North America

H&H Michigan Super Lawyers® & Michigan Rising Stars 2016

Royal Oak, Michigan, September 28, 2016: Twenty-five of Howard & Howard’s attorneys were recently named to Michigan Super Lawyers® and Michigan Rising Stars 2016 as a result of a patented selection process. This process includes peer evaluation and independent research.  Only five percent of the attorneys in Michigan were named to the Super Lawyers list and two and one half percent to Rising Stars.

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Non-Solicitation Violation Leads to $6.9M in Damages – Employment Law This Week

Featured in the top story on Employment Law This Week:  Former employees turned competitors in Pennsylvania are hit with $4.5 million in punitive damages.

An insurance brokerage firm sued a group of employees, claiming that they violated their non-solicitation agreements by luring away employees and clients to launch a new office for a competitor. A lower court awarded the firm nearly $2.4 million in compensatory damages and $4.5 million in punitive damages because of the defendants’ outrageous conduct. On appeal, the appellate court agreed and upheld all damages.

See the segment below and read our recent blog post on this topic.

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Temporary regulations issued on early election of new partnership audit rules

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA) provided for new partnership audit rules that significantly change the way IRS partnership audits will be handled. While these rules are not mandatory until January 1, 2018, partnerships can elect to be subject to the new rules now. Temporary regulations were issued last month, specifying how a partnership can elect into the new rules for IRS audits prior to the 2018 effective date. In addition to providing mechanical rules for early use of the new audit provision, these regulations give some insight into issues that the IRS is beginning to identify as the effective date approaches.
The new audit rules will allow the IRS in most cases to assess any additional tax resulting from the audit against the partnership itself – eliminating the need to proceed against the individual partners. Read more…
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BC Executor’s Guide to Probate and Estate Administration

The Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP), Greater Vancouver Area Chapter has launched their BC Executor’s Guide to Probate and Estate Administration. This guide is prepared as a resource for the Executor of an estate where a charity is a beneficiary of a gift under a Will. It was produced with the assistance of Raman Johal of Clark Wilson LLP and is sponsored by the CAGP Greater Vancouver Area Chapter as part of its LEAVE A LEGACY™ initiative in British Columbia. To order this guide, click here.

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How to follow USCIS policy when investor is a minor

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Ronald Fieldstone

Ronald R. Fieldstone

There has been a lot of recent discussion on an investment by a minor and how it is treated by USCIS, in addition to the corporate issues related. The key factors to be considered are the following:

  1. A minor can be an investor. This was verbally confirmed by one of the Deputies of USCIS to me personally at the Miami Stakeholders Meeting on July 28, 2016.
  2. The key component of a minor Subscriber is USCIS’s concern that the investment is not voidable or void.
  3. Generally, the state law stated in the Subscription Agreement and/or Operating Agreement would apply as to what law would determine the enforceability of the investment contract. This will be discussed below. Independently, I checked with Chinese counsel who acknowledged that a minor is generally under the age of 18 and that a parent can sign for a minor as a guardian providing there is proof of the parent’s capacity.
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RSS has added to its strength!

September 21, 2016 — As part of its continuing expansion to better serve its clients, RSS is pleased to announce that it has added the following lawyers to its team during the summer:

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Shutts & Bowen welcomes four new attorneys

Shutts & Bowen LLP is pleased to announce the addition of four new attorneys to the firm. These new hires bring a diverse range of legal experience to support our more than 30 practice areas.

Alamea Deedee Bitran (Law Clerk, Fort Lauderdale) is a member of the Business Litigation Practice Group. Deedee focuses her practice on transactional and litigation cases. Deedee previously served as a Judicial Intern to the Honorable Ivan F. Fernandez in the Third District Court of Appeal.

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Twenty-One States Allege the New White Collar Salary Thresholds are Unlawful

A group of 21 states (“the States”) has filed a Complaint in the Eastern District of Texas challenging the new regulations from U.S. Department of Labor that re-define the white collar exemptions to the overtime requirements of the FLSA.  The States argue the DOL overstepped its authority by, among other things, establishing a new minimum salary threshold for those exemptions.

Pursuant to the new regulations from the U.S. Department of Labor, effective December 1, 2016:

  • the salary threshold for the executive, administrative, and professional exemption will effectively double from $23,660 ($455 per week) to $47,476 ($913 per week);
  • “Highly Compensated Employees” (“HCEs”) must earn annual compensation of at least $100,000; and
  • an indexing mechanism will be applied to automatically update the salary threshold and the HCE compensation requirement every three years.
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Howard & Howard continues to expand Los Angeles office

Royal Oak, Michigan, September 20, 2016: Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is pleased to announce that Brandon M. Garrett has joined the firm. He will practice out of the firm’s Los Angeles Office.
Mr. Garrett concentrates his practice in franchising and transactional business matters. He has assisted in the development and formation of dozens of franchise concepts in a variety of industries, including the preparation of disclosure documents and related agreements in the U.S. and Canada. Mr. Garrett has negotiated franchise agreements on behalf of both franchisees and franchisors. He has also represented clients in response to various state administrative actions and investigations.
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Preparing a Benefits Program in Advance of the DOL’s Overtime Rule – Employment Law This Week

In a “Tip of the Week” segment on Employment Law This Week, Will Hansen, Senior Vice President of Retirement Policy for The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC), offers some advice on preparing a benefits program in advance of the Department of Labor’s overtime rule:

“The Department of Labor’s Final Rule increasing the overtime exemption threshold to $47,476 dollars will not only have an impact on the wages an employee receives, but also the benefits that they receive. In advance of these changes taking effect on December 1st, it’s important for companies to review their benefit programs. First, they should determine whether there will be any increase or decrease in the overtime wages provided, as well as an increase or decrease in salaried over hourly employees. Next, they should examine the financial impact any change in their workforce will have on the company. . . . Lastly, the company should look at other benefits, such as paid sick leave or commuter transit benefits to see if there will be a change in participation which would have an impact on costs.”

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