Daily Briefs . . .

 Michigan joins Texas-led immigration lawsuit 

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Four more states have joined a Texas-led coalition suing the Obama administration over executive action on immigration.

The addition of Arkansas, Michigan, North Dakota and Oklahoma brings to 24 the number of states fighting the order in a federal district court in Brownsville.
 
Announced last month, the president’s unilateral move is designed to spare millions of people living illegally in the United States from deportation. But the lawsuit accuses the White House of “trampling” the U.S. Constitution.

Outgoing Attorney General Greg Abbott says Texas is uniquely qualified to sue because its sprawling border with Mexico means it will be especially harmed.

Abbott, the governor-elect of Texas, added Wednesday that the presidential decree “circumvents the will of the American people.”
 

Man convicted at 2nd trial in slaying of girl 

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit man charged in the abduction and slaying of his girlfriend’s 5-year-old niece has been convicted following a second trial.
 
The Wayne County prosecutor’s office says jurors on Wednesday found 23-year-old Darnell Cheatham guilty of second-degree murder, arson, torture and other crimes in the July 2011 death of Mariah Smith. He faces up to life in prison when sentenced Jan. 6.

Authorities have said Mariah was taken from her east side home, raped and strangled. Her body was set afire on a mattress in a vacant house about a mile from her home.
A judge declared a mistrial in late July 2014 after a jury deadlocked during deliberations.

Defense lawyer Kareem Johnson tells The Associated Press that he was “really disgusted” by the jury’s verdict. He says witnesses that testified at the first trial offered different recollections during the second trial, but those discrepancies weren’t considered.

Johnson says an appeal is planned.
 

2015 Minority Bar  Passage Program Jan. 7

The 2015 Minority Bar Passage Program (MBPP) is designed to improve bar passage rates of needy law school graduates sitting for the Michigan Bar Exam. Statistics reveal that many law school graduates underestimate the importance of the essay portion on the bar exam. Through weekly examinations, a mock bar examination, and group and one-on-one sessions and lectures by local attorneys, BPP provides assistance in the areas of: (1) Essay Writing Skills/Strategy; (2) Test Taking Skills/Strategy; (3) Time Management; and (4) Stress Management. MBPP does not review substantive law. Accordingly, BPP should be taken in conjunction with a traditional bar review course. Program dates are Wednesday, Jan. 7 thru Wednesday, Feb. 4 at the University of Detroit Law School in downtown Detroit. The cost is $75 (Non-Refundable) for all law school graduates. Make checks payable to D. Augustus Straker Bar Association. Registration is due by Jan. 7. Chairpersons are Vassal Johnson at vjohnsonlaw@yahoo.com and Stanley L. de Jongh at degonghlawfirm@yahoo.com.