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.

September 26, 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 pcunningham@michbar.org before 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 25.

A. Court Rules

1. ADM File No. 2017-15: Proposed Amendment of Canon 7 of the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct

The proposed amendment of Canon 7 of the Code of Judicial Conduct would explicitly allow judicial campaign solicitation as permitted by law, eliminate the $100 per lawyer limitation, and remove the disclaimer requirement. This change would bring Michigan’s canons into conformity with the majority of states that have moved away from solicitation restrictions and instead opted to refer to statutory campaign provisions.

B. Model Criminal Jury Instructions

1. M Crim JI 37.1, 37.1a, 37.2, and 37.2a

The Committee proposes new instructions, M Crim JI 37.1, 37.1a, 37.2 and 37.2a for the bribery statutes found at MCL 750.117 through 750.120.

2. M Crim JI 11.1 and 11.1a

The Committee proposes amending M Crim JI 11.1, and adding a new instruction, M Crim JI 11.1a, to separate the distinct offenses found in MCL 750.227:  carrying a concealed pistol, and carrying a pistol in a vehicle. The proposal aims to eliminate juror confusion created when the “concealed” language in M Crim JI 11.1 is read where the offense involves carrying a pistol in an automobile.  Deletions are in strike-through, and new language is underlined.

3. M Crim JI 12.2a

The Committee proposes amending M Crim JI 12.2a, the instruction for delivery of a controlled substance causing death. The proposal adds causation language to the instruction and eliminates a Use Note to the effect that M Crim JI 16.15 applies to causation under MCL 750.317a, because the statute provides that the controlled substance must cause the death at issue, not the act of the defendant. Deletions are in strike-through, and new language is underlined.

4. M Crim JI 17.9 and 17.10

The Committee proposes amending M Crim JI 17.9, assault with a dangerous weapon, and M Crim JI 17.10, definition of dangerous weapon. The proposal aims to correct the language in paragraph (4) of M Crim JI 17.9 that removed from jury consideration the element whether the object charged as being a dangerous weapon was, in fact, a dangerous weapon as determined by the jury.  Language was added to that instruction to define a dangerous weapon for the jury’s consideration. M Crim JI 17.10 was amended to conform to the added definition provided in M Crim JI 17.9. Deletions are in strike-through, and new language is underlined.

5. M Crim JI 3.28

The Committee proposes amending M Crim JI 3.28, the jury verdict form used for multiple counts against a defendant, because the current form fails to provide a general “not guilty” option for each charged count. See People v Wade, 283 Mich App 462 (2009). Deletions are in strike-through, and new language is underlined.

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.

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