Schedule of Events

Symposium: Monday, Jan. 25, 2021 – Friday, Jan. 29, 2021
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST @ Virtual Zoom Rooms

*Zoom links will be emailed to all registered participants prior to the start of each panel.

Panel 1: The History and Overview of Fines and Fees
Date: Monday, January 25, 2021 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET | Virtual Zoom Room
Description: The Symposium will begin with a panel discussing what fines and fees are and the historical context of fines and fees within the U.S. justice system. Speakers will spend this panel discussing how civil fines and fees emerged, how they are collected, the consequences of nonpayment, and how they have evolved over the past several decades. This panel will be moderated by Michigan Law Professor Eve Primus. 

Panel 2: How Fines and Fees Target Racial Minorities
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET | Virtual Zoom Room
Description: Speakers will discuss the disproportionate impact fines and fees have on members of racial minority groups. Speakers will discuss how fines and fees perpetuate racial disparities and poverty among minority groups, including issues of over policing, disparate enforcement, and other issues. This panel will be moderated by Michigan Law Professor Jessica Lefort.

  • Michael Daugherty, Former Public Defender for the Hopi Tribe
  • Alexes Harris, Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington
  • Erin Keith, Staff Attorney for the Legal Services and Advocacy Practice at the Detroit Justice Center
  • Meghan O’Neil, Research Investigator at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan; Empirical Legal Studies Research Scholar at the University of Michigan Law School

Panel 3: The Consequences of Fines and Fees
Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET | Virtual Zoom Room
Description: This panel will discuss the collateral consequences for individuals facing fines and fees. Speakers will examine fines and fees in both the civil and criminal justice systems and their ramifications on individual lives. For example, speakers will address topics like pay or stay sentencing, ability to pay determinations, property forfeiture, driver’s license suspensions, and the financial consequences of fines and fees.
 This panel will be moderated by Michigan Law Professor Mira Edmonds. 

  • Kimberly Buddin, Policy Counsel at the ACLU of Michigan
  • Beth Colgan, Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law
  • Steve Mello, Assistant Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College
  • J.J. Prescott, Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Michigan

Panel 4: Local Government Use of Fines and Fees
Date: Thursday, January 28, 2021 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET | Virtual Zoom Room
Description: This panel will discuss how local governments use fines and fees as a revenue source. Specifically, discussions will address how fines and fees are administered, how fines and fees fit into public budgeting, how governmental officials balance various incentives for using or not using fines and fees, and how the use of excessive fines and fees by government entities has been challenged through litigation and legislative advocacy. This panel will be moderated by Michigan Law Professor Barbara McQuade.

  • William Maurer, Managing Attorney of the Institute for Justice Washington Office
  • Eli Savit, Washtenaw County Prosecuting Attorney
  • Anne Stuhldreher, Director of Financial Justice, Office of the San Francisco Treasurer
  • Min Su, Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University

Panel 5: Reform Discussions
Date: Friday, January 29, 2021 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET | Virtual Zoom Room
Description: After meeting in the main Zoom room, participants will be randomly assigned to small virtual groups lead by speakers to discuss reform ideas. Speakers will discuss past and future reforms and accept questions from participants. Small groups will then reconvene in the main Zoom room to report possible reforms. This panel and the small discussion groups will be moderated by the Michigan Journal of Law Reform Symposium team. 

  • Wesley Dozier, Equal Justice Works Fellow Sponsored by International Paper at Just City
  • Lisa Foster, Co-Director of the Fines and Fees Justice Center
  • Geoffrey Leonard, Staff Attorney at the Detroit Justice Center
  • Michael Steinberg, Professor from Practice and Director of the Civil Rights Litigation Initiative at the University of Michigan Law School