Week of 8.21.17

Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

MOCAD Interchange Art + Dinner

The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and Library Street Collective gallery owners JJ and Anthony Curis collaborated on a remarkable event that turned their home – the  Hawkins Ferry house – into a museum. Under the title “Unobstructed Views,” 39 pieces of art, all available for bids, had been installed throughout the modernist gem on the shore of Lake St. Clair. More than 200 guests ($175, $200 ticket) and their conversation invigorated both floors of the museum and the lakeside terrace. Guests included legendary sculptor Glen Michaels, who recalled creating many installations for the home’s architect Bill Kessler. Art collector Shirley Piku was another guest with specific memories.
This weeks social light photos…


oakland confidential

August 2017

HORSE RACES: Democratic aspirations of taking a majority hold on Congress after the 2018 General Election will hinge on the party’s ability to take two dozen congressional seats, which may include upsets in Michigan’s 8th and 11th Districts, according to recent rankings of 82 districts by The New York Times. The piece split the districts into eight groups to watch, based on competitiveness ...more»
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The Whistleblower Act

By Lisa Brody
News Editor
...continued from page 4

Of the number of whistleblower complaints in 2016, out of the 3,402 total cases, 63 were found to have merit, with 441 settled and 376 being settled or having another resolution. There were 712 cases withdrawn, 1,715 dismissed and 95 kicked out of court. In 2015, when there were 3,337 cases filed, 45 were found to have merit, and 485 were settled, with 313 having another positive resolution. There were 1,665 cases dismissed, 106 cases kicked out of court, and 723 withdrawn.

"To establish a whistleblower claim under Michigan law, an individual must initially show that the individual was engaged in a protected activity, as defined by the WPA; the individual was discharged; and a causal connection existed between the protected activity and discharge," Shinn explained.

He said that protected activity under the WPA may consist of reporting to a public body a violation of a law, regulation or rule, or being about to report such a violation to a public body, or being asked by a public body to participate in an investigation.

"In our experience, an employee asserting the second type of claim – an 'about to report' claim – is often the most difficult to establish," he said. "This is in part because the individual who with 'a clear and convincing evidence that he or she or a person acting on his or her behalf was about to report, verbally or in writing, a violation or suspected violation...to a public body.' Also, to assert a whistleblower claim under Michigan law, the violation or suspected violation must have already occurred or be ongoing. It is not legally enough for an employee to report some conduct or act that might occur. In other words, future, planned, or anticipated acts that would cause a violation or a suspected violation of law are not included."

While there are a patchwork of numerous protective statutes under state and federal law, a main and comprehensive area of whistleblower law is the False Claims Act, also known as the Lincoln Law, a statute enacted in 1863 to fight widespread fraud when companies were selling rotten food and defective weapons to the Union Army in the Civil War. The False Claims Act imposes a liability on people and companies who defraud government programs. "It's for federal cases where the government has been defrauded, and (we) bring the case on behalf of the government as well as against the companies," said Philip Brown, an attorney with Constantine Canon, a private New York and Washington D.C. law firm which evaluates claims and lawsuits on behalf of the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), IRS, and other agencies.

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