Learning-disabled Oakland student wins fight over dorm room

The Detroit News reports on a disabled student who finally won his fight to live on campus at OU:

Micah Fialka-Feldman, a 25-year-old Huntington Woods student, can move in the Oakland University dorms in January, ending the disabled student’s two-year old battle to live on campus, despite his cognitive impairment.

Under the opinion by U.S. District Court Patrick J. Duggan, the university did violate a federal disability rights law when it denied Fialka-Feldman a dorm room for the January 2008 semester.

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Do you think so?

Though most newspapers in the state were reporting on this, we found this version in The Battle Creek Enquirer.

The story is hardly a shocker – some prosecutors think that early release of prison inmates could lead to higher crime rates. The theory that as inmates are released immediately upon serving their minimum sentences crime rates will increase.

That theory is yet unproven, according to the story.

Canton hires new township attorney

From the Canton Observer:

Audrey Robinson, former manager of state government affairs for Reed Elsevier Inc. started her $88,000-a-year job Monday as Canton’s manager of legal services and contract administration — a post created in October by township officials.

A Michigan native who has traveled the country as a state lobbyist for a major publisher of science, medical and legal information has returned home and started her new job as Canton’s newest manager-level employee.

And we’re off …

We at the Michigan Lawyer blog are taking a few days off, and will be back at it on Dec. 28. We’re looking forward to  Monday’s newspaper rolling off the presses.

In it, we unveil the first of our two-part look back on 2009. Be sure to check out Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly’s look at the biggest stories of the year, as well as these:

Associate editor Douglas Levy’s analysis of the Michigan Court of Appeals’ decision in In Re Compton Minors. A trial court presiding over a juvenile proceeding may not conduct unrecorded in camera interviews of the minor children when considering whether termination is in their best interest.

Staff writer Brian Frasier’s analysis of expert testimony in Genna v. Jackson. In this toxic mold case, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the plaintiffs did not have to present expert testimony that the mold was the direct cause of their illnesses, allowing the jury to decide the case based on inferences.

 And staff writer Carol Lundberg visits the PACT (Parents and Children Together) court in Genesee County, where one judge is trying to help non-custodial parents get their own lives in order, so that they can be better parents.

Also, in our On the Stand feature, Gregory Ripple of Miller Johnson discusses being the co-author of the newest edition of the “Occupational Safety and Health: A Guide for Michigan Employers,” released by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

JTC recommends suspension without pay for 36th District judge

The Judicial Tenure Commission has recommended a 21-day suspension without pay for 36th District Court Judge Brenda Sanders.

The JTC determined that Sanders violated the state constitution when, shortly after being elected judge on Nov. 4, 2008, she filed to run in the special Feb. 24, 2009 Detroit mayoral primary.

Article 6, section 21 of the Michigan Constitution provides that a judge is ineligible for elected office, other than another judicial office, while a judge and for one year after leaving office.

The JTC also found that Sanders violated the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct by acting as her own campaign treasurer during her mayoral candidacy.

The JTC’s “Decision And Recommendation” is available here.

The Michigan Supreme Court will have the final say on the matter.