The meeting will be at the State Bar Building.
The Bar's address is 306 Townsend St., Lansing.
Lunch will be served at 12:00 noon.
I. Welcome and introductions
II. Discussion items.
1. Racial Justice Training Institute discussion (Alisa Parker).
At our January meeting, we received a presentation on the implementation work being done by the Michigan Racial Justice Training Institute (RJTI) group. That group continues to work to identify Michigan projects. However, as the group explores other Michigan initiatives, it has noted that its work overlaps with the Bar's Diversity and Inclusion (DIAC) work and the Truth Racial Healing and Reconciliation (TRHT) work that is being done in communities across the state under the auspices of a Kellogg Foundation grant. Alisa Parker, who has been one of the leaders of the TRHT process, will describe these initiatives and discuss the possible opportunities to harmonize these processes.
2. Proposed "public charge" executive order (Susan Reed, Miriam Aukerman, others.)
This is a specific follow up on our ongoing topic of "potential threats to civil rights, civil liberties, and access to justice in the new congress". It is expected that the Trump administration will issue a rule broadly expanding the types of government support which would make non-citizens ineligible for residency and/or citizenship. (The Washington Post published a leaked draft of the proposal on March 28.)
Current rules penalize immigrants who receive cash welfare payments, and consider these individual a "public charge." But the proposed changes from the Department of Homeland Security would broaden the government's definition of benefits to include the widely used earned-income tax credit as well as health insurance subsidies and other "non-cash public benefits."
This proposal would impact thousands of LSC-eligible immigrants. Susan and Miriam will describe the proposal and the advocacy efforts forming in response to it. This presentation will include other updates on immigration and civil rights issues.
3. The Eviction Crisis in Michigan—Big Data and Poverty Advocacy (Ashley Lowe, Angela Tripp, others).
We're attaching a link to the April 7 New York Times article that mines national court data to describe eviction rates across the nation. We see three points that are significant to the Planning Body regarding this article: (a) to what extent does the article provide advocacy opportunities in Michigan?; (b) this is an example of using large volumes of publicly accessible data to generate a policy discussion on a poverty law issue; (c) on a national level, the Voices project is available as a resource to states and programs on media issues. We'd like to make the Planning Body aware of these resources and to get Planning Body input on moving legal services work in general and anti-eviction work in particular forward in Michigan.
On the other areas that the SPB has been following, we are inviting written reports prior to the meeting or brief oral reports at the meeting. Please let us know if you would like to give an oral report at the meeting.
We have noted some issues where there have been developments and we are expecting an oral report. If you feel like you need more than 5-10 minutes for an in person report or if you would like to move a topic from the shorter report to the longer report section of the agenda, please contact Bob Gillett at (email@example.com). If you have written materials, please send them to Bob and to Scott Ellis (firstname.lastname@example.org) electronically.
A. Longer Updates
1. ABA Day Report (Peter Cunningham and Jennifer Bentley).
The ABA Day delegation was in Washington April 10 to12. Peter and Jennifer will give a report on the group's interactions with Congress on LSC funding and other Access to Justice issues.
2. Ability to Pay (Peter Cunningham, Libby Hines, John Philo, others.)
Susan and Miriam will give us an update on immigration and civil rights issues.
3. Client cell phones in court (Ang Tripp).
This has been an ongoing issue for low income litigants (especially pro se litigants). Court policies are inconsistent and the many courts that have "no cell phone" policies create significant barriers for litigants. We'd like the Planning Body to review current policies and to advocate with the court system (local courts and SCAO) for more litigant-friendly policies.
4. Discovery Court Rules and Fee Waivers (Peter Cunningham, Candace Crowley, Bob Gillett).
Both of these topics are on the State Bar Representative Assembly agenda for April 21. We'll report on the Representative Assembly action and discuss next steps.
5. Criminal Defense Update (Jon Sacks and Loren Khogali).
Jon Sacks (the new Executive Director of SADO) and Loren Khogali (the new Executive Director of the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission) will give a brief update on developments in indigent criminal defense.
B. Shorter Updates
1. Juvenile Life without Parole (Val Newman, Jon Sacks)
2. Unemployment Law update (John Philo, Steve Gray, David Blanchard)
3. State Bar reorganization (Candace Crowley)
4. State Bar ATJ Policy Work (Peter Cunningham)
5. ABA Reorganization (Bob Gillett)
6. Cy Pres (Bob Gillett, Jennifer Bentley)
7. Juvenile Law Issues (MaryAnn Sarosi)
8. National and state efforts on bail reform (Val Newman and Miriam Aukerman)
9. Michigan Legal Help Program (Ang Tripp)
10. E-filing update (Angela Tripp)
11. Amicus update (Ann Routt)
12. Civil Right to Counsel (Bob Gillett)
13. LEP Developments (Susan Reed and Candace Crowley)
14. Native American Issues (Jim Keedy)
V. Proposed 2018 Meeting Dates:
July 19 (Detroit)
October 25 (Lansing)