Daily Briefs

State Supreme Court to decide if police chief can be sued
PORT SANILAC, Mich. (AP) — A dispute involving beer, music and police in a Thumb community has landed at the Michigan Supreme Court.

Justices will decide whether a police chief is immune to a civil lawsuit when he's acting like a rank-and-file officer. The case centers on a 2008 summer fundraiser in Port Sanilac for a volunteer fire department.

Some people in the beer tent didn’t like the music, and the event’s organizer called off the concert. A drummer claims he was pushed off the stage and arrested by Rodney Jaskowski, who was Port Sanilac police chief at the time.

Tom Petipren is suing Jaskowski. Two courts have said Jaskowski isn’t entitled to immunity under Michigan law because he was acting like an officer, not a police administrator.

Applications for State Bar committee service sought by May 11
State Bar President-Elect Bruce A. Courtade invites Michigan lawyers to apply now for appointment to committees for the 2012-2013 bar year. Service on the committees is voluntary and occurs through an appointment process that begins with an application that must be filed by May 11.

“Committee service is an excellent way for State Bar members to make a difference in our profession and the justice system,” Courtade said.

Nearly 30 standing and special committees work to implement the State Bar’s Strategic Plan, build effective programs that benefit Michigan lawyers and the public, and improve the administration of justice in Michigan. Appointments for the 2012-2013 bar year are expected to be finalized before September 1.

Applications can be submitted electronically at www.michbar.org/sections/nomination.cfm.  More information about the committees can be found at www.michbar.org/generalinfo/committees.cfm.

For additional information about committees or the application process, contact Candace Crowley, SBM director of External Development, at ccrowley@mail.michbar.org or 517-346-6319.

Court of Appeals reverses conviction in case of stolen perfume
SOUTHFIELD (AP) — A woman accused of stealing a $58 bottle of perfume at a Detroit-area mall has been cleared after the Michigan appeals court said she was convicted under the wrong law.

A jury convicted Chandra Smith-Anthony of larceny from a person. But in a 2-1 decision, the appeals court says the perfume was taken from Macy’s — not a person.

A store detective suspected that Smith-Anthony had stolen an item and was keeping an eye on her. The employee followed her out of the Southfield store and finally confronted her. While not defending what happened, the appeals court says the law simply doesn’t fit.

Judge William Whitbeck disagrees. He says there’s enough evidence to show that the security officer qualifies as a person closest to the crime.


In the May 1, 2012, edition of the Detroit Legal News, Wilson A. Copeland II was mistakenly identified as a member of the International Society of Barristers. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.