William H. Horton, Board of Directors, Chair of the Business & Commercial Litigation Sections

William H. Horton Named a Top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers 2012

Mr. Horton is a Managing Director of Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C. and Chair of the Business Litigation Section.

Mr. Horton has been trying lawsuits for over 25 years. He primarily practices in the areas of business and commercial disputes, employment law, and real estate cases. Many cases are related to the automobile industry.

Mr. Horton is certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, the foremost national organization to certify trial skills.

In business litigation, he has tried numerous shareholder disputes, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of non-competition agreements, and other competitive disputes. He represents clients’ licensure, protection and litigation surrounding a number of software and intellectual property developments. Prior to practicing law, he was involved in software development.

Mr. Horton has an “AV” Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest ranking by peers for general ethical standards and legal ability. He has been recognized as Best Lawyer in America, peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell in 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013, as “Top Lawyer “ by dbusiness and Super Lawyer 2010, 2011 & 2012.

Mr. Horton is one of the lawyers who received the highest point totals in the Michigan nomination, research and blue ribbon review process.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C., ranks as the 12th largest law firm in Michigan. Founded 39 years ago, located in Troy and Detroit, Michigan.
Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C. is a full service law firm with 70 attorneys. Areas of practice include litigation, corporate law, health care law, business transactions, estate and trust planning, commercial litigation, governmental law, real estate, creditors’ rights, criminal law, employment and labor and workers’ compensation. GMH has been recognized as a Top Tier Law Firm in the United States by U.S. News and World Report. Additional recognitions include Crain’s Detroit Business Cool Place to Work and Detroit Free Press Top Workplaces 2012.

 

State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section E-Newsletter Recognizes GMH Attorneys

The State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section E-Newsletter dated May 1, 2012 took note of the litigation being handled by Bill Horton and Greg Gamalski on behalf of Oakland County against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Summary judgment was granted in favor of the County. Damages are now being calculated. See article below…

By K.J. Miller and Jeffrey Jamison, Dykema Gossett, PLLC

Last month, Judge Victoria Roberts, E.D. Michigan, ruled that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not exempt from paying real estate transfer taxes and are liable for millions of dollars of unpaid taxes. The two mortgage giants have long claimed exemptions based on specific federal statutes exempting them from “all taxation.” In Oakland County v. Federal Housing Finance Agency (E.D. MI., No. 11-12666, March 23, 2012), Judge Roberts rejected this argument and granted summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs.

The Court explained that the “Supreme Court in [United States v. Wells Fargo Bank, 485 U.S. 351 (1988)] made clear that where a statute prohibits the collection of ‘all taxation,’ an excise tax is still due.” The facts in the Oakland County case were largely undisputed and the sole issue in controversy was whether the federal statute at issue precluded the imposition of state and local real estate transfer taxes. According to the decision, the parties did not dispute the characterization of the real estate transfer taxes as excise taxes, and the Court concluded: “Wells Fargo dictates that the defendant’s exemptions do not cover the Transfer Taxes,” and that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “are liable for the Transfer Taxes.” The damages in the Oakland County case are estimated to be $13.5 million.

An appeal of this ruling—the first ruling involving Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s claim of exemption from real estate transfer taxes—is expected given its potentially far-reaching implications. Although borrowers may attempt to use this ruling as an affirmative defense or a counterclaim, such claims would fail as the real estate transfer tax statutes do not provide private causes of action or defenses for borrowers.

William Horton

Gregory J. Gamalski

Lawsuit against Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac may give state millions

Michigan’s school aid fund could get a windfall of up to $100 million, and 82 of Michigan’s 83 counties could collectively claim millions more under a judge’s ruling last week that mortgage giants…

View the complete article at http://www.freep.com

Bill Horton of Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C. representing Midland County Wins Verdict vs. Blues

Midland County has won a $933,052 jury verdict against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan over allegations that it billed the county hidden fees to administer its health benefits.

The Dec. 17 verdict is the latest in a wave of lawsuits and judgments across the state filed by Troy attorney Bill Horton, accusing the insurance giant of pocketing millions of dollars in hidden fees from local governments and others to administer health care plans.

Blue Cross, Michigan’s largest insurer, vehemently denies the charges, saying its practices were well-known to the plaintiffs, are common in the industry and have saved millions of dollars for these employers, which continue to contract with the Blues to run their health plans. The company is considering appeals.

This is the fourth verdict against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in the past twelve months. Mr. Horton has represented multiple counties and municipalities in the dispute over undisclosed fees. Mr. Horton has been engaged my multiple municipalities in Michigan to pursue similar cases