During this Survey period, the U.S. Supreme Court, Michigan Supreme Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals decided cases that will have a significant impact on Michigan criminal procedure jurisprudence. The decisions run the gamut from the scope of a search of an automobile following a lawful arrest; application of the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule; post-arrest, post-Miranda interrogation issues; joinder of offenses; right-to-counsel claims; as well as several significant sentencing decisions.
Very few of the reported opinions issued by the Michigan Court of Appeals or the Michigan Supreme Court in the 2009-2010 Survey period pertaining to local, county or state government operations and policies resulted in major changes in the law. Most of the reported opinions had direct application to only specific fact situations. Except for the demise of the trespass-nuisance exception to government immunity, there were no landmark shifts in any particular topic area. The weak State of Michigan economy, which has persisted for years, may have had an impact on the number of cases filed and the number of claims eventually reaching the appellate courts. This trend may continue as local, county and state governments struggle for revenues for basic services, and the private sector has fewer resources to engage with government at all levels.
“Timing is everything” is true in many things in life, not the least of which (as lest in Michigan) is compliance with the timing requirements related to medical malpractice litigation. In Bush v. Shabahang, the Michigan Supreme Court considered (1) whether a defective notice of intent tolled the running of the statute of limitations; (2) whether dismissal was an appropriate action if the notice of intent (NOI) was defective; and (3) whether, and under what circumstances, a plaintiff can file a complaint during the authorized 154-day waiting period when defendants fail to respond, rather than waiting for the running of the entire 182-day NOI period. The court held that, following amendments to the statute, a defective NOI is sufficient to toll the statute of limitations, so long as a plaintiff makes a “good faith effort” to comply with the notice requirements. Further, the court held that permitting amendments to defective notices, rather than dismissing the case, best served public policy. Finally, the court held that where a defendant fails to make a good faith effort to reply to the NOI, the complaint may be filed in the shorter 154-day period.
Most Michigan Court of Appeals decisions regarding insurance law continue to be unpublished and therefore, do not constitute binding precedent. As such, unpublished opinions are excluded from this review. A number of the Michigan Court of Appeals cases decided issues of first impression. Further, the changing makeup of the Michigan Supreme Court has apparently played a role in case outcomes, as a case was reversed on rehearing shortly after Justice Hathaway replaced former Chief Justice Taylor.
The law of professional responsibility is dynamic and ever-changing. As ethical norms and societal views of lawyers evolve, so, too, does the field of professional responsibility. The law of professional responsibility is also expansive. On the most basic level, this field concerns the practice of law itself, attempting to set meaningful standards to govern the conduct and ethics of lawyers and judges in our legal system. At the same time, the law of professional responsibility encompasses the myriad complexities of the attorney-client relationship, including matters such as legal malpractice, ineffective assistance of counsel, attorneys’ litigation to recover unpaid legal fees, conflicts of interest, the attorney-client privilege and the work-product doctrine.
The Wayne Law Review is Wayne Law’s primary scholarly journal. The Review is published four times each year and contains articles, book reviews, transcripts, notes, and comments by prominent academics, practitioners, and students on timely legal topics. Law students both fully operate the Review and are responsible for its content. Junior and senior Review members produce the publication under the direction of a senior administrative board. A faculty advisor oversees the general operation.
Review members receive two credits for each year of membership. To receive credit, students must work on the Law Review for at least one full year, but returning for a second year is strongly encouraged.
During their first year on the Review, members are required to write a publishable Note and complete weekly source-checking assignments. Students should expect to spend between 10 to 15 hours per week on the source-checking work. All student-written Notes are considered for publication in Review.