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Family Law

Elder Law Ethics and Joint Representation

During our seminar at the March 2008 Bar Meeting, we had a lively exchange on the potential ethical pitfalls of joint representation. To further this discussion, we would like to offer some language that you might consider for your estate planning joint engagement letters.

Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Canadian Inbound Workers

Reading a state’s statutes to try to figure out how they might apply to an international transaction can be difficult. US state legislatures do not often consider international commerce, even though US trade and worker immigration flows with a contiguous country, like Canada can be substantial. One of the issues that has just arisen in our immigration practice is whether workers’ compensation coverage needs to be secured here in Vermont when an individual employed by a Canadian employer enters Vermont to perform services here.

Top Pitfalls in Preparing Lady Bird Johnson Deeds

The following handout on the pitfalls of preparing LBJ deeds was presented at the 2008 Winter VBA Program in Burlington. It has been updated with information from the Vermont Department of Taxes on the PTR tax imposed on certain of such transfers. We have also added model language for joint representation, an issue raised during the two-hour program.

Congress Reforms Medicaid Asset Planning Rules

Attorneys Paula McCann and Ron Morgan detail the proposed changes to the Vermont Medicaid Manual, potentially affecting whether and to what extent Vermont pays for an individual’s long-term care.

Medicare: Do You Know Your Rights?

Attorney Paula McCann outlines a few basic rights that all Medicare beneficiaries have, starting with the most basic right of all—being treated with respect.

The $75,000 Question

The Supreme Court’s 2005 decision in Estate of Mainolfi, 178 Vt. 588, illustrates the antiquated nature of Vermont’s probate laws and the need for reform efforts to instill certainty in the results of modern estate planning methods. Specifically, Mainolfi deals with the transfer of a home for estate planning purposes and the resulting implications of the statutory homestead interest for the surviving spouse. Neither the facts nor the law of the case are very clear from this 2-page decision, but the ruling casts uncertainty over any conceivable estate plan that involves the transfer of a home.

Know Your Rights Before You Reserve Them

Situation: You are engaged in a good faith dispute over how much money someone owes you. That person writes you a check, and writes across it some words indicating that the payment is made in full satisfaction of the claim. If you intend to continue to dispute the claim, do not cash the check. An attempt to reserve rights and cash a check offered in satisfaction of a claim will not be effective.

Taking Title in Vermont: Exploring the Differences Between Various Forms of Ownership

There are have always been three methods of taking title to real estate in Vermont, “tenants in common,” “tenancy by the entirety” and “joint tenancy with the right of survivorship.” Recently the Legislature passed legislation allowing “civil unions” which, essentially, created a fourth type of title, “partners to a civil union.”

Reaffirmation Agreements

Although the reaffirmation process can be somewhat technical, debtors and their secured creditors have much to gain by going through the process.

Creditor Beware: The Notice of A Bankruptcy Filing

Sooner or later, it is bound to happen. Your company receives a notice that one of your vendors has filed for bankruptcy. This vendor owes you money. What do you do? First, don’t despair.

Equal Employment Opportunity: Investigating Discriminatory Hiring Practices

Facey Goss & McPhee recently responded on behalf of a client (the “Company”) to an inquiry by the State of Vermont Office of the Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, regarding allegations of discriminatory hiring practices. The recent inquiry involved allegations that the Company discriminated against an applicant during the hiring process based upon her gender.

FG&M’s Litigation Group Obtains Ruling for Client Before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in NYC

Because of this ruling, Mr. Baechle can pursue his original assertion that the Town of Mendon failed to take efforts to notify him of the tax sale.

Alden Decision

This case stems from a dispute over the 1973 William C. Alden Trust (the Trust) benefiting grantor’s second wife Nancy Alden, his two children by Nancy Alden, and his three children from his first marriage. Todd Alden and Julia Alden Dee, two of grantor’s children by his first marriage, allege that Nancy Alden, who was [...]

Civil & Commercial Litigation

Banking, Creditors' Rights, & Foreclosures