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Duty of Reasonable Inquiry does not include Bankruptcy Search

Duty of Reasonable Inquiry does not include Bankruptcy Search

  • November 17, 2010
  • W. Jay Brown
  • Comments Off on Duty of Reasonable Inquiry does not include Bankruptcy Search

Like many attorneys, I’ve experienced the uncomfortable feeling of being blindsided by a previously unknown fact that a client should have told me being raised in litigation. The recent opinion issued by the Michigan Court of Appeals in Food Solutions…

Pay close attention to expert interrogatories

Pay close attention to expert interrogatories

  • September 28, 2010
  • W. Jay Brown
  • Comments Off on Pay close attention to expert interrogatories

In a case that is sure to trap the unwary, the Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld a trial court’s bar of expert witness testimony as a discovery sanction for failing to supplement answers to interrogatories. In the case of…

Defending Collections against Spousal Guaranties

Defending Collections against Spousal Guaranties

  • September 23, 2010
  • W. Jay Brown
  • Comments Off on Defending Collections against Spousal Guaranties

It’s becoming an all-too-familiar fact pattern: a former spouse loses his business and is uncollectable/bankrupt leaving the bank to look to the former spouse for collection pursuant to a guaranty taken out during the marriage. In those instances, lawyers need…

Michigan Contract Disputes – Rebirth of the Latent Ambiguity Doctrine

Michigan Contract Disputes – Rebirth of the Latent Ambiguity Doctrine

  • August 27, 2010
  • W. Jay Brown
  • Comments Off on Michigan Contract Disputes – Rebirth of the Latent Ambiguity Doctrine

This week, the Michigan Supreme Court released its opinion in Shay v Aldrich, (# 138908 released August 23, 2010) and held that sometimes, “all” does not mean “all.” The facts in Shay were straight-forward – a plaintiff settled with two…

Treating Limited Liability Companies as Corporations

Treating Limited Liability Companies as Corporations

  • April 15, 2010
  • W. Jay Brown
  • Comments Off on Treating Limited Liability Companies as Corporations

As Michigan law provides some effective remedies and developed common law to govern disputes involving corporations, it is often desirable to apply corporate law principles to limited liability companies. I’ve never seen any reason to treat the entities differently in…

A Warning to Landlords

A Warning to Landlords

  • March 5, 2010
  • W. Jay Brown
  • Comments Off on A Warning to Landlords

If landlords weren’t already convinced about the dangers of self-help, the recently released case of Christie v Fick, (Mich Ct. App. docket # 285924, released March 2, 2010) should make the point very clear. In that case, the plaintiffs were…

Statutory Conversion Creativity

Statutory Conversion Creativity

  • January 22, 2010
  • W. Jay Brown
  • Comments Off on Statutory Conversion Creativity

Michigan’s statutory conversion statute (MCLA 600.2919a) used to confine its enhanced remedy to those who were wrongfully in receipt of converted assets. However, as it didn’t make sense to treat the person receiving the assets more harshly than the converter,…

Precluding Fraud Claims- The Winning Provision to put in your Contracts

Precluding Fraud Claims- The Winning Provision to put in your Contracts

  • January 22, 2010
  • W. Jay Brown
  • Comments Off on Precluding Fraud Claims- The Winning Provision to put in your Contracts

For years, commercial litigators have used merger clauses within contracts as a defense to fraud claims. The merger clause can prevent evidence of fraud from being introduced via the parol evidence rule and can also make any alleged reliance “unreasonable.”…

Deficiency Actions against Guarantors

Deficiency Actions against Guarantors

  • January 22, 2010
  • W. Jay Brown
  • Comments Off on Deficiency Actions against Guarantors

Recently, the Michigan Court of Appeals in Dearborn Capital Corporation v Facundo Bravo, (Docket No. 284274 released 9/22/09) issued a decision that serves as a harsh reminder to creditors of the consequences of failing to observe the letter of the…

Summary Disposition Practice

Summary Disposition Practice

  • January 22, 2010
  • W. Jay Brown
  • Comments Off on Summary Disposition Practice

In the recently released published opinion of Barnard Manufacturing v Gates Performance Engineering, (docket 286003 released August 18th), the Michigan Court of Appeals emphasized and clarified the non-moving party’s burden when responding to such motions. In that case, the plaintiff…

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