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 22, 2021
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, January 20.

Court Rule Amendments

1. ADM File No. 2020-25: Proposed Addition of Administrative Order No. 2020-X
The proposed administrative order would replace the current administrative order regarding distribution of funds from the Lawyer Trust Account Program that was adopted more than 20 years ago. The distribution would remain largely the same as it is now: 70 percent to support delivery of civil legal services to the poor, 15 percent to promote improvements in the administration of justice, 10 percent to support increased access to justice (including racial, gender, and ethnic equality), and 5 percent for support of the activities of the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society. What would be different is that in paragraph three, funds would be used to support increased access to justice generally with specific reference to racial, gender, and ethnic equality, instead of reference to the long-defunct task forces on Gender Issues in the Courts and Racial/Ethnic Issues in the Court. Those issues will continue to be a focus of the money to be spent, but will be able to include additional recommendations. Further, the money could be spent as directed by the State Court Administrator, instead of being spent “within the judiciary,” which unnecessarily restricts the ability to fund programs that exist outside the judiciary but fit within the funding parameters. Finally, the proposed AO would establish a cap on funding for the Michigan State Historical Society to reflect what are likely largely fixed costs for operational expenses; the remainder would be split among the remaining recipients.

2. ADM File No. 2020-26: Proposed Amendments of MCR 1.109 and 8.119
The proposed amendments of MCR 1.109 and 8.119 would allow SCAO flexibility in protecting an individual’s personal identifying information and clarify when a court is and is not required to redact protected personal identifying information.

3. ADM File No. 2020-20: Proposed Amendment of MCR 2.105
The proposed amendment of MCR 2.105 would establish the manner of service on limited liability companies.

4. ADM File No. 2020-19: Proposed Amendment of MCR 2.302
The proposed amendment of MCR 2.302 would require transcripts of audio and video recordings intended to be introduced as an exhibit at trial to be transcribed.

5. ADM File No. 2020-17: Proposed Addition of MCR 3.906
The proposed addition of MCR 3.906 would establish a procedure regarding the use of restraints on a juvenile in court proceedings.

6. ADM File No. 2020-07: Alternative Proposed Amendments of MCR 6.502
The proposed alternative amendments of MCR 6.502 would address the issue of a court’s recharacterization of a defendant’s motion for relief from judgment that is styled as something other than a motion for relief from judgment. Under Alternative A, the court would be required to notify the defendant of its intent to recharacterize the motion and allow the defendant an opportunity to withdraw or amend the motion. Under Alternative B, the court would be required to return the motion to the defendant with a statement of the reason for return.

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.

View Member Comments on pending legislation

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Links of Interest

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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.

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