OAK front page Feb3-2 2/2/09 2:11 PM Page 1
Oakland County Legal News www.legalnews.com/oakland
Serving the Oakland County Legal Community Since 1927
Volume 82, Number 24 Troy, Michigan Tuesday, February 3, 2009, ONE DOLLAR
Worship service planned
BY MIKE SCOTT
Area law firm helps business
clients secure funding sources
maker tools came about largely because of client demand. A
small group of clients were surveyed about the usefulness of
such a service and the positive response was overwhelming,
by Association of Black National law firm Foley & Lardner L.L.P. has launched a
Senior Living Private Equity Matchmaker tool which is expect-
according to Michael Okaty, Foley & Lardner senior living
Judges of Michigan ed to improve the ability of firm professionals to refer potential
business opportunities to its existing client base in Southeast-
The tool requires attorneys to enter a minimal amount of
information into the system so that it is available to all internal
The Association of Black Judges of Michi- ern Michigan and around the country. stakeholders.
gan will conduct their annual Worship Service This is the latest of the firm’s proprietary online private Unlike less flexible shared directories that may be more of a
on Sunday, Feb. 15, at Hope United Methodist equity matchmaker software programs, designed in-house by common asset in many professional service firms, Foley’s pro-
Church in Southfield the Foley’s own IT department for its internal platform. The prietary software will analyze the information that is entered
The event begins at 9 a.m. with breakfast Senior Living Private Equity Matchmaker tool is a value-added by individuals and when prompted. It will then match clients or
followed by a group photograph at 10 a.m. service provided by the firm’s Senior Living Industry Team, contacts with potential investment partners.
The morning worship service begins at 10:30 which is comprised of more than 30 attorneys across the This tool was initially created before the credit markets
a.m. nation. crashed late in 2008, and now Foley attorneys are utilizing the
The church is located in Southf ield at The Senior Living Private Equity Matchmaker uses an auto- Foley’s Detroit office and member of the firm’s Senior Living tool more than they previous anticipated, VanRiper said.
26275 Northwestern Hwy. mated search function and deal-matching capability to allow Industry Team. “Given how difficult it is for businesses to get credit right
For additional information, call (313) 972- attorneys to match business owners and other entrepreneurs “These Private Equity Matchmakers grew out of a need to now, we realize this is a tremendous opportunity for us to tap
5723. with alternate funding sources that may be known among the find more business referral opportunities for our clients. We into a group of investors who have funds and are looking to
firm’s clients and other contacts. felt that there was no better way to do this than to share infor- make investments outside of traditional sources,” VanRiper
“It allows us to become more aware of funding opportuni- mation in a seamless way among our various firms and profes- said. “You can consider this a resource to uncover alternative
ties and to more effectively network among our colleagues’ sionals,” VanRiper said. funding options, which is something many business owners
Scuttled house raffle professional networks said Yvette VanRiper, a partner in The investment in these proprietary private equity match- (See FOLEY, Page 2)
leads to lawsuit
PONTIAC (AP) — A couple whose
attempt to raffle their Detroit-area home was
scuttled by state regulations has filed a law-
Michigan State Parole Board issues explored
suit seeking more than $25,000 from a lawyer
they contacted about the plan.
Law Review The Oakland County Bar Associ-
ation’s Criminal Law Committee
The Detroit Free Press recently reported
that the lawsuit by Joe and Penelope VanDe- rises in rankings continued its brown bag lunch
lecture series—Anatomy of Crim-
velder of Waterford Township was filed in The Michigan State Law Review has once inal Case-Year X—with a look
January in Oakland County Circuit Court again risen in the national rankings of law into “Parole Board Issues”Tues-
against lawyer Phillip Strehle. journals, as reported in Washington & Lee day, Jan. 20, at the OCBA Center
A message seeking comment from Strehle Law School’s annual law journal rankings, the in Bloomfield Hills. Speaking on
was left Saturday by The Associated Press. authoritative source for law journal rankings. the topic were Jerry Gleeson
The VanDevelders weren’t able to sell their This year marks the fifth year in a row that (left) of Miller, Canfield, Paddock,
home for 18 months, so they decided to offer the Michigan State Law Review jumped up in & Stone P.L.C.; and Charles Sin-
raffle tickets for the four-bedroom, 1,500- the rankings. The journal now ranks 118 clair (center), field operations
square-foot house at $100 apiece. They say among law journals being ranked by this ser- manager of the Michigan Dept. of
Strehle told them it was legal. vice, rising nearly 350 places since 2003. Corrections, Parole Board. “We’ll
But last year’s raffle was halted over legal Mahfouz Ackall, editor in chief of the be going over some of the policy
concerns after it attracted public and media Michigan State Law Review, explains the directives of the Michigan Dept.
attention. importance of the journal’s boost in the ratings: of Corrections to better inform
“Authors use the rankings to decide where to practicing attorneys about the
publish or submit articles. A higher rank consequences of indeterminate
means more exposure which, in turn, means sentencing in the state of Michi-
Man to face trial in authors are more likely to accept offers to pub- gan,” noted Gleeson. On hand to
welcome the speakers was Paul
murder of parents lish in the Michigan State Law Review,” Ackall
says. “This also means we have the opportunity Stablein of Flood, Lanctot, &
CLARKSTON (AP) — An Oakland Coun- to publish more high-quality pieces.” Connor P.L.L.C.
ty man is headed to trial on charges that he (See JOURNAL, Page 2) Photo by John Meiu
fatally stabbed his parents.
Oakland County 52-2 District Court Judge
Kelly Kostin last Friday ordered 25-year-old
Mark Ott bound over to circuit court for trial
on felony and first-degree murder charges.
He will be arraigned in Oakland County
Circuit Court on Feb. 11.
District judge, attorney place first at ‘pool party’
Prosecutors say Ott fatally stabbed his par- BY MARK WERDER retired Oakland County Circuit Court Judge The contest was won by the team of Oakland
ents, Barbara and Michael Ott, both 57. Their Legal News Fred Mester. “Fight True” (“fight for what’s County 46th District Court Judge Bill
bodies were discovered Feb. 21, 2008, in their true and be true to the fight”) is the private Richards and Birmingham attorney Gary
home in Oakland County’s White Lake Town- On Friday, Jan. 23, the first annual compe- slogan Lavoie has coined which he inter- Ladue.
ship, about 30 miles northwest of Detroit. tition for The Doctor’s Cup was held in Birm- changeably invokes as a self-explanatory Lavoie, who will be the subject of a feature Attorney Mike Lavoie
Defense attorney Mitchell Ribitwer says he ingham to crown inaugural victors and description of his selfless missions to lend a story in the winter issue of “Motion” maga- officially became a “Doctor”
plans to bring an insanity defense at trial. inscribe their names on a trophy commis- hand to those in need—and his equal commit- zine published by The Legal News, also was Jan. 23 when a “medical”
sioned to honor the Highest and Truest “Fight ment to the art forms of keeping a rubber roasted with presentations of an Executive degree was conferred upon
True” Contributions of attorney Mike Lavoie. chicken handy in golf matches, conducting Clemency Order, a medical degree and license him from “Fight True University.”
Lavoie, long known as “The Doctor” for handicapping and pairing activities under a to practice medicine; “An Ode to
Woman waives court reasons lost in the mists of time, has been shroud of secrecy—and cigar smoke, where the Doctor” penned by Assistant
extraordinarily active in very low profile com- possible—and asserting the FT mantle of Oakland County Prosecutor John
hearing in cyclist’s death munity service dating back to the Peace final authority to settle all golf ethics dis- Slevin; a “testimonial” from a
Corps. Lavoie continues to this day to be putes. Peace Corps colleague; an invo-
ROYAL OAK (AP) — A 44-year-old Royal deeply involved in organizing local Michigan The Doctor’s Cup trophy was commis- cation by retired Oakland Coun-
Oak woman has waived a preliminary exami- projects to support the African villages in sioned by the Golden Years Foundation, a ty Prosecutor Ron Covault; and
nation in the hit-and-run death of a Detroit Burkina Faso where he was stationed and group of retired lawyers, who sought to appro- opening ceremony music
bicyclist. worked as a well-digger decades ago. priately memorialize Lavoie’s unique commit- excerpted from the Olympics
Kimberly Dancy is to be arraigned next An attorney with Butzel Long, Lavoie is a ment and tireless service ethic. The inaugural theme in a trumpet solo by Bill
month in Oakland County Circuit Court. native of Pontiac and also has been the main Doctor’s Cup competition was a bumper pool Richards, only the latter of
Charges include failure to stop at the scene of pillar in the Gettysburg Project, part of a Pon- and pocket billiards tournament, two other which was f it for public con-
an accident when at fault resulting in death. tiac youth mentoring program begun by coincidental areas of the doctor’s expertise. sumption.
Forty-year-old Jacqueline Robinson was
killed Sept. 19. Authorities say a second crash
later was staged to mask the damage to
Dancy has been called the “Ghost Bike”
driver after a bicycle painted white was left to
mark the site of Robinson’s death.
The Associated Press left a message last Fri-
day seeking comment from Dancy’s attorney.
MORE INSIDE Oakland County 46th District Court
Judge Bill Richards (far left) and Gary
Calendar ..............................3 Ladue (far right) joined forces to win the
inaugural Doctor’s Cup competition in
Claim of Liens ......................5 Birmingham last month. Celebrating
Classified Ads ......................2 their victory with them are (left to right)
Mark Werder, host of the event; Mike
Daily Crossword...................3 Lavoie, namesake of the bumper pool
Legal Notices .......................6 and billiards competition; and Alan
Gershel, co-chair of the Golden
Mortgages Recorded ...........4 Years Foundation with Werder.
Release of Liens ..................5
■ Paradox of Thrift ■ Governor’s Speech ■ Running the Court
Americans saving more, spending Federal stimulus to play a role in Judge draws on life experience
less at worst time possible. Granholm’s State of the State address. as high school basketball coach.
Page Two Page Three Back Page
OAK front page Feb3-2 2/2/09 2:11 PM Page 2
Page 2, Oakland County Legal News TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2009
Americans saving ‘Meet the Presidents’ Don’t ignore the IRS
more, spending less BY CAROLE FELDMAN
Associated Press Writer
Don’t forget, tax experts say,
that unemployment insurance ben-
BY MARTIN CRUTSINGER “For economic purposes, pay- efits are taxable as income. If you
AP Economics Writer ing off debt and saving are the WASHINGTON (AP) — didn’t opt to have federal or state
same,” he said. “Incurring debt is You’ve lost your job and your income tax withheld or file esti-
WASHINGTON (AP) — negative savings; paying down mortgage company is threatening mated taxes, you could find your-
Americans are hunkering down debt is savings.” foreclosure. Then, when it seems self with a tax bill that you cannot
and saving more. For a recession- He sees a long-term behavioral that things can’t get any worse, the pay. “However, the expenses that
battered economy, it couldn’t be shift. He calls the spending of the tax man comes calling. What’s a you incur to f ind a job are
happening at a worse time. past decade or more unsustain- person to do? Don’t ignore the deductible to the extent that you
Economists call it the “para- Internal Revenue Service. can itemize,” provided you are not
“The most important thing for looking for a job for the first time,
dox of thrift.” What’s good for “The only way people were
people to do even if they owe Meighan said.
individuals — spending less, sav- able to (spend heavily) was by
money is to go ahead and file that People struggling financially
ing more — is bad for the econo- harvesting cash out of their home
return,” says Terry Lemons, senior also could find themselves with a
my when everyone does it. equity, which was just an illu-
spokesman for the IRS. The aver- bigger tax bill if they withdrew
Last week, the government sion,” Frank said.
age refund last year was $2,429. money from an Individual Retire-
reported Americans’ savings rate, The ripple effect has been bru-
“That’s a lot of money for people ment Account or 401(k) and didn’t
as a percentage of after-tax tal. The economy shrank at a 3.8
who are facing hardship,” he said. have taxes withheld. There also is a
incomes, rose to 2.9 percent in percent annual rate in the final
“We encourage people to take a 10 percent penalty if you’re under
the last three months of 2008. three months of 2008, the worst
look at their taxes, file electroni- 59 1/2 years old, with a few excep-
That’s up sharply from 1.2 per- showing in 26 years. The biggest
cally and use direct deposit.” You tions. In addition, the amount you
cent in the third quarter and less reason was that consumer spend-
can get your refund in 10 days that withdraw is considered income
than 1 percent a year ago. ing fell for a second straight quar- The Incorporated Society of Irish-American Lawyers (ISIAL) and the Macomb County way, versus four weeks or longer if and is taxed. Depending on the
Like a teeter-totter, when the ter, something that hasn’t hap- Bar Association (MCBA) conducted a joint meeting titled “Meet the Presidents” on you file by mail. amount withdrawn, it could push
savings rate rises, spending falls. pened since the 1990-91 reces- Wednesday, Jan. 21, at Tommy Mac’s Pub in Warren. Welcoming State Bar of Michigan The IRS considers taxation a you into a higher tax bracket.
The latter accounts for about 70 sion. President Edward Pappas (center) of Dickinson Wright P.L.L.C. were (left to right) War- “pay as you go” system, said Bob There’s some help, though, for
percent of economic activity. Analysts believe the hard ren attorney Sean Taylor, ISIAL president, and Arthur Garton of Garton & Vogt P.C., Meighan, vice president for the people who lost their homes to
When consumers refuse to spend, times will persist in 2009 as con- MCBA president. Photo by John Meiu Consumer Tax Group, part of Intu- foreclosure and had their debt for-
companies cut back, layoffs rise, sumers, squeezed by layoffs and
it Inc., which publishes the tax given by their financial institution.
people pinch pennies even more tighter credit, delay purchases of
preparation software TurboTax. “When debt is forgiven, you
and the recession deepens. cars and other big-ticket items.
The downward spiral has ham-
mered the retail and manufactur-
Some experts say consumers
have been so shaken by how fast
FOLEY: “Most Americans are current in
tax liability as they are earning
potentially have a taxable event,”
said Jackie Perlman, senior tax
researcher at H&R Block Inc. “...
ing industries. For years, stores
enjoyed boom times as shoppers
splurged on TVs, fancy kitchen
their wealth has shrunk, so
burned by credit card debt, that
they might not resume their
Firm matches clients with funding But if your annual income
declined because you lost a job or
It’s just as if someone gave you
money to pay off your mortgage
(Continued from page 1) As Foley attorneys populate the Senior Living had other changes in your finan- and that money is potentially
decor and clothes. Suddenly, fru- robust spending for years, if ever.
both in Southeastern Michigan and nationally are Private Equity Matchmaker database with client cial situation, your tax bill is likely income to you.”
gality is in style. “People are not saving; they
looking for.” data, the tool automatically searches for matches to be lower and you could be due a Under certain circumstances,
Grace Case, 38, of Syracuse, are building financial bomb shel-
Senior Living Private Equity Matchmaker brings based on key attributes including transaction size, larger refund. you may not have to pay taxes on
N.Y., is a self-described recover- ters,” said Mark Stevens, who
together Foley clients in this industry from around development stage, facility type and geographic You might find yourself eligi- that forgiven debt. “It has to be
ing creditaholic. For 13 years, she runs a management consulting
the world who are seeking capital for acquisitions, region. When a match is identified, the system gen- ble for a broad range of credits your main residence, not a rental,
charged it all — cars, clothes, firm, MSCO, in Rye Brook, N.Y.
capital improvements or new construction with those erates an e-mail notifying the Foley attorneys of their that you didn’t qualify for before. not a vacation home,” said Perl-
repairs, vacations. She’d make Matthew Conrad, a financial Among them: the Earned Income
who are actively pursuing private equity investment clients’ potential compatibility. man.
only the minimum card payments manager at Complete Wealth Credit, education credits and the Also, the forgiveness cannot be
to sustain her buying spree for Management in Orange County, opportunities, classified as “seekers” and “sources.” There is broad interest in such a software tool.
“Senior Living Private Equity Matchmaker comes Aligning parties that seek and provide capital has Recovery Rebate Credit. more than $2 million.
her and her family, which Calif., says he knows of people The stimulus checks that peo- Economists have said the coun-
includes her husband and two who drive a BMW or Mercedes at a time when access to private equity and debt is long been a challenge in the senior living field, said
more important than ever,” Okaty said. “This tool is John O’Connor, editorial director, for both Long- ple received last year actually were try entered into recession in
children. and eat macaroni and cheese for an advance payment on the Recov- December 2007. Compared with
But after being laid off 2 1/2 dinner several nights a week. That not intended to replace the existing means of finding Term Care News and Assisted Living magazines.
capital that are currently available to those in the “The beauty of this tool is its ability to pre-screen ery Rebate Credit. Initial eligibili- previous recessions, consumers
years ago from her job as an suggests some are making an ty was determined based on 2007 are being hit particularly hard this
accountant, she landed another awkward shift from free-spending senior living arena, but rather to enhance them by candidates. It creates good fits. The benefits for both
providing a marketplace for seekers and sources to sides include smoother transactions and better rela- tax returns. time. The recession helped push
accounting job that cut her salary habits and are reluctant to give If your financial circumstances about 2.25 million homes into
connect and form mutually beneficial relationships.” tionships,” O’Connor said.
from $60,000 to $40,000. It was them up. changed, you may qualify for the foreclosure in 2008, according to
The matchmaker software program allows firm Senior Living Private Equity Matchmaker is one
impossible to meet minimum Today’s consumers might even rebate now, even if you didn’t Federal Reserve estimates. In
attorneys to significantly expand their own individ- of many progressive Foley technology offerings
payments on her card balances. start to rival their penny-pinching, when the initial payments were December, the Mortgage Bankers
ual networks with a few keystrokes. And immediate- that the firm uses to help separate it from other
Now, the Cases are on a strict Depression-era grandparents. made. Association said 1 in 10 American
ly every attorney can access his or her own network firms. Foley has been named to the Information-
budget. They take “staycations,” “The generation that lived If you did get a check, you also homeowners with a mortgage was
of more than 1,100 colleagues globally, Okaty said. Week 500 list for three consecutive years (2006 -
grow their own vegetables, buy through the Great Depression was may qualify for an additional cred- in foreclosure or behind in pay-
There are many instances where this tool has been 2008) for innovative client-focused technology that
only used cars and pre-pay cell very conservative in their spend- it if you added a child to your fam- ments. More than 10 million peo-
beneficial. Recently a developer in southern Califor- enables clients to better manage their legal depart-
phones. Case hasn’t used a credit ing and aggressive in savings,” ily in 2008. ple are unemployed.
nia contacted the firm about potential investors that ments.
card in two years. And she’s sav- said Scott Hoyt, senior director of Through 2008, Treasury For people who find they don’t
might be a part of Foley’s client base. Okaty entered Foley also was named to CIO magazine’s 2007
ing more. consumer economics at Moody’s processed more than 118 million have the money to pay their tax
it into a database and populated it in case his col- CIO-100 list, which comprises global companies
“It’s really a liberating feel- Economy.com. “I think we’re stimulus payments totaling about bills, experts have this advice:
leagues might have some leads. demonstrating technological innovation in improving
ing,” she said. “If you want some- going to have a set of consumers $96 billion. The IRS expects about —Pay as much as you can
“It helps me better manage my time and work products, services and relationships with clients.
thing, you have to have the who are moving in that direction $10 billion in Recovery Rebate when you file your taxes.
more efficiently,” Okaty said. “So instead of setting Think of it as a dating tool for investors and
money for it.” because they don’t have that Credits in 2009. —Consider asking the IRS for
(this request) aside for later, I can take just a few entrepreneurs. Okaty said that in the past, it might
Many economists think the much faith in their assets.” The credits are $600 for those an installment agreement to pay
minutes and upload the information into the software take a few phone calls and a lunch meeting to deter-
savings rate will keep rising, per- —————— filing individually, $1,200 for joint over time. There is an application on
and immediately it is available as part of the firm’s mine that two parties weren’t a good match to enter
haps as high as 6 percent or more. AP Business Writers Anne filers and $300 for each child. line. “The general rule is that if your
network of resources. into a financial partnership.
So where’s the money going? D’Innocenzio and Eileen AJ Con- The Earned Income Tax Credit bill is $25,000 or less the IRS will
“Now we just all have to get into the habit of “We let the software do all the work for us,”
To savings accounts? To debt nelly in New York, Dave Carpen- was designed to help low-income be pretty amenable to an installment
checking this tool on a regular basis or when we know Okaty said. “We get people together who are com-
reduction? ter in Chicago, Stephen Singer in workers by offsetting part of their agreement,” Perlman said.
there might be clients looking for investors or hoping patible which benefits everyone because nothing is
No one knows for sure. But Hartford, Conn., Mark Jewell in Social Security and Medicare —Look for other sources of
to invest in good ideas or businesses,” he added. more valuable that time in our business.”
Robert Frank, Cornell University Boston and David Pitt in Des taxes. Since it boosts take-home payment, including putting the bill
economist, says it doesn’t much Moines, Iowa, contributed to this pay, it is meant to provide an on a credit card. But, beware of the
matter. report. incentive to work. The maximum interest rate the credit card compa-
CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENTS income limit is $41,646. That
declines based on filing status and
ny charges — it could be higher
than the one charged by the IRS.
the number of children in the —Some 401(k) plans allow
household. The maximum credit hardship withdrawals to pay taxes.
for 2008 is $4,824, up from However, these distributions are
OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE PERSONAL FOR RENT
$4,716 in 2007. taxable and may be subject to
Lemons says the IRS is paying penalty. “It’s not a great solution,”
close attention to the hard times Perlman said. “You’re getting
BINGHAM OFFICE PARK NEED FURNITURE? and wants Americans to take taxed on money you’re using to
LAW OFFICES advantage of every credit and pay your tax.”
DELUXE OFFICES FOR RENT
VOLUNTEERS AFR Furniture Rental
has brand name furniture
deduction due them. For those
who owe back taxes, the IRS is
—Ask the IRS for a short-term
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Reception, available for lease or sale. Taxpayers who lost a job, rely payment or other extension options
We have what you need for an solely on Social Security or wel- are usually easier to obtain.
services & secretary.
To share available, attractive and apartment, home, cottage or dorm fare, or who face “devastating ill- —Offer to settle the tax liability
professional office suite. room. Short- or long-term leases ness or significant medical bills” for less than the full amount owed.
Call Judy at
(248) 645-1700 ’ROUND give you flexibility and
keep you on budget.
may be able to have collection
This “offer in compromise” is dif-
ficult to obtain. To get it, there
Call today For those facing financial hard- must either be doubt that the full
FOUNDED 1927 5 Offices in Flint Give it a Whirl! Volunteer! 248.733.0344 ship, missing a payment on an
installment agreement with the
amount could ever be collected;
doubt that the tax liability is cor-
Large Parking Area
2 Conference Rooms IRS won’t necessarily result in rect; or what is called “effective
Ask how you can help.
Oakland County NEAR THE FEDERAL, CIRCUIT AND
CALL (810) 235-9028
Contact Candy Leitheim, Volunteer Manager
2360 StoneBridge Drive; Flint, MI 48532 Furniture Rental
suspension of the agreement. The
agency said people should call the
IRS to discuss their situation.
tax administration,” with excep-
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for compromise in such a case, the
Legal News 1.800.664.6334 or 1.810.733.7250
Visit our website www.avalonhospice.org
The IRS has put together a
series of answers to “What If ”
taxpayer must demonstrate that
paying the full amount would cre-
(ISSN 1523-3146) Call (248) 577-6100
to place your ad Volunteer locally New Luxury Condos questions to help taxpayers in
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Bradley L. Thompson II, President OAKLAND COUNTY LEGAL NEWS ANN ARBOR
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Review rises in rankings
3 weeks — $12/column inch/day be accepted by phone, by Fax or by Fully furnished spacious units. (Continued from page 1)
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