The (big) difference between conversation and communication

Far too many people believe having the ability to converse is the same as being able to communicate. They believe that telling is equivalent...

Michigan’s no-fault insurance law and the out-of-state traveler

It is a Friday in mid-July, the type of summer day we dream about in February: sunshine, a cloudless sky, high-70 degree temperatures and...

Big changes are coming to Michigan’s garnishment laws

On Oct. 1, 2015, thanks to recent changes in the law, there will be several big changes to Michigan's periodic garnishment process. Some changes...

The secret to attracting and retaining qualified employees

There is a shortage of qualified workers in West Michigan, yet unemployment remains at unacceptably high levels. Improvements in efficiency and productivity within all...

Analyzing your company financials: Don’t kill the messenger

What is reality? It is whatever you think it is. Your personality, value system, culture and exposure to varying concepts can distort your focus...

A ‘nanny tax’ horror story from an honest tax expert

The election is over, and the president will soon be naming new cabinet and senior administration appointees. Background checks may reveal various items including...

Job descriptions: the foundation of human resources

Everyone knows a company must have job descriptions to have an organized human resources function. Unfortunately, the thinking often stops at this point, while...

Michigan shoppers: Watch your step in the grocery aisles

Imagine walking through the produce section in your local grocery store. Your feet slip from under you. You hit the floor.As you feel the...

Determining ‘large employers,’ ‘full-time employees’ for PPACA

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, beginning in 2014, any company designated as a "large employer" will be required to offer minimum...

Advisory boards: legal tips and potential traps

An advisory board for your family-owned company can be a great asset. But setting one up carelessly can create confusion, destroy confidence and expose...

Can you ‘divorce proof’ your family-owned business?

A significant risk facing family-owned businesses is almost uniformly unaddressed: the risk that the company gets embroiled in the divorce of one of its...

Why even a bad guy won’t pay your attorneys’ fees

I've been a trial lawyer for 32 years. And if I had a dollar for every time I heard a litigant vow to collect...

Is fair always equal? Challenges in family business succession

Families face many challenges when passing ownership of the family business between generations.A key component to succession planning is determining how to treat children...

No-contest clauses: leaving beneficiaries in terror

A no-contest, or "in terrorem," clause provides that a beneficiary under a will who contests the gift shall take either nothing or only a...

Coping with new Fair Labor Standards Act regulations

Anyone involved with trying to operate a successful business or nonprofit organization knows it isn’t easy to juggle all of the responsibilities. Sometimes, if...

Marriages come and go, but divorce is often forever

Last Christmas Eve, I got a voicemail from my son Shamus asking if I knew of a divorce lawyer named Mr. Barnhart. He was...

Successful leadership transitions: traps to avoid, tips for success

It’s never easy to step into a leadership role from outside an organization. Michael Watkins, an authority on leadership transitions, has concluded through his research...

Hiking through the 65-day trust distribution rule

So much can happen in 65 days. The pilgrims sailed to America on the Mayflower in 65 days, you could briskly hike the Appalachian...

Introverts have traits that make them excellent leaders

Some would suggest that a person must be an extrovert to be a good leader — that to be followed, a person must be...

Four mistakes family business owners make with their exit plan

Have you ever seen someone walk unsuspectingly into a glass door? I’ve been that person. What’s the worst part? Knowing it was totally preventable.While...

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