In Michigan courts, only insurers get a break from mistakes.
In the recent Court of Appeals case entitled Bergin Financial v. Delsean Littlejohn v. American Home Mortgage, one party filed his own Summary Disposition Motion, but was 9 days late in responding to the adversary's motion (with essentially the same information and claim). The trial court refused to consider the late filing and granted summary disposition to his adversary, and the Court of Appeals refused to call this error, since "the negligence of a particular attorney [is not] an excuse for the late filing...A party is responsible for inaction by the party's agent."
This decision stands in stark contrast to the Court's decision, earlier this summer, to overturn a default that occurred when an insurer was 30+ days late in responding to a Plaintiff's Complaint. (See the blog entry of August 21, 2008, relating to Shawl v. Spence Bros. and the double-standard for insurers when a default is entered.) This is one of the more blatant examples one can find of the pervasive bias in Michigan jurisprudence favoring insurance companies. Governor Engler had the unique opportunity to change the Michigan Supreme Court by appointing insurance-oriented activists. Their bias surfaces regularly and has poisoned our courts.