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July 2018 Archives

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. 

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