June 4-10, 2007
Volume 5 Issue 23

We apologize that the Public Policy Update was not sent at its regularly scheduled time.

FOCUS: Michigan Chamber of Commerce Study Released
On June 7, the Michigan Chamber announced the release of a study completed by the Michigan Chamber Foundation regarding the need for legal reform. The report calls for four major reforms: limit contingency fees; provide incentives to settle lawsuits; enact ‘loser pay’ law; and provide for sanctions for frivolous claims.

Press Release
Study: Legal Reform in Michigan: Past, Present & Future

The State Bar of Michigan has historically opposed some of the reforms sought by the Chamber because they could decrease to access to justice and have a possible chilling effect to bring meritorious claims.

What is your reaction?

In the Capitol
Committee meetings of interest for the week of 6/11
6/13 House Judiciary

Agenda: HB 4550 Revise sentencing guidelines for certain crimes involving animal abuse to reflect increased penalties; HB 4551 Provide for increased penalties under certain circumstances for abuse of animals; HB 4552 Revise penalties for animal cruelty to allow consecutive sentencing; HB 4650 Create uniform foreign-country money judgments recognition act; SB 386 Expand provisions in criminal sexual conduct statutes relating to teachers and other school employees to include volunteers, employees, and contractual service providers; SB 155 Enact crime of child care center or day care center employee failing to self-report certain felony charges.

6/13 House Families and Children's Services
Agenda item of interest: HB 4736 Expand procedure for placement of children in a foster home to give special consideration to individuals of same religious background.
Family Law Section Position: Oppose

6/13 House Appropriations
Agenda item of interest: HB 4861 Revise fees to court of appeals.

Complete Committee Meeting List 

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 6/5 – 6/7
Of General Interest
HJR O Legislature; legislators; reduction of pay for legislators who miss session without a valid excuse; provide for. Amends the state constitution by adding sec. 55 to art. IV.

At The Bar
50-Year Golden Celebration

Class Action Award Directed to Access to Justice Fund

SBM Young Lawyers Section to Host June 21 Panel Discussion on Managing Student Debt

In the Hall of Justice
Other Actions
2007-01 - Supreme Court Appointments to the Child Support Leadership Council
Issued: June 7, 2007

Federal News
Ruling Likely to Spur Convictions in Capital Cases
(New York Times, 6/9/07)

State News
Lawmakers Fear Making Job 'Part Time'
(The Saginaw News, 6/8/07)
See Related:
Granholm Supports Part-Time Legislature
(Lansing State Journal, 6/5/07)

Part-Time Lawmaking Fizzles
(Detroit Free Press, 6/6/07)

Granholm Declines to Delay Naming Judges
(Detroit Free Press, 6/6/07)

State Lawmakers Eye Liquor Tax to Cover Shortfall
(Grand Rapids Press, 6/6/07)

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