LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Supreme Court has OK’d the state’s first standards for court-appointed attorneys — but only if the state legislature makes some changes to the commission that recommended them.
The standards were put forth by the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission. Thursday, the court expressed concerns that the commission, which was created by the legislature, may infringe upon powers the Michigan Constitution gives to the courts.
The court says the legislature should make changes that would put the commission under the direction of the Supreme Court, and remove enforcement mechanisms for standards and legal regulation that might ‘usurp’ the court’s powers.
In its Thursday order on the matter, the court said that if the changes aren’t made by the end of the year, it will revoke its approval.>>Conditional approval order (pdf)
The tentatively approved standards demand a minimum education and training level for court-pointed attorneys, a minimum standard for investigations and experts, earlier appointments and prompt interviews with clients.