The State Bar of Michigan welcomed the new lawyers of 1964 to the annual Golden Celebration. Held in conjunction with the 2014 SBM Annual Meeting, the event celebrates attorneys for 50 years in the practice of law.
Thomas C. Rombach, of New Baltimore, has been sworn in as the 80th president of the State Bar of Michigan. Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young Jr. officiated at the Sept. 18 ceremony, which took place in conjunction with the SBM Annual Meeting at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.
Mr. Rombach is a solo practitioner and focuses his practice on representing criminal and civil litigants.
Also sworn in as officers for 2014-2015 were President-Elect Lori A. Buiteweg, of Ann Arbor; Vice-President Lawrence P. Nolan, of Eaton Rapids; Secretary Donald G. Rockwell, of Flint; and Treasurer Jennifer M. Grieco, of Birmingham.
Mr. Rombach will lead an organization of over 43,000 members that works to improve the administration of justice, promotes the legal profession, and builds public understanding of the legal system. He has been involved in State Bar work for almost a decade and has served on many of its committees and groups. He was elected to the SBM Board of Commissioners in 2006 and has served as treasurer, secretary, vice president, and president-elect.
He is an elected member of the National Conference of Bar Presidents and an elected member of the American Bar Association House of Delegates. He was the chairperson of the SBM Representative Assembly in 2002-2003. He has served as president of the Macomb County Bar Association and as a member of the Macomb County Board of Commissioners. He has also served on the boards of directors of 15 charitable and civic organizations.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
Vanessa Peterson Williams, of Southfield, has been sworn in as the chair of the State Bar of Michigan (SBM) Representative Assembly for 2014-2015. The Hon. Cynthia D. Stephens officiated at the Sept. 18 ceremony, held during the SBM Annual Meeting at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.
The 150-member Representative Assembly (RA) is the final policy-making body of the State Bar. It was created in 1971 by the Michigan Supreme Court at the request of SBM's Board of Commissioners in order to increase geographical representation and member participation in SBM policy. Ms. Williams represents Oakland County.
Ms. Williams served as editor-in-chief of “The Brief,” journal of the Tort Insurance and Trial Practice Section of the American Bar Association, and has also served as president of the Association of Defense Trial Council, a member of the board of directors of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, and she serves on the ABA House of Delegates. She is a fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Since 2013, Ms. Williams has been the vice president, chief legal counsel and global privacy officer at iHS Automotive in Southfield. Prior to that she served as vice president, deputy general counsel and chief compliance officer at R.L. Polk & Co., a senior attorney at Michigan Basic Property Insurance Association, and an associate at Plunkett & Cooney P.C.
She graduated from the University of Alabama in 1992, earned her law degree from the College of William and Mary – Marshall Wythe Law School in 1995, and received her M.B.A. from Wayne State University in 2008.
The State Bar of Michigan mourns the loss of its 39th president, Carl H. Smith Jr., who died Sept. 9 at the age of 87.
Current State Bar President Brian Einhorn and Executive Director Janet Welch expressed deep sadness at his passing.
“Carl and his father represent the finest professional tradition of giving back through public service," Einhorn said. "The State Bar extends its deepest condolences and appreciation to the Smith family."
A 1953 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Smith served in a number of State Bar leadership capacities. He was first elected to the Board of Commissioners in 1966, and elected State Bar treasurer in 1970, vice president in 1971, president-elect in 1972, and president in 1973. He and his father, Carl Smith Sr., are the only father-son duo to have both served as president of the State Bar. Carl Smith Sr. served as the State Bar’s 15th president from 1949-1950, soon after founding the law firm of Smith & Brooker in Bay City. Carl Smith Jr. joined that firm after graduation from law school, and he practiced there for more than 50 years.
Smith also followed in his father’s footsteps in the military. Carl Smith Sr. served in World War I, losing his left arm in 1918 at Soissions Juvigney and earning the French Croix de Guerre with Silver Star and Purple Heart. Carl Smith Jr. and his brother Richard both served as Marines during World War II. Carl Smith, Jr. was stationed in Guam and Panama from 1944 until the end of the war.
He is survived by his wife Diane; children Jane H. Smith of Bay City, Peter T. Smith MD and (Molly Mann) of St. Clair Shores, MI., Roy A. Smith JD and (Amy) of Minneapolis, MN., Elizabeth J. and (David) LeValley of Bay City, MI., Abigail Smith and (Eric) Briggs of Whitmore Lake, MI; four grandchildren Sarah E. Niemczura (Jerry) of Arlington, VA, Caroline E. and (Greg) Tobias of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Spencer Carl Briggs and Vivian Marie Briggs of Bay City, MI and one great grandson, Andrew Smith Latterell of Minneapolis, MN.
Visitation will be from 3-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, and 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 12 at the Trahan Funeral Chapel, located at 256 N. Madison Ave. in Bay City. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 12 at the Trahan Funeral Chapel.
Members of the legal community will gather Sept. 17-19 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids for the State Bar of Michigan Annual Meeting and Solo and Small Firm Institute.
Among this year's highlights:
Members of the legal profession who have achieved the highest honors in the areas of leadership, professional integrity and pro bono and community service will be recognized at the SBM Awards Banquet, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 17. Award winners from the Michigan State Bar Foundation, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, and Michigan Association for Justice will also be recognized. SBM President Brian Einhorn, SBM President-Elect Tom Rombach, former SBM President Wallace Riley, MSBF Board of Trustees President Margaret Nichols, MDTC Immediate Past President Ray Morganti, and MAJ President Scott Goodwin will present the awards.
The State Bar of Michigan dedicated the 39th Michigan Legal Milestone at noon on Thursday, Aug. 28, on the campus of Ferris State University. The milestone celebrates the perseverance of Governor G. Mennen "Soapy" Williams in ensuring that Ferris State University became a public university, even after the majority of campus burned down in a devastating fire in February of 1950.
Speakers from the dedication ceremony, from left to right, include the 49th Circuit Court Judge Ronald Nichols, SBM Executive Director Janet Welch, Osceola County Prosecuting Attorney and President of the Mecosta-Osceola County Bar Association Tyler Thompson, Ferris State University President David Eisler, and SBM President Brian Einhorn.
The State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly will present its Michael Franck and Unsung Hero awards to two outstanding members of the legal community on Thursday, Sept. 18 at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. The presentation will take place at 9:30 a.m. during the assembly's general session, which is being held in conjunction with the SBM Annual Meeting.
Michael Franck Award
Julie I. Fershtman is a brave and bold leader. She paves the way in her field of equine law, traveling the country trying cases, writing books and a blog, and speaking to attorneys as an equine expert. She has long been a leader at the State Bar, heading up the Young Lawyers Section, Representative Assembly, and serving as president of the Board of Commissioners in 2011. During her SBM presidency, she spearheaded the creation of the Bar’s mentoring center. She takes her role as a mentor seriously, encouraging young female attorneys to follow in her footsteps. She wrote a section for an America Bar Association book on women lawyers who took risks to form their own practices and was chosen out of 100 authors to share her experiences at the ABA Annual Meeting.
Unsung Hero Award
Susan F. Reed believes everyone deserves quality legal defense regardless of the horrific crimes they are accused of committing. She has represented drug dealers, serial rapists, and murderers. She is currently representing a notorious handyman-turned-alleged hitman in a very tough case since the defendant gave multiple stories to police and details of the murder have been leaked to local media. The judge said he assigned the case to Reed because he believes she does an exceptional job with clients in challenging situations. Beyond representing clients other attorneys may not want, Reed works to improve the work of all defense attorneys. A longtime active leader in the Wayne County Criminal Defense Bar, she currently serves as the organization’s president.
Click the caption below each photo to download a high resolution version of each award winner's photo. Note: We have provided the highest resolution photo available of each award winner. More information about the Annual Meeting can be found in the SBM Annual Meeting Media Kit.
The State Bar of Michigan Equal Access Initiative and Committee on Justice Initiatives will present a panel discussion on “Language Access – Best Practices in Michigan Courts” at 9 a.m. on Friday, September 19 at the SBM Annual Meeting in DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.
The Michigan Supreme Court adopted language access rules in September of 2013 to assure access to justice for people with limited English proficiency. All of the state’s trial courts have adopted plans to improve access to the courts for those with limited English proficiency, and they are working with legal practitioners and their local communities to implement the new rules.
The panel discussion, moderated by SBM Equal Access Initiative Co-Chair Maya Watson, will review MCR 1.111, MCR 8.127 and the American Bar Association Standards for Language Access in Courts. The panel will include Hon. Christopher Yates, Hon. William Kelly, Donna Bos and Angela Tripp. They will show attendees how to use the request and order form for interpreters on the Michigan Legal Help website and introduce the Spanish version of the website. The panel will discuss judicial discretion in determining the need for interpreters, criteria and tests for certification of foreign language interpreters, practical tips for how to work with interpreters and best practices for courtroom and courthouse operations.
The program is free to attend for anyone who is interested, but organizers hope as many judges, attorneys, court staff members, access to justice advocates, language interpreters and community partners as possible will attend. Registration is requested to allow for proper facilities planning. Visit the SBM Annual Meeting page for more details or to register.
The United States Department of Justice seeks applicants for the Attorney General’s Honors Program and the Summer Law Intern Program. Law students and eligible graduates can apply for the program online before Sept. 2.
There are 207 Honors Program positions, including openings in the following components:
The State Bar of Michigan congratulates the SBM Young Lawyers Section for winning First Place Awards of Achievement in two out of four categories from the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, as well as the Outstanding Public Service Award from the American Bar Endowment. The awards were presented at the ABA Annual Meeting in Boston on Aug. 9.
The SBM YLS won the Comprehensive Award of Achievement for the full breadth of new and expanded programs they offer throughout the 2013-2014 bar year, including their New Member Orientation, Sports & Entertainment Symposium, Annual Summit, public speaking workshop, immigration law workshop, back to school program, and much more. Visit the YLS website for a complete list of their programs and projects.
The YLS won the Service to the Public Award of Achievement for a new program they launched March 1, “Cracking the Legal Field Pipeline Diversity Mock Trial Competition.” The mock trial competition hosted approximately 80 metropolitan Detroit area students aged six to 18 at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. The day-long program taught students criminal courtroom procedures from attorney volunteers. Elementary students served as bailiffs in their respective courtrooms, and older participants were split by age into teams of four. Half of the students served as prosecutors and the other half as defense attorneys, and each team prepared an opening statement, direct examination and closing statement. Local judges presided over competition rounds, and attorney and law school volunteers served as witnesses and helped draft arguments and questions. A more complete summary of the program appeared in the May 2014 Michigan Bar Journal.
The YLS also received the American Bar Endowment Outstanding Public Service Award for its “Cracking the Legal Field Pipeline Diversity Mock Trial Competition.” The American Bar Endowment sponsors a special award for outstanding public service in recognition of an exceptional, unique and exemplary project of a young lawyer bar group.
The first place finishes in the ABA Young Lawyers Division Awards of Achievement contest are especially significant because this year, for the first time, the SBM Young Lawyers Section exceeded 8,000 members, and they competed for awards with the biggest state bar association young lawyer divisions in the country.
Pictured in the image above, from left to right: YLS Ex Officio Felicia Johnson, Shenique Moss, Kara Hart-Negrich, YLS Diversity Committee Chair Donald Rencher YLS Diversity Committee Chair, YLS Chair Hope Shovein, Mwanaisha Sims and YLS Chair-Elect Andrea Irons
Judge Morcom earned her juris doctor at Wayne State University Law School and became the first African American woman to work at one of the nation's first integrated law firms, Goodman, Crockett, Eden, Robb, and Philo. She served as the southern regional director of the National Lawyers Guild Committee for Legal Assistance and director of Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services Program for the indigent. She became the first African American woman appointed to Wayne County Circuit Court in 1983 and served as a delegate to the United Nations Council on Human Rights.
For her work, she received the Wayne State University Center for Peace and Conflict Studies Peace Award, the Wayne State University Outstanding Alumni Award, Damon Keith Humanitarian Award, Center for Constitutional Rights Award, State Bar of Michigan Champion of Justice Award, National Coalition of 100 Black Women Outstanding Community Leadership Award and the American Civil Liberties Award.
A visitation will be held 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, August 22 at Swanson’s Funeral Home, 806 E. Grand Blvd. in Detroit. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, August 23 at Plymouth United Church of Christ, located at 600 E. Warren in Detroit. The service will be preceded by a family hour at 10 a.m.
Memorial donations may be made to the Judge Claudia House Morcom Annual Scholarship and sent to Wayne State University's Fund Office at 5475 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202.
Posted by Samantha Meinke
Donald E. Martin died Jan. 11, 2012. He was a graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law and served as Ingham County Prosecutor from 1986-1996, before joining the law firm of Foster, Swift, Collins and Smith. He served on the State Bar of Michigan's Judicial Qualifications Committee, as chair of the Appellate Defender Committee of the State Appellate Defender Office, and for one year as president of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan.
Funeral services for Don Martin are set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lansing. His arrangements are being handled by Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. For more information about Mr. Martin, read this article in the Lansing State Journal or Mr. Martin's obituary.
- See more at: http://sbmblog.typepad.com/sbm-blog/2012/01/in-memoriam-donald-e-martin.html#sthash.0b3do90F.dpuf
Diane Akers, of counsel to Bodman PLC in Detroit, has received the ninth annual Stephen H. Schulman Outstanding Business Lawyer Award from the State Bar of Michigan Business Law Section.
Akers worked as a key leader in the effort to establish business courts in Michigan, through the SBM Business Law Section and as a member of the SBM Judicial Crossroads Task Force. Business cases were once very expensive to handle and unwieldy in the circuit court system. So Akers and others began working together in 2001 to streamline the process, and it took them over nine years to get a law passed establishing business courts. They are now up and running across Michigan.
Akers was also involved in an effort to lessen the pressure that law enforcement officials at the federal and state levels were putting on businesses to waive the attorney client privilege in criminal investigations in order to gain favor with investigators. This effort was led by SBM Business Law Section's Attorney Client Task Force.
“We wanted to raise awareness as to how dangerous this practice can be. As a business owner if you think something internally going on is improper, you should conduct an investigation. But if there is a risk that if you find out something has happened that is against the law, and you let investigators know, they could use that information against you,” Akers said. Moreover, waiver of the privilege for one purpose constitutes waiver for all purposes, so the consequences can be very far-reaching, she added.
So Akers and many of her colleagues worked to raise awareness with Michigan businesses and met with prosecutors to change attitudes and practices.
Akers has held numerous leadership positions within the State Bar of Michigan, including service as chair of the 3,500 member Business Law Section, chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Climate Change and Sustainability, co-chair of the Task Force on Attorney-Client Privilege, chair of the Business Court Ad Hoc Committee, chair of the Commercial Litigation Committee of the Business Law Section, and a member of the Judicial Crossroads Task Force and co-chair of its Business Impact Committee. She is a former member of the executive committee of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association.
The Business Law Section established the Stephen H. Schulman Outstanding Business Lawyer Award in 2006, to be presented annually and to honor business lawyers who consistently exemplify the highest quality of professionalism and practice and an unwavering dedication to service, ethical conduct and collegiality. It was named after Prof. Stephen Schulman, a beloved Wayne State University Law School professor who was instrumental in drafting much of Michigan’s corporate law.
Past recipients of the Schulman Award include Cy Moscow, Martin Oetting, Hugh Makens, James Bruno, Charlie McCallum, Verne Hampton, G. Ann Baker, Justin Klimko, Alex DeYonker, James Cambridge, Jeffrey Ammon, and Daniel Minkus.
Thomas M. Cooley Law School announced this afternoon that the school is now officially Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.
Cooley held a news conference this afternoon to launch its new visual identity and to announce a number of new initiatives, including that WMU will offer first year law classes at the Kalamazoo campus in the fall of 2015, and that both schools will develop a law minor and a 3 + 3 program that will allow students to earn a bachelor's degree and law degree in just six years.
How much do you know about the legal issues involved in crowdfunding?
If you've heard about sites like Kickstarter and you've wondered about the legal ramifications of utilizing them, you're in luck.
The SBM Arts, Communication, Entertainment & Sports Section will host a program called "Crowdfunding: The Next Frontier of Financing Start-Ups & the Legal Issues Associated with It" from 11 a.m. to noon on Friday, September 19 at the SBM Annual Meeting at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.
A panel moderated by Todd Redden will discuss legal issues related to crowdfunding on such websites as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, peer-to-peer lending and equity crowdfunding through the JOBS Act.
Court: 61st District Court Location:Grand Rapids Judge Vacating: Hon. J. Michael Christensen Application Submission Deadline: August 20, 2014
If you are a State Bar member who meets the legal qualifications for this office and are interested in applying, please refer to Governor Snyder's website for further information and the judicial application. Please be aware that in order to be appointed you must reside within the judicial district. Along with the application, please submit a copy of your resume to Office of the Governor, Legal Division, 111 S. Capitol Avenue, P.O. Box 30013, Lansing, MI 48909.
Cheri Arwood Executive Administrator Office of Governor Rick Snyder Legal Division Telephone: (517) 241-5630 Fax: (517) 335-6196
The Board of Law Examiners is aware that some applicants are experiencing technical difficulties uploading their essay answers to ExamSoft. Accordingly, the Board has extended the deadline for uploading to 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday July 30th.
The Board will continue to monitor this situation very closely. Additional steps will be taken as necessary to ensure that all applicants have sufficient time to upload their answers after the technical issue is resolved.
Join the State Bar of Michigan to celebrate the growing diversity in the legal profession at our Celebrating Diversity Reception, starting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 18 at H.O.M.E. in the B.O.B. in Grand Rapids.
Ann Arbor's all-lawyer band Soultivity will perform.
The Celebrating Diversity Reception is one of many fun networking events taking place as part of this year's SBM Annual Meeting.
Join the State Bar of Michigan and Institute for Continuing Legal Education September 18 and 19 in Grand Rapids for this year's Annual Meeting and Solo & Small Firm Institute. Scholarships are still available for slots at the Solo & Small Firm Institute. For more information about scholarships, contact Stephanie Fisher via snail mail at 1020 Greene St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1444.
David K. Page, a partner at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, passed away on July 1 at the age of 80.
Page's legal practice focused on corporate transactions, including corporate governance, financing, acquisitions, sales and mergers, public offerings and private placements. He was an active and committed community leader and was the chairman of the board of Meadowbrook Insurance Group, Inc., a company with nearly $3 billion in assets based in Southfield, Michigan.
His personal list of volunteer work with charitable organizations is extensive. Along with leadership roles at many area nonprofit organizations, he was the chair of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation board of trustees, the vice chair of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, and a trustee or director on the boards of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the Detroit Zoological Society, City Year Detroit and both The Jewish Fund and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit (previously serving as president of each).
He earned an LL.B., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School and a B.A., summa cum laude, from Dartmouth College. In addition, he was a Fulbright Scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Page is survived by his wife, Andrea, children, Mark, Jason and Sarah, and grandchildren.
Members of the State Bar of Michigan Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, in partnership with members of the SBM Elder Law and Disability Rights Section and SBM Probate and Estate Planning Section, will visit senior centers in 51 Michigan counties to present a one-hour seminar to inform and empower senior citizens about estate planning decisions. Committee and section members will begin presenting the seminar on Wednesday, Aug. 6, and will make a few additional presentations on other dates ranging from early August through October. Local senior centers have set the times and dates of each presentation of the seminar, with some senior centers hosting the seminar multiple times. View the complete list of seminar times, dates and places.
“A Living Trust Education Initiative: Who Should You Trust? Avoiding Estate Planning Mistakes,” will provide senior citizens, including veterans applying for benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, with essential estate planning information and caution them about deceptive sales practices that could potentially jeopardize their economic stability. It will include a short presentation by licensed Michigan attorneys and a dynamic question and answer period to allow program participants to obtain accurate information about estate planning matters. Seminar participants will receive a folder containing estate planning information and other materials to help them avoid estate planning mistakes and becoming victimized by persons selling annuities for their own economic gain.
The survey is conducted every three years and the results are used daily throughout the state in courtrooms, law firms and by lawyers in all occupational areas. As referenced by the Michigan Supreme Court in Smith v. Khouri, it is the primary resource used by trial courts to determine attorney fees. It provides the benchmark for more than 50 specific fields of practice by geographic location.
Survey results also contain data about salaries, benefits, hours worked and job satisfaction for attorneys in non-private practice occupations, such as those working as in-house counsel, in government service, non-profit organizations, academia, legal services and more.
The Michigan Board of Law Examiners announced that they have created a new and improved scoring system for the Michigan Bar Exam that they will begin to utilize while scoring the July 29 exam.
The BLE says they expect the new scoring system to more accurately measure test takers' competence by ensuring that essay test scores across administrations reflect the same skill level and reflect differences in the difficulty between the multiple choice and essay portions of the exam. The Michigan Bar Exam is administrated each February and July, and has two parts: a 200-question multiple choice multistate bar exam portion and a 15-question Michigan law-based essay portion.
The Michigan BLE is a separate entity from the State Bar of Michigan. It was created by the Michigan legislature and is overseen by the Michigan Supreme Court. Board members, including Gerald Marcinkoski, Hon. Christopher M. Murray, Eric J. Pelton, Hon. Joseph J. Farah and Hon. Donna Robinson Milhouse, are nominated by the Michigan Supreme Court and then appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to serve for five-year terms.
Seven attorneys won election to the SBM Board of Commissioners and will serve three-year terms expiring at the close of the 2017 Annual Meeting: James W. Heath, E. Christopher Johnson Jr., Gregory L. Ulrich, Donald G. Rockwell, Shauna L. Dunnings, Jennifer M. Grieco and Richard J. Siriani.
Thirty-eight attorneys won races to serve on the SBM Representative Assembly: Jill L. Nylander, Scott A. Dienes, , Audrey R. Monaghan, Joseph P. McGill, Douglas A. Kaye, Thomas M. J. Lavigne, Katherine Kakish, Daniel D. McLean, Aaron V. Burrell, James H. Fisher, Dennis M. Flessland, J. Scot Garrison, Carl L. Collins III, David M. Eisenberg, Samantha J. Orvis, Anne E. Linder, Patrick D. Crandell, Alan B. Koenig, Mark A. Holsomback, Brian D. Rahilly, Wilson D. Brott, Lea Ann Sterling, R. Timothy Kohler, Martin J. Hillard, Victoria A. Vuletich, Ronald L. Foster, Robert M. Backus, Elizabeth C. Jolliffe, Nels A. Christopherson, Daniel J. Florip, Ellsworth J. Stay Jr., Kimberly A. Breitmeyer, Darling A. Garcia, Gregory T. Stremers, Theresa J. Cypher, Jennifer A. Frost, Matthew W. Antkoviak and Adam D. Pavlik.
Nancy J. Diehl won a three-year term on the Judicial Tenure Commission that will expire on Dec. 31, 2017.
Nine attorneys won terms on the SBM Young Lawyers Section Council that will expire in 2016: Ryan Zemke, Mwanaisha A. Sims, Jerome Crawford, Tanya N. Cripps, Choi Tanaha Portis, Jade J. Edwards, Shenique A. Moss, Aysha J. Kasham and Roberta L. Sacharski.
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled four to three in People v Carp, People v Davis and People v Eliason that those offenders sentenced as juveniles to life without the possibility for parole prior to the Supreme Court of the United States decision in Miller v Alabama will not be eligible for new sentencing hearings.
Justice Stephen Markman wrote for the majority that since the changes made by the Miller precedent were merely procedural, no sentencing hearings were required for those juveniles sentenced to life prior to Miller.
Justice Mary Beth Kelly wrote for the dissent, signed on to by Justices Bridget McCormack and Michael Cavanagh, that because Miller changed the variety of sentences available for the those juveniles sentenced to life prior to Miller, that the Miller precedent should apply retroactively.
When Mr. L's minivan broke down and required expensive repairs, he was in danger of losing more than his method of transportation. He was also on the verge of becoming homeless.
Because he couldn't pay to have the van fixed, the repair shop declared it abandoned and the police impounded it and prepared to have it towed for scrap.
That's when Chris Bernard, an attorney at Bodman in Ann Arbor, stepped in to provide pro bono legal counsel to Mr. L. Find out how he helped Mr. L and worked with the city attorney to ensure nobody else ever faced the same problems Mr. L did.