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State Bar of Michigan Blogs
Lansing, MI
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After a comprehensive, year-long process examining how the State Bar of Michigan can best serve the public and support lawyers in the face of a rapidly evolving profession, the SBM 21st Century Practice Task Force has outlined five key problems the legal profession needs to address, and visions and key innovations necessary to overcome the problems. The work product of the task force can be found at http://www.michbar.org/future. The five problems outlined by the task force are a dysfunctional legal marketplace, significant issues for new lawyers and new challenges for experienced lawyers, inefficient and overly complex legal processes, regulatory hurdles... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at SBM Blog
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American Bar Association President Paulette Brown will address attendees at the second annual SBM Brunch for Bars from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday April 17, 2016, at the Fort Shelby Double Tree Hotel in Detroit. Brown will discuss the ABA Commission on Diversity & Inclusion 360, a program she created to formulate methods, policy, standards, and practices to best advance diversity and inclusion in the legal profession over the next 10 years. The commission’s four working groups on implicit bias projects, pipeline projects, diversity and inclusion guidelines, and implementation and economic opportunities will develop sustainable action plans to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2016 at SBM Blog
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The semi-annual "Tips and Tools for a Successful Practice" seminar will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 3 at the SBM Michael Franck Building in Lansing. The seminar will feature 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. It presents an opportunity for solo practitioners and new lawyers to obtain ethical guidance and practical information from colleagues who have effectively implemented law office management techniques and utilized economically-priced technology to improve efficiency of their... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2016 at SBM Blog
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State Bar of Michigan President-Elect Lawrence P. Nolan invites Michigan lawyers to apply now for appointments to committees for the 2015-2016 bar calendar year. Service on committees is voluntary and occurs through an appointment process that begins with an electronic application that must be filed by April 29. “I find that investing time in State Bar work is incredibly fulfilling, adding otherwise unparalleled meaning to my career,” Nolan said. “By joining the rich history of service to the State Bar through participation as a member of one of the many SBM committees, you may play a meaningful role in the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2016 at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan invites all law firms of two or more attorneys to apply for the 2016 Pro Bono Circle of Excellence, recognizing every firm that fully complied with the SBM Voluntary Pro Bono Standard during 2015. The application deadline is April 4. The Voluntary Pro Bono Standard applies to legal services for low-income individuals and organizations, as well as financial support for eligible nonprofit organizations that provide free civil legal aid for the poor. Contributions to the Access to Justice Fund count toward fulfilling the standard, which calls for attorneys to annually take three pro bono cases,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2016 at SBM Blog
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The Women’s Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section will present “The Women’s Leadership Forum” from 5:30 to 8 p.m. March 24 at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, located at 651 E. Jefferson Ave. in Detroit. The forum will consist of a panel discussion featuring moderator Kristin Murphy, of Brooks Kushman PC, and female leaders from many legal fields, including Sarah Barbantini, of Meemic Insurance Company; Dean Phyllis Crocker, of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law; Erika Davis, of Butler Davis PLLC; Deborah Hebert, of Collins Einhorn Farrell PC; the Hon.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2016 at SBM Blog
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Governor Rick Snyder appointed Paul K. Beardslee to the 10th District Court in Calhoun County. Beardslee currently serves as city attorney of Marshall and also works in private practice with a focus on civil matters, representing organizations and individuals in real property, personal injury, product liability, wrongful repossession, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate matters. He serves on the Brass Band of Battle Creek Board of Directors and on the Calhoun County Friend of the Court Committee. Beardslee has also served on the Marshall Public School Board, Marshall City Council, Marshall Success Fund and has worked with the Marshall Area Chamber... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2016 at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and Equal Access Initiative will co-host the second annual Brunch for Bars from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday April 17 at the Fort Shelby Double Tree Hotel in Detroit. The brunch occurs the morning after the Wolverine Bar Association’s 54th Annual Barristers Ball and offers an opportunity for leaders of local and affinity bar associations to network, share information, and discuss collaboration opportunities. There is no cost to attend the event. To register for brunch, e-mail Michelle Erskine at merskine@mail.michbar.org Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2016 at SBM Blog
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If you weren't able to make it to the State Bar of Michigan 21st Century Practice Task Force Town Hall on January 29, but would still like a chance to participate in the conversation, you're in luck. Video from the Town Hall is now available at bit.ly/21ctownhall in a six-part playlist. To watch all six videos, simply click play on the first video and the rest will play in order. Or, to watch any one of the videos, click the headline of the video and then play. To participate in the ongoing conversation about the future of law practice, submit... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2016 at SBM Blog
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The State Bar of Michigan Law and the Media Committee will host a panel discussion called “Body Cams: Competing Issues of Transparency, Privacy, and Constitutional Rights” from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on March 9 at the Spencer M. Patrich Auditorium at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit. The Wolverine Bar Association will cosponsor the discussion. A recent survey conducted by the Major Cities Chiefs Association and Major County Sheriffs' Association found that up to 95 percent of large police departments in the U.S. plan to implement a body camera program in the near future. A panel, moderated by Michigan... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2016 at SBM Blog
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Governor Rick Snyder appointed Christina Elmore to the 61st District Court in Kent County. Elmore is currently a solo practitioner in Grand Rapids, handling misdemeanors, felonies, family law, criminal cases and civil matters. She has also served as a judge advocate general for the U.S. Air Force, as an assistant prosecutor in the Kent County Prosecuting Attorney's Office and as an assistant attorney general, with a focus on prosecuting people for failing to pay child support. Elmore has taught military law as a professor at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2016 at SBM Blog
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The Michigan Indigent Defense Commission has crafted standards for appointed counsel and submitted them to the Michigan Supreme Court for review. The court seeks public comment on the proposed standards until May 1, and these comments will be considered by the court at a public hearing on May 18. "These initial standards tackle some of the major problems Michigan faces in the delivery of adequate indigent defense systems: training and education of counsel, the initial client interview, use of investigation and experts and counsel at first appearance and other stages," said MIDC Chair James Fisher in a statement. View the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2016 at SBM Blog
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Join the leaders of the SBM 21st Century Practice Task Force from 1-4 p.m. on Friday January 29 to discuss the future of the legal profession at a town hall meeting. The 21st Century Practice Task Force was created in March 2015 to make recommendations on how the State Bar can best serve the public and support lawyers' professional development in a rapidly changing legal marketplace. Since then, over 150 SBM members have developed more than 100 ideas to move Michigan forward toward the best possible legal future. Now it's your turn! The State Bar invites you to attend, in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2016 at SBM Blog
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Daisy Elliott, former Michigan State Representative and author and co-sponsor of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, died Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015 at age 98. “We are heartbroken to share this news,” said Badriyyah Sabree, Elliott’s granddaughter. “Our family holds dear her legacy, which includes extraordinary contributions to the state of Michigan and the nation. ... While we mourn the loss of this marvelous woman, we also celebrate her extraordinary life and hope that it serves as an example to people around the world to selflessly work to ensure all people are provided rights to full legal, social, and economic equality.”... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2015 at SBM Blog
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Governor Rick Snyder seeks candidates to fill an opening on the 51st District Court vacated by Hon. Jodi Debbrecht Switalski. If you are a State Bar of Michigan member who resides in this judicial district and meets the qualifications for the position, access the application on the governor's website and submit it to the governor's office no later than Jan. 4, 2016. Contact Cheri Arwood, executive administrator of the Legal Division of the governor's office, with any further questions at 517-241-5630. Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2015 at SBM Blog
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The developing conversation about the future of the legal profession is creating its own argot. Here's a Glossary of Future Law developed for the State Bar of Michigan 21st Century Practice Task Force that can help you speak the language. Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2015 at SBM Best Legal Future Blog
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Calling its move "a step towards building a ‘next-generation’ law firm," the legal technology company LegalZoom has bought its first UK law firm, a 200-year-old conveyancing firm in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. The Law Society Gazette has the story. LegalZoom was approved for an ABS (alternative business structure) license earlier this... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2015 at SBM Best Legal Future Blog
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Nominations are now open for the State Bar of Michigan's 42nd Annual Wade H. McCree Jr. Awards for the Advancement of Justice. 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. There is no entry fee. To be eligible, written and online materials and radio and television broadcasts must be published and/or aired between Jan. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2015. They must inform and educate citizens about the role of the law, the courts, law enforcement agencies and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2015 at SBM Blog
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As many law firms struggle to recover from the near-death experience of the Great Recession, there's a bracing debate going on in the legal futures community about whether the traditional law firm economic model (partners, associates, equity, etc.) will lead back to prosperity through standard growth strategies like mergers and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2015 at SBM Best Legal Future Blog
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Nominations are now open for major State Bar of Michigan awards that will be presented at the September 2016 Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids. The Roberts P. Hudson Award goes to a person whose career has exemplified the highest ideals of the profession. This award is presented periodically to commend one or more lawyers for their unselfish rendering of outstanding and unique service to and on behalf of the State Bar, given generously, ungrudgingly, and in a spirit of self-sacrifice. It is awarded to that member of the State Bar of Michigan who best exemplifies that which brings honor, esteem... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2015 at SBM Blog
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According to Legal Futures, The Netherlands is leading the way in Europe in the practical application of online dispute resolution. The Rechtwijzer 2.0 describes itself as “the first ODR platform for difficult problems such as divorce and separation, landlord-tenant disputes and employment disputes.” Its development says all you need to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2015 at SBM Best Legal Future Blog
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As in the U.S., the British have recognized racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in the legal profession and have pursued strategies for greater diversity and upward mobility in the bar and bench. According to a report out today, the strategies aren't working. Elite private school graduates, where minority populations are... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2015 at SBM Best Legal Future Blog
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According to this story from Legal Futures, the ability of non-lawyers to invest in UK law firms is resulting in “intense competition” for mid-tier law firms from Big Four accounting firms, all of which are licensed under the reforms of the Legal Services Act of 2007 as alternative business service... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2015 at SBM Best Legal Future Blog
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If you're thinking that the inexorable movement of information management (e.g. lawyer work) into a cloud-based delivery system means that technologists will somehow find a way to solve the problems of hacking, cybertheft, and viruses, think again. Human nature in the future will still be human nature, even if encroached... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2015 at SBM Best Legal Future Blog
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Exterminate Watson is such a friendly name for an artificial brain that outcompetes our own slow, distracted, and haphazardly stocked neuronal skull factories. How could this cyber-sidekick, named for a second fiddle intelligence, come to undermine our professional authority? For a long time, our best sci-fi writers and the cognoscenti... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2015 at SBM Best Legal Future Blog