Public Policy Resource Center


The Public Policy Resource Center is a member resource and tool designed to provide comprehensive, up-to-date public policy information of interest to the legal profession. The site provides a search function that permits you to view all legislation organized by specialty area as it is introduced, identify the appropriate official to contact to communicate your views, and keep track of the public policy initiatives of the State Bar and its entities.

July 24, 2020
Board of Commissioners
Public Policy Items To Be Considered

Members who wish to share comments on any of the items below may do so by filling out a Public Policy Comment form or emailing before 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 24.

A.  Court Rule Amendments
ADM File No. 2002-37: Proposed Addition of MCR 2.226
The proposed addition of MCR 2.226 would clarify the process for change of venue and transfer orders.

2. ADM File No. 2019-47: Proposed Amendments of MCR 3.804, 5.140, and 5.404 and Proposed Addition of MCR 3.811
The proposed amendments of MCR 3.804, 5.140, and 5.404 and proposed new MCR 3.811 would allow greater use of videoconferencing equipment in cases involving Indian children.

3. ADM File No. 2019-41: Proposed Amendment of MCR 4.201
The proposed amendment of MCR 4.201 would require disclosure of the right to object to venue in actions brought under the Summary Proceedings Act for landlord/tenant proceedings in district court, consistent with MCL 600.5706.

4. ADM File No. 2020-04: Proposed Amendment of Rule 4 of the Rules for the Board of Law Examiners
The proposed amendment of BLE Rule 4 would explicitly state that a passing bar exam score is valid for three years, which is consistent with the character and fitness clearance expiration.

B.  Legislation
HB 5444 (Liberati) Children; services; kinship caregiver navigator program; create. Creates new act.

2. HB 5488 (Lightner) Criminal procedure; sentencing; certain permissible costs; extend sunset. Amends sec. 1k, ch. IX of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 769.1k).

3. HB 5795 (Filler) Probate; wills and estates; electronic signature of wills; allow. Amends sec. 2502 of 1998 PA 386 (MCL 700.2502) & adds sec. 2504a.

4. HB 5805 (Berman) Courts; judges; hearings on emergency motions by defendant in criminal cases; provide for. Amends sec. 1, ch. I of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 761.1) & adds sec. 12 to ch. III.

5. HB 5806 (Berman) Courts; records; online attorney access to court actions and filed documents without fees; provide for. Amends secs. 1985 & 1991 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1985 & 600.1991) & adds sec. 1991a.

6. SB 0682 (Lucido) Juveniles; juvenile justice services; juvenile records; require to be confidential. Amends sec. 28, ch. XIIA of 1939 PA 288 (MCL 712A.28).

7. SB 0865 (Lucido) Courts; other; procedures and regulations related cellular telephones in courtrooms; provide restrictions and penalties.

8. SB 0895 (Runestad) Civil procedure; other; new trial; revise procedure for granting. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101 to 600.9947).

C. Model Criminal Jury Instructions
M Crim JI 37.8, 37.8a, 37.8b, 37.9, 37.9a, 37.10, 37.11 and 37.11a
The Committee proposes instructions M Crim JI 37.8, 37.8a, 37.8b, 37.9, 37.9a, 37.10, 37.11 and 37.11a, where the prosecutor has charged an offense found in MCL 750. 483a, which addresses withholding evidence, preventing the report of a crime, retaliating for reporting a crime, influencing a crime report, defenses, or evidence tampering. The instructions are entirely new.

Public Policy & the State Bar

Because the State Bar of Michigan is a mandatory bar association, the Bar can only advocate public policy positions that are reasonably related to:

  1. the regulation and discipline of attorneys;

  2. the improvement of the functioning of the courts;

  3. the availability of legal services to society;

  4. the regulation of attorney trust accounts; and

  5. the regulation of the legal profession, including the education, the ethics, the competency, and the integrity of the profession.

Sections of the State Bar that are funded by voluntary dues are not subject to these restrictions, and may engage in ideological activities on their own behalf provided that they follow the policies and procedures in Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Order 2004-01 and in Article VIII of the Bylaws of the State Bar of Michigan.

Administrative Order 2004-01 limits and describes the issues on which the State Bar may take public policy positions, and the process for section and member involvement.

Article VIII of the Bylaws of the State Bar of Michigan governs public policy advocacy by sections and committees of the State Bar.

Member Comments

Submit comments on pending public policy issues.
Members are encouraged to submit comments on pending public policy issues, including proposed court rules and legislation that is eligible to be considered by the Board of Commissioners for action. All comments received from members will be shared with the Board of Commissioners and/or Representative Assembly when they consider that public policy item.

View Member Comments on pending legislation

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Links of Interest

Searchable Positions Database

The searchable database includes all positions taken by the State Bar and positions reported to the State Bar by its sections and committees. Users are able to search the database by legislative session, bill number, bill sponsor, State Bar positions, section positions, committee positions, or practice area.

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