Category Archives: News

Free Legal Assistance Available for Flood Victims in Midland, Isabella, Bay and Gladwin Counties

FloodA toll-free legal aid hotline is now available to victims of Michigan’s recently declared flood disaster in Midland, Isabella, Bay and Gladwin Counties. The service, which allows callers to request the assistance of a lawyer to aid in flood-related matters, is a partnership between the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, the State Bar of Michigan, the State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section, Lakeshore Legal Aid and Legal Services of Eastern Michigan.

Flood victims facing legal issues who are unable to afford a lawyer may call 1-800-418-8315 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday, to request assistance. When connected to the hotline, callers should identify that they are seeking disaster-related legal assistance, brief details of the assistance needed and in which county they are located. Individuals who qualify for assistance will be matched with Michigan lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal assistance.

The type of legal assistance available includes:

  • Assistance securing FEMA and other government benefits available to disaster victims;
  • Assistance with life, medical and property insurance claims;
  • Help with home repair contracts and contractors;
  • Replacement of wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the disaster;
  • Assistance in consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures;
  • Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems; and
  • Counseling on landlord-tenant problems.

Flood victims may also visit to receive free legal assistance online. Individuals who qualify for this service can ask a volunteer attorney questions online and receive a written response.


When the President declares a major disaster, FEMA, in cooperation with the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, establishes a toll-free number for disaster victims to request legal assistance. Funding for the toll-free line comes from FEMA under the authority of Section 415 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Public Law 100-107). The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, in turn, partners with state bar associations and other legal organizations to recruit volunteers in affected areas to handle victims’ cases.

Victims should be aware that there are limitations on disaster legal services. For example, assistance is not available for cases that will produce a fee (e.g., those cases where attorneys are paid part of the settlement by a court). Such cases are referred to a local lawyer referral service.

Currently, disaster relief services are available to flood victims in Midland, Isabella, Bay, and Gladwin Counties. Low-income flood victims seeking legal assistance outside and surrounding Midland, Isabella, Bay, and Gladwin Counties may contact Legal Services of Eastern Michigan 1-800-322-4512 to find out if they qualify for free legal assistance. For all other flood victims, contact the State Bar of Michigan lawyer referral service at 1-800-968-0738.

Partner Members:

The following organizations have joined forces to establish a toll-free phone line for Midland, Isabella, Bay and Gladwin, Michigan disaster victims to request free legal assistance and to provide volunteer attorneys to handle cases arising from recent flooding.

American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division: The ABA YLD is the largest national organization of young lawyers that provides leadership in serving the public and the profession, and promotes excellence and fulfillment in the practice of law. Its parent organization, the American Bar Association, is the national voice of the legal profession and is the largest voluntary professional membership group in the world.

State Bar of Michigan: Established in 1935, the State Bar of Michigan is composed of more than 45,000 practicing attorneys and judges. The mission of the State Bar is to improve the administration of justice, promote the legal profession, and build public understanding of our legal system. For more information, visit Follow SBM on Facebook and on Twitter @MIStateBar. If you are a member of the State Bar, join our group on LinkedIn.

State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section: The State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section is a professional membership organization. The Section’s mission is to sponsor activities of interest and value to young lawyers in Michigan; coordinate activities of the various local young lawyer groups in Michigan; cooperate with, and serve as an integral part of the State Bar of Michigan; cooperate with various local bar associations in the State of Michigan, and the American Bar Association, including its Young Lawyer Division, in the promotion of their programs.

Lakeshore Legal Aid: Lakeshore Legal Aid takes pride in providing Southeast Michigan with excellence in advocacy and civil legal counsel since 1966. Our attorneys offer professional legal advice and counseling, document review and preparation, negotiation, mediation, and representation in court to improve the legal status of the men, women, and families we serve. 

Legal Services of Eastern Michigan: LSEM delivers free civil legal assistance to people with limited means. Its mission is to use legal skills to address the causes and effects of poverty. Special emphasis is placed on those issues that affect the survival needs of low-income people. LSEM provides services in 14 Mid-Michigan counties including, Arenac, Bay, Clare, Genesee, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Isabella, Lapeer, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac, St. Clair, and Tuscola.

Source link

ABA joins SBM, State Bar Associations and CloudLaw, Inc. to Expand Online Legal Network

OnlinemarketThe American Bar Association has joined the State Bar of Michigan, CloudLaw, Inc. and several other state bar associations to create a national online legal network that consumers can trust to find lawyers.

By joining together for the first time in this type of effort, the ABA and other state bars will leverage their combined expertise to create a dynamic, comprehensive, national online network. The network will offer easy-to-use lawyer search, topical legal information and quick connections between legal professionals. The lawyer search platform hosts some 90,000+ lawyer profiles and receives half a million quarterly visits. Combined with the ABA partnership and the scheduled participation of additional state bars, the network expects to reach over half a million lawyer-members by the end of 2018.

"While the online market for legal services has been exploding with confusing and in some cases very questionable options for consumers, CloudLaw has been carefully building the foundation for a credible, convenient alternative backed and developed with the collective input of state bar associations," SBM Executive Director Janet Welch said. "The current CloudLaw network has quietly been benefiting Michigan lawyers and the public for over two years, and its value will increase tremendously over time. The addition of the expertise of the American Bar Association is a crucial step forward."

"The American Bar Association is excited by the opportunity to collaborate with state bars to provide consumers with greater access to lawyers," said Linda A. Klein, President of the American Bar Association. "Technology can only do so much and people still need lawyers to help them solve their problems. We believe that the CloudLaw directory will allow potential clients to find the lawyer they need."

The expanded network will function as a central, searchable hub, while offering the same ethically focused and user-friendly features as the current CloudLaw network. In connection with the launch, CloudLaw will also rebrand the site domain name from to

"Today is a significant step forward in bar associations revitalizing their traditional role by providing a credible and ethically compliant marketplace to deliver legal services on the Internet," CloudLaw, Inc. CEO and President Robert Aicher said. "CloudLaw is proud to be the provider facilitating this online evolution."

Source link

SBM Young Lawyers Section to Host National Trial Advocacy Competition

NTAC Champions - Houston Law CenterThe State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section will host the National Trial Advocacy Competition Oct. 20-22 at the Oakland County Circuit Court, located at 1200 Telegraph Road in Pontiac. The competition is designed for teams of four participants, made up of two advocates and two witnesses. Participants will have an opportunity to perfect their courtroom advocacy skills in the presence of judges and practitioners.

This year the preliminary rounds will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20 (one round), and from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21 (2 rounds). The semi-final and final rounds will be held from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22.

The SBM Young Lawyers Section is now accepting applications to the competition. The deadline is 5 p.m. Aug. 4. Submit your application by emailing with the subject line 2017 NTAC Application. Applications should include your law school name, address and phone number; faculty/primary contact person for the competition and that person’s phone number and email address (acceptance to the competition will be emailed to this address only); and a brief description of previous participation in regional and national competitions.

Selected teams will be notified of their acceptance by email on Aug. 8. Teams must accept invitations to the competition by Aug. 11. The registration fee for selected teams is $600, due on Aug. 21. Contact with any other questions about the competition.

Source link

Do you remember critical federal court rules? Get a refresher at #SBMNext

NEXT-Message1-GenXHear from some of Michigan's top jurists on the "must-know" federal and state court rules, as well as best practices for preserving your record at trial. Join us at SBM NEXT Conference on September 27-29 in Detroit.

U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson, of the Eastern District of Michigan, will help you avoid pitfalls and brush up on the procedures for removal and remand, as well as teach you how to keep your civil case on track and sharpen your knowledge of the essential rules for discovery, motion practice, and key local rules.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Kurtis T. Wilder, Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Christopher M. Murray, and Third Judicial Circuit Judge Lita Masini Popke will teach you best practices for preserving your record. They'll share the secret to preserving issues for appeal, as well as the best way to time objections, make offers of proof and handle evidence.

New a la carte pricing on educational sessions will allow you to attend only the sessions most beneficial to you, while also fitting in section meetings and educational events, as well as other networking opportunities.

Formerly the Annual Meeting/Solo & Small Firm Institute, the NEXT Conference focuses on the future of law practice by bringing Michigan lawyers together in a whole new way to learn, share ideas, make connections, and more. Tailor the program to your needs by creating your own unique experience. Want to attend a section meeting, grab lunch, and catch an educational session or two? We've got you covered. Or maybe you'd rather focus on education and networking? You can do that too with a new, inclusive "all-member" lunch and reception. With two-day, one-day, and a la carte pricing options, it's the conference that fits your schedule. Your conference, your way.
Save your spot at SBM NEXT Conference.

Source link

Michigan Supreme Court to Raise Attorney Dues by $15 in 2017-2018

MichigansupremecourtThe Michigan Supreme Court announced today that the disciplinary portion of State Bar of Michigan dues will increase for the 2017-2018 fiscal year to $105. The disciplinary portion of bar dues will also increase in the 2018-2019 fiscal year to $120. These changes will appear on dues notices that will be sent to State Bar members in September of this year. 

The Supreme Court had previously lowered disciplinary dues from $120 to $110 in 2011 and then to $90 in 2014, so this increase in disciplinary dues will restore dues to the 2010 level. 

Read Adminstrative Order 2017-09.

Source link

State Bar of Michigan Announces 2017 Election Results

ElectionresultsSeven attorneys—David C. Anderson, Bernhardt “Chris” D. Christenson, III, Shauna L. Dunnings, James W. Heath, Hon. David A. Perkins, Daniel D. Quick and Gregory L. Ulrich—won contested seats in this year’s Board of Commissioners elections. All will serve three-year terms expiring at the close of the 2020 Annual Meeting.

David C. Anderson and Daniel D. Quick were both elected to serve District I, representing Oakland County. Anderson is a shareholder at Collins Einhorn Farrell in Southfield, dedicating his practice primarily to defending Michigan lawyers and law firms against personal liability claims. Quick is a trial lawyer with Dickinson Wright in Troy and national leader of the firm's commercial litigation practice.

Bernhardt “Chris” D. Christenson, III, was elected to serve District B, representing Bay, Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac and Tuscola Counties. He started his own firm, Christenson & Fiederlein in Flint in 2006.

Shauna L. Dunnings was elected to serve District E, representing Barry, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Livingston, Montcalm and Shiawasee Counties. She currently serves as administrator for the 30th Judicial Circuit Court in Lansing.

James W. Heath, Hon. David A. Perkins and Gregory L. Ulrich were elected to serve District H, representing Monroe, Lenawee and Wayne Counties. Heath currently serves as the City of Detroit’s first inspector general, and in that role is responsible for rooting out waste, abuse, fraud and corruption in city government. Judge Perkins serves on the 36th District Court in Detroit. Ulrich runs a law practice in Grosse Pointe Woods with a focus on business law, real estate law, finance, technology and litigation.

The SBM Board of Commissioners provides oversight to the State Bar on finance, public policy, professional standards and member services and communications.

Judicial Tenure Commission

James W. Burdick, of Bloomfield Hills, won a contested election for a three-year term on the Judicial Tenure Commission that will commence Jan. 1, 2018 and will expire on Dec. 31, 2020.

The JTC is a constitutionally created body that promotes the integrity of the judicial process and preserves public confidence in the courts. 

SBM Representative Assembly

Forty-seven attorneys won unopposed races in the State Bar Representative Assembly. These new members are:

First Circuit—Hillsdale County
Karlye A. Horton

Third Circuit—Wayne County
Stephen M. Taratuta
Mark M. Koroi
Thomas M.J. Lavigne
Daniel D. McLean
Aaron V. Burrell
Elizabeth A. Young

Fourth Circuit—Jackson County
Terry J. Klaasen

Sixth Circuit—Oakland County
Sheldon G. Larky
Dawn M. King
John Chau
Victoria B. King
Matthew M. Aneese
Patrick D. Crandell
Chelsea M. Rebeck
Matthew J. Turchyn
David J. Eagles
Marco M. Bisbikis
Aristidi D. Papaioannou
Jennifer R. Turchyn

Seventh Circuit—Genesee County
Jill L. Nylander

Eighth Circuit—Ionia and Montcalm Counties
Ryan Cade C. Villet

Ninth Circuit—Kalamazoo County
Alan B. Koenig

10th Circuit—Saginaw County
Randy L. Price

13th Circuit—Antrim, Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties
John R. Blakeslee

16th Circuit—Macomb County
R. Timothy Kohler

17th Circuit—Kent County
Martin J. Hillard
Joshua Z. Kosmerick

18th Circuit—Bay County
Jessie S. Wood
Marcus R. Garske

20th Circuit—Ottawa County
Ronald L. Foster

21st Circuit—Isabella County
Robert M. Backus

22nd Circuit—Washtenaw County
John W. Reiser, III
Elizabeth Kitchen-Troop
Jonathan D. Goslow

26th Circuit—Alpena and Montmorency Counties
Daniel J. Florip

27th Circuit—Newaygo and Oceana Counties
Ellsworth J. Stay, Jr.

30th Circuit—Ingham County
Darling A. Garcia

31st Circuit—St. Clair County
Hilary B. Georgia

35th Circuit—Shiawassee County
Michael L. Herendeen

37th Circuit—Calhoun County
James L. Jordan

43rd Circuit—Cass County
Kelley James-Jura

47th Circuit—Delta County
Ian R. Rothe

49th Circuit—Mecosta and Osceola Counties
Erin M. Carrier Barnhart

51st Circuit—Lake and Mason Counties
Kathryn E. Glancy

54th Circuit–Tuscola County
Gregory H. Bringard

55th Circuit–Clare and Gladwin Counties
Hon. Thomas R. Evans

The 150-member Representative Assembly was created in 1972 to increase the proportion of members who actively participate in State Bar policy; it serves as the SBM final policy-making body. 

SBM Young Lawyers Section Executive Council

Three attorneys—Elisha M. Oakes, of St. Clair Shores; Colemon L. Potts, of Detroit; and Aaron P. Sohaski, of Detroit—won uncontested elections in District 1, representing Wayne and Macomb counties, for a two-year term expiring in 2019.

Three attorneys—Matthew P. Breuer, of Royal Oak; Silvia A. Mansoor, of Troy; and Aristidi D. Papaioannou, of Farmington—won uncontested elections in District 2, representing Oakland County, for two-year terms expiring in 2019.

Four attorneys—Kara R. Hart-Negrich, of Lansing; Amy S. Krieg, of East Lansing; Laura M. Kubit, of Caro; and Bobby A. Ficklin, Jr., of Lansing—won contested elections in District Three, representing all Michigan counties except for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb, for two-year terms expiring in 2019.

The Young Lawyers Executive Council governs the members of the Young Lawyers Section, one of the State Bar's largest sections. The section provides education, information and analysis about issues of concern through meetings, seminars, public service programs and newsletters. The section has won numerous awards for its public service and educational programs.

Source link

Low-Income Genesee Residents Can Ask Lawyers Questions for Free

MifreelegalanswersLow-income residents of Genesee County can now get legal help through a new online tool. MI Free Legal Answers operates like an online legal aid clinic, allowing low-income Genesee County residents to get answers to non-criminal legal questions by logging onto the site from any device at any time. The new site was developed and is sponsored nationally by the American Bar Association and is sponsored in Michigan by the State Bar of Michigan, working in collaboration with the Genesee County Bar Association and Legal Services of Eastern Michigan. The site has launched as a pilot program in Genesee County and may eventually be available to all low-income Michigan residents. The website is free for clients to use and mobile friendly. With funding from the ABA and other national sponsors, SBM pays no cost to participate and offer the website to low-income residents of Genesee County.

Visitors to the site who earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty limit—about $49,200 for a family of four—can post up to three questions per year to the site and receive answers from licensed Michigan attorneys. Visitors can ask about any non-criminal matter, including questions about divorce, child custody, bankruptcy, credit problems, landlords, land contracts, and more. Attorneys in the program will not represent visitors in court or prepare legal documents, but they will direct users to appropriate legal aid clinics, self-help guides, and other resources.

Visitors and attorneys communicate through a secure messaging portal and can upload documents and photos to help facilitate conversations. All visitor questions and attorney answers are kept completely confidential.

For more information, visit MI Free Legal Answers at

Source link

Registration Now Open for SBM NEXT Conference

Nextconference2This year the State Bar of Michigan will launch a new event called SBM NEXT Conference September 27-29 at Cobo Center in Detroit.

Formerly known as the State Bar Annual Meeting and Solo & Small Firm Institute, the NEXT Conference will focus on the future of law practice by bringing Michigan lawyers together in a whole new way to learn, share ideas, make connections and more. The State Bar will give lawyers the tools to develop their dream careers, gain the most recent updated information about their law practice areas, learn technology tricks to streamline their practices and build better professional networks.

Lawyers can tailor the program to their needs by creating their own unique experiences. NEXT Conference offers lawyers the flexibility to sign up for two-day, one-day, and a la carte pricing options for education. So lawyers can attend a morning section meeting, network at lunch and catch an education session or two in the afternoon. Or they can focus strictly on education and networking, by attending all-day education programs and a new, inclusive all member networking lunch and reception.

Find out more or register for NEXT Conference.

Source link

SBM Members: Today is the Deadline to Vote in SBM Elections

LastchanceSBM members: today is your last chance to make your voice heard by choosing leadership for the State Bar of Michigan and Judicial Tenure Commission for the next few years. You have until 11:59 p.m. on today to cast your votes (or get your ballot in the mail to be counted).

There are contested races for the Judicial Tenure Commission, the Board of Commissioners in Districts B, E, H, and I, and the Young Lawyers Section Executive Council in District 3. Unless your address on file is in one of the districts where there is a contested race, you have only received a ballot for the Judicial Tenure Commission race.

All eligible members with an e-mail address on file with the State Bar may vote securely online. This can be done by one of two methods. The first way is to access the voting website via the member area of, where you will need to sign in and click on the VOTE NOW button to be directed to the voting website.The second way is to access a secure link directly to the voting site  in the e-mail from that was sent on May 26 with the subject line, "Vote now in the 2017 State Bar of Michigan election – e-ballot enclosed." 

If you have questions, contact Marge Bossenbery at mbossenbery@michbar.orgor (517) 346-6327, or contact Election Services Co. at

Source link

Attention Lenawee, Monroe and Wayne County Attorneys: Vote For Your Commissioner Today

Vote2017Attention Lenawee, Monroe and Wayne County (District H) lawyers: This year four attorneys are running for three seats on the State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners. That means your vote matters more than ever in this race. You should have received an electronic ballot for the 2017 SBM elections via e-mail. If you don't have an e-mail address on file, you will receive a paper ballot. You have until 11:59 p.m. on June 15 to cast your votes (or get your ballot in the mail to be counted).

The District H Board candidates are James Heath, of Detroit, who serves as the city of Detroit's first ever inspector general, responsible for fulfilling the office's mission of "ensuring honesty and integrity in city government by rooting out waste, abuse, fraud and corruption;" Mark Koroi, of Plymouth, a general practitioner with a focus on litigation; Hon. David Perkins, of Detroit, a 36th District Court judge; and Gergory Ulrich, of Grosse Pointe Woods, who runs a law practice with a focus on business law, real estate law, finance, technology and litigation. 

To read full bios of all candidates, access the voting website via the member area of, where you will need to sign in and click on the VOTE NOW button to be directed to the voting website.

If you have questions, contact Marge Bossenbery at or (517) 346-6327, or contact Election Services Co. at

Source link