Verification- Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
- Last verified: 8/13/2012
- Current status is Active
- This attorney has no record of public discipline.
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Boston University School of Law, J.D.
Cornell University, B.A.
Federal District Bankruptcy Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
Massachusetts Bar Association
Norfolk Bar Association
Community Association Institute
About Howard Goldman
Mr. Goldman regularly provides lectures for members of both the Institute of Real Estate Managers and of the Community Association Institute, non profit, national real estate trade organizations. In addition, Mr. Goldman is an active member of the Massachusetts and Norfolk County Bar Associations. Mr. Goldman serves on a panel that provides mediation screening services through the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program at the Boston Municipal Court. In his hometown of Needham, Massachusetts, Mr. Goldman serves on the Zoning Board of Appeals, and on the Boards for the Temple Beth Shalom Brotherhood and the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves on a panel that provides mediation screening services through the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program at the Boston Municipal Court. Mr. Goldman formerly served on the Board of the Needham Education Foundation, a non-profit that supports innovative educational programming in the public schools of Needham. Mr. Goldman is also a former board member of the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) and served on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Big Brother & Sister Association of Massachusetts. In August 2011, he was appointed to the Federal District Court’s Pro Bono Mediation Program, where he serves as an advocate for indigent parties at select Federal Court mediations in civil litigation matters.
Mr. Goldman is an honors graduate from Cornell University, where he received his B.A., and from Boston University School of Law, where he received his law degree. Attorney Goldman is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the Federal District Bankruptcy Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit. Mr. Goldman has three sons and is an active coach in basketball and baseball teams. He also is an avid tennis player and competes on a USTA tennis team.
Attorney Howard Goldman has affirmed the following reviews are authentic.
"As a Property Manager for various communities I have worked closely with Goldman & Pease, LLC for nearly twenty years. They have provided exceptional legal expertise and representation for the several Condominiums and Residential sites. It is without hesitation that I would give them the highest recommendation."
By Google User
"ARS has worked with Goldman & Pease, LLC since 2006. One of our first major problems was a residential claim in Swampscott Massachusetts. There was a large fire in a family's home and we ran into issues collecting a substantial amount owed to us. They handled a delicate situation magnificently and since then, we have continued to have great success with Goldman & Pease, LLC and have built a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with them. Cameron Pease and Howard Goldman have always made our experience working with them a pleasure. It has been a mutually beneficial relationship for several years now. As the President of ARS it is highly reassuring knowing that we have such a professional firm like Goldman & Pease representing us for our legal needs"
By Rich Piltch, Presidentt
"I've been working with Goldman & Pease now for over 5 years and have had very positive results using their servivces. As a Trustee of a self-managed condo association, it is a pleasure having them on our side for our legal needs. They are very professional and very knowledgeable in the condo law field."
By Joseph Puccia, River Crossing Condo Trust
Legal Questions & Answers
Unfortunately, this situation arises quite often when people start a small business without consulting an attorney. What could have easily been spelled out in a written agreement at the commencement of the business now has the potential to lead to costly litigation. What you have explained sounds like an “oral partnership” or possibly an “oral joint venture.”
My strong suggestion it to first attempt to mediate this dispute and try to come up with an agreement you can both live with going forward. Based upon your email, it seems that you have contributed the majority of the capital and the “sweat equity” so I am not quite sure why you agreed to the split of ownership that you did. If you can come to an arrangement, you should document the terms of this settlement clearly in writing. You could consider an LLC, an LLP, an S corporation or a general partnership agreement. If you cannot come to an agreement, it would seem that you would need to dissolve the partnership and file a lawsuit for an accounting of the assets, profits, and losses. Please feel free to call us to discuss your options.
The primary benefit to convert the two family building into a two unit condo is ease of sale and a basis to increase the sale price. Watertown/ Newton is a strong market with much pent up demand at the lower price point. So buyers could become excited about an affordable condo unit and perhaps cannot afford a single family home. This condo proposal requires at least a partial rehab of the units, with fresh paint and carpets, if not new kitchens and bathrooms. But to convert to a condo you must hire an architect to prepare floor plans and perhaps a land surveyor to lay out the land and the common areas, and perhaps the exclusive use common areas to be used and maintained by separate unit owners. A lawyer is also needed to draft the condo documents and to oversee the conversion to condos.
Buyers need to be careful about a two unit condo if the other unit owner fails to comply with the applicable rules and regulations, including noise control and the monthly obligation to pay the condo fees. We have received many complaints by one unit owner that the other unit owner is impossible to deal with and is violating the applicable rules and regulations.
Lender delays in processing and approving short sales is the rule and no longer the exception. The lenders also require that their purchase and sale form agreement be used and they accept few, if any, requested buyer changes to provide a balanced and fair agreement. And if the lender does not countersign the purchase agreement, the prospective buyer has no recourse. The one sided purchase agreements, even if signed by the lenders, offer little if any remuneration in the event that the sale does not occur. Finally, a buyer must be very careful to have counsel closely review the underlying title because sellers looking to conduct a short sale have amassed excessive debt and liens on their properties, all of which must be discharged prior or at closing with closing proceeds, to ensure a good and marketable title. Buyer beware in short sales!
In Massachusetts, small claims are brought for matters of $7,000.00 or less, except for an action for property damage caused by a motor vehicle. You have stated that your claim is for $9,000.00 so you would likely have to bring your case in District Court. If, however, your claim is divisible you could attempt to bring two separate cases in small claims court. For example if you had once invoice for $4,000.00 and another for $5,000.00 you could bring to cases and then attempt to have them heard together. You do not need an attorney to file a small claims case, but you can hire one if you desire. The procedure for bringing a small claims matter would be to go the appropriate District Court where your business operates or where the Defendant resides and you would fill out a form called a “Statement of Claim and Notice of Trial” and pay the filing fee. The filing for small claims varies between $40 and $150.00 depending upon the size of the claim. The court will then set a trial date and you will appear at trial and present your case. A trial is usually informal, but you will want to prepare important documentation to support your claim for $9,000.00 and explain how the transaction arose. An advantage in hiring an attorney is that they are skilled in preparing their case, know what evidence is needed to win a case and can often take aggressive steps, such as attachments, to try to collect any monies awarded. By bringing the claim yourself, you may save attorney fees, but you may not have the experience necessary to win your case and/or to collect what is owed. Good luck.
The simple answer is “no” your personal assets will not be safe. Sole proprietors and general partners in a partnership are personally and jointly responsible for all the liabilities of the business such as loans, accounts payable and legal judgments. In a corporation, however, stockholders, directors and officers typically are not liable for the company’s debts and obligations. They are limited in liability to the amount they have invested in the corporation. Insurance can help protect your personal assets, but you would not have insurance coverage for all types of debts a business may have. For example, if you sign a lease and then default on the payments, most insurance policies would not cover this debt. There are other legal vehicles other than incorporation which could also help protect your personal assets such as a limited liability company and/or a limited liability partnership. You should meet with an attorney to discuss the best vehicle is to protect your hard earned personal assets.
The answer to your question depends upon the circumstances. In all likelihood if your 1 bedroom condominium goes into foreclosure, there will be a deficiency. A deficiency is the difference between what the lender would have received under the promissory note you signed and what the property finally sells for at foreclosure. If your property is only worth about 25% of what you paid for it, your deficiency could be substantial. Assuming the lender provides the requisite notice to you, the lender would be entitled to sue you for the money that you owe the Lender under the deficiency and could seek to attach and ultimately sell your 2 bedroom condominium to satisfy the deficiency. If the 2 bedroom is your primary residence, you can file a homestead that will protect you somewhat. With the homestead, the lender that held the deficiency could not foreclose the 2 bedroom to collect the deficiency, but it could still seek to put a lien on the property and when you eventually go to sell or refinance the 2 bedroom condominium you would have to deal with the deficiency at that time. In your situation, you may consider a short sale whereby you negotiate with the lender and seek a release of any deficiency. The key in any short sale with the lender would be a release of this deficiency debt so that you can move on with your life. Good luck.
You can check with the Wellesley Town Hall first. You will want to ask either the building inspector or the Planning Board department about the zoning bylaws for the property. Most likely there was a special permit granted with requirements in managing and maintaining the fence. The building inspector is the one responsible for enforcing the bylaw and special permit requirements.
Attorney Howard Goldman serves individuals, families, and businesses throughout the Greater Boston region including Alston, Arlington, Belmont, Brighton, Brookline, Cambridge, Canton, Dedham, Dover, Milton, Natick, Needham, Newton, Norwood, Waltham, Watertown, Wayland, Wellesley, Weston, West Roxbury, Westwood, and all of Massachusetts.