Proposed attorney ethics rules changes considered

Possible changes to the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct — the rules that govern attorney ethics — are on the agenda of today’s Michigan Supreme Court’s public administrative conference in Lansing.
The proposed changes (ADM File No. 2009-06) include amendments of MRPC 1.5, 1.7, 1.8, 3.1, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 5.5, and 8.5 of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct, as well as proposed new rules, MRPC 2.4, 5.7, and 6.6. 
Issues covered include fee arrangements, conflicts of interest, trial publicity and multijurisdictional practice.
Some amendments were offered by the State Bar of Michigan, while others originated with the Attorney Grievance Commission.
Another agenda item (ADM File No. 2006-25) concerns a possible “low-conflict divorce” pilot project for cases in which the parties represent themselves and have few or no assets or other property to divide.
Features of the demonstration project include a voluntary docket with an informal approach to legal procedures, pleadings, and evidence rules.
The project would be limited to cases where the parties have no history of child abuse or domestic violence.
Also on the agenda:
• ADM File No. 2010-01, Attorney Appointment to Court Reporting & Recording Board of Review. Whether to appoint Lansing attorney Liisa R. Speaker to the CRRBR.
• ADM File No. 2002-24, Proposed Amendments of Rule 3.501(C) of the Michigan Court Rules and Rule 7.3(a) of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct. Whether to pursue possible revisions of MCR 3.501 to limit communications by attorneys to potential clients in class action cases, or an amendment of MRPC 7.3 to limit communications by attorneys to potential clients in general.
• ADM File No. 2006-38, Proposal to Amend Rules 9.101, 9.103, 9.104, 9.105, and 9.106 of the Michigan Court Rules. Whether to approve the amendments to various rules governing attorney discipline proceedings.
• ADM File No. 2008-31, Proposed Amendment of Rule 2.209 of the Michigan Court Rules. Whether to publish for comment a proposed amendment of MCR 2.209 that would clarify the circumstances under which the Attorney General would be notified of a court proceeding.
• ADM File No. 2009-22, Proposed Amendments of Rules 7.212 and 7.215 of the Michigan Court Rules. Whether to publish for comment amendments proposed by the State Bar of Michigan Appellate Practice Section that would eliminate the requirement to provide a copy of an unpublished Court of Appeals opinion, and would instead clarify that no copy is necessary if the citation references the Court of Appeals case number and the opinion is available online.
• ADM File No. 2010-02, Supplemental Salary Request of the Attorney Grievance Commission. Whether to approve the supplemental salary distribution requested by the AGC.
• ADM File No. 2010-18, State Bar of Michigan Pro Bono Proposal. Whether to publish for comment a proposal from the State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly that would reformulate MRPC 6.1 regarding attorney pro bono activities.
 

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