Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan

April 19, 2021
Volume 19, Issue 16

At the Capitol

4/20 House Judiciary, 9:00 a.m. MORE
Presentation by Victims’ Groups: Division of Victim Services, Dr. Heather McCauley, and the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence;
HB 4136 (Rep. Gregory Markkanen) Vehicles: snowmobiles; safety standards for snowmobiles; decriminalize.
HB 4138 (Rep. Julie Alexander) Vehicles: snowmobiles; improper display of registration decal; decriminalize.
HB 4627 (Rep. Julie Brixie) Criminal procedure: arrests; exception to the presumption for issuance of appearance tickets in lieu of an arrest in operating while intoxicated; provide for.

4/21 House Appropriations Subcommittee on Corrections, 10:30 a.m. MORE
Report the House Substitute for HB 4396 – FY 2021-22 Appropriations Bill for the Department of Corrections.

4/21 Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Corrections and Judiciary, 11:30 a.m. MORE
The Subcommittee will report Senate Bill 80 and 81 to the Full Appropriations Committee.

4/22 Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Licensing & Regulatory Affairs/Insurance & Financial Services, 8:30 a.m. MORE
FY 2021-22 Senate Subcommittee Recommendation for the Department of Insurance and Financial Services;
FY 2021-22 Senate Subcommittee Recommendation for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

4/22 House Appropriations Subcommittee on Licensing & Regulatory Affairs and Insurance & Financial Services, 9:00 a.m. MORE
HB 4404: FY 2021-22 Appropriations for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs;
HB 4405: FY 2021-22 Appropriations for the Department of Insurance and Financial Services.

Legislation Introduced
Recently, bills were introduced in the following areas of law:

At the Court

Michigan Supreme Court Announces May 5, 2021 Oral Arguments Schedule

Michigan Problem-Solving Courts Help Lower Recidivism, Unemployment Rates

Justice Clement Joined by Judges, Prosecutor & Community Partner to Share New Data, Success Stories from Michigan Problem-Solving Courts

Rule Amendments
ADM File No. 2019-06: Proposed Amendments of MCR 6.302 and 6.310
The proposed amendment of MCR 6.302 would eliminate the Court’s previously-adopted language requiring a trial court to advise defendant whether the law permits or requires the court to sentence defendant consecutively. This language was added following the Court’s opinion in People v Warren. However, in considering the practical application of that language, it may be more appropriate to allow a defendant to withdraw a plea under MCR 6.310 if such advisement is not given rather than require an advisement in all cases. Thus, the proposal would add language providing for such an outcome in MCR 6.310 instead of imposing an advisement in all cases under MCR 6.302.
Issued: 4/14/21
Comment Period Expires: 8/1/21

ADM File No. 2020-15: Proposed Amendment of Rule 2 and Proposed Addition of Rule 21 of the Rules Concerning the State Bar of Michigan and Proposed Amendment of MCR 9.119 and Proposed Addition of MCR 9.1XX
This proposal, submitted by the State Bar of Michigan, would impose new obligations on attorneys and would create a new Interim Administrator Program within the State Bar of Michigan. The proposal would require an attorney in private practice to nominate another attorney or law firm to serve as interim administrator if the nominating attorney becomes unable to practice. The Bar would confirm the nomination with the identified attorney, and that attorney would acknowledge agreement. Alternatively, an attorney could pay an annual fee (unspecified in the Bar’s proposal) to ensure that in the event of death or disability, the Bar would appoint an attorney to serve as interim administrator. The interim administrator would be eligible for compensation from the attorney’s law practice or estate; those who participate in the SBM Interim Administrator Program could be reimbursed through that program as a secondary source of compensation.
In addition to comments about the breadth of the program and its particular provisions, the Court is interested in comment that addresses provisions that may go beyond the scope of authority for court rules. For example, under proposed MCR 9.1XX(C)(2)(e), the order appointing the Interim Administrator shall toll all statutes of limitation, deadlines, time limits, and return dates. But such deadlines, especially statutes of limitation, are purely a legislative creation and arguably not within the Court’s ability to change by rule. Further, under proposed MCR 9.1XX(F), the circuit court purportedly has “jurisdiction over all of the files, records, and property of clients of the Affected Attorney, and may make any appropriate orders to protect the interest of the clients …” To the extent that this language could be interpreted to mean that a circuit court judge in one jurisdiction could issue an order affecting a case in another jurisdiction, it is questionable where such authority is derived. And finally, the role of the circuit court judge is more involved under this proposal, and it would be helpful to understand whether the circuit court judges support this expanded role.
Issued: 4/14/21
Comment Period Expires: 8/1/21

ADM File No. 2020-36: Proposed Amendments Regarding New Procedures for Courts in Cases Involving Qualified Residential Treatment Programs
On order of the Court, the orders entered on March 10, 2021 (Proposed Amendments of Rules 3.903, 3.966, 3.975, and 3.976 of the Michigan Court Rules) and April 1, 2021 (Proposed Amendment of Rule 3.945 and Proposed Addition of Rule 3.947 of the Michigan Court Rules) in ADM File No. 2020-36 are now effective immediately. The comment period will continue to run through July 1, 2021, and August 1, 2021, respectively, as previously ordered.
Issued: 4/14/21
Effective: Immediately

ADM File No. 2021-14: Proposed Administrative Order No. 2021-X
This administrative order would make it mandatory for all courts to submit case information to the Judicial Data Warehouse in a uniform manner as required by SCAO.
Issued: 4/14/21
Comment Period Expires: 8/1/21

ADM File No. 2021-15: Addition of MCR 8.128
The addition of MCR 8.128 establishes the Michigan Judicial Council to strategically plan for Michigan’s Judiciary.
Issued: 4/14/21
Comment Period Expires: 8/1/21

ADM File No. 2021-01: Appointment of Chief Judge of the 54B District Court
Issued: 4/14/21
Effective: 6/1/21

ADM File No. 2021-01: Assignments to the Court of Claims through end of year
Issued: 4/14/21
Effective: 5/1/21

At the Bar

April 23 Board of Commissioners Public Policy Agenda
The SBM Board of Commissioners will be considering several public policy items at its April 23 meeting. The public policy agenda can be reviewed online. Members of the State Bar are invited to submit comments to the Board of Commissioners on any of the items on the agenda. All comments received before the meeting will be shared with the Board.

April 24 Representative Assembly Agenda
The Representative Assembly will be meeting on Saturday, April 24, 2021. The agenda is posted online. Members of the State Bar are invited to submit comments to Representative Assembly on any of the items on the agenda. All comments received by April 22 will be shared with the Assembly.

Representative Assembly to Consider License Fee Change
At its April 24 meeting, the Representative Assembly will consider recommending to the MSC an increase to the SBM portion of the licensing fee set by the Court.

Judicial Vacancy—Oakland County
Applications must be submitted electronically and received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 7, 2021.

2021 SBM Election Information
Vacancy information and nominating petitions are available in the 2021 State Bar Election Notice.

Links of Interest

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