Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
October 12—18, 2009
Volume 7 Issue 42

FOCUS: Sales Tax on Legal Services
Rep. Mark Meadows (D-East Lansing) intends to introduce a package of bills that would include lowering the sales and use tax to 5% and extending the rate to services with an exemption for business to business; educational; non-profit; and physician services. The revenue generated would be dedicated to the School Aid Fund, revenue sharing, repealing the Michigan Business Tax Surcharge, with any remaining funds going to the General Fund after the Comprehensive Transportation Fund and the Michigan Health Initiatives.

The State Bar of Michigan will be working closely with other stakeholders to fully assess the bills once formally introduced. The State Bar has historically opposed the adoption of legislation that burdens the public's access to justice, including the adoption of a tax on legal services. To view the State Bar's position on a tax on legal services, please visit the Public Policy Resource Center.

Care to Comment?

FOCUS: Updated Report on the Justice Gap in America
The Legal Services Corporation has released a second analysis on the "justice gap" in America. This updated version of the 2005 report projects that nearly one million poor people seeking help for legal problems this year will be turned away because of insufficient resources.

In the Capitol
Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 10/19
10/20 House Senior Health, Security, and Retirement
Agenda Item of Interest: HB 4621 Allow testimony of a vulnerable adult to be presented by videotape or closed-circuit television.

10/20 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: Discussion with Department of Corrections regarding the relocation of Guamtanamo Bay detainees to Standish, Michigan. SB 719 Allow use of electronic seals on court documents; SB 720 Expand definition of "seal" to include the use of electronic seals on court documents; SB 332 Allow affidavits to correct errors or omissions relating to previously recorded documents.

10/21 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 5009 Limit application of personal property trust perpetuities act to certain property; HB 5010 Revise uniform statutory rule against perpetuities to reflect limitation of the personal property trust perpetuities act to certain property; HB 5034 Modify requirement for lawful reentry by landlord; HB 5512 Adjust number of circuit judgeships; HB 5513 Adjust requirements for adding circuit judgeships; HB 4931 Enact sentencing guidelines for gang recruitment and retaliation violations.

10/22 House Insurance
Agenda: HB 4633 Provide for paperless insurance verification system; HB 4634 Create paperless insurance verification system, and provide for access by law enforcement officers.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 10/13–10/15
Of Interest to the Legal Community

HB 5512 Courts; circuit court; number of circuit judgeships; adjust.

HB 5513 Courts; circuit court; requirements for adding circuit judgeships; adjust.

HB 5517 Campaign finance; contributions and expenditures; use of campaign funds for criminal defense or legal fees; prohibit by certain elected officials.

HB 5518 Civil procedure; evictions; manner of serving summons and complaint in summary proceedings; revise.

SB 0890 Torts; remedies; reduction of future damages to present cash value; calculate using compound interest. Amends sec. 6306 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.6306).

In the Hall of Justice
Employees with 20 or More Years of Service Honored by Michigan Supreme Court in October 14 Ceremony

Adoption Work by Counties to be Recognized with Oct. 30 Awards

Rule Amendments
2005-42—Amendment of Rule 3.932 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendment of MCR 3.932 requires a court to enter a plea for violations of the Michigan Vehicle Code, and requires a court to report to the Secretary of State violations of the Michigan Vehicle Code that are handled on the court's consent calendar.
Issued: October 13, 2009
Effective: May 1, 2010

2009-15–Adoption of Rule 2.612 of the Local Court Rules of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court
Issued: October 13, 2009
Effective: October 13, 2009

Administrative Orders
Administrative Order No. 2009-7—File No. 2005-32
Adoption of a Pilot Project in the 46th District Court to Study the Effects of Proposed Rule 8.119 of the Michigan Court Rules
Issued: October 13, 2009
Effective: October 13, 2009

Proposed Amendments
2008-25—Proposed Amendment of Rule 6.433 of the Michigan Court Rules
This proposal would insert a "good cause" provision into MCR 6.433 to require a defendant in postconviction proceedings to show good cause to obtain a second set of court documents. This amendment would mirror the good-cause provision in MCR 6.433(B)(2) for appeals by leave.
Issued: October 13, 2009
Comment period expires: February 1, 2010
Public hearing: To be scheduled

At the Bar
Judicial Vacancy—74th District Court
Hon. Craig Alston is vacating his seat on the 74th District Court. State Bar members interested in applying for the judgeship should submit an application by November 3, 2009.
View Information

Attorneys at Project SALUTE Pro Bono Training

Federal News
Justices Seem Sympathetic to Defendant Given Bad Advice
(New York Times, 10/13/09)

State News
Commission: Tax Changes, Fewer School Districts Key
(Lansing State Journal, 10/18/09)

Bishop, Granholm to Talk Before Release of Budget Bills
(Detroit News, 10/16/09)
See related:
Governor Can Shift Funds Around in Budget Bills, But Not by Much
(Lansing State Journal, 10/15/09)

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