Thursday, October 9, 2014

PSED Law Congratulates Attorneys Listed as ‘Super Lawyers’ For 2014

Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. is pleased to announce that Tom Daniels and Jerry Lax were recently named to MichiganSuper Lawyers for 2014.
The annual Super Lawyers list is compiled by Thomson Reuters. The rigorous multiphase selection process is made up of a nomination stage; an initial evaluation based on indicators of professional achievement; a second evaluation completed by a panel of accomplished attorneys familiar with a candidate’s given practice area; and a final selection. Only five percent of the total lawyers in the State of Michigan are included in the annual ranking.
Tom has been practicing at PSED Law since 1984, and has been listed as a Super Lawyer for General Litigation, and has been named to the prestigious list from 2012 – 2014.
Jerry, a longtime Ann Arbor attorney, has been licensed to practice in Michigan for nearly 50 years, and is listed as a Super Lawyer for State, Local, & Municipal Law, and has been honored as such since 2007.
Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. is one of the oldest law firms in Washtenaw County, maintaining offices in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti for over 65 years. PSED Law is a full-service law firm with primary focuses in estate planning and probate; civil and commercial litigation; family law; municipal law; labor and employment law; insurance coverage; insurance defense; criminal defense; personal injury; and social security disability. For more information please contact Matt Daniels (Ypsilanti Office) or Wendy Alton (Ann Arbor Office), or visit us at
Marketing & Communications Contacts:
Matt Daniels
Associate Attorney
1349 S. Huron St., Suite 1
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Wendy Alton
Associate Attorney
Domino’s Farms, Lobby D24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Friday, June 13, 2014

Common Landlord-Tenant Disputes Part 2: Late Fees & Repairs

This blog post is the second of two parts that address the three of the topics that clients most frequently seek advice on in the residential landlord/tenant realm. Part 1 addressed what is commonly referred to as the Security Deposit Statute, and can be accessed here. This post will address the following: (1) late fees that a landlord can lawfully charge a residential tenant; and, (2) when a landlord is required to make repairs.

Late Fees:

First, in order for a landlord to charge a late fee due to late rental payments, there must be a provision included in the lease agreement that specifies the amount of the fee, and when it will be assessed. If a lease agreement does not specify how and when a late fee will be charged, a landlord should not attempt to charge one.

However, it is well settled law in Michigan that parties to a contract can agree in advance to a set amount that will be paid in the event of a breach. Accordingly, a residential lease that requires a tenant to pay a late fee is enforceable, but, the amount charged must be reasonable.

There is no bright-line rule that will answer the question of whether or not a late fee is reasonable. However, courts require that there be a relationship between the fee, and the damage caused by the late payment to the landlord. A late fee is appropriate, but it must align with the actual damages a landlord suffers as a result of the late payment.

A landlord will likely have costs associated with trying to enforce the late payment, such as preparing and sending demands for possession, or administrative costs related to extra accounting. Therefore, to determine if a late fee is reasonable ask the following question: Is the fee a reasonable assessment of how much if will cost the landlord to take steps to obtain the rent? If so, the fee is likely enforceable.


The law in Michigan requires residential landlords to maintain rental properties in reasonable repair, fit for all intended uses, and to comply with the health and safety laws where the premises are located. A landlord bears this responsibility regardless of whether or not it is expressly spelled out in the lease. A landlord would likely be required to make repairs to a broken hot water heater, malfunctioning locks on exterior doors, flooding, and leaks in a roof. This list is by no means exhaustive, but should provide a sense of the types of repairs a landlord is accountable for.

A landlord is expected to keep a rental property in reasonable repair, and a tenant is required to make timely rental payments. However, these obligations are not independent of one another. If a landlord fails to maintain premises so as to be fit for the intended use, a tenant will be within their rights to withhold rent. Therefore, if at any point in the course of a tenancy a required repair arises, even if it is subsequent to a tenant falling behind on rent, the landlord is required to make the repair. A landlord should never refuse to make a required repair for any reason. A landlord will encounter serious difficulty if they seek to evict a tenant who is behind on rent if the tenant can show that the landlord has failed to maintain the premises in accordance with the law.

The attorneys at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. are experienced in handling disputes arising out of residential and commercial leases. PSED Law represents both landlords and tenants. If you have questions about your rights under a lease agreement, or need advice about drafting or negotiating the terms of a lease, please call PSED Law at our Ypsilanti office at 734-483-3626, or our Ann Arbor location at 734-665-4441.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

PSED Law Receives Award from Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber

PSED Law was honored as a 2014 Business-Education Honor Roll Partner by the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber (A2Y Chamber). The A2Y Chamber, a community organization made up of local businesses, works to connect its members professionally, and to improve the local economy and the quality of life for Ann Arbor & Ypsilanti residents.

The Business-Education Honor Roll is an A2Y Chamber program that recognizes Chamber members that have worked to improve the local educational community by: releasing employees for paid work to volunteer in local schools, host students in their company through job-shadowing or internship programs, or contributing money to local schools.

Andrew M. Eggan Awarded Five Star Estate Planning Professional Award

Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels is proud to announce that Andrew M. Eggan, a partner in the firm’s Ypsilanti office, has been awarded the 2014 Detroit Five Star Estate Planning Professional Award. Metro-Detroit publications Hour Magazine and DBusiness compiled the lists of attorneys based on 10 objective pieces of eligibility requirements and evaluation criteria. The prestigious Five Star Award did not accept self-nominations, and only 4 percent of all estate planning attorneys that qualified for consideration in the Metro-Detroit area were named to the list.

Andy is currently in his 39th year of practice; his long and successful career has focused on estate planning and probate issues, real estate matters, and counseling various business entities and non-profit groups. He is currently on the Board of Trustees at Clearly University, a member of the Ypsilanti Area Community Fund Advisory Board, the Washtenaw Estate Planning Council, and the State Bar of Michigan Probate and Estate Planning Section. In addition, Andy works as the Co-Washtenaw County Public Administrator, a position that he was appointed to by the Michigan Attorney General’s office.

For more information about Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. visit our website at, and to speak with Andy Eggan about estate planning issues, please call the firm’s Ypsilanti office at 734-483-3626.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Divorce Downsides and Aftermath

Getting a divorce isn’t easy at all. Whoever, makes the call of cutting off the knot that binds husband and wife, it would still be difficult for both sides. It would be like getting back to step one when you’re already in step 8. It would cause an unbearable pain to kids seeing their family wreck apart. Starting over, living each day and growing up without the head of the family or the mother maybe. Emotional pain which may result in rebellious actions among teenagers.
Getting a divorce is costly most especially if it has to be taken into family court.
Thu, 20 Feb 2014 14:26:57 GMT
The issue of costs is one that you should consider before commencing a proceeding infamily court and, that should be discussed with your lawyer at your initial consultation appointment. You realize that lawyers are expensive and, that 
Tue, 25 Feb 2014 21:42:30 GMT
These days, it’s not uncommon to hear that someone is going through a divorce. In 2010, The median length for a marriage in the US is 11 years with 90% of all divorces being settled out of court. A 2011 study at the University 
Whoever takes the first move of filing up a divorce, think about it several folds. Don’t just think of your own sake, think of your kids who will suffer most. Think about the promises you made way back on your wedding day. Divorce is not always the solution. Lift up everything. Talk to your wife/husband. Every single problem can be solved in calm and open communication.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Oil & Gas Leases in Michigan

Many oil and gas producers have their land surveyors out looking for properties to seismically survey in Michigan now that hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as “fracking,” has become a profitable way to extract natural gas and petroleum products from the ground.  Fracking is a process whereby hundreds of thousands of gallons, and sometimes millions of gallons, of water are injected into a well over time to fracture the rock formations underground.  In some cases, this water is aided with a small amount of chemicals to speed up the breakdown process and gather the oil and gas quicker.  This process allows the natural gas and petroleum products to seep out, which is then collected and transported off the property and refined.
Oil and gas was trapped in underground formations in Michigan a long time ago.  It is only now that the oil and gas companies have found that they can make a profit by fracking the wells to remove it.  To get access to the oil and gas under your property, the oil and gas producers hire land surveyors to go out to areas where a rock formation is known to hold oil and gas.  These surveyors ask the owners of the property for permission to survey the formation under the property to determine whether the property has access to a useful formation.  Typically, the survey is a seismic survey, but other surveys are also common.  The land survey company will have the property owner sign a document allowing it access to complete the survey, and generally, the company requests that the property owner also sign an oil and gas lease for the rights to any oil and gas found under the property at the same time.
If you have been approached by a land survey company, or an oil and gas company, for the purpose of surveying your land to determine whether oil or gas formations exist under the property, you should look for an attorney to help you review the documents, including the lease.  Oil and gas leases are enforceable documents, and you do not want to get stuck with a five or ten year contract that does not consider your best interests.  There are many issues that can arise in the use of an oil and gas lease, including the use of water, damages to the property, and payment, just to name a few.  An attorney can help you understand the lease and assist you in understanding your rights and obligations.
For more information or to speak with us about your oil and gas lease, please contact us in Ann Arbor at 734-665-4441, and in Ypsilanti at 734-483-3626.  To learn more about Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C., or any of our attorneys, please visit us at

Insurance! It’s Not Just For Cars

When named as a defendant in a lawsuit, the natural instinct of most people is to panic or despair. Faced with the possibility of having a judgment entered against them and the equally daunting prospect of dealing with the legal system and having to pay for an attorney even if they win, most people understandably worry about what will happen to them, their family, and their overall well-being. Even a relatively minor civil lawsuit can cost thousands of dollars to defend before a judgment or settlement is even reached. This can be debilitating to many individuals and families, especially with the economy in a continued slump. What many people do not realize is that in many instances, they may already have the means to protect themselves.
Many homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance policies have a general liability provision that can provide liability coverage in the event of a personal injury or general tort claim. These policies cover legal costs and liabilities up to a certain level. The coverage will often apply to any tort claim filed against the policy holder, though each policy will have different limitations and exclusions of coverage. If the insurance carrier agrees to provide coverage it can mean the difference between financial stability and financial ruin, saving the insured thousands of dollars.
One of the questions we ask every client who comes to usin these types of situations is whether they have filed a claim with their insurance carrier yet. Often people are not even aware that they may be covered; they simply assume that because their home was not damaged, or because an injury might not have occurred at their home, they are not covered. This is not always the case. At worst, the insurance carrier will review the matter and deny coverage. While that is never the answer you want to hear, it leaves you in no worse position than you were before the claim was submitted. In short, any downside to submitting a claim is minimal, while the potential benefits are considerable. For that reason alone, always remember to check with your insurance carrier if you are sued; the answer may save your family’s financial future.
For more information or to speak with us, please contact us in Ann Arbor at 734-665-4441, or in Ypsilanti at 734-483-3626.  To learn more about Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C., or any of our attorneys, please visit us at