Proposed MSC Rule Change #3: Amici may respond as of right to rehearing motions

For those of us who regularly represent industry associations, trade organizations, and other interest groups in the Michigan Supreme Court, the proposed rule to allow amici to answer rehearing motions is quite welcomed.  Under the current rule, MCR 7.313(E), only the parties can answer a motion for rehearing by right.  Amici would have to file a motion with their answer, requesting permission to file, at the risk (however minimal) of having the motion denied and wasting their time and money.  Under proposed MCR 7.311(F), "any party or amicus curiae that participated in the case may answer a motion for rehearing."  At the very least, those amici who do undertake the expense of responding will have the comfort of knowing their submission will be accepted.  Read More

MSC to determine when a legal malpractice claim accrues

The Michigan Supreme Court granted leave to appeal in Bernstein v. Seyburn, Kahn, Ginn, Bess, & Serlin PC, No. 149032, to determine whether Bernstein’s malpractice claim accrued at the time Bess discontinued general legal services to Bernstein and whether those services were matters out of which the malpractice claim arose. Read More

COA clarifies a merchant’s duty to provide adequate security at a nightclub

The Michigan Court of Appeals in Mouzon v. Blackwell Center, No. 312219 held that a nightclub did not breach its duty to patrons when it did not provide armed security guards nor notify authorities of a shooting because police were already on the scene. Read More

COA holds transfers of assets used to pay ordinary household expenses remain subject to challenge under MUFTA

The Michigan Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (“MUFTA”) was designed to prevent creditors from transferring their property in bad faith before creditors could reach it. The Michigan Court of Appeals in Bentley Terrace Dillard v. Mark E. Schlussel, No. 315485, held that a debtor’s transfer of assets for the purpose of paying the debtor’s ordinary household expenses does not immunize the transfers from challenge under the MUFTA. Read More

COA: Healthcare providers have standing to sue no-fault insurers for PIP benefits

The Court of Appeals concluded that healthcare providers have standing to sue insurers for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits under the no-fault act. The Court therefore affirmed the trial court’s denial of the defendant-insurer’s motion for summary disposition in Wyoming Chiropractic Health Clinic, PC v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co., No. 317876. Read More

COA affirms denial of PIP, uninsured motorist benefits

In Bahri v. IDS Property Casualty Company, No. 316869, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that an insured who submitted fraudulent receipts for replacement services was not entitled to first-party personal injury protection benefits or uninsured motorist benefits under the terms of her policy. The plaintiff was involved in a car accident in 2011. The police report stated that it was a two car accident, but the plaintiff testified that another unidentified vehicle caused her to hit the other car. Read More

COA clarifies definition of “public highway” under Michigan’s Highway Statute

In Haynes v. Village of Beulah, No. 317391, the Court of Appeals concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when the court broadly construed the definition of “public highway” to include village streets under a provision of Michigan’s Highway Statute, MCL 247.190. Read More

MSC to consider whether cities may set minimum wages

The Michigan Supreme Court granted leave to appeal in Associated Builders and Contractors v. City of Lansing, No. 149622, in which the plaintiff challenged the City of Lansing’s prevailing wage ordinance. The court ordered the parties to brief the issue of whether Attorney General ex rel. Lennane v. City of Detroit, 225 Mich. 631 (1923) should be overruled. In Lennane, the Michigan Supreme Court struck down a Detroit ordinance that set the minimum wage for city contractors at the prevailing wage for similar work and set maximum work hours for non-emergency tasks. The court reasoned that the ordinance was unconstitutional because the city exercised police power vested in the state. Read More

MSC reverses COA and orders no restitution for insurer when there is a duty to defend

The Michigan Supreme Court in Hastings Mutual Insurance Co. v. Mosher Dolan Cataldo & Kelly, Inc., No. 149201, peremptorily reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals and held that an insurer has a duty to defend, despite theories of liability asserted against the insured that are not covered under the policy, if there are theories of recovery that fall within the policy.  The Court further held that where this duty to defend exists, an insurer is not entitled to restitution of erroneously paid benefits. Read More

Justice McCormack interview with Stateside

In a recent interview with Stateside, Justice McCormack discusses some of her behind-the-scenes observations after serving two years on the Michigan Supreme Court.  Among other things, Justice McCormack notes that the Justices are a "collegial and high-functioning" group. Read More
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