Cases We're Watching
Our "Top Five to Ten" List of Important Recent Cases

In order to keep our readers abreast of recent developments and legal trends, we are continuing our "top five to ten" list of cases and topics of importance to executives and professionals. This time, we are addressing cases and topics in the following fields: non-competition/non-solicitation agreements; disability discrimination; fiduciary duties; overtime law; and wrongful termination. Included in our list is also a "heads up" regarding an important Wage Act case likely to be decided soon.  Click here to read the full list of important cases to watch.
Thought Leadership
The Embattled Executive: Strategies for Protecting Compensation and Careers

In the not so distant past, it was not uncommon for successful executives and professionals to spend decades, if not their entire career, with one organization.  Increasingly, however, that is not the case.  These days, many executives, at one point or another, see their career, compensation, and reputation jeopardized amid allegations of wrongdoing - whether based upon individual performance, overall business performance, or allegations of misconduct. Read more.
Fiduciary Duties: Expansion Of Protections for Shareholder-Professionals
As a general rule in Massachusetts, the officers and directors of a corporation do not owe fiduciary duties to individual shareholders, which duties are instead owed to the corporation itself. Read more
Heads Up
If You Want to Spend Medical Leave on the Beach, Talk to Your Lawyer First: In

DaPrato v. Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the Supreme Judicial Court made clear that employers should not be substituting their own prejudices for the opinions of medical professionals, and that even an allegedly "honest mistake" as to whether an employee was abusing medical leave by spending it on vacation, did not shield the employer from liability for retaliatory discharge.  While the Court did recognize that an employer may consider whether an employee's activities are inconsistent with the medically documented reasons for the leave, the Court also observed that "an employee recovering from a leg injury may sit with his leg raised by the sea while fully complying with FMLA requirements..." 

Negotiated Settlements Based on Fraud May Not Bar Greater Recovery in Court: On May 3, 2019, in Conway v. Planet Fitness, a Massachusetts jury awarded a former CFO ten times the amount for which she settled based on a theory of fraud in the inducement. The CFO alleged that she settled her potential wrongful termination claims, including those involving her profit interest in the company, for $500,000 because her employer intentionally concealed from her the status and value of a pending private equity transaction. The jury found that the correct settlement value would have been $5.36 million, not $500,000, had the correct information about the pending transaction been revealed. If you think something like this happened to you, consult legal counsel as soon as possible. The time frame for filing such claims can be very short.  

Sherin and Lodgen Accolades
Sherin and Lodgen's Employment Law Department Recognized by Chambers USA

Sherin and Lodgen LLP was recently ranked for Labor & Employment: Mainly Plaintiffs Representation in the 2019 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business.   Nancy S. Shilepsky  and  Brian J. MacDonough 
were recognized as notable practitioners in the rankings. 

Nancy was also ranked as a Star Individual in Labor & Employment: Mainly Plaintiffs Representation. A "Star" ranking is Chambers' highest ranking and is given to lawyers with exceptional recommendations in their field. She is the only Massachusetts attorney in this practice area to receive a "Star" ranking.  Read more.  
Brian J. MacDonough presents at MCLE seminar on Preventing and Litigating Wage and Hour Cases 

Brian J. MacDonough, partner in the firm's Employment Law Department, served as a panelist for the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) seminar, " Preventing & Litigating Wage & Hour Cases 2019." The seminar provided an overview of federal and state wage and hour laws, identified common compliance issues and theories of liability, and discussed the pros and cons of a mandatory arbitration program. The event was held at the Boston MCLE Conference Center on June 20, 2019.
David I. Brody moderates BBA program on litigating employment cases

David I. Brody, associate in the firm's Employment Department, moderated a program, " Litigating Employment Cases: Recent Trends and Rule Changes," at the Boston Bar Association (BBA) on June 10, 2019. The program provided valuable insight regarding recent rule changes, and how those changes affect employment litigation in Superior Court. David and fellow panelists also addressed trends in discrimination and wage and hour cases coming out of the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court.
Jaclyn L. McNeely volunteers at Pine Street Inn with fellow WBA New Lawyers Committee members

Jaclyn L. McNeely participated in the Women's Bar Association's New Lawyers Committee Volunteer Night on June 14, 2019 at the Pine Street Inn, which provides street outreach, emergency services, supportive housing, job training and connections to employment to homeless individuals. Jaclyn, who's co-chair of the committee, assisted with the dinner service on the women's side of Pine Street Inn. 
Nancy S. Shilepsky appointed Employee Side U.S. Track Coordinator for the International Employment Track at the ABA's 13th Annual Labor and Employment Law Section Conference

Nancy S. Shilepsky has been appointed as one of the two United States Track Coordinators for the International Employment Track at the American Bar Association's (ABA) 13th Annual Labor and Employment Law Section Conference. She will be responsible for the panel on "The Brave New World: NAFTA 2.0, BREXIT and Cross-Border Labor Migration," which will include lawyers from Argentina, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Conference is taking place in New Orleans from November 6-9, 2019. 
About Sherin and Lodgen LLP 

Sherin and Lodgen is a mid-sized Boston law firm specializing in real estate, litigation, business law and employment. With over 40 attorneys, the firm handles complex matters, while providing responsive, senior-level attention to every matter.  Known for its effective, efficient and focused representation, Sherin and Lodgen delivers sophisticated analysis and a high touch service by developing an in-depth understanding of clients' business goals, issues, concerns and emerging industry trends. Visit our website to learn more.