January 8 -15, 2007
Volume 5 Issue 2

FOCUS: "The Supreme Court and the Idea of Constitutionalism”: Conference at Michigan State University, January 26-28

A free conference addressing the place of the Supreme Court in American political life will take place at Michigan State University's Kellogg Center from Jan. 26 through Jan. 28. It is sponsored by the MSU Symposium on Science, Reason, and Modern Democracy.

The conference will bring together more than 25 of the country’s most prominent scholars on constitutionalism to discuss the place of the Supreme Court in the constitutional framework of the United States from a variety of disciplinary or methodological perspectives. Bruce Cole, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, will be the keynote speaker.

There will be six sessions:  three on Friday, two on Saturday, and one on Sunday.  All sessions are free and open to the public.  No registration is required. View full schedule

For further information, contact Karen Battin at battink@msu.edu or 355-2167

In the Capitol
The 94th State Legislature will begin regularly scheduled sessions days the week of January 22.

View 2007 House of Representatives Session Schedule

View 2007 Senate Session Schedule

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 1/10
Of Interest to the Legal Community
SB 6 Criminal procedure; sentencing; sentencing individual convicted as a juvenile to imprisonment for life without parole eligibility; prohibit.

SB 9 Corrections; parole; parole of certain juvenile offenders sentenced to imprisonment for life; allow. TIE BAR WITH: SB 0006'07

Of General Interest
SB 2 Campaign finance; public disclosure; disclosure of committees that employ and registration of persons who make "robocalls" in campaigns; require.

SB 3 Elections; campaign practices; do-not-call list for automated political telephone calls; provide for.

SB 5 Health; occupations; scope of practice for marriage and family therapists; clarify.

SB 10 Elections; voters; election by mail; implement.

SB 12 Elections; absent voters; qualifications for voting absentee; eliminate.

SB 13 Elections; registration; registering to vote on day of election and voting at that election; allow.

In the Hall of Justice
The Michigan Supreme Court will hold an administrative public hearing on Wednesday, January 17, 2007, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Supreme Court courtroom located on the sixth floor of the Michigan Hall of Justice, 925 W. Ottawa Street, Lansing, Michigan 48915.
Public Hearing Agenda

Confidentiality of Supreme Court Deliberations to be Discussed at January 17 Public Hearing; Asbestos Anti-Bundling Rule and Jury Proposals also on Agenda

Agenda items of interest:
2002-09 - Proposed Adoption of Rules 3.904 and 5.738a of the Michigan Court Rules
Published at 477 Mich 1201-1202 (Part 1, 2006).
Issue: Whether to adopt MCR 3.904, which would allow family division courts to use two-way interactive video technology to conduct certain hearings for delinquency and child protective proceedings in accordance with requirements and guidelines set forth by SCAO. Whether to adopt MCR 5.738a, which would allow probate courts to use two-way interactive video technology to conduct hearings concerning initial involuntary treatment, continuing mental health treatment, and petitions for guardianship involving persons receiving treatment in mental health facilities in accordance with requirements and guidelines set forth by SCAO. All proceedings in both the family division and the probate courts would be required to be recorded verbatim by the court.
Committee on Justice Initiatives Position: Oppose
Family Law Section Position: See Report

2005-19 Proposed Adoption of the Amendment of Rules 2.512, 2.513, 2.514, 2.515, 2.516, and 6.414 of the Michigan Court Rules
Published at 475 Mich 1223-1236 (Part 3, 2006).
Issue: Whether to adopt amendments of MCR 2.512, 2.513, 2.514, 2.515, 2.516, and 6.414 that would enhance the quality of the jury’s deliberative process and further the truth-seeking function of the jury trial.
State Bar Position: See Report

2005-41 Proposed Adoption of New Rule 19 of the Rules Concerning the State Bar of Michigan
Published at 477 Mich 1205-1207 (Part 1, 2006).
Issue: Whether to adopt SBR 19 that would codify the practice of the State Bar of Michigan with regard to ensuring the confidentiality of records maintained relating to various state bar programs.
State Bar Position: Support

2006-05 Proposed Adoption of the Amendment of Rules 6.610, 6.625, and 7.103 of the Michigan Court Rules
Published at 475 Mich 1216-1218 (Part 3, 2006).
Issue: Whether to adopt rule amendments based on suggestions of the Representative Assembly of the State Bar of Michigan, as revised by the Court, that would ensure that individuals who are convicted in district court are aware of their right to counsel under Halbert v Michigan, 545 US ____ (2005).
Appellate Practice Section: See Report

Proposed Amendments
2006-45 - Proposed Amendment of Rule 5.307 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendment of MCR 5.307 would eliminate the ability to reduce the value of property by the amount of secured loans for purposes of determining the inventory fee. The proposed amendment would conform the court rule to the requirement for setting the inventory fee in § 871 of the Revised Judicature Act, MCL 600.871, as expressed in Wolfe-Hadad Estate v Oakland Co, 272 Mich App 323 (2006).
Issued: January 9, 2007
Comment period expires: May 1, 2007
Public Hearing: To be scheduled

2005-04 - Proposed Amendment of Rules 3.963 and 3.965 of the Michigan Court Rules
Effective January 1, 2007, an amendment to 3.963(B)(1) reflects the reality the Family Division judges or referees are not always presented with a petition when a request is made to remove a child from the home. In emergency circumstances, a police officer or social worker may seek the court’s permission to remove a child from a home, but will not have an opportunity to draft a petition before seeking the child’s removal. Other changes require orders authorizing the removal of a child to be in writing. The current proposed amendment also clarifies that the court should make a “reasonable efforts” finding at the child’s removal, or within 60 days of the child’s removal under MCR 3.965, or make a finding that “reasonable efforts” are not required.
Effective January 1, 2007, amendments to MCR 3.965(D)(2) conform the rule language to that of recent amendments of the “reasonable efforts” language in MCL 712A.19a, as amended by 2004 PA 473, and make its language consistent with the proposed “reasonable efforts” language in MCR 3.976(B)(1). The amendments add language to clarify that a court can determine that reasonable efforts to prevent removal have been made or can determine that reasonable efforts to prevent removal are not required due to aggravated circumstances.
Issued: January 9, 2007
Comment period expires: May 1, 2007
Public Hearing: To be scheduled

Other Actions
2006-01 - Appointment of Chief Judge of the 50th Judicial District Court
Issued:January 9, 2007
Effective:January 8, 2007

At the Bar
Judicial Vacancy – 48 Circuit Court
Hon. Harry A. Beach is vacating his seat on the 48th Circuit Court. State Bar members interested in applying for the judgeship should submit an application by January 29, 2007.
View Information

ABA: ABA TECHSHOW® Takes Place March 22-24 in Chicago

Federal News
Official Attacks Top Law Firms Over Detainees
(New York Times, 1/13/07)

State News
Granholm Seeks Help on Budget Dilemma
(Lansing State Journal, 1/11/07)

Budget Expected to Dominate Talk in 94th Legislature
(Lansing State Journal, 1/11/07)

Lawmakers Gear Up to Return to Capitol
(Lansing State Journal, 1/9/07)

Links of Interest
Public Policy Resource Center | Michigan Supreme Court | Michigan Legislature | MCL Search Engines