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MICHIGAN LEGAL NEWS
 
Copper mining company reaches settlement with state over erosion in UP state park

Michigan Radio - January 17, 2018
Copperwood Resources, a subsidiary of Highland Copper, has entered into a legal settlement with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality over part of its exploratory drilling operation at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The agreement concerns environmental damage from the mining company's test drilling last spring along a county road right-of-way (233 feet on each side of the road) at the park.

 
Immigrant dad facing deportation who cares for ill wife to take refuge in Detroit church

Detroit Free Press - January 17, 2018
Saying they answer to a higher law, Central United Methodist Church, a historic Protestant congregation in Detroit, said Tuesday that it is taking in an undocumented Albanian immigrant whom the U.S. government wants to deport next week. It's the first time a church in metro Detroit has announced that it is taking in an immigrant wanted by ICE for deportation since President Donald Trump took office, advocates say.

 
MSU's Lou Anna Simon's apology to Nassar's victims rings hollow, and distant

Detroit Free Press - January 17, 2018
An apology means nothing if it's not sincere. It's a simple lesson most of us try to teach our children when they wrong one another: Look her in they eye, and tell her you're sorry for what you did. Then don't betray her trust again. It's a lesson Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon and the MSU Board Chairman Brian Breslin have yet to learn.

 
Man facing deportation gets sanctuary in Detroit church

Detroit News - January 17, 2018
All Ded Rranxburgaj wanted for his family when he came to Michigan from Albania 17 years ago was the American Dream. While he raised two sons here, with one in college, the journey hasn’t been easy. He has worked as a cook or in construction. His wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair. He bathes her and handles her care when he’s not at his job.

 
Historic shipwreck preservation in danger in the Great Lakes

Michigan Radio - January 17, 2018
More than three centuries of thriving marine commerce and those notorious storms in the Great Lakes have given Michigan a wealth of historic shipwrecks. There are nearly a thousand on the bottomlands of the state's 13 designated underwater preserves alone. But Michigan's mostly volunteer system of protecting the shipwrecks is showing signs of trouble.

 
29 of Larry Nassar's victims tell their story in court as Nassar listens

MLive - January 17, 2018
They ranged in age from 16 to 39. One said she was first sexually assaulted in 1992, and may have been Larry Nassar's first victim. One was a patient of the Michigan State University sports doctor when he was fired in September 2016. Some only saw Nassar once or twice. Others were longtime patients. Some saw him as a good friend, a confidante, a mentor.

 
Lawmakers back Detroit charter in building fight

Detroit News - January 17, 2018
A growing Detroit charter school is poised to win its fight to purchase an abandoned school building in the city’s Indian Village neighborhood after Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature took action to tilt a lawsuit in its favor. The Michigan Senate on Tuesday sent Gov. Rick Snyder a fast-tracked bill that would tighten a prohibition on the kind of school-building deed restrictions that critics say Detroit has used to discourage competition from charters.

 
Environmentalists push own plan to shut down Mackinac Straits pipeline

Michigan Radio - January 17, 2018
Tired of waiting for the state, environmentalists are offering their own plan for shutting down an oil pipeline that runs beneath the Mackinac Straits. In recent years, concerns the aging pipeline could leak prompted calls from various groups to stop oil flowing through the pipeline. The Line 5 pipeline is owned by Enbridge Energy, which is a corporate sponsor of Michigan Radio.

 
House committee hears DTE shutoff complaints from smart meter critics

Michigan Radio - January 17, 2018
Some DTE Energy customers say the utility is bullying them for refusing smart meters, and they want the state Legislature to do something about it. A state House committee heard testimony Tuesday about complaints that DTE wrongly shut off their power. Most of them say it’s because they didn’t want to use a smart meter.

 
Victims give emotional testimony as sentencing begins for Larry Nassar

Michigan Radio - January 17, 2018
For hours, they kept stepping before the court, one after another, more than two dozen women and girls speaking directly to the man who sexually abused them as children. “I’ve been coming for you for a long time,” Kyle Stephens told Larry Nassar, her mother crying beside her. “I gave your name to counselors, hoping they would report you. ...Perhaps you’ve figured it out by now, but little girls don’t stay little forever. They become strong women who grow up to destroy your world.”

 
With three kids, two houses and a business, one Salvadoran couple might have to leave it all behind

Michigan Radio - January 17, 2018
In 2001, the U.S. government granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to more than 200,000 migrants from El Salvador after a pair of earthquakes struck their country. TPS gave the Salvadorans a way to work legally in the United States, to build lives, and raise families. On Jan. 8, the Trump administration ended TPS for the Salvadoran migrants.

 
Michigan Supreme Court rejects polluter's appeal in Ann Arbor dioxane case

MLive - January 17, 2018
The company responsible for a large plume of the toxic chemical 1,4-dioxane in the Ann Arbor area's groundwater is not getting the relief it sought from the Michigan Supreme Court. The state's highest court has rejected Gelman Sciences' appeal seeking to overturn a local judge's rulings, which means local parties can continue to fight in court for a better cleanup.

 
Jail staff threw disabled woman to ground, ignored cries for help, lawsuit claims

MLive - January 17, 2018
A terminally-ill woman was stripped naked, thrown to the ground in a cement jail cell and denied medical attention for injuries requiring surgery during a three-day stay at the Genesee County Jail, a new lawsuit claims. Filed Jan. 10 in federal court, the lawsuit alleges that jail staff neglected the medical needs of then-55-year-old Jayne Cramer after she was arrested on Jan. 12, 2015, pushing her to the floor of a jail cell where she was unable to move due to a physical disability.

 
Here are the next six steps in the Flint water crisis prosecutions

MLive - January 17, 2018
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon's preliminary examination is scheduled to restart Friday, Jan. 19, for an eleventh day. Lyon, a member of Gov. Rick Snyder's cabinet, is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office related to the Flint water crisis.

 
Rep. Bishop criticized for donations from opioid companies

Detroit Free Press - January 17, 2018
A Democratic challenger of U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop's is criticizing him for taking thousands of dollars in donations from two pharmaceutical companies under legal scrutiny in Michigan for ties to the opioid drug crisis. Elissa Slotkin, a former assistant secretary of defense and national security official who lives in Holly, criticized Bishop, R-Rochester, for taking funds from Endo Pharmaceuticals and McKesson Corp., even as she said she would no longer take corporate PAC funds of any kind.

 
Nassar victims: ‘He should be locked up’

Detroit News - January 17, 2018
After Lindsey Schuett was first sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar, she was quiet for days and cried at night. Then 16, Schuett knew she would have to go back to the former Michigan State University doctor, so she told her high school counselor and her mother about the abuse. But neither reported Nassar to the authorities. When she next saw Nassar, she begged him not to do that particular treatment in which he used his fingers to penetrate her.

 
https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/wayne/2018/01/16/dearborn-judge-mark-somers/1038046001/

Detroit Free Press - January 17, 2018
A Dearborn judge said Tuesday he's open to settlement talks after he lost a key decision that will cost him more than $1 million. Judge Mark Somers said 25 percent of his pay will continue to be garnished to pay off a $734,000 verdict, plus legal fees, won by a former court employee. But with interest accruing, it's hard to make a dent. "It's not chicken feed; It's got to be close to $30,000 a year," Somers told The Associated Press.

 
Ex-Fiat Chrysler exec and widow of UAW official to plead guilty in scandal

Detroit Free Press - January 17, 2018
Six months after getting indicted in a scandal involving a sophisticated money laundering scheme, a former Fiat Chrysler executive and the widow of a former high-ranking UAW official cut plea deals with the government. According to a filing in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, ex-FCA Vice President Alphons Iacobelli has a plea hearing scheduled for Monday before U.S. District Judge Paul Borman.

 
 
NATIONAL LEGAL NEWS
 
Ex-C.I.A. Officer Suspected of Compromising Chinese Informants Is Arrested

New York Times - January 17, 2018
A former C.I.A. officer suspected by investigators of helping China dismantle United States spying operations and identify informants has been arrested, the Justice Department said on Tuesday. The collapse of the spy network was one of the American government’s worst intelligence failures in recent years. The arrest of the former officer, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, capped an intense F.B.I. inquiry that began around 2012.

 
A burst of acrimony on Capitol Hill threatens immigration deal

Washington Post - January 17, 2018
A burst of public acrimony across Capitol Hill on Tuesday exposed how much negotiations on immigration and border security have been set back since President Trump’s use of a vulgar expression during a meeting on the issue. Under intense questioning from both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed that the president had used “tough language” in the meeting Thursday.

 
Buybacks, Pension Contributions and Savings: Companies Tout Tax Benefits

Wall Street Journal - January 17, 2018
Some of the biggest U.S. companies are promising significant annual savings, bigger pension contributions, higher dividend payments and more extensive stock buybacks as executives start to discuss the impact of the federal tax overhaul. The announcements come as companies begin to report what are expected to be strong fourth-quarter financial results.

 
As Mueller Investigation Has Become Politicized, Americans Are Split On Its Fairness

National Public Radio - January 17, 2018
Americans are split on whether they think the Justice Department's Russia investigation is fair and are unsure of special counsel Robert Mueller, but they overwhelmingly believe he should be allowed to finish his investigation, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. Fewer than half of Americans (48 percent) think the Russia probe has been fair, more than a quarter (28 percent) think it has not been and another quarter are unsure (23 percent).

 
House GOP Bid to Avert Shutdown Gains Steam as Deadline Near

Bloomberg - January 17, 2018
House Republicans are coalescing around a plan to try and force the Senate to accept a short-term spending bill this week that doesn’t address immigration issues and other demands from Democrats in order to avoid a government shutdown after Jan. 19. Speaker Paul Ryan and his leadership team late Tuesday released a stopgap spending bill to keep the government operating through Feb. 16.

 
The Fabulous Story of North Korea's Fabric Made of Stone

Reuters - January 17, 2018
For much of the world, it’s a niche product. In North Korea, where winter temperatures are frigid and which cannot produce enough cotton or wool for clothing, the synthetic fibre developed after nylon was glorified as a revolutionary invention. Known outside North Korea as vinylon, it was christened “vinalon” by founder Kim Il Sung. He ordered it be developed to put clothes on people’s backs. It's a story which reveals much about the history of North Korea.

 
Do You Have The Right To Plead Not Guilty When Your Lawyer Disagrees?

National Public Radio - January 17, 2018
On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a case with a surprise plot twist: The jurors were told that the accused was guilty of a triple murder — not by the prosecutor, but by the defense lawyer. "There is no way reasonably possible that you can listen to the evidence and not come" to that conclusion, he said. In an effort to avoid the death penalty, the defense lawyer refused to follow the instructions of his client, who contended he was innocent.

 
Trump's ex-aide Bannon strikes deal to avoid grand jury testimony: CNN

Reuters - January 17, 2018
Former White House strategist Steve Bannon has struck a deal to be interviewed by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team instead of appearing before a grand jury, CNN reported on Wednesday, citing sources close to Bannon.

 
Bank of America 4Q profits fall by 48% due to tax law

Associated Press/Detroit News - January 17, 2018
Bank of America said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profits fell by nearly half from a year ago, as the bank had to book $2.9 billion in charges related to the new tax law. The consumer banking giant said it earned $2.37 billion, or 20 cents a share, down from $4.54 billion, or 39 cents a share, from the same period a year ago. Like many banks this quarter, Bank of America had to write down the value its stockpile of deferred tax assets on its balance sheet.

 
Federal legislation for autonomous vehicles expected in 2018

MLive - January 17, 2018
The drive for innovation in the auto industry continues at a revolutionary pace. However, federal legislation still lags where automakers, traffic safety experts and the public needs it to be, according to officials at Detroit's auto show. That could change this year, said U.S. Senator Gary Peters. It's a national issue that particularly affects Michigan due to the dominance of the auto industry here - and how other nations also are making strides toward breakthrough technology.

 
U.S. States, Activists Challenge FCC Rollback of Net-Neutrality Rules

Wall Street Journal - January 17, 2018
State attorneys general and internet activists filed legal challenges to the Federal Communications Commission’s recent rollback of Obama -era internet regulations, launching a legal battle that could go on for years. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and more than 20 other officials filed their combined petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

 
Colleges Brace for Tumult in 2018 as White Supremacists Demand a Stage

New York Times - January 17, 2018
Kent Fuchs, the president of the University of Florida, was in the living room of his stately campus residence last fall when he saw the first televised images of a parade of terror unfolding in another college town further north. There were protesters. Counterprotesters. Angry confrontations. The night sky was lit by tiki torches in the grips of young white supremacists marching on the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

 
Ex-Trump campaign chair Manafort will face trial no sooner than September, judge suggests

Washington Post - January 17, 2018
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort will face trial no sooner than September, the judge hearing his case indicated after an hour-long hearing Tuesday in which prosecutors and defense attorneys sparred over his continuing house arrest and a separate lawsuit challenging the appointment of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

 
To Woo Amazon, Cities Tackle Everything From Traffic to Housing

Wall Street Journal - January 17, 2018
Amazon.com Inc.’s contest to find a place for its second headquarters is spurring civic leaders around the country to confront municipal problems that have confounded lawmakers and local leaders for decades. Suddenly, some cities and states are highlighting plans such as easing traffic, adding housing and investing in higher education. Among Amazon’s considerations are proximity to a big airport, commuting time and quality of life.

 
Majority Of National Park Service Board Resigns, Citing Administration Indifference

National Public Radio - January 17, 2018
Three-quarters of the seats on the U.S. National Park Service advisory board are vacant following a mass resignation Monday night, citing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's unwillingness to meet with them. Nine of the panel's 12 members, led by former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, handed in their resignations. The bipartisan panel was appointed by President Barack Obama and the terms of all members who quit were set to expire in May.

 
Warrantless-Spying Bill Advances in Senate as Deadline Nears

Bloomberg - January 17, 2018
The Senate advanced legislation Tuesday to extend the government’s authority to spy on suspected foreign terrorists’ communications, setting up a vote for final passage before the program is set to expire Friday night. The bill, which moved forward on a 60-38 vote, would reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act through 2023, allowing the National Security Agency to continue intercepting calls and emails from possible foreign terrorists without a court warrant.

 
Gerrymandering case reaches Pennsylvania court with stakes for 2018 election

Reuters - January 17, 2018
Pennsylvania’s high court will hear arguments on Wednesday on whether the state’s congressional districts were illegally drawn to benefit Republican lawmakers, a case that could have major ramifications for the 2018 midterm elections. The challenge, brought by the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, a civic advocacy group, and several Democratic voters, is one of several lawsuits nationwide seeking to limit politicians from drawing lines to give one party the advantage in elections, a practice known as partisan gerrymandering.

 
Horror for 13 California Siblings Hidden by Veneer of a Private Home School

New York Times - January 17, 2018
The private school had a welcoming name. The principal was scientifically minded. But the Sandcastle Day School was a nightmare for the six students enrolled there. David A. Turpin created the school inside his nondescript stucco home southeast of Los Angeles. But the only ones enrolled there were the six of his 13 children who were school age.

 
City says white jury was motivated by racial bias when ruling against cops who killed unarmed black man

Washington Post - January 17, 2018
But that passage isn’t the most outrageous part of the story. Thomas, it turns out, was black. The attorneys for the city argued that the jury’s verdict should be set aside because it was motivated by racial prejudice. Specifically, they argued that the jury, which had no black members, was afraid to rule against cops accused of killing a black man.

 
 
OPINIONS
 
Bitcoin Isn't the Future of Money

Bloomberg - January 17, 2018
If the bitcoin bubble has a redeeming feature, it's that it has started some interesting conversations. One is about whether governments should get into the cryptocurrency business for themselves. The unsatisfying (though undoubtedly correct) answer: It depends. A cashless future is indeed on its way, and governments and central banks have no choice but to prepare for it. But a cashless future doesn't necessarily require government-backed digital currency.

 
City's rules should apply to Ilitch parking lots, too

Detroit Free Press - January 17, 2018
Stacked against the other stuff that's not good about Detroit's agreement to help fund the new Red Wings arena, a bit of parking-lot rule-fudging that will net the billionaire Ilitch family an extra million a year seems like small beer. More contentious is the substantial public funding poured into this privately operated arena. Or the provision that allows Ilitch companies to keep all of the dollars generated by the arena's operations.

 
Jorge Garcia, model husband and dad, wasn't deported; he was sentenced

Detroit Free Press - January 17, 2018
It is nothing short of a prison sentence. America, the land of the free and home of the brave, the country that has welcomed immigrants since its inception, told Jorge Garcia, who came as a child, who has lived in America for three decades, who has worked and paid taxes and spent more than $125,000 trying to gain citizenship as his wife and children have, that he must go to Mexico, the land of his birth, but not the land of his life.

 
Donald Trump vs. Guantánamo’s Forever Prisoners

New York Times - January 17, 2018
Many of these men were arrested under questionable circumstances; some were tortured, either at C.I.A. black sites or at Guantánamo itself. Last Thursday, 11 of these “forever prisoners” filed a habeas corpus petition in the United States District Court in Washington, D.C. The men, all foreign-born Muslims, say their continued detention violates the Constitution’s guarantee of due process and the 2001 law that gave presidents the power to send enemy combatants to Guantánamo.

 
Ignore the president. Vote on the DACA deal.

Washington Post - January 17, 2018
Large majorities of Americans in both parties favor a deal to provide protection and legal status for “dreamers,” the young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. That should give Congress license to make a deal — and ignore President Trump. Where it concerns Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Obama-era program that shields dreamers from deportation, the president is pure impediment.

 
The Tax-Reform Stock Rally

Wall Street Journal - January 17, 2018
We’ve been hosting an op-ed debate on stock prices, and last week financial consultant Donald Luskin made his case for the running of the bulls as expected corporate earnings are adjusted upward due to tax reform. Harvard economist Martin Feldstein makes the case for caution nearby, arguing that equity prices are fated to fall as the Federal Reserve reverses its long period of asset purchases and low interest rates, and inflation makes a comeback. Both men could be right, depending on your investment time frame.

 
Gretchen Whitmer is the Democrats' best hope, even if they don't like it

Michigan Radio - January 17, 2018
These days, the place to go for solid in-depth print reporting on what’s happening in this state is not a newspaper, but Bridge, the online magazine. Bridge, a publication of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Center for Michigan, has hired many of the state’s best journalists to do deep-dive, penetrating reporting about conditions in this state.

 
 
STATE BAR OF MICHIGAN BLOG & OTHER NEWS
 
We are so excited to launch On Balance with the Legal Talk Network

SBM Blog - January 17, 2018
We, at the State Bar of Michigan, are so excited to announce the launch of our new podcast, On Balance. Being a lawyer is stressful. Many struggle to balance physical health and well-being with the demands of their profession. On Balance, premiering this week on Legal Talk Network, delivers useful and entertaining ideas on managing life as a lawyer.

 
SBM Members Get a Discount on ABA TECHSHOW Registration

SBM Blog - January 17, 2018
As a member of the State Bar of Michigan, you get a special $150 discount if you register for 2018 ABA TECHSHOW. Register online using the discount code EP1812. ABA TECHSHOW has brought lawyers and technology together for over 30 years. Network with legal and technology experts from around the world March 7-10 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

 
Representative Assembly Accepting Nominations for Awards

SBM Blog - January 17, 2018
Nominations are being accepted for two State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly awards. The Michael Franck Award is given annually to an attorney who has made an outstanding contribution to the improvement of the legal profession. The Unsung Hero Award is presented to a lawyer who has exhibited the highest standards of practice and commitment for the benefit of others.

 
Take Advantage of Your Casemaker Member Benefit

SBM Blog - January 17, 2018
The State Bar of Michigan has partnered with Casemaker to bring premium state and federal research materials to you, our members, for free, to save you hundreds of dollars every month on legal research. Here are some valuable tips on how to use Casemaker.

 
Save the Date: Upper Michigan Legal Institute

SBM Blog - January 17, 2018
The Upper Michigan Legal Institute will take place June 8 and 9 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Don't miss the opportunity to get the latest developments in case law, as well as invaluable technology and practice management tips while enjoying the ambiance of the historic Grand Hotel on beautiful Mackinac Island. Make sure to mark your calendar!

 
Now Accepting Nominations for 2018 State Bar of Michigan Awards

SBM Blog - January 17, 2018
Nominations are now open for major State Bar of Michigan awards that will be presented at the September 2018 NEXT Conference in Detroit. Awards include: Roberts P. Hudson Award, Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Service, Champion of Justice Award, Kimberly M. Cahill Bar Leadership Award, John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award, John W. Reed Michigan Lawyer Legacy Award, and Liberty Bell Award. All award nominations but the Liberty Bell nominations are due by 5 p.m. Friday, February 16, 2018.