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.

2019-2020 Legislature

HB 5106 (Schroeder) Criminal procedure: evidence; Criminal procedure: defenses; Crimes: domestic violence. Criminal procedure; evidence; use of expert testimony for domestic violence in criminal cases; allow. Amends 1927 PA 175 (MCL 760.1 - 760.69) by adding sec. 27d to ch. VIII.
POSITION: Oppose because this issue is more appropriately addressed in court rules.

HB 5169 (Hernandez) Torts: nonmedical malpractice; Torts: civil procedure; Civil procedure: civil actions; Occupations: architects, professional engineers, and surveyors. Torts; nonmedical malpractice; affidavit of merit; require for malpractice action against architect or professional engineer. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101 - 600.9947) by adding sec. 2912i.
POSITION: Oppose.

(Abstentions in the Board of Commissioners vote: David C. Anderson, Joseph J. Baumann, and Joseph P. McGill.

In the Hall of Justice

Amendments of Rules 1.109, 3.206, 3.931, and 3.961 of the Michigan Court Rules (ADM File No. 2019-12) – Court Records Defined; Document Defined; Filing Standards; Signatures; Electronic Filing and Service; Access; Initiating a Case; Initiating Delinquency Proceedings; Initiating Child Protective Proceedings
STATUS:
Comment Period Expires 01/01/20; Public Hearing to be Scheduled
POSITION: S
upport the proposed amendments with the following amendments:

  1. Tribal courts should be listed in the Case Inventory Addendum and included in the list of courts to be notified.
  2. MCR 3.931 and 3.961 should be amended to reference the proper service rule for delinquency & child protection proceedings, MCR 3.920(I) (rather than the service provision for domestic relations proceedings, MCR 3.203).

Proposed Alternative Amendments of Rule 6.508 of the Michigan Court Rules (ADM File No. 2014-46) – Procedure; Evidentiary Hearing; Determination
STATUS:
Comment Period Expires 01/01/20; Public Hearing to be Scheduled
POSITION: Support amending Rule 6.508 as presented below:

(2) alleges grounds for relief which were decided against the defendant in a prior appeal or proceeding under this subchapter, unless the defendant establishes that a retroactive change in the law has undermined the prior decision; for purposes of this provision, a court is not precluded from considering previously-decided claims in the context of a new claim for relief, such as in determining whether new evidence would make a different result probable on retrial, or if the previously-decided claims, when considered together with the new claim for relief, create a significant possibility of actual innocence.

Proposed Amendments of Rule 6.302 and 6.610 of the Michigan Court Rules (ADM File No. 2018-29) – Pleas of Guilty and Nolo Contendere; Criminal Procedure Generally
STATUS:
Comment Period Expires 01/01/20; Public Hearing to be Scheduled
POSITION: Oppose.

Proposed Amendment of Rule 8.301 of the Michigan Court Rules (ADM File No. 2018-24) – Powers of Register of Probate, Deputy Registers, and Clerks
STATUS:
Comment Period Expires 01/01/20; Public Hearing to be Scheduled
POSITION: Support.

M Crim JI 2.26, 3.1, and 3.6 – Maintaining an Open Mind; Duties of Judge and Jury; Witnesses—Credibility
STATUS: Comment Period Expires 02/01/20
POSITION: Support with an additional amendment as presented below in bold:

….and not be influenced by a witness’s disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or socioeconomic status.

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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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.

Legislation Recently Signed into Public Acts

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