Archived Articles

Commentator – Spring 2019 PDF icon (2)
Vol. 31, Issue 2

A message from Ralph Castelli
By Ralph A. Castelli, Jr.
You’ve been served and unfortunately, it’s not a ribeye! When you or your small business is served a subpoena, Brian Rolfe breaks down what to do in critical, digestible bites (although we would all prefer the steak). Also in this issue…
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Trademarks: The Importance of Registration 
By Ronald S. Nixon
Everyone has an idea of what a trademark is: a symbol, word, name, or design used to differentiate one seller’s goods or services from those of another…
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You’ve Been Served (With a Subpoena)! Now What?
By Brian H. Rolfe
In litigation, a party will often use a third-party subpoena to obtain documents from individuals, businesses, or other entities that are not parties to the lawsuit. Those that receive subpoenas often wonder whether they should respond, how to respond, what, if any concerns they should have, and what, if any, precautions they should take. There are several critical steps you should take to ensure you will comply with the subpoena….
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Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act
By Mark R. Filipp
Michigan’s new Paid Medical Leave Act was signed into law in December 2018 and was effective March 29, 2019. Although there are many unanswered questions concerning this law, the fundamental aspects of the law are straightforward….
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Commentator – Winter 2019 PDF icon (2)
Vol. 31, Issue 1

A message from Ralph Castelli
By Ralph A. Castelli, Jr.
I am excited to share that we are coming up on the 50th anniversary of our firm. We have spent the last five decades helping clients take preventative measures to protect themselves personally and professionally. In the same tradition, we try to provide you with the most relevant legal news and information. In this issue…
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Your Property is Owned by an LLC: Is Liability Really Limited?
By Jason P. Seaver and Kate L. Ringler
The use of an LLC is a common estate planning technique for gifting, creditor protection, and management purposes. In Michigan, many people transfer their second home into an LLC for just these purposes. Absent a phone call to your insurance provider, that transfer could be costly if someone is injured or there is damage to the property…
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Income Tax Alert for Landlords
By Cynthia L. Umphrey
If you own rental real estate, you may need to act now in order to take advantage of significant income tax deductions under the new Section 199A…
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Employment Law Q & A
By Mark R. Filipp
Is discrimination based on gender identity or transgendered status prohibited under civil rights employment law?
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Commentator – Fall 2018 PDF icon (2)
Vol. 30, Issue 4

A message from Ralph Castelli
By Ralph A. Castelli, Jr.
In this issue, Brian Rolfe breaks down the fiduciary duties inherent to the management of closely held businesses. When fiduciary duties are overlooked, those in control of the business could face costly litigation…
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Management and Operation of Closely Held Businesses Implicate a Number of Fiduciary Duties; So What?
By Brian H. Rolfe
Fiduciary duties in Michigan apply to directors, officers, managers or “those in control” of closely held businesses and include duties of: 1. Care, 2. Loyalty, 3. Good faith and 4. Disclosure…
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Employment Law Q & A’s
By Mark R. Filipp
What types of conduct are considered sexual harassment under Title VII?
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Commentator – Summer 2018 PDF icon (2)
Vol. 30, Issue 3

A message from Ralph Castelli
By Ralph A. Castelli, Jr.
Sometimes having your cake and being able to eat it too means taking a little time to plan ahead…
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Estate Planning and LLCs: Time to Review and Amend LLC Operating Agreements, as well as Estate Plans
By William B. Acker
Recent federal tax law changes provide important reasons to consider changes to LLC Operating Agreements for multiple member limited liability companies and for partnership agreements. Estate plans also should be reviewed and in many cases revocable living trust documents should be amended…
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Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission: SCOTUS Rules it’s About the Cake, Not the Customer
By Robert S. Zawideh
On June 4, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Masterpiece Cake v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. That case involved Colorado bakery owner Jack Phillips, an expert baker and devout Christian, who in 2012 told a same-sex couple that, although he would sell them anything else his bakery offered, he would not create a cake for their wedding because of his religious opposition to same-sex marriages….
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ICE I-9 Audits Increasing
By Mark R. Filipp and Will Sanford
As businesses and HR professionals know, employers are required to prove their employees are authorized to work in the United States by use of Form I-9. Derek Benner, acting executive director for ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations is reported as having stated that Form I-9 Audits by ICE will be increasing this summer…
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Employment Law Q & A’s
By Mark R. Filipp
For those employers that have never assembled an employee handbook, doing so is an educational experience. Employers have general policies for vacations, holiday pay, work rules, discipline, and the like. Putting those policies into writing leads to the creation of better policies and removes any ambiguities and inconsistencies. It also encourages an employer to think ahead to formulate policies for situations that have not yet occurred…
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