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A Better Partnership

February 2017

Feb 2017
February 16, 2017

COA holds that a question of fact prevents summary disposition on a PIP claim based on an insurer's fraud exclusion

In Tyann Shelton v Auto-Owners Insurance Company, No 328473, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's decision in holding an exclusionary provision that defendant's no-fault policy does not bar plaintiff's personal injury protection (PIP) claim. The defendant sought summary disposition based upon a fraud exclusion clause in its policy, asserting that plaintiff made fraudulent statements concerning her need for replacement services and so was excluded by the policy from all PIP benefits. The trial court granted summary disposition as to replacement services and denied the motion as to payment for medical services and from that ruling, defendant appeals by leave granted.

Feb 2017
February 14, 2017

MSC grants MOAA on whether trial courts must read jury instructions aloud

In People v. Traver, No. 154494, the Michigan Supreme Court granted mini-oral argument to consider whether a trial court must read aloud jury instructions concerning the elements of charged offenses. The Court will also hear argument on several other related questions, including the proper jury instruction for a felony-firearm charge, whether a defendant waives any claims regarding improper jury instruction when the defendant’s attorney expresses satisfaction with the instructions at trial, and whether the Court of Appeals was correct to order a Ginther hearing in this circumstance.

Feb 2017
February 14, 2017

COA: Criminal sentencing guidelines are always advisory

Regardless of whether a criminal case involves judicial fact-finding, sentencing guidelines are always advisory, said the Court of Appeals in People v. Rice, No. 329502. Interpreting the Michigan Supreme Court’s opinion in People v. Lockridge, the Court held that a judge may always reduce a sentence beyond the lower limit of the sentencing guidelines.

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