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On March 2, 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a new   Gatherings and Face Mask Order , effective March 5 through April 19, 2021, replacing the   previous order . The new order allows more people to gather at a time, both indoors and outdoors in a variety of contexts, and allows 50 percent dining capacity at restaurants. The MDHHS also issued the following supplemental materials:   Capacity Limits Fact Sheet ,   Social Gathering Guidance ,   Outdoor Seating Enclosures , and   FAQs for the order . March 5 MDHHS Gatherings and Face Mask Order Updates Highlights of the March 5 order include the following (items ...
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On March 2, 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued an  order , effective immediately under the Public Health Code setting out protocols for visitation to address the threat to public health caused by COVID-19. This order rescinds and replaces an order issued on December 8, 2020.   Testing. Testing is required before indoor visitation at all facilities, except it is not required for window visits end of life visits visitors younger than 14 years old (however, all individuals 13 years old or older who are visiting indoors in nursing homes, homes for the aged, and adult foster care facilities licensed to care for 13 ...
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My wife’s college friend is “in a war with the month of February”—those dark days of winter that try to bring us all down. In her eyes, February wins if more bad things than good happen in a day. For me, February was pretty nice this year, but we are still in a pandemic, the vaccine rollout is slower than expected, and we just hit a milestone of 500,000 deaths. Folks who have been struggling with addiction are “ relapsing left and right ” with treatment centers closing due to the pandemic. In addition, most 12-step programs have gone online or remote. We’ve got Zoom fatigue . We are anxious, depressed and traumatized . We are socially distant and socially ...
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Michigan Supreme Court Orders The   Michigan Supreme Court   has issued 20 administrative orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which are summarized below by topic. Many of the administrative orders listed here reference executive orders issued by Governor Whitmer. However, in   Midwest Inst of Health, PLLC v Governor of Michigan  (In re Certified Questions from the United States Dist Court) ,   No 161492 , ___ Mich ___, ___ NW2d ___ (Oct 2, 2020), the court unanimously held that Governor Whitmer did not have the authority under the Emergency Management Act of 1976 (EMA),   MCL 30.401 et seq. , to declare a “state of emergency” or “state of disaster” ...
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Effective December 29, 2020, the Address Confidentiality Program Act, 2020 PA 301 , MCL 780.851–780.873, offers address confidentiality to survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking. Features of this act, as well as several related statutory amendments, include giving survivors and their children a substitute address for the state to mail identification and other state documents, reissuing official state identification cards with the designated state address, prohibiting schools from disclosing addresses of students and parents in the program, and allowing participants to use their program ID instead of their location ...
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COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed and administered throughout the United States. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director has indicated that the agency is not considering a statewide coronavirus vaccine mandate. Nonetheless, many employers wonder whether—and when—their companies can require employees to take advantage of the vaccine. There is currently no law or regulation directly addressing whether employers may mandate vaccination for COVID-19, but employers can gain some insight from companies’ ability to mandate the flu vaccine. Generally speaking, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) does not prohibit employers ...
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On February 4, 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a new   Gatherings and Face Mask Order , effective February 8 through March 29, 2021, replacing the   previous order . The new order outlines requirements for gathering for sports competitions and practices. The MDHHS also issued the following supplemental materials:   Gathering Guidelines infographic ,   Sports and COVID-19 infographic ,   Stay Safe & Healthy in the Pandemic Guide , and   Epidemic Order FAQs . February 4 MDHHS Gatherings and Face Mask Order Updates Highlights of the February 4 order include the following (items in   bold   indicate provisions ...
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ICLE is hosting a Zoom discussion on landlord-tenant matters on February 10 th from 12-12:45 pm . All ICLE Partners are welcome to drop by this informal conversation to discuss issues related to residential or commercial leases, summary proceedings, or anything else landlord-tenant.  Zoom information pasted below. Be sure to note the passcode. Hope to see you there!  Zoom link:    https://umich.zoom.us/j/96524566689   passcode: 312210
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With the beginning of a new year and a new legislative session, one resolution can be to stay up-to-date on what our senators and representatives are busying themselves with on our behalf. ICLE is committed to summarizing and posting new PAs as they are signed. But sometimes it is nice to know what is going on with legislation while it is on the way to passage. This was particularly true this last fall and winter, when estate planners and elder law practitioners were awaiting the remote notarization and witnessing legislation. The Michigan Legislature’s website provides a convenient way to stay informed on your particular practice area. You can sign up to receive ...
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With the passage of the new Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (the Act), Pub L No 116-260, 134 Stat 1182 (2020), many struggling but viable small businesses temporarily unable to pay rent can now file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, get four months of rent relief, and confirm a reorganization plan that allows payment of the arrearage over three to five years. Here are the bankruptcy highlights from the Act: Subchapter V small business debtors get an additional 60 days (for a total of 120 days) grace period to begin making rent payments. This, combined with the ability to pay postpetition rent arrearage over time in a plan, will give many small businesses ...
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​ Michigan Supreme Court Orders The  Michigan Supreme Court  has issued 20 administrative orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which are summarized below by topic. Many of the administrative orders listed here reference executive orders issued by Governor Whitmer. However, in  Midwest Inst of Health, PLLC v Governor of Michigan  (In re Certified Questions from the United States Dist Court) ,  No 161492 , ___ Mich ___, ___ NW2d ___ (Oct 2, 2020), the court unanimously held that Governor Whitmer did not have the authority under the Emergency Management Act of 1976 (EMA),  MCL 30.401 et seq. , to declare a “state of emergency” or “state of disaster” ...
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On Friday, January 22, 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a new Gatherings and Face Mask Order . The previous order , which went into effect on January 16, 2021, remains in effect through January 31, 2021. Find a summary of its provisions here . The January 22 order, effective February 1 through February 21, outlines requirements for restaurants opening at limited capacity and subject to distancing restrictions. It also provides guidelines for entertainment and recreational facilities generally, doing away with prior orders’ distinctions between low risk, moderate risk, and high risk facilities. Along with the January ...
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The Michigan Legislature acted quickly to vote in new legislation putting temporary pandemic measures in place for Michigan’s unemployment system following the Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling invalidating a number of Governor Whitmer’s executive orders. On October 14, 2020, the Michigan Legislature approved more than a dozen bills related to COVID-19, including SB 886, which received unanimous support from both the house and senate. The bill provides much needed relief for both employees and employers affected by COVID-19-related employment issues by temporarily amending the Michigan Employment Security Act in the following important ways: Unemployment Arising ...
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On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a new Gatherings and Face Mask Order replacing the previous one , which went into effect on December 18, 2020. Effective from January 16, 2021, through January 31, 2021, the new order includes most of the same provisions as the previous order but allows the reopening of some additional activities in which individuals can remain masked and socially distanced, including indoor group exercise and noncontact sports. Along with the new order, the MDHHS issued the following supplemental materials: Epidemic Order Infographic , Epidemic Order Capacity Limits Fact ...
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Michigan Supreme Court Orders The   Michigan Supreme Court   has issued 20 administrative orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which are summarized below by topic. Many of the administrative orders listed here reference executive orders issued by Governor Whitmer. However, in   Midwest Inst of Health, PLLC v Governor of Michigan  (In re Certified Questions from the United States Dist Court) ,   No 161492 , ___ Mich ___, ___ NW2d ___ (Oct 2, 2020), the court unanimously held that Governor Whitmer did not have the authority under the Emergency Management Act of 1976 (EMA),   MCL 30.401 et seq. , to declare a “state of emergency” or “state of disaster” ...
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When I was in college, I spent most of my summers working 6-7 days a week for landscaping companies. It was a job that was by its very nature almost wholly dependent on the weather. We worked long hours in the summer, much like a squirrel, trying to sock away as much money as possible for the winter. Many professions are seasonal like this, but I was surprised to find that practicing law is really no different. Of course, certain areas of practice are much more date driven than others, such as tax law. Family law traditionally has an increase in divorce filings after the holidays. Even real estate practice had certain ebbs and flows through the year for things ...
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The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed a $900 billion   COVID-19 relief bill   (the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021) on Monday, December 21, 2020, and signed by the president on December 27, 2020. One component of this act “ ensures   tax deductibility for business expenses paid with forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, provides fresh PPP funding, makes Sect. 501(C)(6) not-for-profit organizations eligible for loans for the first time, and offers businesses facing severe revenue reductions the opportunity to apply for a second loan.” The provisions specifically related to tax deductibility will supersede the guidance previously ...
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The Season of Change

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With 2020 in the rearview mirror and 2021 on the horizon, it is time to do the yearly assessment. The year 2020 brought about challenges none of us could have predicted. We were forced to be flexible and innovative. My personal world changed substantially as I welcomed my first child in the middle of a pandemic. The legal practice also went through a rapid transformation. It is easy to focus on all the hardships and negatives. But there are also some positive developments from the pandemic: The 9 to 5 workday: Law firms had to quickly adjust to having many, if not all, their employees working remotely. With kids at home, some attorneys have to juggle their ...
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On Friday, December 18, 2020, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a new Gatherings and Face Mask Order replacing the previous one , which went into effect on December 7, 2020. Effective from December 21 through January 15, 2021, the new order includes most of the same provisions as the previous order but loosens some restrictions at certain lower risk entertainment and recreational facilities. Along with the new order, the MDHHS issued the following supplemental materials: Epidemic Order Key Metrics , Epidemic Order Infographic , Epidemic Capacity Limits Fact Sheet , and Epidemic Outdoor Seating Enclosures . The Centers ...
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Ray Cassar has specialized in criminal defense for 35 years and has h andled a variety of criminal cases all over Michigan in both state and f ederal courts.   Earlier in the year, he spoke with John Swift and me about what it has been like defending criminal cases during the pandemic and has some practical tips for other criminal defense attorneys.  Transcript John Swift: Hello, my name is John Swift from ICLE. Max Matthies: Hello, my name is Max Matthies from ICLE. Ray Cassar: And my name is Ray Cassar. I'm a criminal defense attorney for the last 35 years. I practice out of Farmington Hills, but I'm all over the tricounty area. And ...
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