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March 2019

2019 SBM Election Information
Are you interested in serving in a leadership role at the State Bar of Michigan or Judicial Tenure Commission? If so, check the March 2019 edition of the Michigan Bar Journal for the official State Bar Election Notice for the 2019 elections.

These elections will be held in June 2019

  • A statewide election for a non-judicial member of the Judicial Tenure Commission
  • Elections for members of the Representative Assembly in 39 judicial circuits
  • Elections for members of the Board of Commissioners in five commissioner districts
  • Elections for members of the Young Lawyers Section Executive Council in three districts

If you're interested in running, submit a nominating petition no earlier than April 1, 2019, nor later than April 30, 2019.

Electronic ballots will be distributed no later than June 1, 2019, and members without an email address on file will receive a ballot in the mail. Ballots must be received postmarked or completed online no later than June 15, 2019.

The Attorney Discipline Board is Moving on March 25
The Attorney Discipline Board will move to 333 W Fort St, Suite 1700, in Detroit on March 25. Filings and cost payments up to March 22 should be filed at 211 W Fort St, Suite 1410, in Detroit. The ADB’s phone and fax numbers will remain unchanged.

Limited Scope Practitioners: Help the Public Find You!
When you provide limited scope legal services, not only do you help those with limited funds get strategic and targeted legal help, but you can also utilize them as an exciting and innovative way to build a practice and increase business. As the State Bar prepares to let the public know about this new way to get needed and affordable legal services, we need you to help people find you. Please edit your profile in our online directory by signing in to the Member Area, selecting Profile, and Edit My Expanded Profile. Add the keywords “limited scope” in the biography area. The additional keywords “affordable” and “flat fee” can also help potential clients find you. We are working on more ways to connect the public with limited scope lawyers, and will offer additional opportunities to you as they develop.

Visit the State Bar’s Limited Scope Resources Tool Kit to find more information about the limited scope rules, tools to help you market your limited scope practice, forms and checklists, and to sign up for the Limited Scope Connect peer discussion group. Watch the Tool Kit for information on a State Bar and ICLE produced free limited scope webinar to help you become practice ready and earn certificates showing your knowledge of limited scope legal services. The webinar will be available soon.

On Balance Podcast: The Opioid Crisis—Solutions for a Rising Epidemic
On Balance Podcast from the State Bar of MichiganThe latest episode of the State Bar of Michigan’s On Balance podcast features Harry Nelson, who discusses potential solutions to the opioid crisis. Hosts JoAnn Hathaway and Tish Vincent talk to him about the opioid crisis and his book, The United States of Opioids: A Prescription For Liberating A Nation In Pain. They discuss the needs for reform in healthcare laws and greater access to treatment for opioid addictions. Harry Nelson is founder and managing partner of Nelson Hardiman.

On Balance, on the Legal Talk Network, delivers useful and entertaining ideas on managing life as a lawyer. To subscribe to On Balance in iTunes, follow two easy steps: 1. Using your mobile device, click on this link, or enter this link in your browser: 2. Click the purple "Subscribe" button that shows up right under the name of the podcast. To access On Balance in Google Play, follow these three steps: 1. Using your mobile device, click this link, or enter this link in your browser: 2. Click the subscribe button (located just beneath the On Balance logo). 3. Click the subscribe button that appears in the pop-up.

Cognitive Bias Essentials Webinar

Renowned neuroscientist Dr. Itiel Dror will present a complimentary webinar, Cognitive Bias Essentials—The Use and Abuse of Expert Evidence, at noon on March 26. The webinar is part of a Crime Scene to Courtroom Forensics Training series, funded by the United States Department of Justice. Dr. Dror’s academic work focuses on theoretical issues underlying human performance and cognition. He has published several academic journal articles with Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack.

In the webinar, Dr. Dror will discuss how evidence is perceived, interpreted, and evaluated by experts and presented in court; how to advise and manage experts so that their decisions may be more evidence-based and less biased; how to persuasively demonstrate the pitfalls and errors that can occur in expert judgment and evidence; how to use best practices to mitigate biased decisions from your own experts; and how to expose impartiality in expert witnesses used by opposing counsel. The webinar is free to attend, but registration is required. Continuing Legal Education credits are available to those who need them.

Mark Your Calendar: October 1, 2019

Save this date: the new State Bar year begins on October 1, 2019. At that point, you should be prepared to renew your license to continue practicing law for the 2019–2020 Bar year. In mid-September you will receive an email from the State Bar of Michigan inviting you to log into the member area, complete your annual disclosures, and pay your license fee online. You will also have an option to mail a check to the State Bar’s lockbox.

We will also send you several reminder emails to complete the annual disclosure statement and the license fee invoice well in advance of the November 30 deadline, after which a $50 late fee will be assessed. Now is the time to update your member profile with a valid email address so that you will receive all important license fee notices by email.


Tips & Tools for a Successful Practice
Date: Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Time: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Cost: $100 (attorneys licensed to practice less than five years, including law students and unlicensed graduates); $125 (attorneys licensed to practice five years or more)
Location: State Bar of Michigan, 306 Townsend St, Lansing
Registration: online or by mail/fax form before May 3

This semi-annual seminar features presentations on how to maintain mutually beneficial client relationships, draft effective fee agreements, manage lawyer trust accounts, analyze ethical issues, and use innovative techniques and technology for effective law office management.

Upper Michigan Legal Institute—Register Now
June 14–15, 2019 • Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island

You won't want to miss this opportunity to get the latest developments in case law, invaluable technology, and practice management tips, all while enjoying the ambiance of the historic Grand Hotel on beautiful Mackinac Island. Register now.

Sessions this year will provide updates on criminal, marijuana, real property, business, tax and family law; the art and science of persuasion; evidence double jeopardy and key evidentiary rules; durable power of attorney and estate planning; and zoning and land use.

Lawyer Trust Accounts Seminar
Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Time: 1:15–4:45 p.m.
Cost: $50 for lawyers; $25 for non-lawyers, law students, and unlicensed graduates
Location: State Bar of Michigan, 306 Townsend St, Lansing
Registration: online or mail/fax form before June 21

This half-day ethics seminar will feature presentations on how to manage lawyer trust accounts, including how to effectively use forms, checklists, and other recordkeeping resources, and is also an excellent way to learn how to comply with Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15 and 1.15A.

Member Benefits & Discounts

 Wear Your SBM Love on Your Sleeve
Have a new attorney in your family? Or maybe you just want to wear your membership with pride? The State Bar of Michigan has a wide assortment of SBM labeled items for purchase such as travel mugs, t-shirts, polo shirts, micro-fleece coats, and much more.

To order your SBM gear, simply complete the paper form and mail it in with payment. If you have any questions about the products, contact Tracy Sproul in Member Services at (888) SBM-ForU or by email to

One Phone. Separate Personal and Business Phone Lines.
By porting your business number to Ruby Receptionists, you can use your mobile phone to return client calls and text messages without having to share your personal phone number with them. By having Ruby Receptionists host your business number, you can make calls and text from your business number on your personal phone through the Ruby app, allowing you to set reasonable boundaries between your personal and private life. The app also allows you to turn your Ruby service on and off with a single tap.  As a member of the State Bar of Michigan, you save 6% on Ruby’s monthly plans. For more information, visit Call Ruby.

Clio Launches Client Relationship Management Software
Clio has now launched Clio Grow, a new legal client relationship management (CRM) and client intake software that transforms the way you can engage with clients. Using the new CRM, you can create custom intake forms, e-signatures, and document automation to easily retain new clients. You can streamline data entry and follow-up emails to enable you to focus on what you do best. Advanced data reporting tools will allow you to identify your firm’s most valuable clients, helping you devote resources where they matter most. And, because you are an SBM member, you get a 10% lifetime discount on Clio products. Find out more.

MyCase April Webinar
Join Jacquie Vinaccia on Wednesday, April 3, for a MyCase webinar called Steps to Ensure You Capture All Billable Time. She’ll teach you about the most common drains on your billable hours, tips for plugging the leaks before and after you do the work, about timekeeping apps and other aids for capturing billable hours, and techniques to protect against having to write-off billable hours. Register online.

ABA Book Discounts

Shop. Save. Earn.
SBM members can now save 15% on ABA books. The discount applies to all regularly priced book purchases at the ABA web store. Simply use the special discount code MICHBAR at checkout. To start saving 15% on your ABA book purchases visit Shop ABA or call (800) 285-2221 and use the special discount code MICHBAR.

Dress for Success
SBM members can now save 15% on Brooks Brothers clothing by enrolling for a corporate membership card. Enroll online and enter your Organization ID# 86201 and your Pin Code# 91972.  Or, enroll by telephone by calling corporate incentive services toll-free at (866) 515-4747, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Have your Organization ID and Pin Code available when you call.

Free e-Publications
The State Bar offers five electronic publications delivered to your email inbox at no cost.

e-Journal provides daily summaries of opinions released from the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Subscribe

NewsLinks provides a daily summary of law-related news articles, editorials, and columns carried in major local, state, and national media. Subscribe

Receive Practice Management updates sent directly to your inbox with tips and tools from the Practice Management Resource Center. Subscribe

Public Policy Update is a weekly journal highlighting public policy issues of interest to the profession. Subscribe

March Bar Journal—Insurance and Indemnity Law
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