Attorney James B. Sheils, a partner at Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. in Springfield, MA, has received the first John Auchter Award from Goodwill Industries of the Pioneer Valley for his more than three decades of service to the non-profit organization. Additional information about his receipt of this award can be found here.

Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. is pleased to announce that the firm has been named one of the Best Law Firms in America in the 2013 edition of the prestigious U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers® publication, making this the third year in a row they have received this honor. Read more here.

Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C., is proud to announce that Michael A. Fenton has joined the firm. Attorney Fenton is admitted to practice law in Connecticut and Massachusetts. His practice will focus on business law, commercial real estate and estate planning. Read the full Press Release here.

Attorney Ellen Freyman was selected by the Ad Club of Western Massachusetts to receive the prestigious Pynchon Award Medal for 2012 for her outstanding public service. Read more about her selection for this award.

A team of 14 attorneys and staff members from Shatz, Schwartz, and Fentin, P.C. recently spent a day pitching in for the United Way Day of Caring.  They assembled office furniture, cleaned, and organized at the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services Center in Springfield, MA.  Read more about this event here.

On October 8, 2012, Business West published an article by L. Alexandra Hogan entitled “The Electronic Data-management Policy: It’s a Good Business Practice — and a Sound Legal Safeguard“. In it she discusses the importance and benefits of businesses following a resonable electronic data-management policy.

By Attorney David K. Webber

If you are starting a new business or expanding your current one, your municipal planning commissioner or building inspector may tell you to obtain a special permit or site plan review. Under Massachusetts law, this usually means presenting your application at a public hearing, and obtaining a favorable vote from the applicable planning board or zoning board of appeals. Regardless of whether you, your architect, or your lawyer presents your plan, preparation is the key to success.  more…

Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. is pleased to announce that eight of their attorneys have been selected by their peers for inclusion in 2013 Best Lawyers in America® (Copyright 2012 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC). The eight include Stephen A. Shatz, Steven J. Schwartz, Gary S. Fentin, Steven Weiss, Timothy P. Mulhern, Michele J. Feinstein, Carol Cioe Klyman and Ann I. Weber.
The Press Release regarding their selection can be read here.

A judge in the Middlesex Superior Court found that MassHealth improperly denied nursing home benefits to a woman who had purchased an interest in the home she had lived in for 26 years prior to entering a nursing home.  The judge determined that the woman had paid fair market value for a one-third share of the home, and that the property qualified as her exempt primary residence.  The value of exempt assets is not counted toward the $2,000 that applicants for MassHealth benefits are allowed to keep.  Carol Cioe Klyman filed the successful appeal on behalf of the woman’s daughter and executor.  (Nogrady v. Office of  Medicaid, Middlesex Superior Court No. 104007,  June 22, 2012).  This is the second successful appeal Attorney Klyman has brought on behalf of clients who were denied MassHealth benefits on the basis that they purchased joint interests in real estate.  The Office of Medicaid had argued that the purchases were disqualifying transfers in that the purchasers were elderly and infirm, with reduced life expectancy, and therefore unlikely to receive any benefit from owning property.  Judge Bruce Henry found that the client paid a fair price for the property and that the agency improperly focused on her age and infirmity in determining whether the home qualified as her exempt primary residence.

An article entitled “Problems in the Code: An Uneven Match.  Statutes of Limitations vs. Nondischargeability Actions  written by Attorney L. Alexandra Hogan, was recently published in the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal. In her article, she discusses the uneven match between statutes of limitations and nondischargeability actions.