Overview


The Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System (MAACS) administers the system for appointing criminal appellate counsel in all Michigan circuit courts, from a roster of private attorneys and the State Appellate Defender Office (SADO). Approximately 75% of indigent felony appeals are assigned to the MAACS roster, while approximately 25% of cases are assigned to SADO.

In Administrative Order 2014-18, the Michigan Supreme Court consolidated MAACS with SADO for management purposes.

About MAACS
Minimum Standards - Effective 2005, with June 2019 MAACS Comments
MAACS Regulations - Effective September 20, 2017, amended March 13, 2019
Administrative Orders (Nos. 1981-7, 1989-3, 2004-6, 2014-18, 2014-18 amended, 2015-9, 2015-9 extension, 2017-3)
Annual Reports

Contact MAACS
Bradley R. Hall, Administrator
200 N. Washington Sq., Suite 250
Lansing, MI 48913
Phone: (517) 334-1200
bhall@sado.org

MAACS Staff
Jonathan Sacks, Appellate Defender jsacks@sado.org
Bradley R. Hall, MAACS Administrator bhall@sado.org
Kathy Swedlow, MAACS Deputy Administrator kswedlow@sado.org
Jessica Zimbelman, MAACS Litigation Support Counsel jzimbelman@sado.org
Maria Rosa J. Palmer, Office Manager mrpalmer@sado.org
Sabrina Schneider, Roster Coordinator sschneider@sado.org
Jane Doyle, Assignment Coordinator jdoyle@sado.org

Uniform Attorney Fees and Regional Assignment Lists
Historically, MAACS has maintained a separate list of eligible roster attorneys for each of Michigan's 57 felony trial courts, and attorney participation on these local lists has depended largely on the unique attorney fee policies adopted by each court.

In September 2015, the Supreme Court authorized a pilot project to measure the feasibility, costs, and benefits of structural reforms to this system that would enhance the speed and efficiency of assignments, consolidate assignment lists by region, and standardize attorney fee policies between trial courts. After launching with 14 trial courts in the Upper Peninsula and Eastern Lower Michigan, the pilot grew to include 32 courts from all corners of the state. In November 2017, the Supreme Court permanently approved these structural changes, allowing MAACS to continue its efforts to regionalize all assignment lists and encourage trial courts to adopt uniform fee policies.

MAACS in the News
"Attorneys get better pay, more oversight in State Program"
Lansing State Journal, December 5, 2016 (PDF)

"Innovative Appellate Investigation Project Launched"
Detroit Legal News, January 27, 2016 (PDF)

"Katherine Marcuz on the Appellate Investigation Project"
Detroit Legal News, March 31, 2016 (PDF)

"A sidebar with . . . Kathryn R. Swedlow"
Michigan Lawyers Weekly, May 9, 2016

"Attorney helps patch up Assigned Counsel System"
Detroit Legal News, May 11, 2015 (PDF)

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For more information, visit the links on the right or below:

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Training and Resources

Appellate Investigation Project

Fee Information

Video Visit Information

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