Oregon lawyers allege mandatory Oregon State Bar membership is unconstitutional

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Dec 18, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. (Legal Newsline) – Two attorneys and a nonprofit group from Oregon is seeking a declaration from a court that the state's statute requiring mandatory membership in the Oregon State Bar is unconstitutional.

Daniel Z. Crowe, Lawrence K. Peterson, and Oregon Civil Liberties Attorneys filed a complaint on Dec. 13 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon Portland, Division against Oregon State Bar, Oregon State Bar Board of Governors, et al. citing the First and 14th Amendments.

According to the complaint, the state of Oregon requires attorneys to join and pay fees to the Oregon State Bar to practice law in the state. The plaintiffs allege the Bar has used mandatory fees to fund political speech without members' consent in advance.

The plaintiffs allege Oregon's statute to require them to become Bar members is unconstitutional and violates their right to freedom of association.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek declaratory and injunctive relief, award of damages, costs, attorneys' fees, other expenses, and such additional relief as may be just and proper. They are represented by Luke D. Miller of Military Disability Lawyer LLC in Salem, Oregon.

U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Portland Division case number 3:18-cv-02139-AC

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Military Disability Lawyer, LLC U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon Portland Division

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