Varnum LLP

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

Contact: Tamara Bergstrom

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

Ownership of Michigan Islands

Islands, large and small, can be found in many of Michigan's rivers and inland lakes. Some islands are just large enough to support a couple of trees and others boast spectacular homes or resorts. Big or small, islands are often…more
| Real Estate - Residential

Protecting Your Lake Association

Earlier this year I wrote about a lake association facing liability for activities on a lot maintained by the association and used for lake access. You can review that post. Though there is no way for any individual or entity to…more
| Business Organizations, Real Estate - Residential, Taxation

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

The word "portability" in an estate tax context refers to the ability to transfer a deceased spouse's unused gift and estate tax "exemption" (technically known as the "basic exclusion amount" or the "BEA") to the surviving…more
| Taxation, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Tempting the Legal Finger of Fate: No Winners Here

Back in 2006, John Swartz and his wife Judy were driving through the Village of St. Johnsville, in New York, on the way to visit Judy's son. While sitting in the passenger's seat, John noticed a police car, whose occupant,…more
| Civil Rights

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
| Labor & Employment Law, Taxation

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
| Real Estate - Residential, Taxation, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning
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Areas of Practice
  • Agriculture
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
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Number of Attorneys

100+ Attorneys

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