Lawyer Sues MI Bar Over Mandatory Dues

By on September 6, 2019

September 6, 2019

A Michigan attorney has sued the state bar over a requirement that all practicing attorneys join the bar and pay dues. Plaintiff Lucille Taylor was the chief legal counsel for former Michigan governor John Engler and was later a state of Michigan special assistant attorney general. The lawsuit was filed by The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a nonprofit that promotes free markets and limited government. The claim is that the membership requirement violates constitutional rights to free speech and free association, an argument being made in a number of lawsuits nationwide. Taylor says she isn’t antagonistic to the bar, but wants other people “similarly situated to be able to make that decision themselves.” A key issue for the courts will be whether the mandatory bar membership question should be governed by a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that barred labor unions from collecting dues from non-members to help pay for collective bargaining. The Mackinac lawyers say the 2018 precedent should apply, while the State Bar of Michigan says an analogy between state bars and unions is “fundamentally wrong” and that state bars regulate the profession “to better serve the public and save taxpayer dollars.”

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Detroit Free Press

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