Greetings

Thank you for visiting my blog.  I am Carson J. Tucker, an appellate and insurance law attorney.  I use this blog to communicate with my clients and colleagues about important court opinions and legal news.

Please check out my linked in biography, Carson J. Tucker, MSEL, JD on LinkedIn

I intend this blog to generally cover issues of appellate law, with some more targeted and detailed analysis of cases that are important to my clients.

There is a “File Room” drop down on the right, which contains specific subject-matter blogs that I hope to be updating.  For example, “May It Please the Court” part of the familiar introductory phrase in oral arguments before appellate tribunals will contain more general blogs about appellate law . . . the idea being that the “Court” in this case is the court of the viewing public’s opinion; “Starry Dices” a spin on the sacrosanct common-law principle of stare decisis should contain posts about the “lighter” moments of practicing law, but don’t hesitate to engage in more philosophical discussions here, either.  You can read more about me in the Background section.

Here are some of the cases I have handled: Carson J. Tucker’s Recent Appellate Cases

Thanks, please tune in and share your comments.

There is no legal advice intended or imparted by this blog.

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Amicus Curiae Brief Filed in Fifth Amendment Takings Case on Behalf of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties

Today, I filed another friend of the court (amicus curiae) brief in the Court of Appeals for the counties of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne.  The plaintiff filed suit against the state of Michigan claiming administrative user fees paid into the county court Friend of the Court system are an unconstitutional taking of private property in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The position in the brief I wrote on behalf of the three largest metropolitan counties in Michigan is that the user fees are not separate property that the users are compelled to part with as a result of unconstitutional governmental regulation.

Although Fifth Amendment jurisprudence concerning taking of private property without just compensation, and the legal definitions of what constitutes property and what constitutes a taking has been described as a confusing “bramble bush” by some commentators, here I reduce the main branches of the jurisprudence and explain each of the seemingly divergent categories of “takings clause” jurisprudence.

In the end, the plaintiff’s attempt to make this case similar to ones in which individuals are actually compelled to part with a separate, cognizable property interest as the result of a government’s interference fails.  Here, the user fees at issue do not even qualify under any of the analyses applied to consider whether a taking has occurred because the fees at issue are not a separately cognizable “property interest” under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Read the brief here:  (FINAL)Trantham.Amicus.Brief.filed.1.23.2015

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International Environmental Justice Brief Filed in United States Supreme Court – Amicus Curiae Brief Filed for Hispanic Bar Association of Michigan

In the Supreme Court of the United States, Lawrence Garcia and Stephani Labelle of Garcia Law Group, PLLC, and myself collaborated on behalf of the Hispanic Bar Association of Michigan in this international environmental justice case, drafting and filing an … Continue reading

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The “Common Law” As Defined by the “Department of Justice”

This is old news to some. But, I had some thoughts on this as I ran across it looking for a contact in the Department of Justice while I was in the process of writing a brief in the United States … Continue reading

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Michigan High Court to Address Scope of “Gross Negligence” Exception to Governmental Immunity

In an order issued on December 23, 2014, the Michigan Supreme Court has granted oral argument to consider the state’s application in this wrongful death case.  (Estate of Beals.Order).

The plaintiff is the estate of an individual who was a student at a state technical college that provided vocational and technical training to individuals with disabilities.  The decedent was a student at the college, who had been diagnosed with autism and learning disabilities.

Despite his disabilities, the decedent was an accomplished swimmer.  During an open swim time at the college’s pool, the decedent swam to the deep end of the pool, submerged, and never resurfaced, until he was brought to the surface by other students who noticed his plight.  The pool’s student lifeguard, who was described by witnesses as being distracted and inattentive around the time of the incident, was unable to resuscitate the decedent.  He was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital.  The cause of death was accidental drowning.

The estate sued the state of Michigan, the college, and the lifeguard who was on duty at the time of the accident.  The government moved for summary disposition, arguing that the lifeguard’s conduct did not arise to “gross negligence” within the meaning of Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL) 691.1407 the “gross negligence” exception to immunity, and even if his conduct did satisfy the statutory definition, it was not, as is required  by the Governmental Tort Liability Act, MCL 691.1407(2)(c) “the proximate cause” of the decedent’s accident and death.  The trial court denied the government’s summary motion to dismiss the case.

The Court of Appeals affirmed in a 2 to 1 unpublished opinion (Judges Meter and Shapiro in the majority; Judge O’Connell, dissenting).  Estate of Beals v. State of Michigan, et al.

The central issue in the case was whether the lifeguard’s conduct was “the proximate cause of the injury or damage.” MCL 691.1407(2)(c) (emphasis added). To apply the statute, the Courts have held it must be determined whether a reasonable person could find that the governmental defendant’s conduct or actions were “the one most immediate, efficient, and direct cause” of the injury alleged.  Robinson v. City of Detroit, 462 Mich. 439, 462 (2000).

The factual dispute centered on whether the lifeguard’s conduct or actions, or lack of action was, in the language of the jurisprudence interpreting MCL 691.1407(2)(c) “the one most immediate, efficient, and direct cause of” the decedent’s death.

The majority opinion reasons that reasonable minds could disagree on whether the lifeguard’s action or inaction was the proximate cause.  However, the dissenting judge, Judge O’Connell reasoned that since there was a chain of events that lead to the decedent’s death, most of which were caused by the decedent’s participating in the open swim, swimming to the deep end of the pool, and going under, it was impossible to conclude that the lifeguard’s conduct alone was “the most direct and immediate cause”.  Since a “chain of events” cannot serve as a substitute for the statutory standard, it could not be the source of tort liability against a governmental employee under the Governmental Tort Liability Act (the GTLA).

The Supreme Court’s order requests the parties to brief the issue simply as whether the lifeguard’s  “alleged failure to act was the proximate cause of the decedent’s death. MCL 691.1407(2)(c)” of the GTLA.

It should be noted that at least until now the Supreme Court has applied a narrow construction to the statutory exceptions to the government’s suit immunity.  That rule applies with equal force to the “statutory” gross negligence standard, which, unlike the common-law articulation, includes the requirements enunciated in the statutory definition found in MCL 691.1407(2)(c).  With the recent liberalization of the interpretive principles and the Court’s apparent willingness to look to common law rules that predated the passage of the GTLA, it will be interesting to see how the litigants and the Court address this significant case.

This case will also likely garner significant attention because related inferior appellate court cases have recently addressed the scope of the “gross negligence” exception to governmental immunity in actions against individual governmental actors.  Seethe following link, in which I discuss these cases:

Gross Negligence Exception to Immunity Under Attack in Cases Against “Emergency First Responders”

I have been directly involved in at least four cases as the government’s appellate attorney (Odom v. Wayne County, Hamed v. Wayne County, Atkins v. SMART Bus, and the Court of Appeals opinions in Gentry v. Wayne County and Truett v. Wayne County), and tangentially involved writing as amicus curiae in many others, which have demonstrated and continued the trend the government and its individual actors should be protected to a great degree to allow the smooth and uninterrupted operation of government affairs in day-to-day life.  I continue to believe that unnecessary litigation and large damages claims are inconsistent with this.  The Michigan Supreme Court’s decisions, which I secured in Odom, Hamed, and Atkins, as well as the Court of Appeals opinions in Gentry and Truett, were instrumental in advancing this overarching theme that should be the focus of those defending actions against the government.

If anyone has questions about any of these opinions, please call the Law Offices of Carson J. Tucker.

Effective appellate representation demands different skills than those required by litigation attorneys.  Mr. Tucker is adept at analyzing the intricacies of each case from an objective and critical perspective.  From reviewing and preparing the lower court record, identifying appealable errors, and developing a strategy to raise issues that will be addressed by appellate courts, Mr. Tucker is capable of handling the most complex appeals from the application stage to oral advocacy before the highest courts.

Mr. Tucker’s research abilities and knowledge of current issues in nearly all major subject-matter areas of the law provides his clients with efficient and immediate assistance with complex and high-exposure cases.

Mr. Tucker is experienced at navigating through all appellate courts to shepherd the appeal in the most expeditious fashion possible so that it can be reviewed and quickly ruled upon.

During the past decade, Mr. Tucker has been responsible for several seminal decisions in workers’ compensation, governmental immunity, employment and labor law, civil rights law and insurance coverage.

Because of his specialized knowledge and focus on appellate law and his recognized expertise, Mr. Tucker has been asked to participate as amicus curiae writing briefs for the Supreme Court or as special counsel to other governmental entities in some of the most significant cases in the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.

Mr. Tucker presented direct representation to the defendants and prosecuted the entire appeal, including all appellate briefings and oral arguments before the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court in the following cases, among others:

  • Estate of Truett v. Wayne County, Unpublished Opinion of the Michigan Court of Appeals, dated May 6, 2014 (Docket No. 313638), briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker for Wayne County
  • Atkins v. SMART, 492 Mich. 707 (August 20, 2012), application granted, and briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker in the Supreme Court
  • Gentry v. Wayne County Deputy Sheriff Daniel Carmona, unpublished opinion of hte Michigan Court of Appeals, dated October 11, 2011 (Docket No. 296580), briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker in the Court of Appeals
  • Hamed v. Wayne County, 490 Mich. 1 (July 29, 2011), briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker in the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court
  • Odom v. Wayne County, 482 Mich. 459 (December 30, 2008), application for leave to appeal granted, and briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker in the Supreme Court

Mr. Tucker has also served as special appellate counsel for governmental entities and organizations in writing amicus curiae briefs in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals in the following cases, among others:

  • Hannay v MDOT, ___ Mich. ___ (December 19, 2014), application granted, amicus curiae filed for Michigan Townships Association, Macomb County, Oakland County and Wayne County, et al., by Carson J. Tucker
  • Yono v. MDOT, ___ Mich ___ (2014), oral argument on application granted, amicus curiae for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne County filed by Carson J. Tucker in support of the state’s application
  • Ashley, LLC v Pittsfield Twp., 494 Mich 875 (2013), application granted, for Pittsfield Township by Carson J. Tucker
  • Hagerty v. Manistee County Road Commission, 493 Mich 933 (2013), amicus curiae for Michigan Municipal League, et al., by Carson J. Tucker

Mr. Tucker can be reached at +17342183605.

 

Posted in Administrative Law, Appeals, Appeals and Legal Research, Appellate Lawyer, Comparative Law, Governmental Immunity, Insurance and Indemnity, Insurance Coverage, Insurance Law, Insurance Lawyer, May It Please the Court, Michigan Court of Appeals Unpublished Opinions, Michigan Supreme Court Orders, Public Corporations, Recent Judicial Dispositions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Court Holds “Bodily Injury” Damages Include “Pain and Suffering” and “Non-economic Damages” In “Motor Vehicle” Accident Claims Against Government

I previously wrote a short post about this case, but since I authored an amicus curiae brief for Michigan Townships Association, and the counties of Oakland, Wayne and Macomb, I have engaged in a bit more analysis.

The Supreme Court released its long awaited opinion in Hannay v. MDOT and Hunter v. Sisco, on December 19.

The underlying facts in both cases arose from motor vehicle accidents in which government owned vehicles were involved.  In Hannay, the plaintiff was injured when she was involved in an accident with a snowplow owned and operated by the Michigan Department of Transportation.  In Hunter the plaintiff was injured when his vehicle was struck by a dump truck owned and operated by the City of Flint.

Both plaintiffs sued, claiming they suffered bodily injury and economic damages and were entitled to tort damages in excess of the minimum benefits available to all individuals injured by the operation, use or maintenance of a motor vehicle under Michigan’s No-Fault Automobile Insurance Law (the No-Fault Act), Compiled Laws, MCL 500.3101 et seq. However, for those injured by ownership or operation of a government-owned vehicle, the additional layer of the Governmental Tort Liability Act (the GTLA) (Compiled Laws, MCL 691.1401 et seq.) limits a person’s causes of action and recovery of damages to the more narrowly construed confines of the “motor vehicle” exception to governmental immunity.  See MCL 691.1405.  Under this latter provision, a person injured by the negligent operation of a government-owned motor vehicle may only recover “bodily injury” and “property” damages.

The main issue in these cases addressed an apparent conflict in the law from the two separate opinions issued by the Court of Appeals.  In Hunter v. Sisco, the Court of Appeals ruled that a person may not recover noneconomic tort damages that are available to claimants under the No-Fault Act when filing a claim against the government under the motor vehicle exception.  Since that exception only allowed recovery for “bodily injury” and “property” damage, and since the courts have construed the provision narrowly, recoverable damages were limited to those associated only with the physical injury to the person, i.e., medical expense damages.  Thus, “pain and suffering” and “emotional distress” damages that are ordinarily recoverable in a tort action under the No-Fault Act were not available under the GTLA in actions against the government under the motor vehicle exception to immunity.

In Hannay v. MDOT, the Court of Appeals ruled that a person could claim excess tort damages (in that case excess economic benefits damages like wage loss and lost earning potential).  The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s award for lost wages and for lost future potential earnings damages because the plaintiff had claimed that she was prevented from completing her education to become a dental hygienist.

Since both cases were published, and both rulings came to opposite conclusions about the extent and scope of recovery of damages under the motor vehicle exception of the GTLA, there was a conflict in the law.

Applications to appeal to the Supreme Court were filed in both cases.  The Supreme Court initially denied the application in the Hunter case.  It granted the State’s application in the Hannay case, and then subsequently granted a motion for reconsideration in the Hunter case after it became evident that resolution of both cases was necessary to address the fundamental underlying issues.

The Supreme Court’s opinion, joined by all of the Justices, with Justice Cavanagh concurring in the result only, is surprising in many respects.  Although the Supreme Court has for the better part of 40 years narrowly construed the exceptions to governmental immunity to include only those damages clearly identified as available to claimants under the GTLA in actions against the government, this principle of interpretation does not control the Court’s disposition of the result in this case.  Rather, the Court reasons that since the common-law definition of the term “bodily injury” prior to the 1964 passage of the comprehensive GTLA included pain and suffering and noneconomic damages for the claimant, and since the common law had not been explicitly overruled by the Legislature in its passage of the GTLA, the term continued to mean that such damages are recoverable to claimants.

Thus, the “tort damages” available to individual claimants under the No-Fault Act are also available to claimants who can prove such injuries and damages in actions against the government.

The Court comes to this conclusion despite very recent enunciations concerning the prioritization of the Legislature’s primary authority to define the law even in the face of prior judicial interpretations of the law, i.e., common law made by the decisions of the Supreme Court.  Further, the Court has also clearly indicated for decades that the GTLA requires even greater deference to the Legislature because it alone is the expression of the People’s will to be haled into court and answer for claims against the government.  Indeed, the Court has repeatedly stated that private and government actors are treated differently when addressing claims against them.

The Court’s opinion also does not address how the government can ever be held to the same standards and duties of an ordinary civilian under the auspices of the No-Fault Act.  The No-Fault Act provides that all Michigan citizens are responsible to provide primary no-fault benefits without regard to fault.  The GTLA requires a showing of fault, i.e., negligence, against the government in order for a claimant to be able to invoke the jurisdiction of the courts and to be entitled to damages.  Even though the No-Fault Act does provide for “tort damages” when a claimant can prove they suffered a “threshold injury”, i.e., an injury that causes serious impairment of a body function, this does not explain how and why the government must be subject to the same system applicable to other citizens in Michigan.  Another principle that the Supreme Court has adhered to since the beginning of statehood in Michigan, at least until now, is that the immunity of the government is jurisdictional.  Thus, litigation and liability can only be pursued via those means expressly defined by the Legislature as allowing suits against the government.  Otherwise, there is no consent, implicit or otherwise, to subject to the government, i.e., the People, to other liability and “no-fault” schemes under Michigan law.

Although this issue was not directly implicated in these cases, the failure to address it and answer the question in explaining that the government can indeed be held liable in the same parameters of liability and fault as ordinary citizens under the No-Fault Act blemishes an otherwise fairly visible and consistent image in the tapestry of jurisprudence created by the Court when addressing governmental liability in Michigan.

It is unfortunate that this opinion contains this evident erosion of the Court’s prior jurisprudence interpreting the GTLA.  It does not solidly adhere to the Court’s previously consistent themes in addressing governmental immunity cases post-1964 passage of the GTLA.  Because the term “bodily injury” exists in other exceptions to governmental immunity, this opinion will provide an opportunity for those seeking to expand the narrowly construed exceptions to the government’s liability.  It will also lead to additional and more strenuous litigation efforts against the government.  And, it will result in larger payouts by the government for damages claims under the GTLA, whether through settlements or judgments.

On that latter note, the one bright spot in the opinion is that the Court reverses the Court of Appeals affirmation in Hannay of the trial court’s allowance of speculative “future earnings potential” damages.  As mentioned, the Plaintiff claimed entitlement to future earnings as a dental hygienist, even though she never finished her educational certification for that particular job.  The trial court held that but for the motor vehicle accident, the plaintiff would have been accepted into a “dental-hygienist” program, would have graduated from that program, and would have been employed at least 60% of the time at the rate of $28 per hour.  The Court reasoned the damages award was far too speculative.  The plaintiff did not prove by a “preponderance of the evidence” that she would have earned such wages if not for the accident.  “The number of conditions that had to be satisfied before Hannay could have been employed as a dental hygienist indicated that this case involved more than the inherent uncertainty of work-loss claims in general, rendering the award impermissibly contingent and speculative.”   Syllabus, and Slip. Op. at p. 38.

I continue to diligently monitor this and all other cases touching on the government’s liability and exposure under the exceptions to the GTLA.  It is unfortunate that this particular case appears to be a setback in the otherwise strong opinions issued by the Court in the past decade when addressing actions against the government.

My earlier posts about these cases can be found at the following links:

Supreme Court to Address Scope of Damages Available in Actions Against Governmental Entities Under No-Fault Insurance and Governmental Immunity Law

Governmental Liability for Damages Under Motor Vehicle Exception to Immunity to be Addressed by Supreme Court

Michigan Supreme Court to Consider Both Non-economic and Economic Tort Damages Claims Against Government

Supreme Court Amicus Curiae Brief Filed in Support of State’s Appeal in Motor Vehicle Exception Case

I have been directly involved in at least four cases as the government’s appellate attorney (Odom v. Wayne County, Hamed v. Wayne County, Atkins v. SMART Bus, and the Court of Appeals opinions in Gentry v. Wayne County and Truett v. Wayne County), and tangentially involved writing as amicus curiae in many others, which have demonstrated and continued the trend the government and its individual actors should be protected to a great degree to allow the smooth and uninterrupted operation of government affairs in day-to-day life.  I continue to believe that unnecessary litigation and large damages claims are inconsistent with this.  The Michigan Supreme Court’s decisions, which I secured in Odom, Hamed, and Atkins, as well as the Court of Appeals opinions in Gentry and Truett, were instrumental in advancing this overarching theme that should be the focus of those defending actions against the government.

If anyone has questions about any of these opinions, please call the Law Offices of Carson J. Tucker.

Effective appellate representation demands different skills than those required by litigation attorneys.  Mr. Tucker is adept at analyzing the intricacies of each case from an objective and critical perspective.  From reviewing and preparing the lower court record, identifying appealable errors, and developing a strategy to raise issues that will be addressed by appellate courts, Mr. Tucker is capable of handling the most complex appeals from the application stage to oral advocacy before the highest courts.

Mr. Tucker’s research abilities and knowledge of current issues in nearly all major subject-matter areas of the law provides his clients with efficient and immediate assistance with complex and high-exposure cases.

Mr. Tucker is experienced at navigating through all appellate courts to shepherd the appeal in the most expeditious fashion possible so that it can be reviewed and quickly ruled upon.

During the past decade, Mr. Tucker has been responsible for several seminal decisions in workers’ compensation, governmental immunity, employment and labor law, civil rights law and insurance coverage.

Because of his specialized knowledge and focus on appellate law and his recognized expertise, Mr. Tucker has been asked to participate as amicus curiae writing briefs for the Supreme Court or as special counsel to other governmental entities in some of the most significant cases in the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.

Mr. Tucker presented direct representation to the defendants and prosecuted the entire appeal, including all appellate briefings and oral arguments before the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court in the following cases, among others:

  • Estate of Truett v. Wayne County, Unpublished Opinion of the Michigan Court of Appeals, dated May 6, 2014 (Docket No. 313638), briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker for Wayne County
  • Atkins v. SMART, 492 Mich. 707 (August 20, 2012), application granted, and briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker in the Supreme Court
  • Gentry v. Wayne County Deputy Sheriff Daniel Carmona, unpublished opinion of hte Michigan Court of Appeals, dated October 11, 2011 (Docket No. 296580), briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker in the Court of Appeals
  • Hamed v. Wayne County, 490 Mich. 1 (July 29, 2011), briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker in the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court
  • Odom v. Wayne County, 482 Mich. 459 (December 30, 2008), application for leave to appeal granted, and briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker in the Supreme Court

Mr. Tucker has also served as special appellate counsel for governmental entities and organizations in writing amicus curiae briefs in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals in the following cases, among others:

  • Hannay v MDOT, ___ Mich. ___ (December 19, 2014), application granted, amicus curiae filed for Michigan Townships Association, Macomb County, Oakland County and Wayne County, et al., by Carson J. Tucker
  • Yono v. MDOT, ___ Mich ___ (2014), oral argument on application granted, amicus curiae for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne County filed by Carson J. Tucker in support of the state’s application
  • Ashley, LLC v Pittsfield Twp., 494 Mich 875 (2013), application granted, for Pittsfield Township by Carson J. Tucker
  • Hagerty v. Manistee County Road Commission, 493 Mich 933 (2013), amicus curiae for Michigan Municipal League, et al., by Carson J. Tucker

Mr. Tucker can be reached at +17342183605.

Posted in Administrative Law, Appeals, Appeals and Legal Research, Appellate Lawyer, Comparative Law, Governmental Immunity, Highway Defect Claims, Insurance and Indemnity, Insurance Coverage, Insurance Law, Insurance Lawyer, May It Please the Court, Michigan No-Fault Insurance, Michigan Supreme Court Opinions, Michigan Supreme Court Orders, Public Corporations, Recent Judicial Dispositions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Court to Address Scope of Police Officer and Firefighter Immunity in “Friendly Fire” Case

I previously wrote about this case and predicted it was likely destined for additional appellate review.  On December 19, the Supreme Court granted leave to appeal the state’s application in Lego v. Liss, Supreme Court No. 149246  (Lego v. Liss Supreme Court Grant Order).

The plaintiff, a township police officer, was injured when a state trooper shot him while the two were working together on an anti-crime task force at a crime scene.  The plaintiff filed suit alleging a number of causes of action against the state trooper.

Because defendant was a government employee, the “Fireman’s Rule,” codified in part as Compiled Laws, MCL 600.2966, provides that government employees are immune from tort liability for an injury to a firefighter or police officer “that arises from the normal, inherent, and foreseeable risks” of the profession.

The plain language of MCL 600.2996 does not, however, provide blanket governmental immunity from suits by firefighters or police officer.  The Court will likely address the scope of the “Fireman’s Rule” as it pertains to injuries incurred by governmental employees at the hands of other governmental employees.

Read my previous post here, which contains the Court of Appeals opinion and additional background about this case.

State Asks Court to Consider Scope of Governmental Immunity in “Friendly Fire”

Carson J. Tucker represents governmental entities and individual governmental employees.  He is responsible for the Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Odom v. Wayne County, a case in which he succeeded in having the Supreme Court grant leave to clarify the law after more than 30 years of disarray involving liability imposed on law enforcement officers for conduct in the line of duty.

Odom v. Wayne County – Supreme Court Issues Definitive Ruling on Intentional Tort Exception to Governmental Immunity

Effective appellate representation demands different skills than those required by litigation attorneys.  Mr. Tucker is adept at analyzing the intricacies of each case from an objective and critical perspective.  From reviewing and preparing the lower court record, identifying appealable errors, and developing a strategy to raise issues that will be addressed by appellate courts, Mr. Tucker is capable of handling the most complex appeals from the application stage to oral advocacy before the highest courts.

Mr. Tucker’s research abilities and knowledge of current issues in nearly all major subject-matter areas of the law provides his clients with efficient and immediate assistance with complex and high-exposure cases.

Mr. Tucker is experienced at navigating through all appellate courts to shepherd the appeal in the most expeditious fashion possible so that it can be reviewed and quickly ruled upon.

During the past decade, Mr. Tucker has been responsible for several seminal decisions in workers’ compensation, governmental immunity, employment and labor law, civil rights law and insurance coverage.

Because of his specialized knowledge and focus on appellate law and his recognized expertise, Mr. Tucker has been asked to participate as amicus curiae writing briefs for the Supreme Court or as special counsel to other governmental entities in some of the most significant cases in the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.

Mr. Tucker presented direct representation to the defendants and prosecuted the entire appeal, including all appellate briefings and oral arguments before the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court in the following cases, among others:

  • Williamson v. GM, Supreme Court No. 149850 (November 25, 2014), application filed and Supreme Court peremptorily reversed and remanded case on Mr. Tucker’s arguments alone
  • Estate of Truett v. Wayne County, Unpublished Opinion of the Michigan Court of Appeals, dated May 6, 2014 (Docket No. 313638), briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker for Wayne County
  • Atkins v. SMART, 492 Mich. 707 (August 20, 2012), application granted, and briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker in the Supreme Court
  • Gentry v. Wayne County Deputy Sheriff Daniel Carmona, unpublished opinion of hte Michigan Court of Appeals, dated October 11, 2011 (Docket No. 296580), briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker in the Court of Appeals
  • Hamed v. Wayne County, 490 Mich. 1 (July 29, 2011), briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker in the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court
  • Odom v. Wayne County, 482 Mich. 459 (December 30, 2008), application for leave to appeal granted, and briefed and argued by Carson J. Tucker in the Supreme Court
  • Omian v. Chrysler Group, LLC, 495 Mich. 859 (2013), application filed by Carson J. Tucker, Supreme Court remand to Court of Appeals on leave granted, oral argument presented by Carson J. Tucker.
  • Ghanam v. John Does, 303 Mich. App. 522 (2013), application to appeal filed in Supreme Court by Carson J. Tucker

Mr. Tucker has also served as special appellate counsel for governmental entities and organizations in writing amicus curiae briefs in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals in the following cases, among others:

  • State Farm v. MMRMA, ___ Mich App ___ (2013), amicus curiae for Oakland County in support of MMRMA application, by Carson J. Tucker
  • Hannay v MDOT, ___ Mich. ___ (December 19, 2014), application granted, amicus curiae filed for Michigan Townships Association, Macomb County, Oakland County and Wayne County, et al., by Carson J. Tucker
  • Yono v. MDOT, ___ Mich ___ (2014), oral argument on application granted, amicus curiae for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne County filed by Carson J. Tucker in support of the state’s application
  • Huddleston v. Trinity Health, et al., 495 Mich. 976 (2014), oral argument on application granted, amicus curiae with Lawrence Garcia, Esq., for MDTC
  • Ashley, LLC v Pittsfield Twp., 494 Mich 875 (2013), application granted, for Pittsfield Township by Carson J. Tucker (resolved by settlement)
  • Bailey v. Schaaf, ___ Mich ___ (2013), amicus curiae for MDTC by Carson J. Tucker
  • Hagerty v. Manistee County Road Commission, 493 Mich 933 (2013), amicus curiae for Michigan Municipal League, et al., by Carson J. Tucker

Mr. Tucker can be reached at +17342183605.

Posted in May It Please the Court | Leave a comment

Court Holds “Bodily Injury” Damages Include “Pain and Suffering” and “Non-economic Damages” In “Motor Vehicle” Accident Claims Against Government

In a much awaited opinion, the Michigan Supreme Court has held that a claimant may recover “nonecconomic damages” such as “pain and suffering” and “emotional distress” damages and excess “economic damages” in actions against the government under the “motor vehicle” … Continue reading

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