Daily Briefs, April 21

Dykema attorney named recipient of MDTC’s Golden Gavel
Brittany M. Schultz, a member in Dykema Gossett’s Litigation Department and Automotive Industry Group, has been selected as the 2011 recipient of the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel’s (MDTC) seventh annual Young Lawyers Section Golden Gavel award. Schultz will be presented the award at MDTC’s Awards Banquet in Mt. Pleasant on May 20.
MDTC is the state’s premier organization of civil litigators. The Golden Gavel is bestowed by the organization’s Young Lawyers Section to a defense attorney who has practiced for fewer than 10 years.
“MDTC’s Golden Gavel is an outstanding recognition because it honors the most admirable qualities of our profession,” said James P. Feeney, a trial attorney and member in Dykema’s Litigation Department and Automotive Industry Group. Feeney, who will be on hand at MDTC’s Awards Banquet to present Schultz with her award, describes her as, “a leader in the next generation of great trial attorneys.”
Schultz focuses her practice on products liability litigation, with an emphasis on defending automotive suppliers and manufacturers. An experienced trial attorney, she recently served as a member of the defense team in Weinstein v. UGS Corp., wherein she helped successfully defend UGS, Corp. in a multi-million dollar wrongful death action.

Judge Rosen rules creche ban on busy road is a safety issue

WARREN, Mich. (AP) — A judge says Macomb County has done nothing illegal by banning a Nativity scene on a median on a busy road in Warren.
The county says it would be a hazard on Mound Road, just north of Chicago Road. John Satawa's display is 9 feet high, 8 feet wide and 8 feet deep. He accused the county of violating his free-speech rights as well as other constitutional guarantees.
But in a 48-page decision Tuesday, federal Judge Gerald Rosen said Macomb County has legitimate concerns about safety. He visited the site. Rosen notes that a nearby church and nearly a dozen businesses have offered to host the Nativity scene.
Satawa apparently had set up the display for decades before someone complained in 2008.

Gov. Snyder signs ‘I’m sorry’ bill for doctors

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation aimed at providing some legal protection to medical providers who express sympathy or compassion to patients or their families.
Snyder approved a bill that says a statement conveying sympathy related to pain, suffering or death can’t be used as evidence of admitting liability in a medical malpractice suit.
Many other states have enacted the so-called “I’m sorry” laws. Supporters say the laws allow and encourage better dialogue between doctors and patients, including difficulties related to diagnosis.