Appellate Procedure

Court of Appeals Holds Former Mayor Kilpatrick to His Words

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick wrote a book while on parole. Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner ordered the proceeds impounded. Mayor Kilpatrick wanted to challenge the constitutionality of the statute permitting the seizing these proceeds. Unfortunately, Mayor Kilpatrick may have shot himself in the foot. The Court of Appeals stated that his structuring to avoid a restitution obligation together with his statements to the press may have barred the issue. Read the full story for more details. Read More...

Start Objecting Again: Guidelines Challenges Are Back in Play

A decade ago, we were objecting to the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines (our state’s presumptive sentencing) scheme arguing that it violated the Defendant’s right to a jury trial. Following the Michigan Supreme Court’s 2006 ruling in People v. Drohan, 475 Mich. 140, 159–164; 715 NW2d 778 (2006), these challenges largely died. The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case which again put the guidelines at risk. Alleyne v. United States, Supreme Court No. 11-9335. Counsel should again start demanding jury trials on guideline issues and objecting to the guidelines being use as anything beyond advisory guidelines. Read More...

Michigan Supreme Court Hears Arguments About Whether Prosecutor Can Use Voluntary Dismissals to Create Final Orders for Appellate Purposes.

On December 8, 2009, the Michigan Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in People v Richmond, Supreme Court No. 146648. The Supreme Court granted leave to the defense to determine whether a prosecutor who loses a pretrial ruling can create a final order by voluntarily dismissing the prosecution. Traditionally under Michigan law a party could not appeal a consent order. Recently, the prosecuted have done precisely this. The Supreme Court has granted leave to determine whether the State is exempt from this traditional limitation. Read More...