Daily Briefs

Only dried pot counts, says appeals court in overturning conviction

MILLINGTON, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan appeals court has overturned a drug conviction in Tuscola County, saying not all marijuana is equal, especially in a medical marijuana case.

Sheriff's deputies found marijuana in Johnnie Randall's pickup truck and dozens of plants at a building in Millington, 30 miles northeast of Flint. He was accused of possessing too much pot by weight, despite having a medical marijuana card and permission to grow pot for others.
But the appeals court says only a portion of the marijuana was dried and usable. The court says Judge William Caprathe also was wrong to use the weight of leftover stems and stalks.

In a 3-0 decision, the court scratched Randall's conviction last week.


Court rules attorney general had just cause to terminate Shirvell

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the Michigan Department of Attorney General had just cause to terminate Andrew Shirvell, and that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits.

The appeals court affirmed a circuit court's order, which held that “there was competent, material, and substantial evidence on the whole record to support that there was just cause to terminate Shirvell and properly held that the termination was not arbitrary or capricious.”

The appeals court reversed the circuit court’s order on Shirvell’s unemployment eligibility, ruling that the circuit court “erred in concluding that Shirvell did not engage in misconduct that disqualified him for unemployment benefits under the MESA. Shirvell’s speech was not protected and there was competent, material, and substantial evidence introduced at the unemployment compensation hearing to support the UIA’s determination that Shirvell engaged in misconduct such that he was disqualified for benefits under MCL 421.29(1)(b)[.]”

Shirvell was fired in November of 2010 for using state resources to maintain a blog attacking the first openly gay student body president of the University of Michigan and for lying to investigators during his disciplinary hearing.


Volunteers needed  to preside over mock trials in February

Experienced trial attorneys and trial judges are needed to volunteer for the regional rounds of the National Trial Competition on Feb. 6, 7 and 8.

Wayne State University Law School will host the regional rounds of the competition. Twenty teams from 10 law schools in Michigan and Ohio will compete in 36 mock trials at the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse, 231 W. Lafayette Blvd.

Nearly 150 volunteers are needed to preside over the mock trials and evaluate competitors’ performances.

Volunteers are needed for all rounds of the competition:

Round I – 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6

Round II – 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 7

Round III – 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 7

Quarterfinals – 8 a.m. to noon Sunday, Feb. 8

Semifinals – 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.,  Feb. 8

To volunteer, email David Moss at david.moss@wayne.edu with the round or rounds you are available for participation.