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Court Amends Disqualification Rule


On November 25, 2009, the Michigan Supreme Court entered an order amending MCR 2.003. The amendments apply the disqualification rule to justices of the Michigan Supreme Court and include the procedure to be followed when a disqualification issue is raised about a justice by either a party or the justice himself or herself. Language added to the grounds for disqualification clarifies that the listing is not exclusive. Two new grounds for disqualification include 1) a reference to the due process rights addressed in Caperton v. Massey, and 2) failure to adhere to the appearance of impropriety standard set forth in Canon 2 of the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct. Additional language clarifies that campaign speech protected by Republican Party of Minn v. White is not alone grounds for disqualification so long as it does not demonstrate bias or prejudice or an appearance of bias or prejudice for or against a party or attorney involved in the action. The Court is scheduled to address further amendments to MCR 2.003 at the upcoming December 10 administrative conference.

View the Full Text of the Court's Order




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State Bar of Michigan
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