Firm News

Department of Education and Transgender Facilities

May 13, 2016 the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education issued a “Dear Colleague” letter to all schools in the country receiving money from the federal government directing that “when a school provides sex-segregated activities and facilities, transgender students must be allowed to participate in such activities and access such facilities consistent with their gender identity.” Gender identity refers to an individual’s internal sense of gender.  […]

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Estate Planning: A Continuous Process

Estate planning is a continuous process and estate plan documents should be reviewed at least every decade and upon any major changes in lifestyle or family structure. A basic estate plan includes a Will, a Medical Power of Attorney, and a Durable General Power of Attorney for financial matters. A Will addresses the distribution of assets, paying debts and taxes, and providing guardians and conservators for any minor children. A […]

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Attorneys give Presentation to Police Chiefs on Garrity Protection

Elizabeth Rae-O’Donnell and Sue Bartos, both attorneys in our Livonia office, recently gave a presentation to police chiefs on Garrity Protection.  The Garrity principle is an important tool to provide officers the necessary protection while still enabling departments to conduct thorough and complete internal investigations. In Garrity v. New Jersey, the Supreme Court held that officers are not required to sacrifice their right against self-incrimination in order to retain their […]

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Acho Featured in MiLW “Sidebar of the Week”

Jim Acho, a partner in our Livonia office, was featured in this week’s “Sidebar of the Week” in Michigan Lawyers Weekly.  The article focuses on his sports law practice, specifically representing retired athletes.  Hall of Famer Lem Barney was his first client out of law school and, for the past 15 years, Acho has represented retired players from across the country.  Acho describes the stark reality of representing players from […]

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CMDA Now Handles Patents

We are pleased to announce the addition of Patent Law services to the Firm’s established intellectual property practice group. Michael O. Cummings, an experienced and skillful Patent Law attorney, has joined our Firm. Mr. Cummings understands and appreciates the importance of Patents for commercial success. Patents are valuable assets, and he is committed to protecting them for our clients. CMDA strives to provide clients with the strongest and broadest intellectual […]

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An Employee’s Motivation is No Longer Determinative in a Whistleblower Protection Claim

The Michigan Supreme Court has recently held that the employee’s motivation is no longer a determining factor in whether the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) protects the employee from an adverse employment action. Since the underlying purpose of the Act is to protect the public, municipalities are most vulnerable to a WPA claim. If government officials, who are bound to serve the public and violate laws, designed to protect the public, […]

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Contributing to a Roth IRA through the Backdoor

Many high income earners believe that they cannot contribute to a Roth IRA.  This is because they are unaware of the loophole they can use by contributing through the backdoor. The income limitations imposed by the Internal Revenue Service create the perceived barrier.  For 2016, the income and contribution limits for a Roth IRA are as follows: Filing Status Modified Adjusted Gross Income Contribution Limit Married, Filing Jointly <$184,000 Up […]

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Employee Handbooks are Essential for Small Businesses

Clients frequently question the value of preparing an employee handbook.  Many small business owners do not provide employees with an updated, legally-sound handbook due to the anticipated time needed to develop it and/or the belief that it is not necessary since they have good relations with their employees.  Providing all employees with information on the company’s policies and guidelines, employee programs, attendance rules, and other work-related rules is one of […]

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Case Law Update: LCC-MAHE v LCC Board of Trustees

CASE LAW UPDATE The following Case Law Update summarizes a recent important case.  It is provide to help clients stay up-to-date on recent case law developments in education law. For further information, please contact Patrick Sturdy. Lansing Community College Chapter of Michigan Association for Higher Education v. Lansing Community College Board of Trustees January 21, 2016;  2016 WL 300954 This case concerns the applicability of the Michigan Uniform Arbitration Act […]

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Receptionist Joins Livonia Office

If you called CMDA this week, you might have heard a new voice answering your call.  Please join us in welcoming our new receptionist Becca to our Livonia office.  Dezaray, our previous receptionist, is still with the Firm but in a different capacity as general office clerk.  Becca is extremely friendly and is looking forward to greeting clients both in person and over the phone.

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