Saving Taxes on Boat Purchases

May 2, 2018

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 although involving some modest cost and requiring a disciplined approach […]

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Crew Agreements?

November 8, 2017

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 of any wage, share, or other […]

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July 7, 2017

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 was. “You can’t catch […]

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Behind the Veil

June 14, 2017

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 human innovations, unleashing huge investment in new enterprises. After all, who […]

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Home Grown Estate Planning

May 10, 2017

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 home was her only asset. […]

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March 26, 2017

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 to standard language in contracts. Many clients belittle boilerplate, but if […]

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A Freezer Warehouse for Portland

January 18, 2017

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, and built with private capital. But there’s a hitch: The proposed […]

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Damaged, Part Two – Damages Recoverable in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

January 12, 2017

Last month I described the elements of an injury case: duty, breach of the duty, damages, and a sufficiently direct link between the damages and the breach. This column will focus on what kinds of damages a claimant can recover. The great majority of injury cases can be tried either to a judge alone or […]

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Will Contests

December 22, 2016

Contesting a Will A will contest – a court action to disqualify a will – is a little like a murder trial: the most important witness is dead. Because the author of a will is not around to defend it, the law has a strong bias in favor of giving effect to a will. A […]

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Damaged – A personal injury action requires that four elements be present

December 13, 2016

Every few months I get a call from someone who, due to another’s carelessness, had a very close call and was almost badly hurt. “I could have been killed”, they tell me, and, and I’m getting the call because they want to sue. A personal injury action requires that four elements be present: A duty […]

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