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  • May 9, 2018
    Enforcement of the European General Data Protection Regulation is starting on May 25. The regulations set new and higher standards for the privacy rights of individuals in the EU.
  • April 13, 2018
    Singapore-based Broadcom Ltd. attempted to acquire U.S.-based Qualcomm Inc. through a hostile takeover. CFIUS provided a national security impact assessment to the transaction parties for the potential Broadcom acquisition of Qualcomm, stating that a successful hostile takeover by Broadcom of Qualcomm could pose U.S. national security risks.
  • April 4, 2018
    The Supreme Court held that automobile service advisors are exempt from overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act. While the opinion, which was issued on April 2, 2018, will certainly impact car dealerships and repair shops, it could have far-reaching implications on other classes of employees.
  • March 22, 2018
    Tax increment authorities and municipalities face new transparency and reporting requirements under a recently signed law.
  • March 21, 2018
    According to “Automated Vehicles: Liability Crash Course,” a report we released in collaboration with J.D. Power, the global leader in consumer market research, consumers are suspicious of technology failures and, relatedly, they desire to resolve ADS product liability claims out of court.
  • March 5, 2018
    A joint white paper by Miller Canfield and J.D. Power explores the legal liabilities in automated vehicle crashes.
  • February 28, 2018
    Reporting requirements for employers increased this week with regard to third-party placement of H-1B foreign workers. Previously, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) required H-1B employers to provide evidence of employment relationships with vendors and end-clients where H-1B workers are placed. However, a newly released memo indicates that USCIS will have the discretion to scrutinize these contractual relationships even more so than before.
  • February 27, 2018
    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has revived a broad, union-friendly joint employer test, at least for now. In December 2017, the board issued its decision in Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, which put in place a narrow definition of joint employer status, requiring that there be actual exercise of control by one entity over another, rather than a mere right to do so. Hy-Brand expressly overruled an earlier NLRB decision, Browning-Ferris Industries, which introduced the looser standard. On Feb. 26, 2018, the board vacated Hy-Brand due to conflicts of interest by one of the members who participated in the decision, and announced that as a result, Browning-Ferris remains good law. 
  • February 22, 2018
    The U.S. Supreme Court has reversed a U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision holding that that former employees of CNH Industrial N.V. were entitled to lifetime, vested healthcare benefits. The opinion, issued yesterday, reaffirms the court's prior opinion that ordinary principles of contract interpretation apply when determining the duration a collective bargaining agreement entitles employees to benefits. In 2015, the Supreme Court rejected the 6th Circuit's reliance on retiree-friendly inferences from UAW v. Yard-Man in M&G Polymers USA v. Tackett. Since then, lower courts within the 6th Circuit have inconsistently applied Tackett. 
  • Miller Canfield Senior Counsel Donald Moore has been working in Afghanistan since 2007. He advises international and Afghan clients in areas such as banking, defense and security, finance, insurance, construction, media, mining, oil and gas, and transportation. He is supported by the Miller Canfield global cross-border transaction team and the ITAR and CFIUS teams.
  • Building Communities
    Our clients across the United States include municipal and state government, governmental agencies, hospitals and health systems, public schools and universities, downtown development districts, real estate developers, construction companies and financial institutions.
  • Working with a Miller Canfield Trustee
    The role of the Trustee comes with significant responsibility. As Trustee, Miller Canfield will perform all services in accordance with your directions and the terms of the Trust Agreement. Miller Canfield has an established group of dedicated trust administration professionals monitoring each relationship where a Miller Canfield attorney is serving as Trustee.
  • February 20, 2018
    Flushing Community Schools recently finalized a public-private partnership (P3) project with solar power company Standard Solar Inc. This transaction, the first-of-its-kind for a public school in Michigan, is anticipated to provide the school district with significant savings while making a long-term commitment to renewable energy to power school district buildings.  
  • February 20, 2018
    A commercial real estate receiver’s powers will be clarified when Michigan’s Uniform Commercial Real Estate Receivership Act (the “Act”) becomes effective in May. The legislation, signed by Gov. Rick Snyder on Feb. 6, 2018, effects many sweeping changes and answers a question plaguing courts: Can a state receiver court sell property free and clear of liens and redemption rights?
  • February 9, 2018
    Legislation enacted in 2017 and amended last month significantly expands the range of prohibitions on a school district’s ability to influence the future use of real property that it sells or transfers. When disposing of real property, school districts often desire to obtain affirmative covenants restricting the use of the property to types of uses which support its interests, such as a residential development project to add families to the community. Prior to this recent legislation, Section 1260 of the Revised School Code prohibited school districts from using negative deed restrictions prohibiting the use of disposed property for any lawful public education purpose and further prohibited school districts from refusing to lease or rent property to a party solely because the party intended to use the property for an educational purpose. 
  • February 2, 2018
    A taxpayer may claim a credit against its federal income tax liability for research expenses paid or incurred during the tax year. The definitions of research expenses for financial reporting purposes and federal income tax purposes are different. Because of the difference, a taxpayer was not able, in an IRS audit, to substantiate its tax credits for research expenses by showing the IRS the research expenses in its financial statement.
  • January 31, 2018
    On May 25, 2018, the European Union’s new data privacy regulation, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (“GDPR”), will become effective. Not only does the GDPR regulate processing personal data by an E.U. controller or processor, but also requires non-E.U. entities, such as non-E.U. companies, universities, investment funds and charities, to comply with the GDPR.
  • January 26, 2018
    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enables investors to delay paying the tax on capital gains. If a taxpayer generates a capital gain and invests that amount in a qualified opportunity fund within 180 days, the tax will not be due until the fund investment is sold or exchanged or, if earlier, Dec. 31, 2026.
  • January 8, 2018
    H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2019 cap (FY 2019) must be received by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during the first five days of April 2018.
  • January 8, 2018
    The Department of Labor ("DOL") has formally endorsed a test used by several appellate courts in order to determine if an intern qualifies as an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), resolving the ambiguity between the DOL's enforcement position and the standards applied by the courts when reviewing claims for wages and overtime by individuals classified as interns.
  • January 4, 2018
    Employers with operations in Ontario should be aware of some newly enacted changes to the Employment Standards Act. Changes include higher wages and increased time off.
  • December 21, 2017
    The U.S. House and Senate have approved the reconciled tax reform bill that was reported out of the House and Senate Conference Committee last week. The major changes under the tax reform bill will affect corporations, businesses and individuals, but there are several provisions regarding the issuance of tax-exempt debt that may impact the future issuance of such debt by municipalities and school districts.
  • December 20, 2017
    Year-end NLRB decisions signal an intent to overturn Obama-era decisions that reversed or modified long-standing NLRB precedent. As cases come before the Board, employers need to stay alert on how the pendulum changes will affect their labor and employment practices.
  • December 20, 2017
    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act denies any deduction for settlements and payments related to sexual harassment or sexual abuse if the settlement or payment is subject to a non-disclosure agreement.
  • December 19, 2017
    The minimum wage will increase to $9.25 on Jan. 1, 2018.
  • December 15, 2017
    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) has overruled two precedents that had been particularly nettlesome to the employer community.
  • December 14, 2017
    Many recent press reports have warned of the negative affect tax reform could have on charter schools around the country. These reports focus on the proposed elimination of private activity bonds (“PABs”) under the House tax reform plan and the effect it would have on charter schools.
  • December 7, 2017
    Sworn in less than a month ago, National Labor Relations Board’s new General Counsel Peter B. Robb is wasting little time setting a new direction for the NLRB.
  • December 5, 2017
    Poland recently amended its Corporate Income Tax law, effective Jan. 1, 2018. The Polish Government announced that the objectives of the amendment are to ensure that taxes paid by large companies, especially multinational companies, are linked to the actual source of their earned income, and to implement the EU's Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive ("ATAD Directive").
  • December 5, 2017
    The Supreme Court has issued orders allowing the Trump Administration to enforce a ban on travel to the United States while the Ninth U.S. Circuit and Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rule on its legality.
  • November 29, 2017
    Disagreement among congressional committees about the federal income tax credit for research expenses is worrisome to taxpayers who may find it more difficult to qualify for the credit.
  • November 17, 2017
    The U.S. House of Representatives has passed its Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “House Bill”), and while much of the national media has focused on its impact on corporate and individual tax rates and deductions, the bill also contains provisions which would eliminate the ability to issue tax-exempt bonds for certain types of projects or for certain refinancings of existing bonds.
  • November 15, 2017
    As the Senate continues to work to modify the House version of a sweeping tax reform bill, non-profit hospitals face having to pay higher interest rates to borrow if certain types of tax-exempt bonds are eliminated.
  • November 7, 2017
    Recently, many revisions to U.S. sanction programs (both implemented and under consideration) have been the topic of much public discussion. Often, the legal status or these revisions may be difficult to determine. The U.S. sanctions programs are administered and enforced by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The following provides a chronological overview of key announcements and updates to U.S. sanction programs recently occurring within recent month
  • October 19, 2017
    President Donald Trump issued his Presidential proclamation, “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats" on Sept. 24, 2017. This order updated and expanded the preexisting immigration order signed on March 6, 2017. Absent this expansion, the order was set to expire on Sept. 24.
  • October 13, 2017
    After further review, the ruling of a Texas district court was overturned by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday, resulting in the dismissal of Ezekiel Elliott’s case against the NFL, and clearing the way for Elliott to begin serving a six-game suspension.
  • The State of Illinois now requires all employers in Illinois with 25 or more employees to offer a retirement plan to their employees or offer a state-run plan to their employees if they do not maintain their own retirement plan effective July 1, 2017. The program was in fact not implemented by the July 1, 2017 date at least partially because Congress removed in May a safe-harbor regulation issued by the U.S. Department of Labor last year which would have made implementation easier. Regardless, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs has stated that Illinois intends to move forward with the implementation of the law.
  • October 3, 2017
    Effective Oct. 3, 2017, employers may request to upgrade pending H-1B petitions with premium processing or file new H-1B petitions using the premium processing service.
  • September 26, 2017
    As candidates begin to ramp up fundraising efforts ahead of the November 2018 elections, state and local candidates in Michigan has amended the Michigan Campaign Finance Act to allow candidates to directly solicit contributions for an independent political action committee.
  • September 25, 2017
    Pres. Donald Trump added new countries to the list of those whose citizens face travel restrictions into the United States. Foreign nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen and Somalia will now face some form of travel restriction to the United States to “address the threats that the countries’ identity-management protocols, information-sharing inadequacies, and other risk factors pose to the security and welfare of the United States.”
  • September 22, 2017
    The U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights ("OCR") this morning formally rescinded its April 4, 2011, Dear Colleague Letter as well as the April 29, 2014, Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence. Together the two documents had set forth detailed requirements for schools to respond to allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault and other sexual misconduct. In rescinding the documents, the OCR indicated it would largely revert to pre-2011 guidance, specifically its 2001 Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance together with a Q&A on Campus Sexual Misconduct also issued this morning. The new Q&A relaxes several of the requirements imposed in 2014 and sends signals that the Department will be more open to claims of discrimination brought by students accused of sexual misconduct. 
  • September 18, 2017
    USCIS announced it has resumed premium processing for all H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2018 cap. Effective September 18, 2017, employers may request to upgrade pending cap-subject petitions with premium processing. USCIS guarantees a 15-calendar day processing time upon receiving an employer’s request for pre
  • September 13, 2017
    The U.S. Department of Transportation ("DOT") released its revised federal policy for automated vehicles, entitled "Automated Driving Systems 2.0: A Vision for Safety" (the "Voluntary Guidance") on September 12, 2017, and at the same time announced it is working on a 3.0 version to be released next year.
  • September 6, 2017
    The higher salary requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) white collar exemptions that were set to take effect December 1, 2016, have been ruled invalid by a U.S. District Court in Texas. The same court preliminarily enjoined the implementation of these regulations on November 22, 2016. That decision is presently on appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Although the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requested that the district court delay its final decision on the merits of the case until after the court of appeals rules on the preliminary injunction, the district court declined to do so and issued its final decision on August 31, 2017.
  • August 30, 2017
    The Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) issued a memorandum yesterday to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) informing the agency that it is initiating a review of the effectiveness of the pay data reporting requirements of the revised EEO-1 form which went into effect on September 29, 2016. As a result, the EEO-1 pay data reporting requirements are stayed indefinitely.
  • August 29, 2017
    USCIS announced it will expand the in-person interview process for certain beneficiaries of permanent residency applications.  
  • August 25, 2017
    As noted in our December 9, 2016, Client Alert, the Supreme Court in Salman v. U.S. ruled that the required “personal benefit” to the person disclosing inside information (the tipper) does not need to be “pecuniary” or something of a “similarly valuable nature.” Instead, the Supreme Court relied on its prior opinion in Dirks v. SEC, and found that a “gift” of inside information provided to the tipper’s family member or friend can be inferred by a jury as intent by the tipper to “provide the equivalent of a cash gift,” which is the personal benefit to the tipper. Salman, 137 S. Ct. 420, 427-28 (2016). “In such situations, the tipper benefits personally because giving a gift of trading information is the same thing as trading by the tipper followed by a gift of the proceeds.”  Id. at 428. The Supreme Court in Salman overruled as “inconsistent with Dirks” the Second Circuit’s 2014 holding in U.S. v. Newman that “the tipper must also receive something of a ‘pecuniary or similarly valuable nature’ in exchange for a gift to family or friends.”  Id. at 428. The Supreme Court did not directly address the other requirement in Newman that a non-pecuniary, non-monetary “personal benefit” can only be established with “proof of a meaningfully close personal relationship that generates an exchange that is objective, consequential, and represents at least a potential gain of a pecuniary or similarly valuable nature.”  U.S. v. Newman, 773 F.3d 438, 452 (2nd Cir. 2014) (emphasis added).
  • August 11, 2017
    This is Part II of a four-part series discussing the new AIA 2017 forms. Part I discussed the agreements between the Owner and Contractor (A101-2017 and A102-2017); Part III will discuss the Owner—Architect forms (B101-2017, B102-2017 and B103-2017); Part IV will discuss miscellaneous new forms, including the new insurance exhibits and consultant forms.
  • July 31, 2017
    USCIS announced it will resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions effective July 24, 2017.
  • July 31, 2017
    The Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced that it had submitted a proposed Request for Information, related to possible new overtime rules, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. The OMB review has now been completed and the DOL published the Request for Information on July 26, 2017. The DOL noted that the purpose of the Request for Information was to gather information for formulating a proposal to revise the white collar exemption regulations. The Request for Information seeks answers to 11 questions and is the strongest indication yet that the current DOL leadership will abandon the new salary basis regulations issued under President Obama.
  • July 18, 2017
    USCIS has implemented a revised Form I-9 effective July 17, 2017. Employers have until Sept. 17, 2017, to discontinue use of the Nov. 14, 2016, edition of the Form I-9 but employers are urged to use the new version of the form as soon as possible. The new form has been updated to allow employers to accept Form FS-240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad as an acceptable List C document. The I-9 employer handbook has also been updated to reflect this change.
  • July 10, 2017
    As previously reported, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is currently reviewing a challenge to the recent Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") overtime changes. Previously, a Texas district court entered an injunction preventing the Department of Labor ("DOL") from implementing new regulations regarding the determination of who is exempt for overtime purposes. On June 30, the DOL filed its reply brief with the Court of Appeals, stating that although it was no longer defending the overtime rule set to become effective on Dec. 1, 2016, it believed the district court erred in concluding that the DOL had no authority to set white-collar salary limitations. Therefore, the DOL requested that the court rule in its favor on that issue and reject the district court’s issuance of the injunction, which, it argued, “would call into question any salary-level test adopted by the [DOL].”  
  • June 27, 2017
    The United States Supreme Court has allowed portions of President Trump’s travel ban to take effect; citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen may be denied admission to the United States if they lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. On the other hand, the opinion stated that the travel ban may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.
  • June 9, 2017
    Brownfield redevelopment authorities and developers and owners of transformational brownfield redevelopment projects are eligible for substantial tax incentives under legislation signed by Governor Snyder on June 8, 2017.
  • June 8, 2017
    The U.S. Department of Labor has indicated that the department will move in a new, more employer-friendly direction, leaving many businesses feeling hopeful. On June 7, 2017, the United States Department of Labor issued a press release rescinding the Department’s 2015 administrator’s interpretation memorandum regarding Independent Contractor classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and its 2016 administrator’s interpretation memorandum regarding joint employer status under the FLSA and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers Protection Act.
  • June 6, 2017
    The U.S. Supreme Court continues to limit the timeframe in which the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“S.E.C.”) can seek to levy monetary penalties in enforcement actions it brings against violators of the federal securities laws. Most recently, the Court limited to five years the window of time in which the S.E.C. can bring a claim to “disgorge,” or take away, ill-gotten gains from a defendant’s securities fraud. These rulings may result in quicker or more aggressive enforcement actions by the S.E.C. against companies or individuals accused of securities fraud, even perhaps before investigations are complete. The holdings may also affect the willingness of corporate or individual defendants to enter into “tolling agreements” with the S.E.C. that would toll (or stop) the limitations period while the parties discuss a potential resolution or settlement.
  • May 31, 2017
    Information provides the cornerstone to the modern economy. Information flows across information technology networks similar to water naturally flowing down our mountains, into our streams and rivers, and out to the oceans. Within organizations, however, information must be damned to restrict access and the release of export-controlled information.
  • May 30, 2017
    On Thursday, May 25, 2017, Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill to extend the deadline for filing Personal Property Tax (PPT) statements to claim the exemption for manufacturing personal property until tomorrow, Wednesday, May 31, 2017.  
  • May 30, 2017
    [This is Part I of a four-part series discussing the new AIA 2017 forms. Part II will discuss the general conditions to the construction contract (A201-2017); Part III will discuss the Owner—Architect forms (B101-2017, B102-2017 and B103-2017); Part IV will discuss miscellaneous new forms, including the new insurance exhibits and consultant forms]
  • May 24, 2017
    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Procedure 2017-13 (Rev. Proc. 2017-13) on Jan. 17, 2017. The procedure provides more flexible, modern rules for structuring management contracts involving tax-exempt financed facilities. Twenty years after the IRS released Revenue Procedure 97-13 (Rev. Proc. 97-13), which helped to establish the previous safe harbor framework for management contracts, Rev. Proc. 2017-13 modifies, amplifies and supersedes Rev. Proc. 97-13, Notice 2014-67, and the most recent safe harbor published in Notice 2016-44.
  • May 23, 2017
    The U.S. Supreme Court just shook up the patent world with its decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC. For nearly 30 years, companies accused of patent infringement could be sued in nearly any place they sold accused products. This led to a concentration of patent cases in geographically inconvenient and arguably plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions. TC Heartland, however, will limit such forum shopping by requiring patent cases to be filed in one of two places: where companies are incorporated or where they both have a regular, established place of business, and are committing infringement. The days of patent cases in uncertain and out-of-the-way jurisdictions are over.
  • May 23, 2017
    When does the statute of limitations start running on claims for minority shareholder/member oppression under Michigan law? In its recent decision in Frank v. Linkner, a unanimous Michigan Supreme Court answered that question. It held that the statute of limitations accrues “when defendants’ actions allegedly interfered with the interests of a plaintiff as a member” and not necessarily “when a plaintiff incurs a calculable financial injury.”
  • May 5, 2017
    In a departure from past interpretation, the Michigan Supreme Court issued a ruling on May 1, 2017 expanding the use of personal property tax exemptions available to for-profit institutions. In SBC Health Midwest, Inc. v City of Kentwood, the court held that Sanford-Brown College of Grand Rapids could qualify for Michigan personal property tax exemptions as an “educational institution,” despite its lack of non-profit status. This decision could result in expanded personal property tax exemptions and refunds for educational institutions in Michigan that could not previously claim exemption(s).
  • May 5, 2017
    On May 2, 2017, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals clarified whether a bankruptcy debtor retains any property rights in rents after defaulting on a loan that includes an assignment of rents.
  • April 24, 2017
    On Friday, April 21, 2017, a regional director for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ordered that a union representation election must be held in a unit composed of 110 undergraduate student residential advisors at George Washington University (Slip Opinion in Full). The decision is a major extension of last year’s decision in Columbia University, which extended bargaining rights to units composed of graduate student assistants. Until the decision in George Washington, attempts to organize units of undergraduate students employed by the institution they were attending had been rejected by the Board.
  • April 19, 2017
    President Donald Trump signed an executive order: “Buy American and Hire American,” which focuses on reviewing the current employment-based visa programs and considers ways to alter immigration laws.
  • April 18, 2017
    On April 17, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has completed the random computer-generated lottery selection process for fiscal year 2018.
  • April 7, 2017
    On April 7, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has reached the H-1B cap for fiscal year 2018. USCIS has received enough petitions to fill both the regular 65,000 H-1B cap and the U.S. advanced degree 20,000 H-1B cap.
  • April 6, 2017
    On April 4, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, sitting en banc, issued a landmark opinion becoming the first appellate court to hold that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, Kimberly Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.
  • March 27, 2017
    On March 22, 2017, the Senate, by a vote of 50-48, passed a House of Representatives’ resolution which overturned the OSHA Rule seeking to expand the statute of limitations period for citations it issues to employers.
  • March 16, 2017
    On March 15, 2017, a federal judge in Hawaii froze President Trump’s March 6, 2017 executive order. The ruling suspends the executive order just one day before it was set to go into effect on March 16, 2017. Arguments made by the state of Hawaii convinced the judge that the state showed a strong likelihood of success in proving that the executive order violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which prevents the government from disfavoring a particular religion. Litigation surrounding the executive order remains ongoing and foreign nationals from the six listed countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) should contact their Miller Canfield immigration attorney prior to traveling to or departing from the United States.
  • March 15, 2017
    For the first time, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) have updated the Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property (“IP Licensing Guidelines”). First issued in 1995, the IP Licensing Guidelines describe the FTC’s and DOJ’s enforcement policies regarding intellectual property licensing.
  • March 9, 2017
    Several Hollywood companies have agreed to pay $170 million to settle a class-action lawsuit by animators who claimed their wages were depressed by unlawful anti-poaching agreements. The recent settlements highlight that now more than ever, human resources executives must understand antitrust laws.
  • March 7, 2017
    A short while ago, China finally granted the Trump Organization a trademark registration after a 10-year struggle. The timing of the announcement has fueled concern because just days before, President Trump had a phone call with Mr. Xi Jinping, China’s president. Despite speculation that the approval was a favor by the Chinese government, offered in light of President Trump’s friendliness the timing of the trademark approval was almost certainly a coincidence.
  • March 6, 2017
    USCIS announced that it will suspend premium processing of all H-1B filings beginning April 3, 2017. The suspension includes all FY 2018 H-1B cap-subject petitions, cap-exempt cases, extensions, amendments, and change of employer petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017.
  • March 6, 2017
    On March 6, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The order is an updated version of the previous order issued on Jan. 27, 2017.
  • March 3, 2017
    It is now a lot easier to enforce commercial noncompete agreements in Michigan. In its recent decision in Innovation Ventures v. Liquid Manufacturing, a unanimous Michigan Supreme Court holds that commercial noncompete agreements—for example, agreements with vendors, customers, or joint venture partners—are enforceable so long as they satisfy the Michigan Antitrust Reform Act (MARA). Commercial agreements not to compete no longer need to satisfy the common law “balancing test,” which still applies by statute to employee covenants not to compete.
  • February 17, 2017
    Emboldened by public outcry and the growing reach of social media, athletes are increasingly finding their voices on social issues. As a result, the intersection of politics and sports has never been more destined for collisions.
  • February 15, 2017
    The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division offers immunity from prosecution to applicants who are the first to self-report antitrust violations. That immunity carries with it limited protection from damages in civil litigation. Last month, in the final days of the Obama administration, the Antitrust Division released a revised version of its “Frequently Asked Questions about the Antitrust Division’s Leniency Program” (FAQs), the most important published resource for prospective immunity applicants since 2008. Many of the updated FAQs narrow the immunity protections offered under the program. Accordingly, the revised FAQs should be reviewed carefully before making a determination whether to self-disclose to the division as an applicant. It remains to be seen whether these policies will remain in effect under the Trump administration.
  • February 10, 2017
    On Feb. 9, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously ruled against the government’s request to reinstate the executive order’s entry ban. As a result, the entry ban will remain suspended until the matter can be addressed on the full merits. While the ban could ultimately be re-instated, the ruling is based in large part on the court's determination that the Government is not likely to succeed on the merits. Although the ruling permits foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen to enter the United States, international travel is not without risk. Litigation surrounding the executive order remains ongoing and foreign nationals from the seven listed countries should contact their Miller Canfield immigration attorney prior to traveling to or departing from the United States.
  • February 7, 2017
    Many businesses routinely make telemarketing calls to prior customers. However, a recent ruling holds that this may violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA)” and may open up businesses and franchises to class action suits, even when a business thought it had written permission to call.
  • February 2, 2017
    On Feb. 1, 2017, Donald F. McGahn II, counsel to President Donald Trump, issued a memorandum clarifying that the provisions of the executive order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” do not apply to lawful permanent residents of the United States.
  • January 30, 2017
    On Jan. 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The order focuses on visa issuance, screening procedures, and refugees.
  • January 23, 2017
    As of Jan. 22, 2017, employers are now required to switch over to the revised Form I-9 for all newly hired employees. This new “smart” Form I-9 can be downloaded at
  • January 2017
    Michigan Manufacturers Association Magazine
    An owner of a US business that manufactures export-controlled items (“Export Business”) nears retirement. The owner decides to sell the Export Business. In a win for the owner, the sale of the Export Business interests both US and foreign purchasers. However, selling an Export Business to a foreign purchaser immediately subjects the Export Business to US law affecting the transfer of export-controlled items, including software and technology, to foreign nationals. Is the Export Business prepared for a sale to a foreign purchaser?
  • January 17, 2017
    Przedsiębiorstwa importujące produkty do USA powinny zwrócić uwagę na obecnie toczącą się w Waszyngtonie dyskusję dotyczącą rozważanej reformy federalnego systemu podatku dochodowego od osób prawnych i objęcia nim tzw. „podatku granicznego” (“border tax”). Jeśli ta propozycja zostanie przyjęta i uzupełni obecnie istniejący amerykański system prawa podatkowego, co w świetle ostatnich wydarzeń wydaje się możliwe, może to znacząco wpłynąć na zasady międzynarodowej wymiany towarów.
  • January 17, 2017
    Las empresas que importan bienes a los Estados Unidos deben prestar mucha atención a las serias discusiones que se están llevando a cabo actualmente en Washington, DC con respecto a una importante reestructuración fiscal la cual podría incluir un “impuesto de ajuste fronterizo”. Si tal propuesta se convierte en ley, que recientemente parece ser posible, podría tener un efecto radical en el comercio transfronterizo.
  • January 17, 2017
    The influential Delaware bankruptcy court issued a recent decision that all secured lenders need to be aware of. In this decision, the bankruptcy court held that the fees of the official creditors’ committee were not limited by the dollar-amount cap in the financing order because the debtors confirmed their chapter 11 plan. The creditors’ committee argued that it was entitled to over $8 million in fees while the secured lender asserted that the committee’s fees were capped at $250,000 due to what the bankruptcy court referred to as a “standard carve-out provision” in the financing order. The bankruptcy court sided with the creditors’ committee because it found that the carve-out provision applied only in the event of failure and became irrelevant upon confirmation of the debtor’s chapter 11 plan. This decision demonstrates that the term “carve-out” is subject to differing interpretations despite its frequent use in bankruptcy parlance.
  • January 13, 2017
    On Jan. 9, 2017, Michigan Governor Snyder signed into law a package of bills, all with immediate effect, that would exempt certain taxes levied for library purposes from being captured by tax increment financing authorities, including downtown development authorities (DDAs), tax increment finance authorities (TIFAs), local development finance authorities (LDFAs), and corridor improvement authorities (CIAs), (collectively, the “TIF Authorities”). The new laws do not affect the ability of brownfield redevelopment authorities to capture library millages.
  • January 12, 2017
    Companies importing goods into the U.S. should pay very close attention to the serious discussions now taking place in Washington, D.C. regarding a major restructuring of the U.S. corporate income tax scheme to include a “border adjustment tax” feature. If such a proposal becomes law, which suddenly looks possible, it would have a radical effect on cross-border trade, mooting concerns about any threats to renegotiate NAFTA and other free-trade agreements.
  • January 9, 2017
    In October 2015, we discussed Cook County, Illinois circuit court cases City of Chicago v. KTCP and Halsted West v. City of Chicago, which held that an assignment of a mortgage is a transfer of a “beneficial interest in real property” and therefore taxable under the City of Chicago’s Real Property Transfer Tax Ordinance (“Transfer Tax Ordinance”). On Dec. 22, 2016, the Illinois appellate court overturned the circuit court’s ruling in the Halsted West case and in similar circuit court case involving another note purchaser, in the consolidated case City of Chicago v. Elm State Property.
  • January 9, 2017
    A package of recently signed Michigan laws will solidify the state’s position as the leader in automated vehicle development. However the four bills, which were signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder on Dec. 9, 2016, contain some ambiguities in areas such as safety on public roadways, and traffic enforcement where there is no human driver, requiring further rulemaking and clarification. Michigan should act swiftly to address these issues to remain at the cutting edge of the automated vehicle industry.
  • January 5, 2017
    H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2018 cap (FY 2018) must be received by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during the first five days of April 2017. As April 1 falls on a Saturday in 2017, employers should be prepared for the filing period to begin on Monday, April 3.
  • January 2017
    The latest developments for companies doing business in Poland, including: new regulations on the posting of workers for the provision of services, the obligation to make business payments of over PLN 15,000 through a bank account, adopting management and supervisory board resolutions via means of distance communication, the act of the out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes, new rules for modifying public contracts, employee liability for damage caused to the employer, draft bill on real estate investment trusts, securing the interests of management and the company through D&O insurance, sea change in personal data protection rules, the sole shareholder as an employee of the limited liability company; and more.
  • December 19, 2016
    In two separate cases, a Michigan Court of Appeals panel determined that state law does not preempt public school policies relating to the possession of firearms in schools and at school-sponsored events. In the lead case, Michigan Gun Owners Inc and Ulysses Wong v Ann Arbor Public Schools plaintiff Wong, who possesses a concealed weapons license, is the father of an AAPS student. In the other case, Michigan Open Carry Inc and Kenneth Herman v Clio Area School District plaintiff Herman was barred from visiting his child’s elementary school while openly carrying a pistol for which he possessed a concealed weapons license. In both cases, the school districts maintain policies that ban possession of firearms on school property and at school-sponsored activities. With the exception of law enforcement personnel, the prohibitions broadly apply even where a person is otherwise authorized by law to possess a weapon or has a concealed weapons permit.
  • December 14, 2016
    On Nov. 22, 2016, the recent revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime provisions - slated to become effective Dec. 1, 2016 - were enjoined by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. In its decision, the court prohibited the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing its new salary regulations for exempt employees. The DOL has now appealed that decision to Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals has now granted the DOL’s motion for expedited review.
  • December 12, 2016
    In May 2014, Michigan enacted a law that will gradually increase the minimum wage from $7.40 to $9.25 per hour by January 1, 2018. On January 1, 2017, the minimum hourly wage for employees will increase by 40 cents, from $8.50 to $8.90 per hour.
  • December 9, 2016
    To be liable for insider trading in violation of the federal securities laws, the insider “tipper” who discloses the inside information must personally benefit, directly or indirectly, from his disclosure to a “tippee” who trades on the inside information — this establishes the liability requirement that the disclosure was in violation of the tipper’s fiduciary duty of trust and confidence to the source of the information. In criminal insider trading cases, the government must also prove that a “downstream tippee” knew the information upon which he traded came from an insider or that the insider tipper received a personal benefit in exchange for the tip.
  • December 6, 2016
    Yesterday, the Seventh Circuit released a decision broadly ruling that student-athletes are not employees for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In Berger v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, two women track and field athletes who ran at the University of Pennsylvania sued Penn, the NCAA and 120 other colleges claiming that they were employees entitled to minimum wage for all hours spent in track and field activities. Each received a scholarship, but consistent with Ivy League rules, their scholarships were not dependent on athletic participation.
  • December 2, 2016
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has announced a revised Form I-9. The old Form I-9 may only be used until Jan. 21, 2017, but employers are urged to transition to the new digital version of the form as soon as possible.