What Teachers Can Do To Reduce Suspensions

What can teachers do to improve discipline?School has started here in Michigan, and teachers are facing a whole new set of students, problems, and disciplinary challenges. But is there anything teachers can do to cut down on the number of suspensions handed out by their district? (more…)

Chores Don’t Count as Forced Labor, Court Says

Can chores result in forced labor charges?Your children may act like cleaning their room or washing the dishes is tantamount to slavery, but the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Michigan) has said that household chores don’t count as forced labor, even if they are enforced with physical abuse. (more…)

Could Michael Brown’s Story Change Police in America?

What could change after the Michael Brown protests?

Image Source: http://spcr.org

For the residents of Ferguson, Missouri, this has been a week of protests, riots, and violence. Outrage over the death of 18 year old Michael Brown has caused nightly clashes with police. The President and the Department of Justice have even gotten involved. But when the tear gas settles, will anything actually change? (more…)

Why a Lawyer is Important at Sentencing

A good criminal lawyer can be the difference at sentencing between probation and prisonLots of people think they know what happens in a criminal case. They’ve watched enough Law & Order to know that the verdict is the final word, right? Wrong. The Michigan sentencing guidelines – which apply in every felony case – leave the final decision on whether you go to jail or prison in the hands of the judge, not the jury.

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Will My Kids Have to Testify in Court?

Do kids have to testify in court?There are lots of reasons kids get involved in court. When mom or dad come in for consultations, one question is often “will my kids have to testify?” The answer depends on the type of case, and the child’s role. (more…)

Michigan to Create Meth Users Registry

New law will prevent meth users and children from buying pseudoephedrineDrug use, especially meth, carries with it a stigma that can cause addicts to lose jobs, homes, and family support. But imagine if after serving your sentence and getting clean and sober, the cashier at the pharmacist could still label you as a user and refuse to serve you. That’s exactly what a new law passed by the Michigan legislature will do starting in 2015. (more…)

Michigan’s Top Court Denies Parole Hearings to Juvenile Lifers

Michigan Supreme Court Denies Parole to Juvenile LifersEver since the Supreme Court decided Miller v. Alabama in 2012, juvenile rights advocates have been fighting to get Michigan to protect juveniles’ rights to parole. But a recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling has made it clear that any relief will have to come from the federal courts. (more…)

Supreme Court: To Search a Cell Phone, Get a Warrant

Supreme Court Tells Police to Get a Warrant to Search Cell PhonesWhat’s the difference between a cell phone and a purse? A recent U.S. Supreme Court says a whole lot. In a decision that experts are heralding as huge step in digital privacy, the court gave clear instructions to police: to search a cell phone, get a warrant. (more…)

MI Supreme Court Undercuts Right to Attorney

Right to Attorney doesn't include the right to know one showed up.You are sitting in jail, being questioned by police. You assert your right to an attorney so they put you in a cell. After sitting there over night you decide to talk and ask for an attorney again. Your lawyer shows up, but is told to wait in the lobby while the police have you sign a Miranda waiver and make a confession. Is there a problem? (more…)

Supreme Court Says Chemical Assault Isn’t a Federal Case

Federal Ban on Chemical Weapons Doesn't Apply to Domestic AssaultsIn 2006, Carol Bond made a bad decision. She used a chemical designed for developing photographs to literally burn her husband’s lover. She spread the chemical on door knobs, car door handles, and mail boxes to make the lover develop a rash. There is no question that what she did was illegal, but did it violate a federal ban on chemical weapons? (more…)