Varnum LLP

Excise Tax Kicks In Jan. 1 On Certain Medical Devices

Beginning January 1, 2013, manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices will be required by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to pay a new 2.3 percent medical device excise tax on the sales of taxable medical…more

Excise Tax, FDA, IRS, Manufacturers, Medical Devices

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Federal Judge Rules BCBSM’s “Value of Blue” Report Did Not Disclose Hidden Fees

A federal judge in the case of Alma Products v. BCBSM recently agreed with arguments presented by Varnum that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's "Value of Blue" report did not reveal that it was charging hidden fees (often…more

Blue Cross, Health Insurance, Hidden Fees, Self-Funded Health Plans

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Employee Benefits After The Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Decision

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Obergefell v. Hodges establishes a national right to same-sex marriage and requires states to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Generally speaking, this ruling…more

Anti-Discrimination Policies, Benefit Plan Sponsors, Civil Rights Act, DOL, DOMA

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Legislation Allows Michigan Companies To Raise Capital, Avoid Federal Crowdfunding Rules

Effective December 30, 2013, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder enacted into law Public Act 264 of 2013 (the "Act"). Among other things, the Act establishes a crowdfunding method of raising capital in Michigan. "Crowdfunding" refers to…more

Crowdfunding, JOBS Act, Startups

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Michigan Legislation In 2012

Congress was not the only busy legislative body in December. Our state legislature also passed, and the Governor signed, several important bills which affect estate planning for Michigan residents. We found the following to be…more

529 Plans, Estate Planning, Estate Tax, Irrevocable Trusts, Power of Attorney

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NLRB Issues New Report on Employment Handbook Violations: Do you need a Handbook Review?

On March 18, 2015, the Office of the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board, Richard F. Griffin Jr., released the much-anticipated report of cases raising significant legal or policy issues arising in the context…more

Employee Handbooks, New Guidance, NLRA, NLRB

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Legislation Allows Michigan Companies To Raise Capital, Avoid Federal Crowdfunding Rules

Effective December 30, 2013, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder enacted into law Public Act 264 of 2013 (the "Act"). Among other things, the Act establishes a crowdfunding method of raising capital in Michigan. "Crowdfunding" refers to…more

Crowdfunding, JOBS Act, Startups

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Michigan’s BYOB Wine Legislation Now In Effect

After considerable anticipation, House Bill 5046, one of three pieces of legislation regulating Michigan liquor licensees that was approved in late 2013, is scheduled to take effect the week of March 10, 2014…more

Hotels, Resorts & Restaurants, Restaurant Industry, Wine & Alcohol

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2015 COLAs for Employee Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2015 cost of living adjustments to various limits on employee benefit plans. The adjusted amounts generally apply for plan years beginning in 2015. Some of the adjusted amounts,…more

COLA, Cost-of-Living, Employee Benefits, IRS

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When it Comes to Incorporating Your Startup, Why Delaware?!?

When you're the second smallest state and your neighbors are NYC and Philly, you have to do something to stand out. So, when Calvin Coolidge announced that the "Business of America is business," someone in Delaware was paying…more

Business Formation, Delaware General Corporation Law, Entrepreneurs, IPO, Publicly-Traded Companies

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Excise Tax Kicks In Jan. 1 On Certain Medical Devices

Beginning January 1, 2013, manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices will be required by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to pay a new 2.3 percent medical device excise tax on the sales of taxable medical…more

Excise Tax, FDA, IRS, Manufacturers, Medical Devices

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Restrictive Wind Zoning Struck Down By Court

A wind energy development company, Forest Hill Energy, recently won an order striking down alleged police power ordinances attempting to regulate the construction and operation of wind turbines in Clinton County, where the…more

Clean Energy, Local Ordinance, Power Plants, Renewable Energy, Wind Power

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New Regulations Expected this Fall May Limit Valuation Discounts in Certain Asset Transfers

For high-net worth individuals – particularly those whose assets include closely-held business interests or family investment entities – anticipated changes in the valuation of those assets for estate and gift tax purposes…more

Asset Valuations, Closely Held Businesses, Estate Tax, Family Businesses, Gift Tax

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Watt’s New? Michigan Energy Newsletter - December 2013

In This Issue: - Challenge to Coal Plant's Modified Air Permit Fails - Electric Reliability Project to Include Focus on Outages - Michigan Shorts - Consumers Energy May Terminate Case for New Gas Plant -…more

Air Pollution, Certificate of Need, Coal, Permits, Power Grid

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H-4 Spouse Employment Authorization and H-1B Cap Reminder

On May 26, 2015, USCIS will begin accepting employment authorization applications for some H-4 dependent spouses. H-4 spouses are eligible for work authorization if their H-1B spouses have..…more

DHS, Employment Authorization Document, H-4 Spouses, Spouses, USCIS

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Growing Michigan - Fourth Quarter 2014

In This Issue: - GAPPs Improve Michigan Food Processing - 30 Projects Announced to Support Michigan Specialty Crop Growers - Proposed Privacy Fences Around Michigan Apiaries - Great Lakes Ag-Tech…more

Economic Development, Entrepreneurs, Farms, Food Manufacturers, Immigration Reform

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2015 COLAs for Employee Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2015 cost of living adjustments to various limits on employee benefit plans. The adjusted amounts generally apply for plan years beginning in 2015. Some of the adjusted amounts,…more

COLA, Cost-of-Living, Employee Benefits, IRS

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Kid on the Hot Seat: Child Witnesses in Divorce

Recently, I have been part of more discussions than usual about the propriety of having a minor child testify as a witness in a custody dispute or divorce matter…more

Child Custody, Divorce

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Battery Currents: Advanced Energy Storage - April 4, 2013

In This Issue: - Chinese Auto Parts Maker Buys A123 Systems - Return of ARRA Funds - Tax Incentives Extended for Battery Maker - Ford Increases Electric Vehicle Dealers and Pushes Sales - Michigan Lithium-Ion…more

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Tenants Escape Liability for Fire Damage

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently found that a landlord could not pursue tenants for fire damage caused by the tenants.  In Gauthier v. Elkins, unpublished opinion* of the Court of Appeals, issued November 13, 2014 (Docket…more

Fire Damage, Landlords, Liability, Tenants

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NLRB Allows Employee Use of Employer Email System for Union Business

The National Labor Relations Board ("Board") has ruled that employees who have been provided access by their employer to an employer-owned email system are presumptively entitled to use that email system to engage in Section 7…more

Email, NLRB, Protected Concerted Activity, Purple Communications, Unions

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NLRB Issues New Report on Employment Handbook Violations: Do you need a Handbook Review?

On March 18, 2015, the Office of the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board, Richard F. Griffin Jr., released the much-anticipated report of cases raising significant legal or policy issues arising in the context…more

Employee Handbooks, New Guidance, NLRA, NLRB

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2015 COLAs for Employee Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2015 cost of living adjustments to various limits on employee benefit plans. The adjusted amounts generally apply for plan years beginning in 2015. Some of the adjusted amounts,…more

COLA, Cost-of-Living, Employee Benefits, IRS

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Michigan ATMs Hit With Class Action Lawsuits Alleging Non-Compliance With ADA Requirements

The first ATM accessibility class-action lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") were filed in federal district court in Michigan earlier this month. The class-action lawsuits request a permanent injunction…more

ADA, ATMs, Class Action

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A Nationwide Right: Same-Sex Marriage Legalized in a Monumental Decision and its Impact on Estate Planning

June 26, 2015. A date that will undoubtedly be added to our history books and remembered for generations. This is because on this day, the Supreme Court of the United States guaranteed the right to same-sex marriage nationwide,…more

Adopted Children, Adoption, Anti-Discrimination Policies, Divorce, DOMA

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It’s a bird…It’s a plane…It’s UAV, man

The day may not be far off when part of a farmer's normal daily routine involves reviewing data and images from one of the farm's unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), more commonly known as drones. Originally Published in…more

Drones, FAA, Farms, NTSB, Unmanned Aircraft Systems

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Ready for Investment? What to Expect in a Typical Preferred Stock Term Sheet

If your company is ready for investment, congratulations! You've reached a milestone. Now you must ensure that both you and your investors have a documented understanding of the terms under which they will make a financial…more

Equity Financing, Preferred Shares, Startups, Term Sheets, Venture Funding

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Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) Now in Effect

The purpose of this Client Advisory is to address the risks associated with sending commercial electronic messages without complying with the provisions of the Canada Anti-Spam Legislation of 2014 (the "CASL"), which was passed…more

Canada, CASL, Commercial Electronic Messages

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Excise Tax Kicks In Jan. 1 On Certain Medical Devices

Beginning January 1, 2013, manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices will be required by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to pay a new 2.3 percent medical device excise tax on the sales of taxable medical…more

Excise Tax, FDA, IRS, Manufacturers, Medical Devices

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Growing Michigan - Fourth Quarter 2014

In This Issue: - GAPPs Improve Michigan Food Processing - 30 Projects Announced to Support Michigan Specialty Crop Growers - Proposed Privacy Fences Around Michigan Apiaries - Great Lakes Ag-Tech…more

Economic Development, Entrepreneurs, Farms, Food Manufacturers, Immigration Reform

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Cafeteria Plans: IRS Provides New Opportunities For Some Plans

The IRS recently issued guidance providing limited relief to the “use it or lose it” rule. Under the new guidance, employers may amend their cafeteria plan to permit participants to carryover up to $500 of unused contributions…more

Cafeteria Plans, Health Insurance Exchanges, Healthcare, HSA, IRS

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Self-Tracking Solar Panels Eliminate Costly Alignment Systems

One of the technologies showcased at ARPA-E again this year was from Glint Technology. I first spoke with this company last year, and now understand that they think their technology will be "ready for prime time" in one more…more

Emerging Technology Companies, Energy Sector, Renewable Energy, Solar Panels, Technology

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Don’t Jeopardize Your Patent Rights: Best Patent Practices for Startups

For young, startup companies, the landscape of patents can be difficult to navigate. Patents are expensive and complex and require substantial time and money that are often at a premium for startup companies. At the same time,…more

Business Assets, Entrepreneurs, Patents, Startups

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Consumer Attorneys Target Collection Agencies And Attorneys Over Garnishment Costs

Consumer attorneys in Michigan have recently filed a rash of class action lawsuits against collection agencies, their attorneys, and even creditors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") and Michigan law over…more

Attorney's Fees, Class Action, Damages, Debt Collection, Debtors

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But I’ve Always Had a Dock on the Easement

For decades Michigan courts have been called upon to decide whether a waterfront easement, platted way, or similar access device permits the user to exercise riparian rights – the ability to install a dock and moor boats to that…more

Appeals, Easements, Homeowners, Permits, Private Property Rights

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Protective Order Issued in Suit to Stop EPA from Releasing Farmers’ Information

A federal district court in Minnesota recently issued a protective order prohibiting the EPA from releasing information about animal feeding operations—including farmers' names, home addresses, telephone numbers and email…more

EPA, FOIA, Protective Orders, Public Disclosure

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Exporters, Are You Leaving Money on the Table? The IC-DISC Tax Incentive

No one is interested in paying more than is necessary in federal taxes, but for some closely held companies in the business of exporting U.S.-made goods, this may be the case if they fail to take advantage of a special export…more

Business Taxes, Closely Held Businesses, Exporters, IC-DISC, Manufacturers

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Michigan Court of Appeals Reverses Adoption of Indian Child; Cites Michigan Adoptive Placement Preference Standards

As mentioned in a recent blog post regarding child custody proceedings involving Indian children in Michigan, significant legal and procedural requirements must be met before an Indian child may be adopted…more

Adoption, Minors, Native American Issues

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Supreme Court Issues Opinion in Controversial NLRB v. Noel Canning Case

On June 26, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in NLRB v. Noel Canning, the controversial case dealing with the President's ability to make appointments while the Senate is in "recess."…more

Barack Obama, Canning v NLRB, NLRB, Recess Appointments, SCOTUS

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Exporters, Are You Leaving Money on the Table? The IC-DISC Tax Incentive

No one is interested in paying more than is necessary in federal taxes, but for some closely held companies in the business of exporting U.S.-made goods, this may be the case if they fail to take advantage of a special export…more

Business Taxes, Closely Held Businesses, Exporters, IC-DISC, Manufacturers

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Same-Sex Couples Should Take Exception With The Missing Exemption

In the wake of the recent determination of the unconstitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, the mind of a tax attorney begins to wonder about the practical income tax implications for same-sex couples…more

DOMA, Exemptions, Income Taxes, IRS, Marriage

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Michigan Tax Update: Ballot Initiative Good for Tribes

The Michigan legislature has approved a ballot initiative that will be submitted for voter approval in May 2015. If approved, the initiative will impact Tribes in two important ways..…more

Citizen Initiative Campaigns, Fuel Tax, Native American Issues, Sales & Use Tax

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Legal Help with Labor and Employment Disputes

Scenario No. 1: One of your key employees e-mails you to tell you the stress of the job has given her medical problems, and that this situation is made worse by the breakup of her relationship with one of your managers. You were…more

Best Management Practices, Employer Liability Issues

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Fundraising By Private Companies: SEC Lifts Ban On General Solicitation

Effective September 23, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") lifted the ban on general solicitation and advertising in connection with certain fundraising activities. This rule change was required by the…more

Advertising, Crowdfunding, Dodd-Frank, Funding, Fundraisers

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Growing Michigan - Second Quarter 2013

In This Issue: - Monsanto Wins Supreme Court Patent Case Concerning Roundup Ready Soy Beans - Farm Bill Moves Forward But Remains in Doubt - Bridge to Prosperity: New Bridge Between U.S. and Canada Approved -…more

Affordable Care Act, Bowman v Monsanto, Bridges, Canada, Farm Bill

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Cottage Owners, Relax: New Law Can Help Keep the Family Cottage in the Family

As Michigan's cottage season gets into full swing, it is a great time to celebrate a bit of good news for Michigan cottage owners. Recent changes in the law have made it significantly easier for cottage owners to transfer a…more

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Convertible Notes – a Great Tool for Investment

So you have started your company! Maybe you have an investor or are looking for investors. How do you structure an investment to set everyone up for success? For many companies, convertible notes are the right answer…more

Business Valuations, Convertible Debt, Debt Financing, Entrepreneurs, Small Business

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Businesses May Have Until At Least 2017 To Recover Hidden Access Fees Taken By Blue Cross Blue Shield

Great news for the hundreds of businesses from which Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan charged hidden fees: a federal court's recent ruling indicates that the businesses have several more years to file claims against BCBSM for…more

Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Class Action, Health Insurance, Hidden Fees

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Watt’s New? Michigan Energy Newsletter - December 2013

In This Issue: - Challenge to Coal Plant's Modified Air Permit Fails - Electric Reliability Project to Include Focus on Outages - Michigan Shorts - Consumers Energy May Terminate Case for New Gas Plant -…more

Air Pollution, Certificate of Need, Coal, Permits, Power Grid

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Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents: Why Business Owners Should Care About Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property, often referred to simply as IP, is a legal term covering various forms of valuable business assets. The three broad, primary areas of IP are: trademarks, copyrights, and patents…more

Business Assets, Copyright, Patents, Trademarks

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District Court Dismisses Country of Origin Labeling Lawsuit

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has dismissed the lawsuit filed by meatpackers and trade groups against the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of a meat labeling…more

Country of Origin, Dismissals, Food Labeling, Food Manufacturers, USDA

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Section 83(b) - Paying a Little Now Might Save You a Lot Later

Great news!  You have been granted stock in a company. Bad news: that means you are going to owe taxes. If you were granted restricted stock in a company you will want to (quickly) think about filing a Section 83(b) election…more

Capital Gains, IRC Section 83(b), Restricted Stocks, Stocks, Tax Planning

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Watt’s New? Michigan Energy Newsletter - December 2013

In This Issue: - Challenge to Coal Plant's Modified Air Permit Fails - Electric Reliability Project to Include Focus on Outages - Michigan Shorts - Consumers Energy May Terminate Case for New Gas Plant -…more

Air Pollution, Certificate of Need, Coal, Permits, Power Grid

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What Exactly Is The “Law Of The Case” Doctrine?

It's a phrase that we lawyers use all of the time, often without a second thought: the "law of the case." But Magistrate Judge Joseph G. Scoville had occasion to explain the correct usage of this doctrine in Stryker Corporation…more

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

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Watt’s New? Michigan Energy Newsletter - December 2013

In This Issue: - Challenge to Coal Plant's Modified Air Permit Fails - Electric Reliability Project to Include Focus on Outages - Michigan Shorts - Consumers Energy May Terminate Case for New Gas Plant -…more

Air Pollution, Certificate of Need, Coal, Permits, Power Grid

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IRS Continues Pursuit of Undisclosed and Unreported Financial Accounts - Important New Developments

On Wednesday, the IRS announced substantial expansions of the 2012 Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures and the 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). The IRS first designed the 2012 Streamlined Filing…more

Compliance, IRS, Offshore Funds, OVDP, Tax Evasion

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Not All Investors Are Created Equal In The Eyes of the SEC: Why You Should Consider Only Accredited Investors in Your Startup

It is exciting to have people willing to invest money into your company. But before you sell any equity to friends, family or others, consider whether they are "accredited investors."…more

Accredited Investors, Entrepreneurs, Investors, SEC, Startups

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Employers Have An Additional Year To Comply With Key Provision Of The Affordable Care Act

A key provision of the Affordable Care Act has been delayed: The U.S. Department of Treasury announced on Tuesday that employers will have an additional year (until 2015) to comply with the requirement to provide health coverage…more

Affordable Care Act, Delays, Employer Mandates, Pay or Play, Shared Responsibility Rule

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2015 COLAs for Employee Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2015 cost of living adjustments to various limits on employee benefit plans. The adjusted amounts generally apply for plan years beginning in 2015. Some of the adjusted amounts,…more

COLA, Cost-of-Living, Employee Benefits, IRS

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Sixth Circuit Affirms That Michigan’s Panhandling Statute Is Unconstitutional

Since nearly the beginning of the Herbert Hoover administration in 1929, a Michigan law has made it a criminal misdemeanor for any person "found begging in a public place." MCL 750.167(1)(h). Enforcing this law, the Grand Rapids…more

Homeless Discrimination, Homeless Issues, Misdemeanors

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IRS Continues Pursuit of Undisclosed and Unreported Financial Accounts - Important New Developments

On Wednesday, the IRS announced substantial expansions of the 2012 Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures and the 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). The IRS first designed the 2012 Streamlined Filing…more

Compliance, IRS, Offshore Funds, OVDP, Tax Evasion

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Important Tax Compliance Provisions Included in the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015

On Friday, July 31, 2015, President Barack Obama signed HR 3236, the "Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015" (the "Act"). The Act modifies the extended six-year statute of limitations…more

Beneficiaries, C-Corporation, Compliance, FBAR, FinCEN

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Watt’s New? Michigan Energy Newsletter - December 2013

In This Issue: - Challenge to Coal Plant's Modified Air Permit Fails - Electric Reliability Project to Include Focus on Outages - Michigan Shorts - Consumers Energy May Terminate Case for New Gas Plant -…more

Air Pollution, Certificate of Need, Coal, Permits, Power Grid

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Recent State Supreme Court Decision Prompts Repeal of Michigan Multistate Tax Compact (MTC)

Public Act 282 of 2014, signed into law by Governor Snyder on September 11, 2014, repeals the Multistate Tax Compact's three-factor apportionment election for multistate businesses, effective as of January 1, 2008. The Act is an…more

IBM, Multistate Tax Compact, New Legislation, Repeal, U.S. Treasury

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We Have a Sheriff’s Deed, But Who Pays Association Assessments?

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently held that a purchaser pursuant to a sheriff's sale was responsible for condominium association fees due from and after the date of the sale. In Wells Fargo Bank v Country Place Condominium…more

Appeals, Condominium Associations, Condominiums, Delinquent Assessment Dues, Foreclosure

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Sell The Cell Lease Separately (When Selling Real Estate)

When does selling a cell tower lease make sense? In financial terms, it usually doesn't (you can't invest the money and get the same income you're now getting)…more

Cell Towers, Commercial Leases, Real Estate Market

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Changes to the Terms of BCBSM’s Administrative Services Contracts in the Wake of Hidden Fees Suits

Effective January 1, 2016, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan ("BCBSM") will implement significant changes to the Administrative Services Contracts ("ASCs") issued to its self-funded customers. Notably, BCBSM has attempted to…more

Blue Cross, Blue Shield, ERISA, Fiduciary Duty, Healthcare

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Watt’s New? Michigan Energy Newsletter - March 2013

In This Issue: - Highlights of MPSC Annual Report - Good Neighbor Fund Payments Made - Coal Plants Sued for Pollution Exceedances - Pure Michigan Solar Panel - New Grant for Efforts to Remove Barriers to…more

Clean Air Act, Climate Change, Coal, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Renewable Energy

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New Law Effective in 2015 is an Important Win for Cottage Owners

On October 9, 2014, PA 310 of 2014 (HB 5552) was signed into law by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. As stated in our previous blog, "Cottage Transfers of Ownership without Uncapping Property Tax Broadened Under Michigan House Bill",…more

Cottage Properties, Estate Planning, Family Members, Property Tax

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Michigan Supreme Court: No Automatic Use Tax Exemption for Purchases from Michigan Sellers – Andrie v Treasury

The Michigan Supreme Court published Andrie, Inc. v Department of Treasury yesterday afternoon, a decision which affects any business client with significant purchases from Michigan sellers. The Court reversed the Court of…more

Appeals, Sales & Use Tax, State Treasurers, Tax Exemptions

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Growing Michigan - Fourth Quarter 2014

In This Issue: - GAPPs Improve Michigan Food Processing - 30 Projects Announced to Support Michigan Specialty Crop Growers - Proposed Privacy Fences Around Michigan Apiaries - Great Lakes Ag-Tech…more

Economic Development, Entrepreneurs, Farms, Food Manufacturers, Immigration Reform

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Changes to Michigan Nonprofit Corporation Act Expand Liability Protection, Authorize New Election Procedures, Ease Voting Thresholds

As you may have heard, Michigan recently enacted significant amendments to the Michigan Nonprofit Corporation Act (the "Act"). The following is a brief overview of some of the more significant of the changes effected by the…more

Articles of Incorporation, Board of Directors, Breach of Duty, Corporate Liability, Fiduciary Duty

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Important Tax Compliance Provisions Included in the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015

On Friday, July 31, 2015, President Barack Obama signed HR 3236, the "Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015" (the "Act"). The Act modifies the extended six-year statute of limitations…more

Beneficiaries, C-Corporation, Compliance, FBAR, FinCEN

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Of Courtroom Capers, Sanctions, and Squeezed Babies…

A lawyer friend Brian occasionally mentions the idea of "innocently" placing a colorful bag on his table during an opposing lawyer's final argument. I don't think he's ever done it, but the goal is to distract the jury while…more

Litigation Strategies

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Growing Michigan - Fourth Quarter 2014

In This Issue: - GAPPs Improve Michigan Food Processing - 30 Projects Announced to Support Michigan Specialty Crop Growers - Proposed Privacy Fences Around Michigan Apiaries - Great Lakes Ag-Tech…more

Economic Development, Entrepreneurs, Farms, Food Manufacturers, Immigration Reform

See All Updates »

Changes to the Terms of BCBSM’s Administrative Services Contracts in the Wake of Hidden Fees Suits

Effective January 1, 2016, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan ("BCBSM") will implement significant changes to the Administrative Services Contracts ("ASCs") issued to its self-funded customers. Notably, BCBSM has attempted to…more

Blue Cross, Blue Shield, ERISA, Fiduciary Duty, Healthcare

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Watt’s New? Michigan Energy Newsletter - December 2013

In This Issue: - Challenge to Coal Plant's Modified Air Permit Fails - Electric Reliability Project to Include Focus on Outages - Michigan Shorts - Consumers Energy May Terminate Case for New Gas Plant -…more

Air Pollution, Certificate of Need, Coal, Permits, Power Grid

See All Updates »

We Have a Sheriff’s Deed, But Who Pays Association Assessments?

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently held that a purchaser pursuant to a sheriff's sale was responsible for condominium association fees due from and after the date of the sale. In Wells Fargo Bank v Country Place Condominium…more

Appeals, Condominium Associations, Condominiums, Delinquent Assessment Dues, Foreclosure

See All Updates »

Watt’s New? Michigan Energy Newsletter - December 2013

In This Issue: - Challenge to Coal Plant's Modified Air Permit Fails - Electric Reliability Project to Include Focus on Outages - Michigan Shorts - Consumers Energy May Terminate Case for New Gas Plant -…more

Air Pollution, Certificate of Need, Coal, Permits, Power Grid

See All Updates »

Legal Developments in Indian Country in 2014

2014 was a year that featured many positive legal developments for tribes. From the favorable Supreme Court decision in the Bay Mills case written by Justice Sotomayor (who continues to be a leader on the Court for tribal…more

Indian Gaming, Michigan v Bay Mills Indian Cmty, Native American Issues, Popular, SCOTUS

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Continuing Disclosure Misstatements – A Window Of Opportunity Before The SEC Comes Knocking

The Division of Enforcement (the “Division”) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative (the “MCDC Initiative”)…more

Corporate Issuers, Disclosure Requirements, Estoppel, Issuers, Municipalities

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Minimum Wage in Michigan Set to Rise Beginning in September

It has been six years since Michigan last saw any increase in the minimum wage. But yesterday, both houses of the Michigan Legislature passed a compromise deal that would see the minimum wage gradually raised over time until it…more

Employee Rights, Minimum Wage, Wage and Hour, Wages

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In A Car Accident, Under-Insured Coverage Can Be As Important As Uninsured Protection

This is important for everyone to know regarding your auto insurance. We recently worked with a client who was involved in a car accident…more

Car Accident

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Keeping Good Product Records: A Manufacturer’s Primer

Are your product records a blessing or a scourge? Are they a core element of successful business operations, or a diversion of time and resources?…more

Books & Records, Manufacturers

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Changes to the Terms of BCBSM’s Administrative Services Contracts in the Wake of Hidden Fees Suits

Effective January 1, 2016, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan ("BCBSM") will implement significant changes to the Administrative Services Contracts ("ASCs") issued to its self-funded customers. Notably, BCBSM has attempted to…more

Blue Cross, Blue Shield, ERISA, Fiduciary Duty, Healthcare

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Should You Transfer Unused Gift and Estate Tax Exemptions to a Surviving Spouse? (Part II)

In our previous post, we discussed the advantages of portability as an estate planning tool. However, there are some non-tax reasons why a couple might not opt for planning of this type. Almost all relate in one way or another…more

Estate-Tax Exemption, Gift-Tax Exemption, Portability, Spouses

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H-4 Spouse Employment Authorization and H-1B Cap Reminder

On May 26, 2015, USCIS will begin accepting employment authorization applications for some H-4 dependent spouses. H-4 spouses are eligible for work authorization if their H-1B spouses have..…more

DHS, Employment Authorization Document, H-4 Spouses, Spouses, USCIS

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2015 COLAs for Employee Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2015 cost of living adjustments to various limits on employee benefit plans. The adjusted amounts generally apply for plan years beginning in 2015. Some of the adjusted amounts,…more

COLA, Cost-of-Living, Employee Benefits, IRS

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Michigan Legislation In 2012

Congress was not the only busy legislative body in December. Our state legislature also passed, and the Governor signed, several important bills which affect estate planning for Michigan residents. We found the following to be…more

529 Plans, Estate Planning, Estate Tax, Irrevocable Trusts, Power of Attorney

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What Happens if a Sheriff’s Deed is Transferred? Who Pays Association Assessments?

In a recent, unpublished opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that the transfer of a purchaser's interest in property that was acquired through a sheriff's sale is not governed by Section 111 of the Condominium Act (MCL…more

Condominiums, Fannie Mae, Property Ownership, Special Assessments, Transfer of Interest

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Supreme Court Clarifies Rules On “Donning And Doffing”...Sort Of

On Monday of last week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a new ruling on "donning and doffing" of work-related clothing. The decision has added some clarity as to "compensable" versus "non-compensable" time, but its application is…more

Collective Bargaining, FLSA, Sandifer v U.S. Steel Corp, SCOTUS, Unions

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Business Processing Debit Card Payment Held Liable for Failure to Obtain Written Authorization

With the increasing use of debit cards to pay for goods and services comes risk for businesses who do not routinely process debit card payments. A recent example of this risk is highlighted in Kelsey v Pitsch Companies…more

Debit Cards, EFTA, Prior Authorization

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Don’t Be Injured in a Boating Accident: The End of Summer Does Not Mean the End of Boating Safety

The State of Michigan is in the heart of four of the Great Lakes. In addition, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, we enjoy the presence of more than 10,000 inland lakes and over 35,000 miles of freshwater…more

Boating Accidents, Coast Guard

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NLRB Allows Employee Use of Employer Email System for Union Business

The National Labor Relations Board ("Board") has ruled that employees who have been provided access by their employer to an employer-owned email system are presumptively entitled to use that email system to engage in Section 7…more

Email, NLRB, Protected Concerted Activity, Purple Communications, Unions

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Guaranteed Payments: the Equivalent of a Salary for LLC Members and Partners

Absent special elections to be taxed differently, partnerships and limited liability companies (referred to herein as “entities”) with two or more partners or members (referred to herein as “owners”) are taxed on a pass-through…more

Corporate Taxes, K-1, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships, Pass-Through Entities

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Legislation Allows Michigan Companies To Raise Capital, Avoid Federal Crowdfunding Rules

Effective December 30, 2013, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder enacted into law Public Act 264 of 2013 (the "Act"). Among other things, the Act establishes a crowdfunding method of raising capital in Michigan. "Crowdfunding" refers to…more

Crowdfunding, JOBS Act, Startups

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Comment Period Extended for Proposed EPA Rule Substantially Expanding Federal Jurisdiction Over Waters of the U.S., Including Creeks and Ditches

On April 21, the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("U.S. EPA") published a proposed rule that expands the federal jurisdiction over "Waters of the United States" under the Federal Clean Water Act ("CWA")…more

Clean Water Act, EPA, Jurisdiction, US Army Corps of Engineers, Water

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Contact

333 Bridge Street NW
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49504, United States

Contact: Tamara Bergstrom


Areas of Practice
  • Agriculture
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
  • Antitrust & Trade Regulation
  • Appellate Practice
  • Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Organizations
  • Civil Rights
  • Commercial Law & Contracts
  • Construction Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Debtor/Creditor
  • Education
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Environmental Law
  • Family Law
  • Finance & Banking
  • Government
  • Health
  • Immigration Law
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Litigation
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Personal Injury
  • Products Liability
  • Real Estate
  • Securities Law
  • Taxation
  • Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Zoning, Planning & Land Use
See more
Locations
Other U.S. Locations
  • Michigan
Number of Attorneys

100+ Attorneys

This profile may constitute attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Any correspondence with this profile holder does not constitute a client/attorney relationship. Neither the content on this profile nor transmissions between you and the profile holder through this profile are intended to provide legal or other advice or to create an attorney-client relationship.

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