Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan

May 1, 2023
Volume 21, Issue 18

In the Capitol

Complete Committee Meeting List

At the Court

ADM File No. 2023-01: Assignments to the Court of Claims and Appointment of Chief Judge
Issued: 4/25/23
Effective: 5/2/23

Supreme Court Hears Case Before Northern Michigan Students

Supreme Court Participating in ‘Law Day’ Events May 1-2

Michigan Judicial Council Seeking Public Comments for May Meeting

Foster Care Review Board to Honor Longtime Volunteers at Annual Training; Encourages More Residents to Volunteer

Interactive Court Data Dashboard Launched

Giving Survivors of Domestic Violence a Place at the Table

At the Bar

The Board of Commissioners met on April 28, 2023 at which time the State Bar of Michigan adopted the following public policy positions:
Executive Budget for the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission for the 2023-2024 Fiscal Year (pages B-55 through B-59)
SBM Position: Support the Executive Budget and oppose any reduction in MIDC funding below the Executive Budget, because such reduced funding will leave MIDC unable to implement its mandatory standards and to meet the state’s constitutional obligation to provide counsel to indigent criminal defendants.

Executive Budget for the Department of the Judiciary for the 2023-2024 Fiscal Year (pages B-41 through B-44)
SBM Position: Support.

HB 4173 (Aiyash) Criminal procedure: sentencing; criminal justice policy commission; create. Amends 1927 PA 175 (MCL 760.1 - 777.69) by adding secs. 34a & 34b to ch. IX.
SBM Position: Support HB 4173, specifically the (H-1) substitute, with the following amendments:

  • The membership of the Commission should be altered to ensure that it is balanced, and representative of the interests and stakeholders involved in, and impacted by, sentencing policy. Similar to the Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration. The (H-1) membership is too heavily weighted toward law enforcement and prosecutors, while leaving out or underrepresenting other valuable perspectives.
  • The Chair of the Commission should not be the Commission’s “chief of staff”, nor should the Chair be a paid position.
  • The Legislature should also give consideration to language charging the Commission with making recommendations as to the extent to which sentencing guidelines should or should not apply to habitual offenders and the extent to which sentencing guidelines should apply to probation violations or be modified if applied to probation violations.

SB 73 (Shink) Civil rights: public records; identity of parties proceeding anonymously in civil actions alleging sexual misconduct; exempt from disclosure under freedom of information act. Amends sec. 13 of 1976 PA 442 (MCL 15.243).
SBM Position: Support.

SB 134 (Johnson) Courts: drug court; specialty court authorization to issue a restricted license requiring an ignition interlock device; modify. Amends secs. 1084 & 1091 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1084 & 600.1091).
SB 135 (Hertel) Vehicles: registration; issuance of a restricted license requiring the installation of ignition interlock device and specialty court admission; modify. Amends secs. 83 & 304 of 1949 PA 300 (MCL 257.83 & 257.304).
SBM Position: Support.

SB 150 (Chang) Property tax: tax tribunal; methods for tax tribunal to hold small claims hearings; expand to include telephonically or by videoconferencing. Amends sec. 62 of 1973 PA 186 (MCL 205.762).
SBM Position: Support.

ADM File No. 2022-16: Proposed Amendment of MCR 7.211
The proposed amendment of MCR 7.211(C)(7) would modify the Court of Appeals process for handling confessions of error.
SBM Position: Support.

ADM File No. 2022-13: Proposed Amendment of MCR 9.123
The proposed amendment of MCR 9.123(D)(3) would clarify that a disbarred attorney who was sentenced to incarceration following a felony conviction and who wants to be reinstated to the bar must wait until six months after completing the sentence.
SBM Position: Support.

ADM File No. 2021-30: Proposed Amendments of MCR 9.220, 9.221, 9.223, 9.232, and 9.261
The proposed amendments of MCR 9.220, 9.221, 9.223, 9.232, and 9.261 would help protect the confidentiality of a grievant who submits a request for investigation to the Judicial Tenure Commission.
SBM Position: Oppose.

ADM File No. 2022-03: Proposed Amendment of MCR 1.109
The proposed amendment of MCR 1.109(D)(1)(b) would allow attorneys to provide personal pronouns in document captions and require courts to use those personal pronouns when addressing the party or attorney, either verbally or in writing, unless doing so would result in an unclear record. The Court is interested in receiving comments addressing the constitutional implications of this proposal.
SBM Position: Support ADM File No. 2022-03, and authorize all Sections to advocate their respective positions, including inconsistent positions.


Well-Being Week in Law 2023 to Focus on Five Dimensions of Well-Being
Well-Being Week in Law returns May 1-5 as part of a nationwide effort to raise awareness about mental health issues and to encourage well-being.

New LEAN resource center can help lawyers maximize their efficiency
A new collection of LEAN Resources specially cultivated for attorneys to help improve your practice, time management, and processes is now available.

Links of Interest

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