Duly Noted ...

State Bar seeks law firm applications for Pro Bono Circle

The State Bar of Michigan invites all law firms of two or more attorneys to apply for the 2014 Pro Bono Circle of Excellence, which recognizes every firm that fully complied with the State Bar’s Voluntary Pro Bono Standard during 2013. Application deadline is April 4.

Both volunteer legal services for low-income individuals and organizations and financial support for eligible nonprofit organizations providing free civil legal aid for the poor are included in the Voluntary Pro Bono Standard, which calls for lawyers to annually take three pro bono cases, devote at least 30 hours of pro bono service or make a monetary contribution to a legal aid provider organization. Contributions to the Access to Justice Fund count toward fulfilling the standard.

The standard was amended in 2011 to increase the annual financial contribution from $300 to $500 for those whose income allows a higher contribution. This year’s Circle of Excellence will include two tiers of recognition and will specially recognize those firms that have stepped up their aggregate contributions using a 30-hour and/or $500 standard. Firms that maintain contributions using the original 30-hour or $300 standard will also continue to be recognized for their support.

“Lawyers who contribute legal services and money to support civil legal aid for the poor are to be commended” said SBM President Brian Einhorn. “Law firms that demonstrate 100 percent compliance with our voluntary standard will be recognized in the Circle of Excellence for their commitment to access to justice.”

The Circle of Excellence is published frequently in the Michigan Bar Journal, posted on the State Bar of Michigan and the Michigan State Bar Foundation websites and distri-
buted at the SBM Annual Meeting. To apply, visit bit.ly/1cytUVx. For more information, contact Rob Mathis, rmathis@mail.michbar.org or 517-346-6412.

Local attorneys named co-chairs of Michigan Oil and Gas Association committee Michael C. Haines and William A. Horn, members of the law firm of Mika Meyers Beckett & Jones PLC, were recently named Co-Chairs of the Legal and Legislative Committee of the Michigan Oil and Gas Association. Mike Haines concentrates his practice in the areas of natural resources, oil and gas, public utility and business law.  Bill Horn concentrates his practice in the areas of environmental, oil and gas, eminent domain, water and riparian rights, land use and public utility law, as well as civil and administrative litigation.