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.

April 19, 2024
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 Tuesday, April 16, 2024.

A.  Court Rule Amendments

1. ADM File No. 2023-34: Proposed Amendment of MCR 3.967

The proposed amendment of MCR 3.967 would align the rule with MCL 712B.15, as amended in 2016, to clarify the applicability of qualified expert witness testimony in a removal hearing involving an Indian child.

2. ADM File No. 2023-36: Proposed Amendments of MCR 3.937, 3.950, 3.955, 3.993, and 6.931

The proposed amendments of MCR 3.937, 3.950, 3.955, 3.993, and 6.931 would implement 2023 PA 299 and incorporate additional changes from the SADO/MAACS Youth Defense Project regarding requests for and appointment of appellate counsel in cases involving juveniles.

3. ADM File No. 2023-36: Proposed Amendments of MCR 3.901, 3.915, 3.916, 3.922, 3.932, 3.933, 3.935, 3.943, 3.944, 3.950, 3.952, 3.955, 3.977, and 6.931 and Proposed Addition of MCR 3.907

The proposed amendments would implement the Justice for Kids and Communities legislation and align with recommendations of the Michigan Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform.

B. Legislation

1. HB 5393 (Hope) Juveniles: other; default maximum time for a juvenile to complete the terms of a consent calendar case plan; increase to 6 months. Amends sec. 2f, ch. XIIA of 1939 PA 288 (MCL 712A.2f).

2. HB 5429 (Morse) Children: services; court-appointed special advocate program; create. Creates new act.

3. HB 5431 (Andrews) Civil procedure: remedies; wrongful imprisonment compensation act; modify evidence requirements. Amends secs. 2, 4, 5 & 7 of 2016 PA 343 (MCL 691.1752 et seq.).

4. HB 5565 (Green) Elections: judicial; incumbency designation for judges; eliminate. Amends secs. 409b, 409l, 424, 424a, 433, 444, 467b, 467c, 467m, 561 & 696 of 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.409b et seq.) & repeals sec. 435a of 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.435a).

5. HJR O (Green) Elections: judicial; incumbency designation for judges; eliminate. Amends sec. 24, art. VI of the state constitution.

6. SB 665 (Hoitenga) Courts: district court; magistrate qualifications; modify. Amends secs. 8501 & 8507 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.8501 & 600.8507).

7. SB 688 (Chang) Juveniles: juvenile justice services; certain information sharing for research purposes in juvenile justice cases; allow. Amends sec. 9 of 1988 PA 13 (MCL 722.829).

8. SB 723 (Santana) Criminal procedure: mental capacity; evaluation of competency to waive Miranda rights; require. Amends 1974 PA 258 (MCL 330.1101 - 330.2106) by adding secs. 1080, 1081, 1082 & 1083.

C. Model Criminal Jury Instructions

1. M Crim JI 1.9(3) and 3.2(3)

The Committee proposes amending the Reasonable Doubt instructions found in M Crim JI 1.9(3) and 3.2(3) to add the sentence, “Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is proof that leaves you firmly convinced of the defendant’s guilt.” The amendment was prompted by research showing that the clear-and-convincing standard was considered by the general public to be higher than the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard. The Model Jury Instruction Committee proposes the additional sentence to impress upon the jurors the level of certainty required for a criminal conviction. A number of Committee members preferred not to make any change to the instruction, but agreed to publication of the proposal for public consideration. Comments suggesting other wording for the reasonable-doubt instructions are welcome, but the Committee is only considering whether to adopt the change proposed, or wording substantially similar to the proposal. The added language is underlined. There is an extended comment period for this proposal.

2. M Crim JI 20.2 and M Crim JI 20.13

The Committee proposes amending jury instructions M Crim JI 20.2 (Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree [MCL 750.520c]) and M Crim JI 20.13 (Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fourth Degree [MCL 750.520e]) to add definitional “sexual contact” language from MCL 750.520a(q). Deletions are in strike-through, and new language is underlined.

3. M Crim JI 40.7 and M Crim JI 40.7a

The Committee proposes two jury instructions, M Crim JI 40.7 (loitering where prostitution is practiced) and M Crim JI 40.7a (loitering where an illegal occupation or business is practiced or conducted) for the “loitering” crimes found in the Disorderly Person statute at MCL 750.167(i) and (j). The instructions are entirely new.

4. M Crim JI 41.3, M Crim JI 41.3a, and M Crim JI 41.3b

The Committee proposes three jury instructions, M Crim JI 41.3 (placing eavesdropping devices), 41.3a (placing eavesdropping devices for a lewd or lascivious purpose), and 41.3b (disseminating images obtained by eavesdropping devices) for the crimes found in an eavesdropping and surveillance statute: MCL 750.539d. These 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.

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