Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
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November 21, 2016
Volume 14, Issue 46

In the Capitol

The House of Representatives and Senate have adjourned until the week of November 29.
House Schedule
Senate Schedule

Complete Committee Meeting List

In the Hall of Justice

Michigan Supreme Court to Host Adoption Day 2016 Tuesday, November 22

Genesee County Judge Duncan M. Beagle Recipient of Daniel J. Wright Lifetime Achievement Award

At the Bar

Judicial Vacancy—27th Circuit Court

Who are Your Clients & How Do You Reach Them?

Consumer Reviews—The SBM Member Directory Way

The Board of Commissioners met on November 18, 2016, at which time the State Bar of Michigan adopted the following public policy positions:
ADM File No. 2016-24—Proposed Amendment of Rule 9.115 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendment of MCR 9.115(F)(5) would clarify that a hearing panel shall be authorized to allow parties to submit an amended stipulation. If a hearing panel rejects an amended stipulation, the matter would be referred to a different hearing panel to conduct a hearing. This proposed language was submitted jointly by the Attorney Grievance Commission and Attorney Discipline Board.
SBM Position: Support.

ADM File No. 2015-14—Proposed Amendments of Rule 9.200 et seq. of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendments of MCR 9.200 et seq. were submitted to the Court by the Judicial Tenure Commission to rearrange and renumber the rules applicable to the JTC to provide clarity and facilitate navigation. The proposed amendments of the JTC also include new rules and revisions of current rules regarding costs and sanctions, as well as other substantive proposed changes. This proposal includes most of the revisions suggested by the JTC, as well as some additional substantive changes added by the Court for purposes of public comment.
SBM Position:

  • MCR 9.202(B)(2). Oppose limiting the jurisdiction of the JTC to alleged misconduct occurring during a judicial campaign or while the judge is serving as a judicial officer.
  • MCR 9.220(C). Oppose imposing a presumptive three-year statute of limitations for filing a formal complaint against a judge.
  • MCR 9.225(A)(2) and (A)(3). Propose further amendments to (1) require automatic interim suspension of a judge without pay upon conviction of a felony and (2) allow the JTC discretion to recommend imposing an interim suspension on a judge who “poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the public.”
  • MCR 9.236. Propose further amendment to limit the master’s role to making findings of facts only.
  • MCR 9.244(B)(1), MCR 9.245(B), and MCR 9.245(C). Support the amendments as released by the Court.
  • MCR 9.245(D). Oppose the Supreme Court’s authority to “impose any sanction or take other action at any stage of the proceedings under these rules.”
  • MCR Rule 9.246(B)(2). Propose further amendment to allow the JTC to recover transcript costs.
  • MCR 9.251(B). Propose further amendment requiring commission counsel, rather than disciplinary counsel, to advocate before the Supreme Court on behalf of the JTC.
  • MCR 9.252(A). Oppose altering the lawyer disciplinary process after a judge has been removed by the JTC.
  • MCR 9.261(D). Oppose delaying public disclosure of the complaint until a judge has filed a response.

SB 1083 (Zorn) Law enforcement; records; procedure for destruction or expunction of a DNA sample or DNA identification profile; modify under certain circumstances. Amends sec. 6 of 1990 PA 250 (MCL 28.176).
SBM Position: Oppose.

M Crim JI 12.1b
The Committee proposes an amendment to M Crim JI 12.1b, the manufacturing controlled substances violations of MCL 333.7401c.  The amendment is intended to clear up possible confusion that methamphetamine must have actually been produced using the chemical or laboratory equipment.  Deletions are in strike-through; new language is underlined.
SBM Position: Support.

M Crim JI 27.3
The Committee proposes an amendment to M Crim JI 23.7, the instruction for violations of MCL 750.175, embezzlement by a public official.  The amendment is intended conform the instruction to the statute and eliminate language directing a jury finding on the fourth element.  Deletions are in strike-through; new language is underlined.
SBM Position: Support.

M Crim JI 37.3, 37.3a-b, 37.4, 37.4a-b, 37.5, 37.5a-b, 37.6, and 37.7
The Committee proposes new instructions for violations of MCL 750.122, witness bribery or intimidation:  M Crim JI 37.3, 37.3a, 37.3b, 37.4, 37.4a, 37.4b, 37.5, 37.5a, 37.5b, 37.6 and 37.7.  The set of instructions is entirely new.
SBM Position: Support with one amendment defining “tried to intimidate” as “Engage in behavior directly or through another person which a reasonable person would conclude to find threatening or intimidating.”

Links of Interest

SBM Public Policy Resource Center
Michigan Supreme Court
Michigan Legislature
MCL Search Engines