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Bloomfield Hills Legal Blog

Entering into a business partnership? 3 things to think about

Partnerships can be a wonderful business venture. There is a great advantage in being able to pool the talents, resources and finances of multiple people into one business. However, there are a variety of factors you need to consider before teaming up with someone, in order to ensure your partnership will be a success.

Your Loved Ones In Nursing Homes Deserve Protection From Harm

It has been said that youth is wasted on the young. Just because someone ages, does not mean that their lives are any less important than those of younger generations; in fact, their golden years should be cherished for all that they are worth.

As the number of senior citizens grows, so many of our elders live in nursing homes for help with their activities of daily living. Our senior citizens who are not well deserve care and protection from life threatening injuries that may occur while living in these facilities. Many of these nursing homes are well-staffed with dedicated nurses and doctors who provide attentive and good care; however, others fail to take to very basic measures to prevent their residents from having falls that can result in hip fractures or head trauma that may lead to untimely death. 

The Importance Of Coordination In Trademarks And Branding

Trademarks are useful for businesses looking to distinguish what they provide from the goods or services provided by competitors. Some businesses are likely to benefit from their trademarks more than others, but any business making the decision to define a brand needs to make important decisions about their trademarks from the very beginning. 

As a business grows, the value and consistency of its trademarks can be affected. In some cases, a shift in business strategy will render old marks less valuable. As your marketing efforts expand, a disconnect between marketing strategies and trademark registrations can erode or destroy the value of the mark or your ability to protect it. Coordination is the key to maximizing the value of your trademarks.

Increased Risk of Stroke from Chiropractic Neck Adjustments

Scientific evidence supports that chiropractic manipulative therapy (CMT) of the neck may lead to stroke. When a chiropractor rotates the neck, this movement places pressure on the vertebral arteries that run through the neck and supply blood to the brain. Some experts say that this pressure may cause the arteries to dissect leading to a lack of blood flow and resulting in stroke. Reports of this phenomenon have increased now that public awareness of this potential risk has grown. 

Non-Compete Agreements And Intellectual Property

Business owners face unique challenges when it comes to protecting trade secrets or proprietary information. Employees often need access to information that would be damaging if it got into the hands of a competitor. If those employees leave, they take that knowledge with them. It can be difficult to maintain intellectual capital unless you are willing to devote significant time and attention to the issue.

Patents can obviously secure exclusivity for some intellectual property. Patents are not available for everything, however, and they may not be the best solution even if they are available. Employment agreements and other trade secret protections can aid a business in securing the benefits of ingenuity, efficiency and creativity.

The Michigan Supreme Court Can't Decide Whether It Is Proper For An Attorney To Write Himself Into His Client's Will

The Michigan Supreme Court on June 21, 2018 issued their much-anticipated opinion in the case of In re Mardigian Estate. In that case attorney Mark Papazian prepared a trust amendment and corresponding will for his client and friend Robert Mardigian. The new estate planning documents left the bulk of Mardigian's very substantial ($ millions) estate to Papazian and his children. Mardigian died six months later. Not surprisingly, Mardigian's family, comprised of his nieces and nephews, as he did not have any children, challenged the documents and accused Papazian of exerting undue influence in obtaining Mardigian's signature on the documents. The probate court summarily set the documents aside as contrary to public policy because Michigan Rule of Professional Responsibility 1.8(c) prohibits an attorney from preparing a document, such as a will or a trust, that gives the attorney or his family "any substantial gift." There is little doubt that the preparation of the will and trust was prepared in violation of this rule. 

Whistleblower Allowed to Proceed with Her Federal False Claims Qui Tam Case Against Home Health Agency

On June 11, 2018, The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in United States ex rel. Marjorie Prather v Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc., et al, issued a favorable ruling for Prather, the relator, in a claim brought pursuant to the Federal False Claims Act ("FCA") case. 

The Next Generation Of Business Owners

For some people, the dream to run their own business starts early. Others find their way to entrepreneurship after an unsatisfactory stint as an employee. Whatever drives them there, new business owners are often hopeful and enthusiastic about the prospects of their new ventures. 

Optimism is one of the leading traits associated with people identified as Millennials or members of Generation-Z. A recent study has identified these groups as showing a particular desire to start and run their own businesses. Social media has helped hone the brand awareness of this group, and they are eager to forge their own paths in running businesses that better align with their worldview.

The Michigan Supreme Court Leaves Appellate Decision Intact: Employee's Report to Her Attorney of a Good Faith Belief that Her Employer Violated Law is Protected Under Michigan's Whistleblower Act

On April 20, 2017, I wrote a blog about an oral argument at the Michigan Supreme Court that occurred on April 12, 2017, in the case of McNeil-Marks v MidMichigan Medical Center-Gratiot ("MidMichigan"). In MidMichigan, the Court of Appeals expanded the definition of a member of a "public body" under the Whistleblowers' Protection Action ("WPA"), to include Michigan licensed attorneys.

Following oral argument on April 12, 2017, the Michigan Supreme Court directed the parties to file supplemental briefs. 

Welcome Relief for Survivors of Sexual Abuse: The State of Michigan Extends the Statute of Limitations in Civil and Criminal Cases

During my decades of legal practice, I have had the great honor to represent many courageous people who survived heinous acts of sexual abuse at the hands of their clergy, teachers, coaches, physicians, relatives or, other trusted adults in their lives. Tragically, many victims of childhood sexual abuse were and are psychologically incapable of confronting the horrors of the abuse and years elapse before they seek legal help. In many instances, the statute of limitations barred these survivors from bringing civil claims. 

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