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SBM Blog
Lansing, MI
Edited by Janet Welch
Recent Activity
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Want your voice heard by the Michigan Supreme Court on one or more proposed changes to court rules? Here's your chance. The court will hold a public administrative hearing from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Sept. 16 at the Hall of Justice in Lansing to examine one proposed new court rule, and proposed amendments to 13 existing court rules. If you want your voice heard, you must reserve space on the agenda in advance by emailing admcomment@courts.mi.gov no later than Sept. 14. The following issues will be on the agenda: 1. To adopt a proposed new rule, MCR 5.731a, of the Michigan... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at SBM Blog
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The Michigan Supreme Court announced today that Justice Mary Beth Kelly will leave the court, effective Oct.1, to return to private practice. "I am grateful for the opportunity to have served on our state's highest court," she said in a statement. "I leave the Supreme Court knowing that our judicial system is better equipped to help families and children." Prior to serving on Michigan's high court, Justice Kelly served as a Wayne County Circuit Court judge from 1999 to 2010. She is the only woman to have ever served as chief judge of the Wayne County Circuit Court. Posted by... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2015 at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners voted during their July 24 meeting to approve the launch of a new Marijuana Law Section. The SBM Marijuana Law Section will serve to improve and expand the knowledge of lawyers who engage in the practice of marijuana law. The new section will study the principles, regulations, statutes and legal developments that affect Michigan marijuana law and will encourage and promote reforms in the law and provide educational and networking opportunities for its members, ensuring that they can stay up-to-date in the midst of rapidly evolving changes. Bernard A. Jocuns will serve... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2015 at SBM Blog
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The Michigan Supreme Court appointed three new chief judges earlier this week. Chief Judge Gary J. Bruce replaces retired Chief Judge Thomas E. Nelson in the Berrien Unified Trial Court. Judge Bruce was first elected to the court in 1998 and has overseen the criminal division. Prior to his work as a judge he worked in private practice and served as a Berrien County assistant prosecuting attorney. He earned his law degree at Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Chief Judge Jeffrey G. Barstow replaces retired Chief Judge William A. Hupy in the Menominee Probate Court. He also serves as chief... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2015 at SBM Blog
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The Michigan Supreme Court appointed two judges to business courts on Tuesday. Judge Lita M. Popke will serve on the 3rd Circuit Business Court in Wayne County. Judge Popke has served on the Third Circuit bench since 2000, and served in the court's civil division since 2012. Prior to that she practiced business law. She is a former president of the Michigan Judges Association and has served as a faculty member of the Michigan Judicial Institute New Judges Seminar. She earned her law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Judge Popke replaces retiring Judge Daniel P.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2015 at SBM Blog
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Governor Rick Snyder appointed Terence "T.J." Ackert to the Kent County Probate Court. Ackert has practiced law with Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummiskey PLC since 2007, with a focus on general litigation, including business litigation, dispute resolution, and insurance defense. He previously practiced law at Smith, Haughey, Rice & Roegge. Ackert earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Toledo College of Law. He fills the vacancy created by Judge Jay Quist, who moved to the 17th Circuit Court bench. He must seek election in November 2016 for a full six-year term. Posted by... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2015 at SBM Blog
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The American Bar Association Judicial Division awarded their 2015 Judicial Education Award to the Michigan Judicial Institute on July 31 in Chicago. The award recognizes the MJI for its successful efforts in providing high quality judicial education and training to Michigan judges. MJI provides educational resources to Michigan judges, judiciary employees and the general public in the form of materials such as reference guides for judges, live seminars and webinars for judicial employees, oversight of the Michigan Supreme Court Learning Center, juror orientation videos and IMPACT email and podcast service that delivers summaries of recent court and legislative activities. "The... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2015 at SBM Blog
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Posted Jul 31, 2015 at SBM Best Legal Future Blog
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Four attorneys won contested elections to the SBM Board of Commissioners and 11 attorneys won contested elections to the SBM Representative Assembly. Dana M. Warnez, elected to serve District D representing Macomb and St. Clair counties on the Board, focuses her practice on probate and estate planning, drafting and administering trusts, and real estate matters at Schoenherr, Cahill & Warnez PC in Center Line. Hon. Clinton Canady III, elected to serve District E representing Barry, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Livingston, Montcalm, and Shiawassee counties on the Board, serves as a judge in the General Trial Division of Ingham County’s... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2015 at SBM Blog
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The Michigan Supreme Court has announced that the Hon. Milton L. Mack Jr. has been named State Court Administrator. Judge Mack has served on the Wayne County Probate Court since 1990, and has served as chief judge since 1998. Prior to his service on the bench, Judge Mack was an attorney in private practice, a Wayne County commissioner and a City of Wayne councilman. He will assume his new role as State Court Administrator on July 27. He will work to improve the courts' service to the public by measuring their performance and using the data to improve outcomes, implementing... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2015 at SBM Blog
The United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to strike down Michigan's gay marriage ban in a decision issued today in Obergefell v. Hodges. Watch the #SCOTUSMarriage decision come in with April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse at the Jim Toy Center in #AnnArbor pic.twitter.com/bcUpoBpylk — Ben Freed (@BFreedInA2) June 26, 2015 Read the SCOTUS opinion. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2015 at SBM Blog
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overnor Rick Snyder is looking for candidates to fill two probate court seats: one in Kent County and one in Menominee County. The seat in Kent County is the one vacated by Hon. George Jay Quist and the seat in Menominee County is the one vacated by Hon. William A. Hupy. If you are a State Bar of Michigan member who resides in either judicial district and meets the qualifications for either position, access the application on the governor's website and submit it to the governor's office no later than June 23, 2015. Contact Cheri Arwood, executive administrator of the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2015 at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan staff dedicated a garden today in front of its Lansing headquarters in memory of the late William "Will" Kramer III, who served as the State Bar's Director of Information Technology Services from 2000 until his death in June of 2013. Kramer's wife, Suzanna (Suzie), two children, William (Kiv) and Alexandra (Allie) and his father, William Jr., attended the ceremony. Kramer's children and father added plants to the garden. His father brought lilies of the valley that Will had transplanted from his home to his father's. His father said it was fitting that he now transplant... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2015 at SBM Blog
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A pilot online ticket review program allowing for online and mobile review and resolution of minor disputes and violations expands this week to East Lansing's 54B District Court. The program, already running in Pittsfield Township, Ypsilanti, Saline, Northfield Township, Highland Park and Bay County, allows the public to resolve tickets, outstanding fines and missed court dates without missing work. Participants in the program must answer qualifying questions that determine whether their violations are eligible for online resolution. Defendants accused of traffic violations must submit their positions for review by prosecutor's office or police agency staff. A judge determines the next... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2015 at SBM Blog
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Governor Rick Snyder is looking for candidates to fill two probate court seats: one in Kent County and one in Menominee County. The seat in Kent County is the one vacated by Hon. George Jay Quist and the seat in Menominee County is the one vacated by Hon. William A. Hupy. If you are a State Bar of Michigan member who resides in either judicial district and meets the qualifications for either position, access the application on the governor's website and submit it to the governor's office no later than June 23, 2015. Contact Cheri Arwood, executive administrator of the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2015 at SBM Blog
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SBM Blog wants to give a shout-out to the Hon. Elizabeth L. Gleicher for writing one of the most entertaining opinions issued in quite some time in Johnson v. Department of Natural Resources. Props also go to the Hon. Kirsten Frank Kelly and the Hon. Deborah A. Servitto for signing on to such a creative piece of legal writing. Here is the first paragraph of the opinion, which you can find in yesterday's e-Journal: First published in 1905, Pigs is Pigs, by Ellis Parker Butler, tells the story of a railroad agent who insisted on charging the “livestock” rate for... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2015 at SBM Blog
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Have you checked out the State Bar of Michigan's A Lawyer Helps program lately? The program celebrates the extraordinary pro bono and community service hours volunteered by Michigan attorneys. This month, we celebrate the Shiawassee County Bar Association, which hosted its seventh Annual Free Legal Advice Fair at the historic Shiawassee County Circuit Courthouse in Corunna on May 1 as part of its Law Day celebration. Twenty-three people came to get legal advice on a wide variety of matters, including real estate, expungement, family law, land contracts and more. The attorneys who donated their time include Barb Dawes, Tom Moorhead,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2015 at SBM Blog
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The Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society has elected new officers and its board of directors. Charles R. Rutherford has been elected president. He will replace Wallace Riley, who has served as president since the society was founded in 1988. Carl W. Herstein will serve as vice president, Lawrence P. Nolan as secretary and John P. Jacobs as treasurer. Seven members of the board of directors were reelected to three year terms, including the Hon. Avern Cohn, John G. Fedynsky, Julie I. Fershtman, Frank Kelley, Mary Massaron, John W. Reed and Janet K. Welch. Susan E. Gillooly was elected to her... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2015 at SBM Blog
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On May 15, 1935, Governor Frank Fitzgerald signed into law the bill establishing the State Bar of Michigan. Today, the integrated State Bar of Michigan turns 80. Happy birthday to us! Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2015 at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan presented Wade H. McCree Jr. Awards for the Advancement of Justice to 11 journalists at the 2015 Journalism Hall of Fame Induction Banquet on April 19 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. A photo gallery of the evening is available on the SBM Facebook page. The first McCree Award went to a Michigan Radio team, including Jennifer Guerra, Sarah Alvarez, and Sarah Hulett. Their series, called "Finding Home: A Documentary about Foster Care in Michigan," investigated improvements made to Michigan's foster care system, which oversees the care of over 13,000 children and has been... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2015 at SBM Blog
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Gov. Rick Snyder appointed the Hon. George “Jay” Quist to the 17th Circuit Court seat vacated by Judge James Robert Redford in Kent County. Judge Quist has served on the Kent County Family Court since 2012. He began his legal career as a civil litigator with Kluczynski, Girtz & Vogelzang in Grand Rapids and then joined Roberts Betz & Bloss. He served on the Workers' Compensation Board of Magistrates from 1999 and then as chief magistrate in 2011. He also served as director of employment services for the Michigan Administrative Hearing System in the Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs.... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2015 at SBM Blog
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The justices of the Michigan Supreme Court will travel Wednesday to Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor to hear oral arguments in Estate of Beals v State of Michigan. The hearing, scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m., will allow all Ann Arbor high school students, as well as high school students from many surrounding areas, to watch actual oral arguments in a real Michigan Supreme Court case. This trip is just the latest in many undertaken as part of the Court Community Connections program. In the past, the program has taken justices to Lapeer, Hastings, Saginaw, Centreville, Auburn Hills, Berrien... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2015 at SBM Blog
Unfortunately, this seminar will not be available on video. Your wish that it be made available on video has been shared with the creators of the seminar, in hopes that future seminars will be recorded and made available.
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Elizabeth “Betty” Weaver, a retired justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, died in her Glen Arbor home at the age of 74. Weaver served as a justice on the Michigan Supreme Court from 1995 to 2010, and served as chief justice from 1999 to 2001. Prior to her time on the Supreme Court, Weaver served as a judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals, from 1987 to 1994. She established a national reputation for her strong views on juvenile justice during her service as a Leelanau County probate judge from 1974 until 1987. She also worked as an attorney and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2015 at SBM Blog
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Robert Griffin, the 96th justice of the Michigan Supreme Court and a former United States Senator, died April 16, 2015 at the age of 91. Justice Griffin served in the U.S. Army before returning to attend law school at the University of Michigan, where he graduated in 1950. He began his legal career as a law clerk for Michigan Supreme Court Justice John Dethmers, before moving to Traverse City where he practiced law until 1956. That year, Griffin was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1966, and was re-elected in 1972.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2015 at SBM Blog