Duly Noted . . .

Nominations open for new 3 in 10 Awards

The Grand Rapids Bar Association is accepting nominations for the inaugural 3 in 10 Awards, which will recognize lawyers in practice for less than 10 years in three categories: Outstanding professional achievement; Exceptional public service or pro-bono work; and significant contributions to the bar or legal profession. Nominations for the awards, which are sponsored by the GRBA’s First Year Committee, are due April 1, 2016. They will be presented during the 2016 GRBA Annual Meeting May 19. Nominations should be sent to Tom Sinas, tomsinas@sinasdramis.com


Michigan Civil Rights Commission comments on Flint Task Force report


Following is the statement of Arthur Horwitz, Co-chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission (MCRC), in response to the final report of the Flint Water Advisory Task Force released on Wednesday, March 23:

“Today, in issuing its final report, the Flint Water Advisory Task Force stated unequivocally that environmental injustice and the lack of any meaningful involvement for citizens in government decisions played a significant role in what happened in Flint,” said Michigan Civil Rights Commission Co-chair Arthur Horwitz. “The Commission’s upcoming hearings in Flint will further explore these, and additional issues, with the intent of securing insights and contributing recommendations that assure the civil rights of Flint residents – and those in any Michigan community – are recognized and protected.”

Under the state constitution, it is the duty of the MCRC to investigate alleged discrimination against any person because of religion, race, color or national origin in the enjoyment of the civil rights guaranteed by law and to secure the equal protection of such civil rights without discrimination. Provisions in the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and related acts expanded protections based on age, sex, height, weight, familial status, marital status or disability. 

In January, the MCRC unanimously passed a resolution to conduct hearings into alleged discrimination involving Flint residents. The resolution states that at the hearings, the Commission will “…accept and/or compel testimony to address the question of whether the civil rights of Flint residents have been violated or abridged because of actions resulting in the provision of unsafe water to Flint residents through the public water system.”

The first Flint hearing is scheduled for April 28, with the exact time and location to be announced by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights in the coming weeks.

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