Friday, December 6, 2013
The Nebraska Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to requiring that all attorneys be members of the State Bar Association.
The court discussed at length the history of unified or mandatory bar membership and upheld the concept.
The centerpiece of the court's holding is that mandatory dues must only fund matters that relate to the regulation of the legal profession.
Laudable other programs such as lawyer assistance programs can be funded through voluntary souces, but not from required bar dues.
The court adopted administrative charges to ensure that the unified Bar Association "remains clearly within the permitted scope of constitutional jurisprudence" and to avoid costly future litigation that has taken place in other jurisdictions.
The court does not foresee a "parade of horrors predicted by the petitioner and the Bar Association..."
UPDATE: I've had a chance to look a bit more closely at this opinion. It is worthy of careful consideration when we look at what many of the unified State Bars have evolved into.
It should send shivers down the spine of the executive leadership of the District of Columbia Bar, which thinks its warrant is to invest in real estate as well as the legal profession.
Perhaps a court challenge to the D.C. Bar's building purchase is a worthy undertaking. (Mike Frisch)