Daily Briefs

Man freed after 26 years in arson case loses lawsuit appeal

IONIA, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan man who was convicted of murder based on faulty fire science and spent 26 years in prison before his release in 2012 has lost an appeal against the estate of an arson investigator.

David Gavitt's wife and two daughters were killed in a house fire in Ionia in 1985. He was accused of setting the fire but denied any wrongdoing.

In 2012, the Ionia County prosecutor agreed that Gavitt should be released from prison after the Innocence Clinic at the University of Michigan law school presented opinions by arson experts and new evidence.

Gavitt sued, but MLive.com reports the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that investigator John DeVries essentially had witness immunity.

A federal appeals court earlier ruled that police and prosecutors were immune to a lawsuit.

SBM Marijuana Law Conference Sept. 7-9

The Marijuana Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan will host its 2017 Fall Conference: “New Horizons for Legalized Marijuana – The Facilities Licensing Act and Beyond” Sept. 7-9 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Detroit.  The conference will present sessions on the new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act,
including presentations on LARA’s Dec. 15 roll out of rules and regulations for new cannabis businesses; an overview of adopted municipal ordinances, tax issues, and banking complications for state-legal activities; and more. In addition, expect to hear from senior LARA representatives; a case law overview and update; and legislative updates. There will be presentations on federal risks related to marijuana businesses, as well as a special track for criminal defense attorneys on handling issues such as Section 8 hearings, motions to raise under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, and issues related to marijuana and driving. Register online or by mail through the State Bar of Michigan – http://connect.michbar.org/marijuana/events/recentcommunityeventsdashboard.

For additional information contact Robert Hendricks at (616) 454-6611 or Mary Chartier at mary@cndefenders.com.

CAP Kick-Off 2017-18: ‘New Requirements from the MIDC

The Wayne County Criminal Advocacy Program is hosting its first seminar of 2017-18, “New Requirements from the MIDC,” from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25 (late registrations will not be permitted beyond 1:45 p.m.). The seminar will be held at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, Two Woodward Avenue, Detroit, in the Erma Henderson Auditorium on the 13th Floor. Speaking on the new requirements will be Jonathan Sacks of the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission, and moderating the seminar will be Matt Evans, attorney and CAP board member. Certification of attendance is required in order to obtain court assignments in Wayne County. For additional information visit www.capwayne.org.