Compliance » State Bar Authority Clipped By SCOTUS Decision

State Bar Authority Clipped By SCOTUS Decision

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March 2, 2015

In a case that is likely to have repercussions for state bar associations, the Supreme Court has ruled that state licensing boards composed of market participants are not automatically immune from antitrust laws. That term “composed of market participants” is crucial in the decision: Actions taken by state-established boards that function under the control of market participants are specifically deemed not to merit antitrust exception. The case, North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, involved a state-established board, a majority of whom were dentists, which was doing its best to put teeth-whitening services offered by non-dentists out of business. This summary post, by Osborn Maledon attorney Eric M. Fraser, notes that professional licensing boards now oversee a broad range of professionals, including doctors, interior designers, real estate agents, floral designers, hair braiders – and lawyers.

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