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SBM Blog
Lansing, MI
Edited by Janet Welch
Recent Activity
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Join the State Bar of Michigan to celebrate the growing diversity in the legal profession at our Celebrating Diversity Reception, starting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 18 at H.O.M.E. in the B.O.B. in Grand Rapids. Ann Arbor's all-lawyer band Soultivity will perform. The Celebrating Diversity Reception is one of many fun networking events taking place as part of this year's SBM Annual Meeting. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at SBM Blog
Noted technology cheapskate journalist Rick Broida will teach attorneys at the State Bar of Michigan 2014 Solo & Small Firm Institute how to find great deals on technology that lawyers need. And, as you can see from the You Tube clip below, he's not afraid to let lawyers know what technology is unnecessary and overly expensive as well. Join the State Bar of Michigan and Institute for Continuing Legal Education September 18 and 19 in Grand Rapids for this year's Annual Meeting and Solo & Small Firm Institute. Scholarships are still available for slots at the Solo & Small Firm... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at SBM Blog
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David K. Page, a partner at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, passed away on July 1 at the age of 80. Page's legal practice focused on corporate transactions, including corporate governance, financing, acquisitions, sales and mergers, public offerings and private placements. He was an active and committed community leader and was the chairman of the board of Meadowbrook Insurance Group, Inc., a company with nearly $3 billion in assets based in Southfield, Michigan. His personal list of volunteer work with charitable organizations is extensive. Along with leadership roles at many area nonprofit organizations, he was the chair of the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2014 at SBM Blog
Members of the State Bar of Michigan Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, in partnership with members of the SBM Elder Law and Disability Rights Section and SBM Probate and Estate Planning Section, will visit senior centers in 51 Michigan counties to present a one-hour seminar to inform and empower senior citizens about estate planning decisions. Committee and section members will begin presenting the seminar on Wednesday, Aug. 6, and will make a few additional presentations on other dates ranging from early August through October. Local senior centers have set the times and dates of each presentation of the seminar, with... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2014 at SBM Blog
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The 2014 State Bar of Michigan Economics of Law Practice survey report has been posted online. The survey is conducted every three years and the results are used daily throughout the state in courtrooms, law firms and by lawyers in all occupational areas. As referenced by the Michigan Supreme Court in Smith v. Khouri, it is the primary resource used by trial courts to determine attorney fees. It provides the benchmark for more than 50 specific fields of practice by geographic location. Survey results also contain data about salaries, benefits, hours worked and job satisfaction for attorneys in non-private practice... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2014 at SBM Blog
The Michigan Board of Law Examiners announced that they have created a new and improved scoring system for the Michigan Bar Exam that they will begin to utilize while scoring the July 29 exam. The BLE says they expect the new scoring system to more accurately measure test takers' competence by ensuring that essay test scores across administrations reflect the same skill level and reflect differences in the difficulty between the multiple choice and essay portions of the exam. The Michigan Bar Exam is administrated each February and July, and has two parts: a 200-question multiple choice multistate bar exam... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2014 at SBM Blog
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Seven attorneys won election to the SBM Board of Commissioners and will serve three-year terms expiring at the close of the 2017 Annual Meeting: James W. Heath, E. Christopher Johnson Jr., Gregory L. Ulrich, Donald G. Rockwell, Shauna L. Dunnings, Jennifer M. Grieco and Richard J. Siriani. Thirty-eight attorneys won races to serve on the SBM Representative Assembly: Jill L. Nylander, Scott A. Dienes, , Audrey R. Monaghan, Joseph P. McGill, Douglas A. Kaye, Thomas M. J. Lavigne, Katherine Kakish, Daniel D. McLean, Aaron V. Burrell, James H. Fisher, Dennis M. Flessland, J. Scot Garrison, Carl L. Collins III, David... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2014 at SBM Blog
Thanks for clarifying that, Tim. I appreciate your input! - Samantha Meinke
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The Michigan Supreme Court ruled four to three in People v Carp, People v Davis and People v Eliason that those offenders sentenced as juveniles to life without the possibility for parole prior to the Supreme Court of the United States decision in Miller v Alabama will not be eligible for new sentencing hearings. Justice Stephen Markman wrote for the majority that since the changes made by the Miller precedent were merely procedural, no sentencing hearings were required for those juveniles sentenced to life prior to Miller. Justice Mary Beth Kelly wrote for the dissent, signed on to by Justices... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2014 at SBM Blog
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When Mr. L's minivan broke down and required expensive repairs, he was in danger of losing more than his method of transportation. He was also on the verge of becoming homeless. Because he couldn't pay to have the van fixed, the repair shop declared it abandoned and the police impounded it and prepared to have it towed for scrap. That's when Chris Bernard, an attorney at Bodman in Ann Arbor, stepped in to provide pro bono legal counsel to Mr. L. Find out how he helped Mr. L and worked with the city attorney to ensure nobody else ever faced... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2014 at SBM Blog
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State Bar of Michigan Practice Management Advisor Diane Ebersole will lead a Tech Tuesday Practice EZ Lunch and Learn seminar on "Prezi for Presentations" at noon Tuesday, July 8 at the SBM Michael Franck Building in Lansing. Prezi is a relatively new presentation software application that approaches presentation design from a totally different concept than the linear approaches of PowerPoint and Keynote. Anyone can try out the web-based version of the application for free. Register online for the seminar for $25. Soup by Zoup! will be provided for all those in attendance. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2014 at SBM Blog
As noted in this post, yesterday's U.S. Supreme Court decision on the unionization of home health care workers, Harris v. Quinn, was watched closely by mandatory state bars, given the potential for the decision to unsettle the reasoning of Keller v. State Bar of California, the case defining what mandatory state bars are allowed to do with mandatory dues. The decision expressly addressed that concern: Licensed attorneys are sub­ject to detailed ethics rules, and the bar rule requiring the payment of dues was part of this regulatory scheme. The portion of the rule that we upheld served the “state’s interest... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2014 at SBM Blog
According to today's U.S. Supreme Court decision Harris v. Quinn, not much. Mandatory state bars, including Michigan's, were watching Harris closely (see the amicus brief submitted by 21 past presidents of the District of Columbia Bar), worried that if, as some amici urged, the court repudiated the seminal Michigan public union case Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, the decision would undermine the reasoning of Keller v. State Bar of California, the case defining what mandatory state bars are allowed to do, because Keller referred to Abood by analogy. Instead, the decision today expressly offers this reassurance to mandatory state... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2014 at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan is proud to announce the 2014 Pro Bono Circle of Excellence, which recognizes every firm that fully complied with the State Bar Voluntary Pro Bono Standard during the 2013 calendar year. “Lawyers have a unique ethical responsibility to support legal services for the poor, and the law firms recognized today in the 2014 Circle of Excellence are our leaders in this important obligation,” said SBM Executive Director Janet Welch. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2014 at SBM Blog
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Governor Rick Snyder has appointed Mark S. Braunlich, Monroe County district judge, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of 38th Circuit Court Judge Michael LaBeau. Judge Braunlich has served on the district court bench since 2003, and served as chief judge from 2008-2010. Prior to that he served as Monroe County assistant prosecuting attorney. He is the board president for Monroe Center for Healthy Aging and a past president of the Monroe County Bar Association. He is a graduate of Notre Dame University, and earned his law degree at the University of Toledo. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2014 at SBM Blog
Hi Matt, Thanks for reading SBM Blog and taking the time to post! We did not post the raw data because it was gathered in the American Bar Association's 2013 State and Local Bar Membership, Administration and Finance Survey, which resulted in a 441-page report. The ABA charges a fee for access to the report, so we can't post it here. But if you're interested in it, you can access the raw data by purchasing it here: http://shop.americanbar.org/eBus/Default.aspx?TabID=251&productId=213310
Here's hoping they do, Neshobe!
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The Michigan Supreme Court issued an order yesterday stating that the State Court Administrative Office and the 36th District Court have developed a pilot program to automate the process of issuing writs for income tax garnishment. The 36th District Court will begin operating the pilot program immediately through a web-based system called GarnIT. Administrative Order 2014-13 outlines in detail the procedures associated with transmission of requests and writs through GarnIT and the rules designed to address issues unique to the implementation of the program. The program will run through Nov. 30, 2014. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2014 at SBM Blog
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The Michigan Supreme Court issued an order today creating the Michigan Tribal State Federal Judicial Forum. The forum will address working relationships among the court systems of the state, tribal and federal jurisdictions in Michigan. The following will serve two-year terms on the forum: Hon. Susan Dobrich, Hon. William Hupy, Hon. Jeffrey Nellis, Hon. Larry Nelson, Hon. George Quist and Hon. Frank Szymanski. The following will serve three-year terms on the forum: Hon. Robert Butts, Hon. William Ervin, Hon. Cheryl Hill, Hon. James Lambros, Hon. Timothy Connors and Justice Michael Cavanagh. In addition, chief tribal judges will appoint a judge... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2014 at SBM Blog
Friday, the Michigan Supreme Court announced that the portion of dues paid by State Bar of Michigan members to fund the disciplinary system in Michigan will decrease by $20 for every Michigan attorney during the next dues cycle. That means the total amount of dues paid by active Michigan attorneys will drop from $305 a year to $285 a year. After that decrease in dues takes place, how expensive will Michigan's dues be compared to those in other states? First, it's important to note that every state in the country and the District of Columbia require attorneys to pay some... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2014 at SBM Blog
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The Michigan Supreme Court issued the following order on Friday, June 20: In 2011, the Court directed the discipline portion of the dues members pay to the State Bar of Michigan to be reduced by $10 (to $110) in light of the $5 million surplus of the discipline system. Today, there is an even greater surplus. Therefore, the Court directs that the amount of discipline dues be adjusted to $90. This change will be reflected in the dues notice for the 2014-2015 fiscal year that is distributed to all bar members under Rule 4 of the Rules Concerning the State... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2014 at SBM Blog
Governor Rick Snyder announced yesterday that he appointed 15 people to the newly created Michigan Indigent Defense Commission. The commission was created to collect and compile data necessary for the review of indigent defense services in Michigan, create standards to ensure all systems providing indigent defense meet constitutional obligations for effective assistance of counsel and develop requirements by which a person may establish a claim of indigence so those truly in need of a public defender will have one. John Campbell, Kevin Oeffner and David Schuringa will all serve initial one-year terms expiring in April of 2015. Frank Eaman, Brandy... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2014 at SBM Blog
Hi Laura - apologies for failing to post where these are held. They take place in the SBM Michael Franck building in Lansing. We will also be posting videos of them to the SBM website soon. - Samantha Meinke
Hey Denis - you raise a really good point. We're currently working to post videos of these to our website as webinars. I'll reach out to you as soon as they're posted, if you're interested in checking them out. -Samantha Meinke
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The Michigan Supreme Court is currently seeking applicants for a grievance administrator, to oversee administrative and legal actions for the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission. The grievance administrator is appointed by the Supreme Court and supervised by the Commission. For more information, visit the official job posting on the Michigan Supreme Court website. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2014 at SBM Blog