Posts tagged "Chambers"

Chambers, et al. v. RDI Logistics, Inc., et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-187-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12080   TIMOTHY P. CHAMBERS[1] & another[2]  vs.  RDI LOGISTICS, INC., & another;[3] DEE & LEE, LLC, & another,[4] third-party defendants.       Bristol.     October 5, 2016. – December 16, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Botsford, Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Independent Contractor Act.  Federal Preemption.  Statute, Federal preemption, Severability.  Practice, Civil, Summary judgment, Standing.  Employment, Retaliation.  Protective Order.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on September 20, 2013.   An emergency motion for a protective order was considered by Richard T. Moses, J.; a motion for reconsideration was considered by him; and the case was heard by him on motions for summary judgment.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Harold L. Lichten (Peter M. Delano with him) for the plaintiffs. Michael T. Grant (Andrew J. Fay with him) for the defendants.     LENK, J.  We are called upon in this case chiefly to consider whether G. L. c. 149, § 148B, the independent contractor statute, is preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA), 49 U.S.C. § 14501(c).  The plaintiffs, who contracted with the defendants through small corporations that the plaintiffs apparently formed for this purpose, performed services in Massachusetts as furniture delivery drivers.  They brought this putative class action against the defendants under the independent contractor statute, asserting that they had been misclassified as independent contractors.  Following the addition of other claims and counterclaims, summary judgment entered for the defendants dismissing the plaintiffs’ claims on the ground that they were preempted by the Federal statute. We conclude that, while a portion of the independent contractor statute is preempted by the FAAAA, the remainder is severable and remains applicable to the plaintiffs’ misclassification claim.  Nor is summary judgment dismissing that claim warranted on the separately asserted basis that the plaintiffs lack standing as individuals to assert claims for misclassification under the statute.  Material issues of disputed fact preclude the entry of summary judgment on either basis.  We conclude similarly that the dismissal, without explanation, of the claim of retaliation that Timothy Chambers individually asserts under G. L. c. 149, § 148A, was improper. Finally, we review the denial of the plaintiffs’ request for a protective order, brought in the wake of the defendants’ communications with putative class members in which they were offered payments in exchange for signed releases.  […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 17, 2016 at 1:22 am

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Commonwealth v. Chambers (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-115-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   14-P-1925                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  NAKIA CHAMBERS.     No. 14-P-1925.   Suffolk.     January 29, 2016. – September 1, 2016.   Present:  Grainger, Hanlon, & Agnes, JJ.     Destruction of Property.  Wilful, Wanton, or Reckless Conduct.  Practice, Criminal, Required finding, Lesser included offense, Instructions to jury.       Complaint received and sworn to in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department on January 2, 2014.   The case was tried before Jonathan R. Tynes, J.     Max Bauer for the defendant. Kathryn Leary, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     AGNES, J.  The defendant, Nakia Chambers, appeals from her conviction of the misdemeanor offense of wilful and malicious destruction of property with a value equal to or less than $ 250, in violation of G. L. c. 266, § 127.  We agree with the defendant that it was error to deny her motion for a required finding at the close of the Commonwealth’s case but, in the unusual circumstances of this case, we conclude that because the jury did not convict her of the offense as charged, instead returning a verdict on a lesser included offense that was supported by the evidence, the error was rendered harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.  See Commonwealth v. Lang, 24 Mass. App. Ct. 253, 259 (1987).  In view of the confusion that is evident in the record about the differentiation between the felony and the misdemeanor offenses set forth in G. L. c. 266, § 127, and the malice element required under two of the four offenses set forth in § 127, we take this opportunity to review the statute and the developments in the case law. Background.  Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, the jury were warranted in finding the following facts.  At the time of the events, the defendant resided in the third-floor apartment of 111 Fuller Street in the Dorchester section of Boston.  Mary Louise Brown and her daughter lived in the first-floor apartment, which they rented from the property owner, a bank.  Brown and the defendant had a hostile relationship due to disagreements regarding responsibility for trash collection in the building.  On the morning of December 17, 2013, Brown’s vehicle was parked temporarily at the base of the driveway to 111 Fuller Street, blocking the exit to the street.  The defendant’s vehicle was in the driveway, […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 1, 2016 at 2:51 pm

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Commonwealth v. Chambers (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-108-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     SJC‑11230   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  ANTHONY CHAMBERS.     Suffolk.     February 5, 2013.  ‑  June 13, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.     Homicide.  Self‑Defense.  Evidence, Self‑defense, Prior violent conduct, Opinion, Reputation.  Practice, Criminal, Opening statement, Instructions to jury.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on March 12, 2008.   The case was tried before Regina L. Quinlan, J.   After review by the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court granted leave to obtain further appellate review.     Kenneth I. Seiger for the defendant. Ian Polumbaum, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     GANTS, J.  The defendant was convicted by a Superior Court jury of the involuntary manslaughter of Edward Quiles.  There was no dispute that the defendant had stabbed the victim to death, but the defendant contended that he did so in self-defense.  Before trial, the judge ruled that, under our common-law rule of evidence established in Commonwealth v. Adjutant, 443 Mass. 649 (2005) (Adjutant), the defendant could offer evidence that the victim participated in a violent assault of a third person twenty-one months before the victim died in support of the defendant’s claim that the victim was the first aggressor in the incident that resulted in the victim’s death.  In his opening statement, defense counsel promised to offer this evidence, but later in the trial the judge, sua sponte, reversed her ruling and found that this evidence was not admissible because there was no dispute that the victim was the first aggressor.  The judge additionally refused defense counsel’s request to inform the jury that she found the promised evidence of the victim’s prior violent act inadmissible because there was no evidence that the defendant was the first aggressor.  The primary issue on appeal is whether the judge erred in excluding this evidence on this ground where the evidence indicated that the victim was plainly the first to provoke a nondeadly altercation but where it was hotly disputed whether the defendant or the victim was the first to grab the knife that escalated the nondeadly conflict into a deadly one.   We conclude that a judge in her discretion may admit so-called “Adjutant evidence”[1] where there is a dispute at trial as to who threatened or struck the first blow or as to who initiated the […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 13, 2013 at 5:19 pm

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Chambers, et al. v. Gold Medal Bakery, Inc., et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-020-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     SJC‑11231   MICHELE LeCOMTE CHAMBERS[1] & others[2]  vs.  GOLD MEDAL BAKERY, INC. & others.[3]     Bristol.     October 4, 2012.  ‑  February 8, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.       Corporation, Board of directors, Close corporation, Derivative action, Officers and agents, Stockholder.  Privileged Communication.  Evidence, Privileged communication, Privileged record.  Practice, Civil, Subpoena.  Subpoena.  Fiduciary.  Attorney at Law, Attorney‑client relationship, Communication with represented party, Work product.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on April 3, 2009.     A motion for a protective order was heard by Frances A. McIntyre, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     John N. Love (Anthony A. Froio with him) for the defendants. Howard M. Cooper (Heidi A. Nadel & Kimberly E. Dean with him) for the plaintiffs.     SPINA, J.  The issue presented in this appeal is whether a closely-held corporation and its corporate counsel and accountants can assert attorney-client privilege or work product protection against directors-shareholders asserting claims against the corporation and its directors.  Because there is sufficient evidence that the plaintiffs’ interests are adverse to the interests of the corporation as concerns the 2007 and present litigations, we conclude that the plaintiffs are not entitled to privileged or protected information relating to the two litigations. Background and procedure.  We recount the facts in particular detail because of their significance to the disposition of this case.  The story leading to the present appeal begins with two brothers who were in the bakery business together.  The brothers each owned fifty per cent of two closely-held companies (collectively, Gold Medal), which have grown into major suppliers of wholesale bakery products in New England. The individual parties to the present action are split along family lines, with each side of the litigation representing the legacy of one of the brothers.  On one side are Georgette LeComte and Michele LeComte Chambers, respectively widow and daughter of one of the brothers, who together own fifty per cent of Gold Medal stock.  Both joined Gold Medal’s four-seat board of directors in 2008, assuming two of the four, or fifty per cent, of the seats.  Georgette since has been replaced as director by her designee, Michael Kehoe.  These three individuals are the plaintiffs. On the other side of the […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 9, 2013 at 1:13 pm

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Chambers, et al. v. Gold Medal Bakery, Inc., et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-020-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us       11‑P‑281                                        Appeals Court   MICHELE LeCOMTE CHAMBERS[1] & others[2]  vs.  GOLD MEDAL BAKERY, INC., & others.[3]     No. 11‑P‑281. Bristol.     October 1, 2012.  ‑  February 5, 2013. Present:  Cypher, Katzmann, & Milkey, JJ.   Arbitration, Appeal of order compelling arbitration.  Corporation, Close corporation.  Contract, Arbitration, Construction of contract.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on April 3, 2009.   A motion to stay litigation and to compel arbitration was heard by Frances A. McIntyre, J.       Brian A. Davis for Roland S. LeComte & another. Heidi A. Nadel (Kimberly Dean & Christopher R. O’Hara with her) for the plaintiffs.   MILKEY, J.  Defendant Gold Medal Bakery, Inc. (Gold Medal), is a large-scale bakery based in Fall River that supplies bread and other baked goods to supermarket chains throughout the northeast.  It is a closely-held corporation whose ownership is split evenly between two branches of the LeComte family.  The plaintiffs collectively own half of the shares, with the remaining half held by defendant Roland S. LeComte and his sister-in-law Florine LeComte (not a party).  Roland S. and his son, defendant Brian R. LeComte, manage Gold Medal’s operations.  The plaintiffs allege that Roland S. and Brian, together with others, committed a variety of corporate misdeeds.  A subset of the defendants sought to compel arbitration of some of the underlying dispute and to stay the entire litigation pending resolution of the arbitration.  A Superior Court judge denied their motion, ruling that the agreement under which the defendants had moved for arbitration was no longer of any force and effect.  In this interlocutory appeal, see G. L. c. 251, § 18(a) (1), we affirm, albeit on different grounds. A.  Background.  1.  Early history.  Gold Medal was founded in 1912 by Auguste LeComte.  Auguste had two sons, Leonidas (Leo) and Roland A. (father of Roland S.).  The plaintiffs trace their ownership interests to that of Leo, while Roland S. and Florine trace theirs to that of Roland A.  Joined as a defendant is a second family business known as Bakery Products Corp. (Bakery Products).  Bakery Products is involved in the distribution of Gold Medal’s products, and it receives commissions on such sales.  From what appears in the record, the management of the two affiliated companies has been intertwined. 2.  1981 succession plans.  By 1981, Roland A. had died, and  […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 5, 2013 at 4:04 pm

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