Thursday, June 19, 2014

State Bar of Michigan Seeking Comments

The Task Force on the Role of the State Bar of Michigan's Report to the Michigan Supreme Court is currently being reviewed by the State Bar's Board of Commissioners. The Report was initiated by SB 74, which would change the membership of the State Bar of Michigan from mandatory to voluntary.

The work group wants input from the State Bar of Michigan membership and wants the membership to know:

1) That the Court also wants membership input and will accept comments until August 4;

2) That the workgroup will be reviewing the report to decide what our comments, thoughts, and recommendations to the Court may be;

3) That the workgroup wants to obtain member comments about the report as soon as possible, but no later than July 15 so they and the Board of Commissioners can consider the comments in their decision making. Specifically please comment upon:

The limits placed on advocacy by a more rigorous Keller process that is intended to "go beyond the safeguards imposed on any of the mandatory state bars that engage in legislative advocacy." (Pages 8-9 TF report);

The review panel of seven people that would have exclusive responsibility to decide whether a matter is or is not Keller permissible and also requires that five of the seven review panel members agree (pages 7-8 TF report);

The elimination from the Rules Concerning the State Bar that strikes from existing Rule 1 "… and in promoting the interests of the legal profession in this State." (Page 6 TF report);

The suggested changes to the Representative Assembly and Board of Commissioner governance which includes eliminating language in Rule 6 Sec 1—"The Representative Assembly is the final policy-making body of the State Bar." (Page 16 TF report);

The suggested changes to the advocacy activities of the Sections (pages 13-14 TF report);

The suggested changes to the Bar's involvement in the disciplinary process giving the Bar input in the appointment of AGC and ADB members and directors; (pages 15-16 TF report);

The suggested changes that require a formal Keller analysis of justice initiative programs (page 14 TF report);

To those who have supported a mandatory bar—indicate whether you would support a mandatory bar if the Task Force's recommendations were adopted by the Court;

Any other comments, observations or recommendations you have.

E-mail your response to Brian Einhorn, brian.einhorn@ceflawyers.com and Don Rockwell nrk@tir.com.

Also be sure to send your comments to the Court by August 4, 2014.

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