Honoring Those That Serve, Remembering Those That Fought For Our Freedom

Memorial Day is a special time to honor our brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.  It is also a time to honor those individuals who serve today. Our nation is in the midst of three serious conflicts and our active duty service members need our support and prayers.  On this Memorial Day Weekend, please take a moment to reflect on the many sacrifices made by our nation’s veterans and the sacrifices they continue to make.  Your support is critical to their morale and the well-being of their families.

Ryan Wilson
U.S. Navy Veteran
(Active Duty 1985-1988)
And an attorney with Fraser Trebilcock

Michigan Tax Law Changes Signed Into Law

On Wednesday, May 25, 2011, Governor Snyder signed a number of new tax Bills to revise Michigan’s tax structure. The new laws include elimination of the Michigan Business Tax (MBT), creation of a Michigan Corporate Income Tax and permanent spending reductions, elimination of tax credits for low-income workers, phase-out of most senior tax breaks and eliminates numerous income tax deductions and credits. The new law is effective January 1, 2012.

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It’s Okay To Talk To The Media

In today’s media saturated environment, where we can share pictures or Tweets from our phone instantaneously with the world, that may even end up on CNN or FOX News, many clients will turn to their lawyer for advice, counsel and a response. So lawyers should have a basic understanding of interacting with the media, on line and off. In fact, in today’s litigious environment, legal issues permeate the headlines, placing brands and reputations at risk. Today, clients are demanding their lawyers not only defend them in a court of law, but also in the court of public opinion.

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Avoiding Stumbles With ‘Living’ Trusts

An article in today’s Wall Street Journal discusses the importance of funding your revocable trust – often referred to as your “living trust.” Trusts are a fantastic tool to aid in administration of your assets in case of disability, illness, or death.

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Health Care Reform Debate Continues in the Courts

Litigation over the constitutionality of Health Care Reform continues to work its way through the Federal judiciary and towards the Supreme Court. In an article in today’s New York Times, the arrival of two active cases from the trial level to the United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit) in Richmond, Virginia, will give the first federal appellate court a crack at resolving inconsistent rulings by two different lower courts.

One of the lower courts, according to the Times, said Congress overstepped in mandating health insurance. Another lower court said otherwise. Whatever the Court of Appeals rules following today’s oral arguments in both cases, you can bet that they will quickly head to the United States Supreme Court.

The Times also reports that 31 cases have been filed across the country, of which a total of 9 have already moved on to the US Court of Appeals.

So consider it a horse race, as lawyers around the country try to win the lottery, by not only pursuing the case that the US Supreme Court decides, but to be on the winning side. In addition, as the Times points out, many if not all of the cases will be barnacled by briefs filed by scores of non-party “friends-of-the-court” (which actually translates to “special interest groups”).

In the end, each of the litigants, and “friends-of-the-court” think they know whether Congress can mandate that citizens buy commercial health insurance. Whether or not even the Supreme Court answers that as clearly as everyone would like is another question entirely.

For more information, please contact Jonathan Raven, Chair of Fraser Trebilcock Health Care Law Department, at 517.377.0816 or JRaven@FraserLawFirm.com

Is the Court playing politics with wastewater?

On April 25, 2011, in a case illustrating the partisan politics played in the Michigan Supreme Court, the Court issued a 4 to 3 decision to dismiss an environmental protection act case and vacate that Court’s December 2010 decision in the same matter on the ground that the case was “moot.”

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