Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
May 12–18, 2008
Volume 6 Issue 20

FOCUS: Revenue Estimating Conference
The Revenue Estimating Conference held Friday, May 16 showed revenue for the current FY 2008-2009 budget approximately $393 million short.
Read more:
House Fiscal Agency: Economic Outlook and Revenue Estimates for Michigan FY 2007-08 and FY 2008-09
Senate Fiscal Agency: Michigan's Economic Outlook and Budget Review FY 2007-08 and FY 2008-09
Administration Estimates Michigan Economic and Revenue Outlook FY 2007-08 and FY 2008-09
See related:
State Faces Low Revenue, Cutbacks
(LSJ, 5/17/08)

FOCUS: 2008 Michigan Primary
All partisan and non-partisan candidates (other than judicial candidates) participating in the 2008 primary were required to file with the Secretary of State by May 13. The deadline to withdraw was May 16.
View the 2008 Unofficial Michigan Primary Candidate Listing

In the Capitol
The Michigan House and Senate have canceled session for Thursday, May 29. House session will start at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28.

Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 5/19
5/20 House Appropriations: Corrections
Agenda: FY 2008-2009 Department of Corrections Budget

5/20 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: SB 122 Require disclosure of certain convictions of persons coaching independent youth athletic teams; SB 519 Allow possession and operation of electrical devices designed to temporarily incapacitate persons for reserve peace officers; SB 1193 Include theft of a catalytic converter as basis for larceny from a vehicle; SR 155 A resolution to memorialize the United States Congress to enact the Youth Prison Reduction Through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education Act (Youth PROMISE Act, H.R. 3846).

5/21 Senate Appropriations: Judiciary & Corrections
Agenda: Chair's Recommendations

5/21 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 5987 Modify emergency overcrowding release procedure as to unsentenced prisoners; HB 6096 Provide for enhanced restitution for victims of identity theft; HB 6097 Provide for enhanced restitution for victims of identity theft; HB 6098 Provide for enhanced restitution for victims of identity theft; HB 6099 Expand remedies for identity theft protection act; HB 6100 Require model identity theft police report development by state police; HB 6101 Prohibit certain identity theft by criminal defendants and persons under criminal investigation; HB 6102 Require certain disclosures of personal identifying information in databases to consumers when data is transferred; HB 6103 Require certain disclosures of personal identifying information included in business and public records to consumers; HB 6104 Establish identity theft commission; HB 6105 Establish maximum retention period for personal identifying information.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Additional Legislation Introduced 5/6–5/8
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 6073 Probate; wills and estates; power of guardian; include psychiatric hospitalization and mental health outpatient care. Amends sec. 5314 of 1998 PA 386 (MCL 700.5314).

HB 6074 Mental health; other; advance psychiatric directives and unqualified records access for family of deceased; provide for. Amends sec. 748 of 1974 PA 258 (MCL 330.1748).

HB 6079 Mental health; other; local grievance process and request for external review; modify. Amends 1974 PA 258 (MCL 330.1001330.2106) by adding sec. 709.

Of General Interest
HB 6071 Mental health; other; commission recommendations on recipient rights; provide for. Amends sec. 755, 780, 784 & 786 of 1974 PA 258 (MCL 330.1755 et seq.).

Legislation Introduced 5/13–5/15
Of Interest to the Legal Community

SB 1312 Probate; guardians and conservators; process for expedited ex-parte financial protection orders; provide for. Amends secs. 5404, 5405, 5406, 5407 & 5427 of 1998 PA 386 (MCL 700.5404 et seq.).

At the Bar
Lawyers Urged to Set Up Constitution Day Programs Soon

State Bar New Member Application

SBM International Law Section to Sponsor "Corporate Responsibility for Human Rights" Panel Discussion

In the Hall of Justice
The Michigan Supreme Court will hold an administrative public hearing on Wednesday, May 21, 2008, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Supreme Court courtroom located on the sixth floor of the Michigan Hall of Justice, 925 W. Ottawa Street, Lansing, Michigan 48915.
Public Hearing Agenda

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, Michigan 48909, or by e-mail at MSC_clerk@courts.mi.gov, no later than Monday, May 19, 2008.

See related:
Requirement for Prosecutors to Provide Exculpatory Evidence to Defendants in Criminal Cases is Focus of Proposed Court Rule; Michigan Supreme Court to hold May 21 Public Hearing on Possible Revision, Other Proposals

Agenda Items of Interest:
2004-08–Proposed New Rule 8.126 of the Michigan Court Rules and Proposed Amendments of Rule 9.108 of the Michigan Court Rules and Rule 15 of the Rules Concerning the State Bar of Michigan
This proposal would allow an out-of-state attorney to be authorized to appear temporarily (also known as pro hac vice appearance) in no more than three cases within a 365-day period. The rule would impose a fee equal to the discipline and client-protection fund portions of a bar member's annual dues (currently $135) for each appearance, because misconduct will subject the out-of-state attorney to disciplinary action in Michigan. The Attorney Grievance Commission would keep a record of all such temporary appearances ordered by Michigan courts, and would be entitled to receipt of the fee paid in applying for the temporary admission.
SBM Position: Endorsed in Concept

2005-25–Proposed Amendment of Rule 2.203 of the Michigan Court Rules
The current Michigan Court Rules contain a compulsory joinder provision, which generally requires that all claims arising from the same transaction or occurrence be combined, and a permissive counterclaim provision, which allows, but does not require, parties to bring a counterclaim. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure contain opposite provisions; i.e., a compulsory counterclaim provision at FR Civ P 13, and a permissive claim joinder provision at FR Civ P 18. This proposal would require the compulsory joinder of counterclaims, similar to the federal rules.
Civil Procedure & Courts Committee Position: Oppose and Amend

2005-36–Proposed Amendment of Rules 2.119, 7.204, and 7.205 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendments of MCR 7.204 and MCR 7.205 would clarify that a party who seeks to appeal to the Court of Appeals has 21 days after the entry of an order deciding a motion for new trial, a motion for rehearing or reconsideration, or a motion for other relief from the order or judgment appealed to file a claim of appeal or an application for leave to appeal, if the motion is filed within the initial 21-day appeal period. For consistency, the time limit for filing a motion for rehearing or reconsideration under MCR 2.119(F)(1) would be increased from 14 to 21 days, and the phrase "or within further time the trial court may have allowed during that 21-day period" was stricken from MCR 7.204(A)(1)(b) and MCR 7.205(F)(3)(b).
SBM Position: Support
Family Law Position: Support
Appellate Law Position: Support With Recommended Amendments
Civil Procedure & Courts Committee Position: Support With Recommended Amendments

2006-10—Proposed Amendment of Rule 2.603 of the Michigan Court Rules
This proposal would require that only negotiable instruments filed with the clerk for cancellation when applying for a default judgment.
SBM Position: Oppose
Civil Procedure & Courts Committee Position: Oppose

2006-11—Proposed Amendment of Rules 2.614, 7.101, 7.209, and 7.302 of the Michigan Court Rules
This proposal would impose an automatic stay in a case in which a party files a claim of appeal of a denial by the trial court of the party's claim of governmental immunity. Under this proposal, no order would be necessary for the stay to operate.
SBM Position: No Recommendation
Civil Procedure & Courts Committee Position: Oppose
Public Corporation Section Position: Support

2006-32—Proposed Amendment of Rule 2.504 of the Michigan Court Rules
This proposed amendment would allow a court, on motion of any party or sua sponte, to enter a default or dismiss a party's action or claim for failure to comply with the rules or a court order. The current rule allows such actions by the court only if the plaintiff makes such a motion. The proposed amendment would also allow the court to dismiss on its own initiative an action in which the plaintiff, on the law and the facts presented, is not entitled to relief, and would make the rule applicable to claims and hearings in addition to actions. The rule currently allows only the defendant to make such a motion.
SBM Position: Oppose
Civil Procedure & Courts Committee Position: Oppose and Amend
Justice Initiatives Committee Position: Oppose and Amend

2007-09—Proposed Amendment of 2.306 of the Michigan Court Rules (to require objections at depositions to be concise, nonargumentative, and nonsuggestive and to allow for the imposition of sanctions)
This proposal would require objections to be concise, nonargumentative, and nonsuggestive, and would allow a court to impose sanctions against an attorney who fails to comply with the requirement. The proposed changes are similar to language contained in FR Civ P 30(d)(1).
SBM Position: No Position Taken Given the Perceived Breadth of Opinion From the Legal Community
Family Law Position: Support
Civil Procedure & Courts Committee Position: Support and Amend

2007-21 Proposed Amendment of Rule 2.510 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendment of MCR 2.510 would require that, in a district-court district comprised of a city located in two or more counties, jurors must be selected for district court attendance regardless of the county in which the juror resides or the county where the cause of action arose, pursuant to MCL 600.1324.
SBM Position: Support
Civil Procedure & Courts Committee Position: Support

2007-38–Proposed Amendment of Rule 6.201 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendment of MCR 6.201(B)(1) would eliminate the requirement that the prosecuting attorney provide the defendant with any exculpatory information or evidence known to the prosecuting attorney only upon request. This proposal also clarifies that the prosecuting attorney is required to provide such information or evidence regardless of whether it is requested by the defendant. The Court would appreciate specific comments on whether a court rule requiring the prosecuting attorney to provide the defendant with exculpatory information or evidence is necessary, in light of the prosecuting attorney's constitutional obligation to do so under Brady v Maryland, 373 US 83 (1963), and, if so, whether the proposed amendment of MCR 6.201(B)(1) is consistent with the requirements of Brady.
SBM Position: Support
Criminal Jurisprudence & Practice Committee Position: Support

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