View this e-mail as a web page

Today at the State Bar of Michigan

January 2010

SBM Blog Launches
SBM Elections
Bar Journal Archives
Build Your Law Practice
McCree Awards
Rep. Assembly Awards
SBM Awards
LJAP Fundraiser
ABA Techshow
Supreme Court Video
Opinion Searching
Do You Have a Story?
Practice Management Tip
January Bar Journal

Featured Discount Program

Casemaker 2.1
Sign up for a free, online tutorial!

Learn More About Casemaker


PMRC Seminar


SBM Blog Launches

    To keep Michigan attorneys up to date on current news, commentary, and issues of interest, SBM is launching a blog. SBM Blog aims to keep a close eye on the blogosphere, the national legal scene, changes in court rules, the Michigan Supreme Court, the state legislature, and the governor’s office, as well as what’s going on in local and specialty bars in Michigan. SBM Blog will also strive to highlight the critically important and urgent efforts of the Judicial Crossroads Task Force, as it works to protect and advance the judicial branch of government in the face of enormous fiscal and transformational challenges in Michigan. The Task Force needs to hear as many SBM members’ voices as possible, and SBM Blog will be an important vehicle for members to share their input. The blog will forward all comments pertaining to the Task Force directly to its committee members. Visit the SBM Blog today. It will evolve with your input.

New Electronic SBM Election Process

    A new process for the SBM elections will be implemented for the 2010 State Bar elections. This process will allow all active members to vote securely online at the State Bar of Michigan website. The new process saves money, is more environmentally conscious, and will be more convenient for members.

    All members with computer access currently have the ability to access the State Bar website member area using their unique password to pay their dues, register for conferences and seminars, and order publications. Those members will now have the opportunity to cast their vote in June for candidates in the Board of Commissioners, Representative Assembly, Young Lawyers Section Executive Council, and the Michigan Judicial Tenure races in the areas that they are entitled to vote.

    Over 90% of the State Bars members have provided e-mail addresses for their contact information. SBM members who do not have online access will have the opportunity to request that a paper ballot be sent to them. Look for more information in the March Bar Journal.

Searchable Bar Journal Archives Now Available

    The Michigan Bar Journal has been around since 1921—that’s 14 years before the State Bar of Michigan was even unified. Now, just in time for the State Bar’s 75th anniversary, every issue of the Bar Journal since 1921 is available online in a new archive provided in collaboration with HeinOnline. By simply logging on to the member area of the State Bar’s website and clicking “bar journal archive,” members can search every issue of the Bar Journal by key word.

    “This will put members in touch with the history of our organization and the developments in Michigan law that have been the subject of comment in the Journal in a way that has never been possible until now,” said Frederick Baker, chair of the State Bar Publications and Website Advisory Committee. Baker has served on the Bar Journal publications committee since 1983, and recalls how much the publication has changed since his first days of involvement.

    “Page layouts were done with scissors and adhesive, and page proofs were in silverprint,” Baker said. “We had no computers, the fax was a modern marvel, and type was set one keystroke at a time. The wealth of information that members can now access on the State Bar’s website with the click of a mouse is truly astonishing.”

    If the wealth of information seems a bit overwhelming, Baker recommends starting with something fun—something like George Hathaway’s Plain Language column.

    “George, with Joe Kimble, pioneered the plain language movement in the Journal,” Baker said. “He spent his first year publishing it under a pseudonym, and ran a photo of himself with a brown paper bag over his head. So entrenched were the traditionalists in the use of obfuscatory legal prose … that George only half jokingly considered this disguise essential to his safety, because of the sanctity of the linguistic cows he slayed monthly. Those early columns were gems.”

Build and Strengthen Your Law Practice

    Learn how to
       Start your own law practice
         Expand your existing practice
           Transition from a large to a small firm
              Implement effective law office technology

    Whether you are new to the practice of law, want to transition from a large law firm to small practice, or plan to expand your existing practice, this PMRC seminar is the essential tool for you.

    Each registrant will receive "Office in a Flash," a flash drive full of useful practice management tools and resources.

    Date: Friday, March 19, 2010, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
    Location: Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Cooley Temple Conference Ctr., 217 S. Capitol Ave., Lansing, MI 48901
    Cost includes lunch buffet: $100 for attorneys & staff; $75 for law students

McCree Awards

    Nominations are now open for the State Bar of Michigan’s 36th Annual Wade H. McCree, Jr. Awards for the Advancement of Justice. The McCree Awards recognize Michigan broadcast, print media, and online journalists who foster greater public understanding of the inherent values of our legal and judicial system through their published materials. All entries should be postmarked no later than Friday, February 12, 2010.

Representative Assembly Awards

    Nominations are being accepted for two Representative Assembly awards. The nomination deadline is Friday, February 19, 2010. To apply online or download application forms, visit

    The Michael Franck Award is given to an attorney who has made an outstanding contribution to the improvement of the legal profession. The Unsung Hero Award is presented to a lawyer who has exhibited the highest standards of practice and commitment for the benefit of others.

Nominations Open for SBM Awards

    Nominations are now open for major State Bar of Michigan awards that will be presented at the September 2010 Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids. All SBM award nominations are due on Friday, April 2, 2010, at 5 p.m.

    The Roberts P. Hudson Award goes to a person whose career has exemplified the highest ideals of the profession. This award is presented periodically to commend one or more lawyers for their unselfish rendering of outstanding and unique service to and on behalf of the State Bar, given generously, ungrudgingly, and in a spirit of self-sacrifice.

    The Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Service Award recognizes extraordinary governmental service by a Michigan attorney holding elected or appointive office.

    The Champion of Justice Award is given for extraordinary individual accomplishments or for devotion to a cause. Awards are given each year to practicing lawyers and judges who have made a significant contribution to their community, state, and/or the nation.

    The Kimberly M. Cahill Bar Leadership Award was established in memory of the 2006-2007 SBM president who passed away in January 2008. This award will be presented to a recognized local or affinity bar association, program, or leader for excellence in promoting the ideal of professionalism or equal justice for all, or in responding to a compelling legal need within the community during the past year or on an ongoing basis.

    The John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award, named after a Grand Rapids attorney, recognizes a member of the State Bar who excels in commitment to pro bono issues. This award carries with it a cash stipend to be donated to the charity of the recipient’s choice.

    The Liberty Bell Award recipient is selected from nominations made by local and special-purpose bar associations. The award is presented to a non-lawyer who has made a significant contribution to the justice system. The deadline for this award is Monday, May 3, 2010.

An Evening of Enlightenment

    Sponsored by the Lawyer & Judges Assistance Program, proceeds to benefit mental health and substance use treatment for attorneys who are in need but lack funds.

    Date: Thursday, April 15, 2010
    Location: Meadowbrook Country Club, 40941 W. Eight Mile Rd., Northville
    Tickets: $100; table sponsorships available
    Register by phone to Richard Kramer at (810) 225-2531

    Amiram Elwork, Ph.D., nationally recognized author of Stress Management for Lawyers will be the keynote speaker.

ABA Techshow Takes Place March 25-27

    The 24th annual American Bar Association Techshow is set for March 25-27, 2010, in Chicago. Lawyers and legal professionals will have many opportunities to learn, update their skills, and network over the three days of CLE sessions and the two-day expo. Attendees can pick up tips that cover the range of basic through advanced legal technology from 15 dedicated tracks.

    As a member of the State Bar of Michigan, you can save $150 off the standard registration rate if you register by February 19, 2010.

    • Register online using Event Code EP1022
    • Register using mail/fax form

    Visit the Techshow website for a complete schedule, hotel information, and CLE credits.

Michigan Supreme Court Video

    Video from the Michigan Supreme Court October oral arguments and Public Administrative Conference has been posted on the State Bar of Michigan Virtual Court web page.

    • January 12: oral arguments
    • January 13: oral arguments
    • December 10: public administrative conference
    • December 9: oral arguments
    • December 8: oral arguments

Casemaker 2.1—Legal Research Service

    The State Bar of Michigan has partnered with Casemaker to bring premium state and federal research materials to its membership. The service provides case law, constitution, and statutes for all 50 states, including the District of Columbia. In addition the service provides Michigan primary law, administrative code, state court rules, federal court rules, attorney general opinions, and the model civil jury instructions.

    Members also have access to several advanced legal research tools, including a case citation tool that simultaneously runs a search for secondary and/or third party treatises and publications, and a tool capable of searching all customized books within any state and/or federal library in a single query.

    To access this member benefit, simply log in to our member area and select the Casemaker tab on the left. There are several helpful user guides published within the Casemaker system. In addition, you can click on Live Training at the top of the Casemaker site to sign up for specially designed Michigan Casemaker webinars training.

Do You Have a Story?

    A Lawyer HelpsDo you have a story of pro bono or community service? Submit it today to be included in A Lawyer Helps story bank. A Lawyer Helps is a State Bar of Michigan program with two goals: to recognize how lawyers make a difference every day to individuals and communities, and to provide tools for lawyers to continue doing so. Shining a light on lawyers who provide free legal help to the poor, donate for nonprofit legal aid programs, and give back to their communities provides examples that other lawyers can look to in continuing the public service traditions of the legal profession and lets others know of the positive role that lawyers have in the community. Share Your Story

Today's Practice Management Tip

    Each Tuesday a new Tip of the Week is posted at the Practice Management Resource Center.

    The Oyez Project——1/12/10

    If you are interested in what is happening or has happened at the Supreme Court, go to

    “The Oyez Project is a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work. It aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955.”

    You can browse for cases by issue or court term, or view recently updated cases. The court calendar shows the docket at a glance. The “Browse the Justices” section provides biographical information and financial disclosure reports for the justices.

    The impressive and fast audio accessibility to the oral arguments is worth a look and listen! Bookmark this valuable well designed site!

Bar Journal Online

    Read the January Issue Online

    Bar Journal OnlineThe January 2010 issue of the Michigan Bar Journal is now available online at This month's issue is devoted to the theme of Cultural Awareness and also kicks off the State Bar's 75th anniversary celebration.