Today at the State Bar of Michigan
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September 2019

New Civil Discovery Rules Effective January 1, 2020
The Michigan Supreme Court recently adopted comprehensive amendments to Michigan’s civil discovery rules. These rules were developed by the State Bar of Michigan’s Civil Discovery Court Rule Review Committee. The rules had not been holistically revised in 35 years, and these amendments represent a significant change in pretrial civil litigation procedures, with the goal of making discovery more efficient and less burdensome, increasing everyone’s access to our courts to resolve their civil legal dispute in a cost-effective manner. The New Civil Discovery Rules will be effective on January 1, 2020. To prepare practitioners for this change, the State Bar of Michigan has posted educational resources and events.

State Bar of Michigan Statement on Federal Lawsuit
On August 22, 2019, a lawsuit was filed in the Western District of Michigan claiming that under Janus v. AFSCME, 138 S. Ct. 2448 (2018), the Michigan law requiring state bar membership in order to practice law is unconstitutional. The State Bar of Michigan issued the following statement concerning the lawsuit:

The State Bar of Michigan strictly follows the rules established by the Michigan Supreme Court to protect the First Amendment rights of licensed Michigan lawyers developed in response to controlling U.S. Supreme Court law. We are confident that the State Bar is fulfilling its statutory responsibilities to the public as an instrumentality of the state consistent with the First Amendment and will respond to the pending legal action accordingly. The lawsuit filed today follows a pattern of lawsuits across the country against integrated state bars which attempt to equate integrated state bars with unions. That analogy is fundamentally wrong. Michigan, along with most other states, has chosen to integrate the bar into the regulation of the profession in order to better serve the public and save taxpayer dollars. The State Bar of Michigan, along with five other integrated bars, submitted an amicus brief in Fleck v. State Bar of North Dakota.

On August 30, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed dismissal of Fleck v. State Bar of North Dakota and found that the bar's procedures for collecting mandatory membership fees do not violate the First Amendment.

Nationwide Practice Analysis Survey by the Testing Task Force of the National Conference of Bar Examiners
Michigan is participating in a national survey from the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) and we need your help! Are you a newly licensed lawyer? Are you a seasoned lawyer who has worked with newly licensed lawyers? You can help build the next generation of the bar exam and strengthen the legal profession simply by taking this survey. The survey is designed to collect empirical data on the work that newly licensed lawyers perform and the knowledge and skills they need to perform that work. The results will guide NCBE’s Testing Task Force as it considers what should be tested in the bar exam of the future. Don’t wait—take the survey today and provide your perspective on the work done by newly licensed lawyers in our state! And please help spread the word by forwarding this email to other attorneys and encouraging them to participate, too.

On Balance Podcast: How Loneliness Impacts the Practice of Law
Focusing on a new aspect of attorney mental health, On Balance Podcast hosts Tish Vincent and JoAnn Hathaway are joined by Olivia Ash and Jeff Zapor to discuss the prevalence of loneliness in the profession and its effect on lawyers. Olivia shares her research on loneliness in legal professionals and describes the drivers behind their sense of isolation. Jeff talks about his personal experience with loneliness and addiction during law school and as a young lawyer and shares his story of recovery. Together, they offer insight into this issue and the need to promote healthy, connected relationships in the profession.

On Balance Podcast from the State Bar of MichiganOn 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, start here. 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, start here. 2. Click the subscribe button (located near the On Balance logo). 3. Click the subscribe button that appears in the pop up.

State Bar License Renewal Notices Will be Sent on September 19
The new State Bar fiscal year begins October 1, 2019. SBM license renewal notices will be sent by email on September 19 to let you know when it's time to complete the online mandatory disclosures and renew your annual license to continue practicing law for the 2019–2020 Bar year. License fees are payable October 1–November 30. We will also send you several reminder courtesy emails in October and November to complete your annual mandatory disclosures and pay your fees well in advance of the November 30 deadline, after which a $50 late charge will be assessed.

For additional license renewal reminders, sign up for our text alerts. From your mobile phone, simply type licensefee (one word) in the text field and send to 74121. You will receive a reply text message confirming receipt of your text. Once you sign up, we will text you when it's time to renew your license and we'll send another reminder toward the November 30 deadline.

Modest Means & Limited Scope Representation Attorneys Needed for Lawyer Referral Service
The Lawyer Referral Service has expanded the reach of its service and is looking for lawyers to serve clients in these program areas. On a regular basis we are unable to provide a lawyer match for consumers in need of legal services through these programs. Let us help you find and connect with clients. More Information

ICLE-Produced Limited Scope Practice Seminars Available for Free to All Michigan Lawyers
In partnership with the State Bar of Michigan Affordable Legal Services Committee, ICLE has produced a program made up of three on-demand limited scope practice seminars. Each seminar is designed to help Michigan lawyers become practice ready in limited scope matters, and includes learning objectives, a video recording, written materials, optional self-assessments, and an evaluation. A certificate of completion is available for each on-demand seminar. Best of all, this high-quality training is available for free, see Limited Scope Toolkit for more information and instructions on how to access the webinars.


Civic Education Opportunities Open House
Date/Location: September 18; State Bar of Michigan, Lansing
Registration & More Information

Inaugural & Awards Luncheon
Date/Location: September 26; Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi
Registration & More Information
Join us as we swear in our 2019–2020 SBM Board of Commissioner officers and pay tribute to our members who have achieved the highest honors in areas of leadership, professional integrity, and community service.

50-Year Golden Celebration Luncheon
Date/Location: September 26; Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi
Registration & More Information
Honoring those who have been members of the State Bar of Michigan for fifty years.

Human Trafficking Training: October 17
The State Bar of Michigan, the Joseph Project, Lakeshore Legal Aid, D. Augustus Straker Bar Ass'n, and the Oakland County Bar Ass'n are partnering to offer a human trafficking training on Thursday, October 17, from 8:00 a.m.–noon. The Legal First Responders: Equipping Attorneys to Empower Human Trafficking Survivors training will be hosted by WMU-Cooley Law School at its Auburn Hills Campus. There will be a simultaneous broadcast of the training to WMU-Cooley’s campuses in Lansing and Grand Rapids. The event is free of charge with the commitment to accept a human trafficking referral on a pro bono basis within one year of the training. Register today!

Clio Cloud ConferenceThis year, on October 21–22, the 2019 Clio Cloud Conference will take place in San Diego, CA—and you’re invited! Come be inspired by keynote speakers and industry experts, level up your legal technology skills, and enjoy our legendary Clio After Dark events. Use this registration link to receive a discount of $100 off your conference pass. Learn more about the conference.

Benefits & Discounts


The next webinar is Wednesday, September 25. Swift decision-making in your law firm can mean the difference between growth and stagnancy. Find out how the largest criminal defense firm in Fort Worth consistently meet their performance goals by staying on top of financial, case, and staff performance in our next MyCase webinar hosted by Managing Partner of Varghese Summersett PLLC, Benson Varghese Esq., presented by @MyCaseInc. Register Now

ABA book discounts

ABA Books for Bars
August is our hottest month! We have 13 brand new books and ebooks across different legal specialties, and SBM members can use their exclusive 15% discount code on any of them. Each month, ABA Publishing delivers expert titles to help attorneys achieve their ambitions.

New Casemaker4 Features
Time to turn on that printer and let it get warmed up!

Did you find that document you wanted? Maybe you would like to print out a copy to read on the plane? Just click Print. You will find the printer icon in the dark grey tool bar along the top of the document you are reading. Clicking on the print icon allows you to choose the document format you are printing to. Read More

Now let’s take a look at browsing. Let's get started!
When you open Casemaker4, you will see a list of states. This State Library page is your default landing page. This list includes all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. On the left, you can change the page to be a list of Federal materials or Tribal court materials. Additionally, using the left-side menu, you can view the materials by Compilation type and see Archived materials from previous years. These same menus are available in the menu bar below the search bar and can be found on any page, clicking on a menu item in this upper-bar area will then direct you to the corresponding page. Read More

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

September Bar Journal—Appellate Practice
Read the September Bar Journal
Digital Version
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Online Version (PDFs)

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