Daily Briefs

Attorney volunteers needed for Law Day in Wayne County

For the third consecutive year, the Detroit Bar Association and Wayne County Circuit Court are celebrating Law Day with Detroit high school students from over a dozen public, private and charter schools.

The program allows students to interact with judges and attorneys and learn about legal careers. Students will participate in an essay contest, scholarship contest, mock oral arguments before Wayne County Circuit Court judges, and mentoring with the judges and attorney volunteers.

The keynote speaker is Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget M. McCormack.

About 50 attorney volunteers are needed from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. May 10 to assist students with presenting mock oral arguments and participate in lunch discussions about legal careers. Materials and case summaries will be provided to volunteers in advance. Attorney volunteers are also needed to review and score essays submitted through the essay contest prior to Law Day.

To volunteer, contact Bridget Hathaway at bhathaway@bodmanlaw.com or 313-580-9253 or Sarah Gale-Barbantini at sarah.gale-barbantini@meemic.com or 248-276-2933.


Appeals court drops case involving  lawmaker’s resignation

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan appeals court says it’s too late to get involved in the case of a former state lawmaker who resigned his seat after shooting at his ex-wife’s Mercedes-Benz car.

Prosecutors appealed after a Wayne County judge rejected part of the plea deal requiring Virgil Smith to quit the Senate. The appeals court says the Detroit Democrat voluntarily resigned anyway so the appeal is moot.

Smith was released from jail in December after 10 months. He quit the Senate earlier in 2016.

The appeals court says Judge Lawrence Talon abused his authority in not allowing prosecutors to withdraw the plea deal. But in a 3-0 decision Tuesday, the court said reopening the case now would be “fundamentally unfair” because Smith is fulfilling the terms of his sentence.


Michigan Supreme Court kills lawsuit  in icy slip-and-fall

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A traumatic fall in a dark, icy parking lot wasn’t enough to sway the Michigan Supreme Court.

The justices last week reversed a decision by the state appeals court and said the conditions should have been “open and obvious” to Marguerite Ragnoli.

Ragnoli fell outside a medical building in Rochester Hills. She says low lighting prevented her from seeing the ice. She broke her wrist and has had multiple surgeries.

The appeals court said a jury should sort out any liability. But Michigan’s legal threshold can make it hard to take a slip-and-fall lawsuit to trial. The Supreme Court says winter weather and ice elsewhere on the property should have been a warning to the 56-year-old Ragnoli.

Justice Richard Bernstein was the only dissenter.