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Michigan Supreme Court

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Question - where do you get case law for a brief and guidelines on how to file an appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court and possibly a mock Appeal?


Senior Member
You can access Michigan caselaw for free at Search Free Case Law – Area of Law | Lexisone.

There are other sites you can subscribe to, for a fee. If interested, I will post back with those. You may want to head to a law library, or possibly your local library, to do your research.

If you are involved in a REAL defamation action, you should have an attorney, and if you are thinking of appealing to the Michigan Supreme Court, you will need one.

What is this about a "mock" appeal?? Is this for homework for a government class??? If so, we don't do homework (although I think I may have already just done three threads worth. . . . :()


Sorry about all the threads. A mock Appeal, I was looking at trying to find another appeal to get the proper format.

Again, Thank you for all yout help...

Also I see you posted as a Public Figure You must show Malice.
Question - Is Malice shown by Words falsely imputing the commission of a Crime? or is more needed beyond this act?
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Senior Member
Actual malice does not have to do with the defamatory words spoken but with the INTENT of the speaker when speaking the words. And intent is extremely difficult to prove.

You must be able to show, in proving actual malice, that the defamatory words were said with a DELIBERATE intent to harm the person about whom they were spoken. This means that you must have evidence that the speaker knew the words spoken were false at the time they were said, or that the person SHOULD have known they were false at the time they were said, or they were said with a total and reckless disregard as to whether they were true or not.

"Fault" is the element of defamation that causes the most trouble for a plaintiff in a defamation action. Even negligence, the lesser showing of fault, is not easy to show, as it is based on the care a "reasonably prudent person" would have exercised in a similar situation. Defining what a reasonably prudent person is can vary case by case.

As for a "mock appeal," I think you would benefit more from reviewing actual cases and how the evidence is presented and case law is used to support your claims.

Defamation actions are never easy, and the costs of presenting an action and defending an action can escalate quickly. I can understand doing a lot of the "leg work" prior to hiring an attorney, to shave the costs of litigation a bit, but you will need an attorney to handle any appeal.

Good luck.


See I have a few question about how I got labeled limited public figure. In a hearing at the begining of the lawsuit the defendants listed the same public places I wrote or appeared along with other arguments. The Judge denied the moition and did not mention anything about me being a public figure. Then on the last Summary Disposition, not only did he grant the moition but then labeled me as a public figure!

At the Appeal we did not argue this element, just the main issue. And we nailed that one down. Now I have to show actual malice, which I can. But is this proper and will it be accepted if we did not argue this point at the appeals court? We did mention we disagree with me being a public figure at the last Summary Disposition.

The Appeals court refused to answer the question if I truly was defamed by defendants false statements, imputing a commision of a crime. More or less stating it didn't matter because I was a public figure and did not show malice.

Thanks for any input.


Senior Member
There was no question that you were defamed. What was said about you was defamatory. However, in order to win any defamation action, you must prove all five elements - that 1. a false and defamatory statement was made about 2. an identifiable person and this defamatory statement was 3. published and this publication to another or others resulted in 4. reputational injury through 5. fault by the speaker of the defamatory words.

It appears you met, or there was no argument on, the fact that a defamatory statement was made about you to others. I do not know if you were able to prove reputational injury, although the statement made presumes some injury. Where you failed to meet your proofs was in the area of fault. An action can be dismissed if it is shown that there is one element missing, even without hearing the other elements. Therefore, if there was no publication, it can be dismissed. If there was no identification, it can be dismissed. If no fault can be demonstrated, it can be dismissed. It does not matter if 4 out of 5 elements can be proved.

You do not indicate whether you were even able to show that the words spoken were said with negligence, the lesser proof. But since the court determined you were a limited public figure for the purposes of this action (and I agree that you can be considered a limited public figure for this action), and you yourself in your complaint said that the defendants spoke with "malice" and not "negligence" (indicating you were considering yourself a limited public figure for the purposes of the action), you needed to show actual malice. This is an EXTREMELY difficult element to prove in a defamation action, and this is where your case failed.

Showing that someone said what they said with the INTENT to do harm to a person and that person's reputation is where most cases involving public figures fall apart. Comments and criticisms made on matters of public interest (which your issue became due to your own publicizing of it) are generally covered by free speech. Comments made on matters of public interest are allowed a wider latitude, as debates naturally get heated and words can fly on both sides. To provide for unfettered debates over public issues (which is encouraged in our country), courts will generally err on the side of free speech. That is just how it is.

And it appears that what was said by the defendant was believed to be true by the defendant at the time it was said, which further complicates your proof of actual malice.

So, your proving of actual malice is the only way you have of winning a defamation action here, if all other elements of defamation have been met, and it will not be easy. Showing the intent behind the actions or comments made by another is NEVER easy. And I am not sure if you can be successful with this.

If you knew the person who defamed you, prior to the incident that was publicized and over which you were defamed, then you may be able to show a history of "bad blood" between you. The reasons for the comments then could be construed, possibly, as said with malice. Or if you were made to be an example for an anti-hunting group or an animal rights cause (I only quickly read over the case you posted - I think it was an accusation about shooting an albino deer?), then perhaps there is some possibility of actual malice there. Without this background, or something to explain why someone would purposely defame you, you cannot show actual malice.

And you must be able to prove fault in order to win a defamation action.

I wish you luck with your research, but I am not real optimistic about your chances of winning an appeal here.
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Here is a link to the Appeals Court Opinion - http://coa.courts.mi.gov/documents/opinions/final/coa/20080916_c276828_74_276828.opn.pdf

Thanks for yur help, once again. Here is the information I have regarding Actual Malice.
Also I did sent a retraction letter to all defendants, that none answered.

At my Attorneys office we reviewed several cases which it showed actual malice was to determined by the court and a question of law. While their was several others stating it was a question of fact to be determined by a jury. Is this a strong argument?

Evidence of Defendants malice:

• Words that falsely impute the commission of a crime constitute defamation per se, and are actionable even in the absence of an ability to prove actual or special damages. MCL 600.2911(1)

• Defendants knew their statements were false before they published them. And wanted to publicly accuse the Plaintiff of committing a criminal offense. Defendant’s response to #20 in Plaintiffs First amended Complaint.

20. they wrote a letter to the Editor of the Straitsland Resorter to express their grief as well as to take issue with the DNR's conclusion that the taking of the deer was legal.

• Defendants letter stated the deer was shot on December 20, 2004, hunting season ended on December 19, 2004.

This allegation was investagated by the Michigan DNR in its criminal investagation of jci63.

(Exhibit 09 - DNR Sgt. Deposition)(Pg 7, lines 1-6)

Q And, to the best of your recollection, when you said that it
wasn't taken legally, what did that mean?
A It could have been several things; that it was taken on
trespass on -- on property where the hunter didn't have
permission, it could have been taken out of season, or with
an improper weapon

• All the defendants were told that the Michigan DNR determined the deer was a legal kill before they published their letters.

Defendant #1 – Deposition pg 14, lines 5-16, 24-25

Q Okay. Now, then the letter said "the DNR said it was a legal kill." Do you know who -- who from the DNR – where that information came from?

A Taxidermist.

Q From Taxidermist. So on the 23rd, then, right after the XXX came, had the XXX talked to Taxidermist?

A My husband called Taxidermist.

Q Oh, called him that day?

A Yes, sir.

Q And so Mr. Taxidermist then told XXX that it was a legal deer; correct?

A Apparently he told XXX that –

Q So the DNR had told Taxidermist, and Taxidermist told –

A Told XXX.

Defendant #2 – Deposition pg 16, lines 4-14

Q Now, Defendant #1 apparently read you the statement, "The
DNR said it was a legal kill"; is that correct?

A Yes.

Q Did you have any knowledge of the origin of that statement; in other words, who from the DNR said that, or

A I believe Defendant #1 mentioned that they had been to the DNR office, or somewhere, where they said it was a legal kill.

Q Now, when you say "they," are you meaning Defendant #1 –

A Defendant #1 and Defendant #3

Q Pardon?

A Defendant #1 and Defendant #3 -- .

Defendant #3 – Deposition pg 16, line 25 & pg 17, lines 1-4

Q Okay. Well, when the conversation took place about the letter, it was your understanding that at that point the DNR had said to someone that that deer was a legal kill. Is that your understanding?

A That was my understanding.

Defendant #3 – Deposition pg 43, lines 6-11

Q xxx. Now, xxx, to this point, had only known about this maybe an hour or so; correct? How did he know that the DNR said it was a legal kill?

A He called Taxidermist.

Q Did he call TAxidermist while you were there?

A Yes.

Defendant #3– Deposition pg 43, lines 21-25

Q When he got done with the conversation, what did he tell you that Taxidermist said?

A That it was a legal kill.

Q Did you believe that?

A I had my doubts.

Defendant #3 – Deposition pg 10, lines 13-21

Q Upon getting that answer, then what did you do?

A The DNR officer was there. He came in; Mr. xxx. I
didn't know him, I didn't know his name. And I proceeded to
ask him what he was going to do with the testing as a result
of asking for samples, as Mr. Taxidermist indicated, if he was
going to report to the Straitsland Resorter his findings of
testing so the community would know, and settle this issue.

Q And what issue? Settle what issue?

A Well, was it an albino.

Defendant #4 – Deposition pg 12, lines11-13

Q But it has been said that the DNR said it was a legal kill. Do you dispute that?

A I -- I question that.

Defendant #4 – Deposition pg 15, lines 21-24

Q And this was why? It was your deer?

A I didn't say it was my deer. I said the deer that I had
fed, that I had viewed for several years, that I enjoyed viewing, and that I thought was an illegal kill.

Defendant #4 – Deposition pg 16, lines 7-13

Q So anyone who shoots a piebald deer upsets you?

A I do not, sir, believe this to be a piebald deer, and did
not at the time that I wrote this letter. To answer your
question more directly, if someone were to kill an albino deer, I would be upset -- or an illegal white deer. That is, my opinion, breaking the law. I like to consider myself a responsible hunter.

Q And you felt at the time that you wrote this letter that
Mr. jci63 had killed an albino?

A Correct.

Defendant #4 – Deposition pg 27, lines 7-9

A In my opinion, Mr. jci63 killed an albino deer or a white deer -- however you want to classify it -- both of which I interpret to be illegal kills.

•Because some of the Defendants accused the Plaintiff of fraudulently coloring the hair of his piebald buck, the DNR investigation of the legality of Plaintiff’s deer.

jci63 Deposition - pg 51. lines 3-15

Q And what did he say to you?
A He commented that Mrs. Defendant#1 and Mr. -- Mrs. Defendant #3 --
not Mister -- were at his place of business, and he told me
they were there for approximately three to five hours, and
they came with an 18-inch stack of Polaroid pictures of a
deer since birth, and ranting and raved that -- this was in
his words -- and stayed there. And then the DNR officer
stopped by. He didn't say -- he didn't give me a name of
which one. And he commented how Mrs. Defendant #1 and
Mrs. Defendant #3 chewed the DNR officer out, and told him they
weren't doing their job, and the deer was illegal, and so on
and so forth, and that he needed to do his job.
And apparently he went back and somebody cut some
holes in the hide.

DNR Sgt. Deposition pg 17, lines 24-25 / pg 18, lines 1-7

Q Now, is there any reason why you didn't contact
Mr. jci63l to ask if you could --
A Yes.
Q -- take samples?
A Yes.
Q And why not?
A Because in criminal investigations, if I would have done
that, it's a possibility the deer hide would disappear
before a sample could be taken.

DNR Sgt. informed jci63 that he was doing an investigation regarding 3 things.

•Application of some man-made chemical to make the brown areas on the deer hide.
(Exhibit 09 -DNR Sgt. Deposition) (Pg 6, lines 5-14)
Q Now, you said that -- referred to this investigation of the
jci63 deer. If Officer xxx and Lieutenant xxxr
arrived at a conclusion that that deer was legal on the
21st, why was there an investigation?
A Well, information came forth that the deer may have not been
taken legally

Q And where did that information come from?
A From the community. From different -- different sources
there were allegations of the deer may have been stained or
painted to produce a brown color.

• Shooting the deer out of season

(Exhibit 09 - DNR Sgt. Deposition)(Pg 7, lines 1-6)

Q And, to the best of your recollection, when you said that it
wasn't taken legally, what did that mean?
A It could have been several things; that it was taken on
trespass on -- on property where the hunter didn't have
permission, it could have been taken out of season, or with
an improper weapon.

• Trespassing

(Exhibit 09 - DNR Sgt. Deposition) (Pg 7, lines 18-24)

Q What was the nature of your investigation of trespass?
Where --
A I was familiar with the deer. I mean, it had been around
several years. And I knew -- I mean, I knew personally that
it usually was in certain areas. So, just to confirm that
it was taken legally for -- regarding trespass, I wanted to
confirm where it was shot at.
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Senior Member
I have not had the opportunity to review the Appeals Court Opinion yet, and will post back on that later.

I did want to say to what you posted above, about your first "evidence of actual malice" (that the comments made were defamation per se) - this is not evidence of actual malice. It is only evidence of reputational injury.

Your second "evidence of actual malice" (where you say the defendants "knew" the statements were false prior to publication) - this would be evidence of actual malice, if you can in fact prove they knew the statements were false. Here is where you run into trouble.

I can see, and I understand, that the defendants were told that the shooting of the deer was a legal kill. I do not see, however, that they at any time believed that to be true.

The defendants seemed to have doubts about the legality of the kill (whether because trespass was involved, or whether because hunting season had ended, or whether because of the kind of deer shot). They certainly seemed to have doubts about what kind of deer was actually killed, thinking that it was perhaps a white or an albino deer that was shot, making the kill illegal.

They did not seem to trust that the DNR officer's report was correct.

Being told by someone that something is true does not prove that the person who was told it then BELIEVED it to be true as well. It does not show that the defendants knew what they said was false - it only shows that others they spoke with said it was a legal kill. The defendants did not seemed convinced, however.

In addition, the fact that they did not believe it was a legal kill, or that they questioned the validity of the taxidermist and DNR's report, does not prove they made their statements out of malice toward you.

From my reading of what you have posted, jci63 (and again, I have not yet read the Opinion and the reading of it may change my thoughts), it seems that the defendants believed it was an illegal kill, based on their knowledge of this particular deer and his normal "haunts," and based on their belief it was an albino or white deer. It was out of this belief (which was certainly contrary to what they were told, but was believed by them nonetheless) that they made the statements.

But, I will read the opinion and post back.
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Thank You for all your time and input, it greatly appreciated. Here are the letters published.

Neighbors upset by killing of “albino” deer

Who killed our friend for a trophy? Please be advised that on Monday, December 20, 2004, someone from xxx shot and killed the neighborhood’s pet “Albino” deer. We have been lovingly feeding this pretty animal for four years. The DNR said it was a legal kill – but having been as close as 10 feet from this pet deer one of us was unable to see any brown markings. The stain observed by DNR was quite possibly a discharge from hind quarters and the small stain on forehead could be from tree rubbing. The neighbors and surrounding friends are very, very upset over the killing for a “trophy.” Saddened and broken hearted. Defendants name

Deer should have been protected

I would like to know what the law is, or how the DNR stands with killing an albino deer. Webster’s dictionary defines albino as: a person, animal, or plant lacking normal coloration. I was told the white buck that lived in the xxx area was shot by a hunter and killed. This news has saddened myself and others. If the law doesn’t protect these animals, who will? I know the people in the area tried – even hunters wouldn’t shoot him if he came into their bait pile. I come from a family of hunters, but some living beautiful animals should be protected. Defandants name

Sad to hear white deer was killed

After receiving the sad news on Christmas eve about someone shooting the white deer near Alanson, I felt I needed to let people know how sad it really is. As a relative of people who watched this young buck grow and blossom since birth and then to watch them be so broken hearted over his death, I feel the people who live in Northern Michigan and appreciate its miracles and beauty should know that a young man looking for a “trophy” shot and killed the most beautiful sight I have ever seen! It’s just so sad.Defendants name

Beautiful deer slain

To say that your article and the picture of the Albino deer that was killed near xxx saddened us would not be the correct choice of words. I also believe that the referring to Mr. jci63 as a hunter would not be correct. I am but one of the many residents of the area who have enjoyed viewing this deer over the past years. I have both movies and pictures of this beautiful animal.

Reports are that the deer had a small brown spot near its back foot. I would like to know how Mr. jci63 could see such a spot with the amount of snow that we had on the ground on the day that he killed this animal? This deer has been cared for by the residents of this area for years and was almost as tame as our house pets.

Many of us wonder how Mr. jci63 dispatched the animal: did he use his pocketknife or just a stick that he picked up off the ground? I have been a deer hunter for more than 50 years and have never needed a deer bad enough to end the life of such a beautiful animal. I am very happy to say that I know of no real hunter who feels any different than I. Defendants name


Senior Member
I am afraid you are not going to like what I have to say, jci63.

I read the Court Opinion, and I agree with their decision.

First, the letters you posted above were not quite what I expected. They are mostly opinion (with a touch of rhetorical hyperbole in the last defendant's letter) and the letters are not materially false.

Although three writers use the word "albino" to describe the deer, and that is not a literally accurate description of the deer according to the DNR, it is a substantially correct "laymans" description of the deer. Even the DNR admitted there is "some overlap between piebald and albino."

The only other potential error in fact that I see in the letters is how three writers describe you as a "trophy" hunter which, depending on what sort of interviews you gave and how you presented this deer, could be a logical assumption.

While the letters are certainly not a flattering portrait of you, you have in great part opened yourself up to this sort of criticism by putting yourself (and your piebald deer) in the public eye.

Many small local papers annually publish photos of community deer hunters with their deer, and the letters these papers receive in response are not unlike the ones you received over your deer kill. There can be great heated debates over the killing of deer between hunters and anti-hunters.

Although I have no doubt that you have suffered reputational injury over the letters published and the publicity received over the killing of the deer (some of this publicity specifically sought out by you), I do not see you winning any appeal on your defamation action based on these published letters. I do not see that these letters were published with actual malice.

Was your defamation action based entirely on these letters published, or was it based on comments made by community members to others, questioning the legality of the killing of the piebald deer?

If I locate any caselaw, or anything of substance that may assist you should you decide to continue with your appeal, I will post back with it. I am not, as I said before, very optimistic over your chances of winning, however.

As an aside: As of June 6 of this year it is no longer unlawful to hunt albino deer in Michigan. And piebald or partially white deer continue to be legal to hunt.
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Not all the items listed below came out before the Defendants published their letters

December 21st 2004
Took piebald deer to xxx party store (Sporting Goods Store), picture was taken and hung on bulletin board with my name on picture.

December 29th 2004
1. My piebald deer appeared on xx News xx
& xxx television segment.

2. xxx News Review published a picture of me,
with my piebald deer. (I did not do the writing)

“Left: No it’s not an albino. But this piebald 8- point buck shot by jci63 of xxx is pretty white. A patch of brown hair on his forehead and back legs are his piebald characteristics. jci63 shot the deer in the xxx area Dec. 19 with a muzzleloader.”

The letters were published on December 30 in our local paper with a picture of myself with the deer.

All Public Appearances
a. once on the radio;
b. once on television;
c. twice in magazines;
d. six times in newspapers;
e. three times where he appeared at venues for purposes of discussing his successful hunt;
f. and three times at venues where he appeared for purposes of having his picture taken with the eight point buck.

Appeal Court Opinion – Page 7 (paragraph 1)

“Even plaintiff, himself, implicitly recognized the confusion surrounding this legal distinction when he testified at his deposition that he had publicly appeared with his deer for the very purpose of explaining the difference between albinos and piebald’s.”

jci63 Deposition - (page 63, lines 13-16)

Q – Why would you relate this opinion that anybody had of you?

A – Due to the letters. People threatening to come shoot my dog, and my child was harassed at school.

jci63 Deposition - (page 83, lines 11-18)

Q – Do you intend to go to any sportsmen’s shows with the deer? Do you have any plans to do that at any point in the future?

A – No, sir.

Q – If the occasion comes up, you ---you wouldn’t have a problem going to any shows?

A – If that would help clear my reputation and educate the community on what type of deer I took, I would not have any objection to doing that, no, sir.

jci63 Deposition - (page 107, lines 1-11)

A – To try to clear my reputation, and stand up for myself, and show to the community at large that I didn’t do what I was being accused of, and that is a criminal offense of shooting an albino deer, which is illegal to shoot in the State of Michigan.

Q – That’s why you took the deer to these various shows?

A – To clear my name, yes. Any time after December 30th is why I took it to those spots, to let people in the community see, to educate them, to talk to the one-on-one so if they had questions they could ask me, and I’d be more than willing to answer.

jci63 Deposition - (page 213, lines 3-12)

Q – You wrote letters to the editor at the Straitsland Resorter your self, did you not?

A – One letter, yes.

Q – You also wrote a letter to the Petoskey News Review

A – One letter, yes.

Q – And in your letter you sought to straighten out everybody and defend yourself essentially, did you not?

A – Try to mitigate damages, yes.
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Argument regading if the deer is an albino>


Court Transcript 11-20-06 (Page 45, lines 1-25 / page 46, lines 1-18)

THE COURT: Thank you.

Well, I mean the case involves some letters that were written to the Editor and published regarding the killing of this deer. The plaintiff, Mr.jci63, killed an unusual deer in the xxx area. He did become somewhat of a limited public figure by his own doing in taking the deer around and displaying it and generated quite a bit of interest in the local community, so he did place himself in the spotlight or limelight. By doing that he was a limited public figure to that degree. Previously these motions for summary disposition when they were brought I was of the opinion that an albino deer was illegal to shoot and therefore looking at things in a light most favorable to the non-moving party, the letters could be interpreted as accusing the plaintiff of having committed a crime which is per se libel or slander. The pleadings now before me really, I guess, have educated me to the extent that the DNR has indicated these are the individuals in charge of enforcement that an albino deer -- what is technically an albino deer can be a legal target and legal kill if it has a certain amount of that brown coloration or stain on it, and there is nothing to refute that that's the law. I mean, that is what the DNR testified to. There is nothing on the opposite side that indicates that's wrong. That an albino deer regardless of amount of staining or quantity of staining or however it comes about is always an illegal kill. That's not the case on this record. It appears that it can be a legal kill. Therefore, what's different today than it was before discovery had concluded was to indicate somebody has shot an albino deer is not to accuse them of a crime. As the DNR has testified to, there are instances where shooting an albino deer can be an illegal act. With that not being a part of the equation anymore, there is no per se slander or libel and it's down to actual malice and when I read these letters I don't find that to be the case together with the attachments to the pleadings on these motions for summary disposition, so I'm going to grant the motions for summary disposition.


By a storm of quotes from deposition testimony and irrelevant documentation, Appellees have attempted to hopelessly complicate what is really a very simple case. A practical, straight forward Michigan Department of Natural Resources Order has been turned on its head in an attempt to obfuscate the plain, clear intent and language of the Order.

The language of the order is unambiguous - it is illegal to shoot a deer with all white or colorless hair - the legal and factual definition of "albino" in the case at bar. Whether or not a deer is genetically an "albino" is not and never has been properly at issue in this case. The reason for this is so simple and clear that it has completely escaped both the Appellees' grasp and the trial court's erroneous decision.

Picture this scene: A hunter, properly licensed and equipped is in the Michigan woods on a crisp winter morning. He sees and perhaps hears a large animal- a deer - fair game and the object of his pursuit - in the distance. But wait! This animal is unusual, perhaps unlike any he has ever seen before. The animal is white!

Knowing that it is illegal to kill an “albino” deer, he has but one methodology available to him to determine the potential illegality of taking this otherwise entirely legal and proper game. He cannot take blood samples to a lab for analysis. He cannot gaze into the animal's eyes to see if they are pink or have a tint of brown. He cannot inspect the animal's hooves to determine if they are translucent. He can only go by the color of the animal's hair.

Is it entirely white, making it an "albino" under Michigan law and therefore illegal to kill? Or is it only partially white, classifying it as a piebald deer, thereby making it legal to take under applicable MDNR regulations?

Clearly, these unavoidable limitations on the hunter in areal-life situation are the reason why the MDNR regulation simply classifies "albino" deer as those having all white or colorless hair. And what did our hunter do in the case at bar? Shoot first and then investigate what kind of animal he had taken? Absolutely not. He carefully studied the animal, at length, using binoculars, examining every square inch of the deer available to his view. Exhibit 1. After determining beyond a shadow of a doubt that the animal had extensive brown coloration, he drew down and shot, taking the piebald animal, responsibly, legally, and mercifully. He did no wrong whatsoever.

Yet, he was vilified by Appellees for killing an "albino" deer - always a criminal act under Michigan law. These accusations, clearly defamation per se, were and are actionable under Michigan law. Although the trial court erred in several respects, the above analysis brings into clear relief the essential error committed by the trial court - ignoring the plain language of the MDNR Order and instead choosing to impress upon the Order an improper, impractical, and impossibly complex spin that makes the Order not only impossible to understand, but even to enforce.

The following flow chart, which will also be presented during Appellant's oral argument, breaks this case down into its simple, essential components:


The left side of the chart is Appellees' only path to affirming the lower court's decision. Only if the subject deer had all white or colorless hair, a fact that is undisputedly untrue, could the deer be an albino. Under these circumstances, the accusations against Appellant by Appellees, i.e., that Appellant had committed a crime, would have been true, and there would be no defamation.

But as this chart makes clear, this path cannot be followed, because, as all parties agree, the deer did not have all white or colorless hair. Despite all of the attention given to the deer's eye color, such is simply irrelevant - not even mentioned - under the applicable Order. And despite the trial court's inexplicable ruling to the contrary, it is always illegal to kill an albino deer under Michigan law.

Accordingly, the conclusion is inescapable that the trial court's summary disposition of Plaintiffs claims was not only erroneous, but exactly the opposite of the correct liability ruling - that there is no genuine issue of fact that by accusing Appellant of this crime, given the undisputed fact that the subject deer was not an albino, Appellees committed defamation per se, and a ruling to that effect should have been made by the trial court as a matter of law.
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