PRESS RELEASES AND STATEMENTS


June 25, 2017
  OLC Client Secures Trial on Michigan Right to Farm Act Protection
Outside Legal Counsel PLC has secured a legal victory for a local pig farmer against a local government that sued to shut down a small local piggery.

March 11, 2017
  OLC Files First-of-Its-Kind Federal Lawsuit against Oxford Over Horse Mounted Unit
OLC recently filed a federal lawsuit against the Village of Oxford, its president, manager, and others alleging that its actions at a January 2017 meeting violated the constitutional rights of three members of the local police department.

August 15, 2016
  OLC's Ellison Admitted to Practice Before the US Supreme Court
On August 8, 2016, Outside Legal Counsel attorney Philip L. Ellison has been accept for admission to practice and argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington DC.

June 03, 2016
  OLC Requests Sixth Circuit En Banc Rehearing on First Amendment Recording Case
OLC has today filed a petition with the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit requesting all active serving federal Sixth Circuit appellate judges to collectively review the three-judge decision in a case seeking recognition of the First Amendment right to audio and video record court proceedings.

May 30, 2016
  Former Cottrellville Supervisor Found Personally Liable in Open Meetings case
Former Cottrellville Township supervisor Kelly Fiscelli was ordered to be held personally liable for her actions in violating Michigan Open Meetings Act

May 12, 2016
  Judgment Entered Against Jackson County Sheriff's Office for FOIA Violation
OLC has obtained a judgment against the Jackson County Sheriff's Office for violations of the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.

March 08, 2016
  Judge Denies Baker College's Request for Dismissal in Vaccine Case
The Genesee County Circuit Court has denied the request of Baker College to dismiss or otherwise highly restrict the lawsuit brought by a former nursing student who claims she was wrongly dismissed from the nursing program at Baker's Owosso campus due to discussions involving vaccines.

March 04, 2016
  OLC Secures Private Easement Non-Abandonment Victory at Michigan Supreme Court
By a peremptory order, the Michigan Supreme Court has granted Outside Legal Counsel's clients a reversal of the trial court and Court of Appeals decisions dissolving the former's private road easement in a subdivision.

December 31, 2015
  OLC'S Response: Local Political Apathy Is Not A Virtue
Outside Legal Counsel's response to the December 30, 2015 editorial of The Times Herald newspaper

December 27, 2015
  Judge Finds Goodrich Area Schools Violated FOIA
After violating the required production deadline and attempting to charge high five-figures for records, a Michigan court ruled in favor of Outside Legal Counsel's client finding that Goodrich Area Schools violate Michigan's Freedom of Information Act.

November 28, 2015
  OLC Asks Supreme Court: Who is a Public Official?
The Michigan Supreme Court has ordered oral argument in a case brought by Outside Legal Counsel regarding a simple question: who is a public official?

November 22, 2015
  Two Courts Rule Against 'Grant Now, Produce Later' FOIA Practice
OLC has obtain two favorable rulings in two separate courts regarding the same illegality the FOIA practice of giving a written notice of "granting" a request but not actually timely producing requested records.

September 28, 2015
  Cass County Drops $4,000 Demand for FOIA Fees; Produces Email Records
After trying to demand thousands of dollars for copies of simple emails, Outside Legal Counsel and Cass County reached an agreement requiring the immediate disclosure of nearly 2,000 pages emails and documents at no cost.

August 26, 2015
  Appeals Court Reverses Case Dismissal and Orders Trial On Cottrellville Township Supervisor Actions
The Michigan Court of Appeals today reversed the dismissal of a legal action filed by a former township trustee and two residents who were improperly silenced by a township supervisor at a public meeting.

May 30, 2015
  OLC's Clients and Public Granted Unprecedented Access to Secret Police Records
Following a series of lawsuits involving the Village of Oakley, Outside Legal Counsel PLC has successfully obtained nearly 2000 pages of secret records involving controversial pay-to-play policing program.

May 07, 2015
  Lawsuit: Village of Oakley Violates FOIA Again
Outside Legal Counsel of Hemlock has filed another lawsuit against the Village of Oakley for ignoring valid requests for financial information.

May 06, 2015
  OLC Secures Reversal in FOIA Costs Case Ahead of Major Law Change
The Michigan Court of Appeals adopts OLC's arguments that excessive fees under a FOIA is actionable at law.

December 29, 2014
  Saginaw Court: Village of Oakley Violated Open Meetings Act
In an issued opinion, the Saginaw County Circuit Court has declared that the Village of Oakley has "clearly" violated the Open Meetings Act in regards to a secret closed-session meeting after excluding the public from observing the same.

December 03, 2014
  Lawsuit: City of Portage Wrongfully Plays Favorites With Police Reports
Can a Michigan city play favorites with who it releases or refuses to release standard police reports to? The answer is no, according to a new lawsuit.

October 30, 2014
  Ellison, Hemlock Litigator, Named Up-and-Coming Michigan Attorney
Outside Legal Counsel attorney and civil litigator Philip L. Ellison has been selected by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as one of the state's Up and Coming Lawyers for 2014.

October 13, 2014
  OLC Obtains Order Shutting Down Entire Police Dept
Upon the application and evidentiary hearings conducted by OLC, the Saginaw County Circuit Court as ordered the immediate shut down of the Village of Oakley Police Department.

October 13, 2014
  Supreme Court Considers OLC's Arguments Made by Filed Amicus Brief
By an order of the Michigan Supreme Court, an amicus brief written and filed by Outside Legal Counsel will be considered by the high court.

August 28, 2014
  Cottrellville Township 'Secret Meeting' Lawsuit Settled
Today, the on-going lawsuit between Cottrellville Township and its Board of Trustees and local citizen Caroline Zoran was settled after an hour-long discussion between the parties, their attorneys, and the St. Clair County Circuit Court.

July 29, 2014
  Public Act 56 Suffers Its First Change in 2014
A change to Public Act 56 came into effect in June 2014.

May 29, 2014
  Lawsuit: Algonac School Board Held Secret Email Meetings in Drafting Superintendent's Six-Figure Contract
The lawsuit alleges the Algonac Community School's Board of Education of violating the state's Open Meetings Act.

May 03, 2014
  Cottrellville Township Residency Lawsuit Appealed to Michigan Supreme Court
OLC filed papers on behalf of township trustee Michael Zoran requesting the Michigan Supreme Court to assume control over the challenge to a township supervisor's failure to adhere to residency requirements.

April 23, 2014
  Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Grandparents
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in favor of OLC's clients, two grandparents who have long been denied the opportunity to seek visitation rights under Michigan’s grandparenting statute.

March 10, 2014
  Supreme Court "Rail-Trail" Decision Upholds Rule of Property Law
Comments of Attorney Philip L. Ellison, a water-rights and property-rights attorney at Outside Legal Counsel, following the 8-1 decision in Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States.

February 26, 2014
  TC Resident and Grand Traverse Board Settle Open Meetings Lawsuit
Traverse City resident Ann Laurence and the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners today settled their lawsuit involving various allegations of violations of Michigan’s Open Meetings Act.

February 26, 2014
  Saginaw Court Rules Oakley Violated FOIA, But Orders Protection of Anonymous Donors to Secret Police Fund
On February 20, 2014, Saginaw County Circuit Court Judge Robert L. Kaczmarek issued his 22 page decision outlining his long-awaited decision regarding a Freedom of Information Act challenge.

January 20, 2014
  Unconstitutional: Saginaw County Courthouse Electronics Ban
Outside Legal Counsel, a Saginaw-based law firm, has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a client against Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel and one of his subordinates asking for the recently enacted Electronics Ban Order to be halted.

December 19, 2013
  Rare Court Proceeding Challenges Township Supervisor's Authority to Hold Office
In a first of its kind legal action, a request for "special leave" has been filed with the St. Clair County Circuit Court seeking judicial permission to conduct a legal challenge on whether the Cottrellville Township Supervisor is illegally holding her local municipal office.

November 27, 2013
  Grandparents File Brief After Supreme Court Orders Further Arguments Regarding Grandparenting Rights
On behalf of two grandparents seeking visitation rights under Michigan’s grandparenting statute, Attorneys Colin Dill of Dill Law PLLC and Philip L. Ellison of Outside Legal Counsel PLC have filed a supplemental brief after the Michigan Supreme Court ordered oral argument on whether to hear the case.

November 14, 2013
  FOIA Lawsuit Seeks Restraining Order on New Court of Claims Law, PA 164
Outside Legal Counsel PLC has filed for an emergency temporary restraining order against the State, the Department of Corrections, and its agents from taking any steps to transfer the already underway case to the newly created Court of Claims at the Michigan Court of Appeals.

November 04, 2013
  Cottrellville Township’s Squashing Public Participation Ruled Illegal
Cottrellville Township –The St. Clair County Circuit Court ruled today that the actions of Cottrellville Township and its supervisor, Kelly Ann Lisco, violated the Michigan Open Meetings Act

November 02, 2013
  Case Study: OLC Reclaims Riparian Rights for Lake Front Property by Court Decision
After litigating for more than a year, Outside Legal Counsel PLC has re-established riparian rights to the shorelands of an inland lake in West Michigan paving the way for the landowner to begin enjoying its riparian rights, including building and maintaining a dock.

July 22, 2013
  Lawsuit Filed Against Cottrellville Township, Supervisor for Cutting Public Comments Short
Outside Legal Counsel PLC has filed a lawsuit in St. Clair County Circuit Court for a township prematurely ending public comment at its public meetings.

May 24, 2013
  Hastings Senior Sues His School District Over Secret Expulsion Proceedings, Records
A high school senior, within a few weeks of graduation, has filed a lawsuit against his school district alleging violations of the Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act for his district’s failure to disclose who it has expelled over the past three years.

April 29, 2013
  Sunshine Lawsuit Against Gaming Board Challenges >$4,000 FOIA Fee
OLC has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Oakland County resident who requested a few legal records and was assessed more than $4,000 in fees before the agency would even begin to look into the request.

April 24, 2013
  OLC Files FOIA Lawsuit Over Police Reservists Records
Outside Legal Counsel PLC has filed a lawsuit against the Village of Oakley alleging violations of Michigan Freedom of Information Act.

March 17, 2013
  Michigan Law Still Bans Knives Despite TSA Change (But Not For Long)
Despite the change of federal law, Michigan also has opted to continue a previously enacted state-level ban more restrictive than TSA's former rules but the Michigan law will likely be trashed under a legal doctrine known as preemption.

February 08, 2013
  OLC Secures Judgment for Activist Against City's Secret Email Meeting
OLC has secured a judgment against the City of Ludington on behalf of a citizen activist and community blogger regarding the illegal use of email-based city council meeting and voting practices.

February 01, 2013
  Homeowner Sues Consumer Rights Group for Violating Consumer Rights Law, Ironic Lawsuit Alleges
On behalf of an exploited homeowner, Outside Legal Counsel PLC has filed a lawsuit against the Better Business Bureau of West Michigan, Inc alleging its business rating system and business accreditation program are being operated in violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.

December 29, 2012
  Online Passwords & Social Media Accounts Now Legally Protected
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder today signed into law Public Act 478 of 2012, a new law designed to prohibit employers and educational institutions from requiring employees and students to hand over or even request passwords or access to personal online accounts.

November 11, 2012
  Hey Hunters, Recreational Trespass Is Real and Illegal
Hunters need to pay attention to property rights and property lines or they might find themselves afoul with the law

November 08, 2012
  Ludington City Council Spent ≈$100K in Secret Email Meeting, Lawsuit Alleges
On behalf a local resident, Outside Legal Counsel PLC has filed a lawsuit against the City of Ludington alleging violations of Michigan's Open Meetings Act.

October 31, 2012
  Kalamazoo Appeals Court Rules Against Jack's Wholesale Windows in Favor of Wronged Homeowners
Outside Legal Counsel PLC has secured an improved civil judgment against Jack's Wholesale Windows and Design of Schoolcraft, Inc, a replacement-windows company located in Southwest Michigan.

September 03, 2012
  Case Study: Lifting of Stop Work Order
OLC has successfully assisted a husband and wife homeowner from the effects of a Stop Work Order issued on the building of a retirement home on Lake Huron in Iosco County, Michigan.

August 03, 2012
  Mount Pleasant Hospital Sued Over Exploiting Unpaid Internships
OLC files lawsuit against Mount Pleasant, MI-based hospital over its unpaid student internship employment practices.

July 25, 2012
  OLC Secures Civil Judgment in Lawsuit Against Jack's Wholesale Windows
On behalf of a young couple in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the law firm of Outside Legal Counsel PLC has secured a civil judgment against local window company, Jack's Wholesale Windows and Design of Schoolcraft, Inc.

June 06, 2012
  5 Years of Jail Time Possible for Accessing Spouse's Email
Accessing the email and Facebook of your significant other without permission is against Michigan law.

May 09, 2012
  OLC Attorney Featured as Guest Columnist in the May 2012 Woods-n-Water Magazine
OLC attorney Philip L. Ellison has been featured as a guest columnist in the May 2012 issue of the Woods-N-Water News magazine

May 02, 2012
  I'll See You in Small Claims Court
Michigan's small claims courts handle cases where the parties are disputing a money claim in the amount of $3,000 or less.

March 26, 2012
  Local Attorney Comments on Story Regarding Employer's Demand for Facebook Passwords
Attorney Philip L. Ellison comments on two leading Democratic US senators' inquiry of whether employer-required access to individual Facebook profiles violates federal laws.

March 16, 2012
  A Michigan Court Grants OLC's Request to Serve a Subpoena via Facebook
In an age of instant communications and interconnectivity, OLC has secured a court order allowing it to serve a Michigan trial subpoena through the social networking site Facebook.

February 04, 2012
  Michigan's Crime Victims' Law is a Little Known Tool for Crime Victims
Michigan's crime victims' law is a powerful tool for the victims of crimes in response to unlawful acts of criminals, but only if utilized.

September 17, 2011
  Constitution Week - Unusual Particulars From the US Constitution
Starting Saturday, September 17th, Michigan is officially celebrating the US Constitution. The US Constitution contains a number of other unusual and unknown legal aspects.

September 03, 2011
  Michigan Landlord-Tenant Law Silent as to Michigan Bedbugs
But once an infestation of bedbugs as occurred, the question becomes who is responsible for the cost of their eradiation under Michigan law?

September 02, 2011
  First Circuit Rules Public Can Videotape Cops in Public Places
The First Circuit Court of Appeals has recently ruled that members of the public have a 'clearly established' First Amendment right to film police officers conducting police business in a public place.

September 01, 2011
  Michigan Appeals Court Declines to Address Challenge to Michigan's Son of Sam Law
The Michigan Court of Appeals declined to review a legal challenge to Michigan's 'Son of Sam' law, a statute within Michigan's Crime Victim's Rights Act, that prohibits a convicted individual from profiting from marketing or publicizing previous criminal acts unless full restitution, compensation, and other costs has been first paid.

August 24, 2011
  How Can a Judge Order CMU Professors Back to Work?
On Monday, August 22, 2011, the Honorable Paul A Chamberlin issued a court order against the protesting faculty members requiring the professors to return to work based upon a complaint filed by Central Michigan University.

July 13, 2011
  Survey: Three in Ten Americans Cannot List Any First Amendment Rights
A survey conducted by the First Amendment Center has found that most Americans can name at least one of the five freedoms found in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Yet, a staggering three in ten could not list a single First Amendment right.

June 24, 2011
  OLC Attorney Featured as Guest Columnist in July 2011 Woods-n-Water Magazine
OLC attorney Philip L. Ellison has been featured as a guest columnist in the July 2011 issue of the Woods-N-Water News magazine.

March 30, 2011
  Filing FOIA Requests for Professors’ Emails
The idea of using the Freedom of Information Act to receive copies of a professor’s emails has spread to Michigan causing a 'perfect storm' of competing principles.

March 07, 2011
  OLC represents landlord regarding a motion to halt sale of former tenant's seized vehicle to pay rent debt.
Outside Legal Counsel PLC has recently represented a Saginaw, Michigan property-owner with a minor legal issue but a difficult media situation.

February 28, 2011
  Michigan FOIA: 180 Day Time Limit Starts at Mailing of Denial
In a published decision by the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Court ruled that a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) denial occurs when the public body issues, rather than drafts, a written notice.

February 11, 2011
  OLC Secures Legal Victory Ensuring Lake Access Rights for Hundreds in Northeast Michigan
In a lawsuit that started almost two years ago regarding riparian (lake access) rights on a northeast Michigan lake, Outside Legal Counsel PLC attorney Philip L. Ellison has secured a legal victory for the owners of the nearly 480 lots in the Shady Shores Park subdivision near Rose City, Michigan.

February 01, 2011
  Legal Obligations for Snowpocalypse
With the high amount of expected snowfall, Michigan citizens are reminded of a few key legal provisions on what to do with the wet, cold snow.

January 26, 2011
  Michigan Court of Appeals: 90 Days or Bust on Michigan Whistleblower Claims
The Michigan Court of Appeals explicitly affirmed a strict 90-day window from the occurrence of the alleged violation to bring a claim under the Michigan Whistleblowers' Protection Act.

January 22, 2011
  Governor Snyder Calls for End of Price Item Law, But What Is It Really?
In his first State of the State address, newly inaugurated Michigan Governor Rick Snyder called for an end to certain provisions of Michigan's Pricing and Advertising of Consumer Items Act, Act 449 of 1976. But the current law is much more than just about price stickers.

January 14, 2011
  MLK Day: Celebrate Your Civil Rights
Martin Luther King, Jr. once wrote, while confined in the Birmingham jail, that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Today, several important state and federal laws exist to give and protect citizens’ civil rights.

January 06, 2011
  Michigan Supreme Court Expansively Defines Lakefront Riparian Property Rights Abutting Public Roadways
The Michigan Supreme Court released its lengthy 4-3 opinion regarding Michigan riparian rights for properties separated from a lake by a public roadway.

December 27, 2010
  Looking Under the Lid of the CAN-SPAM Act
The CAN-SPAM Act imposes certain requirements to send emails of a commercial nature. CAN-SPAM does not ban spam outright, but rather provides a code of conduct to regulate commercial email messaging practices.

December 26, 2010
  OLC Lawyer Filed Appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court; Justices Take Only 8 Days to Answer
In a land property dispute case, Portage attorney Philip L. Ellison filed an extraordinary appeal request with the Michigan Supreme Court.

November 21, 2010
  Two Tips on Using Your Sales Contract to Keep Down Your Account Receivable Ratio
A few changes in your sales contracts can put you in a stronger position when attempting to collect on the uncollectible. In this tight economic climate, cash flow is the absolute most important short-term factor in business survival. Most businesses have excellent products or services yet struggle when their customers do not or will not pay on-time.

November 01, 2010
  Ogemaw County Property Rights Case Immediately Appealed Before Trial
Outside Legal Counsel, along with co-counsel from Gronda PLLC, has filed an extraordinary pre-trial application to appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals. The case involves the requested vacation of platted property privately dedicated for shared private use at "Shady Shores."

Archived & Previously Issued Articles

MID MICHIGAN

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Hemlock, MI 48626
(989) 642-0055
(888) 398-7003 - fax

Licensed to practice before all Michigan State Courts, the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court, the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Court, the US District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

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Philip L. Ellison, MBA, JD

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