MUNICIPAL LAW & LITIGATION

 

MUNICIPAL LAW & LITIGATION

 


MUNICIPAL LAW
Berry Moorman attorneys have decades of experience serving as outside counsel to cities, townships, counties and villages throughout Michigan.  Our attorneys work with municipalities on the full range of issues associated with local government, including:

  • Employment policies, practices and litigation,
  • Labor relations, collective bargaining agreement negotiations, and union grievance arbitration,
  • Zoning, planning and land use,
  • Ordinance drafting and enforcement,
  • Procurement matters, including bid analysis and the negotiation of service contracts and vendor agreements,
  • Economic development programs and intergovernmental agreements,
  • Eminent domain/condemnation,
  • Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act compliance,
  • Property tax appeals,
  • Agency policy development and record retention matters,
  • Defense of municipal agencies and officials, and
  • Insurance defense in matters that include automobile negligence and claimed defects with utility systems.

LAW ENFORCEMENT DEFENSE AND LITIGATION

Each day, law enforcement officers put their lives and reputations on the line to protect the public.  Doing so often requires them to make split-second decisions and judgments under stressful, emotionally charged and potentially dangerous situations – while at the same time acting within the constraints of the U.S. Constitution, other state and federal laws, and internal department policies.  With increased public scrutiny over police officers and police departments, the number of civil lawsuits filed against municipalities and police officers are on the rise.  These cases are often driven by a belief that negative media coverage of the police and the influence of organizations that protest police activities will make juries more favorable to plaintiffs.

Our law enforcement and public safety defense team is made up of experienced litigators, some of whom are former prosecutors.  We have successfully defended our clients against alleged claims of excessive or unreasonable force, police brutality, racial profiling, false arrest, fabrication of evidence, failure to intervene or provide medical care, and failure to train or supervise.  Our thorough investigation of the facts and circumstances, including pre-suit video review, interviews, and research, and our aggressive approach defending these cases has led to favorable outcomes and the imposition of sanctions against plaintiff attorneys.

Outside of litigation, our team counsels police agencies on policy and procedure matters.  We also offer additional training to police officers and senior police officials to keep them abreast of current legal issues, documentation and record-keeping practices.

MARIJUANA ORDINANCE LITIGATION AND COUNSELING

All throughout Michigan, municipalities and their residents are deciding to permit the use, growth, and sale of recreational and medical marijuana. However, these changes at the local level are often rife with legal issues. In proposing, enacting, executing, and enforcing marijuana-related ordinances, municipalities must consider a laundry list of legal and practical issues such as zoning requirements, election laws, “sunshine laws”, federal regulation, wage and hour laws, and resident insight. All the while, municipalities are required to act within the constraints of the United States and Michigan Constitutions.

The Berry Moorman municipal defense team is well-versed in representing municipalities through the diverse issues that come along with enacting and enforcing marijuana ordinances. We appear on behalf of our municipal clients in state and federal courts and at various city-run meetings.

We have successfully defended one of Michigan’s largest municipalities in state court and the Michigan Court of Appeals when its issuance of licenses to medical marijuana distributors was challenged.

Our Municipal Law & Litigation attorneys


David M. Foy
Shareholder

DETROIT OFFICE 
Ph: (313) 496-1200
Fax: (313) 496-1300

Sheryl A. Laughren
Shareholder

DETROIT OFFICE 
Ph: (313) 496-1200
Fax: (313) 496-1300

Mark E. Straetmans
Shareholder

DETROIT OFFICE 
Ph: (313) 496-1200
Fax: (313) 496-1300

Randolph M. Wright
Shareholder

BIRMINGHAM OFFICE 
Tel: (248) 645-9680
Fax: (248) 645-1233