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Ann Arbor Legal Blog

CEO of Michigan Municipal League accused of harassment by current, former staffers

NachtLaw represents several current and former employees of the Michigan Municipal League involved in this story. It is a reminder that sexual comments, emails and behavior, even without sexual touching and requests for sexual favors, may nonetheless support a claim of illegal sexual harassment and discrimination - as well as potential retaliation if one suffers adverse employment consequences for reporting such behavior.

What went wrong with UIA fraud allegations?

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency will stop collecting money from people they have accused of fraud - that means no more wage garnishments, federal and state tax refund intercepts or payment plan collections. A failed computer system known as MiDAS is blamed with 'robofraud' that made life even more miserable for those who lost work during the recession.

Fox 17 Problem Solvers have investigated the issues of questionable accusations for several years. The error rate caused by the computer system as reported by the UIA was 93 percent. This was after re-review of 22,427 cases (it reversed 20,965 of the computer-determined fraud cases).

Why fighting for gender equality matters

NachtLaw, P.C. does not subscribe to slogans or falsehoods. We discover facts and that is what we prove to judges and juries. "Science" Is the most prestigious scientific journal that cuts across fields. To get published there, a study must have the best methodology-- the greatest level of rigor and merit. The Detroit Free Press reports on a study in Science that will break your heart, "Little girls doubt that women can be brilliant".    

The season for severance agreements & buy-out packages

As the end of the year approaches, many companies have been reviewing 2016 and forecasting into 2017. For some, shortfalls on current plans require cost cutting in the form on early retirements offers or layoffs.

In Michigan, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press are reportedly looking to make such cuts. One publication offered buyouts to editorial staff, while the other targeted certain employees asking for volunteer layoffs. Struggling media companies across the country have also announced staff reductions over the last few months.

What is the difference between a buyout package and a severance agreement? We will explain in this post. But it is important to understand the terms and conditions before accepting either or you could give up certain rights.

The legal standard for rape or criminal sexual conduct

The legal standard for rape or criminal sexual conduct, as it is technically known in Michigan law, is not that high. But it does require that there be credible evidence of non-consensual sexual touching. The standard of what is it consensual is whether a reasonable person would realize that the person who later claims it was rape was not consenting. In an increasing number of cases that arise on college campuses, the person who claims she was raped was not too drunk to consent, nor did she say "no." Quiet unhappiness by one person will not in most cases be the basis for criminal charges that stick. It can however be the basis for campus Title IX proceedings where the standard is often "yes means yes".

Court of Appeals Decides Internet Anonymity Case

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled in the case of Sarkar v. Does, a case brought by Nicholas Roumel of NachtLaw on behalf of a research scientist who was subject to a smear campaign, by anonymous commenters on an anonymously hosted web site called "PubPeer," that ultimately cost Dr. Sarkar two tenured university positions. The decision was anxiously awaited by both the scientific and internet community, drawing "friend of the court" briefs from Google and Twitter, among others.

NachtLaw Wins Motion in Internet Anonymity Case

The Michigan Court of Appeals is considering cross-appeals in the case of a prominent cancer researcher, represented by Nicholas Roumel of NachtLaw, who was subject to a smear campaign, by anonymous commenters on an anonymously hosted web site. (See previous blog post about Sarkar v. Doe(s)).   After oral argument, while the Court was considering the case, the web site's attorneys attempted to introduce the results of an investigation against the researcher into the appellate record. NachtLaw considered this to be an improper attempt to influence the Court with evidence that was not properly presented before the court. The court just issued a ruling, siding with NachtLaw, and refusing to allow introduction of the investigation. This development was covered by Retraction Watch and "The Scientist":

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