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Municipal Law News

December 8, 2020

In this issue:



   Winter Outside Seating   

"Social Districts" May Help Unfreeze Struggling Small Businesses This Winter

Sarah J. Gabis

As businesses and restaurants gear up for colder weather, nothing could be scarier for a small business owner than regulations that decrease indoor capacity to address the continuing COVID-19 crisis.

As uncertainty with regard to COVID-19 continues to be the theme, municipalities can at least take some action to ease the burden on local business by establishing Social Districts...

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   Remote Virtual Meeting   

New Requirements for the Open Meetings Act – SB 1108

Anne M. Seurynck

1. Can Members of a Public Body Participate Remotely?

Until December 31, 2020 (and retroactive to March 18, 2020): The public body may have an electronic meeting for any reason. A physical place is not required for an electronic meeting. Members of a public body and members of the public participating electronically in a meeting that occurs in a physical place are to be considered present and in attendance at the meeting for all purposes...

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Meeting Virtually: Amendments to the Open Meetings Act

The Michigan legislature amended the Open Meetings Act, PA 267 of 1976, to allow meetings of a public body to be held electronically or with remote participation under certain circumstances and to provide procedures and requirements for a meeting held that way.

Municipal attorney Leslie Dickinson recently presented on this topic. Below is a link to the video recording of the webinar along with a digital copy of the presentation slides. These resources discuss the ins and outs of the new amendments and how these changes will affect municipalities:

Side Note: Currently there are two pending bills that would extend the ability for public bodies to meet remotely for any reason from December 31, 2020 through March 30, 2021. (House Bill 6207 and Senate Bill 1246).

Please note however that both are still in the introductory stages in the legislature. The legislature is currently in a lame-duck session, so it is unclear whether further action will be taken before the end of the year.

We will continue to keep you apprised of any major developments. In the meantime, please contact a member of the municipal practice group with any questions.

   Leslie A. Dickinson

Leslie A. Dickinson

Leslie Email  Leslie Phone




Virtual Event: Minimizing Cybersecurity Risks for Remote Working

December 10, 2020

With more employees working remotely for the foreseeable future, a resulting increase in spoofing and other hacking attempts is becoming a very real threat. Does your organization have the proper protection policies and procedures in place? Join us for a virtual training session.

Moderated by Patricia Scott, learn from attorneys Robert Hamor and Taylor Gast, on ways to minimize risk and avoid disaster as more of your employees work remotely. This virtual discussion will touch on the recent rise in computer hacking attempts, along with strategies to protect your organization and employees.




Trending Legal Issues for Year End

As Michigan inches closer to 2021, the uncertainty in the coming months can feel overwhelming. The need to stay up to date on changes to legal issues is greater than ever.

Recognizing a need for individuals and businesses alike to stay up to date on the latest legal trends in 2020, Foster Swift created a “2020 Year in Review” resource webpage.

Including articles and videos on hot topics going into 2021, such as current updates to COVID relief including PPP loan forgiveness and employer concerns during the pandemic, be sure to periodically visit the page at







Grand Rapids






St Joseph


Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC E-Newsletters are intended for general information for our clients and friends. This newsletter highlights specific areas of law and is not legal advice. The reader should consult an attorney to determine how this information applies to any specific situation.

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