Daily Briefs

App launched in Michigan to alert people exposed to virus

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state health department and Michigan State University on Thursday launched a voluntary smartphone app to notify people if they have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus, a step toward potentially taking the technology statewide.

MI COVID Alert, which is available for download, is starting as pilot in the Lansing area. A person testing positive for the virus is given a PIN by contact tracers that allows them to share their result anonymously on the app, which uses cellphone location information and Bluetooth technology.

Other app users who possibly were within 6 feet (1.8 meters) of the infected person for at least 15 minutes are notified and urged to monitor for symptoms, be tested and self-isolate. They are not told who tested positive.

States such as New York, North Carolina, New Jersey, Virginia, Arizona, Alabama and Rhode Island have launched similar apps.

Robert Gordon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said the technology is an additional way to contain COVID-19 besides traditional tracing efforts, masking and social distancing. He said everyone in Ingham County — including at MSU — should download the app and turn it on, but people in the rest of the state are free to as well.


Kitch attorney named a ‘Fellow’ of College of Trial Lawyers

Kitch attorney Richard J. Suhrheinrich has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America.

The induction ceremony at which Richard Suhrheinrich became a Fellow took place online before an audience of 670 Fellows at the 2020 Annual Meeting and 70th Anniversary Celebration of the College.

Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers of diverse backgrounds, who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of 15 years trial experience before they can be considered for Fellowship.

Membership in the College cannot exceed 1percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province. There are currently approximately 5,800 members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, including active Fellows, Emeritus Fellows, Judicial Fellows (those who ascended to the bench after their induction) and Honorary Fellows.

Suhrheinrich, who earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Vanderbilt University, obtained his J.D. and M.B.A. from Indiana University School of Law. He has been a member of Kitch’s Lansing office since 1992, focusing his practice on medical malpractice defense litigation. He currently serves as a Hearing Panelist on the Attorney Discipline Board and is a past chairperson of the Professional Liability Section of the Michigan Trial Counsel.


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