Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
April 1-7, 2013
Volume 11 Issue 14

FOCUS: Duncan v. Michigan Proceeding
Last week, the Michigan Court of Appeals released an opinion affirming a lower court ruling in Duncan et. al. v. State of Michigan, allowing the case to move forward in Ingham County Circuit Court and denying again the State's efforts to have the case dismissed. In the Duncan case, plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit from three counties asked the court to declare that failures in Michigan's public defense system violated their right to counsel under the U.S. and Michigan Constitutions.

In agreeing with the lower court, the Appeals Court said, "Without an action such as this, and assuming plaintiffs' allegations are true, indigent persons who are accused of crimes in Michigan will continue to be subject to inadequate legal representation without remedy unless such representation adversely affects the outcome. Our system of justice requires effective representation, not ineffective but non-outcome determinative representation."

Last year legislation to reform indigent defense systems in Michigan passed the House of Representatives, but failed to gain approval in the Senate before the end of the legislative session. New bipartisan legislation is expected to be introduced this month that would create a new statewide, permanent commission to oversee indigent defense services in Michigan.
Michigan Court: Suit Over Criminal Defense System Proceeds
(Detroit Free Press, 4/3/13)
Court: Suit Over Criminal Defense System Proceeds
(Mlive.com, 4/3/13)

In the Capitol
Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 4/8
4/9 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: HB4093 Maintain at 0.08 without reversion to 0.10 for alcohol content for individuals operating a vehicle under the influence of alcoholic liquor;
HB4131 Maintain at 0.08 without reversion to 0.10 for alcohol content for individuals operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcoholic liquor in the code of criminal procedure; And any other business properly before the committee.

4/9 House Financial Services
Agenda: Presentation by Allison Meyers, Donald Rump, Brent Green and Murray Brown from the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association; Presentation by Lorray Brown from the Michigan Poverty Law Program.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

At the Bar
Judicial Vacancy—37th Circuit Court, Calhoun County
Hon. Allen Garbrecht is vacating his seat at 37th Circuit Court, Calhoun County. State Bar members interested in applying for the judgeship should submit an application by April 22, 2013.

In the Hall of Justice
"Business Court" Judge Assignments Announced by Michigan Supreme Court

Judge Pamela L. Lightvoet of Kalamazoo Circuit Court Named to Court Reporting and Recording Board of Review by Michigan Supreme Court

Proposed Amendments
2012-02—Proposed Amendment of Rule 2.302 of the Michigan Court Rules
In addition to providing minor technical changes, the proposed amendments of MCR 2.302 would clarify that discovery-only depositions may be taken only by stipulation or court order. The amendment would also require that the stipulation or order explain how the costs of this type of deposition are to be allocated. These proposed amendments were submitted by the State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly.
Issued: April 3, 2013
Comment period expiration: August 1, 2013

2012-04—Proposed Amendment of Rule 3.218 of the Michigan Court Rules
These proposed amendments would codify state and federal statutory and regulation revisions that have occurred in the last decade, and would add specificity and detail to the existing language in MCR 3.218.
Issued: April 3, 2013
Comment period expiration: August 1, 2013

Appointments
2012-36—Assignment of Business Court Judges
Effective: April 3, 2013
Terms expire: April 1, 2019

2013-01—Supreme Court Appointment to the Court Reporting and Recording Board of Review
Issued: April 3, 2013
Terms expire: March 31, 2017

2013-01—Appointment of Chief Judge of the 16th Circuit Court and Macomb County Probate Court
Issued: April 3, 2013
Term ends: December 31, 2013

2013-01—Appointment of Chief Judge of the 22nd District Court
Issued: April 3, 2013
Term ends: December 31, 2013

2013-01—Appointment of Chief Judge of the 45A District Court
Issued: April 3, 2013
Term ends: December 31, 2013

State News
Michigan's Reform for Sign Language Interpreter Rules Criticized
(Detroit News, 4/8/13)

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