Daily Briefs (Aug 6)

Casino, nonprofit on Detroit urban ag project
DETROIT (AP) — Urban agriculture is getting a boost in Detroit under a partnership between the MGM Grand Detroit casino and a nonprofit group.

The casino says it will invest $1 million in the Grand Garden over the next five years. Officials recently broke ground on the project and the first harvests from the downtown site are expected to take place this fall.

The site is about two acres and will feature a greenhouse where herbicide- and pesticide-free vegetable, flower and other horticultural crops will be grown. Produce sales to restaurants will help fund operations.

The Grand Garden will be managed by the Greening of Detroit, and eventually will include an herb garden, fruit garden and learning areas for future growers. It’s walking distance from MGM’s casino and hotel.

Ex-prosecutor leads defense lawyers
BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A former prosecutor is the new leader of a Michigan group of defense lawyers.

James Samuels of Big Rapids was recently elected president of Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, a statewide association.

He returned to private law practice in 1996 after 12 years as the elected prosecutor in Mecosta County, north of Grand Rapids.

Samuels says the defense attorneys group offers "cutting edge" training to lawyers. He says challenging evidence that's based on science is critical.

Samuels says Michigan must come up with a way to improve the system of providing lawyers to poor defendants.

35th Circuit Court Criminal Law Update
The 35th Circuit Court is hosting a Criminal Law Update Aug. 9 featuring Professor Ronald Bretz and criminal defense attorney Matthew Abel. Bretz will provide the same yearly Criminal Law update that he provides to Michigan judges. Abel will discuss the Medical Marihuana Act. The 35th Circuit Court is hosting the event, which is free to Shiawassee County Bar Association Members. The 35th Circuit Court is requesting a $25 donation to the Shiawassee County Bar Association for non-members who wish to attend. The seminar will be hosted at the 35th Circuit Court in Corunna, Mich., from 9 a.m. until noon. Register by sending name, address, telephone number and check made out to the Shiawassee County Bar Association to Christina K. Lichty, 208 N. Shiawassee St., Corunna, 48817.

Basic training session on acting as a guardian
The Probate Court and Citizens Alliance announce the upcoming training session. On Wednesday, Aug. 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., attorney Thomas B. Fraser will provide practical information on acting as a guardian (for adults). The seminar will be held in courtroom W3, located in the west wing extension of the Oakland County courthouse at 1200 N. Telegraph Road in Pontiac. Additional information may be obtained at www.oakgov.com/probate/program_service/ or by contacting the Probate Court at (248) 858-5603.