Leave having been granted in Hall v. Stark Reagan, PC, Nos. 143909 and 143911, the Michigan Supreme Court reversed the part of the judgment of the Court of Appeals holding that the matter was not subject to arbitration, and reinstated the trial court’s order granting summary disposition in favor of the defendants. The dispute in this case concerns the motives of the defendant shareholders in invoking the separation provisions of the Shareholders’ Agreement with respect to the plaintiffs. The Court determined that this is a “dispute regarding interpretation or enforcement of … the parties’ rights or obligations” under the Agreement, and is therefore subject to binding arbitration pursuant to a provision of the Agreement. As such, the Court concluded that it was unnecessary for the Court of Appeals to reach the issue of standing under the Civil Rights Act (CRA), and therefore vacated that part of the judgment of the Court of Appeals. Justice Cavanagh issued a dissenting statement, emphasizing that even if the parties’ dispute fell within the scope of the arbitration clause, which he agrees with Justice Marilyn Kelly’s dissenting statement that it does not, the clause in this case is nevertheless not enforceable because an employee’s prospective waiver of the constitutional right to litigate a civil rights claim in a judicial forum is contrary to the Legislature’s intent when it enacted the CRA, as well as the people’s intent when they adopted the Michigan Constitution. Justice Marilyn Kelly’s dissenting statement reasoned that because the plaintiffs’ claims challenged the motives for divesting the plaintiffs of their stock, rather than the mechanics by which the divestiture occurred, it did not involve any “rights or obligations” arising under the Agreement and thus was not within the scope of the arbitration clause. Justice Hathaway joined in the statements of both Justices Cavanagh and Marilyn Kelly.
In lieu of granting leave to appeal in People v. Webb, the Michigan Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment of the Court of Appeals to the extent that it vacated the defendant’s convictions, and remanded the case to the trial court to provide funds sufficient to allow the defendant to obtain independent DNA testing. In lieu of granting leave to appeal in People v. Laski, the Michigan Supreme Court remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for consideration as on leave granted. In lieu of granting leave to appeal in People v. Rhodes, the Michigan Supreme Court remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for consideration of whether the defendant’s delayed application for leave was timely filed by virtue of the prison mailbox rule, MCR 7.205(A)(3).
The Court directed the Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney to answer the application for leave to appeal in People v. Nelson, and directed the Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney to answer the application for leave to appeal in People v. Johnson. In In re Executive Message (Brown v. Governor), the Court declined the request of the Executive Message of the Governor, pursuant to MCR 7.305(A), for certification as moot, and granted a motion for leave to file brief amicus curiae.
The Michigan Supreme Court denied 14 applications for leave to appeal.