The Business Law Section remained very active during the year and provided important services to section members.
Business Law Journal
This year marked the beginning of our partnership with ICLE in the publication of the Business Law Journal. Through our collaborative efforts, the Business Law Journal has been substantially enhanced.
The section continues to develop its website to more effectively communicate with section members. In addition to listing the section's officers, council members, committee chairs, and directors, the website now includes various substantive articles and provides links to many useful websites related to business law. The website also has an expanded calendar of events, with links to continuing education opportunities likely to be of interest to section members.
Access to Justice/Community Legal Resources
The section once again made a generous contribution to the Access to Justice Program. The contribution has been designated to fund the Community Legal Resources program supported by Access to Justice.
The Business Law Section's Fourteenth Annual Mid-Year Meeting in Traverse City in May 2002 saw the largest attendance ever. The Mid-Year Meeting has continued to enjoy increased participation and remains a great opportunity for section members to get together and obtain continuing education on business law matters.
Enhanced Continuing Education Opportunities
The section continued to build upon the very strong relationship it has with the Institute of Continuing Legal Education to offer quality continuing education programs to Business Law Section members and members of the Bar generally. The Section and ICLE are continuing efforts to increase the number of jointly sponsored seminars in upcoming years.
Committees of the Section
- Agricultural Law Committee. The Agricultural Law Committee is focused on issues and developments in the State of Michigan affecting both agri-businesses and farmers. Co-chairs of the committee are William G. Tishkoff and John R. Dresser.
- Commercial Litigation Committee. The Commercial Litigation Committee assists litigators as well as business and corporate counsel in addressing issues that may lead to or arise in business-related litigation. The committee sponsors seminars and other programs that address such issues and are designed to enhance the practice of those involved in commercial litigation. Chair of the committee is Diane L. Akers.
- Corporate Laws Committee. The Corporate Laws Committee monitors and reviews matters relating to corporate law statutes and developments in the law of corporate governance. The committee also works with the Business Corporation Act Revision Subcommittee, which reviews the Michigan Business Corporation Act for the purpose of keeping it current with developments in corporate law and assists from time to time in drafting and advocating proposed changes in the act. Co-chairs of the committee are Cyril Moscow and Justin G. Klimko.
- Debtor/Creditor Rights Committee. The Creditors' Rights Committee focuses on issues of insolvency, such as bankruptcy, state law alternatives to bankruptcy, secured lending (Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code), and state law exemptions. Co-chairs of this committee are Judy B. Calton and Judith Greenstone Miller.
- Financial Institutions Committee. The Financial Institutions Committee focuses on legislative, regulatory, and judicial developments and issues of interest to financial institutions (primarily banks) and their affiliates. Chair of this committee is James H. Breay.
- In-House Counsel Committee Reports. The In-House Counsel Committee is committed to addressing the professional interests of in-house counsel by sponsoring continuing legal education programs, informing members about issues of particular interest to them, and offering social and professional networking opportunities. Chair of this committee is Vicki Martin-Anderson.
- Non-Profit Corporations Committee. The Nonprofit Corporations Committee's principal responsibility is to review and update laws relating to the organization of nonprofit corporations in Michigan. The principal focus has been the Nonprofit Corporation Act, but it also reviews other legislation, such as bills regulating the solicitation of contributions by charities. The committee also assists with sponsoring continuing legal education programs directed as nonprofit organization issues. Co-chairs of this committee are Jane Forbes and Mark Lezotte.
- Regulation of Securities Committee. The Regulation of Securities Committee is concerned with federal and state laws and regulations relating to the offer, sale, and trading of securities. The committee also supplies a liaison to the Securities Law Advisory Committee of the Michigan Corporation & Securities Bureau. Activities are designed to inform members of current developments and issues and provide input to appropriate administrative and legislative bodies. Co-chairs of this committee are Arthur Dudley, II, and Kenneth H. Gold .
- Uniform Commercial Code Committee. The Uniform Commercial Code Committee monitors developments and issues under all Articles of the UCC and related commercial statutes. In October of each year, the committee presents a seminar on recent developments in commercial law. Additionally, the committee prepares an annual survey of case law involving the UCC and commercial law. Chair of this committee is Patrick E. Mears.
- Unincorporated Enterprises Committee. The committee remains active in conducting seminars regarding unincorporated enterprises, focusing on the statutory revisions regarding limited liability companies. The committee has also assisted in informing members of the Bar from other sections as to legislation affecting unincorporated enterprises. The committee co-sponsored the annual Business Entity Considerations seminar of ICLE in February 1999, and is participating in the 1999 Upper Michigan Legal Institute in June. The committee continues to monitor activities regarding legislation affecting unincorporated enterprises and plans to seek, on a cooperative basis with other sections, further clarification regarding the "uncapping" of taxable value on real estate in the event of the formation/conversion of limited liability companies. Membership in the committee is open to all members of the Business Law Section. The focus of the committee's activities has been to present seminars in conjunction with ICLE and the Business Law Section. Membership and the opportunity to play a significant role in the committee's activities is and will continue to be open to all members of this section. As with most other committees, the Unincorporated Enterprises Committee schedules meetings primarily in the western region of the Detroit metropolitan area. It is hoped that continued efforts to attract interest to the committee will be successful. Chair of this committee is Daniel H. Minkus.
Directors of the Section
General. As part of the revised bylaws and restructuring of the section leadership, the section council recognizes that various of the prior committees were "committees of one." As such, these committees have been converted into directorships. As such, the section now has a director of legislative review, a director of programs, a director of publications, a director of technology, and a director of nominations.
- Director of Legislative Review. G. Ann Baker serves as the Director of Legislative Review and is responsible for reviewing proposed legislation and advising the section leadership of matters of substantive law which may be of interest or concern to business lawyers in Michigan.
- Director of Nominations. The director of nominations is Martin C. Oetting.
- Director of Programs. Eric I. Lark and Mark A. Aiello serve as co-directors of programs for the section. They are responsible for programs at both the Annual Meeting of the Business Law Section as well as the Mid-Year Meeting in Traverse City.
- Director of Publications. Robert T. Wilson is the director of publications and is responsible for the publication of the Business Law Journal.
- Director of Section Development. Timothy R. Damschroder is the director of Section Development.
- Director of Technology. Michael S. Khoury is the director of technology and is responsible for developing the structure for the council's website and, along with the section Webmaster, for bringing opportunities to the section to enhance the section website and other forms of electronic communication with its members. The director of technology has facilitated the establishment of a section leadership listserv and a section-wide listserv, an efficient and inexpensive means of communicating information to the section.
The section encourages members to consider participation in one or more of the section's committees. Please contact the chair of any committee directly or our section administrator, Laura Jones.
Tracy T. Larsen, Chair