Law Office of Nicklaus Suino

Ann Arbor Attorney - Legal Services for Business

Private Restraints on Development

An often overlooked problem area for landowners and developers is private restraints on development. While attorneys and title insurance companies are usually careful about examining deeds and plats to find potential problems for their clients, purchasers of land do not always ask the right questions during the excitement of viewing a new parcel.

These restrictions might take the form of building and use restraints (recorded at the register of deeds office), or reciprocal negative easements, which are usually not recorded. Besides carefully reviewing all documents of title, be sure to visit surrounding landowners to discuss any covenants or agreements that might be common knowledge in the community, but not obvious to a newcomer. Also study the lay of the land carefully. The lack of fences between properties might mean that a covenant against fencing exists. If all the houses in your prospective neighborhood are painted the same color, check to find out whether that is the result of an informal or formal agreement.

Consult with an Ann Arbor lawyer who specializing in real estate matters to ensure that you are aware of any legal hurdles to your complete ownership of property. The Law Office of Nicklaus Suino offers title reviews and many other services related to buying and selling Michigan real estate.

Real Estate Broker and Client

The relationship between real estate broker and client is fundamentally the same as any agent and principal relationship. The broker owes a strict fiduciary duty to the principal, and must fully disclose all relevant facts to the client, may not act on behalf of any other person or entity without fully disclosing this to the client, and may not participate in a transaction in which he or she has an interest that is adverse to the client's.

Usually the details of this relationship are determined by contract. A listing agreement spells out the various rights and obligations of both parties, including the amount of the sales commission and any special duties to be undertaken by the broker. The length of the agreement (i.e., how long the client is obligated to pay the commission if the property is sold) is a critical factor, often leading to disagreements if the property is sold close to the end of the contract period.

In Ann Arbor, Michigan, Oxford Companies and Bluestone Realty Advisors are major players in the commercial real estate arena. More information can be obtained at and For assistance in reviewing both commercial and residential real estate contracts, visit Attorney Nicklaus Suino at

Legalities of accessing websites

Accessing informational websites on the internet is unlikely to run you afoul of any laws...or is it? Take a look at the opening paragraph on the USA Judo website:

"This Agreement sets forth the terms and conditions of use for the web sites operated by USA Judo ("we," "us," or "our" herein) at (referred to as the "Site"). You should be aware that USA Judo owns several other domain names that direct traffic to the Site, and that this Agreement also covers use of the Site via such domain names. USA Judo reserves the right, at our discretion, to change, modify, add or remove portions of this Agreement at any time. Such changes, revisions or modifications will be effective immediately upon notice to you, which may be given by any means including, without limitation, via posting on the Site. Your continued use of the Site after such notice will be deemed to constitute acceptance of such changes, revisions or modifications. Please check this Agreement periodically for changes." -

The Art of Judo website, on the other hand, contains no such disclaimers, suggesting that you are free to access the site and to use the materials contained therein for any manner you choose. Similarly, and do not restrict your use of their contents. USJA's website, in fact, has a very friendly, helpful, tone.

Deciding whether a user agreement is necessary for your website is an important decision for your business with potential legal ramifications. We recommend that you consult with an attorney, who can review your site content to determine whether there is any information that could be used in such a way as to make your company liable for mis-statements, false statements, or unfulfilled promises. Every Ann Arbor business should have a comprehensive document review program in which an attorney examines all advertising, contracts, and other printed matter to minimize the risk of lawsuits.

Contact us for a free initial consultation!

Promises on business websites

Ann Arbor is a vibrant city with a dynamic business community. Many, if not most, businesses in Ann Arbor use the internet to advertise and do business. So, it is critical for you to remember that statements made on your web site about your products and/or services are express warranties (promises) to customers. Business owners should carefully review the text of their web sites to ensure that any statements made there are factual and in line with company policy.

Statements that are absolute, which may be difficult to prove, should be avoided. Be careful not to make unconditional guarantees or excessive promises. Note that the Federal Trade Commission has specific guidelines for using such words as “free,” "warranty," and “guarantee,” whether used in advertising or on a web site.

Our attorneys are aware of the legal implications of online advertising, and can help you write or modify web content to protect your business.

Client relationships

Building Relationships...
The key to our success lives in our relationships with valued clients in Ann Arbor and the surrounding areas. We recognize that just as we create value for our clients, their continued prosperity helps us to thrive. The shared goals and mutual benefit we derive from our business relationships keep us all growing.

Our constant pursuit of the latest networking and marketing opportunities allows us to offer a legal perspective available to few other attorneys. We recognize that litigation is a last resort, and our attorneys strive to give our clients legal advice that keeps them out of court - allowing them to concentrate on their primary business activities. We work to be more than just lawyers, to be advisors to businesses at all levels.

Contact us for a free initial consultation!