Firms, legislation, trends and awards



Judge declines to halt Michigan’s new indoor dining ban

DETROIT — A judge on Friday declined to halt a three-week ban on indoor dining in Michigan that is one of the most recent coronavirus restrictions imposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration.

Flint water lawsuit settlement now totals about $641 million

LANSING — The proposed settlement of a lawsuit filed on behalf of residents of Flint, who were harmed by lead-tainted water, now totals about $641 million, officials revealed Tuesday.

Michigan court rejects appeal over counting ballots

DETROIT — An effort to stop the certification of Detroit-area votes from the Nov. 3 election was rejected Monday by the Michigan appeals court.

Gift tax exemption set to increase next year

With a new president comes new changes, but there is one trend that will remain the same, at least for now.

Pizza entrepreneur charged with fraud in virus loan program

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A Detroit-area pizza entrepreneur was charged with fraud Thursday in seeking more than $900,000 in government-backed loans during the coronavirus pandemic.

WMU, Cooley Law School to sever ties

Western Michigan University will end its affiliation with Thomas M. Cooley Law School in November 2023.

Foster Swift receives president’s ‘E’ award for export services

Law firm Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC was one of 39 businesses in the country to receive the 2020 Presidential “E” Award in the Export Services category.

Kent County Probate Court temporarily stops in-person hearings

The Kent County Probate Court prohibited in-person hearings due to the spike in COVID-19 cases in the county.

Public aid for private schools lands at Michigan’s top court

DETROIT — The Michigan Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a dispute over public aid for private schools.

FBI investigates robocalls warning voters to ‘stay home’

TRAVERSE CITY — Voters across the U.S. received anonymous robocalls in the days and weeks before Election Day urging them to "stay safe and stay home" — an ominous warning that election experts said could be an effort to scare voters into sitting out the election.

Due to virus, restaurants now taking names and phone numbers

DETROIT — Meals at Michigan restaurants came with a new side dish Monday: What's your name and phone number?

Max’s South Seas Hideaway files for bankruptcy

The owners of a downtown tiki bar and restaurant declared bankruptcy.

Varnum attorneys join national advocacy board

Varnum partners Ron DeWaard and Peter Smit were elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Michigan fraternity sued over nonbinary and female members

ANN ARBOR — A fraternity at the University of Michigan is being sued by its national organization after accepting women as members.

Judge stops Election Day gun ban near Michigan polling sites

DETROIT — A judge on Tuesday blocked a ban on the open display of guns near Michigan polling places on Election Day, agreeing with critics who said a Democratic secretary of state failed to follow state law with her sudden order.

Smith Haughey founding partner David Haughey dies at 102

Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge recently announced the passing of one of the firm’s founding partners, David O. Haughey.

Warner Norcross attorney selected to ICCF board

Warner Norcross + Judd attorney Alexandra M. Woods was elected to Inner City Christian Federation’s board of directors.

Some Michigan sheriffs won’t enforce open carry ban at polls

BEULAH — Some sheriffs have said they won't enforce Michigan's top election official's ban on openly carrying guns near polling places on Election Day.

Election officer appointed for West Michigan

United States Attorney Andrew Birge appointed First Assistant United States Attorney Donald Daniels to serve as the district election officer for the Western District of Michigan.

Whitmer signs bills to protect businesses from virus suits

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday made Michigan businesses and other employers immune from lawsuits filed by customers or workers who contract the coronavirus, as long as they have followed all safety protocols.

Man charged in Whitmer kidnapping plot released on bail

LANSING — A Wisconsin man charged in a plot to kidnap Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been released from jail after posting a $10,000 cash bail.

Attorney returns to firm

Kreis Enderle Hudgins & Borsos, P.C. has added attorney Mitchell Moldovan to its firm.

Federal judge finds Whitmer plot case can move forward

GRAND RAPIDS — Prosecutors have provided enough evidence to move toward trial for five Michigan men accused of plotting to kidnap the state’s governor, a federal judge ruled Friday in Grand Rapids.

Michigan Legislature OKs unemployment, legal liability bills

LANSING — Michigan's Legislature early Wednesday passed a bill to keep intact longer-lasting unemployment benefits during the coronavirus pandemic after the state Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a law that was the basis for now-negated orders issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Gov. Whitmer signs bills expanding criminal record expungement

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed bipartisan House Bills 4980-4985 and 5120 on Monday aimed to reform the state’s criminal expungement laws.