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May 2018

Volunteer to Serve on a State Bar Committee Today
Note: If you tried to volunteer and experienced technical issues, please try again! Complete the application before June 7 in any web browser except Internet Explorer. The application is not fully functional in Internet Explorer.

You are invited to apply to serve in one of the many volunteer opportunities offered by the State Bar of Michigan. We offer short-term, fast-moving opportunities to serve on innovative work groups and longer-term, more in-depth opportunities to serve on traditional standing committees. We have revised the volunteer application process to make it more streamlined, straightforward, and deliberate in order to help you quickly and easily find the right opportunity to help us continue to advance our core mission of promoting the professionalism of lawyers; advocating for an open, fair, and accessible justice system; and providing services to members that enable them to best serve clients.

Please include your resume or CV and links to your online professional bio and social media sites to help us find the perfect fit for you. Please note that in order to serve as a volunteer, the State Bar requires you to have an email address on record. If you have questions, email or call (517) 346-6330 during regular business hours. If you are a current committee member and have any questions, contact your staff liaison. Find out more about SBM committees and work groups. View an invitation from SBM President-Elect Jennifer Grieco to serve as a volunteer.

2018 Election Notice—Voting Begins May 25
Electronic ballots for the 2018 State Bar of Michigan elections will be distributed via email on May 25. SBM members who do not have an email address on file will receive a paper ballot. Online voting will end at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 15, and paper ballots must be received postmarked no later than June 15.

There are contested races for the Judicial Tenure Commission, the Board of Commissioners in Districts D, G, H, and I, and the Representative Assembly in Circuit 7. Unless your address on file is in one of the circuits or districts where there is a contested race, you will only receive a ballot for the Judicial Tenure Commission race.

All eligible members with an email address on file with the State Bar may vote securely online. This can be done by one of two methods. First, beginning on May 25, eligible members will receive an email message informing you it is time to vote. Included in the message will be an embedded link taking you directly to the voting site and a ballot containing only the races for which you are entitled to vote. The email will come from with the subject line "Vote Now in the 2018 State Bar of Michigan Election—E-Ballot enclosed" and not from the State Bar.

Alternatively, you may reach the voting website from the SBM Member Area, where you will need to sign in and click on the VOTE NOW button to be directed to the voting website.

PLEASE NOTE: To ensure that you receive your ballot, please add to your email contact list. You could also let your IT department know to add this address to its “safe mail” list. Please be assured that the site is secure and you will have the same level of privacy and anonymity as if voting by mail. The system will prevent anyone from voting more than once. If you have questions, contact Marge Bossenbery at or (517) 346-6327, or Carrie Sharlow at or (517) 346-6317.

On Balance Podcast: Check Out the Latest Episode
On Balance Podcast from the State Bar of MichiganThe latest episode of the State Bar of Michigan’s On Balance podcast features Lea Ann Sterling, a Traverse City attorney who owns and manages Sterling Law Office in Empire and Gaylord and wrote award-winning pictorial guidebooks Historic Homes of Olde Town, Columbus, Ohio, and Historic Cottages of Mackinac Island.¬†Hosts JoAnn Hathaway and Tish Vincent discuss with Sterling how she took her law practice from survival mode to a stage-one business.

On Balance delivers useful and entertaining ideas on managing life as a lawyer. To subscribe 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 "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.

Order 2018 April Alphabetical & Resource Directories
Order the April Resource Directory nowLooking for a member of the State Bar of Michigan? The SBM online Member Directory contains the most up-to-date contact information. In addition, a portable April Resource Directory containing comprehensive court, state, and local government and lawyer association contact information is available online and have been sent to you if you have opted in to receive a print edition of the Michigan Bar Journal April issue. You can order extra copies of the resource directory for $10.

If you prefer to receive a member list in print, we offer the April Resource Directory Plus Alphabetical Member Roster, which includes all the information found in the April Resource Directory plus a complete listing of all members of the State Bar of Michigan. Place your order to purchase a printed copy of the April Resource Directory Plus Alphabetical Member Roster for $35.

Change Coming to Dues This September
In mid-September, we hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the changes we’re making to streamline the process you will use to complete your mandatory disclosures and pay your annual dues. This year, you will be able to complete your mandatory disclosures online and either pay your dues online or mail your check to our lockbox.

As a reminder, you will be receiving notification by email in mid-September to complete your mandatory disclosures and pay your dues. Make sure you keep your email address up to date with us, so you will receive that email notification. If you change jobs, Supreme Court rules require that you update your contact information. Providing and updating your email address will help ensure that you receive email dues notifications.


Lawyer Trust Accounts Seminar
June 19, 2018 • Michael Franck Building, Lansing

This half-day ethics seminar features presentations on how to manage lawyer trust accounts, including how to effectively use forms, checklists, and other recordkeeping resources. The seminar, which is open to lawyers and their staff, is an excellent way to learn how to comply with Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15 and 1.15A. Participants will receive practical information as well as materials prepared by presenters: SBM Professional Standards Division Director Danon Goodrum-Garland, SBM Assistant General Counsel Nkrumah Johnson-Wynn, Professional Standards Assistant Division Director Alecia Ruswinckel, and Attorney Grievance Commission Senior Associate Counsel Rhonda Pozehl. More Information

Upper Michigan Legal Institute 2018 register now

Upper Michigan Legal Institute—Register Now!
June 8–9, 2018 • Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island
Learn More

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.

Sessions this year will provide updates on criminal law, elder law, and family law, plus topical issues in marijuana law, improving productivity with Alexa and Google Assistant, technology competence, guardianships and protective orders, and legal concepts implicated in the expansion of Airbnb and the sharing economy.

NEXT Conference 2018 save the date

NEXT Conference 2018—Save the Date
September 26–28, 2018
DeVos Place, Grand Rapids

Have fun, make connections, and recharge your law practice at the 2018 NEXT Conference. In just a day and a half, you’ll engage with experts whose sole goal is to help you save time, save money, and increase your bottom line.

This year the popular Judicial Perspectives educational track will return, featuring Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Clement, Kent County Circuit Court Judge Christopher Yates, Ottawa County Circuit Court Judge Jon Hulsing, Muskegon County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Hicks, Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farah, and Kalamazoo County Circuit Judge Pamela Lightvoet.

Member Benefits & Discounts

ABA book discounts

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 or call (800) 285-2221 and use the special discount code MICHBAR.

Ruby Receptionist offer

Ruby Receptionist

Have you ever lost a potential client to voicemail? Ruby Receptionists can help ensure you don't miss another opportunity due to a missed call. As an SBM member, you'll get a lifetime 6% discount on Ruby's monthly plans. Learn more.

Legal Research

Free Casemaker legal researchCasemaker, provided free to you as an SBM member, will save you hundreds of dollars every month on state and federal legal research. To access this member benefit, log in to the member area and select the Casemaker tab on the right. There are several helpful user guides published within the Casemaker system. In addition, you can click on Webinar at the top of the Casemaker site to sign up for online training.

Tip of the Month on Advanced Search: Need to find a case but don't have all the reference information? Casemaker's Advanced Search is a tool for just that situation. Located in the left sidebar of the home page, with Advanced Search you can enter a combination of information including keywords, a date range, even a partial name, judge, and more. Advanced Search's single step process gets you there faster.

Delivery Services

FedEx discount offerSave money on shipping and earn free rewards for your loyalty with FedEx. As an SBM member, you're invited to enroll in the FedEx Advantage program and enjoy discounts of up to 26% on FedEx services. After enrolling for discounts, you'll have the opportunity to join My FedEx Rewards and earn gift cards and brand-name merchandise when you ship. Enrollment for both programs is free. To enjoy discounts, enroll now in the FedEx Advantage program or call (800) 475-6708. Use passcode RWF36R. Then sign up for My FedEx Rewards with the same account number.

Free e-Publications
The State Bar offers five electronic publications delivered to your email inbox as a member benefit.

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 Online

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

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

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

May Bar Journal
Read the May Bar JournalDigital Version (ideal for tablets, smartphones, and e-readers)

Online Version (PDFs)