April 2014 Newsletter

   Ambassador of Poland to the United States, Hon. Ryszard Schnepf, with Marc Redlich
Dear Friends and Colleagues,

    It has been a cold winter with more than our fair share of snow here in New England.  I hope that by the time you receive this, we will all be enjoying warmer weather.  Over the past six months, we have been involved in a number of matters that I thought you would be interested in knowing about.

    You may recall that in my last newsletter I told you about the settlement of a case involving business consultants who, in addition to suing my corporate client on their consulting agreements, also claimed treble damages and attorneys’ fees pursuant to the Massachusetts Wage Act, on the theory that they should have been treated as employees rather than independent contractors.  As I had already reported, that case was settled and the consultants are now shareholders.  Better yet, the company has obtained FDA approval for its medical device.  Settlement of that earlier action made it more feasible for the client’s leadership to focus on business matters and particularly the FDA approval process.  We were also able to convince the client’s insurance company to pay a significant portion of the attorney’s fees incurred in defending the consultants’ lawsuit. 

    I represent the trustee of a Massachusetts Business Trust who finds himself embroiled in a dispute with the wife of a deceased co-trustee and beneficiary.  These types of family- business inheritance situations are often difficult to resolve, but we have worked out, at least on an interim basis, an approach for arriving at a method for valuation and for the sale of the Trust’s real estate in order to resolve the dispute.  At least for the present, settlement is being pursued rather than active litigation in court.

    In an earlier newsletter I told you about my representation of a European executive who was employed by both a German corporation and its U.S. subsidiary.  This situation involved several agreements, including a “Change of Control” agreement.  The German parent corporation was later acquired by a major international conglomerate.  I am pleased to say that my client’s severance payment issues have all been successfully resolved in a settlement with the U.S. and European companies, with no non-competition restrictions on his future employment opportunities.

    As you know, I have been involved in university and school cases for several decades.  I have been on both sides of these disputes, in some cases representing the university or school and in others, representing the faculty member or student.  Often, these cases have to be resolved by litigation either in court or arbitration.  In an ongoing case, I have been providing both legal and practical advice to a doctoral candidate who ran into problems with his thesis advisor.  Rather than engaging in litigation, we have been exploring other amicable means of resolving the matter so that my client can obtain his doctorate degree and move on with his professional career.  At this point, a resolution looks reasonably possible.

    I have represented a number of clients in divorce matters over the years as part of my general litigation practice.  For a number of reasons, divorces are often more difficult and intractable than normal business disputes, in large part because of the emotional impact on the divorcing clients.  This is true leading up to the divorce trial or settlement; and it continues even years after the divorce judgment.  I am now representing a client who is being sued by his former spouse on account of an obligation dating back nearly ten years, when the divorce was granted.  I have advised clients that at the end of the road there is indeed life after divorce.  Unfortunately, there is not always peace and quiet even long after divorce.

    The Boston Eric M. Warburg Chapter of the American Council on Germany has sponsored a number of speaker events over this past year, including its support of the German Conference at Harvard, an annual two-day event each February.  This year, the Conference focused on international security.  Among the speakers were members of the German and American diplomatic corps, legislators and experts in matters of national security and defense, including Hon. Wolfgang Ischinger, the former German Ambassador to the U.S., who is now Director of the Munich Security Conference.  The issue of international security among the U.S. and its European allies has of course become of even more immediate and vital concern with the crisis in the Ukraine. 
In a very timely event last month, the ACG participated in a luncheon with the Boston Committee on Foreign Relations in which the Polish Ambassador to the United States, Hon. Ryszard Schnepf, addressed the unfolding crisis in the Ukraine and how it affected its neighbor, Poland.  In another event co-sponsored by the ACG and the Goethe Institute of Boston, Katja Gloger, a journalist with Stern magazine, gave a presentation on the recent security leaks by Edward Snowden, and what this means for both national security and protection of privacy. 

    Friends of Switzerland continues its monthly Stammtisch speaker luncheons, which included a presentation by Professor Robert Allison of Suffolk University about the life and accomplishments of Albert Gallatin, a Swiss national who came to America and became the longest-serving Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, holding that office for sixteen years during the administrations of Presidents Jefferson and Madison. He was instrumental in arranging for the financing of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition.  Even in retirement, Gallatin went on to become one of the founders of New York University.  Swissnex, the Consulate of Switzerland in Cambridge, also sponsored a Swiss Conference at Harvard, which was attended by members of academe, the diplomatic corps and FOSI’s recent Stratton Laureate, philanthropist and business leader Dr. Hansjoerg Wyss.  Photos from these events are attached.

        We continue to practice in a wide range of legal areas, including corporate, business and commercial law, trials and appeals, real estate issues, employment, discrimination, divorce and university law.  If you have any questions about our areas of practice or about any legal matters where we can be of assistance to you or someone you know, please do not hesitate to call on me.


                            Marc Redlich




Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference
with Marc Redlich.  (Photo by Dominic Tschoepe)

Business leader and philanthropist Dr. Hansjoerg Wyss
and Marc Redlich at Swiss Day at Harvard.

Stern journalist Katja Gloger with Detlef Gericke-Schoenhagen,
 Director of the Goethe Institute-Boston and Marc Redlich

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