Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
January 17–23, 2011
Volume 9 Issue 4

Mark Your Calendar! The State Bar’s Judicial Crossroads Task Force Press Conference
The Judicial Crossroads Task Force will announce its recommendations to bring transformational change to Michigan’s Justice System on Wednesday, January 26, 2011, at 2 p.m. at the State Bar of Michigan offices.

In the Capitol
The Michigan House has set its schedule for 2011.
View House Session Schedule

Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 1/24
1/25 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: Organizational Meeting; And any other business to come properly before the committee.

1/27 House Judiciary
Agenda: Presentation: Overview of the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 1/18–1/20
Of Interest to the Legal Community

HJR F Sales tax; rate; lowering sales and use tax rate and applying sales tax to services; amend constitution to provide for. Amends secs. 8, 10 & 11, art. IX of the state constitution.

HB 4099 Sales tax; other; sales tax on services; implement. Amends secs. 1, 2, 4, 4a, 4d, 4h, 4j, 4q, 4t, 4u, 4w, 6, 10, 16a, 19, 23 & 25 of 1933 PA 167 (MCL 205.51 et seq.) & adds sec. 4c.

HB 4100 Use tax; other; application of use tax to certain services; provide for. Amends secs. 4 & 20 of 1937 PA 94 (MCL 205.94 & 205.110) & adds secs. 3g & 4b.

HB 4106 Criminal procedure; expunction; expand record expunction for certain offenders; provide for under certain circumstances. Amends secs. 1, 3 & 4 of 1965 PA 213 (MCL 780.621 et seq.).

HB 4117 Townships; charter; posting of legal notices as alternative to publishing; provide for. Amends 1947 PA 359 (MCL 42.142.34) by adding sec. 1b.

SB 53 Civil procedure; evidence; introduction of evidence of an expression of sympathy as an admission of liability in a civil action; prohibit. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101600.9947) by adding sec. 2155.

Of General Interest
SB 1 Michigan business tax; repeal; Michigan business tax; repeal. Repeals 2007 PA 36 (MCL 208.1101208.1601).

SB 6 Michigan business tax; surcharge; surcharge for taxpayers other than financial institutions; eliminate. Amends sec. 281 of 2007 PA 36 (MCL 208.1281).

In the Hall of Justice
Warning Noncitizen Defendants of Immigration Consequences of Criminal Pleas is Focus of Possible Court Rule Change on Michigan Supreme Court's January 26 Public Hearing Agenda

The Michigan Supreme Court will hold a public administrative hearing on Wednesday, January 26, 2011, in the Supreme Court Hall of Justice. Persons wishing to address the Court regarding matters on the agenda should notify the Office of the Clerk of the Court by e-mail at MSC_clerk@courts.mi.gov, no later than today, January 24, 2011.

A public administrative conference will follow.

The new and revised court form proposals for review by the Michigan Court Forms Committee, Circuit and District Section, have been published for a 30-day comment period.

At the Bar
In Memoriam: Patrick J. Keating, 47th President of the State Bar of Michigan

New Local Rules for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

FOCUS: The Board of Commissioners met on January 21, 2011, at which time the State Bar of Michigan adopted the following Public Policy positions:

2004-08 Proposed Amendment of Rule 8.126 of the Michigan Court Rules
Michigan's updated pro hac vice rule, MCR 8.126, has been in place since 2008, and several changes to the rule have been recommended. Those changes include a requirement that the fee be charged for each request for pro hac vice admission, that the court that grants the motion send a copy of the order to the AGC (instead of requiring that the Michigan attorney send the copy to the AGC), that the rule specifically include an attorney's temporary admission for arbitration proceedings, and that the fee be required to be paid before an order enters.
SBM Position: Support changes to amend the published version of proposed changes to MCR 8.126.

2005-11 Proposed Amendments of Canon 4 and Canon 5 of the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct
The proposal contained in this order seeks to clarify the role a judge may play in fundraising events for law-related and educational, religious, charitable, fraternal, or civic organizations. The proposal would specifically allow a judge to speak, appear, or be a guest or accept an award at a fundraising event of both law-related and educational, charitable, religious, and civic organizations, and must be shielded as much as possible from knowing who has contributed and the amount of contributions.
SBM Position: Oppose.

2007-18 Proposed Amendment of Rule 2.117 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendment would revise MCR 2.117 to provide that an attorney-client relationship continues until a final judgment is reached and the period allowed to appeal by right has expired unless the attorney discontinued the relationship before that time. Also the proposal would clarify that follow-up or ministerial actions performed by the attorney following notice of termination do not extend the attorney-client relationship.
SBM Position: Oppose.

State News
Granholm to Teach at UC Berkeley, Write Book
(Detroit Free Press, 1/24/11)

Health Care Cuts Likely as Michigan Struggles with Budget
(Lansing State Journal, 1/23/11)

Snyder Asks Local Leaders to Help Solve Revenue-Sharing Budget Issues
(Lansing State Journal, 1/22/11)

Michigan Governor's State of the State Address: 'It is Time to Solve Problems'
(Lansing State Journal, 1/20/11)
Also see:
Gov. Rick Snyder: 'Job 1 is Jobs'
(Detroit Free Press, 1/20/11)
Gov. Rick Snyder Says it's Time to Achieve the 'Unbelievable'
(Mlive.com, 1/19/11)
Snyder Unveils New Web Site, MIDashboard
(Detroit Free Press, 1/19/11)

Attorney General Bill Schuette Wants New State Supreme Court to Revisit Old Rulings
(Detroit Free Press, 1/19/11)
Please note: One of the cases the attorney general asked to be reviewed is Duncan v. State of Michigan, the challenge to Michigan's system of providing legal services to indigent defendants in criminal cases.

Lawmakers' Term Limits on Table Again
(Livingston Daily, 1/19/11)

Controversial Business Tax Would be First to Go Under Bill Proposed Today by Grand Rapids-Area Senator
(Grand Rapids Press, 1/19/11)

Links of Interest
Public Policy Resource Center | Michigan Supreme Court | Michigan Legislature | MCL Search Engines