MPLP Priorities and Case Acceptance Criteria
MICHIGAN POVERTY LAW PROGRAM
PRIORITIES AND CASE ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA
I. SUBSTANTIVE PRIORITIES
Housing, Public Benefits, Family, Consumer and Elder Law.
II. CASE ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA
A. Disparate Impact on the Poor
B. Statewide Impact
C. Within a Substantive Priority Area
III. CASE ACCEPTANCE PROCEDURES
MPLP will provide case specific support, will co-counsel, or will accept referrals from other legal services providers in Michigan based on our case acceptance criteria and priorities. See I. & II. above.
One of the goals of state support is to develop an increased capacity for more complex cases in field programs. To that end, whenever possible, MPLP will co-counsel LSC-permitted cases with field programs instead of simply taking them over.
For LSC-restricted individual cases, programs are expected to follow the referral suggestions set out in the non-LSC referrals document. The UMLS Clinic will consider referrals on LSC-restricted systemic cases without local program co-counsel. See the Section entitled Clinic Referrals below.
MPLP can provide two levels of co-counseling assistance to field programs: (1) intensive case consultation, including drafting or editing pleadings, research, etc., and (2) formal appearance as co-counsel in the case.
Programs requesting co-counsel assistance should put that request in writing. A simple e-mail or fax to the MPLP attorney you are working with
on the case will suffice. The request should come from or be approved by the Director or the Managing Attorney of the referring program. MPLP
will take this request to an intake meeting and will respond in writing as soon as possible.
On each case accepted for co-counsel support, MPLP will prepare a co-counsel agreement setting forth the distribution of responsibilities on the case. See MPLPs protocols for co-counsel agreements.
MPLP provides additional assistance to programs on appeals of cases beyond the trial court level. This support includes co-counseling, review of briefs, assistance in research, mooting the argument, etc. In addition, MPLP will, at the request of a local program, fully take over as counsel on appeals that raise significant poverty law issues. At a minimum, programs should inform MPLP of appeals for inclusion in the statewide Appeals Docket. Please use the appeals docket form to notify MPLP of a pending appeal.
Programs seeking assistance on an appeal should put that request in writing. A simple e-mail or fax request to the MPLP attorney in the relevant substantive area will suffice. MPLP will take this request to an intake meeting and will respond in writing as soon as possible.
C. CLINIC REFERRALS
The UMLS Clinic has agreed to consider referrals (primarily of LSC-restricted systemic advocacy cases from other legal services providers) based on the case acceptance criteria set out above. These decisions are made independently by the Clinic based on its independent judgment regarding the case.
Programs seeking to refer a case to the UMLS Clinic should put that request in writing. A simple e-mail or fax request to Anne Schroth at the Clinic will suffice. The Clinic will advise the program of the status of the referral as soon as possible after receipt of the referral.
D. CONTACTS WITH CLIENTS
MPLP will not contact clients referred by other providers unless the case is accepted or otherwise agreed by MPLP and the referring program. Until MPLP agrees to contact the client, the referring program is responsible for keeping the client informed on the status of the referral.