NOTE: Effective May 1, 2019, Canon 7 was amended to eliminate the $100 per lawyer limitation and remove the disclaimer requirement and instead to refer to the statutory campaign limitation to bring Michigan in conformity with the majority of other states.
NOTE: Effective January 1, 2000, the "180-day Fundraising Period" in MCJC 7B(2)(c) has been replaced by a fund-raising period starting on February 15 of the year of the election.
November 22, 1988
A judicial candidate campaign committee may solicit a maximum of $100 per lawyer during the period from 180 days prior to the primary election or nominating convention up until, and including, general election day.
Reference: MCJC 7B(2)(c).
A candidate for reelection to judicial office asks whether a judicial campaign committee may solicit only $100 per lawyer during the entire election year; or if that sum, $100 per lawyer, may be solicited per election event, i.e., $100 for a primary, and then another $100 for the general election.
MCJC 7B(2)(b) permits the establishment of committees to secure and manage campaign funds. MCJC 7B(2)(c) states:
"Such committees are prohibited from soliciting campaign contributions from lawyers in excess of $100 per lawyer, but may solicit public support from lawyers. A candidate's committee may solicit funds for his campaign no earlier than 180 days before a primary election or nominating convention and may not solicit or accept funds after the date of the general election . . . ."
It is not necessary to define "solicit," "accept," or "in-kind contribution." These terms have been more than adequately established by CI-987, CI-531, and CI-509. With those matters understood, we are asked whether MCJC 7B(2)(c) refers to a campaign event, specifically, a primary and/or general election.
MCJC 7B(2)(c) does not address events, but sets a time frame for campaign solicitations, to wit: 180 days prior to the primary election or nominating convention up until, and including, general election day. Therefore all solicitations of lawyers must be done within that time period and not to exceed $100 per lawyer.