Five Stories That Matter in Michigan This Week – April 5, 2024

  1. New Michigan House Map Approved

A panel of three federal judges recently approved new voting districts for the Michigan House of Representatives after previously invalidating several districts within Detroit.

Why it Matters: The districts were revised because the panel previously found the Michigan redistricting commission’s redrawn districts were based predominantly on race in violation of the U.S. Constitution.


  1. Ten Reasons Why You May Want to Consider a Family Cottage Succession Plan

The goal of cottage succession planning is to set up legal ground rules that provide the best chance to keep a cottage in the family for future generations.

Why it Matters: A cottage plan usually addresses concerns through the creative use of a limited liability company (LLC), or a trust (typically used for more favorable treatment associated with the uncapping of taxable value), to own the property. Learn more from cottage law attorney Mark Kellogg.


  1. Snack Food Brand Sues Michigan Cannabis Companies Over Trademark Infringement

Better Made Snack Foods Inc, a Detroit based snack food company, is suing multiple Michigan cannabis companies over trademark infringement alleging that the companies knowingly and willingly sold cannabis products under the brand Better Smoke.

Why it Matters: Better Made is seeking monetary damages as well as an injunction to halt the sales of Better Smoke products.


  1. A Health Professional’s Guide to Navigating the Disciplinary Process: What to Expect if You Are Facing a Professional Licensing Investigation or Administrative Complaint

Health professionals are committed to caring for patients with expertise, compassion, and integrity. However, in the heavily regulated healthcare field, those professionals can sometimes find themselves navigating not just the medical challenges of their patients but licensing issues of their own as well. Licensing issues can arise unexpectedly, and, when they do, they can cause tremendous stress and uncertainty.

Why it Matters: As an attorney with years of experience handling professional licensing matters for health professionals, Robert J. Andretz has witnessed firsthand how professional licensing investigations and Administrative Complaints can disrupt health professionals’ careers and their ability to provide patient care. He will explore how to navigate the disciplinary process in Michigan so that you can know what to expect if you are ever faced with a threat to your license. Learn more.


  1. Corporate Transparency Act Update

As anticipated, the finding by a federal judge in Alabama that the Corporate Transparency Act is unconstitutional has prompted (or at least been echoed by) challenges elsewhere, including in federal courts in Maine and in Michigan. FinCEN filed its appeal notice in the Alabama suit earlier this month, meaning that a decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals may be forthcoming. The suits in Maine and Michigan were brought in courts covered by the 5th and 6th Circuit Courts of Appeals, which could be the beginning of a series of events that brings the question of the CTA’s constitutionality before the United States Supreme Court as a result of a possible Circuit split.

Why it Matters: Reporting companies that were formed prior to January 1, 2024, may find it advantageous to continue collecting their beneficial owner information but postpone filing the report until some of these matters have worked through their respective processes. Entities created on or after January 1, 2024, however, will still need to file their reports within 90 days of filing their organizing documents, as their reporting obligations have not been excused. Learn more from attorney Bob Burgee.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Cannabis Law | Sean Gallagher
Cottage Law | Mark Kellogg
Health Care Law Robert Andretz
Business & Tax | Robert Burgee

Five Stories That Matter in Michigan This Week – November 10, 2023

  1. Michigan House of Representatives Soon to be Divided Equally Between Democrats and Republicans

As a result of two Michigan House representatives winning mayoral races in this week’s elections, the House will soon be divided equally, 54-54, between Democrats and Republicans.

Why it Matters: A year after taking full control of the Michigan legislature for the first time in decades, Democrats will now have a harder time moving their agenda forward. Any legislation in the House will now, assuming Democrat unity, require support from at least one Republican House member. Expect greater legislative gridlock moving forward given that legislation must pass both the Senate and the House in order to be sent to Governor Whitmer for ratification.


  1. Ohio Passes Ballot Measure; Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

Following Tuesday’s results, Ohio has become the 24th state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana.

Why it Matters: The measure will take effect in 30 days, meaning Ohio residents over the age of 21 will be able to use, grow, or sell marijuana under the supervision of the state’s regulatory body. Additionally, individuals are allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and will be allowed to cultivate up to six marijuana plans at home. Learn more.


  1. Fraser Trebilcock Named a Tier 1 Law Firm in Lansing in Six Practice Areas for 2024

Fraser Trebilcock has received a First Tier ranking in Lansing in six practice areas by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” in 2024.

Why it Matters: In addition to the First Tier ranking in six legal practice areas, Fraser Trebilcock has been named a Tier Two firm in Lansing for four practice areas and has also been named a Tier Three firm in Lansing for three practice areas. Learn more.


  1. Michigan Senate Passes Package of Clean Energy Bills

Three bills recently passed by the Michigan Senate would require companies to make 100% of their energy through renewables such as solar and wind by 2040, and also seeks to reduce energy waste, among other objectives. The bills have now moved to the Michigan House.

Why it Matters: Clean energy legislation is a major priority for Michigan Democrats but is opposed by Republicans and has received pushback from many business groups, who argue the legislation would increase energy costs.


  1. November Member Mixer in the Boji Tower

Join us for the November Member Mixer on Tuesday, November 14, at the historic Boji Tower, Lansing’s tallest and most historic building.

Why it Matters: Averaging 100+ attendees, Member Mixers occur on the second Tuesday of every month and provide an opportunity to gather and network, meet other members and business professionals and get a glimpse of a local business. Learn more.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Election Law | Thaddeus Morgan
Cannabis Law | Sean Gallagher
Energy, Utilities & Telecommunication | Sean Gallagher

Term Limits and Financial Disclosure Requirements will be on the November Ballot in Michigan

In 1992, Michigan voters voted in favor of a constitutional amendment for term limits. Since then, Michigan House members have been limited to three two-year terms and Michigan Senate members to two four-year terms— a maximum of 14 years between the two chambers.

Those limits may change in light of a vote by the Michigan legislature on May 10 to put the issue of term limits on this year’s November ballot. The plan would permit lawmakers to serve 12 years in Lansing, and all of that time could be spent in the House or Senate, or it could be divided between the two chambers.

Voters will also be asked to approve or reject a requirement that state-level office holders submit annual financial disclosures to address conflicts of interest. If approved by voters, elected officials would have to disclose their assets, income and liabilities, and their involvement in any businesses, nonprofits, labor organizations or educational institutions.

No discussion or debate of the plan took place in either the House or the Senate.

According to reports, the Michigan Legislature worked with the advocacy group Voters for Transparency and Term Limits to bring these issues before Michigan voters in November. The resolution passed 76-28 in the House, and by a 26-6 vote in the Senate.

We will continue to keep you informed about these developments, as well as other issues in the lead up to the November elections.

Fraser Trebilcock attorney and former Michigan State Legislator Klint Kesto has nearly two decades of experience working in both the public and private sectors, including serving as Co-Chair of the CARES Task Force. You can reach him at or 517.377.0868.

Scrap Metal Recyclers Support Stronger Metal Theft Law

A strengthened scrap metal bill, three years in the works, moved one step closer to law on Wednesday.

The goal of the bill is to provide law enforcement with better support to track and successfully prosecute metal thieves, who may steal metal property in one location, destructively turn it into scrap metal, and then attempt to sell it to metal recycling businesses in other locations.   A new and  important feature of the bill is creation of a new online database to track sales and purchases of certain types of items that are often, but by no means always, stolen.

“The reporting database is a very potent tool for law enforcement, already under way in other states.  In fact, a representative of the Michigan State Police actually referred me to one specific service available to law enforcement that could be helpful to the State of Michigan”, said Attorney Jonathan Raven of Fraser Trebilcock, on behalf of scrap processors.

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