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MICHIGAN LEGAL NEWS

 
Detroit city council agrees to jail land swap deal

Michigan Radio - November 22, 2017
A three-party land swap that would be the beginning of a project to get a new Wayne County Jail built near downtown Detroit cleared a hurdle Tuesday. Detroit city council approved a resolution to trade a piece of city-owned property for a parcel currently owned by the county. The county wants that land to be the site of a new jail. But the deal still needs to be negotiated and approved by the Wayne County Board of Commissioners and the Wayne County Land Bank.

 
Family of missing Detroit kids keeps up hope

Detroit News - November 22, 2017
More than three years have passed, yet Travae Fox feels she still has not properly put to rest her daughter, who was shot to death by her estranged husband. Not only is she still mourning the loss of Alicia Fox-Justice, the Detroit woman remains obsessed with finding her daughter’s two young children, who were last seen shortly before their mother’s body was found June 9, 2014, in an abandoned house on Penrod Street.

 
Vendor Norman Shy, convicted in Detroit school kickback scheme, cuts $1.5M restitution check

Detroit Free Press - November 22, 2017
He may be a federal prisoner, but Norman Shy proved he's still a millionaire. Shy, the wealthy businessman whose role in a kickback scheme cheated Detroit schoolchildren out of $2.7 million in supplies, has written a big check to cover a chunk of the restitution he was ordered to pay. "We received a $1.5 million check from Mr. Shy," said Bernadette Kakooza, the inspector general for the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

 
Gymnasts target MSU as Nassar plea nears

Detroit News - November 22, 2017
Now that a day of reckoning is arriving for former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, some want to make sure university officials have their day too. That’s why three women who allegedly were sexually assaulted by Nassar plan Wednesday to call again for an investigation into MSU’s role in one of the biggest scandals in sports history. They plan to sound the alarm after Nassar enters an expected guilty plea Wednesday.

 
University of Michigan negotiating with Richard Spencer on possible appearance

Michigan Radio - November 22, 2017
The University of Michigan is negotiating with white supremacist Richard Spencer on his demand to speak on campus. U of M President Mark Schlissel says Spencer's views are abhorrent. Spencer thinks whites should pursue what he calls a "peaceful ethnic cleansing" to remove minorities from the U.S. "However, as a public university, the law and our commitment to free speech forbid us from declining a speaker based on the presumed content of speech," Schlissel told a jeering and angry crowd.

 
Five Genesee County children find 'forever families' on adoption day

MLive - November 22, 2017
Justin Bush beamed as his 5-year-old daughter Leah and 4-year-old son Lamario squirmed in the wooden courtroom chairs before the judge. Just in time for Thanksgiving, his family had become a little more whole. "It kind of feels like a dream, I can't believe I'm really sitting here," said Bush, the children's biological uncle and foster parent for three years. "Remember you told me you'd do anything it takes to get it done?" asked Genesee County Probate Judge Jennie Barkey. "And you did."

 
Federal court affirms deal for Gordie Howe Bridge

Detroit News - November 22, 2017
A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld an agreement between Gov. Rick Snyder and the Canadian government to build the Gordie Howe International Bridge between Detroit and Canada, rejecting an appeal from the Morouns to stop construction. Chief Judge Judith W. Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals Washington D.C. Circuit wrote in her opinion on behalf of a three-judge panel that a state appeals court was not wrong in upholding the deal between Michigan and Canada.

 
Flint council votes yes on 30-year water contract with GLWA

MLive - November 22, 2017
Flint City Council has voted to sign off on a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority. Voting 5-4 in favor of the deal, the council made the long-awaited decision on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at a special meeting at the request of Detroit U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson. Councilmembers Eric Mays, Maurice Davis, Santino Guerra, Herbert Winfrey and Jerry Winfrey-Carter supported the amended contract, while Kate Fields, Monica Galloway, Louis Griggs and Eva Worthing opposed.

 
Another staffer considered a sexual harassment lawsuit against Conyers

Detroit Free Press - November 22, 2017
A former female staffer of U.S. Rep. John Conyers filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in federal court against him this year before abruptly dropping it when a judge refused to seal the records to protect the congressman's reputation. The Free Press, which reviewed the open records from the federal court's website Tuesday night, is not naming the employee at this point because of the sensitivity of her initial claims and her decision to drop the lawsuit in March of this year.

 
Another staffer considered a sexual harassment lawsuit against Conyers

Detroit Free Press - November 22, 2017
A former female staffer of U.S. Rep. John Conyers filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in federal court against him this year before abruptly dropping it when a judge refused to seal the records to protect the congressman's reputation. The Free Press, which reviewed the open records from the federal court's website Tuesday night, is not naming the employee at this point because of the sensitivity of her initial claims and her decision to drop the lawsuit in March of this year.

 
Michigan’s ‘preventable’ deaths set to soar 44%

Detroit News - November 22, 2017
Deaths from drugs, alcohol and suicide are projected to increase 44 percent in Michigan during the next decade, according to a study released Tuesday. The report, called “Pain in the Nation: The Drug, Alcohol and Suicide Epidemics, and the Need for a National Resilience Strategy,” projects that 1.6 million Americans could die from drugs, alcohol or suicide between 2016 and 2025, a 60 percent increase over the previous decade.

 
New Cyber Civilian Corps to serve as a “volunteer fire brigade” in case of digital attack

Michigan Radio - November 22, 2017
Think for a moment of what a cyber-attack would mean for business, for government, for health care systems. Without the internet, it'd be incredibly difficult to function. That's why Governor Snyder recently signed a law creating the Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps (MiC3). Think of it as a volunteer fire brigade that's ready to be called up in the event of a cyber-attack or other internet threat.

 
Doctor in genital cutting case freed on a $4.5M bond

Detroit Free Press - November 22, 2017
After seven months in jail, a doctor charged with cutting the genitals of numerous minor girls as part of a religious tradition was freed Tuesday after 16 of her friends offered more than $4.5 million in property to secure her release. While it's been two months since U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman agreed to grant bond to Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, she wasn't released until Tuesday as it took weeks for prosecutors to verify the friends' assets and confirm their worth.

 
Trump nominates Suburban Collection owner David T. Fischer as ambassador to Morocco

Detroit Free Press - November 22, 2017
President Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated David T. Fischer, chairman, CEO and principal owner of the Suburban Collection in Troy, to be the United States' ambassador to Morocco. Fischer — a regulator backer of Republican candidates — was a contributor to Trump's campaign and paid $250,000 toward his inauguration in January. If confirmed by the Senate, Fischer would join another Michigander, former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, who was confirmed as Trump's ambassador to the Netherlands.

 
TIMELINE: A long history of alleged abuse by Dr. Larry Nassar

Michigan Radio - November 22, 2017
Dr. Larry Nassar, a former athletic doctor at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, is due back in court Wednesday where he's facing multiple charges of sexual assault. It's a plea hearing, which means he may plead guilty to at least some of the charges in exchange for a shot at a lighter sentence. Over the summer Nassar pled guilty to federal charges for possessing thousands of images of child pornography.

 
 
NATIONAL LEGAL NEWS
 
F.C.C. Plans Net Neutrality Repeal in a Victory for Telecoms

New York Times - November 22, 2017
The Federal Communications Commission released a plan on Tuesday to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for internet service companies to charge users more to see certain content and to curb access to some websites. The proposal, made by the F.C.C. chairman, Ajit Pai, is a sweeping repeal of rules put in place by the Obama administration.

 
Uber Reveals Data Breach and Cover-up, Leading to Two Firings

Wall Street Journal - November 22, 2017
Uber Technologies Inc. on Tuesday revealed it paid hackers $100,000 in an effort to conceal a data breach affecting 57 million accounts one year ago, a disclosure that adds to a string of scandals and legal problems for the world’s most highly valued startup. The ride-hailing firm said it fired its chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, and deputy Craig Clark for their roles in the breach and for covering it up.

 
President Trump and accusations of sexual misconduct: The complete list

Washington Post - November 22, 2017
Sexual misconduct by powerful men has all but taken over the news, with Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and senatorial hopeful Roy Moore (R-Ala.) among the politicians on this growing list. Trump vociferously has taken aim at accused Democrats, while apparently giving a pass to Republicans.

 
'Butcher Of Bosnia' Ratko Mladic Guilty Of Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity

National Public Radio - November 22, 2017
After a 5 1/2-year trial, the former Bosnian Serb military commander blamed for orchestrating the murders of thousands of ethnic Muslims has learned his own fate. On Wednesday morning, judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague handed down a guilty verdict for one count of genocide, five counts of crimes against humanity and four counts of violations of the laws or customs of war, out of the 11 counts against 74-year-old Ratko Mladic.

 
The Senate Tax Bill’s Chances Just Got Better

Bloomberg - November 22, 2017
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s decision to agree late Tuesday to smash Obamacare’s individual mandate may remove one obstacle to passing the Senate Republican tax bill next week. Murkowski hasn’t yet endorsed the tax bill but had previously said she preferred not to mix it with health care, and she was one of three mavericks who killed the GOP’s Obamacare repeal efforts earlier this year.

 
Special Report - Nuclear strategists call for bold move: scrap ICBM arsenal

Reuters - November 22, 2017
Imagine it is 3 a.m., and the president of the United States is asleep in the White House master bedroom. A military officer stationed in an office nearby retrieves an aluminum suitcase - the “football” containing the launch codes for the U.S. nuclear arsenal - and rushes to wake the commander in chief. Early warning systems show that Russia has just launched 100 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) at the United States, the officer informs the president.

 
Trump Defends Roy Moore, Citing Candidate’s Denial of Sexual Misconduct

New York Times - November 22, 2017
President Trump broke with leading Republicans on Tuesday and voiced support for Roy S. Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama who has been accused of sexual misconduct with teenagers and has seen his campaign’s prospects imperiled. In his first extensive remarks on the accusations that date back decades, the president cited the vigorous denials by Mr. Moore, who is facing off in a high-stakes special election against Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate.

 
Venezuela Detains Four U.S. Citizens for Alleged Corruption

Wall Street Journal - November 22, 2017
Four of the six oil executives arrested in Caracas for alleged corruption are U.S. citizens, a Citgo Petroleum Corp. official said Wednesday. On Tuesday, Venezuela’s military intelligence agency arrested six top executives of the U.S. subsidiary of state-oil company PetrĂ³leos de Venezuela SA, as part of what authorities are calling an anticorruption purge. Four of out of the six executives are naturalized U.S. citizens.

 
2018 could be the ‘Year of the Woman’ on steroids, with growing backlash to the culture of sexual harassment

Washington Post - November 22, 2017
In October 1991, Anita Hill testified during Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearing that he had sexually harassed her when she worked for him at, of all places, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Thomas denied wrongdoing, and he got confirmed. The backlash didn’t come until 13 months later. Women across the country were disgusted by how poorly Hill was treated by lawmakers from both parties.

 
Second Federal Judge Blocks Trump's Ban On Trans Service Members

National Public Radio - November 22, 2017
A federal judge in Maryland has temporarily blocked all of President Trump's would-be ban on transgender Americans serving in the U.S. armed forces or receiving transition-related health care through the military. The decision comes just weeks after another federal judge, based in Washington, D.C., blocked most of the policy change.

 
Senate GOP Tucks Future ‘Traps’ for Multinationals Into Tax Bill

Bloomberg - November 22, 2017
Senate Republicans tucked some multibillion-dollar tax increases for corporations into the 515-page tax bill they released this week -- spring-loaded hikes that would begin after 2024 if the economy doesn’t grow as fast as GOP lawmakers have promised. Some of the taxes in question aim squarely at companies like Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc., which rely on intellectual property, also known as “intangibles,” that they’ve transferred to overseas subsidiaries, tax experts say.

 
In Trump strongholds, Democrats walk tightrope ahead of 2018 elections

Reuters - November 22, 2017
As Democrats try to win control of the U.S. Congress in next year’s midterm elections, their hopes of picking up a Senate seat in Republican-dominated Texas rest with a telegenic ex-punk rocker who wants to impeach President Donald Trump and legalize marijuana. Beto O‘Rourke’s long-shot bid to unseat incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz illustrates the tightrope Democrats must walk as they gear up for the November 2018 elections.

 
2 Minnesota Lawmakers Accused of Sexual Harassment Step Down

New York Times - November 22, 2017
Two state legislators in Minnesota are stepping down in response to harassment allegations amid a national wave of politicians, journalists and entertainers being accused of sexual misconduct. Representative Tony Cornish, a Republican, and Senator Dan Schoen, a Democrat, announced their resignations on Tuesday after each was accused of harassing multiple women involved in state politics.

 
‘Every time you walk out the door your life is in jeopardy’

Wall Street Journal - November 22, 2017
Baltimore, which has by far the highest per-capita homicide rate among the nation’s biggest cities, is on track to have its worst year on record. More than 300 people in the city have been killed this year. Home to about 615,000 people, the city has recorded more killings this year than either New York or Los Angeles, both of which have far larger populations. While Chicago has had more homicides, Baltimore is at No. 2.

 
Justice Department investigating Harvard’s affirmative-action policies

Washington Post - November 22, 2017
The Justice Department is investigating Harvard University’s use of race in admissions, and is warning the school that it is out of compliance with federal civil rights law because it has not provided documents the department requested. In two letters sent Friday, Justice Department officials said that Harvard had not produced “a single document” that had been requested, despite a Nov. 2 deadline, and that the university’s attorney had tried to “side-step Harvard’s Title VI obligations.”

 
Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein Supervises Mueller Probe But He's Also A Witness

National Public Radio - November 22, 2017
To the many mysteries swirling around the investigation of Russian election interference and the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey, add this one: Why is Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein continuing to supervise the investigation? Rosenstein is the Justice Department official who pulled the trigger and named special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the probe in May, only days after President Trump fired his FBI director under questionable circumstances.

 
 
OPINIONS
 
Tax plans are not the answer

Detroit News - November 22, 2017
House Republicans released their so-called tax reform plan recently showing how out of touch they are with working people in this country. It’s not a tax reform plan at all but a tax cut plan for corporations and billionaires. Taxes, rates, interest deductions — it all sounds boring and that’s exactly how they want you to feel about it. But you should be angry. This tax plan is infuriating for many reasons and here are a few: First of all, the GOP thinks the middle class makes $450,000 a year.

 
Anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism

Detroit News - November 22, 2017
Is the ACLU actually attempting to sway congressional debate against Israel? The red flags are alarming, including this recent tweet by Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU’s Human Rights Program: “Israeli leaders exploit horrible acts of anti-Semitism to encourage Jews to move to Israel. Judaism ≠ Zionism; Anti-Zionism ≠ Anti-Semitism.” Dakwar is wrong, and his tweet is anti-Semitic.

 
Editorial: U.S Rep. John Conyers must resign

Detroit Free Press - November 22, 2017
John Conyers Jr. has a long and complicated legacy in southeast Michigan and the U.S. Congress. He has been an undisputed hero of the civil rights movement, a legislator of uncommon influence and power, and an aging icon whose felonious wife and sometimes-wandering pace have confounded his place in history. But the revelations of Conyers’ alleged sexual harassment scandal and his documented use of taxpayer dollars to bury that scandal, in violation of congressional ethics rules, is less ambiguous.

 
Riley: On sexual assault and harassment, zero tolerance is the only option

Detroit Free Press - November 22, 2017
The allegations are coming so fast now, it's like a wall tumbling down — a wall that existed between painful silence and righteous declaration. But with each new allegation of sexual assault or harassment now comes an attitude that can only be described as stupid: That a person's guilt should somehow be based on his or her political party.

 
Political fantasies of rich guys

Michigan Radio - November 22, 2017
Men in late middle age are capable of daydreaming. For most of us, these dreams are fairly pedestrian. Maybe, just maybe, we might be the first 60-something to suddenly break into the major leagues. Maybe that one lottery ticket I buy every Thanksgiving will turn out to be a big winner and I’ll be able to quit my job. Those are fairly typical fantasies. But things change for those few of us who actually do have a whole lot of money.

 
Editorial: End secret settlements

Detroit News - November 22, 2017
Voters who went to the polls in 2016 to decide whether to return John Conyers to a 27th term in Congress lacked a critical piece of information about their representative. They didn’t know the Detroit Democrat had used taxpayer dollars the year before to silence a staffer who claimed he attempted to coerce her into a sexual relationship in exchange for keeping her job. Documents leaked to the Buzzfeed website this week indicate Conyers paid $27,000 from his office account to make a private settlement with the woman.

 
The Women I’m Thankful For

New York Times - November 22, 2017
As a way of avoiding the news, I have been spending the past few weeks cleaning out my basement. It’s my least favorite room of the house, repository of everything that’s broken or unnecessary or depressing. Because my mother downsized and my father died, not only is the basement full of my stuff, there’s two generations’ worth of detritus down there, lurking. The treadmill and the free weights live in the basement.

 
Trump’s Dubious Trust-Busting

Wall Street Journal - November 22, 2017
Does President Trump’s right hand know what his left is doing? Despite the Administration’s laudable regulatory rollback, the Justice Department on Monday intervened in the fast-evolving media and broadband markets with an antitrust lawsuit to block AT&T ’s acquisition of Time Warner . The lawsuit misconstrues markets and undermines the rule of law—whether or not it was inspired by the White House.

 
Conservatives have a breathtaking plan for Trump to pack the courts

Washington Post - November 22, 2017
Conservatives have a new court-packing plan, and in the spirit of the holiday, it’s a turducken of a scheme: a regulatory rollback hidden inside a civil rights reversal stuffed into a Trumpification of the courts. If conservatives get their way, President Trump will add twice as many lifetime members to the federal judiciary in the next 12 months (650) as Barack Obama named in eight years (325). American law will never be the same.

 
 
STATE BAR OF MICHIGAN BLOG & OTHER NEWS
 
Face of Justice Program Introduces Students to Legal Profession

SBM Blog - November 22, 2017
The second annual Face of Justice program introduced Lansing high school students to potential careers in the legal system on October 30 at the Hall of Justice in Lansing. Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget Mary McCormack, State Bar of Michigan Commissioner and Ingham County Court Commissioner Shauna Dunnings, 29th Circuit Court Judge Michelle Rick, Michigan State Housing Development Authority staff attorney Kara Hart-Negrich, and SBM Director of Diversity and Inclusion Gregory Conyers kicked off the event with welcoming remarks.

 
DUES: Pay by November 30 to avoid late fee

SBM Blog - November 22, 2017
On September 20, the State Bar of Michigan sent e-mail notifications to members that the 2017-2018 State Bar of Michigan annual disclosure statement and dues notice was available online. Members of the State Bar need to complete annual disclosure statements and pay dues prior to November 30, or be subject to a late fee. To complete the annual disclosures and pay dues online with a debit or credit card, or to print the dues statement to pay by check, members should go to e.michbar.org and log in using their previously assigned logins and passwords. Dues paid online will be updated the following business day and a bar card will be issued within three business days. Dues paid by mailing a statement and check will take longer to process, and members who do so may not receive a bar card for several weeks after payment is processed.

 
Michigan Lawyers: Please Participate in 2017 Economics of Law Practice Survey

SBM Blog - November 22, 2017
The State Bar of Michigan Economics of Law Practice Survey only happens once every three years, but the survey results get used daily throughout the state in courtrooms, law firms, and by lawyers in all occupational areas. Private practitioners can take the survey at surveymonkey.com/r/17private, and non-private practitioners can take the survey at surveymonkey.com/r/17nonprivate. This year’s survey should take no more than five minutes to complete.