Daily Briefs

 Miller Canfield named 2013 Pro Bono Firm  of the Year by LAD

The law firm of Miller Canfield is pleased to announce that it has been selected as the 2013 Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year by the Legal Aid and Defender Association, a nonprofit organization and the largest provider of free civil legal services to low-income residents of Michigan.

Earlier this year, Miller Canfield was also named in the 2013 Pro Bono Circle of Excellence by the State Bar of Michigan for its contributions to pro bono work.
In selecting Miller Canfield as the Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year, LAD specifically cited the firm’s efforts in representing the association’s clients in expungement hearings. Before Miller Canfield began taking these cases, clients often appeared on their own behalf against trained prosecutors.

LAD also commended Miller Canfield’s efforts to help with Macomb County Assisted Pro Se Divorce Clinics in 2012 and 2013. As part of the clinics, lawyers consulted with individuals to review their pleadings, answer questions and offer advice on issues specific to their cases.

Miller Canfield will receive the Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year award at the 2013 Laddy’s Pro Bono Awards on November 21 at the Theodore Levin United States Courthouse. The ceremony will be hosted in the Chief Judge’s Courtroom at 3 p.m., followed by a reception in the Grand Assembly Room.

Mich. schools sue over contraception mandate

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — Two Christian schools, Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, filed a federal lawsuit last week arguing that they should not have to comply with the contraception provision in the federal health care law.
They are the latest in a string of colleges and universities, faith-affiliated charities and hospitals to seek court relief over requirements that most employers provide insurance that covers contraception for free, including the morning-after pill. Many for-profit business owners are also suing, claiming a violation of their religious beliefs.

Cornerstone and Dordt, as well as others, could face fines for noncompliance.

“The schools hold, as a matter of religious conviction, that it would be sinful and immoral for them intentionally to participate in, pay for, facilitate, enable, or otherwise support access to abortion, which destroys human life,” according to the lawsuit filed last Wednesday in Iowa.

The Catholic Church prohibits the use of artificial contraception. Evangelicals generally accept the use of birth control, but some object to specific methods such as the morning-after contraceptive pill, which they argue is tantamount to abortion.

The lawsuit names Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius as one of the defendants. Both schools are represented at no cost by Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian law group.
In a separate case, a Michigan natural foods company failed to convince the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that it should be exempt on religious grounds.

In an opinion released last Thursday, the court said Clinton-based Eden Foods is a secular, for-profit corporation and can’t “establish that it can exercise religion.”