Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
June 22 —28, 2009
Volume 7 Issue 26

FOCUS: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Announces a Commitment to Public Defenders
U.S. Attorney General Holder addressed a meeting of the American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD) on June 24, 2009. In his presentation, he outlined 5 steps being taken by the Department of Justice for improving public defense:
1—Meet with the leadership of the National Legal Aid & Defender Association and other groups to discuss Department of Justice's role in guaranteeing the right to counsel, working toward ensuring fair and impartial justice for all.
2—Continue and expand meetings with the indigent defense community to discuss issues of interest and to explore how the resources necessary to address the problems can be found.
3—Include members of the public defense community for meetings, conferences, application review panels and other venues that involve the criminal justice system.
4—Expand commitment to collect accurate and meaningful data on public defense programs to better help.
5—Host a national conference focusing on issues related to public defense.
U.S. Attorney General Holder's Complete Remarks

FOCUS: Progress on the FY 2010 Budget
Legislative leaders have agreed to complete the FY10 budget by September 1, one month prior to the constitutional deadline of October 1. Before the House and the Senate adjourned for a two-week in-district work period, all of the budget bills, except for one, were referred to conference committee. Talks are expected to begin soon to set bipartisan, bicameral budget targets.

In the Capitol
The Michigan House of Representatives and Senate adjourned session until July 14 for an in-district work period.
House Session Schedule
Senate Session Schedule

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 06/23–06/25
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 5167 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 0656 Courts; juries; jury pool selection process; revise. Amends secs. 1304, 1312, 1321 & 1344 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1304 et seq.) & adds secs. 1301c, 1310a & 1310b.

Of General Interest
HB 5144 Insurance; unfair trade practices; whistleblower protection to insurance employees reporting violations of unfair practices in insurance law; provide for. Amends 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.100500.8302) by adding sec. 2035.

HB 5145 Insurance; unfair trade practices; breach of obligation to deal in good faith by certain insurers; impose penalty of second or subsequent violation. Amends 1956 PA 2891 (MCL 500.100500.8302) by adding sec. 2026c.

HB 5146 Insurance; unfair trade practices; violation of unfair and prohibited trade practices act by certain insurers; create presumption that violation was in bad faith and create remedies. Amends 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.100500.8302) by adding sec. 2027b.

HB 5147 Insurance; unfair trade practices; penalties for certain individuals who knowingly create, foster, or encourage an environment that leads to systemic wrongful denial of claims; provide for. Amends 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.100500.8302) by adding sec. 2026b.

HB 5148 Criminal procedure; sentencing guidelines; sentencing guideline for crime of knowingly creating, fostering, or encouraging an environment that leads to systemic wrongful denial of claims; implement. Amends sec. 15a, ch. XVII of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 777.15a).

HB 5149 Insurance; unfair trade practices; insurance whistleblower protection fund; create. Amends 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.100500.8302) by adding sec. 2035a.

HB 5150 Insurance; unfair trade practices; private citizen cause of action; provide for. Amends 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.100500.8302) by adding sec. 2027a.

In the Hall of Justice
High School Students Undertook Moot Court Case that posed Toughest Decisions Actual Judges can make—Termination of Parental Rights

At the Bar
Registration Open for Annual Meeting

The July Issue of the Michigan Bar Journal is now available online.

Federal News
Justices Rule Lab Analysts Must Testify on Results
(New York Times, 6/25/09)

State News
State Workers Play Furlough Catch-Up
(Lansing State Journal, 6/24/09)

Lawmakers Urged to Delay College Aid Cuts
(Lansing State Journal, 6/24/09)

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