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Peter Cole Lawyer

I offer representation in English and Portuguese.

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Learn more of Peter Cole practice areas below.

Immigration

America is a nation of immigrants. The vast majority of “illegal” immigrants are decent, hard-working people who love America. Too often, society blames them for everything, and doesn’t recognize all that they contribute to this country.

If you, or one of your loved ones, is not lawfully present in the U.S., that doesn’t mean you don’t have rights. Until a new immigration law gets passed, pay your taxes, stay out of any kind of trouble, and don’t drive if you don’t have a license. I have helped a number of people to get green cards, and I will be honest with you as to whether it is worth spending money on any attempt at legalization. I can also help if you or a loved one is being threatened with deportation. For example, when a young mother was in jail, and her abusive ex-husband was waiting to kill her in Brazil, I obtained a court ruling allowing her to stay in the United States with her son.

November 21, 2014
Announcement Concerning President Obama’s New Programs for Immigrants.

Employment

Both Massachusetts and federal law protect your right to be paid for the work you do. You have the right to be paid in full within a week of the end of the pay period. You have the right to receive the minimum wage, which in Massachusetts is $8.00 per hour. For most types of work, you have the right to receive overtime, which means time and a half when you work more than forty hours in a week. If you get hurt on the job, you have the right to receive worker’s compensation benefits. An employer can’t make you pay for the tools or supplies that you need to do your job. An employer can’dt make you give up your rights by calling you an “independent contractor.”

Make sure to keep all the documentation you can, especially check stubs. If you haven’t been paid everything you are owed for your work, call me. Many claims for unpaid wages get settled quickly through effective negotiation with the employer. If the employer won’t agree to pay, I will fight for your rights in court. For example, I won a $193,000 verdict for five painters who worked at government jobs, but received less than half of the prevailing wage required by law. I won a $76,000 judgment for two delivery drivers whose employer labeled them “independent contractors” and shortchanged them on wages.

Criminal Defense

Few things are more intimidating than to be accused of a crime. Your lawyer is the only person in the courtroom who is on your side. You need a lawyer who cares about you, who is fully informed as to the facts and the law, and who fights for you with passion and skill.

Never forget that you have the right to remain silent. If you are accused of a crime, keep quiet. You don’t know who might repeat whatever you say to them. Call me and let’s talk about your case in privacy. When a man got accused of assault and battery, and larceny, I showed the jury that his accuser’s words did not match her actions at the time in question, and that she had an ulterior motive for her story. He was acquitted on all counts. When police pressured a teenager into signing a confession for a break-in, I got the charges lowered and resolved the case through pre-trial probation, which prevented him from having a criminal record.

Business Disputes

It’s hard enough to run a small business. I run a small business myself, and I understand. It’s even harder when you don’t get paid for your services, or when someone tries to hit your business with a lawsuit.

When a masonry subcontractor didn’t get paid for their work, I chased down the general contractor until my client received every last penny. When a well-known restaurant chain tried to put a small restaurant out of business by accusing them of stealing trade secrets, I got the case dismissed. When a commercial landlord evicted a storefront church and got an $82,000 judgment, I got the judgment vacated and worked out an affordable settlement for a fraction of what the church would have paid.

Family Law

Any divorce, even an amicable one, is a sad occasion. Any time a child sees their parents separating, that is a tragedy.

If it’s too late to save a marriage, remember that better days lie ahead. I will work with you to prepare the documentation that the law requires, and more important, to work out a resolution that is fair to both sides and to any children who are involved. When all is said and done, I will fight to put you in the best position possible to be at peace and enjoy the rest of your life.

Consultation Fees

Attorney Cole charges $30.00 for a thirty-minute consultation. When you come to the office, please bring copies of any documents that help to explain the situation.