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A Better Partnership

January 2016

Jan 2016
January 13, 2016

COA takes a look at the reliability of eyewitness identification

The Michigan Court of Appeals refused to adopt a new jury instruction on the reliability of eyewitness identification testimony in People v. Blevins, No. 315774.  A brief confrontation between two groups of young men in downtown Detroit turned deadly when one man, King, fired multiple shots from a gun.  King was charged with, among other things, first-degree premeditated murder.  The charges against defendant were based on evidence that he initially displayed the gun and then handed it to King.  The defense’s theory was that although defendant was present, he was not the man who handed the gun to King.  However, friends of the victims who were there that night identified defendant as that man.  Defendant was ultimately convicted.

Jan 2016
January 11, 2016

COA - “Components of a pension” do not include choice in form of payment

“Components of a pension” pursuant to MCL 552.101(5) include separate benefits associated with a pension plan, but do not include the form of payment, the Court of Appeals ruled in Hudson v. Hudson, No. 322257.  In addition, the Court held that when a judgment of divorce does not specify the terms for the distribution of a pension plan, a subsequent election for the form of payment is not contrary to the judgment of divorce.

Jan 2016
January 11, 2016

COA – Union’s repeated inclusion of prohibited provisions in contract proposal constituted bad faith

A teacher’s union bargained in bad faith when it continually insisted on including language in a collective bargaining agreement that was prohibited by state law and which the school system said it would not consider, according to the Court of Appeals in Calhoun Intermediate Education Association v. Calhoun Intermediate School District, No. 323873.  Calhoun Intermediate Education Association (“Association”) represents a bargaining unit of teachers and other professionals employed by Calhoun Intermediate School District (“District”).  The collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) between the two expired on June 30, 2011, and both parties began negotiations for a successor CBA.  While both parties were negotiating, Act 103 (“Act”) amended Section 15(3) of the Public Employment Relations Act and made certain matters prohibited subjects of bargaining for the public school employers and the unions representing school employees.  The Act also states that those prohibited subjects “are within the sole authority of the public school employer to decide.”  The Association and the District agreed that the amended sections of the Act affected the enforceability of the disputed provisions of the expired CBA.

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