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August 2020

Our first virtual Lawyer Trust Account Seminar was a hit, and there’s another one coming up

Lawyer Trust Account Seminar"I'd mandate it for attorneys at inception of practice and maybe a shorter version every five years."

That's one of the responses we heard after our recent virtual Lawyer Trust Account Seminar, a half-day ethics seminar covering everything from how to manage lawyer trust accounts to how to comply with Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15 and 1.15A.

Register today for the next virtual Lawyer Trust Account Seminar, which will be held October 27.

Are you making the most of your SBM Member Directory Enhanced Profile?

The SBM Attorney Search is popular with potential clients and legal professionals alike. Make sure your Member Directory Enhanced Profile is in the best shape possible, especially if you’re looking to grow your practice or expand your network. You can edit your profile here. We recommend including all the information potential clients might find useful, such as:

  • Your current practice areas
  • Whether you’re accepting new clients
  • All of the ways to contact your office
  • A recent photo
  • Your billing rates
  • Whether you offer limited scope representation
  • Information about any alternative payment plans you offer

Highlights of the August 2020 Michigan Bar Journal

SBM Downloadable LibraryThis month’s issue of the Michigan Bar Journal focuses on election law. Other highlights include:

Popular titles in the SBM Downloadable Library

Here’s a look at some of the titles in our online library that have been popular among attorneys lately:

If you’re struggling with anxiety, try this tip from the Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program

For many people right now, it can feel that anxiety is becoming a normal part of day-to-day life. An occasional, low level of anxiety is not always bad, because it alerts us to danger and enables us to prepare to meet certain obligations. But when worry becomes chronic and unchecked, it can impact daily functioning and overall well-being.

Here’s a helpful tip from the Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program (LJAP) to curb anxiety and provide a quick mental health reset: Cool off! Lowering your body temperature reduces your heart rate and diminishes physiological and emotional intensity. The next time you’re overwhelmed by anxiety, fill a large bowl with ice-cold water. Set a timer for 20 seconds, take a deep breath, and submerge your face into the bowl. You’ll instantly feel your heart rate slow and stop overwhelming panic in its tracks.

LJAP works to help Michigan attorneys achieve wellness. They offer a number of services, including free consultations to legal professionals and their families; clinical assessments; monitoring; referrals to properly trained, credentialed, and effective providers; practicing wellness information; and professional training and educational presentations. Learn more about LJAP here.

Here are the latest updates and offers for you from SBM Preferred Partners

Race and Justice ForumMyCase is offering a free webinar about adapting to changes brought about by COVID-19 and making them a permanent part of your practice. Find more information, and register for the August 25 webinar, here. Host Carolyn Elefant will cover:

  • Key insights into how remote working will transform day-to-day operations
  • Guidance on how technology tools will help you meet emerging client expectations
  • Future modifications of ethics rules to accommodate law firms broadly operating online
  • Tactics to keep your business financially sustainable during an economic downturn

Registration is now open for the 2020 Clio Cloud Conference, which will be held virtually October 13–16. This one-of-a-kind legal conference, which has never been more accessible, will bring thousands of innovative legal professionals together to move their firms forward and create the next chapter in the future of law. Visit to learn more, or get your virtual pass today.

Updates from the Michigan Supreme Court and State Court Administrative Office

Introducing the “Mask Up MI Courts” campaign

Mask Up MI Courts CampaignIn the spirit of the statewide “Mask Up Michigan” initiative recently launched by the governor, the Michigan judiciary has designed a similar campaign to emphasize what courts, in particular, are doing to keep staff, litigants, attorneys, and other visitors safe as they begin to reopen for more than just essential functions.

“No one should have to feel at risk or worry about their safety when they have business to conduct in our courthouses. Masking up in the courts shows that the judicial branch is ensuring that paying a fine or fee, attending a hearing, or simply showing up for work doesn’t come at a cost to their health,” said Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack.

To convey this message widely, the Supreme Court has created a logo, featuring a masked Lady Justice with the tagline “Mask Up MI Courts.” Chief Justice McCormack encourages everyone in the judicial and legal community to help spread the word by doing any or all of these things:

  • Add the logo to their email signature block
  • Add the logo to the homepage of the court website
  • Use the logo on signage (paper, video, etc.) in public areas of the courthouse
  • Use the hashtag #MaskUpMICourts on social media when pertinent

Find more information about the judiciary’s response to COVID-19 here.

The One Court of Justice website has a new COVID-19 search function

A Message From Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack:

“Since the pandemic began, I have discovered two important facts: First, that time goes by faster and faster; and second, there is more information available to digest than humanly possible. We have more information to review than ever before but less time to do it.

“That’s why our tech team created this new search function to enable all users to conveniently tap into the wealth of information and resources we have produced regarding the judicial branch’s response to COVID-19. Whether you are seeking information about landlord/tenant cases and eviction diversion, or virtual courtrooms and YouTube streaming, the judiciary and the public can use this search engine to quickly and easily get where they need to go without having to search the entire One Court of Justice website.

“This space will be reserved to highlight the most recent publications or to highlight important past publications that may have gone ‘under the radar’ during the crisis.”

Find the search function at