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SBM Blog
Lansing, MI
Edited by Janet Welch
Recent Activity
Check out a very interesting post on MiLWBlog written by Traci Gentilozzi that demonstrates how vital a tool the results of the State Bar's Economics of Law Practice Survey have become in setting lawyers's fees in Michigan. SBM is about to launch the next Economics of Law Practice Survey. We ask all attorneys in Michigan to participate in it to make the results as meaningul and accurate as possible. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted 9 hours ago at SBM Blog
The State Bar of Michigan offers a hearty congratulations to the Hon. David Perkins on his investiture. He will be serving as a judge in the 36th District Court. Judge Perkins has previously served as a court referee for the 3rd Circuit Court’s Family Division, presiding over neglect and delinquency juvenile cases. Judge Perkins has twice served on the SBM Board of Commissioners. He is a member and past-president of the Association of Black Judges of Michigan and the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association, and a board member of the Wolverine Bar Association. Perkins is a graduate of Howard University... Continue reading
Posted 16 hours ago at SBM Blog
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Have you ever needed to contact a Michigan attorney while on the go? Now you can easily find contact information for any Michigan attorney from your smartphone or tablet on the new SBM Directory App. The new app includes direct access to the SBM online member directory, a directory of Michigan and U.S. legislators, and links to the latest digital issues of the Michigan Bar Journal, e-Journal, and SBMBlog. The app also has a text alert feature allowing app users to receive alerts, dues notice information, special event news and e-Journal alerts. Download the new app for your iPhone, iPad... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at SBM Blog
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You have a chance to make a difference in the legal profession and at the State Bar of Michigan. We are currently seeking applications for membership on nearly 30 SBM committees that weigh in on a huge variety of matters affecting the profession, including professional ethics, justice initiatives, the unauthorized practice of law, the content of the Michigan Bar Journal and much more. Find out more or submit your application for committee service at the SBM Committee Information page. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted yesterday at SBM Blog
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It has been 12 years since we have surveyed about the Michigan Bar Journal. Since then, more than 11,000 new lawyers have joined the Bar. The Publications and Website Advisory Committee thinks it's high time to reconnect with you and find out what you think of the Bar Journal. Be honest: tell us what's good, bad, ugly and/or anything in-between. We rely on your input to make sure the Bar Journal is a helpful publication to you. Click the link below to participate in our brief survey: www.surveymonkey.com/s/8QS59CS While you're there, don't forget to enter our drawing for an iPad... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at SBM Blog
Governor Rick Snyder appointed four judges to the 3rd Circuit Court in Wayne County, including Thomas Cameron, Alexis Glendening, Catherine Heise and Edward Joseph. Cameron is the Criminal Justice Bureau chief for the Michigan Department of Attorney General, where he supervises several large divisions. He began his law career at the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office after earning a degree from Wayne State University Law School. He fills the vacancy created by Judge Amy Hathaway. Glendening is a former Court-Appointed Special Advocates board member, where she served as president of the Wayne County fundraising branch. Glendening is also a board member... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at SBM Blog
Governor Snyder is seeking applications from qualified members of the bar for a judgeship in the 38th Circuit Court in Monroe County. The appointment will fill the seat of the Hon. Michael W. LaBeau. The application deadline is April 24, 2014. Please be aware that you must reside within the judicial district to be appointed. Along with the application, you must submit a copy of your resume to Office of the Governor, Legal Division, 111 S. Capitol Avenue, P.O. Box 30013, Lansing, Michigan 48909. Posted by Samantha Meinke Governor Snyder is seeking applications from qualified members of the bar for... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at SBM Blog
Q. When is a hiatus not a hiatus? A. When it is interrupted by occasional posts of importance. The ever-generous and dedicated SBM staff has informed me that they are eager to post news of major importance to State Bar members while I am undergoing self-imposed blog withdrawal through June 2, or thereabouts. Stay tuned. Our heart is still beating. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at SBM Blog
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I launched SBM Blog four years ago with two purposes. The first was to add another communication tool to the State Bar's arsenal, reaching out to members for whom our award-winning Michigan Bar Journal, and even our daily eJournal, might feel a bit too static for in this age of instant comment and media churn. I wanted to arm members with excerpts from smart blog commentary across the political spectrum on legal issues that were the hot topics of the hour. I wanted to help members test conventional wisdom and form their own opinions by providing access to primary sources... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at SBM Blog
Three years ago SBM Blog reported that President Obama's rate of judicial confirmations was significantly behind his two immediate predecessors' rates. We just reported it straight, ignoring the many posts (yes, we're talking about you, Jeffrey Toobin) decrying the President's apparent indifference to this important Presidential function. Now, Politico reports that President Obama has nominated 301 judges and gotten 237 confirmed, and that at the same point in his presidency, President Bush had nominated 267 judges and had 234 of them confirmed. Although President Obama's first term judicial nominations were indeed both notably slow in coming and unsuccessful, filibuster changes... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2014 at SBM Blog
SBM Blog saw this coming over two years ago. Remember "Who's the Client? Penn State General Counsel and PSU Employees" from February 2012? We described howPenn State's Athletic Director and its senior vice president for finance and business both mistakenly thought they were being represented by Penn State's general counsel when they testified before the grand jury in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse investigation. Now the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Graham Spanier, Penn State's former president, is asking a federal judge to throw out misconduct charges against him because, he says, the prosecutor knew that Penn State's general counsel was... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2014 at SBM Blog
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at SBM Blog
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In the ABA Journal, the incomparable Bryan Garner has an indispensable list of words and phrases that lawyers should not use: herein, deem, know all men by these presents, provided that, pursuant to, said, and same. And "and/or." The only one that I am occasionally guilty of is "and/or" which in the odd circumstance just seems to me to be more efficient than ", or both." Garner musters some pretty persuasive authority against "and/or" American and British courts have held that and/or is not part of the English language. The Illinois Appellate Court called it a "freakish fad" and an... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at SBM Blog
Governor Snyder is seeking applications from qualified members of the bar for a judgeship in the 10th District Court in Calhoun County. The appointment will fill the seat of the Hon. John R. Holmes. The application deadline is April 22, 2014. Please be aware that you must reside within the judicial district to be appointed. Along with the application, you must submit a copy of your resume to Office of the Governor, Legal Division, 111 S. Capitol Avenue, P.O. Box 30013, Lansing, Michigan 48909. Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at SBM Blog
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On April 22 (Earth Day and the birth of V. I. Lenin and death of Richard Nixon, probably just a coincidence), the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, a constitutional challenge to an Ohio law that criminalizes false statement during an election campaign about the voting record of a candidate or public official, and the dissemination of any false statement about a candidate, either knowing it is false or with reckless disregard for whether it is true, with the goal of electing or defeating the candidate. Or, to put it more drily... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2014 at SBM Blog
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Pursuant to Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Order No. 1997-11(C) (p. 51), the Task Force on the Role of the State Bar of Michigan will hold a public hearing regarding the Task Force’s charge described in Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Order No. 2014-5. The hearing will be held Friday, May 2, 2014 at the Michigan Hall of Justice, 925 West Ottawa Street in Lansing, beginning at 9:30. The hearing is scheduled to adjourn no later than 4:30 pm, with a break from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm. Each speaker on the agenda will be allotted 5 minutes, after which the Task... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2014 at SBM Blog
The Livingston Daily reports on the starring role of criminal defense lawyer Jim Buttrey in the Howell production of "Inherit the Wind." Buttrey has never acted before but the play's director says he is "perfect." See for yourself. Performances are April 11 and 12 at 7:30, and April 6 and 13 at 2:30, at the Howell High School Freshman Campus, 1400 W. Grand River Ave. Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2014 at SBM Blog
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Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int'l is a case about whether computer-implemented inventions -- specifically, a software application that reduces risk in currency transactions -- are patentable. The oral argument this week led the Court into deep hypothetical territory, illustrated by this peregrination from Justice Breyer: Imagine King Tut sitting in front of the pyramid where all his gold is stored, and he has the habit of giving chits away. Good for the gold, which is given at the end of the day. And he hires a man with an abacus, and when the abacus keeping track sees... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2014 at SBM Blog
From the opinion: The cumulative effect of respondent’s misconduct convinces this Court that respondent should not remain in judicial office, and we therefore remove him from that office and conditionally suspend him without pay for six years beginning on January 1, 2015, with the suspension becoming effective only if respondent is reelected to judicial office in November 2014. The removal decision was unanimous, but Justice Michael Cavanagh dissented from the suspension. The opinion is here (PDF). Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2014 at SBM Blog
Never underestimate the power of a fired-up Scrabble competitor. It started when Delta County Prosecutor Steve Parks’ friend challenged Parks' use of “Yooper” (an eleven-point word). When the dictionary didn't back Parks up, Parks decided to challenge the dictionary. For more than a decade he researched his topic (George Gipp “The Gipper,” Tom Izzo, and Hon. John D. Voelker are all notable, and self-identified, Yoopers), gathered documentation, contacted at least two editors at Merriam-Webster, and lobbied for his addition. Thanks to his persistence, the upcoming edition of the Merriam-Webster dictionary includes “Yooper – a native or resident of the Upper... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2014 at SBM Blog
Michigan lawyer, are you prepared to answer your lay friends' and neighbors' questions about Hobby Lobby and a business's First Amendment freedom of religion rights? No? Volokh Conspiracy's Eugene Volokh at the Washington Post has a very readable "guide for the confused," written with a scholar's self-assurance but not all tricked-up with legalese. Not enough? Try David Savage's "Religious case at Supreme Court could affect Obamacare and much more" at the Los Angeles Times. Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2014 at SBM Blog
Ronni Tischler, of Farmington Hills, died March 14, at the age of 59. She was a 1996 graduate of Wayne State Law School where she served as editor-in-chief of the Wayne Law Review. She was a law clerk to Justice Conrad Mallett of the Michigan Supreme Court, and a recipient of the Women's Bar Association (Oakland County Chapter of WLAM) annual award. She is survived by her children, Michael Robinson and Rachel Robinson. Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2014 at SBM Blog
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Read Keep Calm and Carry On, 27 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 55 (2014), by Rene ́Reich-Graefe of Western New England University School of Law, who takes on those who forecast a relentlessly negative future for the legal profession: Somehow, in the current climate, it seems easier for lawyers and legal educators—to the point of complete hysteria and delusion—to embrace the purported ‘all-goes-to-hell’ status quo of legal education and the legal profession. Pessimists may love this stuff. As a collective response of our profession, however, it seems time—indeed way past time—to stop such nonsense. Lawyer retirement, population growth, and wealth transfer,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2014 at SBM Blog
Just to be clear: the State Bar cannot, and does not, use dues or any other revenue to support political activity or a political agenda. The Access to Justice Fund, which the State Bar promotes, is administered by the Michigan State Bar Foundation, a separate entity from the State Bar of Michigan. The Access to Justice Fund giving program includes the opportunity to contribute to the Access to Justice endowment or operations fund, or, to contribute to discrete programs that support access to justice. The American Civil Liberties Union Fund of Michigan is one of the possible options. All contributions to the Access to Justice Fund are voluntary.
The accreditation rule requiring law schools to provide tenure for full-time faculty members as a condition of ABA accreditation lives on. ABA Journal reported that the council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, after two hours of debate this weekend, appeared "hopelessly deadlocked" on changes recommended by the section's Standards Review Committee, first voting down a motion to reject two alternative proposals that would have eliminated the requirement, then voting down each of the two proposals separately. At one point the council had voted to eliminate the tenure requirement in favor of a “security... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2014 at SBM Blog