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Alternative Dispute Resolution Services


At their most basic, mediation and arbitration are alternative means by which parties to what is, or what would be, litigation in the Courts, can resolve their disputes. As a mediator, attorney John R. Foley applies his 34 years and wealth of practical firsthand experience and education to explain to parties the likely results of litigation and the benefits of settlement, and to help negotiate a fair and just agreed-upon settlement between the parties. As an arbitrator, Mr. Foley applies that same experience to make fair and just binding decisions on either specific case issues, or a complete resolution to a given dispute. Mr. Foley ensures that both parties are afforded the chance to explain their case in detail, and argue the merits of their claims and defenses, a setting that is far less formal and stressful that trial in Court.





Mediation (sometimes called “facilitation”) is an informal dispute settlement process. Mediation is intended to bring two parties together to clear up misunderstandings, find out concerns, and reach a resolution. The process is voluntary, although it may be urged by the Court During the mediation, each side will present its view of the issue, and the mediator will work with each side in a caucus to attempt to work out a settlement. At the end of the process, the mediator can present his or her findings and present a potential solution to the issue. The mediation process, unlike arbitration, is non-binding; that is, the mediator does not impose a decision on the parties, but he/she attempts to present a solution that is acceptable to both parties. Mediation can be used in divorces, real estate, bankruptcy litigation, labor bargaining, and almost all forms of civil dispute. Unlike arbitration, mediation is not binding on the parties.





Arbitration is the process of bringing a dispute before a disinterested third party (the "arbitrator") for resolution. The arbitrator hears the evidence brought by both sides and makes a decision. Generally speaking, that decision is binding on the parties. Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), used in place of trial before a judge or jury; so as to save the cost and time of going to court. Arbitration is binding. In arbitration, the parties agree that the ruling of the Arbitrator will be controlling, whether or not one party is happy or unhappy with the result. Arbitration is often confused with mediation, which is an informal process of bringing in a third party who goes between the disputing parties to help them settle a dispute. Unlike mediation, arbitration is binding on the parties.



Attorney Client Representation (“Practice Areas”)


Family Law


Family Law describes the practice of law related to Divorce, Child Custody, Parenting Time, Child Support, Spousal Support, Property Division, Personal Protection Orders, Friend of the Court Proceedings, Adoptions, and, Guardianship & Conservatorship Proceedings. 


John R. Foley, PC has over 38 years of experience in the practice of Family Law. Often, the anxiety, stress and anger caused by a failing marriage or strained relationship can be overwhelming; and the confusion of legal system often makes things unbearable. Through careful analysis of each client's individual situation, needs, and goals, John R. Foley, PC those years of experience to develop a comprehensive plan to achieve each client's objectives.





Bankruptcy offers an individual or business a chance to get a "fresh start" by discharging debts that can't be paid while offering creditors a chance to obtain some measure of repayment based on what assets are available, or what the debtor is able to pay on a monthly basis. Bankruptcy filings in the United States can fall under one of several chapters of the Bankruptcy Code including (among others), Chapter 7 (liquidation of assets), Chapter 11 (corporate or individual reorganizations), and Chapter 13 (partial debt repayment/payment plan).


Attorney Patrick A. Foley provides comprehensive bankruptcy representation, including, in particular, counseling high income debtors and those with significant assets through the bankruptcy process; which includes debtor, creditor and third party representation, including both plaintiff-side and defense, in adversary proceedings(lawsuits brought in the context of a bankruptcy, against the debtor or other related parties, by creditors, the trustee, or the United State Trustee’s office, to challenge the discharge of one or more of the debtor’s debts, to dispute the debtor’s right to a discharge, to recover assets of the estate, or to reverse transactions deemed to be fraudulent.



Litigation & Defense


Appeals. We believe that no law firm can represent their clients completely without providing appellate representation. In simple terms, “appeal” refers to the process of petitioning a higher Court to overrule the decision of a lower Court, because that ruling is contrary to the law, against the great weight of the evidence, or is in some other way grossly unjust. In the real world, appeals can be said to “keep the system in check.” By representing out clients throughout the appellate process, the attorneys of John R. Foley, P.C. make it known that unfair decisions will not stand.


Debt Settlement. Many people don't know: after a bank forecloses on your property, if the bank does not get all that they are owed from the sale of the property, they can still collect the rest of the debt from you. Our Foreclosure and Collection practice revolves around representing individuals and families who have recently been served by the bank with a Notice of Foreclosure, or who have found that their accounts have been garnished, their wages levied, or their assets seized. At this point, we use what little time is left to aid clients in asset protection, and to consider the various advantages and disadvantages of debt settlement or bankruptcy. Depending upon our client's financial condition, this can be a decision of extreme importance.


Commercial Litigation. The most common areas of commercial litigation which we handle are construction defect cases; construction contract disputes; and litigation involving violations of the Michigan Builders Trust Funds Act and Michigan Construction Lien Act. We represent owners, contractors, subcontractors, vendors and suppliers, and all facets of litigation, and in both State and Federal Court. In conjunction with out Bankruptcy & Reorganization practice, we also commonly represent parties pursing non-dischargeable judgments as a result of a construction dispute.


Probate. Estate, probate and trust disputes, disagreements, litigation and arbitration:  Probate, trust and estate disputes include will contests and challenges, interpreting the will or trust, identifying and collecting estate and trust assets, pursuing claims against third-parties, resolving creditor claims, claims for breach of fiduciary duty and other issues. Unfortunately, when the elderly members of our community need it most, they are sometimes abused, neglected or financially exploited.  Michigan, however, has strong laws to protect vulnerable and incapacitated adults and to remedy abuse and misconduct. We provide comprehensive and valuable representation to deal with disputes over whether a trust is valid, the interpretation of a trust, the trustee’s administration and many others. The administration of a trust or estate involves several activities.  It is important for the personal representative and trustee to know their fiduciary duties, responsibilities and relevant deadlines.


Real Estate Litigation. John R. Foley P.C.'s Real Estate Litigation practice revolves around the representation of clients in litigation over the rights to possess, use, and enjoy land and the permanent manmade additions attached to it. This includes the capacity to hold interests in real property, permissible interests in real property, relations between owners, relations between owners and the community, landlord and tenant relations, the transfer of interests in real property, and real property financing, including deeds and mortgages.



Planning & Guidance


Asset Protection. Both federal law (generally in the context of bankruptcy), and state law, prohibit certain transfers of assets as fraudulent, in certain circumstances. Case law also suggests, however, that the carefully planning and legal transfer of assets to protect them from creditors is not illegal, so long as the transfers themselves are not illegal. Through long and short term strategic planning, we help our clients protect their hard earned wealth to the greatest extent possible under the law.


Commercial Transactions. Drawing on the diverse cross-disciplinary expertise of our attorneys, we counsel clients throughout the process of business formation, growth, expansion, and ongoing operations. Initially, we aid clients in selecting the legal entity best suited to their specific needs and goals, we aid clients in business planning, the formation of legal entities, and on beginning initial operations. We also counsel clients in making strategic decisions regarding management of liabilities and investments, and the protection of business assets. Among other things, we advise and counsel clients in conducting mergers, acquisitions, and outsourcing of operations.


Estate Planning. Estate planning is about getting the right legal mechanisms in place to plan for the possibility of mental incapacity and inevitable death. This includes, among other things, the preparation of essential estate planning documents, such as a Last Will and Testament, a Revocable Living Trust, an Irrevocable Trusts, a Durable Power of Attorney, and many others. Through these devices, and through analysis of the various consequences of prospective in-life actions, such as gifts and transfers, our attorneys aid clients in minimizing loss and maximizing the benefit receiving by the later generations of your family. While many of our clients are high net worth individuals, our Estate Planning Practice is not limited to such individuals, and we can often provide helpful advice and guidance to people of all levels of wealth and income.




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