People | News | Resources | Awards | Publications | ArchivesIssue 40 for Jul 2012
The State Bar of
Michigan Blog

You should be reading this up-to-date, comprehensive look at breaking legal news. You don't have to be a Michigan lawyer to love the coverage.
- Elizabeth Derrico
For the latest developments in legal aid funding and pro bono issues, click here.
34% of all local bars and 68% of voluntary state bars have implemented a dues discount or special program for members experiencing financial hardship.
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Visit the ABA Advantage Pavilion at Annual Meeting! You can Enter a virtual golf tournament, check out a new Mercedes-Benz, attend a book signing with nationally known authors, and more! Learn more
7/31 - 8/4/12
NABE/NCBP/NCBF Annual Meeting
Chicago | Hyatt Regency
Contact: Chrishelle Bradford

8/2 - 8/7/12
ABA Annual Meeting
Chicago | Hyatt Regency
Contact: Meetings & Travel

An Insider's View of Preparing for and Responding to Disasters Caused by Acts of Terrorism
Chicago | Hyatt Regency Hotel
Contact: Debra Dotson

Margaret Brent
Women Lawyers of Achievement Awards Luncheon

Chicago | TBD
Contact: Beverly Tate

10/9 - 10/12/12
NABE Communications Workshop
Denver | The Curtis
Contact: Leticia Spencer

10/18 - 10/20/12
YLD Fall Conference
Charleston, SC | Francis Marion Hotel
Contact: Amy Cacich

10/24 - 10/27/12
2012 National Lawyer Referral Workshop
Las Vegas | Harrah's
Contact: Jane Nosbisch

12/6 - 12/7/12
2012 Women in Law Leadership (WILL) Academy
San Francisco | The Palace Hotel
Contact: Melissa Wood

National Bars
Hispanic National Bar Association
Tony Arocho has been named interim executive director. Arocho was the bar's executive director from 2006 to 2008.
State Bars
NY | New York State Bar Association
Teresa Schiller is the bar's new associate executive director.
Local Bars
PA | Bar Association of Lehigh County
Executive Director Dan LaBert is leaving the bar.
Annual Meeting Program to Address Ethical Issues
A free CLE program with implications for bar associations will address important ethical issues related to judicial disqualification and disclosure -- issues affecting the profession and the future of fair and impartial courts.

Four state Supreme Court justices will panel the discussion, which will help bar leaders evaluate ethical issues that may influence revisions to the ABA Code of Judicial Conduct and the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, as well as revisions to state rules.

The forum will take place Friday, August 3 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Annual Meeting Panel to Discuss Terrorism Preparedness
A panel of local and federal officials will discuss national and local efforts to prepare for and to combat terrorism.

The discussion will be held next Friday at the ABA's Annual Meeting next week in Chicago. Panelists will include Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who coordinated security at the recent NATO Summit, and Jordan Strauss, director of preparedness and response for the US Department of Justice.

The discussion is sponsored by the ABA's Standing Committee on Disaster Preparedness.

ABA Seeks Diverse Litigators for Leadership Program
The ABA's Litigation section is seeking applicants for a new program that puts diverse litigators in leadership positions.

The initiative, called the Leadership Fellows Program, develops leadership skills of litigators in under-represented groups, such as racial and ethnic minorities, those with disabilities, and LGBT lawyers.

Over a two-year term, candidates are mentored by section leaders, participate on one of the section's committees, and receive a $2,000 per year stipend to attend three of the section’s leadership meetings. At the end of their term, participants become eligible to be appointed to "regular" leadership positions in the section.

State and local bar associations may encourage qualifying members to apply for the program. Up to ten candidates will be chosen each year.

Applications for the program are due August 16.

ABA Approves Two Law Schools, Denies One
The ABA has granted full approval to Thomas M. Cooley Law School's Branch campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan, provisional approval to the University of Massachusetts' Dartmouth School of Law, and denied approval to Lincoln Memorial University's Duncan School of Law.

Study Reveals Flaw in Legal System
A recently released American Bar Foundation study reveals that plaintiffs and defendants alike see employment discrimination lawsuits as profoundly unfair. The study also identifies stark differences in how plaintiffs and employer-defendants experience employment discrimination litigation and assess the law's fairness.

According to the study, "Situated Justice: A Contextual Analysis of Fairness and Inequality in Employment Discrimination Litigation," plaintiffs become dismayed to find that the final ruling in their case is not based on its substantive merits. On the other side, employer-defendants find unfairness in the fact that employees can initiate what they consider "meritless" suits to which the company is required to respond.

Said study co-author Ellen Berrey, "We have a fundamental problem with the legal system. The primary way that the law deals with discrimination at work -- litigation -- is considered unfair by both parties."

A summary of the study's findings is available for free download on the Law & Society Review website.

ABA Youth Commission Seeks Bar Partners
The ABA's Commission on Youth at Risk (CYAR) would like to partner with bar associations on areas of common practice and interest. The CYAR develops policy, strategies and implementation tools to address the needs of U.S. youth and the issues that place them at risk. Bars interested in working with the commission can complete its 4-question survey.

New Listserv for New Lawyer Residency Programs
A new ABA listserv creates a platform for bar associations and law schools launching incubators or residency programs for recently admitted lawyers. For more information or to be added to the list, contact Janice Jones at

ABA Launches Database of Diverse Legal Experts
The ABA Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity has launched a national clearinghouse of legal experts comprised of racial and ethnic minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and members of the LGBT community. Called the Diverse Speakers Database, it will be accessible to meeting planners from the ABA and bar associations across the country.

Experts who enroll now in the database, during its beta phase of the Diverse Speakers, will get priority consideration.

ABA Offers Help with the Tough Questions
A lawyer spends six hours on a cross country plane trip on behalf of client A. While on the plane, he spends four hours working on a matter for client B. Can he bill six hours to client A and four hours to client B?

Such questions are the specialty of ABA ETHICSearch, the ABA's free ethics advice service. The service, operated by the ABA's Center for Professional Responsibility, provides guidelines - such as ABA ethics rules, state and local bar association ethics opinions, case law, and law review articles - to help lawyers through ethical quandaries. ETHICSearch fields about 2,500 inquiries per year.

To use ETHICSearch, call (800) 285-2221 and press 8, e-mail, or fax (312) 988-5491. Though all inquiries are accepted, questions from ABA members are given priority.

Baton Rouge, New York Bars Win Diversity Pipeline Award
The Baton Rouge Bar Foundation and the New York State Bar Association are winners of the 2012 ABA Partnership Program Awards, which will be presented next Friday at the 2012 NCBP/NABE/NCBF Annual Meeting Joint Awards Luncheon in Chicago.

Local Texas Bar Foundation Wins Partnerships for Success Award
Texas' Tarrant County Bar Foundation is the winner of the 2012 NCBF/LexisNexis Partnerships for Success Award, for its Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans. The foundation will be honored next Friday at the 2012 NCBP/NABE/NCBF Annual Meeting Joint Awards Luncheon in Chicago.

Local California, Texas Bars Win Legal Services Award
California's San Mateo County Bar Association and Texas' San Antonio Bar Association will each receive a 2012 Harrison Tweed Award for achievement in preserving and increasing access to legal services for the poor.

The San Mateo County Bar Association is being recognized for the Private Defender Program, its model assigned counsel program that is the indigent defense system for the county. The San Antonio Bar Association is being honored for its Community Justice Program, which provides neighborhood-based legal services to the poor in a wide range of areas and enables lawyers, judges, court reporters, court clerks and interpreters to render volunteer services.

The award, given annually by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, will be presented next Friday at the 2012 NCBP/NABE/NCBF Annual Meeting Joint Awards Luncheon in Chicago.

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