MICHIGAN POVERTY LAW PROGRAM WORKPLAN
Each year, the MPLP Advisory Board sets the annual training agenda for MPLP, which is essentially the training workplan for MPLP for that year. This agenda is comprised of events which MPLP will sponsor on its own as well as CORT sponsored events. CORT has created a 4 year training agenda and MPLP, as the training responsible program in Michigan, is responsible for hosting several CORT trainings each year as well as helping locate and supply trainers from Michigan to staff CORT events. See the attached annual MPLP training agenda and the 4 year CORT training agenda for details.II. LITIGATION
A. Co-counsel - Gather list of all pending appeals from field and maintain docket of pending appeals and unreported decisions. Review non-LSC program appeals for issues of significance to low-income persons and coordinate amicus briefs in those appeals. Co-counsel cases with issues of statewide significance. Consult on cases of local significance.
B. Mi-LAPP and Other Pro Bono Resources - MPLP works with a number of partner agencies -- SBM, CLR, and UMCLP -- to connect local legal aid programs with pro bono counsel in complex cases. At the current time, the State Bar's formal program is limited to qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs). Referral Process Referral Form. MPLP will assist programs in identifying possible pro bono lawyers in other cases.
C. Impact Litigation - Prosecute cases of statewide significance according to priorities set by Advisory Board.
D. MPLP Roles
1. Pro Bono Program.
a. Counsel or co-counsel impact cases in LSC-eligible areas.
b. Counsel or co-counsel on organizational representation in nonlitigation matters.
c. Assess cases for referral to pro bono resources.
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 unrestricted cases with field programs instead of simply taking them over.
a. Co-counsel on appeals or, at the request of a local program. fully take over as counsel on appeals that raise significant poverty law issues.
b. Coordination of amicus briefs.
c. Co-counsel on cases of statewide significance.
d. Consultation on cases of local significance.
3. LSC Restricted Cases
MPLP is subject to the LSC restrictions and cannot handle these cases. However, the UMLS CLP will advise on, co-counsel, or accept litigation cases (both restricted and non-restricted) of statewide significance.
III. LEGISLATIVE/ADMINISTRATIVE ADVOCACY
A. Tracking - Track legislative and administrative developments of significance to the field and inform (MPLP and MLHS).
B. Substantive Advocacy - MLHS will contract with Capitol Services to pursue issues of significance according to priorities set by advisory committee. Substantive issues will be pursued by MPLP (when requested by a legislator and the client), MLHS and Capitol.
A. MPLP eNewsletter - regular publication on legal and technological developments of significance to field. Also distribute MLHS' Legislative Bulletin.
B. New Advocate Training Manuals - compilation of forms and legal material useful to advocates/CRPs new to one of the 5 substantive areas and technology. Should be an outgrowth of Roadshow.
C. Issue Alerts - short updates on issues of immediacy to the field. Distributed primarily by email and posted on website.
D. Desk Reference - a desk-side Michigan legal services directory.
E. Community Legal Education and Pro Se Materials - gather, organize and publish. (michiganlegalaid.org)V. CLEARINGHOUSE
Gather and maintain in accessible form pleadings, briefs and unpublished decisions of significance to field. Post on MPLP website in searchable format (see Technology below).VI. TASKFORCES
Staff and facilitate taskforces in each of the 5 substantive areas and technology. Taskforces should meet 3-4 times a year. UMLS-CLP and MLHS may participate in substantive area taskforces and report developments in litigation and advocacy.VII. TECHNOLOGY
(See Michigan 2003 Technology Plan)
A. Support email system - provide and maintain internet based email accounts and maintain statewide email address book.
B. Support system of local technology support (CRPs) and facilitate CRP taskforce.
C. Support Pika CMS Case Management Project.
D. Maintain on-line brief bank and field support website (MPLP.org).
E. Maintain community oriented website (michiganlegalaid.org) - home for program websites, CLE and Pro Se materials.
F. Explore technology that is accessible to clients.VIII. SUPPORT IN GENERAL
A. Field Assistance - respond to requests for technical assistance from the field in MPLP's substantive areas and technology with due diligence. Technology support will be limited to software in statewide use (i.e. Mozilla and Pika CMS).
B. Eligibility - eligibility for support services will be limited to field programs, those connected to field programs, other lawyers working with low-income clients, and agencies serving primarily low-income clients.
C. Coordination - coordinate services with other statewide/regional legal services providers. Staff and convene periodic Statewide Advocates and Advocacy Roundtable meetings.