A Special Message from the Macomb County Bar Association
Board of Directors
The Macomb County Bar Association (MCBA) has been working together with the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC) since its creation to help ensure that the Macomb County’s public defense system is fair, cost-effective, and constitutional. As MIDC continues to evolve, so does the role of MCBA in this process. With the recent creation of the Macomb County Office of the Public Defender this role continues to develop as MCBA works with our newly appointed Chief Public Defender, Thomas Tomko, to develop and oversee the implementation and enforcement of the MIDC standards.
The Macomb County Office of the Public Defender will now govern the roster selection and appointment of attorneys who are approved to represent indigent parties in the 16th Circuit Court as well as the county-run district courts. As MCBA collaborates with the Office of the Public Defender to further indigent services in Macomb County, the Circuit Court's Local Administrative Order requiring membership in the local bar to receive court appointments has been changed to a strong recommendation. In its eligibility standards, the Macomb County Office of the Public Defender notes that:
“Members of MCBA receive notices concerning required CLE seminars, invitations to Criminal Defense Committee Meetings, general membership meetings, and receive periodic notifications about criminal indigent practice and requirements from the Macomb County Office of Public Defender. (By way of example, the current procedure/policies for requesting Deviations from the Prosecutor’s Office in Macomb County was communicated to MCBA members, and those non-members may not be aware of the newest procedures/policies). The benefits of being a MCBA member include keeping up to date on new issues in criminal practice, notifications of contract opportunities, opportunities at Bench Bar Conferences, staying up do date about CLE credits, notices about e-filing, social opportunities, and other benefits. You may visit www.macombbar.org for additional information.
MCBA will continue to partner with the Criminal Defense Association of Michigan (CDAM) to provide the MIDC-required continuing legal education (CLE) courses to all attorneys who accept court-appointments in Macomb County – including training specifically geared towards new lawyers. These trainings help members continue their legal education, hone their skills, and keep up with the latest developments within particular areas of law. The benefits of CLE extend beyond staying up-to-date with the law. CLE seminars are a place where attorneys not only learn from excellent faculty, but from one another. At virtually every CLE seminar, veteran attorneys guide newer attorneys with their experiences. This networking between attorneys, coupled with the delivery of relevant information by respected faculty, never ceases to provide value for members. The MCBA, CDAM and MIDC worked together to remove the cap of 12 hours of free CLE for Macomb County court appointed counsel. As of October 2020, there is no cap on how many hours of CLE seminars may be taken in a calendar year and MCBA looks forward to providing outstanding educational opportunities to all attorneys on a continued basis. MCBA looks forward to working together with all parties involved in the legal process to continue forwarding the mission of MIDC and putting Macomb County at the forefront of providing outstanding public defense.
Macomb County Bar Association Board of Directors