Varnum LLP

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

Contact: Tamara Bergstrom

Marriages Come and Go, But Divorce is Often Forever

Last Christmas Eve, I got a voicemail from my son Shamus asking if I knew of "a divorce lawyer named Mr. Barnhart." Shamus called from New Orleans where he lives. Since he's not married, his divorce lawyer voicemail took…more
| Family Law

Employers: April 1 Start Date for 2016 H-1B Visa Applications

Employers may first apply for 2016 H-1B visas for individuals not currently in H-1B status on April 1, 2015 with a start date of October 1, 2015. USCIS received approximately 172,500 H-1B petitions during the first week…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Immigration Law, Science, Computers, & Technology

Second Amendment Protects Former Mental Institution Patient’s Right to Bear Arms

Called an "important issue of first impression in the federal courts," the Sixth Circuit, in Tyler v. Hillsdale County Sheriff's Department held that the Second Amendment protects the right of some individuals "who have been…more
| Constitutional Law

U.S. Attorney General States Principles for Working With Tribes

On Friday, December 12, 2014, the Office of the Attorney General issued a notice setting forth principles for the AG and Department of Justice to work with federally recognized Indian tribes. Highlights of these principles…more
| Administrative Law, Indigenous Peoples

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
| Agriculture, Commercial Law & Contracts, Zoning, Planning & Land Use, Immigration Law

Court Sanctions Plaintiffs for Failing to Voluntarily Dismiss Baseless Complaint

My clients sometimes bemoan the reluctance of courts to award attorneys' fees to litigants forced to defend frivolous lawsuits. However, in Norkus v. ING U.S. Inc., the Honorable Robert Holmes Bell reaffirmed that in the Western…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies

GAPP Improves Michigan Food Processing

The Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development recently adopted Generally Accepted Processing Practices ("GAPPs"), which serve to promote and grow a healthy food processing industry in Michigan. Functioning…more
| Agriculture, Commercial Law & Contracts

Proposed Privacy Fences Around Michigan Apiaries

The Michigan Department of Agriculture is considering a change to Michigan's Generally Accepted Agricultural Practices ("GAAMPs") that would compel beehive owners to "block" their apiaries from neighboring properties…more
| Agriculture, Zoning, Planning & Land Use, Real Estate - Residential

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
| Labor & Employment Law

NLRB Adopts New “Quickie Election” Rule

On December 12, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (the "Board") adopted a final rule amending its representation case procedures—the so called "quickie election" rule. The rule will be published in the Federal Register on…more
| Labor & Employment Law

Great Lakes Ag-Tech Business Incubator Helps Entrepreneurial Farmers

State Representative Joe Haveman recently announced the State of Michigan's $500,000 contribution to the new Great Lakes Ag-Tech Business Incubator, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit. The Incubator offers specialized assistance to start-up…more
| Agriculture, Commercial Law & Contracts, Nonprofit Law

Court Uses Cartoon to “Illustrate” Duty of Candor for Counsel

In Employers Insurance of Wausau v. McGraw-Edison Co., the Honorable Robert J. Jonker literally illustrated his confusion (and frustration) with counsel for one of the parties by starting an order with the following cartoon..…more
| Civil Procedure

Michigan Court of Appeals Reverses Termination of Parental Rights; Cites Indian Child Welfare Act Standard

In any child custody proceeding involving Indian children, all parties should understand there are significant legal and procedural requirements that must be met before parental rights to Indian children may be terminated…more
| Family Law, Immigration Law

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
| Taxation, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

President Obama Announces Plan for Executive Action on Immigration

Yesterday evening, President Obama announced his administration's plans to utilize executive action to reform the current immigration system. The announced plan includes the following employment-based immigration changes..…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Immigration Law
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Areas of Practice
  • Agriculture
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
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Other U.S. Locations
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Number of Attorneys

100+ Attorneys

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