Daily Briefs

Attorney Anita Fox named director of DIFS

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has appointed Fraser Trebilcock attorney Anita G. Fox as director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS). Fox, a Kalamazoo College and University of Michigan Law School graduate, began her career with the Washington D.C. law firm of Steptoe & Johnson. She relocated to Michigan after marrying Mark Fox in 1992 and joined Fraser Trebilcock in 2003.

DIFS oversees and administers a number of public acts and regulates a variety of individual licensees and entities including for example Blue Cross Blue Shield, a number of HMOs, banks, domestic insurance companies, credit unions, foreign insurance companies, individual insurance agents, insurance agencies, and other consumer finance-related entities. Furthermore, it is DIFS' responsibility to sustain an active relationship with Michigan consumers and their interaction with the financial services industry.

For more than three decades, Fox has managed complex litigation in federal and state courts in Michigan and nationwide, with cases from coast-to-coast and in more than 20 states. Fox is a recognized authority in insurance coverage matters. She advised and represented insurance companies in a wide variety of coverage disputes.


Court plays a sad tune for instrument store

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (AP) — A legal dispute over school band instruments has ended with a sour note for a western Michigan company.

West Michigan Band Instruments claims its rights were violated when the Coopersville district excluded it from a 2017 event where students and parents could choose instruments. But a federal appeals court rejected the argument Wednesday and said the district was free to name its own tune.

West Michigan Band sells and rents instruments to students in the region. The Coopersville district selected a competitor, Meyer Music, to be the exclusive vendor at band night.

Coopersville told the appeals court that too many vendors would be distracting for families when they're trying to get information about school band opportunities.


Man sentenced to life in barbershop shooting

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit man convicted of murder and other charges in a 2017 shooting at a Lansing barbershop that left one man dead has been sentenced to life in prison.

The Lansing State Journal reports 24-year-old Shawn Pickens was given the mandatory no-parole sentence Wednesday after a jury in December found him guilty of charges including first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder and carrying a concealed weapon.

Police say 29-year-old Dominique Laurenz Simmons of Lansing died in the Feb. 11, 2017 shooting at the Kutt II barbershop. Pickens fired several shots into the barbershop that was filled with men, women and children. Simmons returned fire and hit Pickens in the abdomen.

Authorities say Pickens also shot and wounded a 17-year-old boy who was in the barbershop.


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