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A Better Partnership

August 2015

Aug 2015
August 13, 2015

COA: Res judicata does not bar separate actions for uninsured motorists benefits and personal injury protection benefits under Michigan’s No-Fault Act

In Adam v. Bell, No. 319778, the Court of Appeals held that res judicata does not require a plaintiff to plead uninsured motorists (UM) benefits in the same filing as a claim for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits under the No-Fault Act, MCL 500.3101 et seq. Though the claims are closely related, the motivation, timing and required proofs are not, and the claims do not form a “convenient trial unit.”

Aug 2015
August 06, 2015

MSC upholds right to work for civil service employees

In UAW v. Green, No. 147700, the Michigan Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of 2012 PA 349, the portion of Michigan’s controversial Right to Work laws which prohibits a public employer from requiring its employees to join a union or pay union dues, fees, or other expenses as a condition of obtaining or continuing public employment.  In a 4-3 decision, The Court held that the Civil Service Commission’s power to regulate the conditions of employment through collective bargaining agreements did not encompass the specific authority to tax or to appropriate funds.  Consequently, the Commission could not authorize governmental units to impose mandatory agency-shop fees on civil servants.  Justices Kelly, McCormack, and Bernstein dissented.

Aug 2015
August 06, 2015

MSC: The prosecution has an affirmative duty to correct false testimony

In People v. Smith, No. 148305, the Michigan Supreme Court granted defendant’s application for leave to appeal on whether a prosecutor’s failure to correct false testimony violated the defendant’s due-process rights and a delay of trial for 41 months violated the defendant’s speedy-trial right. The Court held that the defendant was entitled to a new trial because the prosecutor had an affirmative duty to correct false testimony in seeking a conviction, but concluded that the defendant did not show sufficient prejudice to merit dismissal for a violation of his right to a speedy trial.

Aug 2015
August 03, 2015

COA: A person appointed to a receivership cannot be held personally liable for attorney fees

In Howard & Howard Attorneys v. Jabbour, No. 320291, the Court of Appeals held that a person appointed to a receivership cannot be held personally liable for attorney fees, reasoning that an agent who contracts with a third party on behalf of a disclosed principal is generally not liable to the third party in the absence of the agent’s express agreement to be held liable. In addition, the order of appointment explicitly and unambiguously stated that all legal services were being performed pursuant to defendant’s appointment by the trial court as receiver.

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