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.

10 Things You Should Know About Identity Theft

Criminals use many methods to steal personal information from taxpayers. They can use your information to steal your identity and file a tax return in order to receive a refund. Here are ten things the IRS wants individuals to know about identity theft so you can avoid becoming the victim of a scam artist.

Alternative Energy: More Research, Information and Funding Needed to Create Viable Wind Farm Energy Program

The push to develop alternative sources of energy continues to gain momentum and has created a sense of urgency among various federal, state and local governmental agencies and private power companies. The Detroit Free Press reported in an article in its Sunday, August 16, 2009 edition that one significant problem of increasing wind and solar energy is the overburdening of the nation’s electrical grid and increasing the threat of blackouts.

The Pure Joy of Winning When You Make Your Goals – II

Casey Penning - Winning Autistic Goals Every DayA few weeks ago I posted a blog about my oldest son, Tucker, and his experiences in a high school hockey tournament and about how through perseverance, commitment and hard work he achieved success and assisted his team in winning a tournament semi-final game.

The Pure Joy of Winning when You Make Your Goals

Tucker Penning Making Winning Hockey Goal During TournamentThe corresponding picture of my 16-year-old son, Tucker, with this blog post, was recently taken at a hockey tournament in Cleveland, Ohio. Tucker, by all accounts, is one of the best goal scorers for his team. For the first two games of the tournament, Tucker was repeatedly frustrated by missed opportunities and some remarkable goalie saves that sent him into the tournament semi-final game with no goals.

Governors sip Michigan ice wine at White House – Black Star Farms Wine Makes Appearance at White House

As recently reported in the February 25 issue of the Oakland County
Legal News


LANSING, Mich. The sauvignon blanc was from California, the pinot noir from Oregon.

Michigan Legislatures and Governor Granholm Exercise Good Common Sense in Trading New Market for Sale and Distribution of Michigan’s Home-Grown Food

Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm recently signed the last of two bills of a three-bill package paving the way for growth of a previous market for home-grown food products that was unexplainably subject to stricter state limitations than those limitations dictated by federal law. Previous state regulation on bidding to buy Michigan food products limited school districts to only $20,000 per year. Under the new law, that limit was increased to $100,000 per year which is the federal limit.