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SBM Blog
Lansing, MI
Edited by Janet Welch
Recent Activity
Eric Liu, a civics educator and founder of Citizens University, thinks we need to make civics education sexy again. He thinks we make civics sexy by empowering amateur political activists (ordinary citizens) to take action on local political issues, so that they begin to understand power and government within in their local communities. What do you think? Do you have any ideas on how we can work together to make civics education better? How about ideas on improving Law Day or Constitution Day? All ideas are welcome. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at SBM Blog
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Do you know a lawyer who always goes above and beyond the call of duty? A lawyer who has exhibited the highest standards of practice and commitment for the benefit of others? Please nominate him or her for an Unsung Hero Award today. The deadline for submitting your nomination is March 13. The State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly gives out Unsung Hero Awards each year at the SBM Annual Meeting. Last year's winner, Susan Reed, believes everyone deserves quality legal defense regardless of the horrific crimes they are accused of committing. She has represented drug dealers, serial rapists, and... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at SBM Blog
James L. Shonkwiler, Jr. of Grand Ledge, died February 24 at the age of 79, after a long and exemplary career in criminal justice. He was a 1963 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, developing a passion for criminal justice by serving as court-appointed counsel for indigent criminal defendants, serving in leading capacities for most of Michigan's criminal justice enterprises. In 1967, he was appointed associate director of the Michigan Crime Commission. In 1970, when the Commission created the first state-level office in the United States to train and support county prosecutors -- the Michigan Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section has launched a new “Everyday Justice” Instagram photo competition. There is a separate contest for middle school students (in grades six through eight) and high school students (in grades nine through 12). To enter the contest, middle school students must take a photo that illustrates what people in their community can do to exemplify justice every day, then upload the photo to Instagram on or before March 14 with the hashtag #SBMjusticeeverydayMS. High school students must take a photo that illustrates what people in their community can do to exemplify justice every... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at SBM Blog
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The Michigan Supreme Court has appointed two federal members to the Michigan Tribal State Federal Judicial Forum. Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Jeff J. Davis will serve a term ending July 1, 2016. The Hon. Timothy P. Greeley will serve a term ending July 1, 2017. Read the order. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2015 at SBM Blog
Governor Rick Snyder appointed T. David Law to the 52-1 District Court in Oakland County on Tuesday, Feb. 10. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Law has served as assistant attorney general in the Children & Youth Division of the Michigan Department of Attorney General. He has also previously served in the Michigan House of Representatives and the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office. Law earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from the Detroit College of Law. He fills the seat left by the departure of the Hon. Dennis N. Powers. Posted by... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2015 at SBM Blog
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The Michigan Supreme Court has appointed a number of chief judges to courts across the state for terms that begin immediately and end Dec. 31, 2015. Judge Roy Hayes III has been appointed chief judge of the 33rd Circuit Court. Judge. Ward Clarkson has been appointed chief judge of the 35th Circuit Court. Judge Kathleen Brickley has been appointed chief judge of the 36th Circuit Court, the 7th District Court and the Van Buren County Probate Court. Judge Margaret Noe has been appointed chief judge of the 2A District Court. Judge Gregory Clifton has been appointed chief judge of the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2015 at SBM Blog
The third annual State Bar of Michigan Law Day creative contest is now open for entries. Participants should submit a creative entry illustrating the 2015 Law Day theme, "Symbols of Freedom Under Law." Contestants are encouraged to tie one or more Michigan Legal Milestones to the 2015 theme in a creative project. Examples of creative projects include essays, debates, mock trials, podcasts, dramatic or musical plays, reenactments, short documentaries, board games, video games, and more. Electronic submissions are highly encouraged. More than $3,000 in prizes will be awarded to winning entries. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2015 at SBM Blog
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The Michigan Supreme Court has appointed the Hon. John Donahue as business court judge in Berrien County. The appointment is effective immediately and will expire April 1, 2019. Read the court's order. Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2015 at SBM Blog
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Governor Rick Snyder appointed Judge Paul J. Bridenstine to the Ninth Circuit Court and Christopher Haenicke to the Eighth District Court in Kalamazoo County. Judge Paul J. Bridenstine has served as chief judge of the Eighth District Court since 2000 and will be replaced by Haenicke. Judge Bridenstine will move into the seat vacated by Judge J. Richardson Johnson. Prior to serving on the bench, Judge Bridenstine served as assistant prosecuting attorney with the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office from 1992 to 2000. In addition to serving on the bench, Judge Bridenstine teaches political science at Western Michigan University. He has... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2015 at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan Practice Management Resource Center will present a solo and small firm seminar called “Bootcamp: Starting a 21st Century Law Firm” from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 23 at the State Bar of Michigan Michael Franck building, located at 306 Townsend St. in downtown Lansing. Victoria Vuletich, a professor who teaches professional responsibility at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, and Dan Linna Jr., an assistant dean for career development and professor who teaches litigation at Michigan State University College of Law, will present the seminar’s keynote address on the fundamental and irreversible changes occurring... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2015 at SBM Blog
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The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the Michigan Department of Attorney General had just cause to terminate Andrew Shirvell, and that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits. The appeals court affirmed a circuit court's order, which held that "there was competent, material, and substantial evidence on the whole record to support that there was just cause to terminate Shirvell and properly held that the termination was not arbitrary or capricious." The appeals court reversed the circuit court's order on Shirvell's unemployment eligibility, ruling that the circuit court "erred in concluding that Shirvell did not engage in misconduct that disqualified... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2015 at SBM Blog
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The justices of the Michigan Supreme Court selected Robert P. Young Jr. to serve for a third two-year term as chief justice of the court. Chief Justice Young has served on the court since 1999, and was elected and re-elected to the court in 2002 and 2010. He has served as chief justice since 2011. Chief Justice Young says he plans to continue implementing innovations that will better measure court performance and increase efficiency while improving service to the public. "Being allowed to stay on as chief justice allows us continuity to build on that record of success and move... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2015 at SBM Blog
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The Michigan Supreme Court reappointed Hon. Michael Smith, Hon. Mark Boonstra, Hon. James Redford, Hon. Michael Warren, Thomas Van Dusen and Thomas Waun, and appointed Gary Felty Jr. to the Committee on Model Civil Jury Instructions. All will serve terms beginning Jan. 1, 2015 and ending Dec. 31, 2017. The Supreme Court also reappointed Hon. James Redford chairperson of the committee. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2015 at SBM Blog
The Michigan Supreme Court reappointed Rafael Villarruel and Mary Rubio and appointed Hon. Suzanne Hoseth Kreeger to the Foreign Language Board of Review. All three will serve terms beginning Jan. 1, 2015 and ending Dec. 31, 2017. Read the order. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2015 at SBM Blog
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Governor Rick Snyder has appointed David Fischer to the Judicial Tenure Commission for a three-year term that will expire Dec. 31, 2017. Fischer is the chairman and CEO of the Suburban Collection in Novi. He is chairman emeritus of the North American International Auto Show, on the board of trustees for the College for Creative Studies and an emeritus director for the Detroit Institute of Arts. He has a bachelor's degree in business from Parson's College. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2014 at SBM Blog
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An audio recording and materials from a program outlining best practices for language access in Michigan's courts are now available to the public on the State Bar of Michigan website. The materials were originally distributed at a panel discussion sponsored by the SBM Equal Access Initiative and Committee on Justice Initiatives on Friday, September 19 at the SBM Annual Meeting in DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. The Michigan Supreme Court adopted language access rules in September of 2013 to assure access to justice for people with limited English proficiency. All of the state’s trial courts have adopted plans to improve... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2014 at SBM Blog
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All Michigan attorneys are encouraged to participate in a day of service on the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The State Bar of Michigan has created an online resource guide to help lawyers find community service and pro bono volunteer opportunities within their local communities on Jan. 19. The new Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service resource guide will help lawyers search for pro bono service opportunities by county. Attorneys can also find younger attorneys to mentor on SBM’s mentor board or look for community service volunteer opportunities in their local communities. Attorneys who can’t dedicate time to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2014 at SBM Blog
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Nominations are now open for the State Bar of Michigan's 41st Annual Wade H. McCree Jr. Awards for the Advancement of Justice. Download 2015 McCree Entry Form. The McCree Awards recognize Michigan broadcast, print media, and online journalists who foster greater public understanding of the inherent values of our legal and judicial system through their published materials. To be eligible, written and online materials and radio and television broadcasts must be published and/or aired between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2014. They must inform and educate citizens about the role of the law, the courts, law enforcement agencies, and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2014 at SBM Blog
Governor Rick Snyder has appointed Michael Gadola to the Michigan Court of Appeals seat vacated by retiring Judge William Whitbeck. “Mike is an outstanding addition to the Court of Appeals,” Governor Snyder said. “He is widely respected for his legal acumen, as well as his personal and professional integrity. This appointment will expand Mike’s impressive record of public service. I have every confidence that he will uphold the court’s highest standards through his commitment to fairness and thoughtful reasoning.” Gadola has served as the governor’s legal counsel since 2011. He served as counsel to the Michigan Supreme Court and general... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2014 at SBM Blog
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Effective immediately, the Michigan Supreme Court has assigned Hon. Pamela L. Lightvoet to the role of business court judge in the Ninth Circuit Court for a six-year term that will expire April 1, 2019. Read ADM File 2014-01. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2014 at SBM Blog
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The Michigan Supreme Court issued an order on Friday, Nov. 28, stating that the high court and the Michigan Court of Appeals will implement a new electronic filing and service system. The new filing system, called TrueFiling, will allow users to e-file documents to both the Supreme Court and appeals court in Michigan. Initially, filing will be voluntary, but the high court anticipates that e-filing will eventually become mandatory for both courts. The new system will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will accept Microsoft Word documents, pdfs, text files, tiffs, pngs and jpgs. The... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2014 at SBM Blog
Posted Nov 18, 2014 at SBM Blog
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The Board of Law Examiners has posted a list of people who have passed the July 2014 bar exam by seat number. Results have also been mailed to test takers. If you took the July 2014 bar exam, and you don't know your seat number, you can wait for your mailed results to reach you, or you can mail a request for your seat number to the Board of Law Examiners. The Board of Law Examiners is a separate entity from the State Bar of Michigan, and is overseen by the Michigan Supreme Court.The State Bar of Michigan does not... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2014 at SBM Blog
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Sometimes being a lawyer can be really, really hard. This was highlighted in two recent stories in the Detroit News and ABA Journal about a Michigan attorney who broke down in tears in the courtroom while arguing for leniency for her client during a difficult case and then closed her law office for a year-long sabbatical. She has since started a blog discussing the Detroit News story and the ensuing fall-out. Please be aware that if you become overwhelmed by the stress and difficulty of your job that you do not have to carry that burden alone. The State Bar... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2014 at SBM Blog