Latest Blogs

 
Be the first person to recommend this.
Michigan Supreme Court Orders The  Michigan Supreme Court  has now issued six significant orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which are summarized below by topic. Remote Proceedings AO-2020-6 , dated April 7, 2020, authorizes judicial officers to conduct court business and proceedings remotely using two-way interactive videoconferencing technology or other remote participation tools. Those remote procedures must be consistent with a party’s constitutional rights; enable confidential attorney-client communications; allow public access to the proceedings, either during or immediately after via a video recording, unless the proceeding ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
On Friday, April 3, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-36 .  This recent Executive Order focused primarily on the employment setting and also stressed that those who have been infected or in close contact with someone who was infected, stay home unless absolutely necessary and then, wear a mask.  Focusing on the employment issues, the Governor’s order addresses the topics of retaliation, leave, and quarantine restrictions.  Anti-Retaliation Provisions Executive Order 2020-36 specifically prohibits an employer’s ability to “discharge, discipline, or otherwise retaliate against an employee” when an employee: stays “home when he or ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
On March 30, 2020, the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) issued two bulletins interpreting Governor Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order 2020-21. Executive Order 2020-21 states that some workers in the financial services sector are considered critical infrastructure workers—those workers who may continue to perform in-person work. DIFS Bulletin 2020-11-BT/CF/CU provides guidance on the specific industries included within the term financial services as used in Executive Order 2020-21: banks, credit unions, and consumer financial service providers (e.g., mortgage companies, money transmitters, payday lenders, consumer installment ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Vanessa Crocetto is the Chief Marketing Officer at Butzel Long. She recently answered some pressing questions on how her firm is responding to COVID-19. 1. How is Butzel responding to the pandemic? We have set up a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center on our website for our clients and communities. Our attorneys are becoming experts in this area fast, and frankly, I’m very impressed with their ability to get good, meaningful information disseminated quickly.  Butzel is also responding to the pandemic by implementing remote working continuity planning. We were able to get almost all of our staff and attorneys seamlessly rolled over to a work-from-home ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
On March 27, 2020 the House passed and the President signed into law the CARES Act intended to provide economic and financial relief to American families and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. A key component of the Act will be the almost immediate payment of income tax credits that will be available to Americans who have a social security number or adoption identification number, for children in the adoption process. All US citizens and residents (who are not claimed as a dependent on another’s return and not estates or trusts) will be entitled to a maximum payment of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. For the adults, joint filers will be entitled ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
Over the past week, I have received many calls from business owners asking if they may recover business income losses because they have been forced to temporarily suspend or limit their business operations due to COVID-19. The answer is simple: it depends. It depends on the language in their insurance policy, which is the starting point in determining whether a business owner may recover business income losses. Business income Usually, a policy requires the following: a loss of business income (not just a loss of revenues but verifiable loss of net income), due to the necessary suspension of business operations (which includes complete or partial ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) includes many provisions affecting taxes. Individual-Related Provisions Rebates Individual taxpayers will receive up to $1,200, for filing statuses of single or head of household, or $2,400 for married filing jointly, in the form of a rebate. The IRS will mail checks or use existing direct deposit information from the taxpayer’s 2019 tax return (or 2018, if they have not yet filed). The income limitation for the credit starts at $75,000 (single), $112,500 (head of household), and $150,000 (married filing jointly). There will also be a rebate of $500 for each qualifying child. The ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) allocates $349,000,000 to emergency loans and grants from the Small Business Administration (SBA). It includes several new loan provisions: Paycheck protection program Available to businesses, nonprofits, and sole proprietors with fewer than 500 employees Covers period from 2/15/2020 to 6/30/2020 Physical location limit raised for North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 72 businesses (Accommodation and Food Services) Expanded to include franchises Expanded availability of traditional SBA express loans Cap raised from $350,000 to $1,000,000 Applications ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Greg Kish , a probate and estate planning attorney in Traverse City, spoke to me about how his practice is responding to COVID-19. He talks about the unique ways his office is adapting to continue serving their clients and some of the challenges they have faced. Transcript: John: Hello, this is John Swift. Max: And this is Max Matthies. John: We're two of the staff attorneys at ICLE. We're talking to other Michigan attorneys about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting them and their clients. Max: We thought it might be helpful to share how our colleagues and their firms are responding to the COVID crisis and provide some insight on how ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Alfredo Casab , from Dawda Mann Mulcahy & Sadler PLC in Bloomfield Hills spoke to John Swift and I about how his practice is responding to COVID-19.  You can hear the conversation by clicking the audio player.  The transcript of our conversation is below. Transcript John: Hello, this is John Swift. Max: And this is Max Matthies. John: We're two of the staff attorneys at ICLE. We're talking to other Michigan attorneys about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting them and their clients. Max: We thought it might be helpful to share how our colleagues and their firms are responding to the COVID crisis and provide some insight on how you might ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Ryan Kelly  from Kelly &  Kelly PC in Northville spoke to John Swift and I about how her practice is responding to COVID-19.  You can hear that conversation by clicking the audio player. Below is a transcript of our conversation. TRANSCRIPT JOHN: Hello, this is John Swift. MAX: And this is Max Matthies. JOHN: We're two of the staff attorneys at ICLE. We're talking to other Michigan attorneys about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting them and their clients. MAX: We thought it might be helpful to share how our colleagues and their firms are responding to the COVID crisis and provide some insight on how you might do the same. RYAN: ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Angela Walker is a founding partner at Blanchard & Walker PLLC . Angela handles severance negotiations and career strategies for her clients. She has extensive experience with equal pay, sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and disability rights cases. Here, Angela shares some of her thoughts on practicing during this time, as well as her analysis of some of the biggest issues facing employees. How is COVID-19 impacting your practice right now? How is your office handling meetings? As of last week, we moved everyone off-site, and we have switched over to doing phone and video consults. Fortunately, our firm already had the technology in ...
1 comment
Be the first person to recommend this.
​The  Michigan Supreme Court  has issued four significant orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. AO 2020-4 , dated March 26, 2020, suspends deadlines for all appellate filings beginning March 24, 2020, to correspond with Governor Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe”  executive order . Deadlines are tolled until the executive order expires on April 13, or until a subsequent executive order “extends the period in which citizens are required to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.” Filers will have the same number of days to file after the executive order expires as they would have before it was effective. The MSC provided ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
As Michigan deals with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s recent order for nonessential workers to Stay Home, Stay Safe , it is no surprise that small businesses are worried about the impact on their future. For attorneys who represent small businesses or attorneys who own small businesses, there is some available relief. The Michigan Strategic Fund Board approved the creation of the Small Business Relief Program. This program will “provide up to $20 million in support for small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19.” The funding will be divided equally between grants and loans to support the rapid decline of cash flow for these small businesses. For more ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
While this COVID-19 pandemic emergency is certainly unprecedented in our lifetimes and careers, it serves as an important, and perhaps required, prompt to leverage technology and foster relationships to keep our clients and our practices moving forward.   Put clients first   At the core of the legal profession is personal relationships. Take a few moments, or as long as necessary, to contact your clients to assure them your firm is prepared to meet any challenges that arise during this emergency.   Assess timing   The Michigan Supreme Court has shown its wisdom and leadership by unanimously issuing Administrative Order 2020-3 , which ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Susan S. Lichterman is a partner at Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, PC, and leads the Family Law Group. She recently answered some of the most pressing questions for family law attorneys. How is your office handling meetings?   As things change by minute, the alterations to my practice and the firm are changing by the minute as well. Last week, all attorneys and paralegals were encouraged to work from home. Many of us regularly work remotely and we all have laptops for this purpose. Our secretaries were initially assigned to in-person shifts so that we would have a few people in the office each day to handle filings and emergencies. We have spent ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
​ Ray Cassar of The Law Offices of Raymond A. Cassar PLC has handled many high-profile criminal cases. He recently answered some of the most pressing questions for criminal defense attorneys. How does Governor Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order affect your practice? The executive order is geared toward maintaining social distancing. Most criminal attorneys generally have a smaller office with fewer employees. The health and well-being of my staff is very important. Nonessential staff have been told to stay home; however, because my office handles many felony cases, we need to have someone taking calls—especially to deal with those clients that ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
I have been able to watch every Star Wars film in the same theater in my hometown during the week it was released. I was very anxious to see Rise of Skywalker not just for the promised resolution of plot points, but also for the ending of General Organa’s story in light of Carrie Fisher’s untimely death in 2016, before filming began. Lucasfilm was able to bridge the original Star Wars: A New Hope with Rogue One by adding computer-generated imagery (CGI) versions of a young Princess Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing died in 1994). While I enjoyed the continuity trick, I hoped that General Organa would avoid that same fate in Rise of Skywalker ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
​ Like so many of you, I spend every day wondering what will happen next, and how my clients should best be served in this crazy time.  However, in looking toward a prospective future where we cannot have clients in-office at all - or shouldn't (this arguably is already the case) - estate planners and elder law attorneys are facing significant problems.   The Current Platforms and Solutions are not Readily Workable for Our Type of Law  It's becoming increasingly clear to me that the platforms approved by the State of Michigan for e-notary/remote notary are, for a variety of reasons, not at all suited to the work we do.  I have been doing extensive research ...
3 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
James Fink , of Fink & Fink PLLC, a small firm in Ann Arbor that handles a broad range of matters, recently answered a few questions about how COVID-19 has affected his firm and his practice. 1.   How is COVID-19 impacting your practice right now? How is your office handling meetings? We have implemented reduced hours for part-time staff. The attorneys are mostly working remotely.  We have canceled all client meetings for the office and are either conducting meetings virtually or delaying meetings. 2.   Which clients are contacting you the most and what issues are they raising?        We are hearing from our municipal clients and landlords. Our ...
2 comments