Archived Articles

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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Commentator – Spring 2018 PDF icon (2)
Vol. 30, Issue 2

A message from Ralph Castelli
By Ralph A. Castelli, Jr.
Now that the weather has turned (finally), many of us are spending time outside, planting, weeding and maintaining our yards. Our garden beds aren’t the only things requiring upkeep…
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Trust Funding and Beneficiary Designations
By Brian R. Jenney
Preparing and executing a proper estate plan is only part of a larger picture. After the client has worked with an attorney to formulate a specifically tailored estate plan for the client, the attorney and client must continue to work together to properly fund the client’s trust…
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Investment Advisors and Expungement
By Stuart Sinai
Nothing can be more devastating to acquiring new clients and maintaining present ones than unwarranted customer complaints challenging an investment advisor’s honesty, treatment of clients, and reputation…
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Employment Law Q & A’s
By Mark R. Filipp
In any workplace, the danger that an employer will be held responsible for a sexual harassment claim is real. Moreover, even marginal claims cost the company dearly in legal fees and resources. It is naive to assume that any employer can completely do away with potential exposure and liability. Nonetheless, there are general guidelines an employer can follow to reduce the risk and liability of sexual harassment claims…
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