Utah Lawyer Calls State Bar Membership Unconstitutional – Courthouse News Service

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Utah Lawyer Calls State Bar Membership Unconstitutional – Courthouse News Service

A lawyer in Utah filed a federal lawsuit demanding that attorneys join the prosecution.

A lawyer in Utah filed a federal lawsuit against the state bar association. (Photo by Pixabay via Courthouse News)

(CN) – A Utah attorney sued the bar on Tuesday alleging it had issued mandatory fees on political and ideological statements she disagreed with, violating her First and Fourth Amendment rights.

The Utah State Bar requires membership to exercise the law and has 12,000 lawyers and judges.

Over the past year, the Bar Association has given its opinion on a number of issues, from rejecting a proposed tax on legal services to declaring courtrooms as “safe space”. According to Attorney Amy Pomeroy’s 30-page complaint filed in Utah federal court, these positions are based on an ideology that does not reflect her views.

“Nothing on the website indicates that there are lawyers like Plaintiff Pomeroy who deviate from the USB,” the complaint said. “The lack of safeguards by the USB to ensure that members do not have to pay for political and ideological speeches and other activities that are not relevant to regulating the legal profession or improving the quality of legal services violates plaintiff Amy Pomeroy, because she does not want to finance such activities in any amount. “

Annual fees are $ 425 plus a Client Security Fund contribution and may be subject to late fees of $ 100 to $ 200 if posted late.

The bar currently allows members to request a discount on their dues if they don’t want to fund public policy lobbying, but Pomeroy claimed the links provided to her were dead ends.

Pomeroy claims that prosecutors willingly provide information about what part of the funds is being spent on lobbying efforts and on what grounds.

“As our state continues to grow and change, we anticipate that there will be other important issues that will require the contribution of the bar,” the organization said in the January / February issue of the Utah Bar Journal.

In the March / April issue, Pomeroy claimed the magazine had an article, “Review of a Book Suggesting Criminal Sanctions, Including Detention,” which draws attention to sexual assault but focuses on protecting the facility in which they take place rather than the survivor of the attack ‘; and articles that invoke the concept of implicit bias. “

The Bar Association also opposed a bill that would have replaced the system of appointing judges with impartial elections, and instructed members and their clients to do the same.

Pomeroy is represented by Jacob Huebert from the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation.

The lawsuit calls on the court to declare compulsory bar membership unconstitutional, or at least to pivot the mandatory fees and cover Pomeroy’s legal fees.

The Gold Institute did not respond to inquiries prior to publication. The Utah State Bar declined to comment.

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