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Vol. III, Issue No. 7
September 25, 2014
A sure sign of fall?  The nearby downtown Detroit Beach Bar has been replaced by the Beach Haus Biergarten!  Where has the summer gone?  We hope it's been good for you!

This month's briefing covers our recent litigation victory which teaches a lesson about written commission agreements as well as a case about family business agreements. We also cover honors for our attorneys, profile John Hubbard and share a registration link for the upcoming Jake & Johnny Golf Outing!

Close up of pen on employment contract
When commission based employees terminate their employment, do they get commissions for sales made after they leave?  If no contract exists regarding post-termination commissions and the salesperson procured the sales, the employer must pay commissions even after termination of the employee under the procuring cause doctrine.  We recently obtained a significant victory for our client in Oakland County (MI) Circuit Court in large part because his former employer failed to have any written agreement with him regarding commissions.

Employers and salespersons both should minimize their litigation risk by having written agreements in place before any termination occurs.  Read more about the procuring cause doctrine at this blog article and contact John Hubbard or Eric Parzianello with any questions about commission agreements.
Think Your Family Business Doesn't Need Written Agreements?  Think Again

Family businesses are often run without any type of written agreement and without any succession planning. This is often a big mistake as family squabbles can result especially after the death of the owner. A recent Michigan case highlights the problems which can arise.

In the case of In re Moon, a father and son ran a dairy farm together as a partnership without any written agreement. The farm was run from property titled in the father's name. The son died and his wife sought a determination that the property belonged to the estate. After prolonged litigation, the Court of Appeals held that in absence of a written agreement, partnerships depend upon the intent of the parties and the understanding under which they acted. The court concluded that because the father owned the property before the partnership was created and he never conveyed it to the partnership, it could not be considered partnership property.

Don't allow a court to determine your intent. Even in family businesses - and perhaps especially in family businesses - put it writing.  Contact Mark Snitchler with questions on business and succession planning.
HSP Super Lawyers Honored!
John Hubbard, Eric Parzianello and Gavin Fleming were honored as 2014 Michigan Super Lawyers! Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement comprising no more than 5% of the attorneys in the state.  The Super Lawyers Magazine was included as a special insert in Crain's Detroit Business earlier this month.
Attorney Profile - John Hubbard 
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This month's attorney profile features John Hubbard
. John focuses on the litigation and arbitration of complex business and financial disputes with an emphasis on securities law. Most recently, he has advocated the rights of individual investors and groups of investors. John represents clients in a variety of industries including financial services, automotive and manufacturing. He is licensed to practice in Florida and handles matters there from the firm's Naples office.

Outside the office, John's passion has been The Jake & Johnny Club which benefits the fight against childhood leukemia and juvenile diabetes. John's son was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes in 2007. He joined forces with his former partner whose grandson was diagnosed with childhood leukemia. Since 2007, The Jake & Johnny Club has raised over $125,000 to help fight these diseases.  He was featured in an article in The Detroit Legal News on the charity whose main fundraiser is this Monday. Read more about it below - it's not too late to join us! 
Jake & Johnny Golf Outing - September 29!!

As you read above, John Hubbard is actively involved with The Jake & Johnny Club which is committed to raising money to eradicate Juvenile Diabetes and Childhood Leukemia.  
Its annual golf outing will be held this Monday September 29th at the Golden Fox Golf Club in Plymouth.  If you haven't played in it, consider joining us for what is always a great event! More information can be found at this registration link. We hope to see you there!

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