Diane DeGiacomo featured speaker on sophisticated issues in Family Law Practice

Diane DeGiacomo joined other experts in her field of family law to speak at the annual Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education’s “Cutting Edge Issues in Western Massachusetts Family Law Practice 2015” on March 27, 2015 in Springfield, MA.    Do the provisions in the Alimony Reform Act terminating alimony upon reaching retirement age apply retroactively? What is the standard courts use to decide if a parent with joint custody may leave the state with children? Under what circumstances will a court refuse to later uphold a prenuptial agreement, even if it was fair and reasonable when executed?  Analyzing recent cases against the backdrop of both old and new legislation, DeGiacomo illustrated recent trends in Probate and Family Court decisions, and practice tips for experience family law lawyers.

Diane DeGiacomo and Jared Kelly featured speakers at HRABC’s annual law update.

Diane DeGiacomo and Jared Kelly presented “The Season of Changing Leaves” to the Human Resources Association of Berkshire County  on March 18, 2015 at the Berkshire Hills Country Club.   The presentation centered around significant changes in employment law in the last 12 months, especially in the area of leave policies. Employers must now provide five sick days a year to employees, and for many employers, the leave must be paid. Massachusetts has now expanded the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act to encompass men as well as women. And the Act Relative to Domestic Violence requires employers of 50 or more to provide up to 15 days of unpaid leave a year for employees to address issues of domestic violence.   How these new leave requirements interact with one another, as well as existing required leaves, such as the Family Medical Leave Act, remains an open question. What is clear is employers must review and modify existing leave policies to comply with the ever changing employment laws in Massachusetts and on the federal level.     

Jared Kelly, litigator and business lawyer, joins Cain Hibbard

Cain Hibbard is pleased to announce that Jared T. Kelly, Esq. has joined the firm.  A native of California, Jared began his litigation career in Massachusetts in 2007. Since that time, Jared has practiced at two leading international law firms, where he handled complex litigation matters in a variety of areas, including contract, tort, securities, and intellectual property. In 2011, Jared became a Deputy District Attorney in California where he successfully tried several misdemeanor and felony cases. Jared was educated in Canada, securing his Bachelor of Science from McGill University and his legal degree from the University of Toronto. At McGill, Jared conducted research in the field of neuroscience and psychology, publishing two papers on the neurological underpinnings of nicotine craving. In law school, Jared led several international human rights endeavors, including producing documentary films in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe and assisting the prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Jared has a varied practice whose work spans  intellectual property, employment law, health law, and domestic relations.  Jared is a member of the firm’s litigation group, with experience in state and federal courts, as well as governmental tribunals. Outside of work, Jared enjoys getting involved in community and environmental initiatives. He currently serves...

Partner Diane DeGiacomo Coaches Lenox High Students in Statewide MBA Mock Trial Competition

Diane DeGiacomo, now in her eighth year as the lawyer coach for Lenox Memorial Middle and High School’s Mock Trial team, proudly congratulated her students as they swept the Berkshire County competitions winning 3-0 and moved on to represent Region 16 in the state play offs. “I love working with these kids”, DeGiacomo said. “They have a great thirst for knowledge and become more confident in their abilities throughout the season.” The mock trial program is an annual competition in which members of the Massachusetts Bar Association create a fictional case that is then argued by high school teams statewide. Judges determine the trial winners based on the quality of the arguments and individual performances of the high school student participants. There are 16 regions statewide containing135 high school teams total. This year’s case involves a murder trial, with the defendant alleging self-defense. The mock trial program has become so popular that nearly 30 kids have joined the team this year, up from the 6 students who made up the team when DeGiacomo first started coaching in 2007. Read More – Berkshire Eagle: MA Mock Trial Program  

50th Anniversary Event at the Mahaiwe: Black Violin

Fifth of Cain Hibbard’s “five for five” 50th anniversary events held at the Mahaiwe with foot-stomping performance by Black Violin As the last of its five community events commemorating its 50th anniversary, Cain Hibbard sponsored a lively and inspiring performance by the musical duo Black Violin at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The two violinists played their own original blend of classical, Hip-Hop, R&B, and bluegrass music to a packed theatre of middle school students from area schools. The students were on their feet for most of the performance, captivated by the skill and energy of the performers. The performance was part of the Mahaiwe “ah-ha” educational series, a series that Cain Hibbard has been privileged to sponsor every year since the program’s inception.

Client Alert: New Rights for Employees Who Are Victims of Domestic Violence

On August 8, 2014, Governor Patrick signed into law “An Act Relative to Domestic Violence,” which applies to employers of 50 or more employees. The Act permits an employee, who is a victim of abusive behavior, or whose family member is a victim of abusive behavior, to take up to 15 days of leave from work in any 12 month period.  The employee requesting the leave cannot be the perpetrator of the abusive behavior. The leave may be paid or unpaid at the employer’s discretion. The employee must exhaust all vacation, personal and sick leave before requesting or taking the leave, unless the exhaustion requirement is waived by the employer. Purpose of the leave. The leave must be used to seek or obtain services related to the abusive behavior (medical attention, counseling, victim services, legal assistance, housing), to participate in related legal proceedings (appearing before a grand jury, meeting with a district attorney or law enforcement officials, attending child custody proceedings, or obtaining a protective order), or to address other issues directly related to the abusive behavior. Notice requirements. The employee is required to give the employer advance notice of the leave consistent with the employer’s leave policies, unless there...

Fair Use or Foul Play? Copyright Rules in the Digital Age – at the Norman Rockwell Museum

Lucy Prashker and Sarah Kohrs present “Fair Use or Foul Play? Copyright Rules in the Digital Age” at the Norman Rockwell Museum 9/18/2014 Wondering what use you can make of someone else’s creative content? Thinking of sharing a video created by another on social media? Or “sampling” some hit music into your new hip-hop beat?  The rules are less static than you might assume, and they continue to evolve. On Sept. 18 from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Norman Rockwell Museum, Cain Hibbard & Myers attorney Sarah Kohrs and Managing Partner Lucy Prashker presented an engaging and interactive talk, “Fair Use or Foul Play? Copyright Rules in the Digital Age.” A talk that was of particular interest to all stakeholders in the Creative Economy, Kohrs and Prashker answered the easy questions and considered the hard ones, with examples drawn from real life cases involving well known, and not so well known, works of art.   They identified the legal guideposts, debunked common myths, and explored evolving views about fair use, examining the different perspectives of artists, academics and jurists. “Whether we recognize it or not, we all draw on our own sense of ‘fair use’ every day in making decisions about what...

Elisabeth Goodman joins firm; Cain Hibbard opens Williamstown office

Attorney Elisabeth Goodman of Williamstown has joined Cain Hibbard & Myers as a partner, expanding the firm’s busy real estate, zoning and environmental practice.  Goodman will anchor Cain Hibbard & Myers’ expansion in North County, with the firm’s adding an office at Goodman’s current location at 377 Main Street, Williamstown. Goodman’s practice focuses on real estate, land use, zoning and environmental law, with a particular specialty in environmental issues. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers University, and earned her law degree from the American University Washington College of Law. For approximately 10 years, she was the Berkshire-based attorney for a Boston firm specializing in environmental issues; earlier she was deputy chief counsel and acting chief counsel for the Massachusetts Highway Department and for Boston’s Third Harbor Tunnel/Central Artery Project. She has served as a visiting lecturer at Williams College and at Bennington College. She has also served on the boards of Greylock ABC, Inc., which is affiliated with the national program “A Better Chance,” and the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the Williamstown Finance Committee. Said Cain Hibbard & Myers Managing Partner Lucy Prashker, “Elisabeth is a perfect fit for our practice and our culture:...

50th anniversary lecture series Surrogate Decision Making

3rd of Cain Hibbard’s “five for five” 50th anniversary lecture series held June 25: Lisa M. McCormack on Surrogate Decision Making As the third of the firm’s “five for five” community events celebrating the firm’s 50th anniversary, Lisa M. McCormack, Esq. spoke on surrogate decision making on June 25, 2014 at the Lenox Library.  The title of the presentation was “What to do when your loved ones can no longer make health and other decisions for themselves.”  Lisa, an expert and frequent lecturer in the field, outlined the tools available in Massachusetts to plan for a time when you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself, as well as what to do in the event a loved one did not make those plans, and relatives and friends are forced to turn to a court for help.  The presentation, which was held from 5:30-7:00 p.m., featured a question and answer session followed by light refreshments.

Cain Hibbard and Berkshire Bar Association co-sponsor eDiscovery educational event

As the second of Cain Hibbard’s “5 for 5” 50th anniversary community lecture series, the firm, together with the Berkshire County Bar Association and Precision Discovery (an eDiscovery and computer forensics firm based in New York City), co-sponsored an eDiscovery educational event held June 4 at the Spice Banquet Room in Pittsfield. There were two sessions offered: the first covered computer forensics, including techniques and   methods for retrieving electronic information that may have been either inadvertently lost or deliberately deleted.  The second session covered the new state court rules governing eDiscovery and the nuts and bolts of the eDiscovery process.  The Hon. Fredric Rutberg, the Hon. Daniel A. Ford and the Hon. John A. Agostini participated in a panel discussion during the evening session.  Both sessions were well attended by members of the Berkshire Bar.