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Practice Areas

Business Law

Small and Medium-Sized Business Specialists

The Law Offices of Sullivan & Leavitt, P.C. represents privately held business entities and their owners. With over 60 years of experience, we can provide your business with legal experience, counsel, and a proven track record in the following areas:

  • Formation of entities, including business startup and maintenance
  • Business transactions
  • Review of employment contracts
  • Review of commercial leases
  • Assistance with obtaining, negotiating, and closing lender transactions
  • Negotiation of asset/business purchase contracts & all necessary related legal representation
  • Preparation and review of non-compete and confidentiality contracts
  • Corporate and entity record-maintenance and compliance assistance
  • Succession planning
  • Compliance with legal requirements

Because of the variety of business transactions we have handled, our firm has extensive experience to assist you in any business needs faced by a privately held business entity.

Shareholder/Business Owner Disputes

Businesses require a broad range of legal expertise in order to serve their best interests. It is important that businesses seek legal advice from attorneys that are experienced in handling commercial law matters and business disputes on many different levels. Sullivan & Leavitt, P.C. has been representing businesses and individual owners in shareholder disputes, member and partner disputes, and business litigation for over 60 years.

Our attorneys possess knowledge of both business operations and the internal dynamics of privately held companies that allows us to provide the best advice for preventing and resolving ownership disputes and issues involving family and management-owner participants.

Disputes between owners, buy-outs, disability of a key man, or disassociation of an owner can lead to litigation.  Many times, litigation can be avoided and these often-complex matters can be resolved. Sullivan & Leavitt, P.C. focuses on solutions first, but we are always prepared for litigation when necessary to resolve a dispute. Our lawyers take a detail-orientated approach in assisting our clients to analyze the facts, their rights, and the available, practical, and cost-effective solutions. We will work with you to resolve your dispute quickly with an emphasis on minimal impact on the business enterprise.

We can help you with many types of shareholder, member, or partnership disputes, including:

  • Merger and acquisition disputes
  • Shareholder oppression and "squeeze-outs"
  • Breach of fiduciary duty litigation
  • Fraud and deceptive practices
  • Business succession disputes
  • Breakups and business divorces
  • Non-competition and contract disputes
  • Misappropriations and defalcations
  • Family-owned business issues
  • Post-transaction disputes

Business Litigation

The Law Offices of Sullivan & Leavitt, P.C. routinely handle complex business and commercial litigation including:

  • Deceptive Trade Practices
  • Abuses of Trust (breaches of fiduciary duties by persons in positions of trust including corporate officers and directors, agents, trustees, partners, majority or minority shareholders)
  • Breach of Contract
  • Tortious Interference with Contracts
  • Agreements Limiting Competition
  • Unfair competition and trade secrets in arbitration
  • Mechanic’s-lien litigation, including contractor and material men claims
  • Administrative agency litigation

Employment, Labor & Pension

Employment Law

The Law Offices of Sullivan & Leavitt, P.C., represents both employees and employers at the federal and state levels in employment law disputes and avoidance planning. We have extensive experience in age discrimination, racial discrimination, and gender discrimination matters, as well as application of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and just-cause and at-will dismissals. We represent union and non-union employers in the preparation of employment policies to protect the employer.

Labor Law

The Law Offices of Sullivan and Leavitt, P.C. has been representing employers in labor-management matters since the 1950s. Our experience and expertise encompass all phases of labor-management relations, including matters under the National Labor Relations Act, other federal statutes affecting the labor-management relationship, and similar state statutes. Representation often starts with the recognition attempt and continues through all related matters, including hearings before the National Labor Relations Board and appeals to the Federal Courts. We have also been involved in obtaining injunctive relief from organized labor actions violating the National Labor Relations Act or State law. We represent management in the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements (CBA), including renewals and modifications, their administration, and disputes arising from the CBA. We represent employers in the grievance process, as well as in arbitration of disputes between the employer and its unit employees. We have been involved with the application of the Michigan Right to Work enactments and ramifications resulting therefrom since their recent inception.

Pension Plan Withdrawal Liability Representation

Sullivan & Leavitt, P.C. is a leading—if not the premier—law firm in Michigan and the Midwest representing businesses that contribute to multiemployer pension plans under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980 (MPPAA). Sullivan & Leavitt, P.C. services a multitude of employers in transportation, construction, and trades who face unfunded liabilities under these pension plans. Withdrawal liability can occur when an employer reduces its contribution levels, goes out-of-business, drastically reduces its workforce, or if its employees choose no longer to be represented by a union.

The potential ramifications of withdrawal liability can be catastrophic because employers can face substantial, often unanticipated exposure under these laws. Our firm has been representing businesses faced with issues regarding common control, personal liability, voluntary assumption of withdrawal liability, and potential MPPAA liability of purchasers of assets since the MPPAA's enactment in 1980. These representations include contesting withdrawal liability assessments initially with the Fund and, if necessary, through arbitration and/or the federal court system. Importantly, we work with employers to assess their withdrawal liability exposure and to help develop strategies to minimize future liability. We work directly with employers, as well as through, or in cooperation with, employers' attorneys and accountants to resolve these matters.

We continue to achieve favorable results for our clients whom we represent in both Federal Courts and arbitration boards. Contact us today for a consultation if you have questions regarding pension plan withdrawal liability. For a summary about pension plan withdrawal liability with emphasis on the construction industry as presented to the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA) Automobile Dealers, Construction Industry, Controllers, and Insurance Conference in 2014 by Martin J. Leavitt, Esq., and Paul E. Robinson, Esq., as Principals of Sullivan and Leavitt, P.C., click here for the Powerpoint presentation.

Motor Carrier / Commercial Vehicle Licensing, Compliance & Enforcement

Motor Carrier / Commercial Vehicle Licensing, Compliance & Enforcement

The Law Offices of Sullivan & Leavitt, P.C. has been representing the trucking industry since 1953, assisting trucking companies in obtaining and maintaining their federal, state, and Canadian operating authorities, and with any compliance issues that may arise.

In addition, Sullivan & Leavitt, P.C. represents the trucking industry in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and DOT audits, IFTA audits, and CSA 2010 rating issues. We offer pre-and post-audit representation.

Sullivan & Leavitt, P.C. has been instrumental in drafting legislation beneficial to the trucking industry, in addition to our normal practice of diligently defending companies facing safety and weight enforcement violations throughout the State of Michigan on a daily basis. Our firm is knowledgeable regarding federal and state trucking regulations. We are also experts in the seemingly endless multitude of related federal and state laws that affect the industry—and how these laws and regulations apply uniquely to the trucking industry—such as workers compensation, independent contractor issues, freight claims, and federal and state wage and hour laws.

Commercial Vehicle Citations

The Law Offices of Sullivan & Leavitt, P.C. routinely handles commercial motor vehicle citations in courts throughout Michigan. This includes expertise in overweight violations, defective equipment violations, and moving violations for CDL and non-CDL drivers. Our Firm is also experienced in guiding clients through the newly enacted, rigorous, and often-confusing CSA-2010 reporting and dispute options available to motor carriers.  For example, we can help you learn how to remove points from your CSA rating for certain violations.

Family Law, Estate Planning & Probate Administration

Family Law

For over 60 years, the Law Offices of Sullivan & Leavitt, P.C. has provided families throughout the Metropolitan Detroit area with representation for a variety of family matters, including contested and uncontested divorces, child custody, modifications to child support, spousal support, parenting time, conservatorships, and guardianships.  Our Firm will be able to walk you through the entire process to ensure you are fully informed and comfortable with our representation.

Estate Planning

The Law Offices of Sullivan & Leavitt, P.C. provides expert and complete estate planning. Our services include the preparation and implementation of:

  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Joint-ownership options to help avoid probate
  • General powers of attorney
  • Health care powers of attorney
  • Mental health care powers of attorney
  • Comprehensive succession planning for family-owned businesses.

Probate Administration

The Law Offices of Sullivan & Leavitt, P.C., assists in probating simple and complex estates throughout the Metropolitan Detroit area. We also handle disputes arising in the probate process. This includes Federal Estate Tax reporting (Form 706) and applicable state tax planning. Counties we work in:

  • Oakland
  • Macomb
  • Wayne
  • Washtenaw
  • Livingston

For information regarding probate administration, please feel free to contact our Firm.

Real Estate

Real Estate

The Law Offices of Sullivan & Leavitt, P.C., provides comprehensive legal services in areas of commercial, industrial, retail, and residential real estate. We regularly counsel clients with respect to a wide range of issues, including purchases, sales, leases, troubled loans, loan workouts, zoning issues, and development of real estate throughout Michigan.