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This past September, at the NEXT Conference (formerly known as the Solo and Small Firm Institute), Barron Henley once again offered his “60 Tech Tips in 60 Minutes” presentation, in which he delivered lightning fast reviews of the latest software, apps, and gadgets. Here are some of the highlights: Grammarly : Grammarly is a plug-in that will check your grammar wherever you write. You can use it with Microsoft products to proofread your e-mails and documents as you write them. You can use it as a Chrome extension and it will check your writing on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. There are both free and premium versions. Logitech MX Master ...
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Class Convenience

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Practicing law has a way of teaching you the real value of time. Whether it’s billable hours or the precious other moments you get to spend outside of work, your time ends up being a valuable limited commodity. And like any limited commodity, the more you can conserve, the more value you can realize. I think new technology is often expensive just for this reason. It saves you time. Thankfully, technology also has a very consistent way of getting cheaper over time. Cell phones are a great example. The Motorola DynaTAC was a clear status symbol of the 1980s—costing close to $10,000 in today’s dollars. Thirty years later, I can get a prepaid phone for $50 that ...
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How Many Are We?

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​ Millennials versus boomers and their comparative characteristics, quirks, and habits have been all the talk the last few years. State bars and CLE organizations are focused on the aging boomers and how that will affect their membership ranks. It made me wonder, what are the actual numbers in these generations? This chart from the PEW Research Center shows the number of births in each generation: While the millennial generation had 10 million fewer U.S. births than the boomer generation, it continues to increase in size through immigration. Through this immigration and the death of boomers, the millennial generation is now the nation’s ...
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  Judge Lawrence J. Paolucci, Wayne County Probate Court   Judge Lawrence J. Paolucci was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to the Wayne County Probate Court on October 22, 2015, to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Chief Judge Milton L. Mack, Jr. Before his appointment to the bench, he served as the court attorney for the Wayne County Probate Court for 11 years. He graduated from Kenyon College (Ohio) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and obtained his law degree from Detroit College of Law, now Michigan State University College of Law. While in law school, he served as the judicial law clerk to the late Honorable Raymond ...
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​ A dear friend and judge was recently diagnosed with cancer. Luckily it was caught early and is treatable. But in a recent discussion with him about his condition and his treatment, he mentioned how lucky he was. Lucky that he had insurance, lucky that he had family, and lucky that he had colleagues who could cover his docket. It made us both wonder about the challenges a solo practitioner might have in a similar situation and how he or she might cope. Bottom line, “[a] solo attorney absolutely must have a strong support network of family and friends, and other attorneys, who can help them in times of personal crisis,” says Shanda Tinney, in a personal story ...
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On December 4, 2017, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation (BMMR) issued its long-awaited rules implementing the 2016 Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA). Rather than permanent rules, however, they were issued as emergency rules, which are allowed under Michigan law. The rules will last for six months, and they may be extended for not more than another six months. The BMMR said it issued the rules under the emergency provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act because of the strong need for some form of rules before December 15, 2017, the date on which applications for licenses ...
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The Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) is designed to regulate marijuana dispensaries and clarify the legality of edible products in Michigan. The law also licenses and regulates marijuana growers, processers, testing facilities, and transporters. The MMFLA took effect December 20, 2016. However, it included a 360-day delay in implementation to enable the state to establish the licensing system required by the act. The process was not completed in time to begin processing applications according to the timelines specified. As a result, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) issued emergency rules to implement the MMFLA. ...
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Welcome, 2018! My absolute favorite holiday is New Year’s Day. There is just something inspirational about starting a new year with endless opportunities. For a number of years now, I’ve spent the month of December looking back at the year, inventorying my accomplishments and taking note of those areas in my life in which, at least in my mind, I have missed the mark. That inventory informs next year’s goals and themes for my relationships with family, spirituality, community, and vocation. I try to stay away from calling these “New Year’s resolutions” to keep them firmly grounded in lifestyle improvements. 2017 was a big year in a lot of unexpected ways. I ...
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As TIME Magazine famously proclaimed on its Person of the Year cover, 2017 was a big year for women coming forward with allegations of sexual assault and harassment against prominent men. The high-profile resignations and firings following many of these allegations have put the spotlight on workplace policies and procedures surrounding harassment. A lot of big employers have already taken action in response. The U.S. Senate approved a resolution mandating sexual harassment training for all Senate employees. NBC announced that it was bringing in a firm to conduct training on workplace behavior and harassment prevention. A number of companies, including ...
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Isolation can be a common woe among attorneys, and we should really do something about it. Indulge me in a little frolic and detour before I circle back to this preachy statement. Many of my own moments of isolation occurred before social media and smartphones and working remotely were integral to our existence. So daily life forced me into live human interaction, and I benefited from it most of the time. But now it’s much easier to avoid connection. Research suggests , however, that these patterns are causing staggering levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness among teens. It’s not too much of a leap to suggest isolation is affecting us as well. ...
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Judge Michael D. Warren, Jr., was appointed to the Oakland County Circuit Court in December 2002 and elected to retain the position in 2004, 2006, and 2012. He is the presiding judge of the general civil and criminal division. He is the sponsor of the electronic data management system (e-filing) project of the Oakland County Circuit Court and the pilot judge for e-filing and the paperless courtroom. Judge Warren cofounded Patriot Week with his then 10-year-old daughter Leah (www.patriotweek.org) and is the author of "America's Survival Guide: How to Stop America's Impending Suicide by Reclaiming Our First Principles" (www.AmericasSurvivalGuide.com). He has ...
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The stereotype attached to millennials, especially held by those of us in the preceding generations, is that they are terrible at in-person communications, lost in their social media and digital worlds, and oblivious to what is going on in front of their unlined faces. It seems that every industry is trying to figure out how to market to this new demographic, how to catch their attention and earn their loyalty. One strain of thought is that businesses, including law firms, need to create a frictionless client experience . The belief is that millennials who are used to calling up all they need—from diapers to a new sofa—through an app on their phone, who ...
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Happy holidays, everyone! I know it’s a very hectic time of year, but this is something you won’t want to let slip through the cracks between all of the holiday celebrations and much-needed recharging. Back in September, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an order adopting amendments to Michigan Court Rules 1.109, 2.107, 2.113, 2.114, 3.206, 3.901, 3.931, 3.961, 4.302, 5.113, 5.114, 6.001, 6.101, 8.117, and 8.119 with an effective date of January 1, 2018. The order indicated that “immediate adoption of these rules is necessary for the development of the statewide electronic-filing system.” But in a December 20, 2017, order , the Michigan Supreme Court ...
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When I was a prosecutor in NYC, we had a lower drunk driving offense that was not a criminal misdemeanor, but in the end, it’s still drunk driving, and on a public record, the reader of the record is unlikely to make the distinction or care to make it, because it’s the same set of circumstances - broadly drunk driving or in this case, possession of alcohol under the age of 21.   I am of the mindset that possession of alcohol for a minor is not the end of the world, and not “serious” in light of other offenses, but it’s still a sign of poor decision making, not appreciating risk or contemplating the  consequences of one’s actions; that doesn’t change because ...
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​ My initial reaction was to laugh when I heard 2017 PA 124 made it a misdemeanor to bring a dead deer into Michigan. I could not imagine what motivated the legislature to regulate deer carcasses. The act actually prohibits bringing a cervid carcass into the state. According to dictionary.com , a cervid is a deer, caribou, elk, or moose. The act says you can bring in a hide, deboned meat, quarters, or other parts of a cervid carcass as long as they do not have a spinal column or head attached. There is also an exception for finished taxidermy products such as cleaned teeth, antlers, or antlers attached to a skullcap cleaned of brain and ...
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Taking time off during the holidays can be stressful. Preparing yourself, your practice, and your clients adequately for your impending absence can alleviate some of the headache. Here are a few tips to maintain your peace of mind. Block time off early. If you know you will be out of the office, mark the dates off your calendar at the beginning of the year. This will be a good reminder for you when scheduling future court appearances, client meetings, and mediations. Setting aside that time is useful for managing your staff’s expectations. Rely on your support staff. If you have support staff, use them effectively. Train your ...
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Over the past few years, there has been a lot of Internet chatter about the millennial generation and their “ side hustles .” Also dubbed “ Generation 1099 ” (because you just can’t have enough pithy nicknames), millennials frequently pursue money-making ventures in addition to their primary jobs. Sometimes these ventures are simply ways to make extra cash, but just as often they are hobbies or passion projects that also happen to be lucrative. As one copywriter (side hustling as a freelance writer) notes , “The side hustle offers something worth much more than money: A hedge against feeling stuck and dull and cheated by life.” Put another way , “The side ...
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​ Judge Darnell Jackson is Chief Pro Tem of the Saginaw County Circuit Court. He hears both civil and criminal cases. Before becoming a circuit judge in 2006, Judge Jackson was an assistant city attorney, Saginaw County Assistant Prosecutor, a deputy police chief, Director of Drug Control Policy for the State of Michigan, and a district court judge. He is a frequent speaker in the community, a published author, and a collector of clocks. What is the worst and best thing a lawyer can do in your court? One of the worst things would be to not file a written response to a motion. It is not a good plan to show up on the hearing date to respond orally. ...
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So you've triggered the implied consent under Michigan law - now what? Well you have 14 days to file an appeal or your license is gone for a year.  Assuming you send that paperwork in, be prepared to wait a few weeks before a hearing is set.  The hearing will be set at the nearest SOS location to your address.  The officer(s) will receive the same notification to appear.  During this time your license is valid, so you can drive as you normally would. At the day of the hearing, you and your lawyer show up at the location and keep your fingers crossed that the cop doesn't show - why not? Because if the cop doesn't show then you win automatically!  If ...
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Clear and Convincing?

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I have mixed feelings about the plan to rescind the Obama administration’s Title IX guidelines that implemented the preponderance of the evidence standard for universities investigating sexual assault complaints. On one hand, I have a 13-year-old daughter who will, in the not too distant future, be enrolled at one of the fine colleges in Michigan or elsewhere. And, God forbid, if she were ever the victim of a sexual assault, I might want the lowest standard of proof used when deciding the guilt of the accused student. I might argue that keeping the current guidelines in place is the only way to ensure that her school understands its responsibilities ...
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