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Agricultural Law News

February 23, 2021

In this issue:




How to Think About Succession Planning

Michael C. Zahrt

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many business owners to reconsider their retirement horizon. For some, retirement and succession planning is an issue they have never addressed or even thought about. A robust succession plan is important for the longevity of your business. An exit that is too fast or without direction can leave a leadership vacuum and damage relationships with existing clients and customers.

The following is a summary of what a good succession plan should address. As you will see, good succession planning takes time and should not happen all at once...

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   Mike Zahrt

Michael C. Zahrt

Zahrt Email  Zahrt Phone



   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.

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Tjapkes Joins Ag Law Practice

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 Law School, Steven served as a veterinarian in private practice.

   Steve Tjapkes

Steven J. Tjapkes

Tjapkes Email  Tjapkes Phone




Webinar: Hot Employment Law Topics for HR Teams in 2021

February 25, 2021 from 9:00-10:30 am

Join Foster Swift's employment and labor law attorneys for a virtual discussion on a practical overview of key issues with existing and pending laws and regulations, considerations to minimize risk as well as trigger points for involving your legal team.

Trending topics that this webinar addresses include:

  • New guidance on religious discrimination and the accommodation of religious beliefs and practices in the workplace
  • New federal orders on combating employment discrimination based upon gender identity and sexual orientation, and advancing racial equity
  • Employee Leaves of Absence – FMLA, ADA and more
  • FLSA misclassification and other Wage and Hour issues
  • Legality of Non-Compete and No-Poaching Agreements
  • PRO Act and expansion of employee rights to organize
  • 2021 revisions to Employee Handbooks

Fee: No Charge

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CFAP Applications Still Being Accepted Despite Suspension 

Processing and payments of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) have been temporarily suspended according to the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) website.

This suspension is in accordance with the Regulatory Freeze Pending Review memo from the White House which gives the Biden Administration the opportunity to review any new or pending rules before they are implemented.  

However, farmers may continue and are encouraged to submit CFAP applications through February 26, 2021 while the review is in effect.

For further questions associated with CFAP or other ag related concerns, contact a member of our agricultural law team.







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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