Duly Noted . . .

Warner Norcross named one of West Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest for 13th year

For the 13th consecutive year, the law firm of Warner Norcross and Judd LLP has been named one of West Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For.

Warner Norcross, which has three West Michigan offices, is among the businesses and organizations to be honored in 2015. Nominees were evaluated in several categories, including communication, community initiatives, compensation and benefits, diversity and multiculturalism, employee education and development, employee engagement and commitment, recognition and retention, recruitment and selection, and work-life balance.

A panel of judges reviewed a detailed survey on the firm’s human resources practices and conducted extensive interviews with employees. In reaching their decision, the judges were looking for above-average programs, services and solutions for employees, adaptation to new factors in the marketplace and unique thought processes that received support from senior management and policy makers.

The firm’s offices in Southfield and Macomb County have also been recognized among Metropolitan Detroit’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For.


ACLU applauds court order allowing street musicians in Saugatuck

Prompted by an ACLU of Michigan lawsuit on behalf of two musicians banned from playing on public sidewalks, Saugatuck city officials have agreed to allow street performers to perform on public sidewalks without a permit and to exempt them from a business entertainment ordinance.

The agreement, part of a consent judgment entered by U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker, was reached after the ACLU of Michigan sued the city for prohibiting musicians Christopher Waechter and Gabe Novak from performing on city sidewalks in separate incidents last summer. Novak was also arrested.

Michael Steinberg, legal director for the ACLU of Michigan, lauded the agreement as a victory for the First Amendment: “The right to express oneself on public sidewalks without government interference is a cherished right in this nation. We are thrilled that this right will now be respected in the City of Saugatuck.”

Originally, viola player Waechter and guitarist Novak were forced off the public sidewalk after being told they were in violation of a “public entertainment” ordinance requiring businesses that wish to provide public entertainment to apply for a license 60 days before the event. Novak was jailed for the weekend when he told an officer who directed him to stop performing that the officer’s actions were unconstitutional. Under the consent judgment, the City of Saugatuck also must pay Waechter and Novak $7500 each as well as attorney fees.

In addition to Steinberg, Novak and Waechter are represented by ACLU of Michigan staff attorneys Marc Allen and Miriam Aukerman.