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Michigan and Ohio Legal News Blog

The passage of time and human error

What seems so clear in one moment can seem so misguided years later. This NY Times article, "Linda Fairstein, Once Cheered Faces Storms After 'When They See Us", by Elizabeth Harris and Julie Jacobs discusses the career of the famous sex crimes prosecutor, Linda Fairstein. Fairstein did much to develop modern prosecutorial approaches to rape. She helped professionalize the rape units in county prosecutor offices and her lectures and her example excited thousands of prosecutors to organize their careers along her model in the last thirty years. Law and Order SVU was inspired by her example. After she stopped prosecuting, she wrote 20 crime and mystery novels.

NachtLaw establishes new rights for Students in Michigan

In a precedent-setting case in the western district of Michigan, Doe v Northern Michigan University, David Nacht and Adam Taub obtained the first court opinion providing a student with a breach of contract claim when he is expelled in a flawed process because the college violated the student handbook procedures. This is the first court to find students in Michigan have such a contractual right. The ruling allows the case to continue to discovery and opens the door for other students to find redress. The court also allowed the case to proceed on a due process theory.

Will a noncompete clause keep you from starting your own practice?

Whether you are starting your career as a doctor or you are looking to make a change, it can be helpful to join other doctors in an established practice. The owners already have experience and a good reputation in the community. It can be a mutually beneficial trade. They can add more patients, and you can gain experience.

Some physicians thrive working in an office owned by someone else. While you may have to answer to an employer, you do not have to worry about the liability that comes with being in charge. Eventually, however, some doctors look for more freedom and the power to make their own decisions.

Michigan emergency rooms are jammed.

It's not just emergency rooms; it's jails too. Decades ago, we wrongly warehoused the severely mentally ill. In the1970-1980s we abandoned that approach. In part, this was due to civil liberties lawsuits. It was also due to cultural change brought about by films such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and the development of antipsychotic medications that left many people able to function with basic life skills. Therefore, we switched to halfway houses and community mental health support for those who live on their own. We shut down large psychiatric hospitals all over the country. With the persistent underfunding of mental health services; however, we have allowed emergency rooms and jails to become a major provider of services to the mentally ill. This current approach is a terrible use of resources as well as bad public policy on many other levels. As a society, we should strive for dignity among all people who live here. The modern approach does not fix the problem. It is like a food bank approach to poverty. It can be essential in saving lives or extreme misery on a bad day, but it does not reduce the likelihood of bad days. We are late into a period of economic recovery and expansion. This is the time for us to think about using our resources to improve how we solve problems. Think of it as human infrastructure work. We are spending the money to help people anyway. We might as well do it better. Kudos to the Bridge and the organizations and individuals it covers in its article series for reminding us we can do better. 

Know Your Rights Under Title IX

In just the past two months, Attorney David Nacht has won victories representing students facing potential suspension or expulsion in three different Title IX hearings at three different colleges, two in Michigan and one in Massachusetts.

Title IX lawsuit againt Keystone Academy

Nacht & Roumel, P.C. has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a 9-year-old girl, and sexual assault victim, against Keystone Academy, a charter school. This case alleges that the school not only failed to properly investigate a student's sexual assault claims and failed to protect her, but even retaliated against both the child sexual assault survivor and her mother. The lawsuit was filed under Title IX by NachtLaw attorneys Nick Roumel and Amanda Ghannam

Fear of covert retaliation silences harassment claims in medicine

In 2018, the fight against sexual harassment expanded beyond Hollywood with the founding of Times’s Up. This year, Time’s Up Healthcare branched out to focus on more gender balance in healthcare leadership (women in medicine only hold 10 percent of chief executive jobs).

The new organization will also address workplace harassment and abuse. For example, 58 percent of female surgeons reported experiencing sexual harassment within the previous year. But women in medicine often do not report incidents for fear it could negatively impact their careers.

Why doctors should seek employment contract review

One young primary care physician had received an offer and was in the process of moving. That all changed when she learned a provision in the contract would limit how she could spend her free time.

A wave of mergers has increased the percentage of Catholic-owned or affiliated of hospitals. NPR reported last fall on how these networks require this contract clause “provide services in a manner consistent with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.” This can prohibit a physician from promoting or condoning contraceptive practices. While only one example of a contract clause that can pose a problem, it illustrates why it is important to seek a legal review of any physician employment contract.

Teenagers Taunt Native American Elder

There is no more conservative value than "respect your elders." See Ten Commandments. We could add "show good manners". It is clear that these values were not present among the boys in this video of teenagers taunting a native American elder. It apparently never occurred to them that "respect other human beings whose traditions are different from your own" is also an inherently American value.

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