Author Archives: Shapiro Law Group

sole proprietors

Important Steps Sole Proprietors Can Take As Business Begins to Grow

Leading a business as a sole proprietor is both challenging and rewarding. You are the only person who is responsible for making decisions about the organization, its direction, and whether or not it changes status to an LLC or another type of company. There is no one else to take the hit when something doesn’t go right. There’s also no one to share your successes with when the company excels. Below, you will find some important steps that sole proprietors should take as their businesses begin to grow from the Shapiro Law Group, P.C.

Have a Business Plan in Writing

A sole proprietorship does not have to legally be set up since you are operating as a company of one, but it is still important for you to have a business plan in writing. Having a plan in writing makes it easier to meet your goals, operate on a daily basis, and make sure you are performing the tasks you need in order for your business to succeed. A business plan also helps you understand the financial viability of your business and check if you are meeting the numbers necessary to grow.

sole proprietor contractsRegister a Fictitious Business Name

In the debate between sole proprietor vs independent contractor, one consideration is whether to register a fictitious business name. Independent contractors often operate their business under their own name. For example, if you are a marketing professional and your name is John Doe, your business name will simply be John Doe. Sole proprietors can also use their given name as their business name. When your company begins to grow, you may want to register a fictitious business name to operate under. John Doe could become JD Marketing.

Draft Contracts

Even though you are a sole proprietorship, you will still need to draft contracts for various reasons. One of those reasons is to provide your services to clients (either individuals or other companies). You should never perform any work without a contract of some kind in writing. Contracts will help protect your investment and prevent you from providing services that wind up not being paid for by the client. 

Other contracts you might need to draft are sole proprietorship and partner agreements. Have you decided to partner with a friend or family member? If so, you absolutely need a contract to protect your interests in the business. As always, it is best to draft sole proprietorship contracts with the help of a business attorney. 

sole proprietorship contractsReduce Your Liability

When you operate as a sole proprietorship, you assume all of the liability for your company. This means that if you are sued by anyone, you are held personally responsible for the lawsuit and settling it. If this is the case, you could wind up being on the hook for a large amount of money changing hands. Work with an attorney to try and reduce the liability your sole proprietorship faces on a daily basis.

Speak to an Experienced Business Law Attorney Today

When you are working as the sole proprietor of a business, you need to have an experienced business law attorney to help you make decisions, guide you in the right direction, and help with sole proprietor contracts. Call the experienced team from the Shapiro Law Group, P.C. at (339) 200-9933 to schedule a consultation.

grandparents' rights

What Rights Do Grandparents Have When Parents Refuse Access to Their Grandchildren?

The breakdown in family relations subsequent to divorce goes beyond the relationship of the two direct parties to the divorce. Grandparents are often caught in the crossfire between the spouses. Loving relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren sometimes take the brunt of the collateral damage. What rights do grandparents have when parents refuse access to their grandchildren?

Grandparents Rights

The area of grandparent rights is a relatively new and developing area of the law. While the laws in this area vary greatly from state to state, grandparents, in general, are rarely recognized to have any rights regarding visitation with their grandchildren. In most cases, the parents of the children have the right to control the amount of time grandparents can spend with their grandchildren. This area of the law is beginning to change, however. In recent years, some states have started to grant grandparents limited visitation rights when the parents of the children get divorced. 

right of grandparent to visit grandchildrenRight of Grandparent to Visit Grandchildren

As noted above, the right of grandparents to visit grandchildren varies from state to state. For example, those in Massachusetts cannot legally get visitation rights with grandchildren if the parents are married. However, if the parents are divorced, separated, or one of the parents is deceased, the law does permit grandparents to petition for limited visitation rights with their grandchildren. The court is directed to consider the best interests of the children, but the burden of proof seems to be on the grandparents to show that the child would suffer harm if contact with the grandparent were terminated.

Do Grandparents Have Rights?

While it seems like an uphill battle if you are a grandparent, the area of grandparents’ rights is still evolving. While some states reference a parent who is absent due to imprisonment, addicted to drugs, or a legally declared unfit, the current state of grandparent rights is far from uniform. As noted in the Massachusetts grandparents rights example above, there are many factors that can, and do, come into play. In states that provide grandparent visitation exceptions, the grandparent must file a petition with the appropriate court to request them. Regardless of the state, the grandparent who is petitioning for visitation or custodial rights has the burden of proof to support the granting of visitation. Depending upon the jurisdiction, the burden varies from being “in the child’s best interest” to showing that denial of visitation rights will cause “significant harm” to the child.

do grandparents have rightsHiring a Family Law Attorney

If you are involved in a legal dispute about grandparent rights, the Shapiro Law Group can help. Let one of our family law attorney experts assist you. Our lawyers take you through the entire process, from start to finish. We work diligently with you every step of the way to help secure the visitation rights you deserve and are entitled to under the law. Contact the Shapiro Law Group today for a free consultation at 339-200-9933.

birth injury lawyer

When Should You Consider Hiring a Birth Injury Lawyer

When a child is born with a congenital disability or birth injury, it can be a stressful time for a family. This scenario is especially true when the injury is the result of negligence on the part of hospital staff, a midwife, or any other medical professional. When should you consider hiring a birth injury lawyer?

What is a Birth Injury?

Birth injuries can occur for any number of reasons, but generally, they are the result of negligence on the part of a health care practitioner or provider. When negligence results in birth injuries, they are commonly known as “obstetrical malpractice”.

Obstetrical malpractice refers to any medical malpractice that relates to either childbirth or pregnancy. As obstetrical malpractice may occur at any point from the inception of a pregnancy through the birth of the child, there are many instances where negligence can occur. These negligent instances include:

  • The failure to properly conduct or interpret genetic testing resulting in wrongful birth
  • Mistakes in testing for injuries to the fetus
  • The failure to properly manage gestational diabetes
  • hire a birth injury lawyerMisdiagnosis during the pregnancy
  • Negligence during either labor or delivery
    • Delay or failure to deal with or alleviate any fetal distress
    • Failure to perform a timely C-section
    • Failure to deal with shoulder dystocia
    • Negligent administration of Pitocin or other medications
    • Inability to manage a premature delivery
    • Surgical negligence

Damages for Birth Injuries

Regardless of the nature of the medical negligence, or whether the onset of complications happened over time or suddenly, no mother should have to face the severe consequences of obstetrical malpractice.  When a person brings a claim of medical negligence against an OB/GYN, they must prove that the doctor strayed from the accepted standard of care owed to the patient. Also, this breach of duty must have directly resulted in the injuries or loss sustained by the patient or mother.  To legally pursue a claim in Massachusetts, a physician of the same specialty as that of the defendants must provide an affidavit swearing, under oath, that the care and treatment of the defendant fell well below the accepted standard of care.

How a Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help You Recover Some of What You Lost

As with all malpractice claims, the cases are incredibly hard-fought and expensive to pursue.  For these reasons, it is difficult to pursue a medical malpractice case unless the injuries are life-altering.  Successful claims can significantly assist a family in recovering much-needed medical costs and life care for their child, as well as monetary damages for the “pain and suffering” the child must endure their entire life due to the medical negligence and misdiagnosis of the defendant.

congenital disabilityConsult an Experienced Massachusetts Malpractice Attorney Today

A birth injury has the power to change the life of a family in a split second. At the Shapiro Law Group, we have successfully represented many families who were the unfortunate victims of negligence during pregnancy or in childbirth.  We know the leading experts in many diverse medical fields, and we are well versed on both neo-natal medicine and the law, which is key to getting you the results you deserve.  

To get the proper compensation for birth injuries or other obstetrical errors, make sure you consult the Shapiro Law Group. In addition to medical bills and costs, you may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering you and your child have had to endure. Contact us today at (339) 309-1188 for a free consultation.


What is Conservatorship and What Rights Do Conservators Have?

When a person is unable to make decisions for themselves about important decisions in their life, whether they be legal or financial, the courts may assign a guardian or protector to assist. This relationship between someone with an impairment and substitute adult is known as a “conservatorship” in Massachusetts. But what is a conservatorship and what rights do conservators have?

What is a Conservatorship?

A conservatorship is a legal concept in which the probate or family law court appoints a protector or legal guardian for a person who is deemed to suffer impairment to their faculties, either through a physical or mental ailment or the limitation or as a result of old age. The role of the conservator is to manage the affairs, both financially and legally, with the person under their care called their “ward”, or protected person.

what is conservatorship What Rights Do Conservators Have?

As a protector of the ward, the conservator has significant rights over the protected person’s assets and needs. The conservator has the legal authority to collect, hold, and retain the assets of the protected person, as well as the ability to allocate those assets to pay off any debts or bills the ward may have.

While conservators have the right to handle the financial transactions and asset management for a protected person, under Massachusetts law they cannot allow the ward’s assets to co-mingle with their own, or flow through an account containing both party’s assets.  The conservator must segregate all assets into an account which reflects the legal standing of the relationship between the conservator and the protected person.

Additionally, conservators are not financially liable for a protected person in Massachusetts. While the conservator has legal control over the ward’s assets and financial dealings, the conservator does not have to worry about their assets or finances being used to settle accounts or debts for the protected person. This is why state law explicitly prohibits the co-mingling of accounts and assets.

Massachusetts law requires conservators to provide a full and thorough accounting of the ward’s assets, debts, and liabilities, as well as their tax filings each year. This process is to ensure that the conservator is adequately discharging their duties, and not taking advantage of the protected person. Such depositions may also require a doctor’s note, showing the mental incapacitation of the ward continues, and the conservatorship should remain intact.

conservatorContact an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today

Massachusetts conservatorship and guardian law can be complicated. If you have questions or concerns about a loved one, or if you have been asked to be conservator, make sure you speak with an experienced family law attorney today. Make sure you contact the Shapiro Law Group. Our family law attorneys are versed in all facets of family and probate law, including conservatorships. Pick up the phone and call the dedicated Massachusetts family law and probate attorneys at Shapiro Law Group at 339-200-9933 today.

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Filing a Claim After a Traumatic Brain Injury

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Filing a Claim After a Traumatic Brain Injury?

In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is firmly established under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 260, Section 2A. This section sets a standard three-year statute of limitation on filing in most instances of personal injury. What this means is that if you suffer an injury, whether a traumatic brain injury (TBI), slip-and-fall, or any other type of accident, you have three years from the date of the incident to file a claim seeking compensation.

Once this three-year window expires, any attempt to seek compensation for an injury may be warily dismissed by a court due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. That’s not to say, however, that Massachusetts law prohibits the filing of claims after this window closes. There are exceptions to this three-year period, which may extend the deadline you have to file a claim.

tbi statute of limitationsExceptions to the Three-Year Statute of Limitations

Here are a few of the main exceptions to the three-year statute of limitation for personal injury claims in Massachusetts:

  • If the individual responsible for the injuries lives outside of the state after the accident, this period of absence likely will not be considered part of the filing period by the court, meaning the filing period will resume once that person returns to the state.
  • If the person responsible for the injuries “fraudulently conceals” or hides their liability, therefore taking steps to keep the injured person from realizing their ability to file a claim. That time will also likely not be counted.
  • If the person who suffers the injury is a minor (under the age of 18) at the time of the injury or is mentally incapacitated, the three-year statute of limitations will begin either when they turn 18, or when they are deemed mentally fit to file a claim.

Time is of the Essence for Claiming After a TBI

Because of the time-sensitive nature of personal injury claims in Massachusetts, it is essential that you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney right away to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

TBIs have long-lasting effects on those who suffer them – as well as their families. The destructive nature of these injuries can leave people struggling to work, pay bills, or live a healthy life. If you suffer a TBI due to negligence, you may be eligible for compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as any medical bills and lost income.

tbi lawyerContact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today

At Shapiro Law, our knowledgeable team of personal injury attorneys has the know-how and expertise to get you the compensation you deserve for your TBI.  We deal with all of our clients on a personal level, as we know and understand the pain and suffering they are going through. At Shapiro Law you aren’t just another case number – you are our client. Give us a call today at 339-200-9933 for a free, no-obligation consultation.