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State Bar of Michigan Blogs
Lansing, MI
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The State Bar of Michigan Next Conference will take place Sept. 26–28 at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. Have fun, make connections, and recharge your law practice at the 2018 NEXT Conference. In just a day and a half, you’ll engage with experts whose sole goal is to help you save time, save money, and increase your bottom line. This year the popular Judicial Perspectives educational track will return, featuring Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Clement, Kent County Circuit Court Judge Christopher Yates, Ottawa County Circuit Court Judge Jon Hulsing, Muskegon County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Hicks, Genesee County Circuit... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at SBM Blog
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June 19, 2018 • Michael Franck Building, Lansing This half-day ethics seminar features presentations on how to manage lawyer trust accounts, including how to effectively use forms, checklists, and other recordkeeping resources. The seminar, which is open to lawyers and their staff, is an excellent way to learn how to comply with Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15 and 1.15A. Participants will receive practical information as well as materials prepared by presenters: SBM Professional Standards Division Director Danon Goodrum-Garland, SBM Assistant General Counsel Nkrumah Johnson-Wynn, Professional Standards Assistant Division Director Alecia Ruswinckel, and Attorney Grievance Commission Senior Associate Counsel Rhonda... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at SBM Blog
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The latest episode of the State Bar of Michigan’s On Balance podcast features Lea Ann Sterling, a Traverse City attorney who owns and manages Sterling Law Office in Empire and Gaylord and wrote award-winning pictorial guidebooks Historic Homes of Olde Town, Columbus, Ohio, and Historic Cottages of Mackinac Island. Hosts JoAnn Hathaway and Tish Vincent discuss with Sterling how she took her law practice from survival mode to a stage-one business. On Balance delivers useful and entertaining ideas on managing life as a lawyer. To subscribe in iTunes, follow two easy steps: 1. Using your mobile device, click on this... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at SBM Blog
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In mid-September, we hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the changes we’re making to streamline the process you will use to complete your mandatory disclosures and pay your annual dues. This year, you will be able to complete your mandatory disclosures online and either pay your dues online or mail your check to our lockbox. As a reminder, you will be receiving notification by email in mid-September to complete your mandatory disclosures and pay your dues. Make sure you keep your email address up to date with us, so you will receive that email notification. If you change jobs, Supreme... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at SBM Blog
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Electronic ballots for the 2018 State Bar of Michigan elections will be distributed via email on May 25. SBM members who do not have an email address on file will receive a paper ballot. Online voting will end at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 15, and paper ballots must be received postmarked no later than June 15. There are contested races for the Judicial Tenure Commission, the Board of Commissioners in Districts D, G, H, and I, and the Representative Assembly in Circuit 7. Unless your address on file is in one of the circuits or districts where there is... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan mourns the loss of its 38th president, Wallace D. Riley, who died May 17 at the age of 90. “Wally Riley leaves a legacy of extraordinary accomplishments,” SBM Executive Director Janet Welch said. “To most people, his service as president of the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan might stand out as his signature achievements, but to those who knew him best, his most defining legacy was his devotion to his cherished wife, Dorothy, and his partnership with her on her path to becoming a pioneering icon in her own right in... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2018 at SBM Blog
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Note: If you tried to volunteer and experienced technical issues, please try again! Complete the application before June 7 in any web browser except Internet Explorer. The application is not fully functional in Internet Explorer. You are invited to apply to serve in one of the many volunteer opportunities offered by the State Bar of Michigan. We offer short-term, fast-moving opportunities to serve on innovative work groups and longer-term, more in-depth opportunities to serve on traditional standing committees. We have revised the volunteer application process to make it more streamlined, straightforward, and deliberate in order to help you quickly and... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2018 at SBM Blog
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The following individuals and organization will receive 2018 State Bar of Michigan awards at a banquet on Sept. 26 at the SBM NEXT Conference in Grand Rapids. 2018 State Bar of Michigan Award Recipients: Roberts P. Hudson Award: Bruce A. Courtade and Julie I. Fershtman Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Service Award: Hon. Marilyn J. Kelly and Robert P. Young Jr. Champion of Justice Award: Miriam J. Aukerman and Robert J. Heimbuch John W. Reed Lawyer Legacy Award: Professor Lawrence Dubin John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award: Charles “David” Jones Kimberly M. Cahill Bar Leadership Award: Women Lawyers Association of... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2018 at SBM Blog
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For many years, the Bar's Practice Management Resource Center has offered a lending library that ships printed copies of books upon request. As an enhancement to that service, a free online library is now available that allows members to download e-books and audio books to office computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Unlike the lending library, which requires return shipping, the downloadable library items are free to members and will automatically delete after the designated lending period expires. Topics include business and client relations, career transitioning, financial management, technology how-to publications, self-help books, and The Nutshell series. To browse titles in... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2018 at SBM Blog
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If you're interested in participating in a community event on or near Law Day this year, you can find an event in your local area on our Law Day Calendar of Events. In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower designated May 1 as Law Day. This day is an opportunity to strengthen our great American heritage of liberty, justice, and equality under the law. The State Bar of Michigan joins various local bars, businesses, schools, and other organizations in conducting programs associated with improving the public's understanding of our justice system. Don't see your local Law Day event listed on our... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2018 at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan will present “Tips and Tools for a Successful Practice” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1, at the State Bar’s Michael Franck Building in downtown Lansing. The semi-annual seminar features presentations on how to maintain mutually beneficial client relationships, draft effective fee agreements, manage lawyer trust accounts, analyze ethical issues, and use innovative techniques and technology for law office management. The seminar presents an excellent opportunity for solo practitioners and new lawyers to obtain ethical guidance and practical information from colleagues who have successfully implemented law office management techniques and utilized economically-priced... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2018 at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan’s fourth annual Brunch for Bars will take place at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 8, at the Fort Shelby Double Tree Hotel in Detroit. This year’s brunch will feature a presentation about the W. K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation project across the United States and in four Michigan communities: Battle Creek, Flint, Kalamazoo and Lansing. The TRHT project is a community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. The State Bar of Michigan Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2018 at SBM Blog
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2017 was the most successful year yet for the State Bar of Michigan Circle of Excellence! More than 60 firms and corporations, all committed to access to justice, appeared on the 2017 COE. The State Bar of Michigan invites all law firms and corporations with two or more attorneys to apply for the 2018 Pro Bono Circle of Excellence recognizing each firm that fully complied with the State Bar’s Voluntary Pro Bono Standard in 2017. The application deadline is April 13. The Voluntary Pro Bono Standard calls for attorneys to annually take three pro bono cases, devote at least 30... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2018 at SBM Blog
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In April 1888, Eva R. Belles tried to vote in a Flint school board election. Because she was a woman, the election inspectors refused to receive her ballot. Firmly believing she was entitled to vote, she fought that decision up to the Michigan Supreme Court, and won an early victory for women's suffrage. She retained George H. Durand, former Flint mayor and first president of the Genesee County Bar Association, as her attorney. A provision of the Michigan Constitution gave power to the legislature to provide for a system of primary schools. The legislature set school election voting qualifications in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2018 at SBM Blog
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Are you interested in serving in a leadership role at the State Bar of Michigan or Judicial Tenure Commission? If so, check the March 2018 edition of the Michigan Bar Journal for the official State Bar election notice for the 2018 elections. The following elections will be held in June 2018: A statewide election for a judicial member of the Judicial Tenure Commission Elections for the members of the Representative Assembly in 40 judicial circuits Elections for members of the Board of Commissioners in five commissioner districts Elections for members of the Young Lawyers Section Executive Council in three districts... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2018 at SBM Blog
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Isabella Hardenbergh was born into slavery in 1797 in Ulster County, New York. Upon gaining her freedom, believing she heard a voice from God, she changed her name to Sojourner Truth, this six-foot tall, gaunt woman with a resounding voice became one of America's most influential crusaders for justice. At the 1858 Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, she spoke eloquently of women's rights: "I have heard much about the sexes being equal; I can carry as much as any man, and can eat as much, too, if I can get it. I am as strong as any man that... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2018 at SBM Blog
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In June 1925, prominent African American medical doctor Dr. Ossian Sweet and his family, who were arrested and charged with the murder of one member of a white mob who tried to shoot at the Sweet home in Detroit. The NAACP enlisted the aid of famed attorney Clarence Darrow who came to Michigan to defend the Sweets. Presiding Judge Frank Murphy instructed the jury that "a man's house is his castle" and that Dr. Sweet had the right to defend it, if he had good reason to fear for the lives of his family or their property. These rights, he... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2018 at SBM Blog
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The Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan will present the Sadie Award to Stiggy’s Dogs at 3 p.m. on April 17 at the organization’s facility in Hamburg Township. Stiggy’s Dogs is a nonprofit organization that rescues and trains shelter dogs to be psychiatric service dogs for military veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Traumatic Brain Injury. The psychiatric service dogs are trained and deployed at no cost to the veteran. The Sadie Award was created in 2001 to recognize contributions to the well-being of animals made by Michigan residents not involved in the legal or legislative... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2018 at SBM Blog
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Nominations are now open for the awards that will be presented at the September 2018 NEXT Conference in Grand Rapids. Awards due by 5 p.m. February 16: Roberts P. Hudson Award, Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Service Award, Champion of Justice Award, Kimberly M. Cahill Bar Leadership Award, John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award and John W. Reed Michigan Lawyer Legacy Award. The Liberty Bell Award deadline is Friday, May 11. The State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly Michael Franck Award and Unsung Hero Award nomination deadline is March 10. Nominate a deserving attorney today. Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2018 at SBM Blog
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Nominations are now open for the awards that will be presented at the September 2018 NEXT Conference in Grand Rapids. Awards due by 5 p.m. February 16: Roberts P. Hudson Award, Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Service Award, Champion of Justice Award, Kimberly M. Cahill Bar Leadership Award, John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award and John W. Reed Michigan Lawyer Legacy Award. The Liberty Bell Award deadline is Friday, May 11. The State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly Michael Franck Award and Unsung Hero Award nomination deadline is March 10. Nominate a deserving attorney today. Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2018 at SBM Blog
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As a member of the State Bar of Michigan, you get a special $150 discount if you register for 2018 ABA TECHSHOW, which will take place March 7-10 at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. Register online using the discount code EP1812. Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2018 at SBM Blog
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Looking for a member of the State Bar of Michigan? The SBM online member directory contains the most up-to-date contact information. In addition, a portable April Resource Directory containing comprehensive court, state, and local government and lawyer association contact information is available online and will be sent to you if you have opted in to receive a print edition of the Michigan Bar JournalApril issue. You can order extra copies of the resource directory for $10. If you prefer to receive a member list in print, we offer the April Resource Directory Plus Alphabetical Member Roster, which includes all the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2018 at SBM Blog
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The SBM Practice Management Resource Center has launched a Technology Competency resource page, filled with information and tools to help you boost your technology quotient. The PMRC is also launching a new member benefit: access to an online tech competency assessment and learning resource called Legal Technology Assessment. As an SBM member, you receive a deep discount of 40% off the regular price. Sign up for Legal Technology Assessment today. Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2018 at SBM Blog
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The 2018 NEXT Conference, formerly known as the Annual Meeting/Solo & Small Firm Institute, will be held September 26–28 at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. The NEXT Conference will focus on the future of the practice of law, giving you the opportunity to share ideas and more opportunities to network and tailor your programming schedule to meet your needs and interests. Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2018 at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan is implementing a new Modest Means program that will operate through the SBM Lawyer Referral Service pilot program. The new program is aimed at bridging the access to justice gap for the “missing middle” people who don’t qualify for legal aid but cannot afford the market rate for legal services. Those in households with income less than 200% of the federal poverty level are eligible for services in the program. Members who sign up to provide legal services as a Modest Means panel member will have their legal services count toward the State Bar’s Voluntary... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2018 at SBM Blog