The Michigan Supreme Court is considering revisions to the Michigan Court Rules and judicial canons.
In orders released yesterday, the Court issued six proposals.
The explanations that follow are taken from the staff comments accompanying the orders. The staff comment is “not an authorative construction by the Court.”
- ADM File No. 2005-11. Proposed Amendments of Canon 4 and Canon 5 of the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct: The proposal contained in this order seeks to clarify the role a judge may play in fundraising events for law-related and educational, religious, charitable, fraternal, or civic organizations. The proposal would specifically allow a judge to speak, appear, or be a guest or accept an award at a fundraising event of both law-related and educational, charitable, religious, and civic organizations, and must be shielded as much as possible from knowing who has contributed and the amount of contributions.
- ADM File No. 2007-18. Proposed Amendment of MCR 2.117: The proposed amendment would revise MCR 2.117 to provide that an attorney-client relationship continues until a final judgment is reached and the period allowed to appeal by right has expired unless the attorney discontinued the relationship before that time. Also the proposal would clarify that follow-up or ministerial actions performed by the attorney following notice of termination do not extend the attorney-client relationship.
- ADM File No. 2008-10. Proposed Amendments of MCR 6.425 and MCR 7.210: This proposal would require a sentencing judge to prepare and include with the case record a form in which the judge outlines the reason or reasons for departure from the sentencing guidelines. The duty to do so would be in addition to the obligation to state such reasons on the record. The proposal is designed to provide litigants and appellate courts a clear and unambiguous recitation of the reasons for departure by the sentencing court.
- ADM File No. 2008-11. Proposed Amendment of MCR 2.507: This proposed amendment of MCR 2.507 was submitted to the Court to clarify that oral agreements not made in open court to settle a case will not be enforceable. Like an agreement subject to the statute of frauds, agreements to settle a case would be required to be made in open court or in writing to be binding.
- ADM File No. 2008-32. Proposed Amendment MCR 2.203: This proposed amendment would clarify that summonses must be issued when a counterclaim or cross-claim is filed, and would establish an expiration date identical to the expiration date of summonses issued when a third party is added to an existing case.
- ADM File No. 2010-30. Proposed New MCR 2.412 and Proposed Amendments of MCR 2.403, 2.411, and 3.216: Proposed new MCR 2.412 and the proposed amendments of MCR 2.403, 2.411, and 3.216 would consolidate provisions related to mediation confidentiality into one rule and would expand the current exceptions to mediation confidentiality, as recommended by the Mediation Confidentiality and Standards of Conduct Committee convened by the State Court Administrative Office.
The Court is accepting comments on these proposals through March 1, 2011.
Send comments to Supreme Court Clerk Corbin R. Davis by mail or e-mail at Box 30052, Lansing MI 48909 or MSC_clerk@courts.mi.gov. Make sure to reference the appropriate ADM File number when submitting comments. Comments will be posted on the Court’s web site.