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GRBA & MIDC Continuing Legal Education Seminar
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When: Friday, March 22, 2019
12:00 - 3:00 PM
Where: Kent County Courthouse - 5th Floor Conference Room
180 Ottawa Ave NW
Grand Rapids, Michigan  49503
United States
Contact: Kenny Williams-Buck
616-454-5550 ext. 109

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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 third seminar will take place on March 22, 2019 from 12:00 - 3:00 PM in the 5th Floor Conference Room of the Kent County Courthouse. Attorney Charles Clapp will speak about practical matters, e.g., what to do when you suspect your client presents with mental health issues/diagnosis.  Attorney Clapp will also speak about competency/NGRI, process, Probate Court Practice and Procedures.  Dr. Daniel Mayman, General & Forensic Psychiatry, will talk about what happens when clients go to the Center for Forensic Psychiatry (CFP), how competency is restored at the CFP (or other state hospital), competency standards, NGRI Standards, and problems related to mental health treatment in jails (in most, patients can refuse medications even if subject to a treatment order).  Attorney Alida Bryant and Linnea Mitchell (Network 180) will discuss the Treatment and Support Court.


All are invited to attend.  One CLE hour 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.

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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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