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The Gallagher Law Firm with offices in Lansing, Mt. Pleasant, Grand Rapids, and Detroit provides a variety of legal services across Michigan for corporate and individual clients. Our AV-rated, highly experienced attorneys offer responsive and efficient representation. Learn why our clients consider the Gallagher Law Firm to be a trusted, insightful and experienced partner for their legal needs.

02
January
2016

Estate Tax

Categories: Tax Law

28
December
2015

Independent Contractors or Employees

Independent Contractors or Employees

Independent Contractors or Employees

Categories: Employment Law

21
December
2015

Pet Trusts

MCL 700.2722 Honorary trusts; trusts for pets

Categories: Estate Planning

06
December
2015

Dissolution of a Corporation - Distributions to Shareholders

Dissolution of a Corporation - Distributions to Shareholders

Dissolution of a Corporation - Distributions to Shareholders

Categories: Business Law

30
November
2015

TERMINATION OF OIL OR GAS INTERESTS IN LAND/ DORMANT MINERALS ACT

554.291 Oil or gas interest in land; abandonment; claim of interest; vesting in surface owner; preservation from disclosure.

Categories: Real Estate Law

22
November
2015

Covenant-Not-to-Compete or Non-Compete Agreement

Covenant-Not-to-Compete or Non-Compete Agreement

Categories: Business Law

14
November
2015

Common Forms of Ownership of Real Estate

tenants in common, joint tenants with full rights of survivorship and tenancy by the entireties

Categories: Real Estate Law, Banking/Credit Unions

26
October
2015

Joint ownership of motor vehicles - Don't!

Joint ownership of motor vehicles - Don't!

Categories: Insurance

19
October
2015

Partition

When co-owners of real estate cannot agree.

Categories: Real Estate Law

11
October
2015

Stock vs Asset Sales

Stock vs Asset Sales

Categories: Business Law

05
October
2015

What is the highest interest rate I can charge?

What is the highest interest rate I can charge?

What is the highest interest rate I can charge?

Categories: Banking/Credit Unions

26
September
2015

Dower – is this really still the law in Michigan?

Dower – is this really still the law in Michigan?

Categories: Real Estate Law

22
September
2015

Does our corporation have to have annual meetings?

Pat, my brother and I set up a corporation six years ago for our contracting business and we have not had any annual meetings since then.  Our accountant files our Michigan Annual Report each year.  Is this enough or do we have to have annual meetings?

Categories: Business Law

06
September
2015

Mileage reimbursement made easy

Mileage reimbursement made easy with this Excel form from University of Michigan Finance website! Use this form when claiming mileage reimbursement for business use of personal vehicles.

Categories: Tax Law, Business Law

24
August
2015

UNIFORM ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN JUDGMENTS IN MICHIGAN

MCL 691.1173 Foreign judgment; filing; effect.

How does Michigan recognize a judgment from my state?

 

Categories: Litigation

31
March
2015

What is Crowdfunding?

The term Crowdfunding has many different connotations. Crowdfunding includes...

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: General

25
March
2015

Corporations

A "Corporation" is an association of persons, created by law and existing as an entity with powers and liabilities independent of those of its members. In the case of profit corporations, its owners are shareholders.

In order to form a corporation, whether profit, nonprofit, or ecclesiastical...

Categories: Business Law

03
March
2015

Procedure for Subpoenaing Michigan-Based Documents and Inspections for Matters Pending Outside Michigan

If a party to out-of-state litigation needs to subpoena a Michigan resident or company to be deposed or produce documents, the out-of-state litigant can follow the rules set forth in Michigan’s Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (MCL 600.2201 et seq), which was recently adopted in Michigan. If the out-of-state litigation was filed on or after April 1, 2013, here’s how a party can obtain discovery from a Michigan resident or company related to the out-of-state litigation:

Categories: General

17
February
2015

Its Time to Again Consider Property Tax Appeals

Every year, the value of real property is assessed by the township, village, or city. On or before the first Monday in March, the property tax assessor compiles...

 

Categories: Tax Law

02
February
2015

Few Americans Have an Estate Plan

Studies show that only 30% of all Americans have a Last Will and Testament in place. Even less have set up a power of attorney or patient advocate designation. Why don't the vast majority of Americans have an Estate Plan? Studies show that about 20% of Americans mistakenly believe the ownership of their possessions will automatically transfer to their family when they pass away. About the same percentage of Americans just think establishing an estate plan is too expensive. The truth is that (i) without a proper estate plan your property may not automatically transfer to your loved ones...

Categories: Estate Planning

26
January
2015

Updating Corporate Minute Books

Updating Corporate Minute Books

Corporate shareholders actively engaged in running their corporation (business owners) often get so busy running their corporation that they forget to follow corporate formalities like holding shareholder and board meetings and keeping minutes of those meetings. These formalities may not seem important to the business owner; however, when he or she goes to sell his or her shares or tries to get a loan for the corporation, the corporate minute book becomes very important.

Lenders and prospective purchasers rely on the minute book for various reasons. They use the minute book to determine whether (i) the corporation is duly organized; (ii) its bylaws permit the proposed transaction; (iii) the shareholders, board, or both must vote on the proposed transaction and what percentage vote is required to approve the proposed transaction; (iv)  the amount of outstanding shares and who owns them; (v) the corporation is subject to any material contracts (like stock redemption agreements, security agreements, restrictions on stock transfer, etc.); and (vi) various other reasons.

When updating your corporate minute book, it is important to only create minutes for meetings that actually happened. Creating minutes for meetings that were not held or holding a meeting and backdating the minutes to reflect that the meeting was actually held at an earlier date may constitute fraud and could subject the signor to civil liability or even criminal prosecution. When meetings were not held, the business owner, with the help of his or her attorney, should ratify past legal actions of the board as actions of the corporation. Going forward, the business owner should hold the required annual meetings or, if no meeting is required, use the shareholder consent resolution process.

 

--David J. Williams, Attorney, The Gallagher Law Firm

Categories: Business Law

13
August
2014

Circuit Court Fee and Assessment Table: Useful Link for Lawyers and Staff

Here is a useful resource for lawyers and staff to determine court costs.
Michigan Circuit Court: Fee and Assessment Table

Categories: General

19
May
2014

Attorney Arlyn Bossenbrook and Legal Assistant Katrina Hofstetter Join GLF Team!

Attorney Arlyn Bossenbrook and Legal Assistant Katrina Hofstetter Join GLF Team!

Arlyn Bossenbrook has joined the Gallagher Law Firm as an attorney with over 40 years of legal experience in Michigan.  Mr. Bossenbrook specializes in estate planning, business planning, and probate and trust administration.

   Also joining the Gallagher Law Firm team is Katrina Hofstetter as Legal Assistant to Mr. Bossenbrook.  Mrs.Hofstetter has over seven years of legal experience handling estate planning, business planning, and probate and trust administration.

Categories: General

13
May
2014

Paralegal Gabriela Wasilewska Joins GLF Team!

The Gallagher Law Firm is excited to have added paralegal Gabriela Wasilewska to their legal team. Ms. Wasilewska has joined the Gallagher Law Firm, PLC as a paralegal handling corporate, estate, oil & gas and real estate matters. Ms. Wasilewska has over eight years of legal experience in California and Michigan. She holds an ABA approved Paralegal Certification as a Probate and Estate Planning Specialist from the University of West Los Angeles. Also a graduate of Central Michigan University, Ms. Wasilewska holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology.

Categories: General

07
May
2014

Sign Up for our Newsletter!

Please take a moment to sign up for our monthly newsletter!

It's always full of firm updates and great legal articles we want to share. Click
the link to sign up now!


Sign Up Here!

 

Categories: General

23
April
2014

Words Lawyers Shouldn't Be Using And/Or Relying On

Originally published at State Bar of Michigan Blog, check out the full article there!

In the ABA Journal, the incomparable Bryan Garner has an indispensable list of words and phrases that lawyers should not use: herein, deem, know all men by these presents, provided that, pursuant to, said, and same.  And "and/or."  The only one that I am occasionally guilty of is "and/or" which in the odd circumstance just seems to me to be more efficient than ", or both."  Garner musters some pretty persuasive authority against "and/or" --

American and British courts have held that and/or is not part of the English language. The Illinois Appellate Court called it a "freakish fad" and an "accuracy-destroying symbol." The New Mexico Supreme Court declared it a "meaningless symbol." The Wisconsin Supreme Court denounced it as "that befuddling, nameless thing, that Janus-faced verbal monstrosity." More recently, the Supreme Court of Kentucky called it a "much-condemned conjunctive-disjunctive crutch of sloppy thinkers."

Categories: General

26
March
2014

We're Moving!

We're moving! We are excited to announce that we will be moving from our Lake Lansing location, to 2001 Abbot Rd. in East Lansing, on April 1st. We are looking forward to serving current clients with the same high quality legal services, while expanding into East Lansing and surrounding areas. If you're in the area, come by and check out our new office any time after April 1st!

Categories: General

21
March
2014

Attorney Pat Gallagher Featured for Expert Testimony

Attorney Pat Gallagher was recently featured on the National Association of Legal Fee Analysis' (NALFA) blog for his expert testimony on reasonable attorney fees. Check out the excerpt below:

"Pat Gallagher is a member of NALFA's Attorney Fee Practice Group.  Mr. Gallagher is a qualifed national attorney fee expert.  He has provided expert opinion testimony as to the reasonableness of attorney fees in various litigation matters, including commerical loan enforcement, employment disputes, negligence and estate adminstration. 

 

Categories: General

12
March
2014

Plunge in Law School Apps = Lower LSAT Scores?

Read the original article at the State Bar of Michigan Blog:

University of St. Thomas law professor Jerry Organ writes at The Legal Whiteboard on the effect of the ongoing decline in law school enrollment on the LSAT of the law student classes.  He reports that the entering first-year class average LSAT profile fell roughly two points between 2010 and 2013, and another point for the latest entering class. Although the declines are uneven, they appear throughout the rankings. Five schools each in the top 50 and 51-100 had a 3 point decline in their median LSAT; three schools ranked 100-144 saw a three point decline; and two of the unranked schools had declines of 5 and 6 points. Organ concludes that in the face of the ongoing application decline, many schools are in a "pick your poison" bind:

Categories: General

28
February
2014

Statute of Frauds

The Statute of Frauds can be enforceable in certain contracts.  The agreement must be in writing and must be signed by both the parties in a contract.

When a contract is writing, it is easy to prove what the parties agreed to and will act as evidence to show the agreed upon terms. Other forms of evidences can be invoices, emails, and other scribbles that are signed by a party.

Categories: General

26
February
2014

Decoding an Account Stated

What exactly is an Account Stated? Today's blog post explains it for you.


Account stated is a statement/agreement between a creditor (the person to whom money is owed) and debtor (the person who owes) that settles the total amount of debt to the creditor.

Categories: General

21
February
2014

Adverse Possession

Client: Are you telling me that my neighbor gets part or whole of my property, just because I did not care about it during a time when he maintained my property by doing the landscaping and by placing a fence around it.

Lawyer: Absolutely yes. Michigan recognizes certain patterns of conduct between property owners, which, after a period of years, will result in the transfer of property from one owner to another who is called an Adverse Possessor.

Adverse Possession is a doctrine under which a person in possession of land owned by someone else may acquire valid title to it, so long as certain requirements are met, and the adverse possessor is in possession for a sufficient period of time, as defined by statute of limitations. The used or occupied land may be transferred to the adverse person or neighbor without any agreement or payment.

Categories: Real Estate Law

14
February
2014

Review Us!

We love feedback! Click the link to review us on Lawyers.com.

Review us Here!

Categories: General

07
February
2014

President Obama to Visit MSU to Sign Farm Bill

President Obama to Visit MSU to Sign Farm Bill

Today, right in The Gallagher Law Firm's backyard, President Barack Obama will be visiting Michigan State University to sign bipartisan agricultural legislation. MSU was picked for the signing due to it's history in agricultural development and farming degree programs. Read The Detroit Free Press excerpt below for more details:

 "President Barack Obama heads to East Lansing today  to sign a landmark piece of agricultural legislation, but don’t be surprised if talk surrounding the event centers on more controversial subjects.

Categories: General

31
January
2014

Michigan Supreme Court to Take On Right-To-Work

In a huge move, The Michigan Supreme Court will take on the challenge of ruling the constitutonality of Michigan right-to-work legislation passed in 2012. The controversial legislation has been in the midst of constant legal battle since it's passing. Read the Detroit Free Press excerpt below for more details:

"The Michigan Supreme Court will rule on whether state employees are covered by the right-to-work law passed late in 2012, the court said today.

Categories: Case Summaries

24
January
2014

SEO and Video Legal Marketing

Louis XVI, July 1789, upon hearing of the fall of the Bastille, noted, "It is a big revolt," to which Duke La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt immediately responded, "No, Sir, it is a big revolution."

The legal profession has been slow to embrace the revolution that is Internet marketing. Even today, solos and small law firms are spending big dollars on outdated phone book and paper ads. Luckily, we no longer have to depend on annual print publications to direct our marketing efforts. Stacey Gaswirth, of the PR Firm The Shelton Group, has this advice for more traditional businesses: "When establishing a public relations strategy, not only should you consider a traditional media relations program, but also integrating multiple social media channels, as additional channels help deliver messages to your target audience. Some form of social media - be it YouTube videos, blogs, tweets or status updates - have become a part of everyday life for most of us with three out of four people using some form of social media on daily basis. This growing form of communication can no longer be ignored. It's not a trend, it's the norm."

Categories: General

15
January
2014

Michigan Business Courts in Full Swing

September 1, 2013 marked a new day for the business world and Michigan state law.  The Michigan Public Act 333 of 2012 now requires that every county with at least three Circuit Judges establish a Business Court. The purpose behind the new court system is to improve efficiency, allow for business disputes to be resolved with expertise and to enhance the accuracy, consistency and predictability of decisions in business and commercial arenas. 

Categories: Business Law

08
January
2014

Ratification of Past Corporate Actions

According to Michigan Law an incorporated Michigan Company must hold a annual Shareholder meeting. This is a great opportunity to discuss businesses accomplishments, cast a vote on needed items and to discuss how to grow the company.  There are a few official steps that need to be taken at the meetings, such as taking minutes of the meetings and recording them in the company record books.  If your corporation is not aware of this procedure, or has not updated the books in quite some time, Michigan Law provides a way to do so.

Categories: Business Law

19
December
2013

Estate Planning for Baby Boomers

Originally published in WealthCounsel Newsletter July 2013

 

The boomers are coming! That’s the gist of the many reports and news stories that have been published in the last few years. It seems that every week there are at least a few new stories which predict the great changes that are coming as 5 million boomers turn 65 every year for the next 15 years. Many of the changes predicted are ones that will affect the economy, social structure, residential housing, recreational activities and delivery of health care services of a larger, older population. There’s not much doubt that boomers have different expectations about their “golden years” than their parents did.

Categories: Estate Planning

18
December
2013

"Practicing" Happiness

Originally published at Atticus Online

There's been a dramatic shift in how psychologists view happiness. Conventional wisdom holds that if we work hard and apply ourselves, success will follow. And once we are successful, we'll be happy. Apparently we've had this all wrong. Harvard researcher Shawn Achor who based his new book, The Happiness Advantage, on the findings of over 200 scientific studies, says happiness is the fuel for success - not the result

Categories: General

17
December
2013

Gallagher Holiday Luncheon 2013

Gallagher Holiday Luncheon 2013

We'd like to thank all who attended our Holiday Luncheon at The Country Club of Lansing, hosted alongside Gallagher & Associates, CPAs. We had a great time connecting with both friends and colleagues.

Happy Holidays from us to you!

Categories: General

03
December
2013

GLF Ranked in 2014 "Best Law Firms"

The Gallagher Law Firm, PLC has been ranked in the 2014 "Best Law Firms" list by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® in the following area:
Metropolitan Awards:
  • Tier 2, Grand Rapids, Oil & Gas Law

Firms included in the 2014 "Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

Categories: General

21
November
2013

Help Us Reach 100 LinkedIn Followers by the New Year!

Please help us hit our goal of 100 LinkedIn followers by January 1, 2014! We want to start our New Year off with new followers to share with. Our LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch with the firm, receive interesting legal news and keep updated on GLF events and seminars. Click the link below to follow!

Follow us on LinkedIn!

 

Categories: General

14
November
2013

5 Ways to Get Inside a Conference on a Budget

From Above The Law 11/11/3013 Article
Above the Law--Conferencing on a Budget

"Legal and industry conferences can provide great educational and networking opportunities for solo and small firm lawyers; particularly those just starting out. Sure, there are some conferences that are a complete waste of time, but In some fields, simply doing face time at conferences year after year is critical to keep business flowing. And in other practices, conferences may offer high-level substantive training on new legal developments.

Of course, back in law school, you could take advantage of your student i.d. card to access almost any conference you wanted to attend. And if you ever worked for a firm, your employer willingly footed the bill for conference attendance. But now, as a solo or small firm lawyer, conferences are on your dime, and as many solos quickly learn, conferences can take a toll on your wallet."

Categories: General

05
November
2013

Law Firm Marketing: Asking for Business?

"I've lectured thousands of attorneys over the years on the subject of marketing, and almost without exception they tell me, "I don't want to sound desperate or too aggressive when I'm marketing. I don't want to sound like I'm soliciting business."

Fortunately, they don't have to. The key to developing this small but powerful rainmaking habit lies in the ability to ask the question in a way that doesn't come across as aggressive. The language you use makes all the difference, not only in your comfort level but also in how the message is received."

 

Categories: General

25
October
2013

Michael Jackson's Estate Battle

Michael Jackson's Estate Battle

Even in death, Michael Jackson remains controversial. Jackson's estate is still  battling with the IRS, almost five years after The King of Pop's death. Read an excerpt from the Forbes articles below:


"It’s possible that the legacy of Michael Jackson could turn out to be a string of court cases. He has kept lawyers and business managers happily employed since he died – and his tax lawyers are no exception. The estate for the King of Pop is planning to go to the mattress in the fight against the Internal Revenue Service over taxes and penalties assessed as a result of values reported on his federal estate tax return.

Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009, in Los Angeles, California. The federal estate tax exemption amount was $3,500,000 for decedents dying in 2009. That means that estate assets in excess of that amount are taxed.

Categories: Estate Planning

24
October
2013

Estate Planning: Just Like Real Estate and Vacation

One question always asked at the seminars I give on living trusts and estate planning is:

“How much does ‘it’ cost?”

In a sense that question qualifies as an “oxymoron, meaning a phrase which is incongruous (not consistent with what is logical) and impossible to answer.

Let me illustrate.

Could anyone logically call a travel agent and expect to get an answer to the question:

“How much will ‘it’ cost for my family and me to take a vacation next year?” Calling a real estate broker and asking: “How much will a new house cost me?” Or, how about saying to a doctor who knows nothing about your history and who has never examined you: “Doc, I’m sick. I don‘t know how sick, or even what my options are, but how much will you charge to make me well?”

Categories: Estate Planning

17
October
2013

Meeting with Family Key to Estate Planning

You’ve made the hard decisions, your documents are signed, your trust is funded, a business succession plan is in place. Congratulations, you’ve finished your estate planning. But have you, really? Have you explained your planning to your family? Will they understand how your plan will work and what they may need to do if you become ill or when you die? Will they wonder why you made certain decisions?

Categories: Estate Planning

15
October
2013

Grade Us!

Please take a moment to "Grade Us" on a A-F grading scale through this 2-minute
survey. We always appreciate client and colleague feedback.

Grade Us! Survey

Categories: General

08
October
2013

GLF and PNC Bank Host Succession Planning for Business Owners Seminar

On Thursday, October 3rd, The Gallagher Law Firm teamed with PNC Wealth Management to host our Succession Planning for Business Owners Seminar in Mt. Pleasant. Business owners and their respective financial, legal and insurance advisors were invited to join us for a luncheon to discuss planning for death, disability and retirement. Speakers included GLF Attorney Pat Gallagher and PNC Senior Relationship Manager Jim Schmelter. Thanks to all who attended! Look out for more upcoming GLF seminars.

 

Categories: General

03
October
2013

Gary L. Tyler, JD, CPA joins Gallagher Law Firm!

Gary L. Tyler, Attorney and CPA has become Of Counsel to the Gallagher Law Firm. Byron "Pat" Gallagher notes "Tyler's 40 years of legal and tax experience in national and state accounting and law firms and private industry is invaluable to our clients. Gary is a great addition to our firm".
 
 
 
 

Tyler's experience includes Estate Planning, Probate, Real Estate, Mergers , Acquisitions, Family Transfers, Corporate, LLC and Liquor Control Commission issues. Tyler is also a certified mediator. Tyler's tax expertise is important to clients in mediation, litigation and settlement of disputes involving business, estate, divorce, offers in compromise, tax audits and civil and criminal tax matters. We are excited to have Gary at GLF!

Categories: General

27
September
2013

Check out our Michigan Public Administrators Website!

Click the link below for our Michigan Public Administrators website! We update with interesting articles and events.

Michigan Public Administrators

Categories: General

20
September
2013

GLF Attorney Jack Lynch Honored as a 50-year Member of the State Bar of Michigan

Gallagher Law Firm Attorney Jack Lynch was honored as a 50-year member of the State Bar of Michigan at a special luncheon held at the Lansing Center on September 20, 2013.  Lynch, a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, focuses his practice on Oil & Gas law and Business Litigation. Congratulations Jack!

Categories: General

17
September
2013

Interesting Will Dispute Story in NY Times

Check out this recent New York Times article, exploring the dispute over an heiresses' $300 million dollar fortune. Does the family or the medical staff deserve the fortune?

Click the link below.

The New York Times--The Two Wills of the Heiress Huguette Clark

Categories: Estate Planning

12
September
2013

Join GLF and PNC Wealth Management at our Succession Planning Seminar!

Join GLF and PNC Wealth Management at our Succession Planning Seminar!

Business owners and their respective financial, legal and insurance advisors are invited to join us for a luncheon to discuss planning for death, disability and retirement. The event will be hosted at the Mt. Pleasant Comfort Inn & Suites and Conference Center on Thursday, October 3rd.

Complimentary lunch will be served.

Contact Savannah at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with any further questions.

Click the link below for more information and our online RSVP.

Mt. Pleasant Business Seminar Online RSVP

Categories: General

10
September
2013

Remember the Blackberry?

Remember the Blackberry? What was once all the rage in technology for law and business, now seems archaic and Blackberry use is decreasing rapidly. Business technology has been condensed and redesigned consistently over the past ten years, leaving some brands in the dust. Check out the below Above the Law link on the evolution of technology in law.

Above The Law "Biglaw's Blackberry Bye-Bye"

Categories: General

03
September
2013

Bankruptcy Law Tip from Attorney Pat Gallagher

When applying collateral estoppel principles to a nondischargeability proceeding, a bankruptcy court is directed to apply the law of the forum where the original proceeding took place. Marrese v. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 470 U.S. 373, 380 (1985).  The Nevada courts have stated four requirements must be met for issue preclusion to apply:  (1) the issue decided in the prior litigation must be identical to the issue presented in the current action; (2) the initial ruling must have been on the merits and have become final; (3) the party against whom the judgment is asserted must have been a party or in privity with a party to the prior litigation; and (4) the issue was actually and necessarily litigated.  Five Star Capital Corp. v. Ruby, 124 Nev. 1048, 1055 (2008). 

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Bankruptcy

29
August
2013

Attorney Pat Gallagher Used as Expert Source on Detroit Bankruptcy Legal Fees

Attorney Pat Gallagher Used as Expert Source on Detroit Bankruptcy Legal Fees

In a recent Detroit Free Press article addressing the appointment of Attorney Robert M. Fishman to monitor Detroit's bankruptcy legal fees, Attorney Pat Gallagher was quoted as an expert source. Pat frequently testifies as an expert witness in disputes over legal fees.

Categories: General

27
August
2013

What's it like Working for America's Most Prestigious Law Firm?

Careers website, Vault, recently released their annual list of America's most prestigious law firms. New York City-based law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz held steady at the number one spot. The prestigious firm "inside workings" remain mysterious, but Vault was able to gather inside information on working for Wachtell.

Categories: General

21
August
2013

Dangerous Work Emails Send Lotus Bank to Court

There's a million reasons to use discretion when sending workplace emails, but being sent to court for inappropriate use is just one of them. In the case of Michigan-based Lotus Bank, they're feeling the brunt of work email surveillance after several of the higher-ups sent incriminating emails that allegedly violate the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976.

Categories: General

20
August
2013

Law Firm Spring (Fall) Cleaning

Fall is almost here, and every firm could use a good spring (fall) cleaning. In his Above the Law article, Brian Tannebaum shares a few tips on how every attorney can get a fresh start for autumn.

 

Categories: General

19
August
2013

Helpful Oil & Gas Definitions P-Z

Paid-Up Lease.  An oil and gas lease that does not provide for delay-rental payment.  The lease is effective for the whole period of the primary term.

  1. PartitionThe division of undivided interests in kind or by sale, by voluntary agreement or judicial action.

Percentage Depletion.  A provision of § 611 of the Internal Revenue Code that permits a taxpayer who owns an economic interest in a producing oil or gas well to deduct a specified percentage of the gross income from the well in lieu of depleting the actual basis.  See also Cost Depletion. 

Categories: Oil and Gas

16
August
2013

Supreme Court Clerks See Huge Raises

According to a recent Above the Law article, changes in SCOTUS clerk's pay is creating a trend in other major law firms.

"There hasn’t been much major good news on the associate compensation front over the past few years — since, say, January 2007. But recent weeks have brought pockets of minor good news for limited constituencies. Green shoots, anyone?

Categories: General

15
August
2013

The Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan eFiling Project

The Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan eFiling project will expand to include the following case types:

All filings for open or new cases for these case types will be mandatory. The planned implementation date is 8/26/2013. Further information will be posted on the web site https://www.3rdcc.org/eFiling.aspx

Categories: General

14
August
2013

Attorney General Eric Holder Proposes Major Shift for 'War On Drugs"

On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced a proposed shift in sentencing for drug-related crimes nationwide. According to a Monday Detroit News article, this could "mark one of the most significant changes in the way the federal criminal justice system handles drug cases since the government declared a war on drugs in the 1980s".

 

 

Categories: General

13
August
2013

Appointing Receivers

Circuit court judges in the exercise of their equitable powers, may appoint receivers in all cases pending where appointment is allowed by law. This authority may be exercised in vacation, in chambers, and during sessions of the court. In all cases in which a receiver is appointed the court shall provide for bond and shall define the receiver's power and duties where they are not otherwise spelled out by law.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: General

08
August
2013

Truth in Lending Act

The declared purpose of the Truth In Lending Act, which regulates consumer credit transactions, is “to assure a meaningful disclosure of credit terms so that the consumer will be able to compare more readily the various credit terms available to him and to avoid the uninformed use of credit, and to protect the consumer against inaccurate and unfair credit billing and credit card practices.” 15 U.S.C. § 1601(a); see Beach v. Ocwen Fed. Bank, 523 U.S. 410, 412, 118 S.Ct. 1408, 1410-11, 140 L.Ed.2d 566 (1998).

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: General

05
August
2013

Michigan's New Arbitration Law

William L. Weber Jr. and Martin C. Weisman describe the Revised Uniform Arbitration Act (RUAA) and summarize recent substantive changes to the RUAA.

Categories: General

01
August
2013

The Michigan Slayer Statute and Probate

Michigan slayer statute applies to voluntary manslaughter too. Interesting how this issue will appear from time to time! A few years local dentist going through a divorce was shot in the back of the head in a rough part of town – wife was person of interest but never charged and she received life insurance benefits because husband never changed beneficiary despite pending divorce.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Estate Planning

31
July
2013

Michigan Defense Trial Counsel (MDTC) Golf Outing 2013

The Michigan Defense Trial Counsel (MDTC) will be hosting their 17th annual MDTC Open Golf Tournament on Friday, September 13th, 2013 at the Mystic Creek Golf Club and Banquet Center. Bring a Client, a Judge, or a Guest!

Categories: General

30
July
2013

Looking to be a Lawyer?

Looking to be a lawyer? A recent study explored the relationship between LSAT scores, first year salary and student unemployment rates. Yale, University of Chicago, and Harvard top the list with the highest salary rankings and lowest unemployment rates.

Categories: General

29
July
2013

Helpful Oil & Gas Definitions E-O

Economic-Out Clause.  Another name for a gas contract Market-Out Clause.

Entirety Clause.  A clause in an oil and gas lease or in a deed that states the agreement of the parties that royalties are to be apportioned in the event that the property is subdivided after the lease is granted.  The purpose of the clause is to avoid the non-apportionment rule.

Categories: Oil and Gas

25
July
2013

GLF Attorney Jennifer Tichelaar Obtains a Non-Dischargeability Judgment

Jennifer Tichelaar, attorney at The Gallagher Law Firm, PLC, recently obtained a nondischargeability Judgment of her Nevada client’s $9,674,057.18 Nevada District Court Judgment. The underlying Nevada state court litigation involved a dispute regarding a casino development project in Dayton, Nevada. 

Categories: Case Summaries

24
July
2013

Helpful Oil & Gas Definitions, A-D

Acreage-Contribution Agreement.  A support agreement by which the contributing party agrees to contribute leases or interests in leases in the area of a test well to a drilling party in exchange for information, if the drilling party drills to an agreed depth and develops the information.  See also Support Agreements.

Ad Coelum Doctrine.The common-law doctrine that the owner of land owns everything above and below the property’s boundaries from the heavens to the core of the earth, including all elements therein.  This has generally been replaced by the rule of capture for fugacious minerals such as oil and gas.

Categories: Oil and Gas

23
July
2013

What You Need to Know About "Business Divorce"

It's stormy seas for businesses that neglect “divorce-proofing” shareholder agreements, according to a recent WealthCounsel article. Disputes that arise between business partners can become just as financially and emotionally draining as family law divorce.

Categories: Business Law

22
July
2013

Detroit's Legal Fees Could Top $100M in Chapter 9 Bankruptcy

Check out NALFA's recent article regarding Detroit's Chapter 9 Bankruptcy.

"A recent Detroit Free Press story, “Detroit’s Legal Fees Could Top $100 Million for a Chapter 9 Bankruptcy,” reports that the City of Detroit has been billed nearly $1.4 million in legal fees by Jones Day for the first six weeks on the job.  The restructuring could result in the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.  The Chapter 9 case could cost more than $100 million, said Douglas Bernstein, partner with Plunkett Cooney in Birmingham.  “It is certainly one of the reasons that you want to get a resolution more quickly, because the longer it goes, the more money gets burned by paying professionals,” Bernstein said."

 

Categories: Bankruptcy

18
July
2013

Who's Getting Paid the Most?

Attorney Fees - Top 12 Cities with the Highest Partner Hourly Rate

A recent Corporate Counsel story, “Comparing Firm Billing Rates by Practice, City, Size,” reports that New York tops a list of 12 cities with the highest average partner rates for 2012.  The survey, from TyMetrix Legal Analytics and Corporate Executive Board shows that law firms charged the most for finance and securities work last year, and that partner rates in New York outpaced those in any other U.S. or Canadian city by more than $100 an hour. 

Categories: General

17
July
2013

MSU Agriculture Expo 2013

We hope our Ag clients are enjoying the Ag Expo! The event features the latest in technology in agricultural production and current research findings from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources faculty, MSU AgBioResearch scientists and MSU Extension staff members. http://agexpo.msu.edu/schedule

Categories: General

16
July
2013

Upcoming AAPL Events

Check out the upcoming American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) events in Michigan. The American Association of Professional Landmen is the leading source of information and guidance for the landman profession.

Categories: Oil and Gas

11
July
2013

Attorney Pat Gallagher Joins NALFA

Attorney Pat Gallagher Joins NALFA

Byron P. Gallagher, Jr. of the Gallagher Law Firm, with offices in Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids, has been admitted as a member of The National Association of Legal Fee Analysis (NALFA). NALFA is a 501(c)(6) professional association headquartered in Chicago whose members are qualified attorney fee experts, fee dispute mediators, and legal bill auditors. 

Categories: General

10
July
2013

Expert Witness: Reasonableness of Attorney Fees

I frequently testify as an expert witness for parties as to the reasonableness of attorney fees. In Michigan, the party requesting an award of attorney fees bears the burden of proving the reasonableness of the fees requested.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: General

09
July
2013

Duress as a Defense: An Offer You Can Refuse

We frequently hear defendants claim they were forced to enter into a contract under duress and should be excused from performing under the contract.  However, few attorneys know that in Michigan [t]o succeed with respect to a claim of duress, [defendants] must establish that they were illegally compelled or coerced to act by fear of serious injury to their persons, reputations, or fortunes.

I have never seen a true defense of duress except in movies. For example, recall in “The Godfather” at Connie's wedding...

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: General

08
July
2013

AAPL Pooling Seminar

The AAPL Pooling Seminar will be held on Thursday, August 1, 2013 at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This Seminar is a one-day program designed to give an in-depth overview of the pooling process.

Categories: Oil and Gas

03
July
2013

Lessons Learned From Older Lawyers

In his Above the Law article, Brian Tannebaum explores "lessons learned" from a 75-year-old colleague.

Categories: General

02
July
2013

MAPL Annual Golf Outing 2013

This year’s MAPL (Michigan Association of Professional Landman) Annual Golf Outing for MAPL Members will be held at the Buck’s Run Golf Club in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan on July 26, 2013 with a 9:00 A.M. shotgun! MAPL members and their guests are invited to participate in a day of golfing, fun, and prizes.

Categories: Oil and Gas

01
July
2013

Think Like a Lawyer

In his article, "The Warm Glow", Gary Kinder explores whether or not lawyers should really write like lawyers.

Categories: General

27
June
2013

Did You Know?

Did you know that The Michigan Online Oil and Gas Information System allows the public to search for selected oil, gas, and UIC data from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality databases?

Categories: Oil and Gas

26
June
2013

Thank You Valerie Lawver!

Thank You Valerie Lawver!

After seven years, The Gallagher Law Firm says goodbye to Senior Paralegal, Valerie Lawver.

Categories: General

25
June
2013

Funny Living Will Form

I, _______________, being of sound mind and body, do not wish to
be kept alive indefinitely by artificial means. Under no
circumstances should my fate be put in the hands of lawyers/doctors/hospitals interested in simply running up
the bills.

Categories: General

25
June
2013

Notice of Business Court Implementation

Wayne County Circuit Court is implementing a Business Court docket on July 1, 2013. The Supreme Court appointed Judge Daniel Ryan, Judge Jeanne Stempien, and Judge Brian Sullivan as Business Court Judges. All Business Court cases must be eFiled and will be assigned by blind draw to one of these judges.

Categories: Business Law

20
June
2013

Attorney David J. Williams joins GLF

Attorney David J. Williams joins GLF

Attorney David J. Williams has joined the Gallagher Law Firm with offices in Lansing, Detroit, Mount Pleasant, and Grand Rapids. Mr. Williams will focus his practice on business, banking, and real estate. David graduated magna cum laude from Oral Roberts University and The Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Categories: General

01
May
2013

Good Luck Rebecca Stephen!

RRS2011The Gallagher Law Firm wishes paralegal Rebecca Stephen the best of luck as she moves on after graduating from Thomas M. Cooley Law School summa cum laude.  Rebecca began working for the Gallagher Law Firm while completing Lansing Community College's paralegal certificate program and continued to work throughout law school.

Categories: General

29
April
2013

Thank you Jennifer Gorzynski

JAGAfter seven years, the Gallagher Law Firm says goodbye to our office manager, Jennifer Gorzynski.   Jennifer was responsible for the business operation and billing functions of the firm.

Categories: General

23
April
2013

Collecting on Money Judgments

Executing and Levying on a Judgment Debtor's Personal and Real Property

When a plaintiff files a lawsuit, he may think he will be awarded a sum of money if he is successful; however, this not exactly the case. The successful plaintiff is not awarded money, rather, he receives a money judgment. It is his job (or his attorney’s job) to set out and collect on this judgment. How does he go about collecting on the judgment? 

Written by: David J. Williams Categories: General, Litigation

19
April
2013

Steps Required for an Assignment of Rents

Michigan law permits borrowers to assign rents from their commercial and industrial properties (other apartments with less than six units and family residences) to their lenders as security for their loan. The lender, however, may only collect the rents completing several steps.  For assistance with assignment of rents, please contact us.

 

Written by: David J. Williams Categories: Real Estate Law, Business Law, Banking/Credit Unions

12
April
2013

Pierangeli, Riemland, and Slough appointed County Public Administrators

AppointmentOn April 1, 2013, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette appointed Scott Pierangeli, Jim Riemland, and Paul Slough to serve as public administrators.  Pierangeli will serve in Kalamazoo County, Riemland will serve in Berrien County, and Slough will serve inOtsego County.

Categories: Estate Planning

05
April
2013

Judges named to serve on Michigan’s new Business Courts

Judge Joyce Draganchuk
The Michigan Supreme Court has appointed 18 judges to serve on Michigan’s new business courts, including Judge Draganchuk in Ingham County.  We look forward to the increased efficiency these business courts will bring to our business litigation clients!

Categories: Business Law

29
March
2013

IRS liens and Michigan Non-Judicial Mortgage Foreclosures

There are a few steps that must be followed to extinguish an IRS lien recorded at least 30 days before the sheriff’s sale.

Categories: Tax Law

15
March
2013

Compulsory Pooling Process in Michigan

KFF2011On March 14, 2013, GLF attorney Kate Barnaby gave a presentation on Michigan's Compulsory Pooling Process at at HalfMoon Seminar's Legal and Regulatory Issues in Oil and Gas Seminar in Lansing, Michigan.

Written by: Rebecca Stephen Categories: Oil and Gas

08
March
2013

Affidavit of Allodial Title Clouds Title

We don't normally follow criminal cases, but People v. Johnson-El, a published Michigan Court of Appeals opinion, caught our attention.  In this case, Defendant Johnson-El is a member of the Washitaw Nation.  Johnson-El wandered around Detroit and recorded Affidavits of Allodial Title on properties he thought looked abandoned or in foreclosure, claiming that as a Washitaw Moor his title is superior to that of the home owner's or the bank's.  As a law firm that deals with title insurance issues, we know that there are many clouds on title that pop up.  Having a random person drive by and decide to claim your house as his own is an extreme example.

Categories: Real Estate Law

01
February
2013

Handwritten, unsigned notes valid to amend trust

Sign HereIn In Re: Stillwell Trust, a published Michigan Court of Appeals opinion, the court discussed two issues: whether hand-written notes constituted a valid amendment to the trust, and whether a child adopted after the settlor passed away was a grandchild-beneficiary of the trust.  This case highlights the importance of being clear in your directives and following the methods in your estate planning documents for amending your wishes.  Stillwell clearly expressed her intent for the distribution of the assets in the amendments.  If you need to amend your estate planning documents, contact Gallagher Law Firm attorney Craig Gerard.

Written by: Rebecca Stephen Categories: Estate Planning

04
January
2013

New law assists property owners and renters

For RentA new law recently signed by Governor Rick Snyder protects property owners and renters by giving tenants an additional 60 days to pay to reinstate a rental-purchase agreement without losing any rights or options while reducing the time the owner may demand the property back from a month to a week.

Categories: General

28
December
2012

New law allows for trust decanting

DecanterGovernor Rick Snyder signed legislation allowing for the practice of trust decanting, meaning assets held by an irrevocable trust may be moved into a different trust, as long as the trust documents do not disallow it and the trustee has discretionary powers.

Categories: Estate Planning

24
December
2012

Michigan Supreme Court on Kim v JPMorgan Chase: If the FDIC wanted to transfer by operation of law, it should have

On December 21, 2012, the Michigan Supreme Court released its opinion on Kim v JPMorgan Chase.  Back in February, we reviewed the opinion by the Michigan Court of Appeals in which MCOA held that since the FDIC assigned Washington Mutual's assets to JPMorgan Chase rather than transferred them by operation of law, JPMorgan Chase needed to record each assigned mortgage in order to foreclose, rendering any foreclosure void ab initio.  MSC agreed that FDIC transferred Washington Mutual's assets to JPMorgan Chase by assignment, not by law, but that any resulting foreclosure is voidable, not void.

Written by: Rebecca Stephen Categories: Case Summaries, Real Estate Law

19
December
2012

Treasure Hoard Found by Public Administrator in Nevada

Gold CoinsA Carson City, Nevada public administrator found about seven million dollars worth of assets, mostly gold, hiding in a decedent's modest home.  The public administrator was also able to locate a cousin to inherit the wealth.

Categories: Estate Planning

17
December
2012

GLF Attorney Jennifer Tichelaar to serve on Character and Fitness District Committee

Attorney Jennifer TichelaarGallagher Law Firm attorney Jennifer Tichelaar has been appointed by the Board of Commissioners to serve on the State Bar District E Character and Fitness Committee.  The Character and Fitness Committee investigates and interviews candidates seeking admission to the state bar.

Categories: General

10
December
2012

Best of luck to David Williams

DJW2012After an exciting trimester, David Williams finished his externship with the Gallagher Law Firm.  David will be graduated from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in January.  Congratulations David!

Categories: General

07
December
2012

Happy Holidays from the Gallagher Law Firm

1529.bmpGallagher Law Firm and Gallagher & Associates held their annual joint holday party at the Country Club of Lansing on Friday, December 7, 2012.  More than 200 clients and friends attended.  Thank you and happy holidays!

Categories: General

06
December
2012

Michigan Lawyers Weekly honors GLF attorney Kate Barnaby

035On Thursday, December 6th, 2012, Michigan Lawyers Weekly hosted a luncheon at the Detroit Marriott Troy to honor 20 attorneys with less then ten years of practice experience as Michigan's Up & Coming Lawyers.  GLF Attorney Kate Barnaby was honored for her work in the oil and gas field.

Categories: General

26
November
2012

AG's Office Releases Tips for Charitable Giving

GivingThe Michigan Nonprofit Association, Council of Michigan Foundations, Michigan Association of United Ways, and Attorney General Bill Schuette released a brochure, entitled "Giving Wisely," to give Michigan donors tips on how to give wisely to charity this holiday season.

Written by: Rebecca Stephen Categories: General

19
November
2012

Cash under the mattress not as reliable as a receipt for real property purchases

In an unpublished opinion dated November 15, 2012 in Bennett v Bugbee, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the Saginaw Circuit Court’s order denying plaintiff Robert Bennett’s request to quiet title to real property in his favor because there was no evidence that consideration was paid.  This case shows the importance of being able to provide a paper trail, especially when money and real property is involved.

Categories: Case Summaries, Real Estate Law

16
November
2012

Loan modification requirements are two-way streets

In an unpublished opinion dated November 15, 2012 in Bonsu v Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the Wayne Circuit Court’s order granting summary disposition in favor of the mortgagee.  Attorneys at the Gallagher Law Firm frequently represent parties with foreclosure disputes.  Contact us today.

Categories: Case Summaries, Real Estate Law

09
November
2012

Last Antecedent Rule Used in Hardaway v County of Wayne

The ‘last antecedent’ rule of statutory construction provides that a modifying or restrictive word or clause contained in a statute is confined solely to the immediately preceding clause or last antecedent, unless something in the statute requires a different interpretation.  In Hardaway v. County of Wayne, a published opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the Wayne Circuit Court's decision regarding statutory construction of a stateute that gives benefits to "an appointee other than a member of a board or commission who is confirmed by the County Commission."

Categories: Case Summaries, Litigation

26
October
2012

Kate Barnaby named Up & Coming Lawyer for 2012 by Michigan Lawyers Weekly

Kate BarnabyMichigan Lawyers Weekly has named Gallagher Law Firm attorney Kate Barnaby as one of the 20 attorneys selected as Up & Coming Lawyers for 2012. Ms. Barnaby has been practicing for two years, focusing on oil and gas law.

Written by: Rebecca Stephen Categories: General, Oil and Gas

22
October
2012

GLF Attorney Assists with Cooley Law Speed Networking Event

Thomas M. Cooley Law SchoolOn October 18, 2012, GLF attorney Kate (Fetkenhier) Barnaby participated in a Speed Jet Networking Event at Thomas M. Cooley Law School.  As a Cooley alumna, Ms. Barnaby was excited to give back and foster enthusiasm in the legal profession with new law students.

Categories: General

15
October
2012

Authority of Agent and type of bank account hurdles to summary disposition for check fraud

In an unpublished opinion dated October 9, 2012 in Michalik v JP Morgan Chase Bank, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the Wayne Circuit Court’s order granting summary disposition in favor of Chase because there was a question of material fact regarding whether the account in question was a joint account or a representative-payee account.

Categories: Banking/Credit Unions

12
October
2012

Signature blocks on corporate loan documents matter

Sign HereIn an unpublished opinion dated October 9, 2012 in Marcuz v Steven Premiere Properties & Development, LLC, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the Oakland Circuit Court’s order of judgment following a bench trial that found defendant Steven Branoff personally guaranteed a loan from the plaintiff to the LLC when he signed it twice—once as an officer and again as an individual.

Categories: Case Summaries, Business Law

10
October
2012

Dispute foreclosures within the redemption period

In an unpublished opinion dated October 9, 2012 in Tipton v Flagstar Bank, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the Washtenaw Circuit Court’s grant of summary disposition in favor of Flagstar.  If you are involved in a foreclosure, make sure all promises from the mortgagee are in writing and that you take timely action to preserve your rights.

Categories: Case Summaries, Real Estate Law, Banking/Credit Unions

05
October
2012

Pat Gallagher to present Civil Motions at Ingham County Bench-Bar Conference

Pat GallagherPat Gallagher will speak at the Ingham County Bar Association's Bench-Bar Conference on Saturday, October 6, 2012 at the Veterans Memorial Courthouse in Lansing, Michigan.  The topic will be civil motions.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Litigation, Law Practice Management

03
October
2012

Decedent's intent in naming account beneficiaries important even if bank protocol not followed

In an unpublished opinion dated October 2, 2012 in In re Estate of James D. Goodin, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the probate court order equally dividing the proceeds of a bank account. This case stresses the importance of reviewing the beneficiaries on each asset as part of a complete estate plan.  If you need help drafting or reviewing your estate plan, please contact Gallagher Law Firm attorney Craig Gerard.

Written by: Rebecca Stephen Categories: Case Summaries, Estate Planning

28
September
2012

"No Award" outside possible range of awards for shareholder oppression

In an unpublished opinion dated September 27, 2012 in Ginnard v Advanced Design and Prototype Technologies, Inc., the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the Oakland Circuit Court’s opinion and order denying plaintiff Mark Ginnard’s request for shareholder oppression damages.  The Court remanded the case back to the trial court to decide if by not providing additional documents, the parties consented to the estimated valuation; if either party was at fault for the missing documentation; if another remedy would be appropriate; and what level of certainty would be required for determining the damages if not.

Categories: Business Law

26
September
2012

Business Courts Bill moves on to the House

On Thursday, September 20, 2012 the Michigan Senate passed its version of HB-5128, which will establish business courts throughout the state. Now that the bill has passed the Senate, it is on to the House for a concurrence vote.

Written by: David J. Williams Categories: Business Law

24
September
2012

Bill Schuette against the Frank Dodd Act

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has joined the Attorneys General of South Carolina and Oklahoma, along with private party plaintiff’s Competitive Enterprise Institute, State National Bank of Big Spring, and the 60-Plus Association in challenging the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Act”), which was signed into law on July 21, 2010.

Written by: David J. Williams Categories: Banking/Credit Unions

21
September
2012

Thank you Community Bankers of Michigan!

Hundreds of Michigan’s leading community bankers converged on Traverse City, Michigan this September for the 2012 Community Bankers of Michigan Convention and Trade Show. The bankers, bank service providers, and exhibitors were able to enjoy scenic Traverse City, Michigan and the beautiful Grand Traverse Resort and all of its amenities.

Written by: David J. Williams Categories: Banking/Credit Unions

21
September
2012

Kate Fetkenhier presents Common Title Issues in the Oil and Gas Industry at MAPL seminar

KFF2011Kate Fetkenhier spoke on the Common Title Issues in the Oil and Gas Industry to a packed crowd at the Michigan Association of Professional Landmen's 35th Annual Fall Seminar on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at theAmway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Written by: Rebecca Stephen Categories: Oil and Gas

18
September
2012

Attorney Jack Lynch Selected for Inclusion in the “Best Lawyers in America” 2013

JackLynchBest_LawyerGallagher Law Firm is pleased to announce that Lynch Gallagher attorney John “Jack” Lynch has been selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America, 19th edition for his work in the practice area of Oil & Gas Law.

Categories: Oil and Gas

07
September
2012

Fall Extern

David WilliamsThe Gallagher Law Firm welcomes Thomas M. Cooley Law School student David Williams on board as a law clerk for the fall semester.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: General

27
August
2012

2011-2012 Case Evaluation Case Law Update

Lee Hornberger, an arbitrator and mediator in Traverse City, Michigan, posted a summary of the Michigan Court of Appeals cases regarding case evaluation since January 2011.

Categories: Litigation

17
August
2012

Probate Court Public Administrators Difficulties: The Unfortunate Case of Steven Rigby

Pat Gallagher has proudly served the Ingham County Probate Court as a Public Administrator since his appointment in 2008.  The unfortunate case of Steven Rigby is an example of a challenging case for a Public Administrator.

Categories: General

17
August
2012

GLF Attorney Kate Fetkenhier heads to NAPE in Houston, TX

Gallagher Law Firm Attorney Kate FetkenhierGLF Attorney Kate Fetkenhier will attend the NAPE Expo in Houston, TX from August 22-24, 2012.  She looks forward to seeing old acquaintances, meeting those members of the industry she has only corresponded with, and building new relationships with oil and gas contacts in Michigan and across the country.

Categories: General

17
August
2012

Mass Peer-to-Peer Copyright Enforcement suits being severed by Michigan District Court Judges

Peer to peer file sharing copyright enforcement lawsuits are continuing to meet increasing levels of resistance in federal court.  However, these cases continue to be filed.  If you’ve been accused of illegally pirating software, music, games or movies, the most important tip of all may be to get help from a copyright lawyer who can analyze your particular circumstances, legal options, and legal defenses.

Categories: Litigation

13
August
2012

CitiMortgage's Equitable Subrogation ruling applies retroactively

In an unpublished opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in National City Mortgage v Mercantile Bank that the equitable subrogation ruling in CitiMortgage Inc v MERS applies retroactively as long as the lawsuit was filed after the recording statute was amended in 2008.

Written by: Rebecca Stephen Categories: Real Estate Law

16
July
2012

Business Guide to Selling Securities

The sale of securities can be an excellent source for a small company to raise capital.  The State of Michigan website provides an excellent Business Guide to Selling Securities.  The guide gives a general overview of the Michigan Uniform Securities Act and provides a summary of the registration and exemption provisions of state and federal law.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Business Law

20
June
2012

Lost Note not road block to foreclosing mortgage securing established debt

In Sallie v. Fifth Third Bank, a published opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that a bank could foreclose on a mortgage even if the note secured by the mortgage is lost as long as the mortgage contains a power of sale and the underlying debt is established...

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Insurance

18
June
2012

Best Wishes to Brittany Campbell!

Best wishes to former Gallagher Law Firm attorney Brittany A. Campbell in her new position with the Michigan Department of the Attorney General.  Brittany will be handling litigation matters in the State Operations Division effective June 25, 2012.  We thank Brittany for the time she gave us and wish her the best of luck in the future!


Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: General

26
March
2012

KBD & Associates v Great Lakes Foam Technologies – Post-termination commissions not earned if the contract required additional work

In KBD & Associates v Great Lakes Foam Technologies, a published opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Jackson County Circuit Court in favor of defendant Great Lakes Foam Technologies, owned by MacReady, against KBD & Associates, on behalf of Lyons.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Employment Law, Business Law

23
March
2012

McCoig Materials, LLC v Galui Construction, Inc. – Separate transactions in a revolving contract considered separate for recoupment

In McCoig Materials, LLC v Galui Construction, Inc., a published opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a decision by the Macomb Circuit Court to deny plaintiff's motion for summary disposition, ruling that the defendant was not entitled to recoupment because the transaction Galui was attempting to set off was separate from the transaction McCoig was seeking payment for, even if the companies had one contract.

Written by: Pat Gallagher

03
February
2012

Successor Interests: Record ALL of your Assignments

In Kim v JP Morgan Chase Bank, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the lower court's decision and found a sheriff's sale to be void for lack of record chain of title linking the mortgage interest to JP Morgan Chase.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Insurance, Banking/Credit Unions

27
January
2012

Gray v Burns - It doesn't matter if an unrelated party acquiesced to the boundary

In Gray v Burns, an unpublished opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the Kalamazoo Circuit Court's decision to reform the parties' deeds because the boundary line that the trial court considered was acquiesced to was not the property line between the parties.

Written by: Rebecca Stephen Categories: Real Estate Law

20
January
2012

Reinstated Corporations have a retroactive legal existence, but not necessarily an actual one

In Woodbury v. Res-Care Premier, Inc., a published opinion, the Michigan Court of appeals reversed the trial court's decision to grant summary disposition in favor of the subdivision, Center Woods, reasoning that Center Woods had automatically dissolved in 1993 and was not a valid legal entity at the time of defendant Res-Care's purchase of defendant Averill's property, so Averill was not required to give notice or right of first refusal to Center Woods.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Business Law

18
January
2012

Tenant improvements do not establish a homestead exemption in equity

In an unpublished opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's summary disposition in Rule v. US Bank, stating that a mortgagee has no duty to investigate unrecorded property interests prior to foreclosure and is allowed to rely on the record of title.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Insurance

16
January
2012

Pick a State: Wife denied Michigan principal residence exemption because of her husband’s exemption in Illinois

In Levenfeld v County of Berrien, an unpublished opinion by the Michigan Court of Appeals, MCOA affirmed the Michigan Tax Tribunal's denial to grant Levenfeld a principal residence exemption due to adherence to the language in the statute.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Tax Law, Real Estate Law

13
January
2012

Successor Interests: Record your Assignments

In Kim v JP Morgan Chase Bank, the Michigan Supreme Court reversed the lower court's decision and found a sheriff's sale to be void for lack of record chain of title linking the mortgage interest to JP Morgan Chase.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Litigation, Insurance, Banking/Credit Unions

05
January
2012

Equitable Subrogation: It’s not volunteering when you’re helping yourself

Peter Brown and Adam Holland, attorneys at the Gallagher Law Firm, have prepared the following article relating to the recent case about equitable subrogration in Michigan. The article was published on the

In December 2011, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued an opinion in CitiMortgage, Inc. v MERS, Inc. that addressed and expanded the doctrine of equitable subrogation in Michigan. The Court held that if the refinancing lender is the holder of the original mortgage that is being refinanced, the new mortgage can be subrogated to take the position of the original mortgage and it may retain the original mortgage's priority over intervening mortgages.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Insurance, Banking/Credit Unions

18
November
2011

“Grow a pair” offensive, but not discriminatory

In Macreno v. St. James Capital, an unpublished opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the Oakland Circuit Court decision to dismiss the plaintiff's claims for gender discrimination and retaliation in violation of the Michigan Civil Rights Act for the termination of his employment.

Written by: Pat Gallagher

19
October
2011

Bankruptcy Fees to Increase Nov. 1, 2011

On Tuesday, November 1, 2011, the costs of certain miscellaneous bankruptcy filing fees will increase. The increases were voted for on September 13, 2011 by the Judicial Conference of the United States.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Bankruptcy

05
October
2011

The Difference Between Vacant and Unoccupied

In EldenBrady v. City of Albion, No. 297735, the Michigan Court of Appeals reviewed the Michigan Tax Tribunal's decision that an abandoned school building on ten acres of residential-zoned land adjacent to a residential dwelling prevents the parcel from being vacant and thus not eligible to be included in the principal residence exemption.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Tax Law, Real Estate Law

07
September
2011

Changes to Attorney Disciplinary Procedural Rules

On September 1, 2011, changes to several attorney discipline procedural rules went into effect. The full text of the new changes is available here.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Law Practice Management

04
May
2011

Considerations for Landowners in Surface Use Agreements

Natural gas companies lease land for surface use in order to build access roads, compressor stations, water impoundments, pipeline activity, gas storage infrastructure, or other infrastructure needs on the landowner's property. It can be tempting to enter into a surface use agreement, but there are issues that a landowner needs to think about before giving a company permission to use their land for infrastructure purposes. Landowners can easily give up more rights than they thought they were when entering into one of these agreements.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Oil and Gas

30
December
2010

Forbearance Agreements

A forbearance agreement is a contract between a borrower and a lender where the lender agrees to not exercise certain rights that it has under an existing agreement in exchange for actions on the part of the borrower. An example would be a bank's promise not to foreclose for a certain amount of time although they have the right to in exchange for the borrower's promise not to claim certain defenses if the account continues its delinquency and requires a lawsuit.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Business Law, Banking/Credit Unions

10
September
2010

Undoing an Automatic Dissolution: Renewal of Corporate Existence in Michigan

The Business Corporation Act, P.A. 284 of 1972 allows a domestic corporation that was automatically dissolved to renew its corporate existence by filing the reports and paying the required fees (including late fees and penalties) for the years they were not filed.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Business Law

24
August
2010

10 Tips to Avoid Foreclosure

If you fail to make your home mortgage payments, your lender may initiate foreclosure proceedings. Foreclosure is the legal means that your lender can use to repossess your home. If your property is worth less than the total amount you owe on your mortgage loan, a deficiency judgment could be pursued by the lender. If that happens, you not only lose your home, you would also owe your lender an additional amount to make up for the difference between the amount owed on the mortgage and the foreclosure sale price of the house. Both foreclosures and deficiency judgments could seriously affect your ability to qualify for credit in the future. Below are 10 valuable tips provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development about avoiding foreclosure:

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Bankruptcy

23
August
2010

Land Contracts

The use of land contracts is increasing as traditional financing is not available to most purchasers based on increased lending requirements and decreased appraised values. Use of a land contract may be the only way to close a sale in this slow real estate market. This relieves the seller of continuing to pay the carrying costs, taxes, maintenance and insurance for the property while waiting for a purchaser with bank financing. A land contract seller may also be able to charge up to 11% interest on most land contracts which can be very attractive compared with other investments.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law

18
August
2010

Reaffirmation Agreements after Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy should be used as a last resort in the event an individual has no other avenue to become solvent again. Under a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, all of an individual's debt is discharged (with some exceptions such as taxes, student loans, court-ordered support etc.). In exchange for the discharge, all non-exempt assets are liquidated and distributed among creditors.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Bankruptcy

10
August
2010

Introduction to MERS

What is MERS?

MERS is a name frequently heard in court in connection with mortgage issues. Much litigation revolves around mortgages and often it is unclear to litigants how MERS operates. Often the issue is whether MERS should be a party to the litigation or if it has standing to be a party. Of course, each is case is different.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Litigation, Banking/Credit Unions

05
August
2010

New clause restrictions for insurance policies

The Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) has issued rules prohibiting three types of clauses found in insurance policies that consumers have found misleading or harmful. Consumer complaints suggested that many policyholders were being harmed by certain clauses in insurance policies. The rules now prohibit insurers from inserting clauses into insurance policies that:

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Insurance

29
July
2010

Extension of the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act (OPRA)

Earlier this month, the Lansing City Council approved an Obsolete Property Tax Rehabilitation Tax Abatement for Michigan State University Federal Credit Union‘s (MSUFCU) planned ninth branch, located in downtown Lansing at 104 South Washington Square.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Tax Law, Real Estate Law

15
July
2010

Recent lawsuits filed regarding ATM fee notices

Plaintiffs' attorneys in Michigan are having potential plaintiffs troll ATMs searching for an absence of required notices. Generally, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act requires posting of fee notices on both the ATM itself and on the ATM screen or paper notice printed before the transaction is completed. Plaintiffs who make withdrawals from ATMs lacking all of the required notices then become the principal plaintiffs in a class action suit on behalf of all who have used the ATMs. These suits are attractive to Plaintiffs' attorneys because the lack of the required notices allows them to tag the banks for statutory damages and actual attorney fees.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Banking/Credit Unions

12
July
2010

The Creditor’s Right to Foreclose a Mortgage after Bankruptcy

Discharge of a debtor's personal liability by way of bankruptcy does not automatically extinguish or satisfy a lien against real property. As recognized by the United State Supreme Court, ordinarily liens on real property and other secured interests survive a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Bankruptcy , Banking/Credit Unions

12
July
2010

New Trust Account Overdraft Notice Rule (TAON) Takes Effect September 15

Banks and credit unions should be aware that the Michigan Bar Association is implementing new rules applying to law firm trust accounts which go into effect in September 2010. Banks and credit unions that want to continue holding law firm trust accounts and benefiting from the ancillary business that results must comply with these new trust account rules. Law firms are responsible for confirming their bank or credit union complies with these rules.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Law Practice Management, Banking/Credit Unions

12
July
2010

33 Things Not to Do When Preparing to File Bankruptcy

One question that often comes up in a pre-bankruptcy filing office conference is what the client needs to provide to the attorney and what they should be doing to prepare themselves for filing. If you are contemplating filing bankruptcy, the following is a list of items you should pay particular attention to:

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Bankruptcy