By: Bill Pilchak – 12/9/14
After nearly seven years without “room-mates,” we are pleased to welcome three new attorneys who will be renting offices within the Pilchak & Cohen World Headquarters.
Ray M. Toma, P.C. concentrates its practice in real estate and construction law. Ray Toma, the principal, has been involved in real estate and construction his entire life. After earning a Bachelor of Science on Construction Engineering at Lawrence Technological University, he served as a Project Engineer for the Barton Malow Company, one of the largest construction contractors and project managers in North America. Later, he did design work as a civil engineer for BEI Associates in Detroit. After joining a Detroit law firm and focusing on construction disputes, Ray founded his present firm in 1995.
Ray is assisted by associate, Edward F. Kickham. Ed received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. Prior to practicing law, Ed worked on-site for a large residential builder. He later worked for a Detroit area title agency, where he prepared transactional documents and oversaw deed escrow for a major Michigan developer. He obtained his law degree from Wayne State University, where he was an Associate Editor of the Wayne Law Review. Ed has represented builders, developers, landlords and commercial tenants in a wide variety of contract disputes, conflicts with municipalities, and collection matters. His practice has emphasized complex commercial litigation involving both corporate and individual clients, including the owners of a shopping mall and the tenant in a build-to-suit dispute involving a manufacturing facility. In addition, Ed has litigated under the Builders Trust Fund Act and the Michigan Franchise Investment Law; pursued summary eviction of commercial and residential tenants; and handled numerous post-judgment asset investigation and collection proceedings.
Kelli A. Nearhood, PLLC concentrates its practice in the areas of probate and trust administration and litigation, including decedent’s estates and guardianship and conservatorship matters, estate planning, and family law. Kelli Nearhood was previously with Witzke Berry Carter & Wander PLLC, as well as Gabe Quinn & Seymour PC. She earned her J.D. from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from James Madison College at Michigan State University. Kelli has qualified for and receives Guardian Ad Litem appointments through the Oakland County Probate Court. She has 17 years of experience practicing in the area of probate litigation, including will contests, challenges to joint property, breach of fiduciary duties, trust contests, challenges to guardianships and conservatorships, as well as administering decedent’s estates and trusts, and drafting wills and revocable living trusts. In addition, Kelli’s practice concentrates on family law matters such as divorce, custody and parenting time disputes, child support issues, post-judgment matters, and drafting prenuptial agreements.
By: Dan Cohen – 12/4/14
On November 20, President Obama bypassed Congress and granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants through an Executive Order. Reports place the number of illegals affected at 4.9 million. When those illegals receive work authorizations under the Executive Order, they will find their job search is aided by a three thousand dollar incentive to hire them over U.S. citizens.
Through executive fiat, President Obama trumped the debate that has precluded a legislative fix: Republicans know that any proclamation of amnesty (i.e., a proclamation that some illegal aliens will not be deported) will prompt even greater waves of illegals, and have thus required border security first, and immigration reform second. Despite a promise on the USCIS website “to crack down on illegal immigration at the border,” and Obama’s audacious proclamation during his illegal immigrant welcome speech that the border is more secure today than at any other time in history, anyone who has tuned into Fox News and watched video proof of illegals crossing the Rio Grande knows that is simply not true. Does he think we do not remember the flood of children that illegally entered the U.S. this summer, estimated at more than 37,000? Closer analysis indicates that only apprehensions of illegal aliens have declined (since 2008). If illegal border crossings have declined, that is more likely because job opportunities declined during the same period.
Obama who seems unable to craft a policy that appeals to anyone except left-leaning Democrats, circumvented the pending legislative debate as if he could make law. He can’t. Under our Constitution, Congress makes the law, and the President is responsible for enforcing it.
The amnestied illegal immigrants will eventually become Social Security and Medicare eligible, which will put even more stress on an already stressed-out pair of entitlement programs. Stephen Miller, a spokesman for Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a leading opponent of Obama’s executive actions, said making immigrants illegally in the U.S. eligible for Social Security and Medicare “is an attack on working families.” According to Miller, “[t]he amnestied illegal immigrants are largely older, lower-wage and lower-skilled and will draw billions more in benefits than they will pay in.”
Obama’s unilateral action also has the effect of infusing illegals into the “red” states of Texas and Arizona, further straining their budgets and potentially changing the political balance. 70% of Hispanic voters vote Democratic, so once the US-born children of illegal aliens turn 18 and can vote, expect closer elections in these states that Republicans traditionally carry. Sources predict that the Hispanic vote will tip Arizona to a blue state in 2025.
Finally and most importantly, Obama’s executive action will also provide an incentive for businesses to hire the illegals over U.S. citizens because the illegals are not eligible for government subsidies and credits on the health care exchanges under Obamacare. Whoops! This wasn’t very well thought-out. Quite frankly, if I was an unemployed citizen, I wouldn’t be too happy that the amnestied illegals now have a $3000 advantage in hiring, since businesses won’t have to pay Employer Mandate penalties in 2015 if they don’t offer health care benefits to this group.
ObamaCare architect, Jonathan Gruber, has been caught on film admitting that the Affordable Care Act only passed Congress because of “the stupidity of the American voter.” Well, here we go again: Is the Executive Order stupid by missing the point that employers benefit by hiring illegals and that citizens suffer? Or are we stupid for turning a blind eye to what Obama is doing?