General

I considered tagging this under “humor,” but that wouldn’t be right.  Several more of these at the author’s Youtube site

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Attached below is Judge Judith Fabricant’s lengthy decision in Hilb Rogal & Hobbs v. Sheppard, decided by Judge Fabricant in the Suffolk Business Litigation Session early this year. To my knowledge, this decision and order became publicly available only recently.

This restrictive covenant case is interesting in one unusual respect: it involves what some lawyers like to call “employee raiding” – a perjorative term that one sometimes hears when a large group of employees leaves to join a new firm. Here, the group was unusually large, consisting of 24 employees who resigned en masse, leaving Hilb Rogal & Hobbs (HRH) identical resignation letters and advising HRH to contact the same lawyer in the event any legal communications were necessary.

HRH filed suit and moved for a preliminary injunction, presenting Judge Fabricant with a complex set of facts (the employees did not all have the identical agreements), and factual variations in their circumstances.… Read the full article

Today, the Supreme Court agreed to decide this issue:

Whether an individual who used a false means of identification but did not know it belonged to another person can be convicted of “aggravated identity theft” under 18 U.S.C. 1028A(a)(1).

The case involves an illegal alien who was prosecuted for use of false identity papers. It must be hard enough to be arrested as an illegal alien, but much worse to discovery that your punishment will not be deportation, but rather indictment and trial for aggravated identity theft, a felony punishable with two years imprisonment with no probation allowed. Your defense: you may have purchased false identification in order to work, but you didn’t know that you were using another person’s social security number, as opposed to a purely fictitious SSN.

This is the situation that Ignacio Carlos Flores-Figueroa faced when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that the government was not required to prove that Mr.… Read the full article

Judge Gants' Decision in NERA v. Evans

by Lee Gesmer on October 15, 2008

One of the great benefits of the Suffolk Business Litigation Session (the BLS) is that the judges tend to write detailed opinions explaining their decisions. This tends to be less true elsewhere in the Superior Court. Recently-retired Superior Court Judge Allen van Gestel created a tradition of written jurisprudence while he headed the BLS, and his successors are keeping up the tradition. While these decisions are not published in an official reporter, and they are not binding precedent in the strict legal sense, they are often made available on the Internet, on legal search engines such as Westlaw and in the unofficial Mass. Law Reporter. In this way attorneys and the public are informed on how the BLS judges tend to see issues that come before them. And of course, any given judge is likely to be greatly influenced by a decision he or she has authored on a particular issue; there’s nothing better than citing a judge back to herself.… Read the full article