Archive for June, 2011

Franchise Disclosure Document

Andrew Garcia of Phillips Garcia Law explains the importance of understanding the Franchise Disclosure Document when purchasing a franchise. If you would like to learn more about legal documents and business law contact Andrew, visit our website at or call us toll free at 888-449-5343.

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20% of Massachusetts Probate Judges Step Down: How does this affect your business?

Before the end of 2011, 20% of judges in the Massachusetts Probate Court will be stepping down. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reports.

So what does this mean for my business?

With significantly less Probate Court judges, the Probate process will slow down dramatically, leaving your business in probate, following your death, for an extended period of time and in the hands of the remaining overwhelmed judges.

How do I pass down my business without being affected by the Probate Court?

Set up a Trust! Setting up a trust is the safest way to make sure your business is passed on in an orderly fashion.

Why a Trust and not a Will?

A Will “comes to life” when you die and passes your business on through the Probate Court System. A Trust, or “living trust,” “comes to life” when still alive and after your death while avoiding Probate Court.

Who can help me set up a trust to protect my business? We can! At Phillips Garcia Law we specialize in protecting business owners by helping them legally pass down their business in the safest and most precise way possible. Contact us using the Contact Form, call us at 508-998-0800, or email us at As always, you can find out more information on protecting your family and creating Trusts at our website,

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Massachusetts Wage Law: Employer Pays Triple Damages for Failing to Follow the Law

A Massachusetts judge found that a Boston business violated the Massachusetts wage law when it deducted money from an employee’s weekly paycheck for a retirement contribution but then never deposited the wages into a retirement account. The judge then awarded triple damages of $25,814 plus attorney’s fees to be paid to the employee.

 The Boston real estate investment and development company had promised its employee that it would set up a retirement account into which the employee could make contributions. In December 2005, the employer began deducting money from the employee’s weekly paychecks. These deductions went on for at least two years.

 During those next two years, the employee made inquiries about the status of his retirement account and his funds, but the employer’s administrators ignored him. The judge found that the employer never bothered getting around to setting up the account and instead withheld the money. The amount of the weekly deductions over this time frame was $8,604.80.

 Sometime in the Spring of 2009, the company offered the employee a check for the $8,604, but as a condition for the money, the employee was to release any claims. The employee refused and then filed the lawsuit alleging that by withholding the money from his paycheck but not putting it into a retirement account, as promised, was a violation of the Massachusetts Wage law.

 There are lessons to be learned by all Massachusetts business owners by this case:

 First, the Wage Act states that an employer must pay an employee his wages within six days of the ending of the pay period during which those wages were earned. So, for example, if a weekly pay period is Monday through Saturday, then an employee must receive his wages by the following Friday. In this case, by withholding weekly deductions from its employee and not putting them into a retirement account as promised, the judge found the employer had failed to pay its employee within the six-day time period allowed under the law.

 Second, the Wage Act has very harsh penalties. Under the version of the Wage law adopted in July 2008, when an employee proves that the employer violated this section of the Act, then the court must award triple damages. It is mandatory. And, the employee is entitled to recover his attorney’s fees and expenses. So, in this case the judge multiplied the employee’s back wages of $8,604 by three and ordered damages of $25,814. The judge also allowed the employee to seek an award of his attorney’s fees and costs (that amount had not been decided as of the publication of this news story).

If you would like to learn more about Massachusetts Wage laws and your responsibility as a business owner, contact us at 508-998-0800 or email me at As always you can find out more at our website or scan the code above.

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Does Your Business Overpay for Commercial Auto Insurance?

Massachusetts Attorney General, Martha Coakley, recently released a report following a review of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and Automobile Insurers Bureau (AIB) stating that, since 2004, business owners have overpaid by $1 Billion for commercial auto-insurance. The statement followed a review by the Attorney General‘s office in which she responded with:

“These inflated commercial auto premiums impact virtually every industry in Massachusetts – from manufacturing, trucking, and construction to sales and services. The added costs limit the ability of businesses to invest in Massachusetts and cost Massachusetts residents thousands of jobs. The problem is especially acute for small businesses, who ability to create jobs is impaired by excessive rates.”

The report also narrowed down the dramatic sum to a yearly commercial auto-insurance overcharge of nearly $150 million, dating back to 2004, in which rates were high by at least 21.6%.

This stunning report proves that not only are Insurance Companies overcharging but many business owners are accepting this and choosing the wrong plans without learning the facts. Phillips & Garcia Law offers an extremely helpful Free Book on Auto Insurance which can help your business choose the correct and financially reasonable plan.



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Florida Couple Turns Tables on Bank of America: Arrives at Bank Branch with Deputy and Moving Trucks

In the latest case of wrongful foreclosures the tides have turned and a Florida couple takes on Bank of America by legally threatening to seize assets at a local branch.

Warren and Maureen Nyerges, along with an armed deputy and their lawyer, arrived at Bank of America with a court writ and an “all too familiar” legal choice.

“Pay the money or prepare to lose possessions,” as NPR stated.

Parked out front of the bank sat moving trucks ready to haul out Bank of America’s property since they had failed to pay the couple a court settlement of $2,500. Why did Bank of America owe Warren and Maureen $2,500? The Bank attempted to foreclose on their home 5 months ago even though the couple did not have a mortgage with Bank of America, in fact they had paid for the home in cash. A judge ordered Bank of America to pay for Mr. and Mrs. Nyerges’ legal fees but up until this point, the bank has failed to comply. Shortly after the couple and deputies presented the demands, Bank of America wrote Warren and Maureen a check leaving the Bank manager “visibly shaken” and finally paying what the court had ordered.

This story shows great hope and justice for Americans who have faced this all too common string of wrongful foreclosures. Here at Phillips & Garcia we have helped Americans fight large Banks with cases very similar to this one. You can find out about these cases and how to protect yourself at our website

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Update: Dartmouth Massachusetts Lawyer Takes on Bank of America in California Federal Court

Today, Attorney Andrew Garcia from Phillips & Garcia Law is scheduled to appear at Federal Court in Sacramento, Ca. Today’s meeting is for a Rule 16 Scheduling conference for a case against America’s largest bank, Bank of America. Your probably wondering “what exactly is a Rule 16 Scheduling conference?” Check out this link from the Cornell Law School.

You can follow Andrew’s twitter here, where he will be updating us on his day.

Phillips & Garcia is known for being a small yet powerful firm always fighting for the common consumer and their rights. They specifically select only a handful of clients in order to exert the right amount of time and care into each case. All too often the rights of consumers are ignored by BIG corporations who are looking out for their bottom line.” From the insurance company to the big bank, Phillips & Garcia is always fighting for the rights of the common consumer.

For more information about big bank cases check out our earlier post or go to our website.

If you are interested in learning more about his Business Legal Planning services, just contact him at or by calling (508) 998-0800.

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