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Hertz Schram PC Legal Blog

Hertz Schram Supports the LGBTQ community and the Fair Michigan Justice Project

HERTZ SCHRAM PC

Contact: Lisa D. Stern, (248) 335-5000, lstern@hertzschram.com

Hertz Schram Supports the LGBTQ community and the Fair Michigan Justice Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Detroit - area law firm Hertz Schram today announced that it would contribute the funds necessary to launch the Fair Michigan Justice project. The Fair Michigan Justice Project, a non-profit organization, is involved with creating a special victims' unit within the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office to be announced by Prosecutor Kym Worthy at a press conference on July 12th. The FMJP staff will be training the prosecutor's office as well as various police agencies within the county in a concerted effort to help reduce crimes against members of the LGBTQ community and solve new and cold cases.

The Thrill is Gone, But the Problems are Just Beginning: A Cautionary Tale

2015 saw the end of legendary bluesman B.B. King. While the 15-time Grammy winner died peacefully in his sleep, the time since his passing has been decidedly less so. King's estate, which is estimated to be anywhere between $5 and $30 million, is being fought over by King's 15 children from 15 different women.

Videotape Testimony Can Be Powerful Evidence When Mental Competency is Questioned

A California judge dismissed a challenge to the mental competency of 92 year old billionaire Sumner Redstone (Viacom and CBS's controlling shareholder) after reviewing videotaped testimony where Mr. Redstone appeared to be competent and clearly indicated his desires to cut Ms. Herzer (his former girlfriend) out of his life.

A lawsuit challenging Mr. Redstone's mental competency was filed by Manuela Herzer after she was removed as Mr. Redstone's health care agent and after a $70,000,000 gift to her in his will was withdrawn. Instead, Redstone appointed his daughter, Shari Redstone as his health care advocate. Further details about the case can be found at http://www.wsj.com/articles/sumner-redstone-suit-dismissed-by-judge-1462809150.

Michigan Custody Law Must be Amended to Encompass Artificial Reproductive Technology

Michigan is considering an amendment to the Child Custody Act that will enable parents who have children as result of in vitro fertilization from anonymous sperm and egg donors to be legally considered the child's parents. Based upon current law, a parent, whose child was conceived in this manner, does not have standing to seek custody under the Child Custody Act. A "parent" has been defined by the Michigan legislature as the "natural or adoptive parent of a child." The courts have interpreted a "natural" parent to be a person who is biologically related to the child. This is problematic for those parents who have been blessed with a child as a result of Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART). The problem is specific to those situations where a child born to a couple is the result of a donor egg and donor sperm.

For example, John and Melissa attempted to have a child for several years with no success. After medical tests were conducted, it was discovered that John has a low sperm count and Melissa has a genetic, hereditary disease that could be passed on to their future child. Melissa wants to give birth to her child. To accomplish this, the couple purchased an anonymous donor egg and anonymous donor sperm and a zygote was implanted into Melissa's uterus using in vitro fertilization technology. Nine months later, Melissa gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

Michigan Court of Appeals Confirms That Proximate Cause Is A Question Of Fact In Medical Malpractice Cases

In Jennifer Stamler v Anuj Mittal, M.D. and M-Amin Badawi, M.D., Case No. 325261 (March 10, 2016), the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's decision granting summary disposition in favor of the defendant physicians in a medical malpractice case. In reversing the trial court, the Court of Appeals held that proximate causation in a medical malpractice case is a question of fact and trial courts should not lightly grant motions for summary disposition on the issue.

Department of Labor Changes Financial Advisers' Standard of Care Rule

The Department of Labor dramatically changed the landscape for financial advisers and investors, announcing final rules that will change most financial advisers standard of care to clients from a "suitability" analysis to a "fiduciary duty". A fiduciary duty is a very high standard of care. This is already leading to a flurry of industry changes as financial advisers and firms work to readjust their relationships and comply with these new duties. Some are left wondering why the SEC didn't lead the charge in drafting new rules, and whether the SEC will yet make further rules.

Class Action Filed on Behalf of Flint's Poisoned Children

March 29, 2016 (Flint, Michigan) Hertz Schram PC has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Flint's children who were poisoned by drinking and bathing in its tap water.

This class action is unique in that it seeks monetary damages for all children in Flint, ages 17 and under, who consumed the lead contaminated water and suffered brain damage as a result.

Medical experts and the literature are clear that there is no safe level of lead exposure and any child who consumes lead suffers brain damage at the time of consumption. This damage is permanent and without cure.

"The officials involved in causing this tragedy have been so busy pointing fingers that they have neglected to address the needs of Flint's children," explains Elizabeth Thomson, Hertz Schram Litigation partner. "The damage caused by the Flint Water crisis will have a lifelong impact on these kids and their families. We have put all the officials from the top down who condemned Flint's children to lives that that will require considerable services and support on notice that they will be held accountable."

Supreme Court of the United States Hears Controversial Abortion Case

On March 2, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States ("SCOTUS") heard oral argument in Whole Woman's Health v Hellerstedt, a critical abortion rights case challenging a 2013 Texas law requiring medical facilities where abortions are performed meet ambulatory surgery center ("ASC") standards and the doctors performing the abortions have admitting privileges at a local hospital. This is the most significant abortion case before SCOTUS since Planned Parenthood v Casey in 1992, in which the Court ruled the states were not allowed to place undue burdens on a woman's constitutional right to an abortion, including "unnecessary health regulations" that imposed a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion.

Gary Remer to Host Free Q&A Session on Franchise Law

Hertz Schram franchise attorney Gary Remer is hosting a free Q&A session to help current and prospective franchise owners get the information they need to make successful business decisions. To learn more and to register for the event, check out the Eventbrite page for the session.

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