Negligence Law Section e-Newsletter
Issue 5 Volume 3 Spring 2014

Steven Galbraith

No Fault, Disclosure and Politics

"Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have."Galbraith
- Winston Churchill

To say there is never a dull moment in the Legislature is an understatement. Current attention is focused on raw politics and efforts to force No Fault reform legislation into law. The issue is HB 4612 (H 3), the latest No Fault "reform" bill and efforts to force it through the legislature. Speaker Jase Bolger (R), together with Representative Pete Lund (R), is playing hard ball to get this bill passed.

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Revisiting Liability of Non-manufacturing Sellers and Importers


Wolfgang Mueller

The explosion of growth in Internet sales, as well as the high cost of manufacturing goods in the United States, has resulted in an overwhelming number of products, especially consumer products, being manufactured and imported from overseas, especially Asia. Many importers, in turn, place their labels on goods manufactured overseas by another entity, but these "apparent manufacturers" are simply importers, and not true manufacturers. As anyone who has tried to obtain service of process on a Chinese manufacturer can attest, it is a nearly impossible task in most instances.[i] This has made it increasingly difficult to hold foreign manufacturers, or anyone else in the chain of distribution, accountable for harm caused by defective products under Michigan's product liability statutes.

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Wolfgang Mueller is a partner at Olsman Mueller Wallace & MacKenzie, PC in Berkley, Michigan. A former automotive engineer, with Bachelor and Master's degrees in mechanical engineering, Mr. Mueller specializes in product liability personal injury cases. He has litigated product liability cases throughout the country.

The Reservation of Rights Letter and the Declination Letter

Hal O. Carroll


Whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant in a tort case, you can count on being on the receiving end of a reservation of rights letter in some cases and a declination of coverage letter in others. Each of these has the magical effect of making adversaries into allies, as both the defendant and the plaintiff seek to confirm coverage. The new-found allies' reasons are different, but their goal is the same.

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Hal Carroll is a founder and the first chair of the Insurance and Indemnity Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. He represents insureds and policyholders in insurance coverage disputes. He is a chapter author of Michigan Insurance Law and Practice, published by ICLE, and has lectured and written many articles in the areas of insurance coverage and indemnity. His website is and he can be reached at or (734) 645-1404.

The Michigan Association for Justice in cooperation with The Michigan Defense Trial Counsel offer their membership and the public this first time opportunity to purchase: Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law in Michigan 2011 Edition

Michigan Lawyers Weekly wants to hear about your verdicts & settlements. Please submit recent civil cases (within the past six months) where you prevailed—whether in a jury verdict or a settlement—so they may publish them. Questions about Lawyers Weekly's Verdicts and Settlements policy may be directed to the editor at (800) 678-5297 or

Legislative Update

Todd Tennis


Will Mandatory Bar Dues be a Lame Duck Issue?

Conventional wisdom in politics is that it is impossible to pass controversial legislation in an election year. One of the reasons there was so much pressure to pass issues like transportation funding (i.e. gas tax hike), telecommunication reform (i.e. land-line modification), and no-fault auto insurance reform before the end of 2013 was this notion of the dreaded election year.

This year may be somewhat different, however. Pressure to pass sweeping changes to Michigan's no-fault auto law continues unabated (see Chairman Galbraith's column), and lobbyists at AT&T were recently successful in winning passage of their "land-line" bill over the objection of groups like the AARP, and the Michigan Sheriff's Association. Even road funding, with the possibility of raising taxes (gasp!) might see movement this year since it won't be long before everyone in Michigan has lost a tire to potholes.

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Spring Meeting 2014
May 2–5
Las Vegas
Palms Hotel

las vegas

2014 Sponsors as of 3-19-14

Bienenstock Court Reporting & Video
Lawsuit Financial Corporation
Leading Technologies, LLC
Daniel P. Makarski - Alternative Dispute Resolution
Rosenfeld Insurance Agency
Judicial Resource Services, PC
Law Offices of Jeanne Stempien
Legal Copy Services, Inc.
Ringler Associates

2014 Outstanding Achievement Award


Peter L. Dunlap

The Negligence Law Section proudly confers this Outstanding Achievement Award upon Peter L. Dunlap for his distinguished service to the legal community.

Mr. Dunlap will be recognized on Thursday, August 14, 2014, at the Country Club of Lansing. Please contact us if you are interested in attending the reception to honor him.

Prior Recipients

2008—Justice Elizabeth Weaver
2009—Attorney, Dean Robb
2010—Judge Elizabeth Gleicher, Court of Appeals
2011—Justice Michael Cavanagh
2012—Willam D. Booth
2013—William F. Mills
2014—Peter L. Dunlap

Encourage Members of Your Firm and Colleagues to Join!

Jennifer Grieco Grieco

Would you spend $40 per year to protect the practice of negligence law in the State of Michigan?

By joining the State Bar of Michigan's Negligence Law Section, you will be doing just that: joining the Section's efforts to stop the onslaught of legislation intent on frustrating an individual's ability to bring a negligence claim.

We need your help and support!

Please act NOW by completing the attached form and sending in $40 to join the Negligence Section and increase our strength and ability to monitor, oppose and advocate against such legislation in 2014 and beyond.

Membership News Update:

The Negligence Council has approved offering free membership to the Negligence Section to newly admitted lawyers in accordance with the State Bar of Michigan's policy (SBM Bylaws Article VII, section 5) permitting newly admitted lawyers to select one (1) free membership for two (2) years in a section of their choice, in addition to their free membership in the Young Lawyers Section. This free membership will permit newly admitted lawyers to attend our membership events and to receive the informative Negligence Law Section E-News. We hope that you will encourage newly admitted lawyers in your firms and/or that you interact with to take advantage of the two years of free membership in the Negligence Section.

More Information Below

Thank you.
Jennifer Grieco
Membership Chair

Attended the February 26, 2014 Negligence Council Meeting.

Rep. Phil Cavanagh cavanagh

State Representative Phil Cavanagh is serving his second term in the Michigan House of Representatives, representing District 10, which comprises Redford Township and a portion of the city of Detroit.

Before coming to the House, Cavanagh served four terms as a Wayne County commissioner, where he worked to improve the delivery of mental health services throughout the county, especially focusing on services provided to children. He served as an appointee to the Detroit-Wayne County Community Mental Health Agency, where he helped balance the agency's budget. Cavanagh was also a member of the commission's Committee on Health and Human Services, which is responsible for oversight of public health services throughout the county, and the Committee on Ways and Means, which is responsible for oversight of the county budget. Cavanagh also served as an appointee to the Wayne County Land Bank Authority, which focused on economic development.

Cavanagh earned a bachelor's in business administration and a bachelor's in accounting from Aquinas College, and a master's in business administration and a law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy. Cavanagh also completed the Michigan Political Leadership Program (MPLP) and the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Cavanagh is a practicing attorney and has won numerous awards for his service to the community, including "Child Advocate of the Year" in 2008 from Vista Maria, Michigan's largest nonprofit residential and community-based treatment agency for abused and neglected girls.

Cavanagh is the proud father of twin daughters, Erin and Veronica, who graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and Mary, who is a senior at Wayne State University.

In This Issue
Message from Chair
Insurance Coverage Advisor
Legislative Update

State Bar of Michigan Negligence Council

Steven B. Galbraith
Galbraith, Delie & James PC

Jody L. Aaron
Johnson Law

Michael R. Janes
Martin, Bacon & Martin PC

Ven Johnson
Johnson Law

Thomas R. Behm
Gruel Mills Nims & Pylman LLP

Mark Bernstein
Bernstein Law Firm

James R. Bradley
Secrest Wardle

Megan Cavanagh
Garan Lucow Miller PC

Chad D. Engelhardt
Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC

Jennifer M. Grieco
Neuman Anderson PC

Phillip C. Korovesis
Butzel Long

Robert M. Raitt
Michigan Auto Law

Michael J. Sullivan
Collins, Einhorn, Farrell & Ulanoff PC

Wolfgang Mueller
Olsman, Mueller, Wallace, MacKenzie

Thomas W. Waun
Waun & Parillo, PLLC

Robert J. Buchanan
Buchanan & Buchanan

Madelyne Lawry

Advertise in this publication—contact Madelyne Lawry, Advertising Information
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