Bar Journal - March 1, 1999
By: Attorney Claire M. Hinkley
We are entering the last year of the twentieth century. This is the LAST volume of Bar Journal for this century. The Editorial Committee has worked together to bring you these last few issues in hopes that you will find some useful tips to help you in your practice and to stimulate your legal acumen.
This issue is the annual "open issue" in which we include a variety of topics engendered to appeal to the broad cross section of our members' interests. We trust that you will find something in this journal that is beneficial to you.
Several years ago, I asked a colleague if he read Bar Journal. He replied that he read articles relative to his specific practice and then others "only if the word 'sex' was in the title." Well, here it is, and I expect all of you to read it.
Our first article is thoughtfully penned by Julie Moore, and is entitled, "Sexual Harassment Investigations and Good-Faith Firings of Alleged Harassers-What is the Jury's Role?" This article reviews the sexual harassment scene from the victim's side. There may be more than one victim in a sexual harassment situation, as actor Michael Douglas found out in the movie, "Disclosure." The accused may often be fired, and the employer may find themselves in the position of having to defend their decision in front of a jury. Read on for guidance in these situations.
We then turn to the potential legal pitfalls of the LLC entity. John Cunningham reviews the requisite minimum knowledge and minimum skills standards that may be necessary for lawyers drafting LLC agreements to avoid malpractice liability. He stresses the critical importance of sound LLC forms and checklists as a means both to ensure adequate client service and to avoid potential malpractice liability in his article, "Community Legal Malpractice in LLC Formations."
John Kitchen leads us through the winding road of "Special Needs Trusts." He stresses that these trusts are a "key part of planning for a family with a disabled family member...." His final exhortation, "include trust language to require the trustee to visit with the beneficiary on a regular basis," should be a lesson to us all.
Again, we turn to another matter, which can tend to be a formula, that of prenuptial agreements. Despite our best efforts, we often just tend to reuse the same form in these types of cases. Henrietta Luneau finally gets to tells us how to do it in, "Antenuptial Agreements: A Practitioner's Guide." As many baby boomers amass wealth and get remarried, these principles are important for us to understand, both for ourselves and for our clients.
William Robinson, takes this opportunity to update his previous article in this "Update on Workers Compensation Law." For those of you who practice in this arena, this will be an invaluable resource. Attorney Robinson has managed to give us an up-to-date review of the most recent and significant Supreme Court cases involving workers compensation.
For those of you who enjoy the more esoteric and theoretical aspects of law, Kirsten Wilson reviews the state of the law with regards to the "Good Samaritan" statutes. Her article is entitled, "The Good Samaritan: A Parable of the Past of a Future Affirmative Duty?" Although you may question why we would even need to address this issue, incident after incident which continue to make headlines, indicates that society has not yet made this an affirmative duty.
Scott Johnson reviews the recent U.S. Supreme court decision in: "Bragdon v. Abbott: An Analysis and Implications for People Living with HIV/AIDS and Other Disabilities." This decision has seemingly far reaching effects for individuals with disabilities who may now seek protection under the ADA, the Fair Housing Act, and Section 504 if their physical or mental impairment substantially limits their reproductive activities.
Finally, as always, we have the clever yet critical wit of Charles DeGrandpre, as he reviews the recent decisions of our supreme court. I will leave you to see what recent cases he has decided to review. As usual, Charles is both amusing and enlightening. Enjoy!
We would like to thank the authors for volunteering to write for this issue and hope that we will hear from them again in the future.
Attorney Clare M. Hinkley is a partner with the firm of Waystack & King, Colebrook, NH.