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Hon. Phyllis C. McMillen is the presiding judge of the civil-criminal division of the Oakland County Circuit Court. Judge McMillen previously served as a judge of the 51st District Court in Waterford. She is the past president of the Michigan District Judges Association and the Oakland County District Judges Association. In 2005, Judge McMillen received a Special Recognition Award from the Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy, for her pioneering work in creating sobriety courts. She is a lecturer, contributing author, and faculty member for various state and national organizations. Judge McMillen serves on various executive ...
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In a turning point in national history, the U.S. Supreme Court 2021-22 term ended with a cascade of seminal decisions. The 6-3 conservative supermajority ruled on gun rights, religion, immigration, environmental law, abortion, and criminal procedural rights among other constitutional questions. While the effect of some of these cases have immediately permeated public policy, such as with state gun regulations and abortion laws, the broader implications of the Court’s turn to constitutional originalism and the overturning of long-standing precedent will continue to have far-reaching effects on future governance. A brief summary of some of the most notable decisions ...
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On July 11, 2022, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed three bills into law that repeal COVID-19-related protections for Michigan businesses, employers, and employees in 2020 PA 236 , 237 , and 238 . The affected 2020 COVID-19 legislation protected compliant individuals, entities, and employers from liability against COVID-19 related claims and prohibited employer retaliation against employee absence consistent with established COVID-19 legal requirements. The new laws roll back COVID-19 liability protections in the following ways: 2022 PA 139 amends the COVID-19 Response and Reopening Liability Assurance Act, MCL 691.1451–.1460 , by eliminating ...
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Hon. Jon A. Van Allsburg is chief circuit judge for the 20 th Circuit Court in Ottawa County, Michigan, where he is assigned to the Family Division and Business Court. He spent more than 20 years practicing law before joining the bench and has taught business law at both Grand Valley State University and Hope College. Judge Van Allsburg has served in the Family Violence Department of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and is a former president of the Michigan Judges Association. He is an honors graduate of the Michigan State University College of Law. For attorneys who have never been to your court, what is your check-in process? ...
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On June 15, 2022, the Michigan Supreme Court issued ADM File No 2020-15 , amending State Bar Rule 2, adding State Bar Rule 21, adding Subchapter 9.300 of the Michigan Court Rules, and amending MCR 9.119 . The amendments, effective September 1, 2023, require attorneys in private practice to designate an interim administrator “to protect clients by temporarily managing the attorney’s practice if the attorney becomes unexpectedly unable to practice law.” State Bar Rule 21(A). The State Bar of Michigan (SBM) Receivership Workgroup 2019 recommendation indicated that many Michigan attorneys do not have a sufficient plan in place to protect their clients in the ...
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Hon. Elian E. H. Fichtner was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to the 70-2 District Court in Saginaw County in April 2018. Before her appointment, she was in private practice for 12 years with Smith Bovill, PC, focusing on probate and estate planning with an emphasis on elder law and elder care issues. In 2021, Judge Darnell Jackson, Chief Judge of the Saginaw County Trial Courts, appointed Judge Fichtner to serve as Presiding Judge of the 70th District Court. Judge Fichtner currently runs the Saginaw County Mental Health Court and has served on a number of boards and commissions throughout the state of Michigan and Saginaw County. She is a member of the Probate ...
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Judge Jacob James Cunningham was elected to the bench in November 2018. He currently presides over a family division docket. Prior to his election to the bench, Judge Cunningham was a judicial clerk for the Hon. Wendy Potts and a staff attorney for the Hon. Mary Ellen Brennan. He is a member of the Oakland County Bar Association. Judge Cunningham is also a member of the American Judges Association, Michigan Judges Association, Incorporated Society of Irish American Lawyers, Armenian American Bar Association, International Association of LGBTQ+ Judges, Eastern District of Michigan Federal Bar Association, Michigan Inter-Professional Association, and the Michigan ...
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We recently held an informal ICLE Community Zoom discussing the amendments to the case evaluation rules eliminating sanctions, among other changes. Attorneys Justin Hakala from Plunkett Cooney and Henry Langberg from Henry Langberg PC joined us to provide their expert analysis and insights. Here are some of the highlights: Major changes . (1) Case evaluation sanctions under MCR 2.403(O) were eliminated. (2) The provision in the offer of judgment court rule that offer of judgment sanctions may not be awarded in cases that had been submitted to case evaluation unless the case evaluation award was nonunanimous was deleted. Under the amended court rule, ...
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Overview Gym 24/7 Fitness, LLC, sued the State of Michigan, alleging an unconstitutional taking of its business property resulting from Governor Whitmer’s executive orders shuttering businesses in response to COVID-19. Gym 24/7 Fitness, LLC v State , No 355148 , ___ Mich App ___, ___ NW2d ___ (Mar 31, 2022). Although plaintiff accepted that the executive orders were issued “‘solely for a public purpose,’” it contended that the state and federal constitutions “‘require the payment of just compensation if eminent domain proceedings are not first commenced.’” Id., slip op at *3. Takings Clauses The issue on appeal was “whether the business owner ...
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Judge Shauna Dunnings was elected to the bench in 2018. She previously served as the circuit court administrator in the county, starting in 2013. In 2007, she became the Friend of the Court and deputy court administrator. In 2003, she became assistant Friend of the Court and attorney referee in Eaton County. She served as law clerk for Hon. Gordon J. Quist of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan for one year and was in private practice for 13 years. For attorneys who have never been to your court, what is your check-in process? Attorneys may come into the courtroom, and my law clerk or court recorder will check them in. If the ...
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On February 22, 2022, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) and U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) announced a settlement had been reached in their ongoing case. In 2019, twenty-eight members of the USWNT filed a lawsuit against USSF in federal court alleging violations of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 . The district court conditionally certified the case as a collective action under the Equal Pay Act and certified the case as a class action under Title VII. The district court granted summary disposition to USSF on the player’s pay-discrimination claims. USWNT then sought review of that ruling in an appeal to ...
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After a remote conference last year, the ABA TECHSHOW reconvened in person in Chicago, March 3-5, 2022. For the first time in almost a decade, I had to sit this one out, and I had serious FOMO. After three days of substantive workshops, the TECHSHOW ends the conference with “60 in 60,” a fast-paced, multi-speaker plenary presenting 60 technology-focused tips in an hour. In 2017, there was a pretty prescient tip recommending Zoom, 2019 offered a little more of an analog tip, and 2020 went downright old school . Still, year after year, the speakers present tips, tools, and resources that run the gamut, and this year was no different. Here are a few of ...
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​ Judge Monte J. Burmeister was elected to the bench in 2007 after engaging in general civil and criminal practice for 12 years. He is a graduate of the Trial Lawyers College and a Paul Harris Fellow. He is a past president of the Michigan Probate Judges Association and a commissioner on the Judicial Tenure Commission since 2013, serving as its chair in 2019 and 2020. He currently presides over a variety of cases, including criminal misdemeanors and civil cases under $25,000, felony preliminary examinations, decedent’s estates, child custody disputes, and abuse and neglect of children cases. For attorneys who have never been to your court, what is your ...
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​ For years, lawyers in Michigan with high conflict custody cases have had recourse to parenting coordinators. Under MCL 722.27c, the court may enter an order for a parenting coordinator for a specified term if the parties and the coordinator agree to the appointment and its scope. The parenting coordinator can help the parties resolve issues with transportation, childcare, discipline, extracurricular activities, school issues, among other things. This can free the parties’ lawyers up to work on the legal aspects of their client’s case, can reduce the parties’ legal bills, and hopefully help the parties learn the skills to resolve issues on their own. Such ...
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On Friday, February 25, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced updated protocol for COVID-19 mask mandates . The risk of medically significant disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 has decreased with many individuals now either vaccinated or developing natural immunity from COVID infections. Therefore, the effect of COVID-19 on health and health care systems is also decreasing. However, some health systems are still strained by serious COVID-19 illnesses. Data broken down by county can be found with this map . The CDC’s new COVID-19 community levels tools is being used to help counties determine the ...
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In Brown Jug, Inc v Cincinnati Ins Co , Nos 21-2644 et al, ___ F3d ___ (6th Cir Feb 23, 2022), plaintiffs, restaurants and entertainment venues, made claims against their policies with defendant, Cincinnati Insurance Company, for loss of income as a result of COVID-19 and related executive orders. The policies’ relevant provisions provided that defendant would compensate plaintiffs if, and only if, plaintiffs suffered a “direct physical loss or damage to” its covered property or if a loss to a nonpolicy holder’s property prevented access to plaintiffs’ property. Definition of Loss Directly at issue to the three policy provisions is the phrase “direct ...
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At ICLE’s Community Zoom discussion on February 9, Michelle Gallagher from Adamy Valuation led a discussion with 35 participants about tax implications for child and spousal support. Below are some highlights: Determining income: Child support is always nontaxable to the recipient and nondeductible to the payor. Spousal support is not as straightforward. If the divorce happened from 2019 to today, it is nontaxable to the recipient and nondeductible to the payor. Before 2019, this depended on how the arrangements were made at the time of the divorce. Bonus income is considered net income (not gross income) if the agreement was after 2019 for the alimony. ...
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Earlier this month, amendments to the no-fault Model Civil Jury Instructions, Chapters 35 and 36, were published for comment. The comment period ends on July 15, 2022. The proposed amendments reflect the many changes to the no-fault laws passed in 2019. Notably, M Civ JI 36.06A was added to the instructions, reflecting the changes to MCL 500.3135(3)(d), providing that a nonresident plaintiff must establish a “threshold” injury to recover economic and noneconomic losses in a tort action. Also proposed is M Civ JI 36.11A, a new instruction defining “serious impairment of body function,” after the legislature codified the holding of McCormick v Carrier , 487 Mich ...
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On January 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear challenges to race-conscious admissions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Read the cert petitions here and here . Students for Fair Admissions is challenging the race-based admissions policies and asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act bars colleges and universities that receive federal funding from considering race in the admissions process. Additionally, they are arguing the 14 th Amendment bars public schools from considering race. The group is asking the court to overrule Grutter v Bollinger , a 2003 case, ...
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The Hon. Charles S. Hegarty was appointed to the 3rd Circuit Court (Wayne County) in 2013 and was assigned to the Domestic Relations Section of the Family Division. Since January 2021, he has served in the Civil Division. He joined the court from Bodman PLC, where he spent 15 years litigating civil actions and represented clients in commercial, real estate, tort, and trusts and estates matters. In 2013, he was recognized as a Michigan “Super Lawyer” in Business Litigation. Judge Hegarty is a fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation and a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Detroit Bar Association. Are you still using Zoom? If so, what types of matters/motions ...
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