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There is no question that the opioid crisis affects Michigan residents. In 2018, of the 2,599 drug overdose deaths in Michigan, 2,036 were opioid related. On December 17, 2019, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a complaint in Wayne County Circuit Court against Cardinal Health, McKesson Corporation, AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, and Walgreens under the Drug Dealer Liability Act, MCL 691.1613 et seq. , for their alleged role in the opioid crisis in Michigan. The complaint alleges that the defendants distributed and sold opioids in ways that facilitated and encouraged their flow into the illegal secondary market; distributed and sold ...
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Some unique assets are relegated to a small group of people—airplanes, trains, yachts. But what about a potentially overlooked asset that many of us have—frequent-flyer miles? A recent post on the Elder Law and Disability Rights Section Listserv got me thinking, What happens to frequent-flyer miles when clients die? Can they bequeath them in a will? Transfer them to another’s account? The answer depends on the individual airline and how it handles the frequent-flyer mile balance of someone who has died. Several helpful online articles break down the policies of the major U.S. airlines, but for the most part you are subject to the contractual terms of the ...
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Judge Zainab Baydoun is a Senior Administrative Law Judge for the State of Michigan, presiding over complex, multifaceted administrative hearings for the Department of Health and Human Services and the Bureau of Community and Health Systems. Cases may involve adoption subsidies and the Juvenile Guardianship Assistance Programs, Medicaid disability, eligibility trusts and divestment , state disability assistance, requests for expunction from Michigan’s Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry, and Child Welfare Licensing. For attorneys who have never been to your court, what is your check-in process? Most of my hearings are held at Cadillac Place ...
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Transmission Breakdown

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Having your car’s transmission fail is never fun and is generally a pretty expensive event. In some cases it can even be quite dangerous. I used to have an old Buick in which I kept a spare transmission in the trunk for a while, just in case. It was that kind of car. The recent debacle involving Ford Focus and Fiesta transmissions tells a story of a whole lot of folks having their transmissions fail, with the results ranging from severe inconvenience to outright tragedy. It also tells a story of the engineers who developed the transmissions knowing early on that the units were prone to overheat and fail and allegedly being told by management to keep it quiet ...
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STRmix sounds like it belongs in a sci-fi epic . But it is increasingly important when the DNA evidence at issue could have multiple sources, such as in criminal sexual conduct cases. STRmix boasts many uses , although  Mary Chartier and David Champine boiled it down for us this way in our Criminal Sexual Conduct Cases on-demand seminar : STRmix provides a likelihood ratio of what is contained in a sample. In order to get to that likelihood ratio, trained analysts have to input hypotheses into the software. For example, one hypothesis could be that the mixture is attributed to Person A and an unrelated, unknown person. The second hypothesis could be ...
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  Hon. Hala Y. Jarbou was appointed judge of the Oakland County Circuit Court in 2015, assigned to the civil/criminal division. Before her appointment to the bench, she was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Department of Justice from 2010 to 2015, and an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the office of the Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney, from 1997 to 2010. Judge Jarbou was the presiding judge (for males) of the Oakland County Circuit Court Adult Treatment Court from 2016 to 2018. A member of the Michigan Judges Association, she is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan (SBM) as well as a member of its Character and Fitness Committee (District ...
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In mid-November 2019, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency informed medical marijuana dispensaries that they could begin transferring “50% of their inventory to the recreational market” as long as they have received the appropriate license from the state. A municipality may also require a locally issued license in addition to a state license. MCL 333.27956 . After some patience, stores began to receive their licenses. December 1, 2019, marked the official day that the retail marijuana market became legal. During the first week, only five stores were actively selling recreational marijuana in Ann Arbor, Evart, and Morenci. Several other stores in the ...
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Back in 2013, I wrote about how to tailor legal writing for electronic screens. TL;DR, the tips I gleaned from attorney Robert Dubose boil down to these: Make skimming easy with headings, short summaries, and an F-pattern focus on content. Keep it short: fewer words on the screen = longer time spent on the page. Make your arguments plain with an intuitive logical structure. Use white space to give the reader a break, add visual interest, and make your arguments pop. The Michigan Supreme Court’s October 23, 2019, Administrative Order No. 2019-6, Briefs Formatted for Optimized Reading on Electronic Displays , makes it clear that ...
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One for the Birds

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​ I came home last week to find an injured bird, a mourning dove, on my driveway. The bird seemed to have a damaged wing and foot. Now I know that the right thing to do is to effectively dispatch the bird—put it out of its misery—but that is not something I’m capable of doing on my best day. Luckily, Ann Arbor is home to the Bird Center of Washtenaw County , which takes injured birds to rehabilitate and release. While bird rescue organizations are pitching in to help the avian population, it’s not enough to replace the steep losses we’ve seen in bird populations. A new study published in the journal Science indicates that the United States and Canada ...
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There is a mental health crisis in this country—and lack of access to mental health care (in addition to the stigma attached to seeking mental health care) is viewed as the cause of this crisis. A recent study shows that there is a similar crisis in Michigan and that a shortage of mental health providers contributes to the problem. This fall, amidst this backdrop, LARA and the Michigan Legislature offered competing proposals affecting the authority of licensed professional counselors (LPCs) to practice. LARA proposed a rule change that would curtail LPCs’ ability to diagnose patients or use psychotherapy to treat patients. LPCs would also not qualify ...
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Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) into law in 1970 and in 1971 declared the War on Drugs, ostensibly to curb recreational drug use, although some say that advocates had less than idealistic motives . Under the CSA, cannabis, peyote, LSD, heroin, methaqualone (Quaaludes), and many others are  Schedule I  drugs because they have "no currently accepted medical use" in the United States, there is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and they have a high potential for abuse. Schedule II drugs include Dilaudid®, methadone, Demerol®, OxyContin®, Percocet®, and fentanyl and can only be issued for a legitimate medical ...
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Chief Judge Jennifer A. Mazzuchi was first elected to the Marquette County Circuit Court in 2008. After working for three years at a medical malpractice firm in metro Detroit, she returned to her hometown to work as a prosecutor for 12 years before taking the bench. Judge Mazzuchi currently handles criminal and family cases. What advice do you have for attorneys navigating the new discovery rules going into effect on January 1, 2020? For all new developments in the law, I recommend starting by reading the rules. I would also recommend reading the Civil Discovery Guidebook on the new discovery rules, which I just received from the State Bar. For ...
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This fall, the state of California made history when it passed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which permits athletes to be paid for the use of their name, image, and likeness and allows them to sign endorsement deals. While the law doesn’t take effect until 2023, the reverberations have been felt across the country. More than 10 other states have proposed similar legislation, and Michigan recently joined that list. A national bill was also introduced this past spring. All of which have shaken up the NCAA and what many have described as its antiquated rules. In the wake of the California law (though the connection has not been expressly acknowledged), the ...
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​ On October 2, 2019, former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the fatal killing of Botham Jean in his own apartment. Then, in an interesting turn of events, the victim’s brother, Brandt Jean , hugged Guyger during the sentencing phase, telling her in part, “I love you as a person, and I don’t wish anything bad on you.” That act of kindness seemed to spawn another, when the presiding judge, Tammy Kemp, also hugged Guyger before she was led out of the courtroom. Whether you agree with or can even comprehend these acts, it begs the question of how empathy and forgiveness play a role in criminal proceedings. ...
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If someone is brought to the hospital after an accident and that person’s blood is drawn for medical reasons, the results are admissible in civil or criminal proceedings to show his or her blood alcohol level or the presence of a controlled substance. No warrant is required—this is true regardless of consent. MCL 257.625a(6)(e) . This provision of Michigan’s implied consent law survived a 1990 constitutional challenge in People v Perlos . In Perlos , the Michigan Supreme Court held that when a blood draw is performed by hospital personnel for medical purposes, rather than at the request of an officer, there is no state action and the Fourth Amendment ...
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Hon. Edward Ewell, Jr. was appointed to the court in August 2003. He served in the Criminal Division for eleven years, serving five years as presiding judge. For the past six years he has served in the Civil Division (four as a business court judge). Judge Ewell previously clerked for Hon. Damon J. Keith in the U.S. Court of Appeals. He was an associate at the law firm of Pepper, Hamilton, and Scheetz; a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office; and general counsel for Wayne County. Judge Ewell graduated from the University of Michigan and then pursued an MS from Atlanta University. He received his JD from Wayne State University Law School. What ...
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I heard the plane pass low over the house in the early morning hours. I was up rocking our five-month-old back to sleep. I knew it was coming, so I had made sure all the windows were closed. It wasn’t even that loud, and I imagined the fine mist of insecticide settling on our grass, roof, driveway, trees, bushes, … everything. Allegedly Merus 3.0 kills mosquitoes and plenty of other insects on contact although I don’t recall having seen any lying on the ground the next morning. I had mixed feelings about the spraying from the start. Plenty of signs along the road implored the powers that be: Do Not Spray. I’d always been squarely against spraying residential ...
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In December 2018, I wrote about a pending federal case on affirmative action in college admissions. To briefly recap, Students for Fair Admissions filed a lawsuit in 2014 against Harvard College under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act for deliberately discriminating against Asian Americans in its undergraduate admissions process. After several months of deliberation, U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs has issued her ruling. Judge Burroughs reasoned that Harvard’s race conscious admissions process is intended to achieve diversity. The court concluded that though the admissions program may be imperfect, the “statistical disparities between applicants ...
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Bullying and teen suicide are growing concerns in Michigan , as recent tragedies confirm. In September 2019, lawmakers introduced two senate bills dealing with bullying and suicide prevention . SB 531 would amend the antibullying section of the school code. MCL 380.1310b was enacted in 2011 and requires school boards to adopt and implement antibullying policies. The current version of the statute encourages school boards to include provisions for antibullying task forces, annual training for administrators and school employees, and educational programs for students; the proposed amendment would mandate these provisions. The proposed amendment would ...
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Uber Kids

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What parent hasn’t thought for a second about calling a ride-share for their school-aged child? I mean, Uber and Lyft have been a boon for college drinkers (the most ubered-to location in Michigan is Scorekeepers bar in Ann Arbor). Why can’t it be a boon for busy, professional, schedule-challenged parents of minor children? It turns out that in limited areas of the country, calling a ride-share for your child is an option. In the San Francisco Bay area, LA, San Diego, Dallas, and Virginia (close to DC), you can call up a ride-share to take your child to and from school, to practices, and to rehearsals and birthday parties. These services take steps to ...
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