Grand Rapids Attorneys doing Workers Compenstation Law | Hickey Combs PLC

IMPACT OF GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION ON PENDING WORKERS’ COMPENSATION MAGISTRATE REAPPOINTMENTS

November 28, 2019

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

            The terms of seven of the currently serving 14 Workers’ Compensation Magistrates will expire as of January 25, 2019.  The newly elected governor, Gretchen Whitmer, will have the power to appoint new magistrates or reappoint existing magistrates to fill the seven vacant positions.  Her appointments will be subject to the advice and consent of the Republican- controlled Senate. 

            The seven magistrates up for reappointment are Brian Boyle, David Grunewald, Chief Magistrate Lisa Klaeren, Beatrice Logan, Luke McMurray, E. Louis Ognisanti, and Chris Slater.

            An organization of attorneys representing injured workers (The Michigan Association for Justice) is rumored to be planning to attempt to influence Governor Whitmer’s appointments to the Board of Magistrates for the purpose of obtaining appointment of more “employee-friendly” magistrates.

            Because the advice and consent of the Senate is required, it is likely that there will be negotiations between the Governor’s Office and the Senate, allowing appointment of a number of the Governor’s choices for magistrate and number of the Senate’s choices for magistrate.

            Thus, there is some likelihood that several of the magistrates seeking reappointment will not be reappointed and that new, more “employee-friendly” magistrates may be appointed.

            If you want to have input into the magistrate selection process, call, write or email Senator Mike Shirkey (who will be the new Majority Leader of the Senate in 2019) at www.senatormikeshirkey.com.

            If you have any questions or would like to discuss this information further, please contact John Combs or Len Hickey.

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