Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
May 2–8, 2011
Volume 9 Issue 19

Mark Your Calendar: The May 2011 Revenue Estimating Conference will be held May 16 at 9 a.m. in the Capitol Building, Room 352.

In the Capitol
Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 5/9
5/10 Senate Reforms, Restructuring, and Reinventing
Agenda Item of Interest: HB 4484 Eliminate tax exemption for judges' pensions.

5/10 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: SB 244 Expand record expunction for certain offenders under certain circumstances; SB 346 Provide for procedure for collection of DNA samples from incarcerated individuals; SB 354 Modify sex offender registration with exception to prohibition against residing within a student safety zone; SB 356 Allow forfeiture of real property used in the commission of animal fighting; SB 357 Declare property on which animal fighting is conducted to be a nuisance; SB 358 Include animal fighting as predicate offense in racketeering statute; And any other business to come properly before the committee.
SBM Position on SB 244: Support

5/11 Senate Reforms, Restructuring, and Reinventing
Agenda Item of Interest: HB 4484 Eliminate tax exemption for judges' pensions.

5/11 Senate Redistricting
Agenda: Presentation by the Legal Counsel for the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus; Presentation by Chris Thomas, Michigan Secretary of State's Bureau of Elections; And any other business to come properly before the committee.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 5/3–5/5
View all bills introduced 5/3–5/5

Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 4601 Torts; product liability; liability of successor corporation for asbestos claims; enact limits. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101600.9947) by adding ch. 30.

SB 355 Corrections; parole; requirements for and procedures applicable to parole guidelines; revise. Amends secs. 33e, 34 & 35 of 1953 PA 232 (MCL 791.233e et seq.).

SB 361 Criminal procedure; DNA; deadline for filing petition for DNA testing of felony conviction cases; revise. Amends sec. 16, ch. X of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 770.16).

Of General Interest
SB 359 Businesses; business corporations; benefit corporations; create. Amends 1972 PA 284 (MCL 450.1101450.2098) by adding ch. 9A.

SB 360 Businesses; business corporations; benefit corporations; authorize in business corporation act. Amends secs. 105, 106, 202, 211 & 911 of 1972 PA 284 (MCL 450.1105 et seq.).

In the Hall of Justice
The Michigan Supreme Court will hold a public administrative hearing on Wednesday, May 11, 2011. The hearing will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. To reserve a place on the agenda, please notify the Office of the Clerk of the Court in writing at P.O. Box 30052, Lansing, MI 48909, or by e-mail at MSC_clerk@courts.mi.gov, no later than May 9, 2011.

Proposed Changes to Court Rules Governing Headlee Amendment Cases on the Agenda for Supreme Court's May 11 Public Hearing

Landmark Plessy v. Ferguson Decision is Focus of MGTV Discussion with Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr.

Shooter's Self-Defense Claim at Issue in Case Supreme Court will Hear in Dearborn for 'Court Commmunity Connections' Program

Proposed Amendments
2010-07—Proposed Amendment of Rule 1.5 of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct
The proposed amendment of MRPC 1.5 generally would limit a referral fee to 25 percent of the amount recovered in a case subject to a contingent fee agreement. The maximum fee could be increased if the referring attorney provides substantial input that merits such increased percentage.
Issued: May 3, 2011
Comment period expires: September 1, 2011
Public hearing: To be scheduled

2010-11—Proposed Amendment of Rule 2.511 of the Michigan Court Rules
Because MCL 600.1337 requires a court to discharge an unqualified juror regardless whether a party challenges the juror for cause, the proposed amendment of MCR 2.511 would eliminate the provision from the list of challenges that may be made for cause, and instead would clarify that the discharge must be made when the court learns that the juror is not qualified to serve. This clarification would foreclose the possibility that an unqualified juror could be allowed to sit because no one challenged his or her qualification.
Issued: May 3, 2011
Comment period expires: September 1, 2011
Public hearing: To be scheduled

Other Actions
2011-01—Appointment of Chief Judge of the Barry County Trial Court
Issued: May 3, 2011
Effective: May 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011

At the Bar
The May 2011 issue of the Michigan Bar Journal is available online at www.michbar.org/journal.

State Bar Vacancies on the Michigan Appellate Defender Commission

Judicial Vacancy—4th Circuit Court Jackson County
Hon. Chad C. Schmucker vacated his seat at 4th Circuit Court in Jackson County. State Bar members interested in applying for the judgeship should submit an application by May 23, 2011.
View Information

Sections and Committees
The Real Property Law Section submitted the following Public Policy position:
Oppose: HB 4364 Land use; other; adverse possession; restrict. Amends sec. 5867 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.5867) & adds sec. 5867a.

Federal News
In Case of Eyewitness v. Alibi, a Question of Lawyers' Competence
(New York Times, 5/2/11)

State News
Wrapping Up Michigan Budget a Tough Task
(Detroit Free Press, 5/8/11)
See related:
Snyder's Deadline for Budget in Reach
(Lansing State Journal, 5/7/11)
State House Approves $33B Budget Package
(Detroit News, 5/5/11)

Michigan Lawmakers Want to Rewrite Prison DNA Law
(Lansing State Journal, 5/8/11)

Hertel Seeking Crackdown on Mortgage Fraud
(Lansing State Journal, 5/5/11)

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