trust (e.g. life tenant/capital remainderman) can have their interest transferred to their spouse or child in the event of a divorce or separation.  The terms of ‘nuptial settlements’, be they discretionary or fixed interest, can also be varied to permit a spouse and/or children to benefit.  Therefore, trusts that want to remain outside the divorce courts will take care not to be regarded as nuptial settlements. 
However, this can be difficult to achieve as, if there is some connection between the trust and a spouse to the marriage, in that capacity, the court has shown itself to be capable of some creative thinking if it decides that it needs to find that a trust is a nuptial settlement.  There is no statutory definition of a nuptial settlement for these purposes – the matter is entirely caselaw driven, so the boundaries of what constitutes a nuptial settlement are still being explored.
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