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SBM Blog
Lansing, MI
Edited by Janet Welch
Recent Activity
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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 yesterday 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 2 days ago 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
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Curious about Michigan's bar exam passing rates from previous exams? The Michigan Board of Law Examiners has posted passage statistics from previous exams, dating from February of 2000 to February of 2014. They have also posted questions and examiners' analyses from previous exams, dating from February of 2009 through February of 2014. Stay tuned to SBM Blog - we will bring you the results from the July 2014 bar exam as soon as they are posted. The Michigan Board of Law Examiners is the entity that oversees the Michigan Bar Exam. The Michigan Supreme Court oversees the BLE. The State... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2014 at SBM Blog
Margaret Heffernan discusses the importance of conflict in creating thinking organizations. Do you promote constructive conflict among the employees at your firm, department or organization? If not, take a listen. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2014 at SBM Blog
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According to a three-member panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals: Yes. Read a summary of the case in today's e-Journal. Read the opinion. Posted by Samantha Meinke Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2014 at SBM Blog
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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 Oct 24, 2014 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 Oct 23, 2014 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 Oct 23, 2014 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 Oct 22, 2014 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 Oct 21, 2014 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