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Business & Tax Law News

February 3, 2021

In this issue:



   Force Majeure Contract   

I Want Out: Dealing with Contracts in the Time of Coronavirus

Amanda J. Dernovshek and Emily R. Wisniewski 

In March 2020, we published an article about how the Coronavirus impacts your contracts and whether force majeure clauses could excuse non-performance. Since then, our attorneys have received a number of questions from clients related to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 and how our clients may address issues of performance, delivery, and payment when the Coronavirus impacts a company’s ability to complete its responsibilities under a contract...

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   Washing Dirty Hands   

No Justice for Unclean Hands

Andrew C. Vredenburg and Ashley A. Poindexter

Occasionally, plaintiffs in legal cases have acted unethically or in bad faith with respect to the issue in front of the court. In these circumstances, it may be possible for the defendant to assert a defense supported by the doctrine of unclean hands.

The unclean hands doctrine applies to cases where the plaintiff has acted unethically in connection to the circumstances that have led to the suit. Its intent is to keep a person from abusing the justice system in order to benefit from a situation they created by acting in bad faith. By doing so the unclean hands doctrine protects both the court and the involved parties...

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Tjapkes Joins Grand Rapids Office of Foster Swift

Foster Swift welcomes attorney Steven J. Tjapkes to its Grand Rapids office. Tjapkes joins the Business & Tax practice group where he will continue to focus on counseling agri-businesses and family farms in organization, succession planning and transactional matters.

In addition to his practice, Steven also lectures on estate administration and buying and selling small businesses.

Prior to graduating cum laude with his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan School of Law, Steven served as a veterinarian in private practice.

   Steven Tjapkes

Steven J. Tjapkes

Tjapkes Email  Tjapkes Phone




Virtual Event: Defense Exporting Best Practices

February 4, 2021

Join representatives from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Foster Swift for an educational webinar focused on defense exports and legal considerations, including the start of in-person trade shows, virtual environment protocols, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other hot topics...

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Virtual Event: COVID Stimulus Options for Businesses

February 10, 2021

Our next 2nd Wednesday Morning Break virtual discussion will be on February 10 from 9:00-9:30 am. As with all our 2nd Wednesday sessions, it is free to attend and allows attendees the opportunity to ask questions.

Visit video recordings of our previous 2nd Wednesday sessions on the Finance practice group page.

Moderated by Patricia Scott, this month's topic will feature business & tax attorney Taylor Gast discussing the current state of COVID pandemic stimulus for businesses, including guidance on PPP loans and forgiveness along with other stimulus options. If interested in attending, please see registration link below:





Virtual Event: TikTok, WeChat & More: Talking Tech and IP in The U.S. & China

February 17, 2021 (Global Business Club of Mid-Michigan)

The ​U.S. and China compete for global dominance in the areas of tech and innovation; however, in an era of global firms and global citizens they must also learn to cooperate.

The ​U.S. espouses free speech while the Trump administration pushed for banning social media platforms like TikTok and WeChat. How will the new administration move forward?  China wants to be taken seriously as a global player but is often seen as disregarding global standards and norms. How can these two superpowers find common ground?

Who should attend: Students, faculty, businesspersons, and anyone interested in learning more about US-China relations. See link below for registration...





Podcast: Export Topics Businesses Should Consider in 2021

Michigan Business Beat

Jean G. Schtokal, Attorney, Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC, joins Chris Holman to talk about exporting considerations for businesses in 2021. Jean covers topics of the wide-ranging effects of the global pandemic, supply chain and shipping issues, work in the virtual environment, legislation, tariffs, foreign investments, and export controls...

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Grand Rapids






St Joseph


Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC E-Newsletters are intended for general information for our clients and friends. This newsletter highlights specific areas of law and is not legal advice. The reader should consult an attorney to determine how this information applies to any specific situation.

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