Daily Briefs

Foster Swift launches elder law blog

May has been known as Senior Citizens month since 1963 when it was declared so by President John Kennedy and is also recognized as National Elder Law Month by The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Attorneys that practice elder law focus on issues concerning seniors including estate planning, wills and caring arrangements among others.

By 2030, nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population will be age 65 or older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. To help with the growing number of people that need assistance in this age range, the law firm of Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC has launched its elder law blog. The goal of this blog is to address the most common legal questions people have or will have in a practical yet compassionate way.

Foster Swift elder law and estate planning attorneys Nicolas Camargo, Matthew Fedor and Trevor Weston will provide readers with relevant information on the wide range of legal issues facing seniors.

“We deal with sensitive family situations every day, and realize how difficult they can be” Fedor stated.


Michigan Supreme Court justice: Judges must cool rhetoric

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan Supreme Court justice has a message for judges who seem to seek vengeance: cool it, folks.

Justice Bridget McCormack said judges should drop rhetoric that “would validly call into question judicial impartiality.” She said it’s important these days, especially “when our norms of public discourse appear under stress.”

McCormack was referring to a Jackson County case involving a man who broke into the home of a police officer and trashed it, even breaking a 100-gallon (380-liter) aquarium.

Judge John McBain said he wished the officer would have returned home in time.

“Because you know what?” McBain told Christopher Mitchell in 2015. “You might not be going to the Department of Corrections for 10 years. You might be getting buried in some cemetery.”

McCormack and Justice Richard Bernstein said Mitchell deserved to be sentenced again by a different judge, but five other justices at the Supreme Court disagreed.

“When a judge expresses his personal wish that the defendant had suffered a violent death instead of being arrested and convicted, the public’s confidence in the rule of law is undermined,” McCormack wrote Thursday.

McCormack said there’s room for anger, even vengeance, at a sentencing, but it shouldn’t come from the “person in the courtroom charged with ensuring the proceeding’s evenhandedness.”

McBain isn’t the only judge with a sharp tongue. McCormack’s dissent suggests she might have problems with Judge Rosemarie Aquilina’s remarks toward Larry Nassar, the sports doctor who sexually assaulted young women and girls, if his sentence is appealed.

In January, Aquilina described Nassar as a “monster” who is “going to wither” like the wicked witch in “The Wizard of Oz.” She said she would allow someone “to do to him what he did to others” if the U.S. Constitution allowed cruel punishment.


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