After a 3-day jury trial, a Huron County Circuit Court jury returned a verdict of not guilty on a man charged with two felonies. The defendant, Travis M. Kosinski, was found not guilty of one county of breaking and entering a building with intent, and one count of malicious destruction of personal property. 68916_law_education_series_2-300x225

The charges stemmed from a June 2016 allegation, Konsinski was accused of doing thousands of dollars of damage to a 1974 24-foot Sea Ray boat that belonged to his relative. Peter Samouris of Grabel and Associates led Kosinski’s defense.

Samouris provided commentary on the trial when he said, “I’m glad that justice was served in Travis’s case. My client has always maintained his innocence-and as one of the jurors told me afterwards-he was wondering why it was even charged in the first place. Travis is delighted to put all of this behind him. Justice was served with this verdict.”

On March 18, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court issued Administrative Order No 2020-2. The order will limit activities and assemblages in courthouses across the state of Michigan. To gain insight on how this will affect criminal law cases across our state, we sat down with three of the top criminal lawyers in Michigan. Grabel04a-2-300x146

Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates. Grabel’s firm is known as the top criminal defense team in the state of Michigan and has a strong presence in the federal court system. When asked about the Administrative Order, Grabel said, “This is a time when safety will come first. The order speaks of video technology that will be out in place to preserve the constitutional rights of defendants in these situations. The tug of war will be which trials will go first when our state becomes more stable. Governor Whitmer has her hands full right now with protecting our state, and trials are not the priority, but for those that are incarcerated, the issue becomes far more complex. We all need to work together to find solutions.”

William Amadeo is a partner at McManus and Amadeo in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a Senior Associate for Grabel and Associates. Amadeo has one of the largest criminal dockets in the state and covers more than ten counties. When asked about the new order, Amadeo stated, “We need consistency, and I’m glad that our Supreme Court is taking the initiative, but we still need more. We can’t have one set of schedules in Macomb County, a different set in Washtenaw and a third in Wayne. For lawyers that are going to trial in multiple counties, we all need to be on the same page, and I would hope that prosecutors and defense lawyers could work as a team during these trying times. We are in the unchartered territory; teamwork is essential if we are to be stable again.”

The world has seen unprecedented action and activity as the number of coronavirus COVID-19 cases continues to increase worldwide. It is apparent that the coronavirus spreads fairly easily between people when they are in close contact whether the person transmitting the disease has symptoms or not. There have been just over 1,600 cases of coronavirus nationwide, which have resulted in 41 deaths. The virus saw its first outbreak in Wuhan, China and has been spreading worldwide at an alarming pace. Italy, Spain and other countries are going into complete lockdowns to try to curb the spread of coronavirus. The state of Michigan has seen less than 50 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far, but this number is expected to increase. People with confirmed cases have been asked to self-quarantine (isolate) themselves from other people for at least 14 days to avoid transmitting the disease to other people. index2-300x129

What Happens If You Are Ordered To Quarantine?

If you test positive for corona virus COVID-19, the only sure-fire way to not spread the disease is to isolate yourself from others while dealing with the sickness. It is recommended that people quarantine for at least 14 days if they test positive for the virus or feel symptoms related to the virus. Common symptoms include a high fever, a dry cough, and a respiratory infection that have proven to be fatal to some people. Countries in Europe like Italy and Spain have forced quarantine on basically everyone in the country except for trips to the grocery store and pharmacy. Most shops, restaurants, bars etc. have been shuttered during this pandemic.

The coronavirus outbreak has caused mass hysteria and panic worldwide. The hardest hit areas as of this writing have been in Europe and China. The effects of the virus have now hit the United States in the forms of travel bans, event size restrictions, and general disruption of every day American life as we know it. Schools have been cancelled, sports leagues have suspended play, and an increasing number of people have caught the coronavirus in the United States. As of now there have been just over 1,600 cases of coronavirus nationwide, which have resulted in 41 deaths. The virus saw its first outbreak in Wuhan, China and has been spreading worldwide at an alarming pace. Italy, Spain and other countries are going into complete lockdowns to try to curb the spread of coronavirus. The state of Michigan has seen less than 50 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far, but this number is expected to increase. While many people have been sent home to work remotely, others face the possibility of losing their jobs due to the coronavirus. Courtroom matters are typically handled in person, so the effects of the coronavirus can be significant for Michigan courts. index2-300x129

Coronavirus Affecting Michigan Courts

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget Mary McCormack issued a memo on March 11, 2020 to all state trial courts recommending adjournments. The aim of this memo is to adjourn all jury trials, whether they were civil or criminal unless there was some special reason in a specific case such as a defendant being held in custody for an extended amount of time awaiting trial. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently declared a State of Emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak. This recommendation to adjourn all trial is meant to apply for the duration of the State of Emergency until the situation gets under better control.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) have been a staple in the American car industry, serving as a labor union to auto workers in the USA and Canada since 1935. The UAW is headquartered in Detroit, MI and has almost 400,000 active members. It is estimated that there are over 600,000 retired members of the UAW. The influence and power of the UAW is vast, and so are the perks for its leaders. It looks as if its main leader took it excessively too far. Former UAW president Gary Jones has been indicted on charges ranging from conspiracy to embezzle union funds to aiding racketeering as well as tax evasion. Jones became the 14th individual charged in this investigation and its highest ranking accused of wrongdoing. This is uncharted territory for the UAW as an organization as they have maintained a clean image since their beginnings. cars-on-the-street-1-98669-m

Original Case Details

It is alleged that Gary Jones, along with other upper tier union leaders used union money to pay for luxury travel, high-end cigars and spa treatments. He is said to be responsible for over $1 million of embezzlement from the UAW. Jones and others are said to have covered their tracks by submitting fake vouchers and false receipts to receive payments. This scandal first broke in 2017 when former lead labor negotiator for Fiat Chrysler Alphons Iacobelli was indicted breaking the clean image that the UAW had once been known for. The UAW released a statement: “All UAW members including the UAW leadership are and should be angry about the charges of former UAW member Gary Jones and his alleged actions. This is a violation of trust, a violation of the sacred management of union dues, and goes against everything we believe in as a union. Jones and all who betrayed the trust of our union should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law with no exceptions.”

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has compromised the lifestyles of all walks of life. One such population that is overlooked during these trying times are the incarcerated. A recent op-ed from Dr. Amanda Klonsky in the New York Times has brought national attention to this issue. To gain insight into how the incarcerated are dealing with the effects in the state of Michigan and for potential solutions, we spoke to three of the top criminal defense lawyers in our state. index

Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates. Grabel’s firm is known as the top criminal defense team in the state of Michigan. When asked about how COVID-19 is affecting the incarcerated, Grabel said, “A lot of our practice is based on appeals. Our appellate team has a new option to advocate for those that are incarcerated. The health of those housed at the Michigan Department of Corrections comes at the center of concern right now. As criminal lawyers, this has become a time when criminal evaluations and criminal appeals will reach historic highs.”

William Amadeo is a partner at McManus and Amadeo in Ann Arbor, Michigan and a Senior Associate at Grabel and Associates. Amadeo is known as the top criminal defense attorney in Washtenaw County, Michigan and gave his thoughts on the issue when he said, “The time to work as a team is before us. The elderly and the young at the Michigan Department of Corrections have very different needs and it is easy for those housed in our jails and prisons to be overlooked. Dr. Amanda Klonsky leads a prison education organization and her analysis should carry a lot of weight. Arianne Slay is a candidate for Washtenaw County Prosecutor and she has a platform that speaks of “Restorative Justice” which is central our state’s future and this issue. The words of Prosecutor Slay and Dr. Amanda Klonsky ring very true during these trying times.”

The fear of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a dramatic effect on our legal system. Many counties in Michigan are adjourning jury trials until further notice. The criminal defendant who is fighting for their freedom is now faced with a challenging proposition: Will their freedom be compromised for the health and safety of society. To discuss the impact of this issue in the state of Michigan, we spoke to three of the top criminal defense attorneys in our state. 24259101_s-300x199

Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates. Grabel’s law firm is known as the top criminal defense team across the state of Michigan and generally runs over 40 jury trials per year. When asked about the impact of COVID-19 on jury trials, Grabel stated, “This has become a wait and see proposition. While I’m sure that trial dockets will stabilize at some point, we don’t know how long this process will take. This will allow us to prepare even more so for our clients but also creates a lot of uncertainty to the criminal justice system.”

William Amadeo is a partner at McManus and Amadeo in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a Senior Associate for Grabel and Associates. Amadeo is known as one of the top trial lawyers across the state of Michigan and has had his docket compromised. Amadeo provided commentary when he said, “From March 31 to June 25, I had five jury trials across the state. My Lenawee County trial on March 31 has been adjourned for an indefinite period. The other cases are in limbo. There is a chance that resolutions could be reached during these trying times, but I have been in a cold war of sorts on these cases. There is a chance that COVID-19 will allow cooler heads to prevail, but the unknown is frustrating for people faced with the loss of their freedom. As a criminal defense lawyer, it is time for all of us to step our game up with communicating with our clients.”

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a dramatic effect on the Michigan criminal justice system. Governor Whitmer has declared a state of emergency, and trial courts have implemented emergency measures. One such action the Michigan Supreme Court is Administrative Order No 2020-1 to advise trial lawyers and court participants to use caution. While these measures are in place to protect society, another aspect of COVID-19 is what role it will play in the 2020 Michigan Judicial Elections. To gather insight on this issue, we had the chance to speak to three of the top lawyers in the state of Michigan. mi-state-seal-300x300

Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates, which has offices in Lansing, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Grabel’s law firm is known as the top criminal defense team across the state of Michigan. When asked how COVI-19 will affect the judicial elections, Grabel stated, “2020 is going to be an essential election in our trial courts. With the fear of this horrible disease and with the crime rate in Michigan being at historical highs, we will need reasonable minds on our bench. These factors may also lead to a minimal voter turnout, which is concerning for our justice system.”

William Amadeo is a partner at McManus and Amadeo in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a Senior Associate for Grabel and Associates. Amadeo is known as one of the top criminal defense lawyers in Washtenaw, Wayne, and Shiawassee Counties and regularly works before those courts. About judicial elections and the COVID-19 panic, Amadeo said, “These are scary times, and no matter the status of our state and country, these elections are going to occur, and absentee ballots will be pivotal. In Wayne County, it is going to be essential that Referee Nicholas Hathaway gets on the bench at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice. With the volume in Detroit, a forward-thinking justice like Referee Hathaway brings a wealth of understanding from his career as a prosecutor and a Referee. As for Shiawassee County, Judge Matthew Stewart has been a mentor of mine, and I can’t imagine why anybody would consider running against him. If there is an election in Corunna, I’ll encourage people to back Judge Stewart.”

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) has struck fear across the United States. Despite limited reported cases, the concern has grown drastically due to social media and television outlets. The inconsistency of reports on COVID-19 had led to mass confusion in society and our criminal justice system. To gain insight into how the disease is affecting our state’s criminal justice system, we spoke to top criminal defense attorneys that practice in multiple counties. index2-300x129

Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates and has built a firm that is known as the top criminal defense team across the state of Michigan. When asked the impact of COVID-19, Grabel stated, “Our firm does a lot of appellate work. The key to success in appellate work can visit an incarcerated client and review transcripts. Prisons have been locked down due to COVID-19. We all need to error on the side of safety, but for those incarcerated, there is another hurdle to their freedom regained.”

William Amadeo is a partner at McManus, and Amadeo is Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a Senior Associate for Grabel and Associates in Lansing, Michigan. Amadeo has a docket that covers over ten counties and provided commentary on the obstacles created by the virus. Amadeo said, “The reality is we don’t know where we stand right now as a society. I had a trial in Lenawee, County, that was scheduled for March 31 that had been adjourned indefinitely. I had five trials set across the state from March 31 until June 25, and they are all in limbo. With the fear of bringing jurors in, this may be a time where prosecutors, probation officers, and defense counsels can work as a team towards resolutions but that will call for a lot of giving and take from all officers of the court.”

Original Case Details

The United States Supreme Court has recently heard arguments regarding the case of United States v. Sineneng-Smith. Evelyn Sineneng-Smith challenged a law that makes it illegal to encourage or aid in someone’s illegal immigration. Ms. Sineneng-Smith was convicted under this law of bringing people to the United States under the false pretense that they were eligible for the “Labor Certification” program even though this program had expired in 2001. Ms. Sineneng-Smith operated an immigration consulting firm that worked to help immigrants obtain work permits and green cards. Ms. Sineneng-Smith was accused of telling her clients this information incorrectly and inducing them to come to the United States from 2001-2008. She submitted applications with this false information, and as a part of this case, was also convicted of mail fraud for her activities. A recent United States Court of Appeals ruling in the Ninth Circuit has stated that this law infringes on freedom of speech as it is too broad. Ms. Sineneng-Smith seeks to have the wording of this law changed which would change its current application. iStock_000006818663_Full-300x200

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