The meeting will be at the State Bar Building, 306 Townsend St., Lansing. Lunch will be served at 12:00 noon.
I. Welcome and introductions.
II. Discussion items.
1. Potential threats to civil rights, civil liberties, and access to justice in the new congress. (Miriam Aukerman, Mark Bishop (Michigan Department of Civil Rights), all.)
Since the November election, there have been increased reports of hate crimes and as well as more direct political threats to minorities, immigrants, gay rights, reproductive rights, etc. There are also proposals to reduce or eliminate governmental benefits to the poor—the most dramatic of which is the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. In addition, there is the potential impact of the new congress on Legal Services Corporation funding.
In Michigan, there have been a number of groups who have been working together to coordinate their efforts to respond to the threats to civil rights and civil liberties-- they include the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, the ACLU, the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC), the NAACP, etc.
We'd like to have an open discussion of both the threats that are being seen by our organizations and our clients as well as initial responses. We're asking members to be ready to share their organization's perspectives and plans on these issues.
We'd also like to discuss the role of lawyers in responding to these threats—many of our organizations have been contacted by lawyers who want to help. What opportunities might exist for these lawyers? What role/duty do lawyers have in preventing hate crimes, supporting the rule of law, and educating the public about the importance of civil rights to our society?
ACLU Summit: www.tinyurl.com/ACLUSummit
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have written materials, please send them to Bob and to Scott Ellis (email@example.com) electronically.
A. Longer Updates
1. Ability to Pay (Libby Hines, Miriam Aukerman, Bob Gillett).
In June of 2014, the Michigan Supreme Court decided People v. Cunningham, which invalidated all court fees and costs not specifically authorized by statute. In response to the decision, the legislature revised MCL 7691k in October 2014 (the "Cunningham fix" legislation.) This legislation permitted courts to charge court costs in criminal cases, but (a) required courts to tie these costs to actual court expenses; (b) specifically prohibited incarcerating litigants who lacked the ability to pay costs; (c) required SCAO to report annually on the costs collected under the statute; and (d) agreed imposed a sunset on the new cost authorization in October 2017.
We expect the legislature to review this issue in 2017. We'd like to discuss our experience under the 2014 legislation and the prospects for further action in 2017.
B. Shorter Updates
1. The future of the legal profession (Candace Crowley, Ang Tripp).
2. National and state efforts on bail reform (Val Newman and Miriam Aukerman).
3. Juvenile Justice Update (MaryAnn Sarosi).
4. Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (Jon Sacks).
5. Immigration (Susan Reed).
6. State Bar Committee on Justice Initiatives (Candace Crowley).
7. Pro Bono (Bob Gillett, Candace Crowley).
8. Michigan Legal Help Program (Ang Tripp).
9. Amicus update (Ann Routt).
10. E-filing update (Angela Tripp).
11. Civil Right to Counsel (Bob Gillett).
12. LEP Developments (Susan Reed and Candace Crowley).
13. Native American Issues (Jim Keedy).
14. Advisory Committee to the US Department of Civil Rights—Civil Asset Forfeiture (Sarah Prescott).
15. Unemployment Update.
Zynda - Stipulated Order Enjoining Collection Activity: http://www.bwlawonline.com/blog/2017/01/13/federal-court-order-halts-collection-activity-on-unemployment-robo-fraud-cases/
IV. Future Meetings:
April 27, 2017 (Lansing)
July 27, 2017 (Detroit)
October 26, 2017