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Commentary on the latest news and developments in issues that matter to our clients.

Michigan Court of Appeals Building Interior
25 November 2020

Plaintiff Loses in Public-Building Design Defec...

In a recent unpublished opinion, Davis v. Flint Community Schools et al., the Michigan Court of Appeals dismissed a case filed after a student was injured at school, finding that governmental immunity applied to the teacher and school district.  The case involved injuries to a student, Dishon Davis, sustained in a classroom.  Dishon, a six‑year […]

 
American Flag in a breeze
02 November 2020

The Daily Pledge of Allegiance During Virtual L...

Almost a decade ago, the Michigan Legislature required that school districts give students an opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each school day and display a flag where the pledge is recited. See MCL 380.1347a. This obligation has generally been easy to meet – until the era of COVID-19. With many students learning remotely, […]

23 October 2020

Court Denies Teacher’s Appeal in Case of Studen...

In a recent unpublished case, JB ex rel. Barnes v. Detroit Public School District et al., the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a teacher’s attempt to dismiss a case filed by a student whose finger was severed while at school.  The court reasoned that the case had not been sufficiently developed and […]

09 October 2020

Electronic Board Meetings Gain Senate Approval,...

Yesterday, the Michigan Senate approved Bill No. 1108, addressing electronic meetings under the Open Meetings Act (MCL 15.263). If signed into law, public bodies will be permitted to meet remotely – by telephonic or video conferencing – under specific circumstances, including when a statewide or local state of emergency is declared and there is risk to the personal health […]

06 October 2020

U.S. Department of Education Issues Pandemic Er...

On September 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) issued guidance, in the form of a Q&A document, to address questions surrounding the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in the COVID-19 environment.  The document incorporates questions regarding the initial evaluation process, annual IEP team meetings, […]

05 October 2020

Second Circuit Upsets the Apple Cart with Respe...

Can a parent request an independent education evaluation (IEE) at public expense from a functional behavior assessment (FBA)?  Here, in Michigan, most would say yes; based, primarily, on guidance from the Office of Special Education Program (OSEP).  Yet, the Second Circuit said “no” in a recent decision, D. S. v Trumbull Bd of Educ, ___ […]

02 October 2020

OCR Releases Q&A for K-12 Schools Navigati...

The United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) recently released guidance as part of an effort to aid schools in prioritizing a return to in‑person learning.  Highlights of the guidance include the following: Question: My school district is phasing in its return to in‑person learning.  Is it required to prioritize a return to […]

24 September 2020

Sixth Circuit Rules in Favor of Nurses Establis...

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit delivered an opinion earlier this month in a case concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Kirilenko-Ison, et al. v. Bd of Ed. Danville Indep. Sch., No. 19-5767, 2020 WL 5269818 (6th Cir. Sept. 4, 2020).    The case involved two nurses, Bauder-Smith and Kirilenko-Ison, who […]

Section 1031 Exchanges
19 March 2020

Emerging Employee Benefit Issues during the C-1...

In response to the C-19 pandemic, we are seeing an increasing number of employee benefit questions.  Many of those questions center on employees’ eligibility under employer-sponsored health and welfare benefit plans during furloughs, and ways that employers can provide financial assistance to employees using employee benefit programs. Because of these questions, we will be touching […]