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Troy MI Business & Commercial Law Blog

We can help your business seal your big real estate deal

Whether they own an emerging business or sit at the top of an established and influential enterprise, Michigan business owners will more likely than not have to purchase, sell or rent a piece of commercial real estate at some point.

Whenever it is time for the next big real estate deal, it is very important that the business owner forms the proper team and includes and experienced and capable commercial real estate attorney on that team. For one, commercial real estate transactions, even "simple" ones, are much more complicated than buying, selling or renting a house or an apartment. There are all kinds of business and legal technicalities to which someone must attend promptly and competently.

A primer on Michigan antitrust law

As in the case in many other states, certain actions among businesses that would have the effect of squeezing out competition unfairly are prohibited in the state of Michigan. A business who violates this rule can face criminal penalties, administrative sanctions or a lawsuit brought by an aggrieved organization or individual.

Basically, the law prohibits most businesses from either maintaining or trying to form a monopoly over a particular good or service. Some companies, organizations and industries are exempt. Usually, these industries are already highly regulated, as in the case of insurance companies, or are serving an important purpose, like the government itself or an established trade union that represents the rights of workers.

Michigan company will be paid damages after waiving jury trial

Plastipak Packing, a business located in Michigan, will receive over $7 million from Healthways, an out-of state provider of "wellness services," after prevailing in a trial. The Michigan company alleged that the Tennessee business had breached its contract, and the judge hearing the case agreed.

The result, at least to some degree, was the product of the hard work of the Michigan company's business lawyer. In an interesting move, the Michigan company agreed with Healthways that the case would not go before a jury as originally planned. Instead, the judge alone would hear the facts of the case and make a decision.

Supreme Court judgment set to trim securities-fraud cases

The intricacies of the business world may not be easily apparent to the average American, whether in Troy, Michigan, or in other cities. News of a business's success or failure reaches everyone, but the actual achievement is often complex. Internal business interactions can often lead to business disputes, not just between two businesses, but also between companies and investors. If the companies in dispute are publicly listed, they may face lawsuits from distressed stockholders.

In a recent case filed by investors claiming they were misled regarding certain asbestos liabilities against Halliburton, the United States Supreme Court held that companies can block cases against them if they can show that the lie did not affect stock prices. The investors' case is strengthened by a theory suggesting a company's share price is indicative of the statements made to the public by the company.

Michigan Supreme Court rules for Chrysler in contract dispute

In the business world, there are a host of corporations performing highly specialized and even geographically localized services. The proper and profitable operation of such businesses often requires them to associate with other businesses offering related, but independent services. Such business relations are nearly always spelled out in legal language, and, as Oakland, Michigan, businesspersons may know, often invoke many existing laws. This gives the businesses some degree of protection in the event their relation sours, akin to domestic relationships.

While ensuring their own profitability, businesses may sometimes unintentionally find themselves in a legally debatable position, requiring a court to arbitrate if a partner or a business associate files a lawsuit against them. Such situations can also arise within the framework of business contracts, and, if they infringe any of the terms of the contract, a breach of contract lawsuit may be filed. Courts are mandated to deal with these contract disputes when necessary.

Kentwood manufacturing site set for new owners, tenant

An Illinois-based developer has increased the size of its acquisition at a site previously occupied by an office furniture manufacturer. This is the developer's third property purchase in that area and while two of the sites now have new occupants, the latest is expected to be occupied no later than August by an unnamed manufacturer. The three properties were all part of the campus owned by the previous establishment, an office furniture maker, whose owner has since moved its operations to Mexico.

According to the announcement, while the parceling of the commercial real estate on the campus to different tenants is seen as requiring the further installation of infrastructure, the developer has been hailed as "creative'. By finding a tenant who can almost immediately rent the premises, there is a seamlessly continued presence there, also perceived to be an achievement for the developer who owns additional unoccupied land.

Michigan company fighting breach of contract suit in Texas

It is common knowledge that many companies, whether in Michigan or elsewhere, have to work in collaboration with others in order to carry out their business successfully. Since such dealings often carry significant value, they are governed by legal agreements, which have serious implications if either partner violates the business contract. Any contract disputes can be settled through negotiations, although, in many cases, appearing in court may be required.

Recently, Norton Shores, a Michigan-based company, was sued by a company based in Beaumont, Texas for alleged non-payment of commissions. According to the May 2008 agreement between the two companies, the Michigan-based company was to pay the Texas company 5 percent of the contract value of any tire industry-related services, covering the provision and installation of equipment as well as engineering. The lawsuit specifically indicates a contract worth $20 million on which commissions have apparently not been paid, despite an issued invoice in that amount.

Business formation requires lots of planning

Many of our Michigan readers may know that starting a new business often requires a lot of planning and financial aid. Business formation is not easy, and depending on the nature of the business many people are often required for to plan to start a business. Leadership and team-building focus on the job are considered essential attributes for an entrepreneur. And, according to a recent report, workshops in Michigan are going to be conducted to channel business talent in a right way.

The University of Michigan and NextEnergy will jointly start an entrepreneurship program asking help to commercialize transportation and technologies. Entrepreneurs, investors and leaders from the industry will help conduct workshops for transportation and Innovation Corps., or I-Corps. The training program is being conducted to provide new avenues to young entrepreneurs, and push new ideas from the lab to the market. The program will start in June.

Chesapeake accused of violating Michigan's antitrust laws

In any business, disputes may be inevitable. Business matters require a lot of patience and understanding. Sometimes, controversies in business matters followed by an alleged breach of contract can damage the goodwill of the business. Recently, a business dispute occurred in the state of Michigan. The dispute involves the state of Michigan and a well-known company, Chesapeake, and a third party, Encana.

The state of Michigan accused Chesapeake and Encana of divvying up counties with the intent to later seek the rights to explore resources in those counties as part of an oil and gas bidding process. The charges alleged that the company tried to bid the prices down to pursue resource exploration rights. The prices were slashed to $40 in October from a bid price of $1,510 per acre. According to reports, Chesapeake has been charged with conspiracy to restrain trade, which is a violation of Michigan's antitrust laws. The company withdrew its exploration operations from Michigan. Currently, it is facing a $1 million fine for two counts of conspiracy.

Contact dispute reported between company and school in Michigan

Recently, a contract dispute in Michigan between the Detroit Public School districts and a staffing company was reported in the news. The contract dispute involves a staffing company's failure to keep the schools clean. The district sources say that the company is incapable of keeping up with the terms of the contract by keeping the school clean.

Company officials have a different story to tell, however. According to the company officials, the district owes them more than $18 million for the work they are performing. Therefore, the company has stopped working.

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