Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Michigan could be first state to use roadside saliva test for marijuana use

Under a bill proposed in Lansing, Michigan could become the first state to adopt a roadside saliva test that aims to tell police if a driver is impaired due to consuming marijuana.

Saliva testing is being pushed by a bipartisan group of Michigan legislators and championed by the Michigan State Police. But researchers who’ve studied the test method said results are inconsistent and especially misleading when applied to regular users of cannabis, such as the more than 100,000 Michiganders who are allowed to use medical marijuana.

 Article here. 

This is despite the fact that the Michigan Supreme Court doesn't support the use of random roadside sobriety tests. 

Michigan man calls judge a liar, receives two life sentences

With time ticking away on his freedom, Ryan Wyngarden spent more than an hour blaming just about everyone involved in his double-murder case. First, he accused detectives of coercing his wife, the key witness, who testified against him.

Article here. 

Ryan Wyngarden, the man convicted of murdering his sister and brother in-law was given two life sentences in an Ottawa County courtroom on Monday.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Affirmative Action and the U of M - the debate continues

A long-time opponent of the use of affirmative action in college admissions is challenging a black Detroit student to a public debate.

Article here. 

Jennifer Gratz, who sued the University of Michigan and helped lead a successful drive to get Michigan voters to ban the use of the affirmative action, in a news release Thursday issued the challenge to University Preparatory Academy senior Brooke Kimbrough.


The issue of race is boiling at U-M. It is the centerpiece of a second Supreme Court case looking at the constitutionality of Michigan’s ban on the use of race in admissions. That decision is likely to come this spring. The school’s Black Student Union has been protesting the lack of minority students on campus and has been meeting all winter with administrators about the issue. The two sides recently announced a series of agreements the student group called small victories.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

State Bar of Michigan seeks membership applications for committee service

Assist your State Bar by being active in a committee! Applications are due by April 25, 2014.

This link has applications & committee lists. I applied for a committee, hopefully I will get on it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What does "the new normal" mean to current legal scholarship?

Law schools, and the legal profession, are wondering how to adjust since law school enrollment is steeply declining. There's definitely been a period of adjustment since 2009/10, when enrollment was at its recent high. Law schools are cutting costs by asking faculty to retire, or offering merit-based tuition, and in rare cases, cutting tuition amounts.

But what does this all mean for the current quality of legal scholarship? This article explains more.  (via TaxProf blog).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Choosing a family law attorney, Part Three

Part Three 

Welcome back. In Part One, ways to search for your family law attorney were covered. Part Two addressed phone contact with your potential attorney. Part Three will cover what to expect in the in-person consultation.

Frequently asked questions: 

1. Should I bring anyone with me? What about things I should bring with me?
A: It depends. Some attorneys would prefer if you attend the appointment alone. There are reasons for this: for example, you will feel less embarrassed discussing personal details. And, any conversation with your attorney is privileged, but once a third party joins that conversation, where's the client's confidentiality?
However, if you feel you need moral support to go into the consultation, or that you are likely to forget things the attorney talked about, bringing another person might be a good idea.

As far as things to bring: any thing that has been filed with the court so far, if anything. And anything your attorney requests you to bring (tax statements, for example).

2. What kinds of questions should I ask? 
Feel free to ask anything you would like of your attorney about your situation. If your attorney brushes past your questions, ask yourself if you feel that your concerns will be treated with the importance they deserve or not. After all, the consultation is a decision for both you and the attorney- to decide whether you will continue this relationship.  If it feels as if your attorney is trying to offer you a "one-size-fits-all" case, don't continue after the consultation.

3.What kinds of topics will we cover? Why is this so personal?
Anything that affected your married life, and more, will be covered. The reason is because the court will have to make decisions on some of them as your case progresses

For example:
Topic:                                                                     Reason:
When were your children born?                              Eligibility for Child Support
How much is your house worth?                             If it is considered marital property, it will be divided
Where do you and your spouse work                     Which spouse might be ordered to pay support
       and how much do you earn?

4. What happens next? 
That depends on your situation. If you're just starting a divorce, initial filing with the county court where you live will be next. If you're already somewhere past the initial filing, a motion might be next to decide some of the open issues in your case.This is where the rubber hits the road, and your attorney gives you legal advice about your options in your current situation.

There are a lot of online resources about family law in various states. Some of them will not apply to your situation, so as with so many things you read online, take them with a grain of salt. If you still have questions about your situation, call your attorney again to ask.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Does Michigan's Right-To-Work law apply to State Bar Membership? Hearing Scheduled

The Task Force on the Role of the State Bar of Michigan will hold a public hearing regarding the Task Force’s charge described in Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Order No. 2014-5.

The hearing will be held Friday, May 2, 2014 at the Michigan Hall of Justice, 925 West Ottawa Street in Lansing, beginning at 9:30.

Article here.