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Proposed Law Could Bring the Death Penalty to MA ...Read More

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Spouse-As-Caregiver Bill Proposed in MA ...Read More

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"Conrad's Law" Introduced in Massachusetts Aims to Criminalize Suicide Coercion ...Read More

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Lawmakers Consider Removing Abortion Restrictions ...Read More

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FIRM OVERVIEW

LaFountain & Wollman, P.C. is conveniently located in Watertown, just outside of Cambridge, Boston, Brighton, Newton, Belmont, and Waltham. Our firm primarily focuses on Divorce / Family Law, Real Estate and Condominium Law, Personal Injury / Civil Litigation, Business Law, Probate Matters including litigation and estate planning (such as drafting wills and trusts), Landlord Tenant Law, and Immigration Law. We primarily provide legal services to clients in Middlesex County, Suffolk County, Essex County, Norfolk County, and all of the Boston metro area and beyond. For real estate matters, we also serve clients in Plymouth County, Barnstable County, and Worcester County.

Our firm structure allows us to represent clients with a diverse range of legal needs, and each matter is assigned to a lawyer who focuses their practice on the specific type of law at issue. Our attorneys focus on different specific practice areas, which allows us to help clients with a wide range of legal needs “in house,” and to collaborate when a matter involves multiple practice areas. We always advocate for the best outcome in every matter, and we keep our clients informed of all developments and options in their cases. Every attorney at LaFountain & Wollman, P.C., maintains direct relationships with their clients, returning all client communications in a timely manner.

 

To learn more, please click on the links to our law firm’s practice areas:

Recent Announcements

According to a report by Boston.com, a proposed law could make convicted cop killers eligible for the death penalty in Massachusetts.

Proposed by Republican state reps. Shaunna O’Connell and David DeCoste, the bill would give state prosecutors the option to seek capital punishment in cases involving a defendant (of at least age 18) convicted of murdering a law enforcement officer. According to the drafted legislature, anyone who murders an officer “either knowing that the victim was a law enforcement officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties or in retaliation for the performance of his or her duties, or both.”

“The people who committed these crimes, there’s no question of their guilt and we need to really stand with law enforcement and send a strong message that we do not tolerate the murder of any of our law enforcement officers.” – O’Connell

“I don’t believe that the authors of our constitution ever intended for us to be limited in terms of what we can apply the death penalty to, certainly not to protect law enforcement officers.” – DeCoste

Recent Announcements

Breaking news new law banner image featuring gavel and legal texts
According to a report by The Somerville Times, a new bill proposal, known as S28, seeks to enact a new Medicaid spouse-as-caregiver policy. Medicaid has several programs to help family caregivers. However, it currently does not have any such policy to help spouses who take on the role of caregiver for their significant other. Senate Bill S28 seeks to change that.

What Does the Act Allowing Spouses to Serve as Caregivers Entail?

This new bill seeks to enact a property titled the Act Allowing Spouses to Serve as Caregivers. The Act, if passed, allows spouses to receive support from home and community-based services fueled by the Commonwealth’s Medicaid and MassHealth programs. Some other benefits of enacting the bill include Adult Foster Care and other Personal Care Attendant programs.

Currently, 15 other states have similar programs. If Massachusetts passes bill S28, then it will be the next state to join that steadily growing list.

What Will it Take for S28 to Become Law?

For S28 to become law, it must go through the same process as any other bill in the state. In other words, the bill must pass the House-Senate and gain approval from the state Governor.

If you’d like to help support the bill, then you can call your local senator or other state representatives and respectfully ask them to consider S28.

Recent Announcements

According to a report by Boston.com, lawmakers in Massachusetts introduced an anti-sucicide coercion bill called “Conrad’s Law” last Wednesday (July 24). The bill proposes to criminlize suicide coercion with jail time for up to 5 years.

The bill was introduced in response to a suicide case from the 2014 death of Conrad Roy III. Conrad was 18-years old when he killed himself after being pressured by a 17-year-old girl named Michelle Carter.

Michelle Carter encouraged Conrad to kill himself through phone calls and text messages. She was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter after the trial in 2017. She is currently serving her 15-month jail sentence for the crime.

What Does “Conrad’s Law” Entail?

According to the report by Boston.com, “Conrad’s Law” will “allow prosecutors to charge defendants who encourage, coerce, or manipulate another person into committing or attempting suicide, despite knowing that the victim previously thought about, considered, or tried to commit suicide.”

If the law passes, the statute will carry up to a five-year prison sentence. And, it will apply to cases where a person “intentionally provides the physical means, or knowledge of such means, to the other person” or “participates in a physical act” that encourages another person to commit or attempt suicide. However, to be liable for the new law, a defendant would need “substantial control or undue influence over the victim or must have manipulated the victim’s behavior through fraud or deceit” (“Conrad’s Law”).

This Type of Law is New for Massachusetts

Until this bill proposal, there have been no official suicide-related laws on the books in Massachusetts. Before “Conrad’s Law” was proposed, the state tried suicide cases under traditional manslaughter and homicide laws.

“There is no law in Massachusetts making it a crime to encourage someone, or even to persuade someone, to commit suicide. Yet, Ms. Carter has now been convicted of manslaughter, based on the prosecution’s theory that, as a 17-year-old girl, she literally killed Mr. Roy with her words. This conviction exceeds the limits of our criminal laws and violates free speech protections guaranteed by the Massachusetts and U.S. Constitutions.” – Matthew Segal, legal director of the ACLU of Massachusetts

What this means is that it is currently very difficult to convict a person of suicide coercion under existing Massachusetts and the United States law. And, that in it of itself, is why “Conrad’s Law” is being proposed.

“While the charge of involuntary manslaughter has been shown to fit in the most egregious of cases, it is important for Massachusetts to join with 40 [other] states across the country who have already passed suicide by coercion laws for those cases that do not rise to the level of manslaughter.” – Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III

Recent Announcements

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal: Lawmakers in the state of Massachusets are considering drafting legislation that will effectively remove all of the restrictions applied to abortion procedures as well as decriminalize the act. This legislature is called the “Roe Act”; a name that is a direct callback to the Roe V. Wade Supreme Court case from years ago.

Recent Announcements

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