Kyle P. Konwinski

Kyle P. Konwinski

Varnum LLP

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Employee Fired For Getting Divorce Cannot Raise Claim Against Former Religious Employer

As I noted in my last blog post, the First Amendment does much more than give a person the right to the freedom of speech. For example, the First Amendment contains the Religion Clauses, one of which allows religious...more

4/21/2014 - Divorce First Amendment Free Speech Freedom of Religion

Regulation Requiring Spaced-Out Digital Billboards Does Not Violate First Amendment

We've all seen it before: a person says something rude, which elicits a "watch your mouth" response, and the foul-mouth person replies, "Hey, I have a right to free speech!" Touché. A lesser-known use of the First Amendment...more

3/28/2014 - Billboards First Amendment Free Speech

Sixth Circuit Affirms Lost Profits Damages In ERISA Case

The Sixth Circuit recently published a case, Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America, clarifying several points of law as they relate to damages from a claim made under the Employment Retirement Income and Security...more

12/16/2013 - Employer Liability Issues ERISA Lost Profits

Suing A Bar For Personal Injuries Caused By A “Visibly Intoxicated” Person: Sometimes Circumstantial Evidence Can Be Enough

Many people have seen it happen before: you are at a bar enjoying a cold one, someone stumbles up to the bar and orders another drink, and you think, "Geez, how in the world is that person in any condition to have another...more

10/2/2013 - Dram Shop Laws Drunk Driving Intoxication Public Drunkeness Vicarious Liability

Sixth Circuit: Social Workers Entitled To Qualified Immunity Because Law Not Sufficiently Clear

As I learn more and more about the social work field as my (new) wife continues on her path to becoming a social worker, I realize that social workers often see life at its lowest points. Never was that more true than in this...more

9/16/2013 - Child Protective Services Due Process Governmental Immunity Governmental Liability Immunity Murder Qualified Immunity

Sixth Circuit Clarifies That Michigan Law Does Not Always Apply In Federal Courts In Michigan—Finds Product Liability Suit Barred...

The fact that our federal courts must often apply only one of our 50 states' laws, when each state has its own unique laws, can drastically change a lawsuit. ...more

8/12/2013 - Conflicts of Laws Design Defects Ford Motor Manufacturing Defects Statute of Limitations

Question Of Fact Exists Whether Officer Had Probable Cause To Arrest A Man Sleeping In A Car For DUI; Judges Grapple Over Standard...

In Romo v. Largen, on interlocutory appeal, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the Western District of Michigan's decision that reasonable minds could differ as to whether Officer Jeff Largen had probable cause to arrest Candido...more

7/25/2013 - Arrest DUI Interlocutory Appeals Probable Cause Standard of Review Testimony

UPDATE: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, And The FHFA Are Exempt From Real Estate Transfer Taxes

In County of Oakland v. Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Sixth Circuit published an opinion clarifying that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing & Finance Agency ("FHFA") are exempt from all taxation, which...more

5/30/2013 - Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Real Estate Transfers Tax Exemptions

No Warrant Exception For Slow Pursuit Into Home Of A $14.99 Phone Charger Robber

Two police officers are being sued because they entered Charles Smith's home after he stole a $14.99 (presumably, before tax) phone charger from Walgreens. As the Sixth Circuit acknowledged: "But for the want of $14.99 or a...more

5/14/2013 - Fourth Amendment Warrantless Searches Warrants

Hookah Lounge Has Serious Cable Problems, And Dish Network Will Not Pay For It

My cable bill seems to go up each month, but I know that if I go back and read my lengthy, small-print cable agreement, somewhere I will be able to find where I agreed to it. I'm sure if I called and complained, one of the...more

5/2/2013 - Breach of Contract Cable Television Providers Dish Network

March Madness Taking Hold Of Sixth Circuit

March gets the blood flowing for all of us basketball fans, and it appears the Sixth Circuit is no different. Last week, while many of you were game-casting or locating the "hide" button on your Web browser, the Sixth Circuit...more

3/26/2013 - Coaches Discrimination Gender Discrimination Hiring & Firing Scholarships Sports Termination

"Ruff" Ruling For Defendant: Supreme Court Says Dog's Alert To Drugs Is Reliable Based On All Of The Circumstances

In Florida v. Harris, a recent case decided on February 19, 2013, the Supreme Court held that a dog's alert can be sufficient to establish probable cause if all of the facts surrounding a dog's alert, viewed through the lens...more

2/25/2013 - Drug-Sniffing Dogs Evidence Suppression Florida v Harris Probable Cause SCOTUS Search & Seizure

Deaf Lifeguard Might Be Qualified To Notice Emergency Signs For Help

Would you feel comfortable with your kids swimming in a pool with a deaf lifeguard on watch? Could a deaf lifeguard notice your distressed child's cry for help? While these questions pose some serious personal judgments...more

2/5/2013 - ADA Disability Disability Discrimination Discrimination Keith v County of Oakland Lifeguards Reasonable Accommodation

Warrantless Entry Allowed In Response to 911 Call Where There Is Evidence Of Injury

Have you ever wondered, as a parent, as a child, or perhaps as a college roommate, what the police can do when you call 911 on behalf of another? In Stricker v. Twp. of Cambridge, Case No. 11-1998 (6th Cir. Jan. 14, 2013),...more

1/17/2013 - 911 Calls Exigent Circumstances Fourth Amendment Medical Emergencies Search & Seizure Warrantless Searches

Sixth Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of “Reverse” Racial Discrimination Claim Against Cracker Barrel

In Martinez v. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc., Case No. 11-2189 (6th Cir. Jan. 10, 2013), in a published decision, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a "reverse" racial discrimination claim arising out of...more

1/14/2013 - Burden of Proof Cracker Barrel Discrimination Evidence Hiring & Firing Racial Discrimination Reverse Discrimination Termination

Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Cite Possible “Negative Implications” To Side With Big Banks

In a lawsuit alleging that several banks violated Michigan's County Real Estate Transfer Tax Act by improperly claiming exemptions involving the sale of foreclosed properties, Judge Bell allowed Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and...more

1/2/2013 - Exemptions Fannie Mae Foreclosure Freddie Mac Intervenors Realty Transfer Taxes

Is Your House Designer Creative Or A Copier? Judge Finds An Issue Of Fact Whether A House Design Infringed On A Previous...

In Bruemmer v. Reardon, Case No. 1:11-cv-988 (W.D. Mich.), Judge Bell denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment because he found that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether the defendants infringed on...more

12/12/2012 - Copyright Genuine Issue of Material Fact Infringement Summary Judgment

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