January 11, 2004 - January 17, 2004
Volume 2 Issue 3

In the Capitol
Committee meetings of interest for the week of 1/18.

1/20/04 House Judiciary
Agenda item: HB 5307 Uniform principal and income act.

1/20/04 Senate Judiciary
Agenda items: HB 5120 Crime of operating a vehicle with bodily content of certain controlled substances; HB 5129 Procedures for selecting persons for jury service; HB 5199 Release of individual convicted of criminal sexual conduct against minor on bail pending sentencing or appeal; HB 4802 Prohibited conduct with regard to telecommunications access; HB 4916 Prohibited conduct with regard to telecommunications access.

Complete Committee Meeting List

Capitol Agenda
View Full Text (Detroit News, 1/10/04)

In the Hall of Justice
Frank J. Greco Named Chief Commissioner of Michigan Supreme Court
View Full Text (Michigan Supreme Court, 1/13/04)

Judge Gary McDonald Mourned by Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan Court of Appeals
View Full Text (Michigan Supreme Court, 1/14/04)

At the Bar
SBM Partners With ICLE To Launch Michigan Law Online
View Full Text

The Board of Commissioners met on Friday, January 16th. The following public policy positions were adopted during their meeting. All positions were adopted by unanimous vote except where noted. Specific roll call votes can be requested by calling (517) 346-6325 or e-mailing ELYON@mail.michbar.org.

2003-47 In Re-Petition for Administrative Order or Court Rule Establishing Inactive Asbestos
Docketing System - The proposal seeks comments regarding possible action by the Supreme Court to issue either an Administrative Order or Court Rule establishing an inactive asbestos docketing system. The Court welcomes comments in consideration of this proposal.
Order entered: September 11, 2003
Comment period expired: January 1, 2004
Public Hearing: January 29, 2004
POSITION: No position. Authorization granted to the Civil Procedure and Courts Committee to advocate its position. (The Civil Procedure and Courts Committee opposes 2003-47; see Sections and Committees.)

2003-60 Proposed Amendment of Rule 5.125 of the MCR - The proposed amendment would add such entities as insurance companies to the list of interested persons who must receive notice of a proceeding for an examination of an account of a fiduciary, if the insurer potentially might be liable for all or part of the relief sought.
Order entered: November 25, 2003
Comment period expires: March 1, 2004
Public Hearing: To be scheduled
POSITION: Oppose. Rationale: the language of (C)(6)(f), which requires notification of entities “such as other persons whose interests are affected by the relief requested” to the list of interested persons, is vague and overbroad and consequently would be burdensome to the petitioner.

HB 4772 (Vander Veen) – Family law, friend of the court; administrative adjustment in the income withholding order to account for arrearages; allow and provide enforcement procedures for noncompliance by employers.
Status: 07/03/03– Referred to Senate Families and Human Services Committee
POSITION: No position. Authorization granted to the Legal Aid Committee to advocate its position. (The Legal Aid Committee opposes HB 4772.)

HB 4810 (Pastor) – Civil procedure; costs and fees; threshold for requiring attorney fee to be paid by party that rejected mediation; revise.
Status: 06/05/03 – Referred to House Judiciary Committee
POSITION: Oppose in principle. Rationale: the language of the bill may result in forced settlements.

HB 4983 (Tobocman) – Occupations, service occupations; Consumer protections, other; State agencies (existing), consumer and industry services.
Status: 07/16/03 – Referred to House Criminal Justice Committee
POSITION: Support in principle. Rationale: the bill addresses an unauthorized practice of law phenomenon that adversely affects immigrant populations.

SB 245 (Switalski) - Civil procedure; costs and fees; transcript fee; increase.
Status: 03/04/03 - Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee
POSITION: Support in principle.  Rationale:  the Bar supports adequate funding for this service, and notes that statutory transcript fees have not been increased since 1987.   At the same time, the State Bar recognizes the need for waivers to be granted to parties unable to afford transcript fees.  The Bar further recommends that the work product of the Records Production Work Group currently reviewing transcript production be taken into consideration in any considerations concerning the amount of any fee increase. 

    SB 689 (Goschka) – Torts; malpractice; liability of emergency room physicians; limit in certain circumstances.
    Status: 09/16/03 – Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee
    POSITION: No position. Authorization granted to the Civil Procedure and Courts Committee to advocate its position. (The Civil Procedure and Courts Committee opposes SB 689.)

    SB 690 (Goschka) - Torts; malpractice; statute of limitations extension for fraudulent concealment in medical malpractice action; require plaintiff's sworn statement of facts.
    Status: 09/16/03 - Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee
    POSITION: Active opposition (roll call vote). Rationale: Given the nature of fraudulent concealment cases, requiring a plaintiff to produce evidence that proves facts independent of his/her sworn statement would be too burdensome.

    SB 788
    (Hardiman) - Courts; judges; number of judgeships in the seventeenth judicial circuit; increase.
    Status: 10/23/03 Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee
    POSITION: Support in principle.

    POSITION RESOLUTION
    (roll call vote):
    The State Bar of Michigan supports the following:
    1) Automatic reviews of child support, with discretion to Friend of the Court to consider all relevant material.
    2) Friend of the Court to maintain discretion to make recommendations outside of the guidelines where appropriate.

    Sections and Committees
    The Civil Procedure and Courts Committee submitted the following recommendations for State Bar action on public policy issues.  For a faxed copy of the complete report, please call (517) 346-6325 or email
    ELYON@mail.michbar.org.


    2003-47 In Re-Petition for Administrative Order or Court Rule Establishing Inactive Asbestos Docketing System - The proposal seeks comments regarding possible action by the Supreme Court to issue either an Administrative Order or Court Rule establishing an inactive asbestos docketing system.  The Court welcomes comments in consideration of this proposal.
    POSITION: Oppose.

    2003-60 Proposed Amendment of Rule 5.125 of the MCR - The proposed amendment would add such entities as insurance companies to the list of interested persons who must receive notice of a proceeding for an examination of an account of a fiduciary, if the insurer potentially might be liable for all or part of the relief sought.
    POSITION: Oppose.

    Federal News
    Justices Allow Policy of Silence on 9/11 Detainees
    View Full Text
    (New York Times, 1/13/04)


    Bush's Power to Plan Trial of Detainees Is Challenged
    View Full Text
    (New York Times, 1/16/04)

    Supreme Court Upholds Police Roadblocks
    View Full Text
    (Lansing State Journal, 1/14/04)

    Congress Reconvenes Tuesday To Open Election-Year Session
    View Full Text
    (Washington Post, 1/18/04)

    State News
    Michigan Can Collect from Inmates'
    Pensions
    View Full Text
    (Detroit Free Press, 1/13/04)

    New Trial Sought in Terrorism Case
    View Full Text
    (Detroit News, 1/13/04)


    $1B Budget Deficit Projected
    View Full Text
    (Lansing State Journal, 1/15/04)

Links of Interest
Public Policy Resource Center
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