Spring 2019 Newsletter


German Ambassador to the United States,
Her Excellency Emily Haber with Marc Redlich 
Dear Friends and Colleagues,

     Spring is finally here, and it couldn’t be more welcome in New England, which I suspect is the general consensus in most of the country. As always, I hope this letter finds you and your family well.  Over the last several months, we have had a string of successes for our clients that I thought you would be interested in knowing about. 

     You may recall a case in which we obtained a partial summary judgment decision for one of my university clients.  It involved a woman who fell down the outside front stairs of the university’s off-campus convention center.  The case was more complicated than the usual slip and fall case.  For one thing, the plaintiff made claims that the university had violated the building code and was therefore (allegedly) strictly liable for her injuries.  Further complicating the case was the question whether the cap on personal injury damages available by statute to the university as a charitable nonprofit organization, was available to it in the context of a convention center that was utilized not just for university activities, but also for private events.  The summary judgment, which ruled for the most part in favor of my client, encouraged the parties to go to voluntary, non-binding mediation. We worked with a very experienced retired Judge, who assisted the parties in arriving at a resolution of the case. As in most mediated settlements, the terms of the settlement must remain confidential.

     Over the years I have been involved in many real estate litigation matters.  These have involved a wide range of issues, including project development problems, disputes between developers, contractors, engineers and architects, and in some cases, disputes between the developers and state or local governments. Among them have been landlord-tenant cases, generally involving commercial owners and tenants.  We had very positive results during the last year on two such cases.  In a previous newsletter, I discussed my action for a property owner against a commercial tenant who left the premises ten months before the end of its lease term.  The tenant claimed that by saying it was “surrendering” the property, it was relieved of all responsibility for the last ten months’ rent of the lease, during which the property owner had been successful in re-renting the property to another tenant, albeit at a lower rent.  We felt strongly about our position that the owner’s re-entering and re-leasing the property did not result in a loss of its rights for the portion of the rent it lost due to the tenant’s premature abandonment.  This past December a Justice of the Superior Court agreed with our arguments and as a result, entered pre-trial summary judgment for my client against the defendant tenant and its owner, who had guaranteed the tenant’s obligations.

     In another commercial rental case, I was asked to assist a nonprofit corporation in evicting a tenant who had been consistently late paying its rent and related charges. The tenant contended that it had a right to stay for various legal reasons it presented.  After a trial, our client was granted a judgment of “possession”, giving it the right to evict the tenant.  The Court also ordered the tenant to pay all of my client’s attorneys’ fees and litigation costs.

     Additionally, I represent the CEO of a medical software company who was unexpectedly terminated from her employment.  The severance package presented to my client was unacceptable to her and to me, since it failed to give credit to her accomplishments while CEO, and which provided far less than had been afforded to the previous CEO, a male, when he left the company.  In this regard, we felt that subtle but real gender discrimination had been practiced against my client. One interesting issue had to do with the company’s introduction of a new stock incentive plan just before my client’s hiring, which was different and less advantageous than the one from which the prior male CEO had benefitted.  I felt that this was analogous to a company paying a female employee a lower salary than a comparable male employee.  Many of you have heard of the Lilly Ledbetter Pair Pay Act, allowing women who have been paid less than their male counterparts to bring action for discrimination that may have begun many years before, and which are now outside of the statute of limitations for bringing legal actions.  That legislation allowed legal action to be brought when the unfairness and discrimination was discovered by the female employee.  As it turned out, our arguments in this regard were successful in convincing the company to provide a more equitable severance package to my client.

     All of these cases have been hard fought and resolved since this past April, although some have been in process for a number of years. I am very pleased that our firm could be of assistance in successfully concluding them.

     I have continued to be involved in activities involving Switzerland and Germany. Recently, I attended a dinner at Brandeis University sponsored by its Department of German Language and Culture, at which the keynote address was given by Her Excellency Emily Haber, the Ambassador of Germany to the United States. The Ambassador presented very timely remarks concerning the Transatlantic Partnership which has been a vital force in keeping our country and Western Europe free and democratic over the nearly 75 years since the end of World War II. As the philosopher George Santayana famously remarked, those who forget history are bound to repeat it – wisdom which is sorely needed in the approach to foreign affairs these past couple of years.  A photo of Ambassador Haber and myself at that dinner is included with this letter.

     Also included is a photo of me and the Consul of Switzerland and Director of Swissnex in Cambridge, Christian Simm.  This was taken at a Friends of Switzerland luncheon at which Mr. Simm spoke about the activities of Swissnex.  As some of you may recall, I assisted the Government of Switzerland in establishing the Consulate known as Swissnex almost 20 years ago.

     As always, 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.

     As always, I look forward to hearing from you.

                                                   Kindest personal regards,
                                                   Marc Redlich


Swiss Consul and Director of SwissnexBoston, Hon. Christian Simm with Marc Redlich

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