Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
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April 27, 2020
Volume 18, Issue 17

FAQ About COVID-19 from Michigan Lawyers

Updated April 23, 2020

The State Bar of Michigan is committed to helping Michigan lawyers respond optimally throughout the COVID-19 situation. If you have a question about COVID-19 and its impact on Michigan lawyers, please ask us here. We'll keep updating the information below and working to get you answers. In some cases, the questions we're receiving have not yet been answered by the decision-makers involved. Know that we are in touch with them and will share answers here as we have them.

If you have a question or concern that’s specific to your practice area, we encourage you to join the relevant State Bar of Michigan section. These communities are crowdsourcing and sharing information that is crucial to the practice area of the section.

Here are some other resources we have available to you:

Emerging Law Resources

FAQ About COVID-19 from Michigan Lawyers

Michigan Bar Journal to Return in June

At the Bar

The Board of Commissioners met on April 24, 2020 at which time the State Bar of Michigan adopted the following public policy positions:

HB 5296 (Hornberger) Family law; marriage and divorce; public disclosure of divorce filings; modify. Amends 1846 RS 84 (MCL 552.1 - 552.45) by adding sec. 6a.
SBM Position: Support with an amendment that the word “public” be clarified to mean “non-party.”

HB 5304 (Filler) Courts; judges; procedure for certain circuit court judges to sit as judges of the court of claims; establish. Amends secs. 6404, 6410 & 6413 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.6404 et seq.).
SBM Position: Support.

HB 5442 (Elder) Courts; district court; compensation for district court judges; increase. Amends sec. 8202 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.8202).
SBM Position: Support

HB 5464 (Lightner) Criminal procedure; bail; requirements for the use of a pretrial risk assessment tool by a court making bail decision; create. Amends 1927 PA 175 (MCL 760.1 - 777.69) by adding sec. 6e to ch. V.
SBM Position: Support the bill with amendments to (1) add language specifying that pre-trial detention determinations should never be based on a pretrial risk assessment tool score alone, and (2) require PSA tools to be periodically peer reviewed and tested for bias.

SB 0724 (Lucido) Criminal procedure; indigent defense; appointment and compensation of defense attorneys for indigent defendants during certain stages of criminal cases; require. Amends sec. 11 of 2013 PA 93 (MCL 780.991).
SBM Position: Oppose.

SB 0790 (Runestad) Civil procedure; other; video recordings of court proceedings; provide for availability and review. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101 - 600.9947) by adding sec. 1429.
SBM Position: Oppose.

SB 0792 (Barrett) Retirement; judges; contributions to tax-deferred accounts instead of retiree health benefits for certain employees; provide for, and establish auto enrollment feature for defined contribution plan. Amends secs. 301 & 604 of 1992 PA 234 (MCL 38.2301 & 38.2604) & adds secs. 509a & 714a.
SBM Position: Support.

FY 2020-2021 Budget for the Judiciary as contained in HB 5554 and SB 0802, and the Executive Budget Recommendation, pages B-45 through B-47.
SBM Position: Support.

FY 2020-2021 Budget for the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission as contained in HB 5554 and SB 0802, and the Executive Budget Recommendation, pages B-55 through B-57.
SBM Position: Support.

M Crim JI 17.37
The Committee proposes an instruction, M Crim JI 17.37, where the prosecutor has charged an offense found in MCL 750.411t involving the crime of “hazing.”┬áThe instruction is entirely new.
SBM Position: Support.

M Crim JI 35.1a
The Committee proposes an instruction, M Crim JI 35.1a, where the prosecutor has charged an offense found in MCL 750.540e involving the crime of malicious use of a telecommunications service. The instruction is entirely new.
SBM Position: Support.

M Crim JI 38.1, 38.4, 38.4a
The Committee proposes instructions M Crim JI 38.1, 38.4, and 38.4a where the prosecutor has charged an offense found in MCL 750.543f or 750.543m, which involve committing an act of terrorism, making a terrorist threat, or making a false report of terrorism. The instructions are entirely new.
SBM Position: Support.

The Representative Assembly met on April 25, 2020 at which time the State Bar of Michigan adopted the following public policy positions:
Proposed Amendment to MCR 6.110
SBM Position: Support.

Proposed Amendment to Code of Judicial Conduct Canon 2(F)

SBM Position: Support.

At the Court

Michigan Supreme Court Announces May 6, 2020 Oral Arguments Schedule

MSC Online Dispute Resolution Tool Goes Live in Oakland County; MI-Resolve innovation offers convenience, safety while addressing justice gap

Administrative Orders
ADM File No. 2020-08: Administrative Order No. 2020-11 (Extension of Personal Protection Orders that Expire During the State of Emergency)
Issued: 4/27/20
Effective: Immediately

At the Capitol

Legislation Introduced 4/24/20
Last week bills were introduced in the following areas of law:


Links of Interest

SBM Public Policy Resource Center
Public Acts
Michigan Supreme Court
Michigan Legislature
MCL Search Engines