Today, the U. S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Randy Boudreaux’s First Amendment challenge to the Louisiana State Bar Association’s (LSBA) compelled dues payments and mandatory bar membership can proceed. The Pelican Center for Justice, along with Dane Ciolino and the Goldwater Institute, represent Mr. Boudreaux in the case.

Writing for the Court, Judge Don Willett noted that while the U. S. Supreme Court has considered bar association challenges, it has not yet addressed whether an attorney can be compelled to join a bar that engages in activity unrelated to law practice. The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court’s dismissal of Randy’s claims and remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings. The Court also ruled in favor of the plaintiff in a similar case challenging Texas’s mandatory bar dues requirement.

We wrote about the LSBA’s use of member dues to advocate for or against bills unrelated to the practice of law earlier today. Since at least 2007, the Bar has used member dues to take positions on bills related to civics curriculum, midwives, tort reform, and other issues. These issues are unrelated to the practice of law and lawyers should not be forced to subsidize this activity as a condition of practicing their chosen profession.

A Happy Independence Day, indeed, for Louisiana lawyers!

You can read the full decision HERE