State Bar leaders go to Washington



A State Bar of Michigan team led by President W. Anthony Jenkins was on Capitol Hill in mid-April for face-to-face meetings with U.S. senators and representatives from Michigan. The occasion was the American Bar Association’s ABA Day, a springtime tradition that is observed by hundreds of bar leaders nationwide.

The Michigan delegation visited to support $450 million in funding for Legal Services Corporation in the 2012 fiscal year. The LSC is the nation’s largest funder of civil legal assistance to low income Americans. The need is especially great in Michigan this year as the numbers eligible for such aid have increased by 50 percent to include over 2 million people. The SBM delegation also took the opportunity to express support for the proposed Crime Victim Restitution and Court Fee Intercept Act that would help states intercept federal tax refunds to pay overdue court-ordered financial obligations, including restitution for victims of crime.

Pictured, from left to right are SBM Commissioner Jim Erhart, SBM Director of Governmental Relations Elizabeth K. Lyon, Michigan Delegate to the ABA Reginald M. Turner, Jr., U.S. Representative John Dingell, SBM President W. Anthony Jenkins and SBM President-Elect Julie Fershtman.