Sixth Circuit Holds that Police Must Protect Free Expression of Unpopular Views

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 v. City of Chicago (S.Ct. 1949).  When a speaker passes the bounds of mere argument […]

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In the Wake of Two Recent Rulings, Attorneys Offer Advice to Law Enforcement on Avoiding Liability

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 States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that resulted in rulings against law enforcement […]

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Litigation: How to be Better Prepared

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 will still have expended resources that the law generally affords no avenue to recover. The […]

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Officer and Public Safety Justify Force Against Recklessly Fleeing Motorists

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) that officers can apply potentially deadly force to stop a fleeing suspect if the officer has […]

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Insureds and Insurers Must Carefully Read their Insurance Policies

In two seminal opinions, Wilkie v Auto-Owners Ins. Co. and Rory v Continental Ins. Co., the Michigan Supreme Court emphatically confirmed that insurance contracts are to be enforced by the courts “as written.”  The parties to an insurance contract remain free to waive or modify the terms of the contract by mutual consent, but one party cannot demand enforcement of an insurance contract, contrary to the mutually agreed terms, based upon that party’s unilateral belief […]

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