Spotlight: Passing on the Bar

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.

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2 responses to “Spotlight: Passing on the Bar”

  1. Lesley McKinney Avatar
    Lesley McKinney

    This has to happen. The Keller dues reduction is farcical and obviously comes nowhere near removing my assistance with their extremely partisan work.

    What does my “membership” get me? Required continuing education? Nope. That’s still about $300 a course. Professional texts? Nope. Still hundreds of dollars for electronic-only copies. Regulation of the profession? Again, no. We have SCOWIS and OLR for that. What else is there other than social events and reprehensible politics that results in the near doubling of my cost each year just to be permitted to work? Hell, they don’t even have to administer a bar exam to in-state grads.

    Imagine how fast the winds of mandatory association would shift if the Bar shifted its politics to Trump and conservative or libertarian causes.

  2. Dave Avatar
    Dave

    “What does my “membership” get me? Required continuing education? Nope. That’s still about $300 a course. Professional texts? Nope. Still hundreds of dollars for electronic-only copies. Regulation of the profession? Again, no. We have SCOWIS and OLR for that. What else is there other than social events and reprehensible politics that results in the near doubling of my cost each year just to be permitted to work? Hell, they don’t even have to administer a bar exam to in-state grads.”

    Gee…sounds like the same gripe us homeowners have with ‘building permits’…

    Join the Club…

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