Summary Dismissal Victory Achieved by Karen A. Smyth and C. Thomas Ludden in Defense of FDCPA Putative Class Action

Defendant’s Rooker-Feldman motion of a putative FDCPA class action was recently granted in favor of the Defendant-Debt Collection Law firm represented by Lipson Neilson. The Rooker-Feldman doctrine limits the jurisdiction of federal courts by restricting their power to adjudicate appeals from or collateral attacks on state-court judgments and final orders.

The Plaintiff sought to challenge state court orders by filing a FDCPA putative class action in federal court. Plaintiff alleged the amount of post-judgment interest owed and communicated to them by Defendants “exceeded the amount permitted by law.”

The Court agreed with the Defendant law firm that the pleading although artfully worded was appealing the writ of garnishment, the source of his alleged injury. The injuries arose from the execution of the writs, not the purported “false” statement in the writs, as Plaintiff never challenged the writs. The Court also found that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine made intuitive sense. Again, the Court agreed with the Defendant law firm that the Michigan Court Rules afforded the debtor/ Plaintiff the opportunity to challenge the writ as “otherwise invalid.” Mich. R. Ct. 3.101(K)(2)(f). Had the Plaintiff objected to the alleged improper interest being requested in the writ, the state district court is required to schedule a hearing. Mich. R. Ct. 3.101(K)(3). Thus, where parties, such as Plaintiff, are afforded an opportunity to challenge the amount of money that will be garnished, they should do so. “Parties should not sit on their hands, have the money garnished, and then sue in a different forum to recover the difference between the amount of interest collected and the amount owed, and also recover statutory damages, costs and fees for their attorneys.” Finding that it would either have to conclude the writs were invalid or otherwise erroneously issue, the Court applied Rooker-Feldman and dismissed the FDCPA lawsuit.

Sandra D. Glazier Presenting “Considerations and Ethical Responsibilities When Representing Vulnerable Adults” at Michigan State Bar Association’s Family Law Section Summer Conference

Sandra Glazier 2017 webpage photoSandra D. Glazier will present “Considerations and Ethical Responsibilities When Representing Vulnerable Adults” at the State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section’s Summer Conference on July 21, 2018 at the Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, Michigan.

Family law is a very specialized area of law that is often state specific. In addition to staying current on the laws and how they are interpreted, family law attorneys must know their way around a courtroom, a referee’s office, the court rules, and case law. This conference will feature presentations by recognized family law practitioners providing state-of-the-law education and tips on family law issues.

An attorney for more than 35 years, Ms. Glazier is known for her expertise and successful track record in probate litigation, estate planning, trust and estate administration, and family law matters. The cases she works on tend to be very complex and require technical as well as legal expertise. An AV Preeminent® rated attorney, she has also been recognized by “Super Lawyers” in probate litigation and a “Top Lawyer” by DBusiness, in the areas of probate, estate and family law.

Ms. Glazier has had numerous articles nationally published by some of the legal industry’s leading publications. In addition, she has presented on estate planning and probate litigation related topics for the American Bar Association, Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute, Kansas City Estate Planning Symposium, Michigan’s Institute of Continuing Education, Oakland County Bar Association, Wayne County Probate Court appointed attorney training, Wilmington Trust’s New York Trust Symposium, Trust & Estates Magazine, and the Bloomberg BNA Estate and Gift Tax Advisory Board. She has presented on Family Law related topics for NBI, the OCBA, ICLE and the Michigan State Bar – Family Law Section.

Contact: Sandra D. Glazier
Phone: 248-593-5000
Email: sglazier@lipsonneilson.com

Sandra D. Glazier Co-Presenting “Estate Planning Retainer Agreements and Engagement Letters” Webinar Aimed at Helping to Protect Practitioners from Ethical Problems and Law Suits.

June 27, 2018 – Sandra D. Glazier, a principal of the Lipson Neilson law firm will co-present a free webinar “Estate Planning Retaining Agreements and Engagement Letters at 12pm on July 12, 2018. This webinar will provide valuable insight for attorneys and law firm administrators across the country that are charged with developing new business in the area of Estate Planning. Ms. Glazier is co-presenting with attorney Martin M. Shenkman. Both Ms. Glazier and Mr. Shenkman are in high demand as featured speakers at conferences across the USA. Register at:

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5847086679859420931.

Course Description: Retainer agreements (engagement letters) are critical to establish and document the understanding the practitioner has with the client. They are an important step that practitioners can take to identify expected actions and protect practitioners from a myriad of potential issues, or worse ethical problems or suits.

  • What should practitioners consider including in a retainer agreement?
  • How has technology changed the issues that might be addressed?
  • Are text messages an issue?
  • Why is it important to communicate billing practices?
  • What options are available in doing so?
  • What special precautions might be considered and addressed when representing married couples?
  • Should practitioners consider warning clients about their obligations to the estate planning process?
  • What caveats might practitioners consider inserting into the agreement?
  • When should agreements be revisited?
  • What are the logistics of retention and conflict waiver agreements?
  • Are there benefits to addressing the practitioner’s obligations?

Sandra Glazier 2017 webpage photo

An attorney for more than 35 years, Ms. Glazier is known for her expertise and successful track record in probate litigation, estate planning, trust and estate administration, and family law matters. The cases she works on tend to be very complex and require technical as well as legal expertise. Ms. Glazier has represented contestants and proponents of estate planning documents, as well as fiduciaries, in significant trust litigation proceedings. An AV Preeminent® rated attorney, she has also been recognized by “Super Lawyers” in probate litigation and a “Top Lawyer” by DBusiness, in the areas of probate, estate and family law.

Ms. Glazier has had numerous articles published by some of the legal industry’s leading publications. In addition, she has presented on estate planning and probate litigation related topics for the American Bar Association, Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute, Kansas City Estate Planning Symposium, Michigan’s Institute of Continuing Education, Oakland County Bar Association, Wayne County Probate Court appointed attorney training, Wilmington Trust’s New York Trust Symposium and the Bloomberg BNA Estate and Gift Tax Advisory Board. She has also taught “Valuation for Federal, Estate and Gift Tax Purposes” in a Masters level course.

Contact: Sandra D. Glazier
Phone: 248-593-5000
Email: sglazier@lipsonneilson.com

Attorney Christina M. DiMichele Joins the Firm

Attorney Christina M. DiMichele has joined the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office as an Associate. Ms. DiMichele’s practice concentrates on Probate and Trust Administration, Probate Litigation, Family and Domestic Law, and Professional Liability.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. DiMichele worked as the judicial attorney to Hon. Lisa M. Neilson, Family Court Judge in the Third Circuit Court of Michigan. Ms. DiMichele provided direct assistance to Judge Neilson and was responsible for administration of the courtroom docket. She drafted legal memoranda, prepared written orders and opinions, and worked with lawyers and self-represented litigants to resolve contested matters. She was responsible for the implementation of processes and procedures used throughout the Family Court Division.

While a judicial attorney, Ms. DiMichele worked with attorneys at the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Embassy in Egypt and the U.S. Embassy in Jordan to orchestrate the safe return of two children that had been abducted by a parent to the Middle East (Yemen) during divorce proceedings.

Ms. DiMichele received a J.D. from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, and a B.S. from Grand Valley State University. She is a member of the Wayne County Family Law Bar Association, the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, and the William Booth Legal Aid Clinic for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties in Michigan.

Founded in 1985, the Lipson Neilson law firm has grown from three founding members to thirty-three attorneys located in three states. Since its formation, the firm has also expanded its practice areas from business, tax and litigation to a full range of practice areas which now also include international law, real estate, professional liability, probate litigation, family law and estate planning.

Dax Watson to Speak on the Impact of Real Estate Trends on Professional Liability Claims at 2018 National CLM Conference

Dax Watson compressedDax Watson, Managing Partner of the Phoenix office of the Lipson Neilson law firm, will co-present “As the Market Soars, So Do the Lawsuits: How Market Conditions Impact Real Estate Professional Liability Claims”, along with Regan Katz, Managing Director of Wortham Insurance and Risk Management, at the 2018 CLM (Claims and Litigation Management) Management and Professional Liability Conference on June 21, 2018 at the Boston Waterfront Hotel in Boston, MA.

This presentation will dive into the ramifications of America’s real estate market that is trending up and approaching pre-2008 levels. How does that impact real estate claims?

This session will focus on claims that arise out of investment-related transactions like fix-and-flip, buy-and-hold, and investment partnerships that ultimately lead to claims citing poor workmanship, undisclosed defects, and non-permitted work all passed on to the real estate professionals involved in the transaction.

The active real estate market also is leading to increased property management portfolios and VRBO type properties. This, too, leads to claims against the real estate professionals. Attendees will gain valuable insight into how hot real estate markets lead to increased claims and explore how standard insurance policies for real estate professionals respond to such claims.

Dax Watson is a cum laude graduate with a B.A. in History from Arizona State University, and a cum laude graduate from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. He focuses his practice in commercial litigation with an emphasis in real estate matters and professional liability defense. In his capacity as a defense attorney, Dax defends professionals in the fields of real estate, law, accounting, architecture, and engineering. He also defends officers, directors and employers in employment practice liability disputes.

Lipson Neilson Team Supports 2018 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure – Detroit

2018 Susan Komen

The firm is proud to have participated with a team in the 2018 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure – Detroit. The firm’s team included 29 attorneys, staff, families and friends that are connected by their passion to help fight breast cancer. This year’s 5K run/fitness walk through the streets of downtown Detroit, held on May 5, 2018, drew an estimated crowd of 25,000 women, men and children coming together to fight breast cancer; the event raised a total of $343,599.

Founded in 1985, the Lipson Neilson law firm has grown from three founding members to thirty-three attorneys located in three states. Lipson Neilson attorneys represent and provide counsel to clients throughout the country and around the world. To learn more about the firm please visit www.lipsonneilson.com.

Sandra D. Glazier on Panel That Will Discuss Legacy Planning in the Era of Tax Reform at Event Presented by the University of Michigan Office of Planned Giving and Wilmington Trust

Sandra GlazierLipson Neilson shareholder Sandra D. Glazier is on a panel of experts that will discuss “Building a Successful Legacy Plan in an Era of Tax Reform: Charitable Planning Opportunities Under the New Tax Laws” at a June 5, 2018 event presented by The University of Michigan Office of Planned Giving and the management and staff of Wilmington Trust. This event will be held at the Park Avenue offices of Wilmington Trust in New York City. Lipson Neilson is the only law firm represented on this panel.

An attorney for more than 34 years, Sandra D. Glazier is known for her expertise and successful track record in probate litigation, estate planning, trust and estate administration, and family law matters. The cases Ms. Glazier works on tend to be very complex and require technical as well as legal expertise. She has represented contestants and proponents of estate planning documents, as well as fiduciaries, in significant trust litigation proceedings.

An AV Preeminent® rated attorney, Ms. Glazier is recognized nationally for her accomplishments and expertise in estate planning and probate litigation and is routinely requested to speak at some of the leading legal industry conferences across the country. She has been selected as a “Michigan Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of information for the legal industry and has been recognized as a “Top Lawyer” by DBusiness, in the areas of probate, estate and family law. Ms. Glazier has had numerous articles published by some of the legal industry’s leading publications. and has taught “Valuation for Federal, Estate and Gift Tax Purposes” in a Masters’ level course.

UofM Seminar June 2018

Jeffrey T. Neilson Honored for Service on Michigan’s Attorney Grievance Commission

Jeffrey NeilsonThe firm is pleased to announce that Jeffrey T. Neilson has been honored by the members of the State of Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission for his service as Secretary of the Commission from October 2011 to October 2017.

In honoring Mr. Neilson for his service, the Commission made specific mention of his exceptional, and meritorious service in preserving the highest standards of professional conduct for the protection of the public, the courts, and the legal profession.

One of the founders of the Lipson Neilson law firm, Mr. Neilson is known nationally for his expertise in business counseling, estate planning and domestic and family law liability. He has more than thirty years of experience in matters relating to probate administration and estate/retirement planning, corporate and business representation and succession planning, election law, accounting and legal malpractice, non-profit organizations, taxation issues including tax controversies, family law, and probate litigation. Mr. Neilson is licensed to practice law in Michigan, Nevada, and Colorado.

Founded in 1985, the Lipson Neilson law firm has grown from three founding members to thirty-three attorneys located in three states. Since its formation, the firm has also expanded its practice areas from business, tax and litigation to a full range of practice areas.

Lipson Neilson attorneys represent and provide counsel to clients throughout the country and around the world. To learn more about the firm please visit www.lipsonneilson.com.

David A. Clark Chosen to Chair Lawyer Well-Being Committee for the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL)

David ClarkDavid A. Clark, a Partner in the firm’s Las Vegas office, has been chosen by the APRL to Chair the newly formed Lawyer Well-Being Committee. This committee will act as a liaison with the American Bar Association (ABA), the National Organization of Bar Counsel (NOBC), and state-led efforts to implement the goals of the ABA’s National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. The committee is planning its first CLE at APRL’s Annual Meeting in Chicago in August.

Various reports indicate that 40-70 percent of discipline and malpractice claims against lawyers involve depression or substance abuse. As APRL’s follow-on commitment to act on the call of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being for stakeholders in the legal profession to join in creating a better future for our lawyers, this committee will work with stakeholders and jurisdictions across the country to coordinate and implement state-level actions to improve the effectiveness, ethical integrity, and simple human experience of being a lawyer.

Judges, regulators, employers, bar associations, assistance programs, liability carriers, and law students are coming together in the goal that, “to be a good lawyer, one has to be a healthy lawyer.” APRL’s mission includes initiating positive changes in laws and regulations regarding professional responsibility and the development and implementation of sound ethical standards within the legal profession. All of that begins with a healthy, thriving, and connected lawyer.

David A. Clark’s experience includes 15 years as a prosecutor for the Office of Bar Counsel, including five years as chief discipline counsel for the State Bar. He has extensive experience in attorney regulation for professional liability, attorney discipline and commercial litigation.

He established the training program for the Southern and Northern Disciplinary Boards, obtained numerous changes to the Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct and the Supreme Court’s rules for attorney discipline, and he drafted the Disciplinary Rules of Procedure that were adopted in July 2014 by a task force and the Board of Governors.

Sandra D. Glazier Selected to Speak on “Attorneys’ Roles and Responsibilities in Protecting Aging Clients and Their Assets” at the American Bar Association’s 30th Annual Spring Symposia for the Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law

Sandra Glazier 2017 webpage photoLipson Neilson Shareholder Sandra D. Glazier has been selected by the American Bar Association to be on a panel that will discuss attorneys’ roles and responsibilities in protecting aging clients (and their assets) from the seemingly well-intentioned but overly-influencing next generation. This session, “It May Be a Small World, but You Still Need to Wait Your Turn – Issues with Elder Planning and Abuse”, will be moderated by The Hon. Cheryl D. Cesario, retired Circuit Court Judge of Cook County, Probate Division, Evanston, Illinois, and includes other attorneys from around the country. Ms. Glazier is one of only three Michigan attorneys selected by the ABA to present at this national Symposia that will be held in Orlando, Florida during May 10 – 11, 2018.

An attorney for more than 35 years, Sandra D. Glazier is known for her expertise and successful track record in probate litigation, estate planning, trust and estate administration, and family law matters. The cases Ms. Glazier works on tend to be very complex and require technical as well as legal expertise. She has represented contestants and proponents of estate planning documents, as well as fiduciaries, in significant trust litigation proceedings.

An AV Preeminent® rated attorney, Ms. Glazier is recognized nationally for her accomplishments and expertise in estate planning and probate litigation and is routinely requested to speak at some of the leading legal industry conferences across the country. She has been selected as a “Michigan Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of information for the legal industry and has been recognized as a “Top Lawyer” by DBusiness, in the areas of probate, estate and family law. Ms. Glazier has had numerous articles published by some of the legal industry’s leading publications. and has taught “Valuation for Federal, Estate and Gift Tax Purposes” in a Masters’ level course. To learn more please visit www.lipsonneilson.com.

Contact: Sandra D. Glazier
Phone: 248-593-5000
Email: sglazier@lipsonneilson.com