Proposal would increase juror pay rates

By JASON KRAFT
Capital News Service
LANSING – Michigan jurors would soon receive their first pay increase since 2003 if a bill on compensation passes, a representative said. Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, introduced a bill last year that would increase juror compensation by  $5 per full day and $2.50 per half day. They currently make $25 for a full day and $12.50 for a half day on the first day, then $40 and $20, respectively, on subsequent days. “Jurors aren’t even making enough to pay for their parking,” Lucido said. “When you look at the economics of it, it’s just not fair.

Court: Cities can lease drilling rights under parks without citizens’ vote

By ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — Citizens have no legal right to vote on whether to approve leases for drilling for oil and gas under city-owned parks and cemeteries, the Court of Appeals has ruled. A three-judge panel unanimously rejected a challenge by the nonprofit Don’t Drill the Hills Inc. to a decision by Rochester Hills to lease underground oil and gas rights to one company and to allow another company to relocate an oil pipeline. City attorney John Staran said the decision is significant to local governments across Michigan because the court found a lease is not a “sale” of parkland that would trigger a public vote. “The court applied common sense and the plain and ordinary meaning to ‘park’ and ‘open space,’” Staran said. “Park means park.

Threats come with the job, many lawyers say

By ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — There was the lawyer who stabbed an opposing attorney in the shoulder with a pen in the courthouse. And the litigant who tried to run down a lawyer with a tractor. And the client who, angry about his bill, smashed his lawyer’s car hood with a baseball bat. Unusual? Not at all in Michigan, according to a newly published study.