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March 28, 2024

In this issue:



   Copyright Infringement Notice   

Under the Bridge - The Rise of Copyright Trolls in the Intellectual Property Space

Lindsey M. Mead and Mikhail Murshak

Through tactical litigation practices, copyright trolls rely on copyright law to allege infringement and threaten major statutory damages upon unsuspecting defendants. The term “copyright troll” is an unflattering nickname for someone who manipulates the intellectual property (“IP”) laws to force a “toll” by way of a settlement payout on market participants.

Copyright trolls use technology to identify potential unintentional infringement activity and send template demand letters for payment...

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   Figures Looking at Ownership   

The Corporate Transparency Act and its Impact on ESOPs

Amanda J. Dernovshek and Mindi M. Johnson

The Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”), which became effective on January 1, 2024, requires that many businesses report a significant amount of information about the company and its “beneficial owners” to a federal database. This article outlines the general rule, exceptions to the rule, the definition of “beneficial owner” and the CTA’s implications for companies owned by Employee Stock Ownership Plans (“ESOPs”)...

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   Gavel on Keyboard   

Will Recent Alabama Ruling Stay Implementation of the Corporate Transparency Act?

Foster Swift CTA Team

On March 1, 2024, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama held that the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) was unconstitutional. Whether this ruling will stay the implementation of the CTA is not yet known–the District Court anticipates further rulings and this matter is certainly going to be appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals...

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   AI Robot Waiting for Interview   

Video: AI Legal Issues That Can Impact Your Business

Many businesses are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools in a variety of innovative ways to improve productivity and to save time and money. According to a 2023 Forbes article, 1 in 3 businesses plan to use ChatGPT to write their website content while 97% of business owners believe it will help their business.

Incorporating AI can impact a business's content production, data privacy management and customer support but could there be legal pitfalls you haven’t considered?

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   Opening Envelopes   

Video: What Can My Business Contribute to a Campaign?

With 2024 being an election year, many businesses have questions on making campaign contributions.

In the following video, municipal & election law attorney Mallory Reader discusses the topic of “campaign financing” along with:

  • What business are allowed and not allowed to do when contributing to a political campaign?
    • Who can donate and how much?
  • Is an election committee needed?
    • When is it needed?
    • How do you set one up?
  • What penalties can your business face for violating any campaign laws?

Read More




Consequences of Misclassifying Employees

Michigan Business Network

Labor & employment law attorney, Cliff Hammond, appeared on the Michigan Business Network to discuss the recently updated rules governing businesses and who they can classify as contractors for work. In the following video, Cliff discusses the Department of Labor's (DOL) New Independent Contractor Rule including:

  • What is the new rule about?
  • What are the industries and types of employers that may need to take a close look at this?
  • What can happen if you misclassify someone under this rule? 



Dernovshek Named to ICBA's "Top 5 Under 35" Attorneys

Foster Swift attorney, Amanda J. Dernovshek, is one of the recipients of the 2024 Ingham County Bar Association (ICBA)'s "Top 5 Under 35" award.

This award recognizes young lawyers who have distinguished themselves by manifesting exemplary character, integrity, judgment, and legal scholarship; service to the profession and the bar; service to the community; and a reputation for the advancement of the highest legal standards and professional responsibility. 

The award was presented to Amanda at the ICBA’s Annual Barrister’s Night on Thursday, March 14, 2024 by the Honorable Rosemarie E. Aquilina of the 30th Circuit Court, Ingham County.




Foster Swift Selects Gast as Business Practice Co-Leader

Taylor GastFoster Swift business attorney, Taylor A. Gast, has been elected the co-practice group leader for the firm’s Business & Tax practice group by his fellow shareholders. He will share responsibility for day-to-day management of more than 25 attorneys who work in the firm’s Business & Tax practice group.

Taylor started his career with Foster Swift in 2014 as a summer associate, returned as a fulltime associate in 2015, and was elected to firm shareholder in 2022. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. 

“I am grateful for this opportunity, and excited to continue the great work of supporting our clients’ growth and success,” Taylor said. “I look forward to working with our talented team to sustain and grow our reputation for providing exceptional legal services.”

In addition to Gast being named practice leader, Foster Swift recently elected officers to serve on its executive committee for 2024:







Grand Rapids






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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Copyright © 2024 Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC.

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