Daily Briefs

SBM launches new Mentoring Center

The State Bar of Michigan has launched a new Mentoring Center. The new web-based service is designed to match veteran attorneys with newer attorneys who have similar interests and backgrounds. The veteran attorneys will be called on to provide advice and counsel on everything from filing a brief to preparing for closing arguments.

To register, users sign in and create a profile consisting of information about their location, practice area, and interests. Once complete, the system generates a list of potential mentors/protégés who have the most similar answers. Then it's up to the mentor or protégé to reach out to a potential match and start a conversation.

“Our hope is that the mentoring relationships created through the new Mentoring Center provide seasoned lawyers an opportunity to give back by helping newer lawyers improve their skills and serve their clients better,” said SBM President Julie Fershtman. “Ultimately, it is the public that benefits.”

Signing up for membership takes no more than five minutes. Once registered, it’s completely up to the parties to determine the scope of their relationship. Users can dedicate as much or as little time as they are able.

Lawyers who are interested in taking advantage of this new service can register by visiting http://mentorboard.jobtarget.com/sbm.


Judge says jurors in Kilpatrick case will be known only by number


DETROIT (AP) — A judge says the names of jurors will be known only to lawyers in the upcoming corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Federal Judge Nancy Edmunds says she’s concerned about the privacy of jurors. At a hearing Monday, she said jurors will be identified in court by a number.

More than 100 potential jurors will report to the Detroit courthouse Wednesday to fill out a 22-page questionnaire with more than 100 questions about their views of Kilpatrick, his father Bernard and two other defendants.

The Kilpatricks are accused of taking kickbacks and bribes to steer city business to certain contractors, especially pal Bobby Ferguson.

The jury pool will be trimmed by Sept. 6 when candidates are interviewed in court. The trial’s opening statements are possible on Sept. 14.


UDM, SBM present Professionalism in Action program

UDM Law, in partnership with the State Bar of Michigan, will present Professionalism in Action, from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 13 at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, 651 E. Jefferson Avenue in Detroit.

The program pairs prominent lawyers and judges with incoming law students in small groups to discuss the importance of civility and work through a series of ethical and professionalism hypotheticals. The program provides an opportunity for interaction between first-year law students and veteran lawyers and judges.

A reception will immediately follow.

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