What the Michigan summmons should look like (Part 1)


by Karen Schriver   |   Michigan Bar Journal

In spring 2021, with the approval of the former Chief Justice and encouragement from the State Court Administrative Office and leaders of the State Bar Justice for All Commission, the Kimble Center for Legal Drafting began work on revising Michigan’s summons. The form was designed by Karen Schriver, who is internationally recognized as a top expert in document design and plain language. Of course, others connected with the Kimble Center reviewed each draft. We held Zoom meetings with several people at SCAO who work on forms and another Zoom meeting with several court clerks. After we had prepared one of the earlier drafts, we sent it to SCAO and to those same court clerks for their comments — and we received lots of good ones. We also received comments from the Ottawa County Legal Self-Help Center and from the Legal Design Lab at Stanford Law School. All told, the form went through 20 drafts. We submitted the final draft in January 2022. We have always been prepared to test it with users — the gold standard for whether a document works. Note that the form itself has been reduced by about 10 percent for publication here. Next month, the proof of service. — JK

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