November 22, 2004 - November 28, 2004
Volume 2 Issue 47

In the Capitol
FOCUS: SB 1366 Bar Admission: Residency SB 1366 amends the Revised Judicature Act to remove the requirement that a person qualified for admission to the bar in Michigan be a “resident” of the United States. The Act’s current definition of “resident” includes, but is not limited to, a member of the U.S. military service or its allies who holds a temporary visa or permanent resident visa. The State Bar of Michigan actively supports SB 1366 for several reasons. The bill would allow a person residing outside the U.S. (citizen or non-citizen) to be admitted to the State Bar of Michigan if he or she otherwise met all legal requirements for admission – good moral character, required legal education, fitness and ability, criminal background check, etc. The bill would not lower the bar for any of these important qualifications.

The present law discourages foreign students -- primarily, but not exclusively, Canadian -- from attending law school in Michigan. Several Michigan law schools offer joint programs with Canadian schools. For example the University of Detroit Mercy offers a joint degree program with the University of Windsor School of Law. these programs would continue to be negatively affected if Canadian students who reside in Canada meet all other requirements were denied admission to the State Bar of Michigan.

Moreover, foreign law students in Michigan effectively face a “Catch 22” situation. Under federal rules a visa will not be issued unless a person is admitted to the bar. In Michigan, a person cannot be admitted to the bar unless he or she is a resident in the U.S. Furthermore, student visas for foreign students expire almost immediately upon graduation, not leaving enough time for a foreign law school graduate to study for and take the bar exam.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the State Bar of Michigan recognizes the need to re-evaluate the residency requirement in light of today’s globalized economy. Law firms with international practices increasingly want to hire lawyers with expertise regarding other countries, cultures, foreign business, and foreign law. The bill removes an obstacle to that goal. In doing so it promotes the broader goal of attracting foreign investment in Michigan, as foreign businesses will increasingly see evidence of a knowledgeable and sophisticated base of international practice lawyers in Michigan.

The bill is being taken up by the House Judiciary Committee on November 30 th at 8:30 a.m. in room 308 of the House Office Building.

Committee meetings of interest for the week of 11/19

11/30 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 6244 Increase marriage license fee; HB 6285 Omit requirement of sending juror qualification questionnaires to certain individuals disqualified or excused from jury service; HB 6345 Increase motion fees and earmark increase for certain guardian ad litem services; SB 1366 Eliminate residency requirement for state bar; SB 1447 Provide for requirement for title IV-D agencies to provide for certain liens; SB 1448 Provide for requirement for the title IV-D agency to notify the child support lien network; SB 1449 Permit disclosure of certain information to assist in the collection of child support arrearages; SB 1450 Require notice of heirs and devisees be given to friend of the court; SB 1463 Eliminate election districts within the eighth judicial district.
SBM POSITION: HB 6285 – Support in Principle. A correction is needed in the statute reference from section 1307a(c) to 1307a(1)(e).
Civil Procedure and Courts Committee Position: HB 6285 – Support
SBM POSITION: SB 1366 - Actively Support
For a copy of these positions, please email

11/30 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: HB 6226 Prescribe location of offices of judges of court of appeals; SR 304 A resolution to urge the Department of Community Health to extend its moratorium on transferring forensic mental health patients to local facilities and on issuing ground passes until public safety measures are fully established and to work with the state's courts to address this issue.

12/01 House Criminal Justice
Agenda: HB 6181 Revise penalties for window peeping; HB 6182 Enact sentencing guidelines for crime of trespassing for purposes of window peeping; HB 5409 Include penalty provisions for violent crime committed in presence of a child in sentencing guidelines, and establish certain warrant and police policies for domestic violence involving individuals who have had a dating relationship; HB 5493 Provide for record expungement for certain offenders; HB 6203 Provide for state and federal criminal history check of applicant for an occupational license (horse racing); HB 6204 Provide for requirement for criminal history check of applicants; SB 773 Expand reporting protections to include computer technicians for internet child pornography encountered in the scope of work; SB 1175 Establish sentencing guidelines for crimes related to damage or destruction of research property; SB 1176 Establish increased penalties for damaging or destroying research property or research; SB 1287 Prohibit and provide penalties for possessing certain explosive or combustible substance or device; SB 1288 Enact sentencing guidelines for crime of possessing explosive or incendiary substance or device; SB 1384 Establish right of victim of identity theft to obtain police report of identity theft from law enforcement agency.

Complete Committee Meeting List
View Full Text

Capitol Agenda
View Full Text
(Detroit News, 11/27/04)

Legislation Recently Signed into Public Acts
PA 403 of 2004 – Boxing Regulatory Act, Effective 11/22/04
HB 4335 (Robertson) Occupations; athletics; recodification of boxing statutes; provide for. Creates new act & repeals art. 8 of 1980 PA 299 (MCL 339.801 - 339.814) & sec. 49 of 1979 PA 152 (MCL 338.2249). TIE BAR WITH HB 4336.

PA 404 of 2004 – Boxing Regulatory Act, Effective 11/22/04
HB 4336 (Robertson) Occupations; athletics; certain unarmed combat contests; exempt from penal code. Amends sec. 447 of 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.447). TIE BAR WITH HB 4335.

PA 405 of 2004 – Joint Municipal Planning: Land Use, Effective
HB 6047 (Ward) Land use; planning; certain compliances with joint planning process; clarify. Amends sec. 5 of 2003 PA 226 (MCL 125.135).

In the Hall of Justice
Linking Foster Children to Community Support is Goal of New Michigan Supreme Court Program; Advisory Committee Named
(Michigan Supreme Court, Nov. 23, 2004)

Proposed Amendments
2004-47 - Proposed Amendment of Rule 7.302 of the Michigan Court Rules The proposed amendment of MCR 7.302(C)(4) would allow a party to seek leave to appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court from the denial of a motion for rehearing of a Court of Appeals decision to remand a case to the trial court. The proposed amendment also adds language that clarifies that a 28-day time limit applies to application for leave to appeal in appeals from orders terminating parental rights.
Issued: November 24, 2004
Comment period expires: March 1, 2005
Public Hearing: To be scheduled

At the Bar
Sections and Committees
The Animal Law Section submitted a public policy report:
Support: HB 6221 Education; curricula; alternative for students who have a moral objection to dissection; require teacher to provide for.

Federal News
Enforcement Of Civil Rights Law Declined Since '99, Study Finds
(New York Times, Nov. 21, 2004)

Florida Gives Doctors Three Strikes
(The Washington Times, Nov. 27, 2004)

Court Refuses Campaign Limits Case
(Washington Post, Nov. 29, 2004)

State News
Legislators May Sidestep Budget
(Lansing State Journal, Nov. 27, 2004)

Legislature To Focus On Education Issues
(Detroit News, Nov. 28, 2004)

Links of Interest
Public Policy Resource Center
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