Areas of Practice

Business & Corporate Law

Business & Corporate Law is an area of practice that focuses on the legal methods of obtaining articles of incorporation from the state, or dealing with legal ramifications of a specific company. This includes profit-making businesses, a professional business such as a law office or medical office or a non-profit entity which operates for charitable, social, religious, civic or other public service purposes.

Attorney Mikal Weiss has over 25 years of experience assisting clients with a range of issues related to business finance and business entity formation.  What is the best vehicle for setting up your new or existing business?  Attorney Weiss has participated in the formation of corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and other legal entities.  He has also been involved in acquisitions, mergers, and various contract negotiations and provides advice concerning employment laws.  Attorney Weiss is well respected in the business community for his sophistication, knowledge and attention to detail, and he is a valuable resource to a large number of successful local entrepreneurs as well as more regionally based businesses.  Unfortunately, there are times when business matters become adversarial and it is necessary to resort to the courthouse for resolution.  In that event, the litigation team at Northampton Law will act to insure that clients of the firm are well represented in their quest for justice.

Civil Litigation

Civil litigation is a legal dispute between two or more parties, where one party seeks money damages or special performance. An attorney who specializes in civil litigation represents clients and parties in trial, hearings, arbitrations and mediations before administrative agencies and state and local courts.

One of the hallmarks of a civilized democracy is the willingness of the people to submit their disputes to a court of law.  Civil disagreements are far ranging, from personal injury cases, to contract disputes, real estate issues, collection matters, insurance coverages, professional malpractice, consumer protection, and the list goes on.  The litigation team at Northampton Law will vigorously pursue your claim and do everything in their power to achieve a successful outcome.  You can be sure that your matter will be personally handled and your questions and concerns promptly addressed, and you will be confident knowing that your legal representation will be of the highest quality in terms of professionalism and effectiveness.

Criminal Defense/DUI/OUI

Being charged with, or even guilty of, a “crime” does not necessarily make one a  “criminal”.  The criminal defense specialists at Northampton Law understand very well that good people can end up in bad situations.  In this  area of practice we will explore every potential defense, including illegal police conduct, lack of critical proof, or creative challenges to the law; but whether it means humanizing a responsible client and arguing passionately for the best possible disposition, or throwing flaming barrels of oil in the path of the prosecution at every stage of the criminal process, our representation will be of the highest quality, both personally and professionally.  Our attorneys have earned the respect of judges, court personnel, and prosecutors and have achieved extraordinary success over the years defending criminal charges of all nature, including:

  • motor vehicle offenses (including DUI/OUI or “operating under the influence of alcohol”);
  • drug possession/distribution/trafficking;
  • sex offenses/child pornography;
  • property crimes (robbery/breaking & entering/larceny)
  • theft/embezzlement
  • crimes of violence (assault/battery/domestic violence)
  • stalking/criminal harassment
  • manslaughter/vehicular homicide
  • probation violations
  • restraining order violations

Finally, it is worth mentioning that our criminal defense team has developed special expertise dealing with veterans’ issues as they relate to criminal charges.  If you are a veteran charged with a crime, and your lawyer hasn’t mentioned Massachusetts’ “Valor Act” (a new law which requires certain court procedures in criminal cases involving a veteran), you should definitely give us a call.

Discrimination/Sexual Harassment

Massachusetts employers with six or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against current and prospective employees based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, criminal record (inquiries only), handicap (disability), mental illness, retaliation, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetics, and active military. In addition, employers have an affirmative responsibility to provide maternity leave to biological and adoptive parents.  Furthermore, Massachusetts Law prohibits discrimination in places of public accommodation, housing, credit and services.

Sexual harassment against women and men is the most common form of harassment and comes in a number of forms. Sexual harassment can include unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature or being subjected to sexually offensive behavior that creates an unfavorable environment. Furthermore, illegal sexual conduct ranges from actions such as comments about a person’s body or questions about someone’s personal relationships to inappropriate touching and requests for sex. Sexual harassment can unreasonably interfere with an individual’s work performance and can create an intimidating, offensive and hostile work environment.

Whether it requires counseling, effective negotiation or litigation, the attorneys at Northampton Law work diligently to see that their clients are protected at every stage of the legal process.

Firearms Licensing and Permits

There has been much litigation recently concerning the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms, and it promises to continue to be a “moving target” (pun intended!) in years to come.  Massachusetts has comprehensive laws concerning firearms licensing which impact your rights considerably.  Barring certain “disqualifications” (felony and OUI convictions, for example), the Chief of Police of the city/town of residence has considerable discretion in determining who is a “suitable person” to hold a license to carry (as opposed to a simple FID card for hunting or residential protection).  There is an appeals process for anyone aggrieved by a denial, revocation or suspension.  Northampton Law has years of experience dealing with these issues and will protect your constitutional right to bear arms.

Landlord/Tenant

Massachusetts has one of the nation’s most “tenant friendly” legal landscapes concerning landlord-tenant issues.  Whether you are a tenant facing eviction, discrimination, or an unresponsive landlord or a landlord seeking to evict a non-paying or disruptive tenant, having solid legal counsel can mean the difference between frustration and relief.  Furthermore, if you are a new or existing landlord seeking to implement procedures which will insure compliance with Massachusetts law from a tenancy’s beginning to end, consulting with a trusted legal advisor at the outset will almost always be cost effective.

LGBTQ Law and Related Matters

The law protects heterosexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, transsexual, queer and other classifications of orientation from differential treatment because of status. The law provides damages in situations where status or orientation has played a motivating factor in an adverse employment or housing decision. The law also protects against discrimination or harassment due to an individual’s status or orientation.

Because the laws affecting the LGBTQ community are ever changing and are in a state of flux, it is essential to discuss your rights and protections under the law with an experienced attorney if you feel that you are being harassed, discriminated or persecuted against due to your status or orientation.  Northampton Law has represented the rights of numerous members of the community and can help ensure that your rights are being protected. Our attorneys have demonstrated a commitment to ensuring fairness and equal civil rights for members of the LGBTQ community.

Personal Injury

Suffering an injury under unexpected circumstances and caused by the behavior of another is not only painful and disabling, but also disruptive and traumatizing.  Our expert attorneys and talented, knowledgeable staff will insure that you receive the personal attention that is required under such difficult circumstances.  We handle auto accidents, slip/falls, dog bite, products liability, wrongful death and other negligence claims, as well as intentional injury cases involving police misconduct, assaults, and other matters caused by intentional misconduct as opposed to the failure to exercise due care.  We will handle your claim from beginning to end – this means our representation begins with relieving you of the burden of completing forms and gathering records to get your medical bills paid, and continues through achieving the best possible settlement or going to trial and winning your case in court.  Throughout the entire process, you will be supported by legal counsel who will protect your right to fair compensation at every stage, and repay your trust with hard work, vigorous advocacy, and a successful outcome.  Needless to say, in most cases there is no fee unless we recover money for you!

Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Real estate law encompasses a wide variety of legal issues including acquiring, financing, developing, managing, constructing, leasing and selling commercial and residential property of all kinds. This includes real estate transactions, real estate disputes, broker issues, construction defects and claims, and land use and zoning matters.

One of the most important financial decisions a person will make in their lifetime will, if they are fortunate, involve selling and/or buying a house.  You need a capable, responsive and experienced attorney to guide you through the process, while giving you the confidence that your interests are being protected and that your decision-making is informed.  If the purchase or sale involves a commercial building, those considerations are obviously just as important.  Once again, we have decades of experience managing the successful purchase, sale, refinance, transfer, financing, developing, constructing, managing, or leasing any type of real estate, and the attorneys and real estate paralegal team at Northampton Law are here to help you realize your real estate needs, dreams and ambitions.

RMV (Registry of Motor Vehicles) Appeals/Traffic Tickets

The RMV makes reference to the license or right to operate a motor vehicle as a “privilege”.  If that is indeed so, it is certainly one of the most important “privileges” we enjoy as citizens, and one that is critical to our lives and livelihoods.  These days, the laws are structured so that there are countless ways in which the RMV can suspend or revoke your “privilege” to drive (drug convictions, failure to pay child support, unpaid tickets, driving record, out-of-state convictions and court defaults are just a few examples).  If you’ve been denied relief by a “hearing officer” at the RMV, that does not have to be the end of the process, as you have appeal rights which are important and can often result in success.  Northampton Law will keep you on the road, or get you back on the road, so that your life is not constrained by a government agency that has a lot of discretionary power!

Finally, if you are found “responsible” and end up paying any ticket (“moving violation”) other than a parking fine, that too could impact both your driver’s license and your auto insurance rate(s).  If you get a ticket, call us immediately so that we can explain the appeal procedure, as well as assess you’re chances of “beating the ticket” – if you choose to be represented, our capable attorneys will maximize your chances of keeping your driving record clean and avoiding expensive insurance surcharges.

Unemployment Compensation Appeals

Bob Dylan sang “the times they are a’ changin’” – that certainly holds true for the economic times in which we live today.  A separation from employment has consequences for both employer and employee, for obvious reasons.  If an employee is terminated as part of a layoff or other “no-fault” circumstances, he/she is entitled to unemployment compensation as long as certain conditions (length of employment, for example) are met.  Often, however, the reasons for the separation are disputed and entitlement to unemployment compensation becomes a contested issue, and there is a lot at stake for parties.  Northampton Law has delivered experienced representation for both employers and employees and, given our extensive experience in other areas of litigation, can insure that the facts supporting our client’s position are presented in a way that will maximize the chances of success.  We also have the ability to counsel clients during the process of separation from employment, so that defining the circumstances after the fact does not become an exercise in recall and subjectivity.

Wills

There is a tired old saying that “there are only two sure things – death and taxes”.  Your last will and testament is a very critical document in ensuring that your wishes are carried out after your passing, whether those wishes relate to the disposition of your property or other matters of importance.  Although “making a will” is something few people want to spend time thinking about, it is our experience that once it is done, clients feel a sense of relief and accomplishment.  Northampton Law provides advice regarding the appointment of a Personal Representative (otherwise known as an “Executor”) to carry out the directives expressed in your will, the manner in which your estate will transfer assets to your named beneficiaries, and similar matters.  Meeting with us to create your will includes the preparation of a health care proxy and power of attorney, two other legal documents that are critical to providing you with peace of mind should you encounter difficulty in the future concerning managing your health or other personal affairs.