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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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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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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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​ 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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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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On Monday, December 7, 2020, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a new Gathering Prohibition and Face Covering Order replacing the previous one , which went into effect on November 18. Effective through December 20, 2020, the new order includes most of the same provisions as the previous order. Along with the new order, MDHHS issued the following supplemental materials: Epidemic Order Key Metrics , Epidemic Order Infographic , Epidemic Order Social Gathering Guidance , and FAQs . Notably, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently revised its close-contact quarantine guidance based on scientific findings ...
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Like many lawyers who were once English majors, I’m an avid reader. And for all its faults, one thing 2020 has definitely given me is plenty of time to curl up with a good book. In anticipation of a largely homebound winter, I’ve already compiled a nice long to-read list based on New York Times and New Yorker favorites and my friends’ Goodreads recommendations. I’ve always been partial to fiction, but lately I’ve been trying to branch out and read more historical nonfiction (especially U.S. history) and memoirs. If, like me, you’re always on the hunt for your next great read (or if you’re just looking for a gift for a reader in your life) here are a few ...
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All the Data

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Like many students around the world, my daughter began her school year looking at a computer screen at home. This was her first day of school, ever. With this new era of online learning we have also entered a new era of data collection . This includes recordings of students’ images, names, voices, and conversations with their teachers and other students. While video conference providers like Zoom have made strides in security, data is still being created, collected, and, perhaps most importantly, stored in some fashion every hour of every school day. The disclosure of that data, whether lawful or not, presents some very real risks to our children’s, and even ...
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Three years ago, Dennis Tomasik was completely exonerated after being wrongfully convicted of criminal sexual conduct in 2007. Please have a listen at the link below as my colleagues Max Matthies, Noah Hagan, and I talk to several of the attorneys involved in his 10+ year case including Mary Chartier and Kris Tieber . We also talk to Professor David Moran from U of M Law School and the Michigan Innocence Clinic and even get to hear from Dennis and his wife Kim about their incredible story of perseverance. The Exoneration of Dennis Tomasik Thanks for listening.  John
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