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A Better Partnership

August 2016

Aug 2016
August 29, 2016

COA holds that Judge Peter D. O’Connell is not the incumbent for the office held by Judge Michael Gadola

In O’Connell v. Director of Elections, No. 334365, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that Court of Appeals Judge Peter D. O’Connell is not the incumbent for the office currently held by Judge Michael Gadola.  The Court found that the incumbency status is reserved for the judge running for reelection to a term consecutive to his or her own term, and that sole incumbent in this case is Judge Gadola.

Aug 2016
August 20, 2016

COA: Prosecution may not inform a defense witness of the possibility of prosecution for perjury

The Michigan Court of Appeals, in People v. Lopez, No. 327208, found that defendant Lopez’s constitutional rights were violated where the prosecutor threatened defendant’s key witness that deviating from prior testimony would result in prosecution for perjury and life imprisonment. Dennis Hoskins was the key witness in Lopez’s trial for shooting and killing Terry Johnson.  Hoskins agreed to provide evidence tying Lopez to Johnson’s murder.  Nonetheless, a week before trial, Hoskins invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege and stated that he was no longer willing to testify.  The prosecutor then filed a motion to declare Hoskins “unavailable” as a witness and to admit his preliminary examination testimony pursuant to MRE 804(b)(1).  

Aug 2016
August 19, 2016

COA on the MMMA: If it has roots, it’s a plant

In People v. Ventura, No. 327289, the Michigan Court of Appeals interpreted for the first time what a “plant” means for purposes of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA). Defendant was charged with possession of marijuana. The MMMA allowed Defendant to possess 24 marijuana plants, but police found 21 mature marijuana plants and 22 “clone plants” in his possession.  Clone plants are a piece of a mature plant that people use to grow a new plan.  Defendant argued that the clone plants were only leaves of a plant and had not developed into independent plans themselves. Whether these 22 clone plants constituted plants determined whether he violated the 24-plant limit under the MMMA; the Michigan Court of Appeals held that the clone plants are, in fact, plants and upheld his conviction.

Aug 2016
August 18, 2016

COA: More evidence is required to determine whether complaint's allegations sound in medical malpractice or ordinary negligence

In Trowell v. Providence Hospital and Medical Centers, Inc., No. 327525, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed summary disposition to allow further factual development to ascertain whether plaintiff’s claims sounded in medical malpractice or ordinary negligence.

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