SBM Business Law Section eNewsletter

October 2008

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Chair's Letter from Diane L. Akers
Assuming the chairmanship of the Business Law Section is both humbling and daunting. Our Section is already seen as a leader in the State Bar and business community and that will continue because of the energy and commitment of our members. Even so, there are many issues and challenges confronting businesses and business lawyers that are urgent and fundamental.

One such issue is climate change and the related but much broader concept of business practices that are sustainable from economic, environmental and social points of view. Governmental regulations already exist in this area and will only increase. Businesses are focusing on having a "green" image and some businesses are beginning to require their suppliers to demonstrate sustainable business practices as a condition of getting more business.

As part of my focus for the coming year, I have established an Ad Hoc Committee on Climate Change and Sustainability, which will have four goals: (1) gather information regarding climate change/sustainability regulations currently affecting Michigan businesses; (2) gather information regarding the current state of Michigan businesses' awareness of and readiness for climate change/sustainability initiatives; (3) form recommendations regarding what Michigan businesses should do to prepare for climate change/sustainability issues; and (4) report back to the Council at its September 2009 meeting.

We need help. If you would like to contribute ideas or participate in the Ad Hoc Committee, please contact me.

Schulman Award Recipient: G. Ann Baker
At the Business Law Section Annual Meeting held on September 25, the Section presented its highest honor, the Steven H. Schulman Outstanding Business Lawyer Award, to G. Ann Baker, the Director of the Corporations Division in the Michigan Bureau of Commercial Services. Ann has been a long-time member of the Section, a former Section Chair, and a tireless advocate for the improvement of services to the business and legal community. She also provides the Section with early information about legislation affecting all business lawyers in Michigan. Thank you and congratulations, Ann! This is a well deserved honor.

MSU Hosts Securities Law Institute
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is coming to MSU College of Law for the 2008 Midwest Securities Law Institute on October 17. Staff from the SEC will address important issues facing both public and private companies as well as investors. Representatives from the new Financial Industry Regulatory Authority will also attend.


Section Events

  • October 2—Small Business Forum Event (Utica)

  • October 16—Family and Closely Held Business Institute

  • October 17—2008 Midwest Securities Law Institute (MSU School of Law)

  • October 22—Nonprofit Corporations Committee Meeting (Detroit)

  • December 6—Section Council Meeting (Southfield)

  • ICLE's 2009 LLC & Business Entity Update—February 5 in Grand Rapids and February 20 in Plymouth

  • May 8-9—Annual Business Law Institute (Grand Rapids)

Other Events

  • October 29—Information Technology Law Section What Every Lawyer Should Know

  • December 9—ICLE Advising the Small Employer on Discipline and Discharge of Employees (Ann Arbor)

  • February 7-14—Family Law Section Winter Seminar (Mexico)

  • March 10—ICLE Understanding Financial Statements (Ann Arbor)

  • May 20—ICLE Environmental Issues for Business Lawyers (Ann Arbor)