Articles

Property in Divorce

For divorce law, the 50 states are divided between "community property" states and "equitable distribution" states. In community property states, all property owned during marriage - not just property acquired during marriage - is split down the middle and divided...

Where Was I?

Where Was I? When we last corresponded, my wife and I were about to set off on our sailboat (a 34 foot Cabo Rico cutter), the goal being the Bahamas. We did the trip, and it was both a blast and relatively uneventful, by which I mean with no disasters and few close...

Saving Taxes on Boat Purchases

Last month's column addressed the question of whether to state register or federally document a boat, and I observed that federally documenting a boat would not typically allow the owner to avoid paying Maine sales and use tax. But there is a way, entirely legal...

Crew Agreements? Yes, crew agreements.

Yes, crew agreements. Federal law requires that the owner of a fishing vessel sailing from a U.S. port and of 20 gross tons or over must have a written employment agreement with each seaman. The agreement must state the effective dates of the agreement, and “the terms...

Duty

A farmer had a draft horse to sell and a man from a nearby town was interested. "There's just two things wrong with that horse", the farmer told his prospect. "I'll tell you one now, and one if you buy the horse." The prospect agreed and asked what the first thing...

Behind the Veil

Until modern times the investors in a company were personally liable for its debts and other liabilities. The enactment of laws allowing investors in a company to limit their liability to the amount invested is reckoned by many economists as among the greatest of...

Home Grown Estate Planning

Home Grown Estate Planning Not long after I started my law practice an older lady found her way to my door. She had three grown children and her husband was gone. After she was widowed she worried about what would happen to her Portland home when she passed away. The...

Boilerplate

In the 19th century, advertisers sometimes supplied copy to newspapers in curved steel plates, ready to be placed in the rotary printers of that day. This prepared text became known as "boilerplate", after curved plates used to make boilers, and the term applies today...

A Freezer Warehouse for Portland

Here's a piece I wrote for the Portland Press Herald. It appeared January 18, 2017. The Port of Portland has been offered a generational opportunity: a modern freezer warehouse, accessible by sea, rail, air and highway, available to every food producer in the region,...

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