The Ethics of Backups

on 03/15/2016 by David Szostek

  When it comes to backups – or lack thereof – most of us have at least one horror story. But when it comes to our client’s files and confidential information, the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct impose certain duties on us to ensure that our client’s information does not become part of any horror …Read More

Estate Planning for Small Business Owners

on 03/01/2016 by David Szostek
Estate Planning

Why Estate Planning for Small Business Owners Is Important Imagine the following scenario: you run and own a small business that has taken years of hard work to make successful. However, the heart and brains of the company exists in a single person or a few key employees. The key employee can be anyone, such …Read More

The Ethics Behind Cloud Storage

on 02/15/2016 by David Szostek

The ease and affordability of online billing, client management, document storage, and payment platforms is a powerful lure. When you sign-on or hit send on these sites, is there a little voice inside your head wondering whether these platforms are truly safe and whether using them could lead to an ethics violation? There should be, …Read More

What Is an Independent Contractor?

on 02/01/2016 by David Szostek

The Sharing Economy – What Is an Independent Contractor? In the new and emerging sharing economy, where goods and services are exchanged through peer-to-peer networks, many companies have sprung up to help facilitate this peer-to-peer sharing.  Despite the advantages of a sharing economy, such as reducing waste, saving money and more choices for consumer, a …Read More

Usable Password Management

on 01/15/2016 by David Szostek

  Nearly every company, from banks, to cell phone providers, to utility providers offer online portals that require a username and password. The easiest way to remember all of these is to use the same username and password for everything, but that is also the least secure (and arguably an ethics violation). The second easiest …Read More

Entity Name, Fictitious or “Doing Business As” Name

on 01/01/2016 by David Szostek

  “Doing Business As” – Understanding the Difference between an Entity Name and a Fictitious or “Doing Business As” Name Business owners and customers alike are often confused when it comes to a business’s name. A primary source of confusion is the use of a business’s “entity name” vs. its “fictitious name” (often referred to …Read More

Ethically Accepting Electronic Payments

on 12/15/2015 by David Szostek

  When it comes to the ethics of accepting client funds via credit-cards or electronic payment service providers (ePSP), some ethics opinions and rules are a bit akin to a reversed analogy: trying to pour old wine into new bottles. Attorneys must be diligent and careful in order to understand how a particular ePSP handles …Read More

Why Are Legal and Medical Malpractice Cases Hard to Win?

on 12/01/2015 by David Szostek

Why Are Legal and Medical Malpractice Cases Hard to Win? Hopefully you have never been the victim of a legal or medical professional’s mistake. But if you have, you know how difficult it can be to pursue a legal or medical malpractice claim against them. But why is it so difficult to win a malpractice lawsuit? …Read More

Michigan’s Holographic Will Requirements

on 11/24/2015 by David Szostek

Michigan’s Holographic Will Requirements Under Michigan’s Estates and Protected Individuals Code (also known as “EPIC”), a will is valid if it is in writing, is signed by the testator (the person making the will) and is witnessed and signed by at least two other individuals. However, a will can still be considered valid even if …Read More

What Are Punitive Damages

on 11/17/2015 by David Szostek

What Are Punitive Damages You have probably heard the term “punitive damages” in the news, especially in connection with large civil lawsuits. But what exactly are punitive damages? Basically, punitive damages are civil damages intended to punish a party for egregious behavior. This is a stark deviation from the principle behind most court damage awards, …Read More