Litigation/Sep 29, 2014

Lien Claimants May Recover Attorneys’ Fees For Claims Settled Through Arbitration

A lien claimant who brings a claim under Michigan’s Construction Lien Act, MCL 570.1101 et seq., may recover attorneys’ fees, even if the claim is never adjudicated in a lien foreclosure trial. This expansive interpretation of the statute came from a Michigan Court of Appeals panel that recently remanded a case, instructing the trial court ... Read More
Corporate & Business/Aug 21, 2014

Michigan Supreme Court Strikes Down Right To Jury Trial In Minority Stockholder Oppression Cases

In closely held corporations, the majority stockholders or others in active control of the corporation are in a position of power. Certain majority stockholder action can be viewed by the minority stockholders as unfairly prejudicing minority rights. Under Michigan statute, oppressive conduct includes conduct that is (1) illegal, (2) fraudulent, or (3) willfully unfair and ... Read More
Litigation/Jul 29, 2014

NEW MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT DECISION REVERSES “BENDER” RULE

Most lay persons know what it means to be Mirandized and are familiar with the well known refrain: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, ... Read More
Litigation/Jan 23, 2014

The Danger of Forwarding Emails

Emails are no longer novel.  In fact, most people take emails for granted and don’t give them much thought.  Emails are routinely received and oftentimes passed along without much thought.  However, there is a real danger attached to emails containing “private” subject matter.  The Michigan Court of Appeals in Latture v Emmerling, Docket No. 304833 ... Read More
Litigation/Feb 19, 2013

Guns & Second Amendment

A national debate is currently focusing on the Second Amendment’s right of citizens to keep and bear arms versus gun violence in America. I will not weigh in on this controversial debate other than to say the debate appears to be pressing a lot of hot buttons across the country. I suggest that interested persons ... Read More
Litigation/Sep 6, 2012

Small Claims Court Jurisdictional Limit Increased

Effective September 1, 2012, the small claims division of the Michigan District Court has been increased to $5,000.  Every three years thereafter the jurisdictional limit will increase by $500.  On January 1, 2015, the small claim jurisdiction will increase to $5,500.  On January 1, 2018, the limit will be $6,000.  Beginning January 1, 2021 the ... Read More
Litigation/Aug 28, 2012

“Open & Obvious” Revisited by Michigan Supreme Court

The Michigan Supreme Court recently revisited the “effectively unavoidable” exception to the open and obvious doctrine.  In what will certainly be a landmark and controversial decision, the Michigan Supreme Court narrowed the ability of persons injured in a slip and fall accident to recover from business property owners.  The case is Hoffner v Blue Cross ... Read More
Litigation/Jul 23, 2012

Defaults in Litigation

When a defendant in a lawsuit fails to timely file an answer, the plaintiff is entitled to the entry of a default.  After a default enters, the plaintiff can move for the entry of a default judgment.  I can’t tell you how many times defendants have approached me over the years after the default judgment ... Read More
Litigation/Jul 23, 2012

Taxable Costs and Reasonable Attorney Fees

Under Michigan law, a party who prevails at trial is entitled to recover taxable costs.  Michigan Court Rule MCR 2.625(A)(1) sets forth this rule.  Certain litigated matters go through a process called “case evaluation”.  Under the case evaluation court rule, a party who rejects case evaluation and who does not better his position at trial ... Read More