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
If you're not already a Twitter user, here's one more reason to consider joining (as if following updates from the State Bar of Michigan wasn't already enough).
You're missing out on one of the greatest artistic feats of lawyer kind: the Supreme Court Haiku twitter account, managed by Houston lawyer Keith Jaasma. The account takes complex opinions delivered by the Supreme Court of the United States, and distills them down into haiku form.
Some examples from this week include:
Limelight v. Akamai Induced infringement Patent owner needs proof of Direct infringement
Nautilus v. Biosig Scope of patent claims: Reasonable certainty To those skilled in art
Bond v. U.S. "Chemical weapon" Use in warfare, terror plot Not simple assault
Find these and more by following @SupremeHaiku on Twitter.
To all those who received a save-the-date notice about the Davis-Dunnings Bar Association scholarship banquet, mark your calendars for May 30 — the original save-the-date email contained the wrong date.
The 18th Annual Otis Smith Scholarship Banquet will take place on the evening of May 30 at Eagle Eye Golf Conference Center in East Lansing. The 2014 scholarship recipients are Taneashia Morrell, Randall Tatem and Irena brooks. The DDBA will also honor Shauna L. Dunnings, Carmen Y. Turner and Takura Nyamfukudza. Individual ticket prices are $60, $50 for DDBA members and $35 for students. Tables are $450. For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may have noticed that SBM Blog has been missing for a few days.
That's because since last Thursday evening, SBM Blog has been on an unintended hiatus. Typepad, the blogging tool we use, was suffering from a series of dedicated denial of service attacks, which meant nobody using their blogging tool could access, update or post anything to their blogs, and nobody looking for the blogs could find them either.
We are very sorry for this interruption, and hopeful that we're back up and running now for good.
In the ABA Journal, the incomparable Bryan Garner has an indispensable list of words and phrases that lawyers should not use: herein, deem, know all men by these presents, provided that, pursuant to, said, and same. And "and/or." The only one that I am occasionally guilty of is "and/or" which in the odd circumstance just seems to me to be more efficient than ", or both." Garner musters some pretty persuasive authority against "and/or"
American and British courts have held that and/or is not part of the English language. The Illinois Appellate Court called it a "freakish fad" and an "accuracy-destroying symbol." The New Mexico Supreme Court declared it a "meaningless symbol." The Wisconsin Supreme Court denounced it as "that befuddling, nameless thing, that Janus-faced verbal monstrosity." More recently, the Supreme Court of Kentucky called it a "much-condemned conjunctive-disjunctive crutch of sloppy thinkers."
Damning to be sure, but I'm not sure I buy Garner's argument for why and/or is never appropriate:
If a sign says "No food or drink allowed," nobody would argue that it's OK to have both. (Or includes and.) And if a sign says "No admission for lawyers and law students," would you argue that either could go in alone? You'd be thrown out of court.
The real problem with and/or is that it plays into the hands of a bad-faith reader. Which one is favorable? And or or? The bad-faith reader can pick whatever reading seems favorable.
Here's an example that makes Garner's point from a recent Nebraska Supreme Court opinion (they didn't get the memo from Kentucky):
On reinstatement to practice by the Supreme Court, such party shall, on written request and upon payment of the requisite fees and/or mandatory assessments, be restored to membership in this Association.
But what about this subheading?:
Budget Impact -- Moderate state and/or local costs, likely partially offset by the avoidance of federal penalties.
The subheading prefaces an explantion that, depending upon implementation, a particular activity could incur state costs but not local costs, local costs but not state costs, or state and local costs. A simple "and" just doesn't cut it.
On April 22 (Earth Day and the birth of V. I. Lenin and death of Richard Nixon, probably just a coincidence), the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, a constitutional challenge to an Ohio law that criminalizes false statement during an election campaign about the voting record of a candidate or public official, and the dissemination of any false statement about a candidate, either knowing it is false or with reckless disregard for whether it is true, with the goal of electing or defeating the candidate. Or, to put it more drily and precisely, the Supreme Court will consider:
(1) Whether, to challenge a speech-suppressive law, a party whose speech is arguably proscribed must prove that authorities would certainly and successfully prosecute him, as the Sixth Circuit holds, or should the court presume that a credible threat of prosecution exists absent desuetude or a firm commitment by prosecutors not to enforce the law, as seven other Circuits hold; and (2) whether the Sixth Circuit erred by holding, in direct conflict with the Eighth Circuit, that state laws proscribing “false” political speech are not subject to pre-enforcement First Amendment review so long as the speaker maintains that its speech is true, even if others who enforce the law manifestly disagree.
As reported in the New York Times, which makes it official, to aid the Court the Cato Institute and humorist P.J. O'Rourke ("America's leading political satirist"1 and an H.L. Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute) have submitted an amicus brief in support of the constitutionality of the law. Its main assertions are:
Truthiness, Insinuations, And Allegations Are A Vital Part Of Political Speech
Truthiness, Insinuations, And Allegations Are Protected By The First Amendment
The Public Interest In Political Honesty Is Best Served By Pundits And Satirists
Cato did not ask me to write their brief for the same reason that you do not ask me to perform your appendectomy. … I was asked to read it and give it my endorsement because I am an expert on being run out of Ohio. Ask my mother.
In the "we needed a court decision to establish this!??" category, a judge has found that a woman has the right to keep the father of a child out of the delivery room at the child's birth. Here's the opinion, Plotnick v. Deluccia (yes, this is a New Jersey case.) Kudos to fathers who are passionate about being involved in the lives of their children, but Emily Bazelon at Slate summed it up:
Once the baby is born, it’s about the baby. Before that, though, it’s about the mother, too—there is just no way to separate her from the fetus. ... When men can have babies, then they can decide who comes into the delivery room. Until then, the limits of biology limit their rights.
It's the same old story. Scanners don't protect people, people do. The Toledo Blade tells the tale of a loaded semiautomatic handgun in a woman's purse that was picked up by the scanning equipment at the Toledo Municipal Court, but not noticed by the scanner on duty until the gun and its carrier was already through security. The woman and her companion -- and the gun -- were then tracked down in the lobby of the building and cooperated with security. A disciplinary hearing for the inattentive screener is pending. In the end, the scariest part of the story may be this -- the Clerk of Court, who is responsible for security, told the Toledo Blade she didn't learn of the incident until weeks after it happened, when a newspaper reporter brought it to her attention.