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Category Archives: Michigan Supreme Court

Is the Michigan Supreme Court biased in favor of insurance companies, against consumers and the injured?

New CPAN study shows auto insurers won 84% of major No Fault cases before Michigan’s highest court in last 10 years

MSC biased in favor of insurance companies

Attorneys who represent auto accident victims in this state have long suspected  that the deck is stacked against their clients  when they take their case before the Michigan Supreme Court.

Those suspicions are now confirmed, according to an excellent and timely new study by the Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault (CPAN),  “Analysis of Michigan Supreme Court cases decided under the Michigan No-Fault Act within the past 10 years.”

Significantly, here’s what CPAN found:

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Who spent nearly $14 million on TV ads to influence the 2012 Michigan Supreme Court election?

Investigation By Michigan Campaign Finance Network sheds light on legal loophole that allows unreported donors to flood elections with ‘dark money’

Michigan Supreme Court 2012 election campaign contributions

No one, except for maybe a few stealth political operatives, knows who put up the nearly $14 million that was spent on TV ads to influence the 2012 Michigan Supreme Court election.

According to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network’s (MCFN) 2012 “Citizen’s Guide to Michigan Campaign Finance”:

“[C]andidate-focused issue advertising that was not reported to the Bureau of Elections … totaled $13.85 million [during the “2012 Supreme Court campaign”].”

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Michigan Supreme Court’s No Fault ruling denies wheelchair van for motorcycle accident victim

Majority misapplies its own rule to deny van for catastrophically injured auto accident victim in Admire v. Auto Owners

Michigan Supreme Court denies wheelchair van in Admire v. Auto Owners

The past 10 years have certainly left experienced No Fault lawyers increasingly puzzled by the “bizzaro” world that the Michigan Supreme Court seems to inhabit whenever it interprets Michigan’s No Fault Law.  Whether that be its own incredibly activist interpretation of a plain, unambiguous statutory definition of serious impairment in Kreiner, to the dreadful Cameron decision to Johnson v. Recca, the lawyers who practice in this area of law have largely adopted a “what’s next?” attitude while waiting for the next decision to come.

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Former justice expose: Michigan Supreme Court is beholden to secretive special interests

Ex Justice Elizabeth Weaver says current Court is guilty of partisanship in her new book, Judicial Deceit: Tyranny and Unnecessary Secrecy at the Michigan Supreme Court

Elizabeth Weaver, former Michigan Supreme Court Justice

Elizabeth Weaver, former Michigan Supreme Court Justice

For the past decade, the Michigan Supreme Court has devastated the rights of car accident victims. I’ve written at length about legal decisions such as Kreiner, Cameron and Devillers — and recently a slew of decisions that decimate an injury victim’s access to life-saving No Fault insurance benefits — that are destroying the fundamental principles underlying our No Fault law.

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How insurance companies helped create the PIP fraud problem in Michigan

Insurance companies help with PIP fraud Michigan

Last week I wrote about the much needed new bills aimed at stopping the growing problem of attorney solicitation in this state.  Injury attorneys are looking up accident victims’ police reports, and using the information to call them, send them mail and even knock on their doors in hopes of drumming up business. This has become a major problem, and it should be stopped now.

My blog post about attorney solicitation probably hasn’t made me many friends amongst certain lawyers in the plaintiff’s bar. I expect this post to likely be the same.

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The perfect storm: Republicans to control Michigan Supreme Court for a long, long time to come

Justice Diane HathawayTo be clear, I have nothing against Republicans.  On many issues, I am one.  But I do have something against activist judges and justices who ignore settled law to follow an extreme political agenda.

Michigan saw that happen during the previous “Gang of Four” era.  These four Engler appointees not only took control of the Court, but they caused so many lawyers and judges to lose faith in our civil justice system.  As Justice Stevens observed in his dissent in the Citizens United case:  “A democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold.” Citizens United v. FEC, 130 S. Ct. 876, 954 (2010) (Stevens, J., dissenting).  The way our highest Court ruled consistently against individual citizens and for the insurance industry, dismantling entire areas of consumer protection and personal injury law in its wake was and remains shocking.

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Why Michigan Supreme Court candidates Kelley, Johnson and McCormack are a better choice

I’ve written previously about my own recommendations for the Michigan Supreme Court.  This year the candidates will be part of the election on Nov. 6, 2012.

No matter your political ideology, no matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican or an independent, it is important to know two things:

  1. Our current Michigan Supreme Court is broken; and
  2. It’s important to get out there and vote!

In my previous blog, I gave some basic information about Judge Connie Marie Kelley, Judge Shelia Johnson and Bridget Mary McCormack.  Today, I’d like to address some common questions about these justices:

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Video: Michigan Supreme Court’s biased record of favoring insurance companies over consumers

Justices Markman and Zahra have failed to protect injured auto accident victims 100 percent of the time

The Republican majority of our Michigan Supreme Court  has sided with insurance companies — and against consumers, including seriously injured auto accident victims — 100% of the time.

Take a look:

As the video says, our current Justices Stephen Markman and Brian Zahra have sided with insurance companies over people 100 percent of the time under Michigan’s No-Fault law. And Republican candidate and former insurance industry lawyer Colleen O’Brien isn’t any better.  She actually worked to deny benefits to a cancer patient.

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What judicial candidates are best for the Michigan Supreme Court?

Michigan Auto Law recommendations for the Supreme Court election on Nov. 6, 2012

Our clients and friends are always asking us what judges to vote for come election time. I will be writing another blog shortly on all the judicial candidates that I endorse, but today I want to start with the Michigan Supreme Court. These are, after governor, the most powerful seven elected officials in the state. This November, three of them are up for re-election.

So, who is best qualified to receive your vote? The short answer is: Judge Connie Marie Kelley, Judge Shelia Johnson and Bridget Mary McCormack.

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Cast of West Wing shows you how to fill out the Michigan ballot for Michigan Supreme Court

Election is Nov. 6, don’t forget to vote the bottom of the ballot

Here’s a clever and funny campaign video featuring the cast of the West Wing, reuniting to teach Michigan voters how to fill out the ballot on Nov. 6, and addressing the importance of the Michigan Supreme Court election.

Walk and Talk the Vote – West Wing reunion – Bridget Mary McCormack

Why is the Michigan Supreme Court election so important?

When most people vote on Nov. 6, they’ve already made up their minds for president.  But judges and the Supreme Court are a different matter.

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