The Michigan Supreme Court has approved a State Bar petition to create a new emeritus membership status for senior lawyers which takes effect October 1, 2004.
The Supreme Court order states that an active or inactive State Bar member who is 70 years or older or who has been a member for at least 30 years, may elect emeritus status so long as there are no pending disciplinary actions against the member in any state. Emeritus status members are exempt from paying Bar dues. They cannot practice law in Michigan but are eligible to receive other member benefits.
State Bar President Scott S. Brinkmeyer who had been actively seeking this change, said he was "very gratified that the Supreme Court has made the decision to allow those lawyers who have retired from practice, but who wish to remain members of our Association, to do so without cost. This will preserve our longstanding relationships with our senior attorneys and allow us to benefit from their vast experience."
Former members who qualify for emeritus status but who resigned last year, will be automatically reinstated, unless they notify the Bar that they do not wish to be reinstated. To elect emeritus status, senior lawyers should notify the current secretary of the State Bar, Kimberly M. Cahill, in writing; address letters to the State Bar of Michigan, 306 Townsend Street, Lansing, MI 48933.