2015 Year in Review: Monumental Milestone Recognized, Skilled Attorneys Hired, and Remarkable Anniversaries Celebrated

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 founder of the Firm.  Mr. Cummings had a vision of developing a Firm whose […]

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Public Act 131: E-Signatures Accepted at Register of Deeds

Michigan 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.   Karen Daley, an attorney in our Livonia office and head of the Firm’s appellate law practice group, explains Public Act 131 of 2015. […]

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Should Michigan Employers “Ban the Box” and Remove the Criminal Conviction Question from Applications?

On November 2, 2015, President Barack Obama announced a new executive order to “Ban the Box,” which is a check off on federal job applications that requires job applicants to disclose their criminal conviction history on the face of the application. This initial disclosure often causes employers to eliminate applicants before ever considering their qualifications. Background investigations will still occur, but at the federal level, agencies will delay inquiries into […]

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Attorney Joins Livonia Office

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 state and federal courts of appeals, and performing research for all areas of law […]

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Attorneys Win Case for Local Municipality: Plaintiff Sought $1,020,000 in Damages, Awarded $0

In a case recently won by Linda Davis Friedland and Elizabeth Rae O’Donnell, a firefighter sued a local municipality, five former and current Trustees, and the Fire Chief, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA).  Plaintiff sought $1,020,000.00 in damages and was awarded nothing. Plaintiff, who is of Asian descent and a part-time firefighter with the municipality’s fire department, submitted […]

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EEOC Bans Discrimination against Sexual Orientation in the Workplace

On July 16, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that all job discrimination based on sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This historic 3-2 decision does what Congress and most courts so far have refused to do: ban discrimination against gays in the workplace. Until now, only a handful of states and municipalities have done […]

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Gov. Snyder Signs Law to Bar Municipal Wage, Employment Rules

On June 30, 2015, Governor Rick Snyder signed HB 4052 into law which stops local governments from adopting, administering or enforcing future ordinances or policies that require local businesses to pay wages, fringe benefits or leave time that exceed State or Federal requirements. The bill will take effect on September 28, 2015. Currently, Michigan’s minimum wage is $8.15 per hour which will rise to $8.50 per hour on January 1, […]

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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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E-Verify: Understanding Responsibilities and Rights

E-Verify is a federal program that employers use to verify a new employee’s employment eligibility in the United States. The use of E-Verify has grown exponentially in the last few years and its use only continues to increase. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, just over 1,000 employers were enrolled in E-Verify in 2001, and by 2015, over 688,000 employers were enrolled. A contributing factor to this […]

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Public Act 152: Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

In 2011, the Governor signed into law PA 152 of 2011, known as the Publicly Funded Health Insurance Contributions Act, which caps the amount of money public employers, such as colleges, cities, townships and villages can pay towards employee health care. The law provides employers with two options for cost sharing. The default option is a monetary “hard” cap based on an employee’s marital and family status. Employees would be […]

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