Reminder: On October 1, 2018, LDRC moves its Boston Area office to:

858 Washington Street
Dedham, MA 02026

Part 1:
Quote of the Quarter

“If you live in this world
You're feelin' the change of the guard.”
(Becker & Fagan 1972)

Well, Chouteau was always a woman of her word, and after spending the month of August taking care of newly minted grandbaby boys, she really is retiring. She will spend September wrapping up cases and breaking down our old office…

Part 2:
Not Shy and Definitely Not Retiring

This quarter’s newsletter is a bit early, both to carry the new address reminder above, and because our not-so-sophisticated communications strategy (where did you go, Anthony Scaramucci?) has left people asking:

  1. Are you retiring, too?
  2. Have you moved to the Northampton?

The answers are “nope” and “not so much”.

First, the nope: I am not retiring. LDRC is morphing from a 2-person practice to a solo operation, but doing the same work, in the same markets, and with the same intensity; just with a new eastern office, courtesy of our friend and mediator colleague, Barbara Nason.

Same convenience, same comforts, maybe better snacks.

Second, the not so much: we continue to enjoy our bi-coastal life (Judge Linda Fidnick’s wry description), from the Atlantic to the Connecticut, and I continue to work cases in both places. One of the great luxuries that a private dispute resolution practice affords is the flexibility to be where we want to be when we want to be there.

Think of it this way: when we are not here, we are there.

Part 3:

“What me, worry?
(Alfred E. Neuman 195?)

One deadline down, two more to go. As confusion and uncertainty continue to reign about the 2019 federal tax treatment of alimony deals struck in 2018, we feature two articles that recently appeared both in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (mine in the original form, before LW editing) and the LDRC Blog.

The first is old friend Jon Field’s reassuring view that may be summarized as: if it qualified under federal law before, it will still qualify in 2019, so long as the agreement is struck before the end of New Year’s Eve.

The second is my reply, which reflects that slightly more fevered view: if the Treasury Department chooses to implement the new tax law in a way that mitigates GOP’s $1.5 trillion fiscal folly that they jestingly call “tax reform” (the joke is on us), it may just require executed alimony instruments and incorporated court orders and maybe even final divorces, to qualify for deductible alimony treatment to hold.

The paranoid view is that it may already be too late for joint divorce petitioners and by month’s end, it may be too late for the rest. Meanwhile, we are all spending disproportionate time dealing with parties’ anxieties (they have enough already) about whether they need to rush their negotiations, for tax purposes.

I hope you’ll focus on more than the mild debate, and more on how we all may do the best we can to cover as many bases as we can with divorcing parties as we enter the radioactive zone of Q4 2018, just in case.

Summer’s over, so I hope you have a great autumn.


© 2018 Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC. Dedham and Northampton, MA
781.708.4445 | 413.341.1017 | Email: wmlevine@levinedisputeresolution.com

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