Daily Briefs . . .

Judge defends himself after top court removes him from case

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A Jackson County judge says a decision by the Michigan Supreme Court to throw out a murder conviction will have a “chilling effect” on judges statewide.

The Supreme Court this week said Judge John McBain’s aggressive questioning of witnesses was unfair to the defendant, Adam Stevens, and spoiled the 2012 trial.

Stevens’ second-degree murder conviction in the death of his son was thrown out, and he will get a new trial with a different judge. The Supreme Court unanimously said McBain “pierced the veil of judicial impartiality.”

But McBain tells the Jackson Citizen Patriot  that he asked “tough questions” that “weren’t fully developed” by the prosecutor or defense. He admits they probably hurt Stevens’ defense but says they weren’t improper.


Gay marriage fight could cost taxpayers nearly $2 million

DETROIT (AP) — Lawyers who won a historic legal battle to strike down Michigan’s ban on gay marriage are seeking nearly $2 million from the state.

Under federal law, there seems to be no dispute that lawyers for April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are entitled to payment from taxpayers. Attorney General Bill Schuette vigorously opposed their challenge to Michigan’s 2004 ban on gay marriage, which was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

It’s up to Detroit federal Judge Bernard Friedman to determine what’s reasonable for the legal team. Schuette will have an opportunity to respond.

In a court filing Saturday, attorneys for the Detroit-area nurses say the case was “novel, complex and difficult.” It lasted three years and included a trial in Detroit.

The main lawyers were Carole Stanyar, Dana Nessel, Ken Mogill and Mary Bonauto.


Kruse named as one  of the 2015 Women in Law honorees

Michigan Lawyers Weekly recently announced that Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C. partner and board member Sara Kruse has been named one of only 30 “Women in the Law” honorees for 2015.

Kruse is the co-founder and co-chair of Jaffe’s Emerging and Growth Business Practice Group and also serves as an active member of the Firm’s Corporate Practice Group. 
Kruse received her bachelor’s degree cum laude from the University of Michigan, and is a magna cum laude and order of the coif graduate of Wayne State University Law School.


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