Daily Briefs

 GM to release attorney’s recall report on Thursday 

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors plans to release the results of an outside attorney’s investigation into its mishandled recall of small cars on Thursday morning.

The company says it is inviting reporters to a 9 a.m. event at its technical center in the Detroit suburb of Warren.
 
CEO Mary Barra will lead a worldwide employee meeting to discuss the report and hold a news conference afterward. In the afternoon, the company will update industry analysts in a conference call hosted by Barra.

GM has hired former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas to investigate why it took the company more than 10 years to recall about 2.6 million small cars with faulty ignition switches. The company says the problem has caused at least 13 deaths, but trial lawyers suing GM say the toll is at least 60.

Documents show engineers in the company knew about the problem as early as 2001, yet GM didn’t start recalling cars such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion until February of this year.

Barra has promised that Valukas’ investigation will be “unvarnished” and that she will take action on his recommendations.

GM has also hired attorney Kenneth Feinberg to negotiate compensation for families of crash victims. Feinberg told The Associated Press last week that he hasn’t settled any cases and won't until GM decides on its options. He said the work is taking longer than he initially expected.
 

Task Force advises state bar membership remain mandatory

A special taskforce recommends that the Michigan Supreme Court continue to make State Bar of Michigan membership mandatory in a report it released Tuesday.
 
The high court created the task force to review legislation introduced by Sen. Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) o make membership voluntary.

The task force made further recommendations, including that all State Bar advocacy outside the judicial branch should be subject to a rigorous Keller process and that the State Bar should emphasize a strict interpretation of Keller; funding of Justice Initiatives activities should be subject to a formal Keller review during the annual budget process; State Bar Sections that engage in legislative advocacy should do so only through separate entities not identified with the State Bar.
Other recommendations included:

• The State Bar’s regulatory services should be better integrated with the activities of the other attorney regulatory agencies;

• Governance of the State Bar through the Representative Assembly and the Board of Commissioners should be modified.

• Membership dues for inactive State Bar members should be reduced, inactive member reinstatement should be made more accessible and rational, and the Supreme Court should convene a special commission to review active and inactive licensing, pro hac vice, and recertification issues.

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