topical-news

Why School Emergency Contact Cards are Not Enough

School emergency contact cards are not enoughAs a majority of Michigan children begin school this week, there are a few things parents can put in place now that will help their children and themselves address an unexpected emergency situation if it should arise.

Naming a short-term guardian for your children

Summer’s Not Over Until Last Firework Lights Up Night Sky

"No Dad, I have to go for the team."

Open-source Software Doesn’t Necessarily Mean it’s “Free”

At the end of July, a federal court in New York issued a decision that put a high price on "open-source" or "free" software. Companies are looking more and more closely at ways to cut expenses, and using open-source software is one way to take advantage of software licensing without purchasing software. Open-source software, however, does not fall outside the bounds of copyright law. Contrary to conventional wisdom, it is not in the public domain.

Revisiting “Holland”

Emily Perl Kingsley poem Welcome to HollandSeveral weeks ago, I shared a poem written by Emily Perl Kingsley entitled, "Welcome to Holland." (click here to read the "Holland" Reflections blog post) The poem reflects Kingsley's experience of raising a child with a disability to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it and in some small way imagine how it would feel.

Hope On In Faith

We were doubly blessed in January, 1995 with twin boys. Both weighed in at 40 pounds. One was blond and one was dark-haired. There it was - our family complete - three boys under 2 1/2 years of age. Do you remember the poem, what are little boys made of? "Snails, tails and puppy dog tails." Our lives were busy with diapers, bottles, and watching in amazement how our world went from one to three.

Oil and Gas Leases: What Northern Michigan Landowners Should Know

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.

Reflection

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.

Update on Effect of Parental Waivers for Children

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.

Haiti Assistance Income Tax Incentive Act

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.

Holiday Gift Cards Go Down the Tubes in Bankruptcy

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.