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Law In The News

New Executive Order Allows for Remote Notarization

April 9, 2020

From the State Bar of Michigan:

New Executive Order Allows for Remote Notarization

The latest executive order from Gov. Whitmer encourages the use of electronic signatures and remote notarization, witnessing, and visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Executive Order 2020-41 will facilitate the completion of legal documents that are more crucial now than ever, but were otherwise difficult or impossible to handle during the pandemic.

"The problem of how to validate critical legal documents in a quarantine environment was a difficult and crucial issue," State Bar of Michigan President Dennis M. Barnes said. "The State Bar thanks the governor for the thorough and thoughtful guidance provided in the executive order. We also applaud the Probate and Estate Planning and Elder Law and Disability Rights sections of the State Bar for proactively raising this critical issue and for using their subject matter expertise and valuable insight in offering a solution to this unprecedented problem."

Here are the highlights for lawyers:

Strict compliance with the rules and procedures of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act and the Michigan Law on Notarial Acts is temporarily suspended under specified conditions.Any requirement under Michigan law that an in-person witness attest to or acknowledge an instrument, document, or deed may be satisfied by the use of two-way real-time audiovisual technology, under detailed conditions spelled out in the order. The recording must be kept for at least three years, or a different period of time required by law.State laws requiring an individual to appear personally before or be in the presence of either a notary at the time of a notarization or a witness at the time of attestation or acknowledgment are satisfied if the necessary persons can communicate simultaneously by sight and sound via two-way real-time audiovisual technology at the time of the notarization, attestation, or acknowledgment.Financial institutions and registers of deeds must not refuse to record a tangible copy of an electronic record on the ground that it does not bear the original signature of a person, witness, or notary, if the notary before whom it was executed certifies that the tangible copy is an accurate copy of the electronic record.

The executive order, which took effect immediately, continues through May 6, 2020.

Among its many upsides, the order makes it easier to complete important legal work for those on the frontline of the pandemic response.

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Another full dismissal from a Mason County civil law suit

March 26, 2020

Congratulations! To my client and his company... we obtained a full dismissal of him personally and his construction company from a Mason County civil law suit brought against him and others claiming all sorts of damages based upon state and federal causes of action. My clients are dismissed based on a written waiver AND, in (our and) the Judge's opinion that the Plaintiff failed to support the case with sufficient evidence. At the hearing on our Motion, the Plaintiff's attorney actually claimed to the Judge that it wasn't Plaintiff's job to prove who was at fault, but rather the various defendants' burden to determine blame among and between themselves. All defendants, of course, were claiming that they were not at fault, or that some other defendant might be at fault. 

Now.... for a motion seeking my clients' attorney fees based upon our Offer of Judgment that Plaintiff rejected..... *fist pump*

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Office closed due to Coronavirus

March 23, 2020

Per the Governor's orders, as of 11:00 a.m., March 23, 2020, our office is now CLOSED to the public. We are still operating and conducting business, but it is now purely and solely via email, telephone and telecommunications (Skype, Zoom and other internet meeting options).

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MSC Orders Trial Courts to Limit Activity to Essential Functions, Superseding all Local Orders Regarding the Crisis

March 20, 2020

“All trial courts must take immediate action to protect the public and court personnel by limiting activity only to essential functions,” said Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack. “The Supreme Court speaks with one, decisive voice: Courts must respond so that the policy is uniform all across Michigan.”

Essential court functions outlined in the Court’s administrative order include:

Arraignments for in-custody defendantsReview and determination of requests for search warrants and personal protection ordersCertain child protective proceedingsCritical issues regarding child support and child custody

Read the entire Advisory here

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