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New Exemption for Uncapping of Residential Property Tax Takes Effect December 31
Michigan residential property owners wanting to transfer the property to a relative without uncapping the value for property tax purposes may soon be in luck. A new exemption takes effect on December 31, 2013 that will allow residential property to be transferred to a person related “by blood or affinity to the first degree.”
December 6, 2013
Significant Changes for Michigan Court of Claims
Parties engaged in litigation against the State of Michigan in the Court of Claims will do so under new jurisdictional rules that were signed into law on November 12, 2013. The law, PA 164, moves the Court of Claims from the Ingham County Circuit Court to the Court of Appeals, where cases will be assigned to one of four designated judges.
November 14, 2013
New Rules for Shanghai Free Trade Zone
On September 29, 2013, China launched its long-awaited Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ), which is widely viewed as the most significant milestone in the country’s economic reform since the establishment of Shenzhen Economic Special Zone in 1980. The SFTZ is expected to lead the way for broader financial reforms for the whole country. It’s also expected to fiercely compete with Hong Kong as an international trade hub.
October 4, 2013
Supreme Court Rules That Pay-For-Delay Settlements Subject To Antitrust Challenges
Antitrust challenges to so-called “pay-for-delay” settlements in drug patent suits are allowed under the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc. In a “pay-for-delay” settlement, a pharmaceutical company that produces a brand name drug will pay a generic drug manufacturer to delay release of a generic drug that would compete with the brand name drug.
June 24, 2013
Illinois Legislature and Court Clarifies Confusion on Mortgage Requirements after In re Crane
A new Illinois law will close a loophole through which some mortgages could be subject to avoidance in bankruptcy. The loophole, created by U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s (C.D. Illinois) 2012 In re Crane opinion, allowed a bankruptcy trustee to avoid a mortgage under 11 U.S.C. § 544(a)(3) unless it contained, among other provisions: 1) the amount owed, 2) the debt’s maturity date and 3) the underlying interest rate.
May 23, 2013
Process and Form of Filing Annual Qualifying Statement Revised
Earlier this month, the Michigan Department of Treasury issued Bulletin 6 implementing revisions to the application form and method of filing for the annual Qualifying Statement. The Revised Municipal Finance Act, Public Act 34 of 2001, requires each local government to file an annual Qualifying Statement in conjunction with its audit filing. Act 34 provides Treasury with authority to issue bulletins and promulgate rules necessary to carry out the purpose of the Act.
May 23, 2013
U.S. Export Control Reforms to Become Effective
The first significant reforms to the U.S. export control regulations in International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and U.S. Export Administration Regulations (EAR) are about to take effect.
May 10, 2013
NLRB Notice Posting Requirement Violates Employers’ Right to Free Speech
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) requirement that private employers post a notice informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) has been invalidated by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. In National Association of Manufacturers v. NLRB, the Court said the Board’s August 2011 ruling violated employers’ free speech rights under federal labor laws.
May 9, 2013
New Form I-9 Takes Effect Today
The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) released a new version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Starting Tuesday, May 7, 2013, the previous version will no longer be accepted and all employers should be using the newest version of the form.
May 7, 2013
Employee Motivation For Making a Whistleblower Claim Is Not Relevant Under WPA, MSC Rules
An employee’s motivation for making a whistleblower claim is not relevant to his lawsuit under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA), the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in Whitman v. City of Burton on May 1. As a result, employers can no longer have a reasonable expectation of winning a WPA lawsuit simply because the employee’s whistleblower complaints may have been motivated by personal gain.
May 6, 2013
Is Your Software Transmission Subject to U.S. Export Controls under the EAR?
Whether by electronic download or through the physical transfer via CD-ROM or flash drive, the release of software may require an export control license from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) under the Export Administration Regulations (the “EAR”). Both delivery methods can qualify as an export under the EAR.
May 3, 2013
SEC Approves Communications Via Social Media
The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has taken a new position that publicly traded companies may use social media to communicate information to investors, so long as investors are first advised of the communication channels and the communications still comply with Regulation FD.
April 8, 2013
Supreme Court of India Denies Novartis Patent Application
In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of India dismissed an appeal by Novartis AG, a Swiss pharmaceutical giant, to win patent protection in India for its cancer drug, Glivec. The polarizing decision has been hailed by activists as a step in the right direction for affordable healthcare, and as being detrimental to innovation and investment by the international business community.
April 3, 2013
“Duty to Preserve” May Include “Duty to Recover”
A recent U.S. District Court decision illustrates that, when electronic data under a preservation obligation is accidentally lost, a party may still face serious spoliation sanctions if it does not make a reasonable attempt to recover the data.
March 22, 2013
Court Allows Service Via Email and Facebook
A federal judge in New York has allowed a plaintiff to serve an unresponsive international defendant with motions and other court filings over email and Facebook. The decision is good news for plaintiffs in cases where defendants with email and social media accounts have avoided traditional service of process.
March 18, 2013
New Form I-9 Now Available
On Friday, March 8, 2013, the US Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) released a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Employers should begin using the new form now; however, the previously accepted versions may be used until May 7, 2013.
March 12, 2013
What the Sequestration Means for Direct Pay Bond Issuers
School districts that have issued certain direct pay bonds are expected to see a reduction in refundable credits as long as the sequestration remains in effect. But exactly how much the credits will be reduced won’t be known until the sequestration ends.
March 6, 2013
New Privacy Guidelines for Mobile Apps
Do you and your employees use applications on mobile devices to conduct business? Recent actions by federal and state government as well as marketing industry groups suggest that the legal landscape for mobile apps is evolving – particularly with respect to privacy rights.
February 19, 2013