By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Should an attorney have to be a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin to practice law in the Badger State? That’s the driving question behind a First Amendment lawsuit filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty has filed an amicus — or friend of the court — brief in support of Schuyler File, a Waukesha private attorney who is in part represented by the Liberty Justice Center. File argues forcing Wisconsin attorneys to choose between practicing their profession or joining and funding an organization they don’t support violates First Amendment guarantees of free speech and association.
File pays over $250 a year in dues to the State Bar, according to the Liberty Justice Center. If he fails to pay those dues, he could be sent to jail for a year and fined $500 for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.