Friday, February 26, 2016

Conservatorships and Nursing Homes

Dan Williams, Esq.

Should a nursing home be able to obtain a conservatorship through the probate court, when the patient has previously designated a power of attorney for their financial needs?  In recent weeks, I have had a number of clients seeking advice about what to do in that exact situation.  A conservator is a court appointed individual who makes financial decisions for a person who is incompetent or incapacitated.  There are ways to contest a nursing home’s petition for a conservatorship, but you need to contact a probate litigation specialist who can properly review your case and, advise and represent you in challenging such a petition.

At Fausone Bohn, LLP, Dan Williams focuses on probate disputes.   If you have an estate planning issue, or believe that you may need to go to Court to right a wrong with a loved one’s estate plan, give us a call at (248) 380-0000.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Identity Theft and Financial Transaction Device Crimes Clarified

Dan Williams, Esq.

Last month the Court of Appeals clarified what constituted sufficient evidence to convict a defendant for the crimes of Identity Theft and Steal/Retain a Financial Transaction Device without Consent in People v. Velton Miller.  You can read the Opinion here.  Financial crimes are complicated for defendants and prosecutors.  What do you think constitutes sufficient evidence to convict a person of identity theft or a financial transaction device crime?  In answering that question, you’ll likely be surprised.  Having spent more than four years prosecuting these types of complex crimes, many times, I was surprised at the answers as well.  If you are charged with a financial crime, not just any defense attorney will do.  Find one who has the experience to understand the complexity, breadth and connections of Michigan’s criminal laws regarding financial crimes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Special CPL Provisions for Retired Law Enforcement Personnel

Daniel Williams, Esq.

If you are a former law enforcement officer or a United States military veteran, you may be eligible to carry a concealed weapon on premises that are otherwise prohibited to the general public. Those recognized as law enforcement include: Police officers; corrections officers; reserve officers of a police; former members of the United States Armed Forces; and a parole or probation officer.

If you believe you have been wrongly accused of violating the Firearm Laws of Michigan, or any other criminal offense in the State of Michigan, immediately contact Fausone Bohn, LLP and ask for Dan Williams. As a current Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the City of Westland and former Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Wayne County, Dan has a vast knowledge of criminal court proceedings. With his substantial trial experience, he is prepared to take any case to trial for a client, if necessary. Call us at (248) 380-0000 and schedule your free consultation today!


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Practices to Implement When Carrying a Concealed Pistol

Mark Mandell, Esq.

Hopefully, you have read my previous blog on the importance of properly storing your concealed pistol.  Now, I want to provide some valuable information for those who plan to carry their pistol in public. Understanding the situations and places where you can and cannot possess your weapon will be imperative to your safety and freedom.

First and foremost, always have your CPL license and some sort of state-issued identification card in your possession any time you decide to carry. Next, do not carry your pistol if you are planning to consume alcohol. As part of your CPL, you are giving implied consent to submit to chemical analysis for alcohol and/or controlled substances. In other words, you will be required to comply with any blood, breath, or urine testing that a law enforcement officer requests.

Finally, you should be aware of premises that prohibit any possession of a firearm, whether licensed or unlicensed. This includes any:
  • School or school property;
  • Depository financial institution (bank or credit union);
  • Property owned or operated by a place of worship;
  • Court;
  • Bar or tavern, even in the absence of a posted sign indicating the establishment as a prohibited premise;
  • Hospital;
  • Day care center, public or private;
  • Dormitory or classroom of a community college, college, or university;
  • Stadium, theater, and any entertainment facility with a seating capacity of 2,500 or more individuals

If you find yourself facing legal consequences for a pistol-related offense, you should immediately contact the attorneys at Fausone Bohn, LLP and ask for Mark Mandell.

As a former prosecuting attorney, Attorney Mark Mandell has extensive criminal trial experience. While some attorneys avoid trials, Mark is always prepared to take his clients' case to trial if needed. Contact Attorney Mark Mandell at (248) 380-0000.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Lake Erie Water Quality Market

Paul Bohn, Esq.

Back in July 2015, I wrote a blog discussing a joint effort between Great Lakes states and Canadian provinces to address the dangerous levels phosphorous and nitrogen runoff that are causing massive algae blooms in Lake Erie. While the Great Lakes Commission (GLC) pledged a 40% reduction of algae blooms in Lake Erie by 2025, they did not discuss how they would achieve this.

Well, good news. The GLC has developed a plan to achieve their algae bloom reduction goal. The initiative will provide what’s called a water quality trading system. It is a market-based approach to pollution reduction, in which the government sets an overall water pollution reduction requirement and then provides water quality credits that can be earned by entities for reducing pollution.
If properly implemented, a supply and demand for these credits will be created. Industries that are engaging in pollution reduction will stock-pile the credits, and then sell them to those who have high pollution reduction costs.

The proposed trading system will include most pollution sources contributing to runoff into Lake Erie. This includes farmers, sewage treatment plants, power plants, and factories. It is a great alternative to traditional pollution reduction methods that force each pollution source to install expensive new technology to reduce their own emissions.

Now, pollution sources will be able to determine if they are best served by becoming a buyer or seller of credits, based on their ability to adhere to the new regulatory requirements. The GLC believes this innovative approach will significantly reduce pollution runoff and thereby improve water quality in Lake Erie, what do you think?

Friday, January 29, 2016

US Supreme Court Addresses Juvenile Homicide Sentencings Again Monday

The nation’s highest Court waded back into the waters of juvenile murder sentencings again on Monday in Montgomery v. Louisiana.  The Court determined that their earlier decision in Miller was retroactive, or applicable not only to juveniles moving forward, but also to those already convicted and sentenced.

Many states had followed the Court’s decision in Miller by stating that they would not apply the law looking backwards.  The Supreme Court’s decision means those State Court decisions are null and void, and that every juvenile sentenced to life without parole still residing in the criminal justice system will have to have their sentence reviewed.  For Michigan, that is more than 300 cases which the Courts will have to review for re-sentencings. This is just the latest in the way Courts are looking at children and the criminal justice system, and the recognition that juveniles must be considered differently than adults when considering how to sentence them for our most serious crimes.

If you or a loved one have been charged with a criminal offense, no matter how serious, the criminal law specialists at Fausone Bohn LLP are prepared to handle your matter with expertise and understanding.  Whether it’s a traffic ticket, misdemeanor or felony, give us a call.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pastor’s Family Feud Continues After Death

Most people hear the word “probate” and they cringe.  To avoid that sinking feeling of what to do when a loved one passes away, many people seek estate planning attorneys to complete a will or trust to prevent the need for a family to fight about a deceased’s possessions in Court.  While a good estate plan can prevent a probate fight, if they are not done properly, they can create an even larger family feud in Probate Court.

Highlighting this fact is the case of prominent national pastor Bishop William Bonner.  His family has filed a case in the Wayne County Probate Court challenging the administration of the Bishop’s will.  The family claims are summarized in the Detroit News Article that can be read at

Ultimately, the lesson here is, if you don’t have an estate plan, think there are issues with your estate plan, or if things have changed since you dusted it off five or ten years ago, you should talk with an estate planning attorney. 

If you believe that you have been wrongfully left out of a family member’s will, or you suspect problems with an issue, you may have a case.  In those instances, you need to contact a real probate litigator, rather than simply an estate planner.  At FausoneBohn, LLP we have experts who specialize in both.  If you have an estate planning issue, or believe that you may need to go to Court to right a wrong with a loved one’s estate plan, give us a call.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Proper Gun Storage: Keeping Your Family Away From Harm

Mark Mandell, Esq.

If you are a concealed pistol license (CPL) holder, do not take the responsibility lightly. There are countless scenarios in which you will find yourself knee-deep in legal trouble if you are not aware of the location of your pistol at all times. Since the majority of CPL holders do not carry on a daily basis and instead stash their pistol in their home, it’s easy to lose track or forget about the weapon entirely. This is why proper storage in a gun safe is of paramount importance. Limiting the access to only yourself is the first step to proper storage, but your responsibilities do not end there.

Even if the gun is locked away in a safe, you should routinely make sure the pistol was not removed. In the event that the firearm is missing, do not assume that you misplaced it and that it will turn up at some point. Instead, you should report the theft within 5 days or else be responsible for a civil violation and fined up to $500.00.

Properly storing your weapon will also prevent your children from accessing it and potentially facing serious legal consequences for you and the child. For the sake of argument, let’s say your child stumbled upon your pistol while he/she was snooping around in your closet. Wanting to show off their mom or dad’s awesome gun, they decide to bring it to school. According to the Firearms Laws of Michigan:
“If a pupil possesses in a weapon free school zone a weapon that constitutes a dangerous weapon… the school board shall expel the pupil from the school district permanently.”
You will then be fighting an uphill battle to get your child reinstated, needing to prove in a clear and convincing matter that it was not possessed for use as a weapon or was intended for delivery to another person for use as a weapon; or the student didn’t know he had it.

Expulsion may be the tip of the iceberg if prosecutors want to “throw the book” at you. Section 750.227 of the Firearms Laws of Michigan states:
“A person shall not carry a pistol concealed on or about his or her person, or, whether concealed or otherwise, in a vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business or on other land possessed by the person, without a license to carry the pistol as provided by law. A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or by a fine of not more than $2500.00.”
It’s possible for a child as young as 14 years old to face these felony charges if the judge is trying to make an example out of him/her:
“If a juvenile 14 years of age or older is accused of an act that if committed by an adult would be a felony, the judge of the family division of circuit court… may waive jurisdiction… after the waiver, the juvenile may be tried in the court having general criminal jurisdiction of the offense.”
The penalties will only increase in severity if the child used the weapon with or without intent to harm others, and could even be facing federal charges.

Finally, you as the parent could be facing criminal charges if the following circumstances exist: (1) you have custody of the minor; (2) the minor possessed the weapon in a weapon free school zone; (3) you were aware of the child’s intent/actions or you acted to further the violation. Given the high frequency of mass shootings, this may be happening more than we would like to think.

All of this can be easily avoided if you develop a safe method of storage for your weapon and always know its whereabouts. You can find gun safes as cheap as $50.00, so there is really no excuse to leave your weapon vulnerable to theft or possession by a child. If you find yourself facing legal consequences for a pistol-related offense, you should immediately contact the attorneys at Fausone Bohn, LLP and ask for Mark Mandell.

As a former prosecuting attorney, Attorney Mark Mandell has extensive criminal trial experience. While some attorneys avoid trials, Mark is always prepared to take his clients' case to trial if needed. Mark taught trial advocacy skills as an adjunct professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He uses his experience as a prosecutor and professor to fight for his clients, whether that be at trial or for the best possible plea agreement to minimize jail, prison, or probation. Experience and credibility is the name of the game when appearing before a judge and Attorney Mark Mandell has it!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Health Care Racket Dismantled in SE Michigan, Owner to Pay Back $4.5 Million

Tariq Hafeez, Esq.

Another health care racket was shut down in metro Detroit last month, as Amer Ehsan was sentenced to 80 months in prison. As the owner of Advance Home Health Care Services Inc., Ehsan was able to defraud patients and the government for over $7 million dollars.

The actions committed by him and his co-conspirators that included physicians, physical therapists and patient recruiters took advantage of the new Medicare program that offers assistance to disabled patients who need health services around the clock. He paid physicians to refer beneficiaries to his company and also to produce false documentation stating that patients needed home health care.  He also scammed the government by creating fake patients for his physical therapy company, Michigan Rehab and Management Services LLC.  He used the same scheme with physical therapists as he did with physicians for home health care referrals. Some patients were in on the scam as well, receiving cash kickbacks if they agreed to sign fake physical therapy records.

In total, Medicare paid a total of more than $4.5 million and U.S. District Judge Paul D. Borman intends to get every penny back. In addition to the federal prison sentence, Ehsan was also ordered to pay over $4.5 million in restitution.

I have increasingly represented health care providers and physicians who are in this very situation, and am willing to help anyone who is in need of legal counsel for health care related business matters.

If you, or someone you know, is a healthcare professional or provider and is facing legal action, call Fausone Bohn LLP immediately and ask for Tariq Hafeez.  Tariq is focused on providing legal counsel to health care related businesses including physicians' practices and home health care providers in addition to his expertise in the areas of business and corporate law, and commercial and civil litigation. Call today for your free consultation.