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Ann Arbor Criminal Defense Blog

Facial recognition gets it all wrong in Michigan arrest

Robert Williams was standing on the front lawn of his Farmington Hills house with his wife and two young daughters when police pulled up, cuffed him and put him in the back of a squad car. His wife asked where he was being taken.

"Google it," an officer responded, as the little girls, 2 and 5 years old, cried.

Michigan Court of Appeals clarifies attorney-client privilege

It is likely that all of our Ann Arbor blog readers have seen at least one courtroom drama on TV or in movies in which attorney-client privilege played a prominent role. While the concept is a familiar one, details of what is and is not privileged communication between a lawyer and client likely remain elusive.

The heavy price of conviction

What is the worst thing that the state of Michigan can do to someone convicted of a crime? The obvious answer is the correct one: the state can sentence that person to spend years of their life in prison. But when people try to think of the next worse thing the state or federal government can do, the answers are not nearly as clear or obvious.

Federal officials investigating alleged virus-related fraud in Michigan

The coronavirus pandemic has upended lives across the U.S. and around the world. Law enforcement officials say they have launched investigations to protect members of an anxious public from various forms of virus-related fraud.

Part V: Understanding parental alienation

In our previous post, we pointed out Attorney Ashish S. Joshi wrote in his article on no-contact orders that courts dealing with high-conflict child custody disputes featuring parental alienation are sometimes warned that an order temporarily preventing contact between an alienating parent and a child will result in long-lasting trauma to the child.

In those situations, courts should remember that no studies show harm to the child done by a no-contact order; no studies show that adults who repaired relationships with estranged parents regretted doing so; and research shows that adults who, as children, disowned a parent regretted that decision.

Part IV: Understanding parental alienation

As regular readers of our Ann Arbor legal blog know, we have in recent posts delved into the complex issue of parental alienation - a phenomenon in some high-conflict custody disputes described by Attorney Ashish S. Joshi as a "mental condition in which a child . . . allies himself or herself strongly with an alienating parent and rejects a relationship with the 'target' parent without legitimate justification."

In our previous post, we noted that in cases of extreme parental alienation, knowledgeable mental health professionals will often recommend a no-contact period of three to six months between the favored parent (the one responsible for the alienation) and the child. That period allows the child a period to recover emotionally and reestablish a relationship with the rejected parent.

Part III: Understanding parental alienation

Regular readers of our Ann Arbor legal blog know that we have in recent posts delved into the complex issue of parental alienation - a phenomenon described by Attorney Ashish S. Joshi as a "mental condition in which a child - usually one whose parents are engaged in a high-conflict separation or divorce - allies himself or herself strongly with an alienating parent and rejects a relationship with the 'target' parent without legitimate justification."

What is a court to do when it makes a determination that this damaging predicament exists? Joshi writes that "temporary no-contact orders are necessary and warranted in alienation cases" because of "severe behavioral, emotional, and cognitive impairments" suffered by alienated children.

Michigan Supreme Court clarifies impact of virus-related measures on your court orders

The novel coronavirus has upended life across Michigan, the nation and around the globe. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a statewide stay-at-home order to try to slow the spread of the virus.

The Michigan Supreme Court has also weighed in on coronavirus-related limitations on courtroom operations. The court issued a statement to clarify matters for parents who live apart and "might be confused about changing family situations and their court orders."

Part II: Understanding parental alienation

Regular readers of our Ann Arbor legal blog will undoubtedly recall that we recently published a post that took a look at Attorney Ashish S. Joshi's "Temporary No-Contact Orders: The Necessary Ingredient for Effective Reunification in Cases Involving Parental Alienation" that was published in the Michigan Family Law Journal. (You can read part one of "Understanding Parental Alienation" here.)

Attorney Joshi points out that there much important work remains after a court has determined that a family law case involves parental alienation. The next step for the court is to decide in the best interests of the child on needed legal and mental health interventions.

Part I: Understanding parental alienation

There are few in the world of family law as well-regarded and influential as Attorney Ashish S. Joshi on the subjects of complex divorce and parental alienation. Ann Arbor’s Joshi recently authored “Temporary No-Contact Orders: The Necessary Ingredient for Effective Reunification in Cases Involving Parental Alienation,” published in the Michigan Family Law Journal.

He notes that though parental alienation has received media attention in recent years, it’s not a new phenomenon: “The concept of parental alienation has been acknowledged and addressed by English-speaking courts for the last 200 years.”

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