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Law & the Media Committee


  • Develop, recommend, and support programs that promote a positive relationship between the law and the media.
  • Study and identify sources of friction between the courts, lawyers, and the electronic and print press, and recommend solutions.
  • 2014-2015 Committee Members PDF

Meeting Dates

    Please check with Administrative Assistant Joyce Nordeen for any changes to meeting dates by calling (517) 346-6373 or e-mailing


    Newsroom Seminars

    The State Bar of Michigan's Law & the Media Committee provides "Newsroom Seminars," regarding coverage of legal proceedings in the State of Michigan to interested news organizations. The seminars, which last just an hour and are free of charge, aim to address some of the common practical and substantive difficulties that journalists encounter in covering the legal system in Michigan. The format for each seminar is a discussion, rather than lecture, in which hypothetical fact patterns are used. Participation by the news organization's staff in the discussion is encouraged and helpful. Members of the Law & the Media Committee who are attorneys as well as current or former journalists generally run and moderate the seminars. Other seminar participants also often include local judges or attorneys with whom the news staff members are familiar, as well as other officials of the State Bar. Newsroom seminars have met with enthusiasm in newsrooms around the state. For further information or to schedule a seminar for your newsroom, please contact committee Chair Thomas Howlett at (248) 540-3333 or

    Dealing with the Media

    The State Bar of Michigan's Law and the Media Committee arranges programs on "Dealing with the Media" for attorneys. The programs, which are ideally suited for local bar association events, provide practical advice regarding how to handle inquiries from media representatives, as well as review of the ethical contours of extrajudicial statements by attorneys. The seminars, which last about one hour and are free of charge, are moderated by attorneys from the Law and the Media Committee, many of whom also are current or former journalists. Each seminar generally also features one or more members of the local media involved in coverage of the legal system. The seminars are given in a discussion format, rather than lecture, with use of hypothetical fact patterns to encourage participation from the attorneys in attendance. The seminars tend to be lively and popular. For further information or to schedule a seminar for your organization, please contact committee Chair Thomas Howlett at (248) 540-3333 or

    Wade McCree Awards for the Advancement of Justice

    Judge Wade H. McCree Jr., was dedicated to advancing greater understanding of the role of a free press in a free society. During a remarkable career that included service as a federal judge, professor of law, and solicitor general of the United States, he touched the lives of millions of Americans. Judge McCree was an early and dedicated supporter of the establishment of the Advancement of Justice Awards. The awards were renamed in 1987 to honor not only him, but also those who receive the Wade H. McCree Jr. Awards for the Advancement of Justice.

    The objective of the awards competition is to give statewide recognition to written materials, radio/television broadcasts, and multimedia pieces that:

  • Foster greater public understanding of the inherent values of our legal and judicial system
  • Inform and educate citizens as to the role of the law, the courts, law enforcement agencies, and the legal profession in today's society
  • Disclose practices and procedures in need of correction or improvement
  • Encourage and promote legal and state legislative efforts to update and modernize our laws, courts, and law enforcement agencies
  • The panel of judges will evaluate entries based on originality, effectiveness, thoroughness, and newsworthiness. Relevance to the award criteria outlined is paramount. Topics must be clearly dominated by justice themes. Michigan newspapers, online publications, wire services, news syndicates, magazines, radio stations, television stations, legal publications, networks and their employees are eligible to enter the awards competition.

    2013 McCree Award Information


    Legal Terms is a handy booklet that gives definitions for legal terms in plain English. The booklet may be purchased from the State Bar of Michigan for $2.12 (includes state sales tax and shipping). This booklet can be ordered by filling out the Publication Order Form.

    Or, download Legal Terms PDF

    For more information, contact:

    Doreen Dobias
    (517) 346-6397
    State Bar of Michigan
    Operations Support Assistant

Legal Links of Interest to the Media

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State Bar of Michigan
306 Townsend St
Lansing, MI 48933-2012
Phone: (517) 346-6300
Toll Free: (800) 968-1442
Fax: (517) 482-6248