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SBM Blog
Lansing, MI
Edited by Janet Welch
Recent Activity
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The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and Museum commemorated the 40th anniversary of President Ford's pardon of President Richard Nixon by hosting a symposium focusing on President Ford's constitutional legacy at the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids on Oct. 20. The symposium, co-hosted by the National Constitution Center and the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, presented two panel discussions featuring retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeff Rosen, former United States Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill, Benton Becker, who served as special counsel to President Ford, and Steve Ford, President... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at SBM Blog
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The newly formed Michigan Indigent Defense Commission is seeking its first executive director. The position is appointed and supervised by the MIDC, and is responsible for developing and overseeing reforms to Michigan's public defense system. The MIDC says the ideal candidate should have significant experience in the representation of indigent clients, significant public sector leadership experience and be highly skilled in personnel management, public policy advocacy and budget development. A demonstrated ability to inspire and lead people is essential. The position will pay between $100,000 and $135,000 a year. Find out more about the position on the State Bar of... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at SBM Blog
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All reporters are invited to attend two panel discussions sponsored by the State Bar of Michigan Law and the Media Committee and the Society of Professional Journalists, Detroit, moderated by Wayne State University Professor Jack Lessenberry and featuring some of the metropolitan Detroit area's top judges and lawyers. The first panel will feature U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara McQuade and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. The discussion will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at Crain’s Detroit, located at 1155 Gratiot Ave. The second panel will feature the Hon. Nancy Edmunds, federal judge for the... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at SBM Blog
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Andrew Griffiths at inc.com offers an interesting look at maintaining work-life balance. It's so easy, when building a law firm, a business or a department, to lose sight of yourself. How do you maintain balance in your life, so that you don't lose yourself within your work? Do you think, in the end, that having balance in your life has made your firm, business or department stronger? Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at SBM Blog
What does it mean to be a success? A failure? Alain de Botton shared an interesting reflection upon the meaning of both in our modern world in a TED Talk he gave in 2009. How do you cope with anxiety about your career? Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at SBM Blog
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The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and Museum will commemorate the 40th anniversary of President Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 20 by hosting a symposium focusing on President Ford's constitutional legacy at the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids. The symposium, co-hosted by the National Constitution Center and the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, will present two panel discussions featuring such noted public figures as retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeff Rosen, former United States Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill, Benton Becker,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2014 at SBM Blog
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Governor Rick Snyder seeks applicants to fill the Fourth District Seat on the Michigan Court of Appeals when Judge William Whitbeck retires on November 21. Visit the governor's website for more information on the post, and to access the application form you must fill out and submit with your resume to be considered for opening. Applications are due by October 22. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2014 at SBM Blog
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The Michigan Supreme Court has appointed the Hon. Derek W. Meinecke chief judge of the 44th District Court. Meinecke won election to the 44th District Court in 2012, after serving for more than 10 years in the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office in the special victims unit, focusing on domestic violence, elder abuse, child abuse and sexual assault. In 2011, he won the Courage to Lead Award from Oakland County S.A.V.E. (Serving Adults who are Vulnerable and/or Elderly) for his efforts to prevent elder abuse, and in 2009 he awarded the Domestic Violence Prevention Award from Oakland County Coordinating Council Against... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2014 at SBM Blog
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Michigan Court of Appeals Judge William Whitbeck will retire on Nov. 21 after serving three terms on the court of appeals, including six years as the court's chief judge. “Bill Whitbeck’s service to Michigan in both the judicial and executive branches of government is a testament to his keen legal intellect, administrative skill and policy-making acumen,” said Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr. in a written statement. “Those qualities combined to help him to make the Court of Appeals worthy of national recognition as a model appellate court while he served as its Chief Judge.” Whitbeck decided... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2014 at SBM Blog
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Western Michigan University Cooley Law School has announced that it will close its Ann Arbor campus on Dec. 31, 2014. Starting in January of 2015, students can continue their classes at any of the law school's any other campuses in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids or Tampa Bay, Fla. In August, the law school told students that should the campus close, it would provide early registration at other campuses; a $1,500 cash stipend to help cover costs of attending another campus; a $3,500 stipend for a bar review course for graduates; specialized advising for registration, financial aid, housing and other... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2014 at SBM Blog
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In Cheboygan Sportsman Club v. Cheboygan County Prosecuting Attorney, the club sought to find out if conducting target practice at their shooting range within 150 years of occupied residences without the homeowners' consent violated MCL 324.40111. The case involves a man who purchased residential property within 150 yards of the shooting range, after the range had been operating for decades. The man found a stray bullet on his property that he asserted had been fired from the shooting range. The local prosecutor informed the sportsman club that, “any individual discharging a firearm within 150 yards of a residence should face... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2014 at SBM Blog
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Francine Cullari and Carl Ver Beek are two of the finest and most distinguished members of the legal profession. They were granted the State Bar of Michigan's highest honor, the Roberts P. Hudson Award, at the SBM Awards Banquet on Wednesday, Sept. 17 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids. Francine and Carl have been leaders in the law, by being highly competent practitioners and mentors, and by taking on leadership roles within the legal profession. To find out what each of them did to earn this highest honor, visit State Bar of Michigan Award Winners. To see... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2014 at SBM Blog
In Rataj v. City of Romulus, plaintiff Michael Rataj, a Detroit-area attorney, learned that a Romulus police officer had assaulted a citizen who was under arrest while the citizen's hands were handcuffed behind his back at the Romulus Police Department in the early morning of Aug. 1, 2012. It was later revealed that the arrested citizen had provoked the police employee by spitting on him and calling him a racial epithet. An employee of the police department confirmed that the assault did take place, and that it was caught on video. When Rataj requested a copy of the video under... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2014 at SBM Blog
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Low-income Spanish speaking persons who cannot afford to hire an attorney and need legal help can now access help on a Spanish-language version of MichiganLegalHelp.org. Since the English-language version of the site launched in 2012, 760,000 visitors have accessed free, accurate legal information and forms to help them handle simple legal matters on their own. "Having this resource available in Spanish will be a great benefit for people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer to handle basic legal problems," said Michigan State Court Administrator John A. Hohman Jr. "It will also benefit the courts because more self-represented litigants will... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2014 at SBM Blog
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The University of Michigan Law School will host an American Bar Association exhibit on the Magna Carta 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily from Oct. 1 through Oct. 23 at the Law Library, in the Smith Addition (Underground Law Library) at 801 Monroe St. in Ann Arbor. The exhibit, "Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy 1215-2015," is open to the public and was created by the ABA and curated by the Library of Congress to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the document. It will feature spectacular images on free-standing banners that will tell the story of the Magna Carta... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2014 at SBM Blog
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The Michigan Supreme Court has appointed Alan M. Gershel administrator of the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission. Gershel will assume his new post Oct. 13. Prior to taking on his new role of grievance administrator, Gershel served as a professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing and as an attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit. He will oversee a staff of 28, including 13 attorneys and 15 support staffers. Read the order. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2014 at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan welcomed the new lawyers of 1964 to the annual Golden Celebration. Held in conjunction with the 2014 SBM Annual Meeting, the event celebrates attorneys for 50 years in the practice of law. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2014 at SBM Blog
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Thomas C. Rombach, of New Baltimore, has been sworn in as the 80th president of the State Bar of Michigan. Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young Jr. officiated at the Sept. 18 ceremony, which took place in conjunction with the SBM Annual Meeting at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. Mr. Rombach is a solo practitioner and focuses his practice on representing criminal and civil litigants. Also sworn in as officers for 2014-2015 were President-Elect Lori A. Buiteweg, of Ann Arbor; Vice-President Lawrence P. Nolan, of Eaton Rapids; Secretary Donald G. Rockwell, of Flint; and Treasurer Jennifer M. Grieco,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2014 at SBM Blog
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Vanessa Peterson Williams, of Southfield, has been sworn in as the chair of the State Bar of Michigan (SBM) Representative Assembly for 2014-2015. The Hon. Cynthia D. Stephens officiated at the Sept. 18 ceremony, held during the SBM Annual Meeting at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. The 150-member Representative Assembly (RA) is the final policy-making body of the State Bar. It was created in 1971 by the Michigan Supreme Court at the request of SBM's Board of Commissioners in order to increase geographical representation and member participation in SBM policy. Ms. Williams represents Oakland County. Ms. Williams served as editor-in-chief... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2014 at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan mourns the loss of its 39th president, Carl H. Smith Jr., who died Sept. 9 at the age of 87. Current State Bar President Brian Einhorn and Executive Director Janet Welch expressed deep sadness at his passing. “Carl and his father represent the finest professional tradition of giving back through public service," Einhorn said. "The State Bar extends its deepest condolences and appreciation to the Smith family." A 1953 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Smith served in a number of State Bar leadership capacities. He was first elected to the Board of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2014 at SBM Blog
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Members of the legal community will gather Sept. 17-19 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids for the State Bar of Michigan Annual Meeting and Solo and Small Firm Institute. Among this year's highlights: Members of the legal profession who have achieved the highest honors in the areas of leadership, professional integrity and pro bono and community service will be recognized at the SBM Awards Banquet, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 17. Award winners from the Michigan State Bar Foundation, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, and Michigan Association for Justice will also be... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2014 at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan dedicated the 39th Michigan Legal Milestone at noon on Thursday, Aug. 28, on the campus of Ferris State University. The milestone celebrates the perseverance of Governor G. Mennen "Soapy" Williams in ensuring that Ferris State University became a public university, even after the majority of campus burned down in a devastating fire in February of 1950. For more information, read a Michigan Bar Journal article about the most recent milestone. Visit the Michigan Legal Milestones website for more information on the program, overseen by the SBM Law Related Education and Public Outreach Committee, chaired by... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2014 at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly will present its Michael Franck and Unsung Hero awards to two outstanding members of the legal community on Thursday, Sept. 18 at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. The presentation will take place at 9:30 a.m. during the assembly's general session, which is being held in conjunction with the SBM Annual Meeting. Michael Franck Award Julie I. Fershtman is a brave and bold leader. She paves the way in her field of equine law, traveling the country trying cases, writing books and a blog, and speaking to attorneys as an equine expert. She has... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2014 at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan Equal Access Initiative and Committee on Justice Initiatives will present a panel discussion on “Language Access – Best Practices in Michigan Courts” at 9 a.m. 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 access to the courts for those with limited English proficiency, and they are working with legal practitioners and their local communities... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2014 at SBM Blog
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The United States Department of Justice seeks applicants for the Attorney General’s Honors Program and the Summer Law Intern Program. Law students and eligible graduates can apply for the program online before Sept. 2. There are 207 Honors Program positions, including openings in the following components: Antitrust Division (14) Civil Division (29) Civil Rights Division (12) Criminal Division (12) Regular Trial Attorney (8) – These are permanent positions. Asset Forfeiture Fellowship Program (4) – This is a three-year fellowship which may be extended or converted to a permanent position. Drug Enforcement Administration (3) Environment & Natural Resources Division (15) Executive... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2014 at SBM Blog