MSC amends MRPC 5.4

In an order released yesterday, the Michigan Supreme Court amended the fee-sharing provisions of Michigan Rule of Professional Conduct 5.4.

The amended rule provides that “a lawyer may share court-awarded legal fees with a nonprofit organization that employed, retained, or recommended employment of the lawyer in the matter.”

The amended rule also further limits third-party direction or regulation of a lawyer’s professional judgment when providing legal services to another.

Under the amended rule, “A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional corporation or association authorized to practice law for a profit, if: … a nonlawyer is a corporate director or officer thereof, or one who occupies a position of similar responsibility in any form of association other than a corporation[.]” (change indicated in italics) See ADM File No. 2009-06.

The Court also proposed an amendment of MCR 8.110 that would exclude criminal cases stayed during an interlocutory appeal from the State Court Administrator’s case-disposition reporting requirements. See ADM File No. 2010-21.

The MSC appointed Judge Sean P. Kavanagh to the district judge position on the Court Reporting and Recording Board of Review. See ADM File No. 2010-01.

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