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Lawsuit Challenges Mandatory Dues for Michigan Attorneys

Lawsuit Challenges Mandatory Dues for Michigan Attorneys Photo: WDIO

Associated Press
Created: August 25, 2019 11:50 AM

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A lawsuit challenges Michigan's requirement that lawyers pay full dues to the State Bar, alleging it violates their constitutional rights to free speech and association in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that prohibits mandatory union fees from being assessed on public workers.
    
The suit was filed last week by the conservative Mackinac Center Legal Foundation on behalf of Lucille Taylor. She was former Gov. John Engler's chief legal counsel.
    
She says the bar's annual $315 fee goes to legitimate purposes such as disciplining attorneys. But the remaining portion, she says, can be spent by the public body on political speech and to back policy positions that members may oppose.
    
The Michigan bar says the suit is the latest of several to wrongly equate state bars with unions.

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