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Hertz Schram PC Legal Blog

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[Excerpts taken from presentation given by Richard S. Victor, Chair of Professionalism and Collegiality committee, national American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, given at the AAML national meeting in Panama City, Panama, March 2015]

DOJ's 2014 Stats Show Whistleblower Success Under FCA Benefitting All Taxpayers

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has just released its 2014 False Claims Act Statistics. As a firm that focuses much of our practice on representing whistleblowers, known as Relators, in False Claims Act (FCA) cases, we find that the DOJ's statistics provide interesting insights into the total recoveries secured under the FCA. It also provides data on the areas of false claims yielding the largest recoveries.

Richard Victor to Speak at AAML Mid-Year Meeting

Nationally known family law attorney and author, Richard S. Victor, Of Counsel to Hertz Schram, PC, Bloomfield Hills, MI has been asked to be a speaker by the National American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers for their Mid-year meeting, taking place in Panama City, Panama, March 8-13, 2015 at the Westin Playa Bonita Hotel.

Personal Goodwill - An Opportunity to Recognize LTCG and Avoid Double Taxation

The sale of a C corporation's assets generally results in double taxation on the sale proceeds, first, at the corporate level, and then, upon distribution of proceeds to its shareholders, at the personal level. However, individual business owners of C corporations who can establish that their personal goodwill is integral to the business and is not an asset of the corporation have an opportunity to improve their tax position upon the sale of the corporation. Such owners may (i) avoid the double taxation on a portion of the sale proceeds by allocating a portion of the sales price to personal goodwill as an asset owned by the business owner, and not the corporation; and (ii) recognize long term capital gain (LTCG) on the portion of the sales price allocated to personal goodwill, instead of ordinary income which the business owner would recognize for payments related to other intangible assets (i.e. covenants not to compete).

Your Personal Liability as a Business Owner

You had a great idea and created a business out of it! Congratulations! You took the initiative to form an entity, such as a corporation or limited liability company, to operate your business for a few good reasons. Not the least of which is to protect you, as a business owner, from being personally liable for the creditors of your business. So, you should be all set, right?

Patricia Stamler Named One of "The Top Lawyers in Michigan"

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI - Patricia A. Stamler, a civil rights, employment and False Claims Act partner at Hertz Schram PC, has been named as one of "The Top Lawyers in Michigan" by Leading Lawyers as published in the 2015 Edition of Crain's Detroit Business Book of Lists recognizing her legal leadership in the areas of employment, False Claims Act and whistleblower law. Ms. Stamler has also been recognized as a "2015 Top Lawyer in Metro Detroit" in civil rights, employment law-individuals and litigation-labor and employment as published in the November/December 2014 dbusiness.

Congratulations Joe Bellanca

Joseph A. Bellanca, an entertainment and intellectual property attorney at Hertz Schram PC, has been named a 2014 Up & Coming Lawyer by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. This prestigious honor is awarded to attorneys in the state of Michigan who have, for the first 10 years of practice, excelled in their profession and are standouts among their peers.

Grandma Passed The Test!

One of the most fruitful and confused areas of estate and trust litigation involves the mental capacity of the grantor of a trust. Not too long ago, the Michigan legislature made it clear that the mental capacity necessary to create a trust is the same as the mental capacity necessary to make a will. But a significant problem remains. How do you know?

Grandma is 85. She decides to change her trust and disinherit grandchildren XYZ in favor of grandchildren ABC. Grandma lives in an assisted living facility and granddaughter B was appointed Conservator and helps her pay bills because Grandma can be a bit forgetful. Because of the conservatorship, Grandma is deemed "disabled" under the language of the Trust and Mr. Jones has taken over as her successor trustee. Grandma is alert, knows her family, where she lives etc.