Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
December 15–21, 2008
Volume 6 Issue 51

In the Capitol
The Michigan House of Representatives and Senate completed legislative session on December 19. They will adjourn sine die on December 30. The 95th Legislative Session is scheduled to begin January 14, 2009.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

In the Hall of Justice
Supreme Court, Court of Appeals Announce Holiday Schedule

The Michigan Supreme Court will hold an administrative public hearing on Wednesday, January 14, 2009, 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

Rule Amendments
2007-24—Amendment of Rules 2.302, 2.310, 2.313, 2.401, and 2.506 of the Michigan Court Rules

These amendments update Michigan's discovery rules as they relate to electronically stored information. The provisions of the proposal at MCR 2.302(B)(6) and MCR 2.506(A)(3) allow the court to shift the cost of discovery to the requesting party if discovery is requested from sources that are not reasonably accessible, and prohibit sanctions if information is lost or destroyed as a result of a good-faith, routine record destruction policy or "litigation hold" procedures. The "safe harbor" provision provided in MCR 2.302(B)(5) and in MCR 2.313 applies when information is lost or destroyed under a routine electronic information system, if the operation of the system was performed in good faith. Good faith may be shown by a party's actions to attempt to preserve information as part of a "litigation hold" that would otherwise have been lost or destroyed under an electronic information system. The new language of MCR 2.302 and MCR 2.506 also allows parties to determine the format in which the information should be produced, and how to handle a situation in which protected information is inadvertently produced.
Issued: December 16, 2008
Effective: January 1, 2009

Proposed Amendments
2008-41—Proposed Amendment of Rule 3.101 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendments of MCR 3.101 would add language to protect exempt funds from garnishment and would require financial institutions to provide authority stating why certain funds are exempt.
Issued: December 16, 2008
Comment period expires: April 1, 2009
Public hearing: To be scheduled

Other Actions
2008-01—Supreme Court Appointment to the Committee on Model Civil Jury Instructions

2008-01—Supreme Court Appointment to the Attorney Discipline Board

At the Bar
Award-Winning Author, Musical Program Highlight Labor and Employment Law Section Midwinter Conference

Free Veterans' Benefits Law Training Session in Macomb County Set for Jan. 22

Supreme Court Endorses Nonrefundable Retainer

The December 2008 Business Litigation issue of the Michigan Bar Journal is now available online at www.michbar.org/journal.

Sections and Committees
The Appellate Practice Section submitted a Public Policy position on 2007-40—Proposed Amendment of Rule 7.205 of the Michigan Court Rules Alternative A would adopt the principle that the period in which to file an application for delayed appeal pursuant to MCR 7.205(F) is tolled while a claim of appeal is pending. Alternative B would clarify that the period in which to file an application for delayed appeal pursuant to MCR 7.205(F) is not tolled while a claim of appeal is pending, except as allowed by the rule.

The Probate and Estate Planning Section submitted a Public Policy position on the following bills:
Support: HB 6539 Probate; trusts; personal property trust perpetuities act; revise to include real property. Amends title & secs. 1, 2, 3 & 4 of 2008 PA 148 (MCL 554.91 et seq.).
Support: HB 6540 Probate; trusts; reference to personal property trust perpetuities act in uniform statutory rule against perpetuities; revise to reflect change in short title, and extend effect of that act to real property. Amends sec. 5 of 1988 PA 418 (MCL 554.75).

State News
Legislature May Tackle Fuel Tax, Roads in '09(Lansing State Journal, 12/22/08)

Mich. Legislature Ends '07-08 Voting
(Lansing State Journal, 12/19/08)

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