State Bar of Michigan
home member area contact us

public policy resource center

 print this page

for members
SBM general information

member directory

admissions, ethics, and

diversity & inclusion

justice initiatives

member services

practice management
   resource center

public policy resource

publications and

research and links

sections & committees

ethics for members
ethics developments
ethics opinions
TAON (trust accounts)

from the courts
opinion searching
virtual court

for the public
public resources
media resources

giving opportunities
a lawyer helps
access to justice

Law School for Legislators

The State Bar of Michigan introduced a program entitled Law School for Legislators, created to provide state legislators, elected officers, legislative staff, and other policy professionals an up-to-the-minute overview of basic legal information relevant to specific, important policy areas. The 90-minute classes were held at the State Bar of Michigan and presented basic concepts, terms, statutory law, cases, and emerging issues in a nonpartisan and nonbiased manner. Questions were answered by legal experts in each area.

Course Description and Materials

    Administrative Law
    The Administrative Law Section provided a broad overview of administrative law in a quick pace format with a rapid-fire summary of specific processes, including contested case hearings, ratemaking, and rulemaking, and the legislative and court impact on these processes. This class offered insights into the differences between administrative hearings and civil litigation, and the policy implications of those differences.
    Presented Thursday, February 12, 2009

    Civil Procedure
    The Litigation Section & Civil Procedure and Courts Committee discussed the judicial interpretation of legislation and review of its constitutionality, along with the structure and jurisdiction of courts and emerging issues.
    Presented Thursday, February 5, 2009

    The Corrections System
    The Prisons and Corrections Section gave an overview of the prison and parole processes, their impact on the state budget, and related public policy issues and options.
    Presented Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    Criminal Law
    The Criminal Law Section and Criminal Jurisprudence and Practice Committee provided essential basic information in five key areas: 1) the arrest process, including fundamentals of police and prosecutorial functions; 2) the court's role, from arraignment through preliminary examination; 3) the trial, from plea through sentencing; 4) the appellate process, including differences between plea cases and those initiated as a result of a trial or motion; and 5) juvenile court proceedings pertaining to delinquency.
    Presented Thursday, April 2, 2009

    Domestic Violence
    The Domestic Violence Committee offered a brief description of the nature and dynamics of intimate partner violence, followed by an overview of the policy goals and emerging issues relating to domestic violence in the three areas of law that are most often involved in justice system responses to intimate partner violence. The presentation focused on policy goals and emerging issues in the area of divorce and child custody.
    Presented Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    Education Law
    The Committee on Justice Initiatives offered a course describing the legal sources that define education law in Michigan, and the role of local school boards, their districts, and the policies they promulgate. It addressed the structure and system of K-12 education in Michigan, alternative education choices and their financing, and key areas of dispute such as school discipline, diversity, tort and contract liability issues, free speech, and religion.
    Presented Tuesday, March 10, 2009

    Family Law
    The Family Law Section presented a quick overview of six key areas: (1) the psychology of family law dynamics; (2) the role of the Family Court; (3) Custody and the Child Custody Act; (4) child support; (5) property division and spousal support; and (6) emerging trends, such as third party custody, grandparenting time, paternity challenges, change of domicile, mandatory joint physical custody, mediation, and collaborative law.
    Presented Thursday, March 12, 2009

    Health Care Law—Amy Barkholz, Jan Anderson
    The Health Care Law Section provided an overview and lead discussion on provider duties, reimbursement and payment issues, and patient rights. The class concluded by demonstrating how these three topics interact to affect health care delivery and what the outstanding policy challenges are with regard to the key issues of cost, access and quality.
    Presented Tuesday, March 24, 2009

    Intellectual Property
    The Intellectual Property Law Section provided a practical overview of laws that provide economic muscle to Michigan citizens, businesses, and governmental agencies. The review helped identify fundamental issues surrounding patents, trademarks, and copyrights with an emphasis on how intellectual property is used and implemented by state county and local governments. The discussion also focused on the state laws that impact intellectual property and potential emerging issues such as the Michigan Trade Secret Act and the Michigan Trademark Act.
    Presented Thursday, February 19, 2009

    Labor and Employment
    The Labor and Employment Law Section provided an overview of issues in Michigan public and private sector labor and employment case law and statutes. The class had three separate sections focusing on: (1) Michigan public sector labor law, Bullard-Plawecki Right to Know Act, and Wage and Fringe Benefit Act; (2) the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act, and an update on federal law; and (3) new developments in private sector labor law.
    Presented Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    Local Government—Peter Letzmann
    The Public Corporation Law Section and the Senior Lawyer Section led a discussion on several topics including: (1) the sources of authority of local governments; (2) local government revenue; (3) transparency of government information vs. privacy concerns; (4) ethics and accountability in local government; (5) local government liability and immunity; and (6) public safety issues.
    Presented Wednesday, March 11, 2009

    Property Law
    The Real Property Law Section's presentation focused on areas of real property law that have been in the public spotlight and have either been recently addressed by the legislature, or are likely to be considered by the legislature this coming term. Topics included mortgage foreclosure and related title issues, zoning, and eminent domain law.
    Presented Thursday, March 5, 2009

    Senior Citizens Rights
    The Elder Law and Disability Rights Section described the typical scenarios in which Michigan seniors are financially exploited, and discuss policy issues that may assist in reducing the frequency of these crimes.
    Presented Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    Tax Law
    The Taxation Section provided an overview of the primary areas of Michigan taxation: Michigan business taxes, Michigan real and personal property taxes, along with a discussion of "other" taxes and miscellaneous tax-related legislative matters.
    Presented Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    Uniform Laws
    The Uniform Law Commission focused on the major laws promulgated by the Commission and adopted in Michigan, and uniform acts likely to be considered in Michigan during the upcoming term.
    Presented Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    Workers' Compensation
    The Workers' Compensation Law Section gave a history of the Workers' Compensation Act, along with examples of conflicting recent court decisions and their implications for statutory proposals. Additional presentation topics included an identification of issues important to employees, a discussion of issues important to employers, and a general discussion of issues of agreement with regard to possible statutory changes.
    Presented Tuesday, March 3, 2009



follow us
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on LinkedIn Follow Us on Twitter Follow the SBM Blog


©Copyright 2015

website links
Contact Us
Site Map
Website Privacy Statement PDF
Staff Links

SBM on the Mapcontact information
State Bar of Michigan
306 Townsend St
Lansing, MI 48933-2012
Phone: (517) 346-6300
Toll Free: (800) 968-1442
Fax: (517) 482-6248