Pierce & Mandell, P.C.

11 Beacon Street, Suite 800
Boston, Massachusetts 02108-3002

Phone: (617) 720-2444
Fax: (617) 720-3693

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Michael C. Fee was quoted in a recent Lawyers Weekly article

Friday, April 16, 2021

Michael Fee was quoted in a Lawyers Weekly article entitled Abutters can’t block private school construction dated April 14, 2021. The article discusses a recent Appeals Court decision finding that a 50-foot wide easement that connects a cul-de-sac to a site the owners planned to develop for a private school would not be overburdened by the proposed project.


Michael C. Fee was quoted in a recent Lawyers Weekly article

Friday, April 16, 2021

Michael Fee was quoted in a Lawyers Weekly article entitled Abutters can’t block private school construction dated April 14, 2021. The article discusses a recent Appeals Court decision finding that a 50-foot wide easement that connects a cul-de-sac to a site the owners planned to develop for a private school would not be overburdened by the proposed project.


Can Massachusetts Employers Require Employees To Return To The Office?

Monday, March 15, 2021

By: Scott M. Zanolli, Esq.

With COVID-19 infections rates decreasing and the number of vaccinations increasing, many employers are beginning to recall employees back to office spaces or putting plans in place to do so. This will leave many employers wondering: what can be done if employees refuse to return to the office out of fear of the virus? Can they be disciplined? Terminated?

Understandably, some employees may be genuinely concerned about contracting COVID-19 and may express apprehension about physically returning to the workplace. However, fear of the virus alone is not likely to be a legally viable reason for refusing to return to work, and could leave employees open to discipline or termination.

Employers should not proceed without caution when determining whether to take action against employees refusing to return to work and should consider all of the reasons an employee may make such a refusal. For example, does the employee have a medical condition which leaves them especially susceptible to contracting COVID-19 or developing severe illness if they were to contract the virus?

In that instance, employers may be obligated to provide some measure of accommodation to avoid violating an employee’s rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Massachusetts’s laws prohibiting disability discrimination in the workplace. Employers may subject themselves to liability, including multiple damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees, if they improperly refuse an employee’s legitimate request for accommodation for their disability. Terminating an employee after denying such a request may also open an employer up to a retaliation claim.

Employers should also consider whether an employee’s unease with a return to work is caused by concern over the policies, procedures, and practices implemented by the employer to mitigate risk for spread of the virus in the workplace. If this is the case, and an employee has notified an employer of these concerns, any adverse action against the employee could again subject an employer to a retaliation claim.

Employers should have policies in place to address employee concerns about workplace safety, and also strategies to deal with difficult employee situations as they arise. Experienced legal advice is essential in guiding employers through the ever evolving regulatory landscape.

Pierce & Mandell’s experienced employment attorneys can answer questions regarding business operations, and advise employers regarding their rights and obligations with respect to their workforce.

Please contact Scott M. Zanolli at 617-720-2444 or at scott@piercemandell.com.


Can Massachusetts Employers Require Employees To Return To The Office?

Monday, March 15, 2021

By: Scott M. Zanolli, Esq.

With COVID-19 infections rates decreasing and the number of vaccinations increasing, many employers are beginning to recall employees back to office spaces or putting plans in place to do so. This will leave many employers wondering: what can be done if employees refuse to return to the office out of fear of the virus? Can they be disciplined? Terminated?

Understandably, some employees may be genuinely concerned about contracting COVID-19 and may express apprehension about physically returning to the workplace. However, fear of the virus alone is not likely to be a legally viable reason for refusing to return to work, and could leave employees open to discipline or termination.

Employers should not proceed without caution when determining whether to take action against employees refusing to return to work and should consider all of the reasons an employee may make such a refusal. For example, does the employee have a medical condition which leaves them especially susceptible to contracting COVID-19 or developing severe illness if they were to contract the virus?

In that instance, employers may be obligated to provide some measure of accommodation to avoid violating an employee’s rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Massachusetts’s laws prohibiting disability discrimination in the workplace. Employers may subject themselves to liability, including multiple damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees, if they improperly refuse an employee’s legitimate request for accommodation for their disability. Terminating an employee after denying such a request may also open an employer up to a retaliation claim.

Employers should also consider whether an employee’s unease with a return to work is caused by concern over the policies, procedures, and practices implemented by the employer to mitigate risk for spread of the virus in the workplace. If this is the case, and an employee has notified an employer of these concerns, any adverse action against the employee could again subject an employer to a retaliation claim.

Employers should have policies in place to address employee concerns about workplace safety, and also strategies to deal with difficult employee situations as they arise. Experienced legal advice is essential in guiding employers through the ever evolving regulatory landscape.

Pierce & Mandell’s experienced employment attorneys can answer questions regarding business operations, and advise employers regarding their rights and obligations with respect to their workforce.

Please contact Scott M. Zanolli at 617-720-2444 or at scott@piercemandell.com.


BIG CHANGES AT PIERCE & MANDELL, P.C.! CURT DOOLING IS NOW PARTNER, HANNAH SCHINDLER SPINELLI COUNSEL, JULIE NIEJADLIK AN ASSOCIATE

Wednesday, February 03, 2021
BIG CHANGES AT PIERCE & MANDELL, P.C.! CURT DOOLING IS NOW PARTNER, HANNAH SCHINDLER SPINELLI COUNSEL, JULIE NIEJADLIK AN ASSOCIATE

Pierce & Mandell, P.C. is pleased to announce that Curtis B. Dooling has been elected a Shareholder of the firm, effective January 1, 2021, Hannah Schindler Spinelli has been promoted to Counsel and Julie Niejadlik has been hired as an Associate.

Curt focuses his litigation practice on complex commercial and business litigation, zoning and land use disputes, health care and tort law. Curt has significant experience representing medical professionals in disciplinary and administrative hearings and he advises clients in the health care industry, including medical centers, group practices, and individual physicians and dentists.

Hannah is a senior attorney in Pierce & Mandell’s health, business and real estate law practice areas and she represents medical and dental practices, and other clients, in transactional matters.

Julie, a recent graduate of Northeastern University School of Law, will work as an associate in Pierce & Mandell’s health and business law practice areas.

We look forward to continuing to grow our expertise with these well-deserved promotions and by expanding our outstanding team of attorneys. Please join us in congratulating Curt, Hannah and Julie.


PIERCE & MANDELL GIVES BACK!

Tuesday, December 29, 2020
PIERCE & MANDELL GIVES BACK!

For our staff, lawyers, clients and friends, the holiday season is made all the more joyous by the annual Pierce & Mandell celebration at the House of Blues. Unfortunately, we were unable to host that gathering in this year of pandemic, but we are happy that we are still able to continue our annual tradition of supporting worthy charitable organizations. This year Pierce & Mandell has increased its donations in this time of need to the following organizations:

  • The Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk
  • The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
  • The Schwartz Center
  • The Ellie Fund
  • The Dana Hall School
  • Health Law Advocates
  • The Brain and Behavioral Research Foundation
  • Bridgewell
  • Buddy Dog Humane Society, Inc.
  • The Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts
  • The Payomet Performing Arts Center
  • Ron Burton Training Village
  • Natural Resources Trust of Easton
  • The Spaulding Rehabilitation Center
  • The Juvenile Diabetes Society
  • The Jewish Collaborative
  • The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • WOMR
  • The Eddie & Alyce Mandell Memorial Scholarship Fund

We thank all who contributed to our success in these most turbulent times and look forward to hopefully seeing all of our clients and friends in 2021, as soon as safety allows.


Pierce & Mandell Attorneys Recognized as 2020 Massachusetts’ Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Thursday, October 22, 2020
Pierce & Mandell Attorneys Recognized as 2020 Massachusetts’ Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Pierce & Mandell, P.C. is proud to announce that partners Bob Pierce, Bill Mandell, Michael Fee, Tom Kenney, Bob Kirby, and Dennis Lindgren have been selected as 2020 Massachusetts Super Lawyers. Associates Hannah Schindler Spinelli, Mollie Sullivan, and Scott Zanolli have been designated 2020 Massachusetts Rising Stars.

Bob Pierce was recognized as a Super Lawyer in the practice of Civil Litigation Defense; Bill Mandell in Health Care; Dennis Lindgren in Plaintiff’s Personal Injury; and Michael Fee, Bob Kirby and Tom Kenney in Business Litigation. Hannah Schindler Spinelli was recognized as a Rising Star in the practice of Health Care, Mollie Sullivan in Civil Litigation Defense, and Scott Zanolli in Business Litigation.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 60 practice areas who have attained peer recognition and professional achievement. Candidates are evaluated utilizing a patented process which includes twelve indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Rising Stars are selected through the same process but are attorneys under the age of 40, or who have been in practice for less than 10 years. No more than 5 percent of eligible lawyers in Massachusetts are named as Super Lawyers, and 2.5 percent are named to the Rising Stars list each year.


Pierce & Mandell Attorney Michael C. Fee Recently Quoted in Lawyers Weekly

Monday, September 21, 2020

Michael C. Fee was recently quoted in the August 31, 2020 edition of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The article, entitled: “State’s Eviction Ban Does Not Preclude Attachment of Assets”, explores recent court decisions regarding how commercial landlords and tenants are navigating the Covid-19 environment.

You can reach Michael C. Fee at mfee@piercemandell.com


Pierce & Mandell Attorney Michael C. Fee Recently Quoted in Lawyers Weekly

Monday, September 21, 2020

Michael C. Fee was recently quoted in the August 31, 2020 edition of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The article, entitled: “State’s Eviction Ban Does Not Preclude Attachment of Assets”, explores recent court decisions regarding how commercial landlords and tenants are navigating the Covid-19 environment.

You can reach Michael C. Fee at mfee@piercemandell.com


Notarization in COVID-19 – “An Act for Providing Virtual Notarization to Address Challenges Related to COVID-19”

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

On April 27th, in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, Governor Baker signed into law Section 71 of the Acts of 2020 entitled “An Act for Providing Virtual Notarization to Address Challenges related to COVID-19” (the “Act”). The Act allows notary publics to perform remote ink notarizations via video conferencing (such as Zoom or FaceTime) pursuant to certain requirements. The statute is temporary, and will be automatically repealed three (3) days after the Massachusetts state of emergency has been lifted.

Below is a summary of the Act, including the requirements imposed on the notary public and document signer pursuant to the Act.

Under the Act, remote ink notarization may be conducted via electronic video conferencing if:

  • The video conference allows the document signer and notary to communicate in real time and the notary observes the signer’s execution of the documents during the video conference.
  • The signer and the notary are both physically located in the Commonwealth.
    • The signer must swear or affirm under the penalties of perjury that the principal is physically located within the Commonwealth.
  • The signer must disclose any person present in the room and that person or persons must be made viewable to the notary.
  • Unless personally known to the notary, the signer must provide the notary with satisfactory evidence of identity in the form of a government-issued photo ID.
    • The notary must receive the ID in either hardcopy or electronic format and it must be retained by the notary for ten (10) years.
    • The signer must send a copy of the front and back of a government-issued ID or a copy of the front cover and page featuring the signer’s photograph, name and signature of a passport.
  • The signer must execute the documents using wet-ink signatures and make their acknowledgment, affirmation or other notarial act to the notary during the video conference.
    • The notary must create an audio and video recording of the notarial act, which must be retained by the notary for ten (10) years.
  • The signer must return the original signed documents to the notary via delivery service, courier, or other means in accordance with the notary public’s instructions.
  • Upon receipt of the original signed documents, the notary affixes his/her signature and stamp and/or seal.
    • The notarial certificate attached must include a statement indicating that the document was notarized remotely pursuant to the Act, noting the county in which the notary was located and including the date on which the notarial act was completed.
  • The notary must complete an affidavit, which states that the notary has:
    • Received a copy of the signer’s ID, if applicable;
    • Obtained the signer’s verbal assent to record the video conference;
    • Taken the signer’s attestation as to the signer’s presence in Massachusetts; and
    • Been informed and noted on the affidavit any person present in the room with the signer during the video conference, including the relationship of any such person to the signer.
  • The notary must retain the affidavit for ten (10) years following the execution of the documents.

Please note that for any document submitted for recording in land records, the notary is not required to include a copy of the affidavit.

Real Estate Documents: Under the Act, for any documents requiring notarization in the course of closing a transaction involving a mortgage or other conveyance of title to real estate, the notary must:

  • Be a Massachusetts-licensed attorney, or a paralegal under the direct supervision of a Massachusetts-licensed attorney.
  • Review a second form of identification, unless the signer is personally known to the notary.
    • This second form of identification must include the signer’s name and can be a credit or debit card, social security card, or municipal tax or utility bill dated within 60 dates of the first video conference, or other similar documents.
  • Conduct a second video conference upon receipt of the original documents, during which the signer verifies to the notary public that the document received is the same document executed during the first video conference.
    • Following the verification, the notary will affix their signature and stamp and/or seal to the documents. If the document concerns a mortgage financing transaction, the notarial certificate may recite the date stated within the body of the document, even if that date precedes the date of completion.
  • Retain copies of the signer’s identification along with the video recording and affidavit for a period of ten (10) years.

In the event that the signer does not have the ability to print documents, the notary should mail a copy to her for execution. All documents executed and notarized under the Act must be signed in wet ink and wet notarized.

Additionally, Congress is currently considering a federal remote notarization act, which would allow notaries in every state to conduct a remote online notarization and would preempt the Act. This would allow notaries located anywhere in the country to conduct remote online notarizations related to Massachusetts.

Though the Act allows for remote ink notarizations, lenders may have their own specific requirements regarding remote execution of documents. When executing lending documents, it is best practice to ensure that the process you are using does not violate the particular lender’s closing instructions.

If you have any questions regarding the Act, COVID-19, or any other legal issue, please contact a Pierce & Mandell attorney.



Display Latest Posts Across All Blogs

  1. Michael C. Fee was quoted in a recent Lawyers Weekly article Joseph Coupal 16-Apr-2021
  2. Michael C. Fee was quoted in a recent Lawyers Weekly article Joseph Coupal 16-Apr-2021
  3. Can Massachusetts Employers Require Employees To Return To The Office? Joseph Coupal 15-Mar-2021
  4. Can Massachusetts Employers Require Employees To Return To The Office? Joseph Coupal 15-Mar-2021
  5. BIG CHANGES AT PIERCE & MANDELL, P.C.! CURT DOOLING IS NOW PARTNER, HANNAH SCHINDLER SPINELLI COUNSEL, JULIE NIEJADLIK AN ASSOCIATE Joseph Coupal 03-Feb-2021
  6. PIERCE & MANDELL GIVES BACK! Joseph Coupal 29-Dec-2020
  7. Pierce & Mandell Attorneys Recognized as 2020 Massachusetts’ Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Joseph Coupal 22-Oct-2020
  8. Pierce & Mandell Attorney Michael C. Fee Recently Quoted in Lawyers Weekly Joseph Coupal 21-Sep-2020
  9. Pierce & Mandell Attorney Michael C. Fee Recently Quoted in Lawyers Weekly Joseph Coupal 21-Sep-2020
  10. Notarization in COVID-19 – “An Act for Providing Virtual Notarization to Address Challenges Related to COVID-19” Joseph Coupal 05-May-2020
 


Display Latest Posts Across All Blogs (list format)

 

  1. Michael C. Fee was quoted in a recent Lawyers Weekly article Joseph Coupal 16-Apr-2021
  2. Michael C. Fee was quoted in a recent Lawyers Weekly article Joseph Coupal 16-Apr-2021
  3. Can Massachusetts Employers Require Employees To Return To The Office? Joseph Coupal 15-Mar-2021
  4. Can Massachusetts Employers Require Employees To Return To The Office? Joseph Coupal 15-Mar-2021
  5. BIG CHANGES AT PIERCE & MANDELL, P.C.! CURT DOOLING IS NOW PARTNER, HANNAH SCHINDLER SPINELLI COUNSEL, JULIE NIEJADLIK AN ASSOCIATE Joseph Coupal 03-Feb-2021
  6. PIERCE & MANDELL GIVES BACK! Joseph Coupal 29-Dec-2020
  7. Pierce & Mandell Attorneys Recognized as 2020 Massachusetts’ Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Joseph Coupal 22-Oct-2020
  8. Pierce & Mandell Attorney Michael C. Fee Recently Quoted in Lawyers Weekly Joseph Coupal 21-Sep-2020
  9. Pierce & Mandell Attorney Michael C. Fee Recently Quoted in Lawyers Weekly Joseph Coupal 21-Sep-2020
  10. Notarization in COVID-19 – “An Act for Providing Virtual Notarization to Address Challenges Related to COVID-19” Joseph Coupal 05-May-2020
  11. Notarization in COVID-19 – “An Act for Providing Virtual Notarization to Address Challenges Related to COVID-19” Joseph Coupal 05-May-2020
  12. COVID-19 Paid Sick and Family Leave & Updates to Unemployment Insurance Joseph Coupal 11-Apr-2020
  13. Pierce & Mandell’s Covid-19 Survival Plan for Professional Practices Joseph Coupal 10-Apr-2020
  14. Pierce & Mandell Attorneys Ready to Assist during Covid-19 Crisis Joseph Coupal 17-Mar-2020
  15. Curt Dooling Explains Evolving Anti-SLAPP Standards Joseph Coupal 28-Feb-2020
  16. Curt Dooling Explains Evolving Anti-SLAPP Standards Joseph Coupal 28-Feb-2020
  17. Pierce & Mandell Attorneys Present and Exhibit At the 2020 Yankee Dental Conference Joseph Coupal 15-Feb-2020
  18. Pierce & Mandell Attorneys Present and Exhibit At the 2020 Yankee Dental Conference Joseph Coupal 15-Feb-2020
  19. Bill Mandell to Speak at 2020 Annual Meeting of MA Association of Practicing Urologists Joseph Coupal 14-Feb-2020
  20. Bill Mandell to Speak at 2020 Annual Meeting of MA Association of Practicing Urologists Joseph Coupal 14-Feb-2020
  21. Pierce & Mandell Lawyers Make The Best Lawyers in America 2020 List Joseph Coupal 09-Sep-2019
  22. Pierce & Mandell Partners Are Selected 2019 New England Super Lawyers Joseph Coupal 07-Sep-2019
  23. Pierce & Mandell Counsel Curt Dooling Quoted In Mass Lawyers Weekly Joseph Coupal 07-May-2019
  24. Pierce & Mandell Counsel Curt Dooling Quoted In Mass Lawyers Weekly Joseph Coupal 07-May-2019
  25. Negative Internet Reviews: Respond or Not? Joseph Coupal 06-May-2019
  26. Negative Internet Reviews: Respond or Not? Joseph Coupal 06-May-2019
  27. Bill Mandell is Featured Speaker at 2019 MCLE Hospital & Health Law Conference Joseph Coupal 24-Apr-2019
  28. Bill Mandell is Featured Speaker at 2019 MCLE Hospital & Health Law Conference Joseph Coupal 24-Apr-2019
  29. Bill Mandell is Featured Speaker at American Association of Endodontists Conference Joseph Coupal 10-Apr-2019
  30. New Massachusetts Law Requires Dental Practice Owners to Provide Additional Compensation for Associate Post-Termination Non-Compete Covenants Agreements Joseph Coupal 04-Feb-2019

 

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