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.

January 18, 2019
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 Thursday, January 17.

A. Court Rules
1. ADM File No. 2017-27: Proposed Amendment of MCR 6.425

The proposed amendment of MCR 6.425 would make the rule consistent that requests for counsel must be filed within 42 days, as opposed to simply “made” or “completed and returned.” It would also remove the requirement for a sentencing judge to articulate substantial and compelling reasons to deviate from the guidelines range, pursuant to People v Lockridge, 498 Mich 358; 870 NW2d 502 (2015).

2. ADM File No. 2018-04: Proposed Amendments of MCR 7.212 and 7.312

The proposed amendments of MCR 7.212 and 7.312 would require amicus briefs to indicate certain information regarding the preparation of the brief and disclosure of monetary contributions. The proposal would be similar to Supreme Court Rule 37.6.

3. Proposed Amendment to MCR 5.117 to Allow Limited Scope Representation in Probate Proceedings

B.  Model Criminal Jury Instructions
1.
M Crim JI 3.11

The Committee proposes amending Paragraph (6) of M Crim JI 3.11, the Composite Instruction that explains the deliberative process to the jury.  The amendment attempts to clarify the instruction, to reduce the court’s housekeeping obligations to provide the names of different offenses that a jury may be considering, and to make it easier for judges to read.  Deletions are in strike-through, and new language is underlined.

2. M Crim JI 3.29, 3.30, and 3.31

The Committee proposes amending M Crim JI 3.29, 3.30, and 3.31, the jury verdict forms used for multiple counts with and without insanity defenses and lesser offenses, because the current forms fail 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.

3. M Crim JI 7.25

The Committee proposes a new instruction, M Crim JI 7.25, for use where a defendant interposes a self-defense claim to a felon-in-possession-of-a-firearm charge as permitted under People v Dupree, 486 Mich 693 (2010).

4. M Crim 11.38 and 11.38a

The Committee proposes amending M Crim JI 11.38 and 11.38a, the instructions for felon-in-possession-of-a-firearm charges to comport with the felony-firearm instruction, M Crim JI 11.34, by requiring that the possession of the firearm be “knowing,” and to otherwise clarify the instructions.  Deletions are in strike-through, and new language is underlined.  (As the Use Notes to the instructions are lengthy and are irrelevant to the amendments, they are not published below and the superscript Use Note numbers in the instructions are not included.)

5. M Crim JI 14.2a

The Committee proposes a new instruction, M Crim JI 14.2a, where perjury is charged under MCL 750.423(2) – false declarations made under penalty of perjury (including in electronic media).  The instruction is entirely new.

6. M Crim JI 15.18

The Committee proposes amending M Crim JI 15.18 and eliminating 15.19, the instructions for charges involving moving violations causing death or serious impairment of a body function under MCL 257.601d.  The amendment follows the decision in People v Czuprynski, a published Court of Appeals opinion (No. 336883), finding M Crim JI 15.19 in error for failing to require proof that a moving violation was the cause of the serious impairment of a body function.  The proposal combines the elements for both instructions in M Crim JI 15.18.  Deletions are in strike-through, and new language is underlined. 

7. M Crim JI 20.38c

The Committee proposes amending M Crim JI 20.38c, the instruction for possessing or accessing child sexually abusive activity, to clarify that it applies when the defendant possesses or accesses child sexually abusive material for viewing it himself or herself.  Deletions are in strike-through, and new language is underlined.

8. M Crim JI 27.1 and 27.5

The Committee proposes amending M Crim JI 27.1, the jury instruction for embezzlement charged under MCL 750.174, and M Crim JI 27.5, the jury instruction for embezzlement charged under MCL 750.177 or 750.178 to accommodate statutory changes and clarify the instructions.  Deletions are in strike-through, and new language is underlined.

9. M Crim JI 33.1, 33.1a, 33.1b, 33.1c, 33.1d, 33.1e, 33.1f, and 33.1g

The Committee proposes new instructions for crimes charged under MCL 750.49, pertaining to using animals for fighting or targets (or providing facilities for doing so or breeding such animals, etc.):  M Crim JI 33.1, 33.1a, 33.1b, 33.1c, 33.1d, 33.1e, 33.1f, and 33.1g.  These instructions are entirely new.

C.  Other
1. Non-Fee Generating Cases – Letter from Legal Services Association of Michigan

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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