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GRBA & MIDC Continuing Legal Education Seminar
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When: Wednesday, January 23, 2019
11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Where: Kent County Courthouse - Jury Assembly Room
180 Ottawa Ave NW
Grand Rapids, Michigan  49503
United States
Contact: Claudette Henry
616-454-5550 ext. 101

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The Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC) was created by legislation in 2013 after an advisory commission recommended improvements to the state’s legal system. The MIDC was established to ensure the state’s public defense system is fair, cost-effective and constitutional while simultaneously protecting public safety and accountability.


Standard 1 of the MIDC Act requires adherence to the principle that “[d]efense counsel is required to attend continuing legal education relevant to counsel’s indigent defense clients.” MCL 780.991(2)(e). The United States Supreme Court has held that the constitutional right to counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment includes the right to the effective assistance of counsel.” Strickland v Washington, 466 US 668, 685; 104 S Ct 2052, 2063; 80 L Ed 2d 674 (1984). Further, the American Bar Association’s Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System provides that a public defense system, in order to provide effective assistance of counsel, must ensure that “Defense counsel is provided with and required to attend continuing legal education.”


The MIDC has determined that every attorney accepting court appointments must complete 12 hours of CLE annually.   Lawyers can discharge this obligation for annual continuing legal education by attending local trainings or statewide conferences. The MIDC has paired with the Grand Rapids Bar Association (GRBA) to provide for the education and training of defense counsel in Kent County. The training is free of charge to those attorneys accepting felony appointments in Kent County and misdemeanor appointments in the 61st & 63rd District Courts.


The GRBA will provide education in the following areas to ensure compliance with MIDC requirements: 1) Knowledge of the law; 2) Knowledge of scientific evidence and applicable defenses; 3) Knowledge of technology 4) Continuing education. To ensure ease of compliance with Standard 1, the GRBA will offer approximately 32 hours of CLE covering a wide range of topics over the next year.  A full proposed schedule will be published when implemented.


The initial seminar will take place on January 23, 2019 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the jury assembly room of the Kent County Courthouse. Judge Trusock will speak on topics relevant to Standard 1 as applied to Kent County.  Chris Dennie, former regional manager of the MIDC, will answer questions about the MIDC and Tim McMorrow, former chief appellate attorney for the Kent County Prosecutor’s office will present an update on Michigan criminal law.


All are invited to attend.  Two CLE hours will be earned.


The GRBA & MIDC Continuing Legal Education opportunities are are free of charge to court appointed attorneys. Attorneys who are not court appointed will be charged for $25.00, per hour, of training.

more Calendar

Legal Assistants Section Meeting

MIDC - Basic Skills 101

Grand Rapids Bar Association
161 Ottawa Ave. NW Ste. 203-B
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Tel: (616) 454-5550
Fax: (616) 454-7707 

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