I am Attorney [INSERT NAME HERE] and I FIGHT for my clients! This is a common description on an attorney's website. They want you to know that they would be your champion! If you hire them you won't have to worry about your problem anymore. They'll take that monkey off your back. But is that true? Is it realistic? Is it really what you want? While the job of an attorney is often described as zealous advocacy, to equate that with fighting is to misunderstand the work of an effective attorney. Zealous advocacy means that your attorney is working hard to accomplish your goals. Unless your goal is to create conflict and start an expensive legal battle, then "fighting" is probably the last thing you want your attorney to start with. Consider these two examples: Example 1 - The Stolen Website Copy: You find out that one of your competitors has stolen copyrighted material from your website and reprinted it on their website. You call your attorney.
About a year ago we posted a series entitled Who is a Legal Parent? and addressed the many ways in which a parent (someone who takes care of a child) can also be considered a legal parent (someone who the court recognizes has rights and obligations relating to the care of a child). In the Venn Diagram to the left you can see that these two categories overlap but not everyone who is a legal parent acts like a parent, and not everyone who acts like a parent is recognized as a legal parent. Today, the Massachusetts SJC expanded the purple section of this diagram, recognizing that a non-biological parent who "jointly with the mother, received the child into their home and openly held out the child as their child" is a legal parent. In Partanen v Gallagher the SJC read the statutory definition of paternity to include a non-biological same-sex parent. "In addressing Partanen's claims on direct appellate review, we consider the question whether a person may estab