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Petitions for protection from domestic abuse, often referred to as civil protection or restraining orders, are governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 209A, also called the Abuse Prevention Act (APA or Chapter 209A). With the passing of the APA in 1978, Massachusetts was among the first states to respond to judicial intolerance of domestic violence claims. Massachusetts has since been at the forefront of many civil protections for domestic violence victims, including the provision of a timely, same-day hearing and other relief that eases the burden on petitioners in need of immediate remedies. The APA was designed to give domestic violence victims an effective legal remedy and to protect victims from future incidents of abuse through simplified and accessible judicial procedures for obtaining civil protection orders. . . .
Courts have been increasingly asked to expand physician liability for loss of statistical chances of survival or better outcome. The request has been made pursuant to the perceived right of the judiciary to conform the common law to the changing needs or the “felt necessities of the time.” The loss of chance doctrine raises fundamental questions as to the appropriate limits of judicial policymaking in the area of physician liability. Indeed, recognition of loss of chance as either a theory of causation or a cognizable harm marks a notable judicial expansion of physician liability with significant ramifications for both tort law and health care in general.
The two state supreme courts to have last addressed the issue reached polar opposite conclusions despite strikingly similar facts and medical issues. While the two decisions are perhaps a poor comparison to Dickens’s masterful Aeschylean tragedy, set amid the fortunes and misfortunes of Paris and London in 1775, they do depict “a tale of two cities” as to physician liability. Reduced to their core, the decisions represent the divergent views of the judiciary’s common-law authority and demonstrate the debate over the proper limits to judicial expansion of physician liability based on the “public policy” auspices of the common law. . .
A trustee holds legal title to property for the benefit of another, and consequently has the power to bring actions at law against third parties who harm the trust property. These legal actions are restricted by the statute of limitations applicable to tort or contract matters. The trustee is also personally liable in equity to the beneficiary for any internal breaches of fiduciary duty, such as a breach of the duty of loyalty. Equitable actions by beneficiaries against trustees have typically been subject to the doctrine of laches, which requires the beneficiary to bring suit within a reasonable time after gaining actual knowledge of the trustee’s breach. In O’Connor v. Redstone, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts considered whether a successor trustee’s knowledge of a predecessor trustee’s breach of fiduciary duty is sufficient to begin running the statute of limitations against beneficiaries who have no actual knowledge of such breaches. In a departure from common-law principles pertaining to the separation of legal and equitable claims, the court held that the statute of limitations runs against the beneficiary when the successor trustee knows of the predecessor’s breach. . .
Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employer may not discriminate against an employee on the basis of a disability with respect to most aspects of employment, including the provision of fringe benefits. In order to have standing to bring suit under Title I of the ADA (Title I), a plaintiff must be a “qualified individual” with a disability. In McKnight v. General Motors Corp., the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit considered, in light of the United States Supreme Court’s holding in Robinson v. Shell Oil Co., whether disabled former employees have standing to bring suit under Title I “against their former employers for discrimination with respect to the payment of post-employment fringe benefits.” The Sixth Circuit held that Title I unambiguously excludes former disabled employees and denied standing to the plaintiffs. . .
Congress enacted the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in 1966 to allow private citizens wide access to government information protected by federal agencies. In an effort to enable greater public access to government documents, Congress amended FOIA in 1974 to include a provision awarding attorneys’ fees to any individual who substantially prevails in an action requesting agency information. In Davy v. Central Intelligence Agency, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia considered whether an author who publishes a book based, in part, on information obtained from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in partial satisfaction of his request under FOIA is entitled to attorneys’ fees. The majority awarded the author attorneys’ fees because he substantially prevailed in the earlier litigation, his interest in the information sought served a public benefit, he was not motivated entirely by commercial interests, and the CIA did not present a reasonable basis to deny disclosure of the information. . .
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to a trial by an impartial jury. If a jury convicts a criminal defendant, the United States Sentencing Guidelines (Sentencing Guidelines) provide guidance to federal judges for determining sentence length. In United States v. White, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit considered whether a district court violates the Sixth Amendment when it uses conduct of which the jury acquitted the defendant to enhance the defendant’s sentence. The court, in a 9-6 opinion, held that the district court did not violate the defendant’s right to a jury trial by basing sentencing enhancements on acquitted conduct. . .
The Fourth Amendment guarantees the right of the people to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The United States Supreme Court created the exclusionary rule, which requires suppression of evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment when the potential to deter future police misconduct outweighs societal costs of excluding the evidence. In Herring v. United States, the Court considered whether to employ the exclusionary rule to suppress contraband found during a search incident to arrest by an officer who reasonably relied on an assurance of an outstanding warrant because of the negligent bookkeeping error by another law enforcement agency. In a five-to four decision, a majority of the Court held that the exclusionary rule would not have a sufficient deterrent effect on isolated incidences of negligent bookkeeping, and therefore affirmed the district court’s decision to decline application of the exclusionary rule. . .
In the wake of Leegin, companies engaged in cross-border transactions face a great deal of uncertainty regarding how to take advantage of the increased freedom afforded by this new United States policy. A company either undertakes to manage different pricing policies in each jurisdiction, risks the threat of prosecution in certain jurisdictions, or follows the strictest policy in all jurisdictions–none of which are ideal options.
This Note will examine the potential complications of the fact that Leegin now sets the United States at odds with many of its major trading partners in the area of RPM, and the ramifications of that divide. Part II.A reviews the development of United States antitrust law in the area of RPM. Part II.B discusses the details of the Leegin decision, and Part II.C addresses both federal and state reaction to the outcome of the case.
Part II.D then explores international competition law and the implications of Leegin in a global sense, focusing on the interplay between United States antitrust laws and the laws of both Canada and the EU. Parts II.D.1-2 focus on the substantive antitrust law on RPM in Canada and the EU. Part II.D. discusses the mechanics of the exposure of a United States company when engaging in practices that violate foreign antitrust laws. Part II.E then surveys the general trend toward harmonization of international antitrust policy and the efforts of jurisdictions such as Canada and the EU to conform with United States practices.
Part III analyzes the challenges posed by the divergence of United States and international law, and the possibilities for resolution. Part III.A focuses specifically on the options available to companies engaged in cross-border trade and interested in taking advantage of the new federal law in the United States. Part III.B examines the likelihood for resolution and convergence of substantive law on minimum RPM. Part III.B.1 discusses the potential that the states or Congress will overturn Leegin in the United States. Part III.B.2 evaluates the possibility that either Canada or the EU will modify their laws to align with the United States. Part III.B.3 explains that, because of the focus on international convergence of competition policy, the United States domestic response to Leegin will likely play a role in determining the actions of Canada and the EU.
This Note concludes by asserting that the recent emphasis on convergence will likely motivate Canada and the EU to reconsider their RPM policies in light of the Leegin decision, though the uncertainty in the domestic application of Leegin will likely require a waiting period for both the United States and foreign jurisdictions to observe the effects of this precedent. . .
On March 12, 2008, the Boston Zoning Commission amended the Boston Zoning Code to restrict more than four undergraduate students from living together in a leased dwelling. The amendment redefined the term “family” in the zoning code by explicitly stating that five or more full-time undergraduate students do not constitute a family. This redefinition made it illegal for five or more undergraduate students to live together, as the City of Boston zones residential districts strictly for “family” habitation. Proponents support the new definition because it strikes directly at the overcrowded, student-occupied dwellings that proponents believe are the main cause of neighborhood disruption. Opponents believe the amendment arbitrarily targets undergraduate students and will result in higher rents. In addition to public policy concerns, critics have raised serious issues regarding the amendment’s legality.
This Note explores the amendment through analysis of the aforementioned constitutional issues. Part II.A summarizes the legal challenge that prompted Boston to amend its zoning code. Part II.B examines case law relating to potential constitutional challenges to the amendment involving heightened scrutiny. Part II.C presents case law relevant to the amendment’s likelihood of passing the lowest level of judicial scrutiny. With the important case law as a foundation, Part III analyzes the amendment’s potential to receive heightened scrutiny and likelihood of passing the lowest level of constitutional review. . .
This Note will discuss the uncontrollable growth of the mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the need to change the policies that created perverse incentives for financial institutions and investors to act in ways adverse to economic stability. The first part of this Note will discuss the history of the federal government’s role in financing mortgages and promoting home ownership. Secondly, the Note will examine the secondary mortgage market and the innovative financial securities that have emerged in the past few years and the concerns that come with these new products. Finally, part three of the Note will present arguments for privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. . .