Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
May 16–22, 2011
Volume 9 Issue 21

Please note: Next week's Public Policy Update will be published on Tuesday, May 31, due to the holiday. Any interim questions can be directed to

FOCUS: Michigan FY 2012 Budget
Michigan's FY 2012 budget may be complete by the end of the week. The final budget targets were announced last week and all budget bills are scheduled for conference committee on May 24. If all the bills move forward from conference, the budget could be passed on May 26. Both the House and Senate have scheduled tentative session days for May 27 for budget votes if needed. If the budget is completed by May 31, it will be the earliest since 1964.
See related:
Budget Deal: $310M More for Schools, $25M for Films
(Detroit News, 5/20/11)
Also see:
Snyder, Republican Legislators Reach Deal That Boosts Funding to Schools
(Detroit Free Press, 5/20/11)

In the Capitol
The Michigan Senate and House of Representatives have revised their schedules.
Senate Session Schedule
House Session Schedule

Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 5/23
5/24 Conference Committee on SB 179
Agenda: SB 179 Budget for department of human services for fiscal year 2011-2012.

5/24 Senate State Drug Treatment Court Advisory Committee

5/24 Conference Committee on SB 180
Agenda: SB 180 Budget for judiciary for fiscal year 2011-2012.

5/24 Conference Committee on SB 173
Agenda: SB 173 Budget for department of corrections for fiscal year 2011-2012.

5/24 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: SB 320 Allow ex parte emergency removal order allowing the department of human services to take protective custody of a child; SB 361 Revise deadline for filing petition for DNA testing of felony conviction cases; HB 4013 Allow possession and operation of electrical devices designed to temporarily incapacitate persons for reserve peace officers, auxiliary officers, and reserve officers; And any other business to come properly before the committee.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 5/17–5/19
View all bills introduced 5/17-5/19

Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 4647 Civil procedure; evidence; expert witness testimony; allow to be presented by video communication equipment. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101600.9947) by adding sec. 2164a.

HB 4651 Civil procedure; foreclosure; judicial foreclosure; require for certain residential mortgages. Amends secs. 3201 & 3240 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.3201 & 600.3240) & adds sec. 3117.

SB 387 Crimes; fleeing and eluding; penalties for crime of fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer; provide mandatory minimum sentence. Amends sec. 479a of 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.479a).

SB 388 Criminal procedure; sentencing guidelines; sentencing guidelines for crime of fleeing and eluding a peace officer; revise to reflect increased penalties. Amends sec. 16x, ch. XVII of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 777.16x).

In the Hall of Justice
Deadline Extended for Junior High Students to Register for the Summer Law Program to be Offered by Michigan Supreme Court Learning Center

Rule Amendments
2002-24—Amendment of Rule 7.3 of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct
MRPC 7.3 has been reformatted and describes the general prohibition regarding a lawyer's solicitation, and also describes the types of communication that are allowed, including a lawyer's general advertising, and a lawyer's targeted communications to possible clients who are facing legal problems (as protected by Shapero v Kentucky Bar Ass'n, 486 US 466 [1988]). The amendment of MRPC 7.3 requires that inclusion of the term "Advertising Material" applies only to written materials, including e-mailed communications, but not to television or radio advertisements. The amendment also requires a 30-day period to pass before an attorney may contact a potential client after a death, injury, or accident.
Issued: May 19, 2011
Effective: September 1, 2011

2008-28—Amendment of Rule 6.005 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendment of MCR 6.005(H) revises the rule to clarify that appointed and retained defense counsel in a criminal proceeding either must file a substantive response to a prosecutor's application for interlocutory appeal or notify the Court of Appeals that the lawyer intends not to submit a pleading.
Issued: May 17, 2011
Effective: September 1, 2011

2009-20—Amendment of Rule 3 of the Rules Concerning the State Bar of Michigan and Rule 8 of the Rules for the Board of Law Examiners
The amendment of SBR 3(E), submitted by the State Bar of Michigan, would clarify that an out-of-state attorney who voluntarily resigned from the Michigan bar would not be required to retake the Michigan Bar Examination if the person meets the criteria for admission without examination under Rule 5 of the Rules for the Board of Law Examiners. A similar change also is made in SBR 3(F) regarding emeritus members. Finally, Rule 8 of the Rules for the Board of Law Examiners is amended to reflect that resigned or emeritus members who seek readmission are covered under Rule 8, which allows for recertification.
Issued: May 17, 2011
Effective: September 1, 2011

2009-29—Amendment of Rule 5.208 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendment of MCR 5.208 removes the requirement to list a decedent's last known address on the Notice to Creditors form.
Issued: May 17, 2011
Effective: September 1, 2011

Other Actions
2008-18—Proposed Amendment of Rule 3.501 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendment of MCR 3.501(B) in Alternative A would require a change in circumstances to have occurred that would allow a party to file a supplemental motion for certification of a class within 21 days of the party's knowledge of the changed circumstances. The proposed amendment also would allow a party to file a motion for revocation or amendment of the certification. The court as well would be allowed to consider supplemental motions to recertify and revoke or amend the certification. The proposed amendment of MCR 3.501(B) in Alternative B would clarify that only one motion for certification may be brought, and that once granted, the certification may be amended or revoked.
Issued: May 17, 2011
Action: Court declined to adopt either proposal; file closed.

At the Bar
In Memoriam: U.S. District Judge John Feikens

SBM President W. Anthony Jenkins Honored with D. Augustus Straker Bar Association's Trailblazer Award on June 16

Sections and Committees
The Probate & Estate Planning Section took a Public Policy position on SB 92 Probate; powers of attorney; written acknowledgment of responsibilities by agent appointed under a power of attorney; require. Amends sec. 5501 of 1998 PA 386 (MCL 700.5501).

Federal News
Supreme Court Upholds Order for California to Release 46,000 Inmates
(Los Angeles Times, 5/23/11)

States Seeking New Registries for Criminals
(New York Times, 5/20/11)

Keep the Briefs Brief, Literary Justices Advise
(New York Times, 5/20/11)

Sentence of Life Without Parole for Teen Upheld
(Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, 5/20/11)

Plain English: Feds Must Stop Writing Gibberish Under New Law
(Oakland Press, 5/19/11)

State News
Michigan Supreme Court Takes Up Case on Lack of Blacks in Jury Pool
(Lansing State Journal, 5/20/11)

ACLU: Michigan's Public Defender System Among Worst
(Detroit News, 5/18/11)
Also see:
ACLU, Campaign for Justice Team Up to Push Changes in Public Defender System
(Detroit Free Press, 5/19/11)
ACLU Blasts Michigan's Public Defender System, Cites Muskegon Case—But Facts Are Disputed
(Muskegon Chronicle, 5/18/11)
Area Man Included in Justice Book
(Port Huron Times Herald, 5/19/11)

State Senate OKs Bill Forcing Public Employees to Pay at Least 20% of Health Care Premiums
(Lansing State Journal, 5/18/11)

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