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image credit: moolanomy Contractor Not Covered Under Subcontractor’s Policy For Claim By Subcontractor’s Employee. The rules for interpreting a contract, including an insurance policy, require a court to give meaning and effect to every word whenever practicable.  That principle is illustrated by a recent case, Phoenix Baystate Construction Co., Inc. v. First Financial Insurance Company, Massachusetts Appeals Court No. 19-P-743 (Memorandum and Order Pursuant to Rule 1:28, May 18, 2020), in which the use…
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay. Wading into a dispute about the Clean Water Act’s applicability to groundwater discharges, the Supreme Court handed environmentalists a somewhat surprising victory in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund.  However, the lower courts, EPA, and the regulated community will have many opportunities to shape the significance of the decision. Decision Summary:  The majority reaches a compromise on the regulation of groundwater discharges. The County of Maui’s wastewater treatment…
On May 1, Governor Baker issued an order mandating that people wear face coverings in public.  The order, available here, is the governor’s latest measure responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  The governor is acting pursuant to his authority under the public health statute (G.L. c. 17) and the Massachusetts Civil Defense Act (Chapter 639 of the Acts of 1950). Starting May 6, the order requires anyone in a public place who cannot “maintain a…
With the closure of non-essential businesses, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the challenges and risks associated with meeting a notary in person has become a significant obstacle in many transactions – until now.  During the Covid-19 state of emergency, documents may be notarized “remotely” under the emergency measure signed by Governor Baker on April 27, 2020: An Act Providing for Virtual Notarization to Address Challenges Related to Covid-19, Chapter
On April 16, 2020, the Suffolk Superior Court denied a bid by the recreational cannabis industry to stay open as “essential services” during the Coronavirus State of Emergency. The decision underscores the Governor’s broad powers during the State of Emergency and rejects the industry’s constitutional challenges to the Governor’s emergency orders barring sales of non-medical cannabis while allowing sales of alcohol and medical marijuana during the public health emergency. Background Three recreational cannabis companies and…
As government agencies at every level continue to implement programs to combat the spread of the Coronavirus, many environmental practitioners are struggling to make sense of what this means for their environmental permitting timelines. Below, we have compiled an overview of the main federal, state, and local changes that are likely to impact environmental permitting in Massachusetts. Federal Permitting Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE): The ACOE is still conducting business, but like the rest of…
Image by wal_172619 from Pixabay April 12, 2020- Sections 4005 and 4114(b) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, H.R. 748 (the “CARES Act”) authorize the Department of Transportation to require an air carrier receiving CARES Act funding to maintain scheduled air transportation, if DOT deems necessary, to any point served by that carrier prior to March 1, 2020. On March 31, DOT issued a Show Cause Order describing how it would implement…
Image by Alexey Hulsov from Pixabay The Governor signed into law today Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020, which includes multiple provisions aimed at reducing burdens on municipalities and state agencies caused by the ongoing response to the COVID-19 outbreak.  In addition to extending the state tax return deadline to July 15, the bill has a number of provisions directed at municipal government.  The section numbers listed in brackets below correspond to the sections…
Image by wal_172619 from Pixabay On March 29, 2019, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, H.R. 748 (the “CARES Act”) providing an unprecedented $2 trillion in aid to individuals, businesses and state and local government entities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Among the recipients of this aid are airports and the air transportation industry, which have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. Aid to Airports The CARES Act allocates $10…