Blog — Topical News

Monday, May 24, 2010

Oil and Gas Leases: What Northern Michigan Landowners Should Know Oil and Gas Leases: What Northern Michigan Landowners Should KnowRecently, many of my firm's clients who own multiple acres of land in northern Michigan have been contacted by petroleum company representatives and offered oil and gas rights leases for their land. While many of these companies are reputable and offer fairly standard terms in their leases, they are generally trying to secure leases that are most favorable to them. The landowner should be aware of provisions that can be included to protect their...

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Normally, our weekly emails provide information on various legal issues to assist our clients, contacts and other subscribers in their personal and business affairs. Today's "special edition" is somewhat different. Hopefully the following information will make you pause, reflect on life a moment and simply make your day a little brighter. My wife and I have been blessed with three great sons, one of whom is challenged with autism. While not all of us have the challenge of raising a child with special needs, we all experience disappointments and failed expectations in our lives, careers and relationships. While the following poem focuses on the experience of raising the...

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Monday, March 8, 2010

In 2008, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that a child's ability to sue for a personal injury is not impaired despite any pre-injury waivers signed by the child's parent. The case of Woodman v. Kera, L.L.C., 280 Mich. App. 125 (2008), involved a 5-year-old boy who was injured at an indoor recreation facility. The boy's father had signed a pre-injury waiver, purporting to hold the recreation facility harmless if any injuries occurred to the child. According to the Court, the waiver could not prevent the child from pursuing a lawsuit against the facility. This conclusion was based on the common law rule that a parent lacks authority to waive, release, or compromise his or her child's...

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The HAITI Assistance Income Tax Incentive Act has recently been enacted into law to provide tax payers who give to charities providing earthquake relief in Haiti an opportunity to deduct their tax deductible donations on either their 2009 or 2010 tax returns. Only cash contributions are eligible as opposed to contributions of property. Tax payers must itemize deductions on their tax returns in order to benefit from the Act. Qualifying contributions must be made to an organization that is assisting with the relief efforts as approved by the IRS which are listed in IRS Publication 78.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact The Penning Group.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

If you're like me, you received any number of gift cards this past holiday season. Looking at the handful of gift cards I received, it occurred to me that I might just hold onto them until I needed something from a particular store. But, having heard that the sales reports for this past holiday season didn't quite meet projections, I quickly asked myself, "What happens to my card if a store goes out of business or files bankruptcy?" Doing some quick research, I learned that consumers lost an estimated $8-10 billion in gift cards due to stores going out of business in 2008. How does this happen?

I discovered that the purchaser of a gift card is essentially loaning the issuing...

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