Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
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April 10, 2017
Volume 15, Issue 15

In the Capitol

The House of Representatives and Senate are on Spring Break until the week of April 17th.
Senate Schedule
House Schedule

Complete Committee Meeting List

In the Hall of Justice

2017-01—Appointments to the Court Reporting and Recording Board of Review
Issued: 4/5/17
Effective: Immediately

2017-01—Appointment of Chief Judge of the 27th Circuit Court, the 78th District Court, and the Newaygo and Oceana County Probate Courts
Issued: 4/5/17
Effective: Immediately

Rule Amendments
2013-38 – Amendment of MRPC 1.5
At the invitation of the Supreme Court, the Attorney Grievance Commission, the Family Law Council of the State Bar of Michigan, and the Bar's Committee on Professional Ethics submitted individual proposals to revise MRPC 1.5(d) related to the ability of an attorney to charge "results obtained" or "value-added fees" in a domestic relations case. Proposals by the AGC and Committee on Professional Ethics were combined for purposes of publication, and that proposal was published along with the Family Law Council's proposal for comment. The Court adopted the AGC-proposed language that clarifies that a lawyer is prohibited from charging a contingent fee in a domestic relations action based on the "results obtained" or "value added."
Issued: 4/5/17
Effective: 5/1/17

Proposed Amendments
2015-15 – Proposed Amendment of MCR 6.425
The proposed amendments of MCR 6.425 would expressly provide for a procedure under which appointed counsel may withdraw in light of a frivolous appeal in a way that protects a plea-convicted criminal defendant's right to due process. This amendment would ensure that a plea-convicted defendant could obtain the type of protections expressed in Anders v California, 386 US 738 (1967), even if the defendant's appeal proceeds by application and not by right. In such a case, a motion to withdraw may be filed in the trial court, which does not currently have a rule establishing the procedure like that in the Court of Appeals at MCR 7.211(C)(5). The timing of the procedure is intended to ensure that if an attorney's motion to withdraw is granted, the defendant would have sufficient time to file an application for leave to appeal under MCR 7.205(G).
Issued: 4/5/17
Comment Period Expiration: 8/1/17

2016-41 – Proposed Amendment of MRPC Rules 1.0, 1.2, 4.2, and 4.3, and MCR 2.107, 2.117, and 6.001
Proposed amendments of Rules 1.0, 1.2, 4.2, and 4.3 of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct and Rules 2.107, 2.117, and 6.001 of the Michigan Court Rules were submitted to the Court by the State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly. The proposed rules are intended to provide guidance for attorneys and clients who would prefer to engage in a limited scope representation. The proposal, which limits these types of "unbundled" arrangements to civil proceedings, describes how such an agreement is made known to the court and other parties, what form of communication should be conducted with clients in a limited scope representation, and how the agreement is terminated. The proposed rules also would explicitly allow attorneys to provide document preparation services for a self-represented litigant without having to file an appearance with the court.
The proposal submitted by the Representative Assembly provides for a limited scope representation where the "client gives informed consent, preferably confirmed in writing," at MRPC 1.2(b). The Court included this language in the order publishing the proposal for comment, but also provided an alternative formulation for this particular provision that would require such an arrangement to be confirmed in writing, unless the relationship falls within several typical scenarios in which a writing would be unnecessary or impracticable.  
Issued: 4/5/17
Comment Period Expiration: 8/1/17

At the Bar

April 21 Board of Commissioners Public Policy Agenda
The Public Policy, Image and Identity Committee will be meeting on Friday, April 21, 2017 to make recommendations for the full Board of Commissioners on public policy items. The agenda is posted online. Members of the State Bar are invited to submit comments to Board of Commissioners on any of the items on the agenda. All comments received before the April 21 meeting will be shared with the Board.

April 22 Representative Assembly Agenda
The Representative Assembly will be meeting on Saturday, April 22, 2017. The agenda is posted online. Members of the State Bar are invited to submit comments to Assembly on any of the items on the agenda. All comments received before April 21 will be shared with the Assembly.

Links of Interest

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