May 7 - 13, 2007
Volume 5 Issue 19

FOCUS: Michigan Fiscal Crisis Update
A revenue estimating conference will take place on May 18. Officials are predicting that estimates will show an even greater deficit in the current fiscal year budget than previously anticipated. The House Tax Policy Committee began hearings last week on the Senate business tax replacement plan introduced by the Senate Republican Caucus. Likewise, the Senate Finance Committee began hearings on the House business tax replacement plan introduced by the House Democratic Caucus.

In the Capitol
Committee meetings of interest for the week of 5/14
5/15 Senate Judiciary

Agenda: SB 357 Enact sentencing guidelines for crimes of using or tampering with public safety device causing serious impairment or death; SB 358 Clarify definition of safety device and provide penalties for tampering with.

5/16 House Judiciary
Agenda: SB 344 Eliminate certain conflicts with court rules and harmonize with court decisions; HB 4234 Provide for adoption of a jail population management plan; HB 4725 Implement county jail population management plan and revise jail overcrowding procedures.

5/16 Senate Appropriations Subcommittee: Judiciary & Corrections
Agenda: The FY 2007-08 budget for the Department of Corrections

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 5/8 – 5/10
Of Interest to the Legal Community

HB 4723 Torts; malpractice; qualifications to testify as expert witness in medical malpractice case; revise. Amends sec. 2169 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2169).

HB 4724 Occupations; physicians; practice of medicine to include testimony on the appropriate standard of practice or care in an action alleging medical malpractice; provide for and create limited expert witness license. Amends secs. 16221, 16226, 16245, 17001 & 17501 of 1978 PA 368 (MCL 333.16221 et seq.) & adds sec. 16182a.

HB 4738 Criminal procedure; evidence; collection of DNA samples from all prisoners; require by specific date. Amends sec. 33d of 1953 PA 232 (MCL 791.233d).

HB 4744 Weapons; concealed; exemption for certain state court judges and state court retired judges from concealed weapons no-carry zones; provide for. Amends secs. 1 & 5o of 1927 PA 372 (MCL 28.421 & 28.425o).

SB 489 Juveniles; other; procedure in family division of circuit court for truant juveniles; revise, and give court jurisdiction over parents and guardians of truants. Amends secs. 2, 6, 6a & 11, ch. XIIA of 1939 PA 288 (MCL 712A.2 et seq.) & adds secs. 11a & 17e to ch. XIIA. TIE BAR WITH: SB 0488'07, SB 0490'07

Of General Interest
HB 4725 Corrections; jails; county jail population management plan; implement and revise jail overcrowding procedures. Amends secs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9 & 10 of 1982 PA 325 (MCL 801.51 et seq.) & adds secs. 1a, 9a & 9b.

HB 4735 Human services; children's services; procedure for placement of children in a foster home; expand to give special consideration to relatives. Amends sec. 4a of 1994 PA 203 (MCL 722.954a).

HB 4736 Human services; children's services; procedure for placement of children in a foster home; expand to give special consideration to individuals of same religious background. Amends sec. 4a of 1994 PA 203 (MCL 722.954a).

HB 4737 Human services; children's services; requirement for parental disclosure of relatives when placing a child in a home other than that of a parent; implement. Amends sec. 13a, ch. XIIA of 1939 PA 288 (MCL 712A.13a).

HJR L Sales tax; rate; tax rate; revise and prohibit certain other taxes. Amends secs. 3, 7, 8, 10 & 11, art. IX & adds sec. 43 to art. IX of the state constitution.

SB 488 Education; attendance; local truancy policies; require adoption and implementation by schools and prosecutors. Amends sec. 1599 of 1976 PA 451 (MCL 380.1599) & adds sec. 1590.

At the Bar
Judicial Vacancy – 42nd Circuit Court
Hon. Paul J. Clulo is vacating his seat on the 42nd Circuit Court. State Bar members interested in applying for the judgeship should submit an application by June 12, 2007.
View Information

February 2007 Bar Examination Results and Admission Ceremonies
The State Bar of Michigan congratulates Rep. Andrew Meisner on passing the February bar exam.  The number of lawyers serving in the state legislature now increases to 23.

Michigan State Bar Foundation Awards Eleven Grants

Sections and Committees
The Consumer Law Section submitted the following public policy reports:
Support with Recommended Amendments: HB 4217 (Jones, Robert) Consumer protection; unfair trade practices; application of Michigan consumer protection act to actions expressly permitted by law; clarify. Amends sec. 4 of 1976 PA 331 (MCL 445.904).
Oppose: Appraisal Fraud Bill Package (HB 4054, HB 4055, HB 4083, SB 342, SB 343, SB 356)

The Negligence Law Section submitted the following public policy report:
Oppose: HB 4267 (Caswell) Civil procedure; costs and fees; attorney contingency fees based on a sliding scale; provide for. Amends sec. 919 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.919).

For a copy of these reports, please contact Elizabeth Lyon.

In the Hall of Justice
The Michigan Supreme Court will hold an administrative public hearing on Wednesday, May 16, 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

To reserve a place on the agenda, please notify the Office of the Clerk of the Court in writing at P.O. Box 30052, Lansing, Michigan 48909, or by e-mail at MSC_clerk@courts.mi.gov, no later than Monday, May 14, 2007.

Agenda items of note:
2004-08 - Proposed Amendment of Rule 15 and Proposed New Rule 18 of the Rules Concerning the State Bar of Michigan
Issue: Whether to adopt new SBR 18 that would establish the rule regarding pro hac vice appearance by attorneys in Michigan, replacing Section 2 of current Rule 15, as endorsed in concept by the State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly.

2005-36 - Proposed Amendment of Rules 7.204 and 7.205 of the Michigan Court Rules
Issue: Whether to adopt the proposed amendment of MCR 7.204 that would make various technical changes.  Also, whether to adopt the proposed amendment of MCR 7.205 that would clarify how a motion for a new trial, a motion for rehearing or reconsideration, or a motion for other postjudgment relief tolls the time within which to file an application for leave to the appeal to the Court of Appeals.
Appellate Practice Section Position

2005-37 - Proposed Amendment of Rules 5.101, 5.105, 5.113, 5.125, 5.206, 5.302, 5.306, 5.307, 5.309, and 5.403 of the Michigan Court Rules and Proposed Adoption of Rules 5.410 and 5.411 of the Michigan Court Rules
Issue: Whether to adopt the proposed amendments of MCR 5.101, 5.105, 5.113, 5.125, 5.206, 5.302, 5.306, 5.307, 5.309, and 5.403 as submitted by the Michigan Probate Judges Association and the State Bar of Michigan Probate and Estate Planning Section.  Whether to adopt proposed new MCR 5.410 that would (1) establish appointments of guardians ad litem for protected individuals in every adult conservatorship with unrestricted assets unless the protected individual has an attorney or is mentally competent but aged or physically infirm and, (2) define the duties of the guardians ad litem.  Whether to adopt proposed new MCR 5.411 that would require a bond to protect the estate in all conservatorships in which there are unrestricted assets and establish that no bond would be required of trust companies that are organized under Michigan law or a bank with trust powers, unless the court orders that a bond is required.
Committee on Justice Initiatives Position: Support provision of rules 5.403(C) and (D)
Judicial Conference Position
Probate and Estate Planning Section Position

2006-33 - Proposed Amendment of Rule 2.116 of the Michigan Court Rules
Issue: Whether to adopt the proposed amendment of MCR 2.116 that would clarify that a motion for summary disposition based on governmental immunity or lack of subject-matter jurisdiction may be filed even if the time for filing dispositive motions in a scheduling order has expired, and that it is within the court’s discretion to allow a motion for summary disposition based on the grounds set out in (C)(8), (C)(9), or (C)(10) to proceed if it is filed after the period for filing dispositive motions established in a scheduling order has expired.
SBM Position

2006-40 - Proposed Amendment of Rule 2.222 of the Michigan Court Rules
Issue: Whether to adopt the proposed amendment of MCR 2.222 that would require the party who moved for change of venue to prove that the statutory filing fee was paid to the court in which the action is transferred before the order changing venue is entered.
SBM Position

Police Officers' Whistleblower Suit Against Detroit Mayor, City of Detroit to Come Before Michigan Supreme Court

State News
Court Hopes Workers Will Volunteer for Unpaid Leave
(Lansing State Journal, 5/14/07)

State Appeals Court Plans Closings this Summer
(AP/Mlive.com, 5/11/07)

State Collects More Taxes in April than Expected
(Lansing State Journal, 5/10/07)

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