May 2019

Will devising home to testator's four children and his widow that allowed her to "remain" in the home "for as long as she desires" gave her a tenancy in common interest with protection from removal by partition

In an older case that came to my attention, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that a will that gave a widow the right to "remain" in the home "for as long as she desires" did not create a life estate when her interest was shared with the decedent's four children. Hershman-Tcherepnin v. Tcherepnin, 891 N.E.2d 194 (Mass...

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Supreme Court to decide whether discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity are forms of "sex" discrimination under federal laws

The Supreme Court accepted certiorari in three cases (Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. EEOC) and will determine whether federal employment discrimination laws that ban "sex" discrimination cover discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or...

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City of Miami has standing to challenge discriminatory mortgage lending policies of banks

On remand from a Supreme Court ruling that cities can be "aggrieved persons" injured by discriminatory housing practices, Bank of America Corp. v. City of Miami, 137 S.Ct. 1296 (U.S. 2017), the Eleventh Circuit held that the City of Miami had alleged sufficient injury to have standing to bring a Fair Housing Act claim against...

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Statutory share statute gives surviving spouse a portion of the estate of the decedent

Applying the terms of a long-existing state statute, the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts affirmed that a second spouse could take 1/3 of her deceased husband's estate when he failed to rewrite his will after his second marriage and his will had left his entire estate to his first wife. ...

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To avoid engaging in discrimination, Facebook changes its policy that had allowed advertisers for housing, employment, and credit to select which users could see their ads

Responding to a lawsuit filed by the National Fair Housing Alliance and others that alleged discrimination against families with children, women, persons with disabilities, and on the basis of national origin, Facebook announced changes in its policies to avoid engaging in discriminatory advertisements. Brakkton Booker, ...

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Condominium's policy of segregating pool hours by gender violates fair housing laws

The Third Circuit held that a condo association that adopted sex-segregated pool hours to accommodate its Orthodox Jewish residents in an "over-55" age-restricted condominum violated the Fair Housing Act both by denying access to the common area based on sex and by giving women only 3.5 hours to swim on weeknights compared to 16.5...

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