Law Enforcement Defense and Litigation

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The Law Enforcement Group is comprised of seasoned and accomplished litigators, complemented by young and innovative legal minds, who represent a broad spectrum of law enforcement agencies and officials. The Group consistently exceeds their clients’ expectations – a product of their commitment to developing cost-effective and result-oriented solutions, their dedication to providing efficient and high quality representation, and their willingness to go the extra mile.

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  • Law Enforcement Body-Worn Camera Privacy Act Jeffrey R. Clark
    On July 13, 2017 Michigan Gov. Rick Synder signed into law Public Act 85 of 2017. The Act, which has been labeled as the “Law Enforcement Body-Worn Camera Privacy Act,” pertains to recordings created by law enforcement officers wearing a video recording device during their police activities. Although it is estimated that less than 10% ...
  • Sixth Circuit Reinforces the Importance of Protecting the Identities of Confidential Informants Matt Cross
    In Nelson v. City of Madison Heights, et al., while conducting a narcotics investigation at a motel police walked by the room of Shelly Hilliard (“Hilliard”) and spotted a bag of marijuana through the window. After obtaining her consent to enter the room, police found the bag of marijuana. In order to avoid arrest, Hilliard ...
  • Grant Obtains a No Cause of Action Verdict in Federal Court CMDA Law
    Greg Grant of the Traverse City office recently obtained a no cause of action verdict in an excessive force trial in federal court.  Mr. Grant represented four corrections officers whom the plaintiff alleged used excessive force against him while he was inmate in a Michigan county jail.  Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that he was maced ...
  • Sixth Circuit Holds that Police Must Protect Free Expression of Unpopular Views Douglas Curlew
    The “freedom of speech” protected by the First Amendment encompasses both actual speech and expressive conduct.  R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, Minn. (S.Ct. 1992).  Embodied within the concept of “free speech” is recognition that advocates of unpopular views must be protected, even though their speech may provoke anger in persons who hear it.  Terminiello ...
  • Attorneys give Presentation to Police Chiefs on Garrity Protection CMDA Law
    Elizabeth Rae-O’Donnell and Sue Bartos, both attorneys in our Livonia office, recently gave a presentation to police chiefs on Garrity Protection.  The Garrity principle is an important tool to provide officers the necessary protection while still enabling departments to conduct thorough and complete internal investigations. In Garrity v. New Jersey, the Supreme Court held that officers ...
  • Attorneys Present on Bullard-Plawecki Employee Right to Know Act Andrew J. Brege
    Attorneys Haider Kazim and Andy Brege were at Bay College in Escanaba earlier this week giving a training presentation to MMRMA members. The training addressed the maintenance and disclosure of personnel files under the Bullard-Plawecki Employee Right to Know Act and highlighted the United States Supreme Court decisions of Brady v Maryland and Giglio v United ...
  • In the Wake of Two Recent Rulings, Attorneys Offer Advice to Law Enforcement on Avoiding Liability James R. Acho
    Jim Acho, Doug Curlew and Jennifer Richards, all attorneys in our Livonia office, co-wrote an article highlighting two recent cases that impact law enforcement agencies. The article was published in the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police’s publication Michigan Police Chiefs. The article, “Unfavorable Outcome Affects Law Enforcement” summarizes two recent cases from the United ...
  • Attorneys Presenting on Drones at Upcoming MACP Conference Christopher G. Schultz
    Attorneys Karen Daley and Ethan Vinson will be presenting “Drones: Can We Control the Invasion?” at the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP) 2016 Winter Professional Development Conference in Grand Rapids on February 4, 2016. If you are attending the Conference, please consider attending their presentation and also stop by and visit several attorneys from ...
  • Can State and Local Governments Regulate the Use of Drones? Karen M. Daley
    Drones – also referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) – are essentially aircraft without a human pilot aboard. Regardless of what they are called, one thing is clear: drones are here to stay and will increasingly be used for nonmilitary, domestic applications. The Federal ...
  • 2015 Year in Review: Monumental Milestone Recognized, Skilled Attorneys Hired, and Remarkable Anniversaries Celebrated Christopher G. Schultz
    As a new year is upon us, we reflect back on 2015 and the successful year we had at CMDA. We recognized a monumental milestone, hired several attorneys, and celebrated some remarkable anniversaries. CMDA was honored to have celebrated our 50th Anniversary in 2015. This monumental anniversary would not have been possible without Owen Cummings, the ...
  • Michigan Legislation Update: Recently Enacted Michigan Laws Karen M. Daley
    Governor Rick Snyder recently signed several bills into law affecting local municipalities. The bills are aimed at clarifying the operations of local municipalities and should make it easier for counties, cities, townships, and villages to file documents and save money at the local government level. E-Signatures Accepted at Register of Deeds Generally, an instrument conveying real property ...
  • Attorney Joins Livonia Office Christopher G. Schultz
    We are pleased to announce that Jennifer A. Richards has joined our Firm as an attorney in our Livonia office. She focuses her practice on municipal law, insurance defense, law enforcement defense, and litigation and appeals. Ms. Richards writes briefs for submission to all levels of state and federal courts, arguing cases in all levels of ...
  • Litigation: How to be Better Prepared Douglas Curlew
    Under the American legal system, there is no realm of human activity that fails to spawn litigation. The financial cost of a potential judgment is easily recognized. Less understood is the cost of time, energy, and resources (financial and human) of the litigation process itself. Even the defendant who avoids judgment by “winning” his case ...
  • Your Attorney Needs You Gregory R. Grant
    Communication with your attorney is the key to a successful litigation outcome. The following are some tips to follow that will help your attorney to be a more effective advocate on your behalf. These tips will not only save you time and money, but will also certainly result in a more positive outcome for you ...
  • Court Rules Mental Health Commitment Constitutional – Case Dismissed CMDA Law
    Attorney Kali Lester recently received a dismissal in Federal Court where the plaintiff alleged a local police department had an unconstitutional policy for mental health commitments. The policy permits officers to rely on statements from witnesses to evaluate an individual’s mental condition. The plaintiff argued that Michigan’s Mental Health Code requires officers to personally observe ...
  • #Socialmedia #Police CMDA Law
    Whether you use it or not, we all know the impact that social media has had on today’s society. What you may not know is how police have been using social media to perform their job. Police departments across the country have been turning to social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, to improve their ...
  • Officer and Public Safety Justify Force Against Recklessly Fleeing Motorists Douglas Curlew
    Recent decisions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals have clarified the law regarding the force police officers may use to stop a person attempting to flee from police by driving away in a motor vehicle. The Supreme Court had previously established in Tennessee v. Garner (1985) ...
  • Bill Would Allow Strip Searches for Misdemeanor Crimes CMDA Law
    In a 2012 decision, the Supreme Court evaluated the constitutionality of jail policies that required all inmates, including inmates suspected of minor offenses, to undergo routine strip searches prior to their admission to the general inmate population. Several organizations comprised of jail officials, among others, submitted amicus curiae briefs in which they outlined the risks that ...
  • Supreme Court Decides on Fourth Amendment Cases Allan C. Vander Laan
    The search-and-seizure provisions of the Fourth Amendment are all about privacy. To honor this freedom, the Fourth Amendment protects against “unreasonable” searches and seizures by state or federal law enforcement authorities. However, law enforcement may override your privacy concerns and conduct a search of you, your home, office, personal or business documents, bank account records, ...
  • Firearms: Open Carry is Legal in Michigan Linda Davis Friedland
    Firearms:  Open Carry is Legal in Michigan  Earlier this year Nicholas Looman walked into Aderdeen Elementary School in Grand Rapids, Michigan to vote wearing his holstered pistol on his hip.  The school officials contacted the police, and Mr. Looman was arrested for bringing a firearm into a school.  Later, William Forsythe, the Kent County Prosecutor, issued ...

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“The Law Office of Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho has been an invaluable resource for the Southfield Police Department. Their dedication to serving the law enforcement community is exemplary.”
-Chief Eric Hawkins, City of Southfield

“The lawyers of Law Office of Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho continue to provide leadership, expert guidance and assurance through the legal process.”
-Sergeant Bassett and Sergeant Schutz, City of Southfield