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MICHIGAN LEGAL NEWS
 
Nessel's team member has history of domestic violence accusations

Detroit Free Press - December 10, 2018
One of the members of the transition team of Attorney General-elect Dana Nessel has a history of domestic violence accusations from women, according to police and court records. Nessel announced on Nov. 13 her transition team, which consists of a range of leaders such as Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and former Attorney General Frank Kelley, the team's chair.

 
MSU Museum exhibit to tell Nassar victims' teal story

Detroit News - December 10, 2018
As Mark Auslander walked to his job at the Michigan State University Museum earlier this year, he noticed a tree with a teal-colored mesh bow wrapped around it. Ribbons dangled from the bow, with a name of three sisters: Morgan Margraves. Lauren Margraves. Madison Margraves. Auslander had just heard the nine days of testimony from more than 200 young women who had accused Larry Nassar of sexual abuse. As an anthropologist who has studied the meaning of trees around the world, Auslander was struck by the significance.

 
State Senate could take up controversial union re-certification bills this week

Michigan Radio - December 10, 2018
It’s the third week of the Michigan Legislature’s frenzied lame duck session. One controversial bill could fly out of the state Senate this week: legislation that targets public employee unions. It would require members to vote every two years to re-certify or disband their union. Senator Jim Ananich is the Democratic leader in the Senate. He says Republicans are trying once again to weaken unions in Michigan. “There’s no need for it. All it would do is cost the state and both the workers and the unions a lot more money,” he says.

 
New UM policy bans faculty from romantic relationships with undergrads

MLive - December 10, 2018
A new policy prohibiting faculty members from having romantic or sexual relationships with undergraduate students across all three campuses is coming to the University of Michigan. Faculty members are explicitly prohibited from having any romantic, sexual or amorous relationships with undergraduate students under the new policy that’s taking effect in early 2019, according to the University Record.

 
Michigan senator's ex-treasurer accused of embezzling funds

Detroit Free Press - December 10, 2018
The former campaign treasurer of state Sen. Dave Robertson — a term-limited lawmaker who is pushing for a major change in the way the state's campaign funds are enforced — is under investigation for alleged embezzlement, officials confirmed Friday. Erika Farley, Robertson's former treasurer, faces a Michigan State Police criminal investigation, Farley's attorney, Alex Rusek of Okemos, confirmed in a telephone interview Friday.

 
Detroit area police accuse each other of wrongdoing

Detroit News - December 10, 2018
In a case that has ties to the ongoing Detroit towing corruption scandal, police officials from multiple agencies are squabbling over allegations that officers misused a law enforcement computer system as part of a stolen vehicle scam, while another cop is accused of lobbying on behalf of crooked tow companies. Accusations are flying over how officers in Detroit, Ecorse and Highland Park handle towing and stolen vehicles, while similar allegations have been made by two Ecorse cops who are suing their chief.

 
Congress unlikely to move swiftly to fix female genital mutilation ban issue

Detroit News - December 10, 2018
Legal experts say Congress could revise the federal ban on female genital mutilation to pass constitutional muster, but lawmakers are unlikely to consider the issue a priority. A Detroit federal judge last month ruled unconstitutional the 22-year-old federal ban on female genital cutting, tossing out related charges against a Michigan doctor accused of performing the procedure on two 7-year-old girls brought to a Livonia clinic.

 
New data show benefits of Michigan's Medicaid expansion

Michigan Radio - December 10, 2018
Nearly half of people covered under Michigan’s Medicaid expansion said their health improved immediately after enrolling. For those whose health improved, they were four times as likely to say that they were doing a better job at work. That’s according to a study by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

 
Medical marijuana shortage will be filled by caregivers

MLive - December 10, 2018
To keep shelves stocked at licensed medical marijuana shops, state officials are promising they won’t slap fines on businesses for buying marijuana from caregivers. The state’s Medical Marihuana Licensing Board agreed to the new terms at its Friday, Dec. 7, meeting. Previously, licensed retail stores could be fined or lose their license for such activities.

 
Police: 9 shots fired in road rage incident at speeds of 100 mph

Detroit Free Press - December 10, 2018
Michigan State Police detailed a road rage incident Friday that escalated into multiple shots fired as cars barreled down northbound I-275 somewhere between I-96 and 8 Mile in Livonia. At around 2:40 a.m., state police were notified of a 911 call about a shooting on the freeway, a twitter thread about the incident explained.

 
Embezzlement probe clouds GOP senator's campaign finance push

Detroit News - December 10, 2018
The campaign treasurer for a Michigan senator pushing to overhaul campaign finance oversight is a suspect in an ongoing state police embezzlement investigation, prompting new questions over his motivation for the legislation. State Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc, said this week his own history of campaign finance fines is unrelated to his legislation, which would shift compliance and enforcement authority from the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office to a new political commission.

 
Michigan's new marijuana law could mean early retirement for some police K-9's

Michigan Radio - December 10, 2018
The future for some drug detecting police canines is uncertain in Michigan, now that recreational marijuana is legal. By one estimate, there are some 400 police K-9s in Michigan. The dogs are usually cross trained: tracking suspects, detecting explosives, cadavers, narcotics, etc. It’s unclear how many are trained in drug detection. In the past, dogs have routinely been trained to detect and alert their human partner to the presence of heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and other illegal drugs.

 
Water protectors rally against lame duck Line 5 legislation

Michigan Radio - December 10, 2018
Demonstrators gathered in Petoskey on Saturday, opposing the state's plan to build a tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac, which would house twin oil pipelines owned by Canadian company Enbridge Energy. They expressed frustration with a Michigan Senate bill passed on Wednesday which would create a three-person commission to oversee the tunnel. More than 30 tribal citizens, Sierra Club members and local residents braved 28-degree-weather for hours, holding signs and waving at the cars on U.S. 31.

 
'Mastermind' of opioid scheme bought island, stashed millions overseas

Detroit News - December 10, 2018
The accused mastermind of one of the nation's largest health-care fraud schemes amassed a $35 million fortune, including an island, a mansion and an overseas bank account stuffed with cash. The riches of Dr. Rajendra Bothra emerged Friday as a federal judge weighed whether to release the pain clinic doctor on bond pending trial in a nearly $500 million conspiracy.

 
Petition bill introduced amid controversy over Legislature’s "adopt and amend" move

Michigan Radio - December 10, 2018
Republican lawmakers in Lansing have been criticized lately, because they adopted two ballot proposals in September on minimum wage and paid sick time – and then passed bills to significantly change those measures. It’s left some to wonder how fair our ballot initiative process is. One lawmaker has introduced a bill that he says will increase transparency and accountability in the ballot petition process.

 
 
NATIONAL LEGAL NEWS
 
Supreme Court won't consider state efforts to defund Planned Parenthood

USA Today - December 10, 2018
The Supreme Court refused Monday to consider efforts by Republican-led states to defund Planned Parenthood. Despite its new, more conservative tilt, the court let stand federal appeals court rulings that allowed the reproductive health organization to contest laws in Louisiana and Kansas that stripped its Medicaid funds.

 
Every moment of every day, mobile phone apps collect detailed location data.

New York Times - December 10, 2018
The millions of dots on the map trace highways, side streets and bike trails — each one following the path of an anonymous cellphone user. One path tracks someone from a home outside Newark to a nearby Planned Parenthood, remaining there for more than an hour. Another represents a person who travels with the mayor of New York during the day and returns to Long Island at night. Yet another leaves a house in upstate New York at 7 a.m. and travels to a middle school 14 miles away, staying until late afternoon each school day.

 
Amazon, Amid Crackdown on Seller Scams, Fires Employees Over Data Leak

Wall Street Journal - December 10, 2018
Amazon.com Inc. is fighting a barrage of seller scams on its website, including firing several employees suspected of having helped supply independent merchants with inside information, according to people familiar with the company’s effort. Amazon was investigating suspected data leaks and bribes of its employees, The Wall Street Journal reported in September.

 
Russians interacted with at least 14 Trump associates during the campaign and transition

Washington Post - December 10, 2018
The Russian ambassador. A deputy prime minister. A pop star, a weightlifter, a lawyer, a Soviet army veteran with alleged intelligence ties. Again and again and again, over the course of Donald Trump’s 18-month campaign for the presidency, Russian citizens made contact with his closest family members and friends, as well as figures on the periphery of his orbit. Some offered to help his campaign and his real estate business.

 
The Russia Investigations: Maybe The End Is In Sight. Maybe It Isn't

National Public Radio - December 10, 2018
Never mind that it still isn't fully clear what the Russia imbroglio is — what picture all the puzzle pieces are supposed to form when they're put together. An even more basic question that's just as difficult to answer is: How much longer will it go? "Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is tightening the net" has become a fashionable take lately. And his office has been taking steps toward concluding the cases of three important subjects within the saga:

 
May pulls parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal

Reuters - December 10, 2018
British Prime Minister Theresa May abruptly decided on Monday to pull a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal, throwing Britain’s plan to leave the European Union up in the air on the eve of the vote after repeated warnings from members of parliament she faced a rout. While there was no immediate official announcement, a source in Whitehall, the centre of British power, said the vote would be delayed, a decision the government could take without having to get the approval of parliament.

 
Rep. Adam Schiff says Trump may 'face the real prospect of jail time' when he leaves office

USA Today - December 10, 2018
Special counsel Robert Mueller made court filings in cases against President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on Friday. Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democrat who is expected to lead the House Intelligence Committee next month, said President Donald Trump could "be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time."

 
Done With Michael Cohen, Federal Prosecutors Shift Focus to Trump Family Business

New York Times - December 10, 2018
When federal prosecutors recommended a substantial prison term for President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, they linked Mr. Trump to the crimes Mr. Cohen had committed in connection with the 2016 presidential campaign. What the prosecutors did not say in Mr. Cohen’s sentencing memorandum filed on Friday, however, is that they have continued to scrutinize what other executives in the president’s family business may have known about those crimes, which involved hush-money payments to two women.

 
The Stories Behind the Supreme Court’s Class Photos

New York Times - December 10, 2018
Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh stood in the back row, on the far right, beaming. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, recovering from a fall, sat in front of him, grimacing. Off to her right, Justice Stephen G. Breyer appeared to chuckle at a joke he had just recalled. It was the latest installment of an awkward and illuminating tradition at the Supreme Court: the group photographs prepared when a new justice joins the court. Last month, the justices took their places, in strict order of seniority, and tried to smile for the cameras.

 
Cohen Gave Significant Help on Russia Probe, Mueller Team Says

Wall Street Journal - December 10, 2018
Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer, has provided significant assistance on Russia-related matters in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, including information about attempts by Russian nationals to reach the Trump campaign, according to a court filing by Mr. Mueller’s office Friday. In a separate filing, Manhattan federal prosecutors said Mr. Cohen “acted in coordination with and at the direction of” Mr. Trump in arranging two illegal hush-money payments to women who alleged they had sexual encounters with Mr. Trump.

 
U.S. Companies Feel the Pinch as Tariff Costs Start to Mount

Wall Street Journal - December 10, 2018
American companies that import products are paying record amounts in customs duties as more tariffs imposed by the Trump administration take effect. Tariff collections topped $5 billion in October, according to data from the Treasury Department and from Census Bureau data analyzed and released by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a lobbying coalition of manufacturing, farming and technology groups.

 
Investigation of generic ‘cartel’ expands to 300 drugs

Washington Post - December 10, 2018
Executives at more than a dozen generic-drug companies had a form of shorthand to describe how they conducted business, insider lingo worked out over steak dinners, cocktail receptions and rounds of golf. The “sandbox,” according to investigators, was the market for generic prescription drugs, where everyone was expected to play nice.

 
Wisconsin Gov.-elect Tony Evers says he may take legal action on lame-duck bills restricting executive power

Washington Post - December 10, 2018
Wisconsin Gov.-elect Tony Evers said Sunday that he may take legal action to block Republicans’ lame-duck measures to limit his authority upon taking office, calling their effort “a mistake.” “I’m not making any promises one way or the other, but we’re looking at all issues, all options on the table,” Evers (D) said in an interview on NBC News’s “Meet the Press.” “I need to stand up for the people of Wisconsin. There’s 2.6 million people that voted in this last election, and they expect me to do that. So we’re going to pursue this.”

 
Boundlessly Idealistic, Universal Declaration Of Human Rights Is Still Resisted

National Public Radio - December 10, 2018
Given the rivalries and violence that divide the global community today, it is hard to imagine that on December 10, 1948, the nations of the world approved, almost unanimously, a detailed list of fundamental rights that every human on the planet should enjoy. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the most sweeping such statement ever endorsed on a worldwide basis, opened by asserting, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."

 
Larry Nassar's Survivors Speak, And Finally The World Listens — And Believes

National Public Radio - December 10, 2018
Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. The first day of Larry Nassar's sentencing hearing. The first day survivors get to face him, in person. The place is packed. It's jarring to see how young some of the faces in the courtroom are. It's one thing to know that Larry's victims are young. It's another to actually see 15-year-olds sitting with their moms.

 
Trump defends hush money payments as 'simple private transaction'

Reuters - December 10, 2018
Donald Trump on Monday defended hush money payments reported by his former lawyer a day after Democrats said the U.S. president could face impeachment and jail time if the transactions are proven to be campaign finance violations. Trump, in early morning tweets, said Democrats were wrongly targeting “a simple private transaction” after court filings last week drew renewed attention to six-figure payments by his personal lawyer to two women during the 2016 campaign so they would not discuss affairs with Trump.

 
FBI investigated four Americans on Russia collusion suspicions: Comey

Reuters - December 10, 2018
The FBI launched investigations of four Americans in July 2016 into whether they helped Russia’s alleged efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, former FBI Director James Comey said in remarks released on Saturday. Comey also appeared to suggest the investigations were looking into ties between Russia and U.S. President Donald Trump’s election campaign. He did not identify the people being investigated but said Trump was not among them.

 
 
STATE BAR OF MICHIGAN BLOG & OTHER NEWS
 
Nominations Open For Kimberly M. Cahill Bar Leadership Award

SBM Blog - December 10, 2018
Are you as proud of your bar association's work as Kristen Pursley and Donna MacKenzie are about what they have accomplished with the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan? Then consider nominating your association or a volunteer of your association for a State Bar of Michigan Kimberly M. Cahill Bar Leadership Award. The Kimberly M. Cahill Bar Leadership Award was established in memory of the 2006-2007 SBM president, who died in January of 2008. This award is presented to a recognized local or affinity bar association, program or leader for excellence in promoting the ideal of professionalism or equal justice for all, or in responding to a compelling legal need within the community during the past year or on an ongoing basis.

 
Nominations Open for Major State Bar Awards

SBM Blog - December 10, 2018
Nominations for the Roberts P. Hudson, John W. Reed, Champion of Justice, Frank J. Kelley Public Service, and Kimberly M. Cahill Bar Leadership awards are due Feb. 15, 2019.

 
Access to Justice Campaign Launches New Initiative to Honor Financial Donors

Michbar.org - December 10, 2018
The Access to Justice Campaign is proud to launch a new initiative to recognize Michigan attorneys who invest in access to justice through financial donations to the ATJ Fund. Beginning in 2019, the Access to Justice Campaign will publish three new annual statewide lists to recognize donors to the ATJ Fund, which supports civil legal aid services to low-income individuals and plays an essential role in increasing access to justice.

 
State Bar of Michigan Launches Pro Bono Honor Roll

Michbar.org - December 10, 2018
The State Bar of Michigan is proud to launch a new initiative to recognize Michigan attorneys for pro bono service. The A Lawyer Helps Pro Bono Honor Roll will recognize Michigan attorneys who provide 30 or more hours of pro bono legal services in a calendar year. Individual attorneys, law firms, and corporations will be recognized at one of three recognition levels for providing 30, 50, or 100 or more hours of pro bono service in the previous calendar year.