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Monday, April 16, 2018

Employer Liable For Torts of Employees if in Course and Scope of Employment and Not for Personal Reasons

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled in Peterson v. Brannigan Bros Restaurants that an employer may be held liable for the tortious conduct of an employee so long as that conduct was “committed in the course and within the scope of the employee’s employment,” but not if the act was outside the employee’s authority or committed for the employee’s own personal purposes. “While the issue of whether the employee was acting within the scope of his employment is generally for the trier of fact, the issue may be decided as a matter of law where it is clear that the employee was acting to accomplish some purpose of his own.”

Friday, February 02, 2018

DOL Is Issuing Opinion Letters Again

In 2010, the Department of Labor stopping issuing "Opinion Letters" to assist employers and employees in understanding how labor regulations were applied to particular situations.  Although not binding on either the DOL or courts, they were quite helpful and were issued with some frequency.  Between 2010 and 2016, however, that practice was stopped and less formal "Administrative Interpretations" were issued on an infrequent basis.  From 2010 to 2016, only 11 AI's were released.

Opinion Letters have been reinstated by Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, and already 17 OL's have been issued in 2018.  To review them, click here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

SCOTUS Adopts "Stop-the-Clock" Tolling of Statute of Limitations for State Law Claims

On January 22, 2018, the United State Supreme Court held that claims arising under state law in a federal lawsuit, unless there is a state law to the contrary, are tolled or suspended, and plaintiffs have the time remaining on the statute of limitations period applicable to their state law claims plus the 30-day window provided under 28 U.S.C. 1367(d) to refile their state law claims once a federal court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over those state claims. The lower courts had ruled that the "grace period" approach, allowing just 30 days to refile state claims if the statute of limitations had run during the time the case was pending in federal court, should be used, but the Supreme Court rejected that view and adopted the "stop-the-clock" approach. Artis v. District of Columbia, ___ U.S. ___ (2018).

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Punitive damages, which are not allowed in products liability cases in Michigan, also cannot be recovered in an accident occurring in Mississippi, which does permit punitive damages.  In Gaillet v Ford Motor Co., the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that even though the accident giving rise to the case occurring in another state, the Michigan law of damages applied.  Read Judge Edmunds choice of law opinion here.

ABA Publishes Best Law Blogs for 2018

Every year, the ABA publishes a list of the 100 best legal blogs.  In December 2017, the ABA posted it here.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New Caps on Non-Economic Damages for 2014


The Michigan Department of Treasury has announced that the new caps on noneconomic damages in products liability cases where the product did not cause either death or permanent loss of a vital bodily function for 2014 is $440,200. The indexed cap in cases involving death or permanent loss of a vital bodily function is now $786,000. The cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases is now $464,400.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

ABA Picks the 100 Best Legal Blawgs/Blogs

For the 7th time, the ABA has picked its favorite 100 blogs (or blawgs) and there are some very good ones no matter what area you practice in.  Click here.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Author of “The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law” Speaks at 48th Annual Association of Defense Trial Counsel Meeting on May 21, 2013


Mark Hermann, the Global Head of Litigation for Aon, the world’s largest insurance and reinsurance broker, and the author of one of the best-selling books ever published by the Litigation Section of the ABA, will be the featured speaker at the DAC on May 21, 2013.  He will discuss that book, his enormously popular blogs and articles on litigation, and his new book, “Inside Straight”, which collects his best postings and commentaries on the practice of law in general and litigation in particular.