Daily Briefs

Snyder names senior advisor Posthumus to serve as chief of staff

Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday appointed Dick Posthumus to serve as his chief of staff. Posthumus, a former state legislator and lieutenant governor, has served as Snyder’s Senior Advisor since Snyder took office 6 years ago.

“Dick is an unwavering public servant whose positive attitude and commitment to teamwork and the reinvention of Michigan have already helped steer Michigan’s comeback over the past six years,” Snyder said.
In addition to Posthumus’ promotion to chief of staff, the governor also is promoting Darin Ackerman to be the new director of Legislative Affairs. Ackerman has been working as deputy director of Legislative Affairs since 2011.


Dickinson Wright donates $5,000 to Detroit middle school

Each year, Dickinson Wright attorneys and staff participate in Service Projects to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year, among other projects, the firm held two donation drives in support of Nolan Middle School in Detroit.

“One of our attorneys, Serene Zeni, has a good friend who is a teacher at Nolan. Serene told us that because of a lack of textbooks, teachers rely heavily on printed material. They run short of paper this time of year.
She also told us of the school’s efforts to send students to three Ivy League schools to encourage them to strive for a college education. We knew we could help,” said Anna Maiuri, co-chair of Dickinson Wright’s Diversity Committee. “Our attorneys and staff came together to purchase paper and raise funds to help the school send students on the Annual Ivy League trip.”

The firm raised $5,000 in monetary donations and printer paper donations to support the school and its Ivy League Program. As a thank you, Nolan Middle School will hold an assembly Feb.  16. At the assembly, Dickinson Wright attorneys and staff will be on hand to deliver the firm’s donations to the school and celebrate with the students and teachers.


Judge rejects challenges to how state sentences teens

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A judge has rejected constitutional challenges to how Michigan sentences teens convicted of first-degree murder, ending seven years of litigation.

Since 2010, federal Judge John Corbett O’Meara has made a series of decisions, some favoring so-called juvenile lifers who were given no-parole sentences when they were under 18. But some rulings were stopped by an appeals court.

O’Meara closed the case Tuesday, noting that Michigan law has greatly changed because of decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court. No-parole sentences for teenagers still are possible but they’re not mandatory.
Attorney Deborah LaBelle had urged O’Meara to strike the law as unconstitutional. She says no-parole sentences are supposed to be rare, but prosecutors still are trying to keep more than 200 inmates behind bars for life at new hearings.