Avoiding Will Contests

Anyone who goes to the trouble of having an attorney draft his or her Will quite naturally wants it to be honored by his or her heirs. In short, no Will contests! A lot of clients ask us how to prevent such mischief. The primary drafting tool is, not surprisingly, a clause prohibiting heirs from …

Read more

Proposed Law Prohibits Contracts Punishing Customers’ On-Line Negative Reviews

Many businesses leave their customers little choice but to accept or “click through” lengthy contracts which include many clauses they are unfamiliar with, and don’t bother to read. One of the more pernicious clauses some companies insert into these documents prohibit customers from criticizing their products on line, or elsewhere. Some of these “gag clauses” …

Read more

Litigant Can’t Avoid a Dismissal Motion By Merely Claiming it is Premature

A recent case decided by the Michigan Court of Appeals named Naseef v. Wallside Inc., raises a couple legal issues of interest.  A separate post addresses the issue of when a contractor is actually an independent contractor. One issue to be resolved in this case was whether the plaintiff who filed the case could avoid …

Read more

Defining an Independent Contractor

The case discussed in a previous post, Naseef v Wallside, Inc., addresses the issue of how the law distinguishes an independent contractor from an employee. The context n Naseef is pretty typical: is the subcontractor on a construction job an independent contractor? The Court affirms that Michigan law follows the “control test” in making that …

Read more

Employee Handbooks Are Subject to NLRB Review

A recent decision involving local employer Quicken Loans highlights an ongoing push by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to review Employee Handbooks for overly broad rules which might violate labor laws.  In this case, an Administrative Judge struck down a variety of rules which it deemed overly broad and in violation of employees’ rights …

Read more

Identifying the Prevailing Party in Contract Litigation

Many commercial contracts expressly provide that the prevailing party will be entitled to its litigation costs and attorneys’ fees in any court dispute concerning the contract.  These contracts rarely define what it means to be the “prevailing party.”  That is usually left to the parties to dispute and for the courts to decide. Michigan case …

Read more

Michigan’s New Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act

For some time, estate planners have been aware of the need to provide for access to a decedent’s digital assets.  Michigan recently enacted the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (the “Act”), which offers legal tools for passing digital assets to one’ estate, and guiding fiduciaries who must administer their decedent’s estate. Digital assets can …

Read more

Undue Influence: The Formidable Burden of Proof

A recent Michigan Court of Appeals decision illustrates once again just how difficult it can be to prove a case of undue influence. In the case of In re Peace Estate, the daughters of the deceased (Jeannette) contested their mother’s will because they were cut out of her will.  They were opposed by Jeannette’s brother …

Read more