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State Bar plans virtual conversation on race and justice

Attorneys and other stakeholders in the justice system are invited to a virtual meeting of the State Bar of Michigan’s Race and Justice Forum on Thursday, Oct. 22, at noon.

The Forum, which launched in July amid a nationwide reckoning with racial injustice, offers a way for attorneys to share and learn about resources for improving the justice system for all.

Organizers say such gatherings are designed to bring together interested parties and stimulate conversation, advance knowledge, foster understanding of different perspectives, brainstorm solutions and showcase opportunities to learn or help.

Guest speakers will be Zenell Brown, executive court administrator at Wayne County Circuit Court, and Katie Brown, an attorney with Maddin Hauser and chair of the Oakland County Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Registration can be completed by visiting www.surveymonkey.com/r/RJFOct.


Federal court in Detroit launches live chat service

The U.S. District Court for Eastern Michigan has added an online Live Help Desk offering a live chat service on its webpage to provide the public and lawyers with quick access to live assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clerk’s office and jury staff members are available to answer inquiries through the Live Help Desk’s chat icon, located in the lower right corner of the Court’s website, www.mied.uscourts.gov/.

The new service — available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 pm. —was launched Oct. 5.

Website visitors can use the Live Chat option to ask questions about upcoming hearing dates, jury duty, instructions for filing pro se court papers and attorney admissions without trekking to a closed courthouse or trying to find a phone number to call for assistance.

The court also has added new user-friendly electronic filing instructions to the pulldown menus for “Electronic Case Filing Information” and “Resources” sections at the top of its webpage.

In addition, the “Representing Yourself” pulldown menu has been redesigned.

Under the Electronic Filing tab, attorneys and their support staff will find new electronic filing instructions that are more detailed and easier to understand.

The “Representing Yourself” menu now includes additional information and resources for pro se litigants — those who wish to file and represent
themselves in civil lawsuits.

The information includes a video explaining how to complete a civil complaint form. A Temporary Pro Se Document Upload program has been added to allow such litigants to upload .pdf documents that they otherwise would have to mail or file in person.

Additional information can be obtained by contacting the clerk’s office through the Live Chat function.

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