Category Archives: News

Michigan Legal Milestone 1: Ossian Sweet Trial

MichiganLegalMilestones_1In June 1925, prominent African American medical doctor Dr. Ossian Sweet and his family, who were arrested and charged with the murder of one member of a white mob who tried to shoot at the Sweet home in Detroit.

The NAACP enlisted the aid of famed attorney Clarence Darrow who came to Michigan to defend the Sweets.

Presiding Judge Frank Murphy instructed the jury that "a man's house is his castle" and that Dr. Sweet had the right to defend it, if he had good reason to fear for the lives of his family or their property. These rights, he noted, belong to black people as well as whites.

Acquitted, the Sweet family moved back into their home at 2905 Garland Avenue, Detroit, and an important legal precedent had been set.

More information about the Ossian Sweet Trial. 

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SBM Animal Law Section Announces Brandi and Sadie Award Recipients

StiggysdogsThe Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan will present the Sadie Award to Stiggy’s Dogs at 3 p.m. on April 17 at the organization’s facility in Hamburg Township. Stiggy’s Dogs is a nonprofit organization that rescues and trains shelter dogs to be psychiatric service dogs for military veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Traumatic Brain Injury. The psychiatric service dogs are trained and deployed at no cost to the veteran.  

The Sadie Award was created in 2001 to recognize contributions to the well-being of animals made by Michigan residents not involved in the legal or legislative systems. The award was named in memory of Sadie, a beloved family dog who died as the result of animal cruelty. Previous recipients of the Sadie Award include Michigan Humane Society Cruelty Investigation Team, Ron Kagan, Judy Dynnick, Melissa Rosenberg, West Michigan SPCA d/b/a Faithful to Felines, SASHA Farm and Connie Page and Tom Connor.

The SBM Animal Law Section will also present the Brandi Award to Katie Branigan Hawkins, an assistant prosecuting attorney with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, at 4 p.m. on March 29 at the Jackson Fraternal Order of Police Lodge. Branigan Hawkins formed an Animal Anticruelty Task Force with Dr. Cathy Anderson, shelter veterinarian for Jackson County Animal Control. Branigan Hawkins has personally taken cruelty and neglect cases arising from Jackson County Animal Control and empowered the shelter to pursue charges on felony and misdemeanor cases. Her contributions have been vital to the shelter, which has no animal control officers. The Brandi Award recipient can designate a $250 honorarium to a Michigan nonprofit organization. Branigan Hawkins has chosen the Friends of the Animals for the Jackson Area, Inc. to receive the honorarium.

The SBM Animal Law Section established the Brandi Award in 2000 to periodically recognize a person in the legal or legislative professions who does something remarkable for animals. The award was first presented to Hon. Kaye Tertzag, a Wayne County Circuit Court judge who ruled that a case seeking non-economic damages in the death of Brandi, a companion dog, should proceed. Other recipients of the award include Rep. Robert Kosowski, Hon. Steven Servaas, former Judge David Soet, Hon. John Hallacy, prosecutor Katherine Miller, former Sen. Carl Levin, Hon. Conrad Sindt, Senator Rick Jones, former Rep. Pamela Byrnes, former Rep. John Espinoza, and Senator Steven Bieda.

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Submit Nominations for 2018 SBM Awards

AwardNominations are now open for the awards that will be presented at the September 2018 NEXT Conference in Grand Rapids. Awards due by 5 p.m. February 16: Roberts P. Hudson Award, Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Service Award, Champion of Justice Award, Kimberly M. Cahill Bar Leadership Award, John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award and John W. Reed Michigan Lawyer Legacy Award. The Liberty Bell Award deadline is Friday, May 11.

The State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly Michael Franck Award and Unsung Hero Award nomination deadline is March 10.

Nominate a deserving attorney today. 

 

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Submit Nominations for 2018 SBM Awards

AwardNominations are now open for the awards that will be presented at the September 2018 NEXT Conference in Grand Rapids. Awards due by 5 p.m. February 16: Roberts P. Hudson Award, Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Service Award, Champion of Justice Award, Kimberly M. Cahill Bar Leadership Award, John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award and John W. Reed Michigan Lawyer Legacy Award. The Liberty Bell Award deadline is Friday, May 11.

The State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly Michael Franck Award and Unsung Hero Award nomination deadline is March 10.

Nominate a deserving attorney today. 

 

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Order 2018 April Alphabetical & Resource Directories Now

SbmdirectoryLooking for a member of the State Bar of Michigan? The SBM online member directory contains the most up-to-date contact information. In addition, a portable April Resource Directory containing comprehensive court, state, and local government and lawyer association contact information is available online and will be sent to you if you have opted in to receive a print edition of the Michigan Bar JournalApril issue. You can order extra copies of the resource directory for $10.

If you prefer to receive a member list in print, we offer the April Resource Directory Plus Alphabetical Member Roster, which includes all the information found in the April Resource Directory plus a complete listing of all members of the State Bar of Michigan. Place your order by March 15 to purchase a printed copy of the April Resource Directory Plus Alphabetical Member Roster for $35.

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Representative Assembly Accepting Nominations for Awards

SBM-NEXT17-962Nominations are being accepted for two State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly awards. The Michael Franck Award is given annually to an attorney who has made an outstanding contribution to the improvement of the legal profession. The Unsung Hero Award is presented to a lawyer who has exhibited the highest standards of practice and commitment for the benefit of others.

The nomination deadline is Saturday, March 10, 2018. Apply Online

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SBM Encourages Michigan Attorneys to Volunteer on MLK Day

MLKDay2018

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 you find community service and pro bono volunteer opportunities within your local communitiy on Jan. 15.

The new Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service resource guide will help you search for pro bono service opportunities by county. You can also find new attorneys to mentor on SBM's mentor board or look for community service volunteer opportunities in your local community. If you can't dedicate time to volunteer on MLK Day, we encourage you to donate money to the Access to Justice Fund.

If you participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, please consider submitting your activities to the A Lawyer Helps program to inspire other lawyers to participate in the program next year.

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Now Accepting Orders for the April 2018 Alphabetical & Resource Print Directories

2018AprilAlphabeticalRosterThe State Bar of Michigan online member directory contains the most up-to-date information and serves as the primary method for locating SBM members. The online member directory receives over 12,000 hits daily as more than 16,000 members have already opted out of receiving any printed directory information. Members are moving swiftly to online resources to meet a wide variety of their practice needs, including directory information. One reason among many, printed directories quickly become obsolete. The last time the State Bar printed member directory information, more than 19,000 member records (e.g., name, membership status, contact information) had changed as of the publication date. By contrast, online directories are constantly refreshed with up-to-date information.

For those members who still prefer to receive things in print, however, we have two options.The newly-formatted April Resource Directory is a sleek, portable, highly practical guide to information not easily found in other printed materials. Examples include contact information for circuit, district, probate, appeals, municipal, tribal, federal, and problem-solving courts; local, state, and federal agencies; law schools; lawyer associations; State Bar sections; fields of practice listings; and lawyer discipline summaries. The Resource Directory is sent to members who currently opt in to receive a print edition of the Michigan Bar Journal. Extra copies of the resource directory can be ordered for $10.

For those who wish to receive a membership list in print, we offer the April Resource Directory Plus Alphabetical Member Roster, which includes all the information found in the April Resource Directory plus a complete listing of all members of the State Bar of Michigan as of February 15—active, emeritus, inactive, and affiliate. Printed copies of the April Resource Directory Plus Alphabetical Member Roster may be purchased by members for $35, and by non-members for $60. Copies can be ordered online. A full PDF version of the printed Alphabetical Roster will be available for no charge in our member area following its publication in April.

Anyone interested in purchasing a printed April Resource Directory Plus Alphabetical Member Roster, or an extra copy of the April Resource Directory, must place an order by March 15, 2018.

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Representative Assembly Accepting Award Nominations

MichaelfranckNominations are being accepted for two State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly awards. The Michael Franck Award is given annually to an attorney who has made an outstanding contribution to the improvement of the legal profession. The Unsung Hero Award is presented to a lawyer who has exhibited the highest standards of practice and commitment for the benefit of others.

Nominees for both awards must be State Bar members in good standing and their contributions may have been made either during the past year or by virtue of cumulative effort or service. Materials submitted should include sufficient details about the nominee's accomplishments. The Assembly's Nominating and Awards Committee will review the applications and make awards recommendations to the Representative Assembly. The Representative Assembly, chaired by Joseph P. McGill, is the final policy-making body of the State Bar.

The nomination deadline is Saturday, March 10, 2017. Apply online. For more information about the Representative Assembly Awards contact Carrie Sharlow at repassembly@mail.michbar.org or 517-346-6317.

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