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 27, 2018
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 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 26.

A. Court Rules

1. ADM File No. 2018-03: Proposed Amendments of Rules 3.201, 3.210, and 3.211 and Proposed Addition of Rule 3.222 and 3.223 of the Michigan Court Rules

The proposed amendments of MCR 3.201, 3.210, and 3.211 and proposed addition of MCR 3.222 and 3.223 would integrate the collaborate law process designed under the Uniform Collaborate Law Act (159 PA 2014; MCL 691.1331-691.1354) into the state’s trial court system for practical use, and would add a similar process for parties not represented by counsel who seek to submit a consent judgment.

2. ADM File No. 2002-37/2018-20: Proposed Amendment of Rule 2.002 of the Michigan Court Rules

The Court is considering two different proposals regarding fee waivers for indigent individuals. Alternative A is a version prepared internally in anticipation of implementation of a statewide e-Filing system. Alternative B is a proposal submitted by the State Bar of Michigan. The two versions are similar in some respects, but have significant differences. For example, the Bar’s version would establish a standard for indigency as living in a household whose gross household income is under 200% of the federal poverty level, would create a status of “financial hardship,” would allow the court to conduct further inquiries if necessary to determine whether a party is indigent, and would create a right to request a hearing if a petition for indigency is denied. The alternative version does not include such provisions.

3. ADM File No. 2017-16: Proposed Amendment of Rule 6.302 of the Michigan Court Rules

The proposed amendment of MCR 6.302 would require a trial court judge to advise a defendant that if a plea is accepted, the defendant will give up the right to appeal issues that might have been available after the conclusion of a trial.

4. ADM File No. 2013-05/2014-46: Proposed Amendment of Rule 6.502 of the Michigan Court Rules and Rule 3.8 of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct

The proposed amendments would make several substantive changes in MCR 6.502 regarding postjudgment relief from judgment motions. First, the proposed new language in MCR 6.502(G)(2) would insert an “actual innocence” waiver provision similar to that in MCR 6.508(D)(3). Further, MCR 6.502(G)(3) would be added to clarify that shifts in science are included in the definition of “new evidence” for purposes of the exemption from the successive motion limitation. Finally, new language would be added to MRPC 3.8 to require certain actions by a prosecutor who knows of new, credible, and material evidence creating a reasonable likelihood that defendant did not commit the offense of which defendant was convicted, or who knows of clear and convincing evidence that shows defendant did not commit the offense. The proposed additional language of MRPC 3.8 is taken from the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct 3.8.

5. ADM File No. 2017-20: Proposed Amendment of Rule 7.202 of the Michigan Court Rules

The proposed amendment of MCR 7.202 clarifies what constitutes a final postjudgment order in a domestic relations case for purposes of appeal by right. This issue was raised in Marik v. Marik, docket 154549, during oral arguments held earlier this term.

6. ADM File No. 2017-29: Proposed Amendment of Rule 4.4 of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct

The proposed amendment of MRPC 4.4 would define the responsibilities of a lawyer who receives a document that was inadvertently sent. This proposal was submitted by the State Bar of Michigan. Note that the Court adopted MCR 2.302(B)(7) in 2008 to address the issue of discovery material inadvertently transmitted, and that rule requires the inadvertent recipient to return or destroy the alleged protected material, and may promptly submit the material to the trial court for a determination of the claim. To the extent that the final paragraph of the proposed new comment language apparently leaves such a decision to the discretion of the lawyer, this proposed new language may conflict (or at least exist in tension) with the existing language in MCR 2.302(B)(7).

7. ADM File No. 2017-25: Proposed Amendment of Rule 7.1 of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct

The proposed amendment of MRPC 7.1 would restrict and regulate the use of the terms “retired” or “former” for a justice, judge, referee, or magistrate who returns to the practice of law. This proposal is a narrower version than one submitted by the State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly.

B. Legislation

1. HB 5386 (LaSata) Human services; other; eligibility requirements for Medicaid and supplemental nutrition assistance (SNAP) programs; enhance. Creates new act.

2. HB 5396 (Lucido) Civil procedure; evictions; proceedings to recover possession of premises because of assault, battery, or unlawful drugs; modify to require a conviction. Amends sec. 5714 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.5714).

3. HB 6096 (Lucido) Property; other; entry by owner to evict; modify process. Amends sec. 2918 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2918).

4. Jurisdiction for Prosecution

SB 0951 (Gregory) Criminal procedure; jurisdiction; jurisdiction for prosecution for delivery of a controlled substance causing death; modify. Amends 1927 PA 175 (MCL 760.1 - 777.69) by adding sec. 5a to ch. II.

SB 0952 (Zorn) Criminal procedure; jurisdiction; venue for prosecution of delivery of a controlled substance causing death; modify. Amends sec. 317a of 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.317a).

C. Other

1. “A Way Forward: Transparency in 2018” by Law School Transparency (Iowa State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division)

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

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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.

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