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12 B. Leader 20 (1986-1987)
Sunset for the Unified Bar

handle is hein.journals/barlead12 and id is 46 raw text is: Sunset for the Unified Bar?.

The unified bar's problem lies in its inherently confused legal and poitica status
which has trapped the institution in a destructive crossfire of vaues.

By Ted Schneyer
This year's hot spots in the unified
bar wars are New Hampshire and Cal-
The New Hampshire Bar Associa-
tion has been attacked on two fronts.
For the second straight year, legisla-
tors, displeased with the association
for lobbying against certain tort re-
form measures and in favor of judi-
cial pay increases, introduced a bill to
deunify the bar. The bill passed in one
House. And a bar member petitioned
the New Hampshire Supreme Court
to stop the association, as a unified
bar, from lobbying further on tort re-
form. The court held that the lobby-
ing did, indeed, exceed the bar's au-
thority. Petition of Chapman, 509
A.2nd 753 (N.H. 1986).
In California, a court in May found
unconstitutional the state bar's use of
compulsory dues to publicize its pres-
ident's speeches about judicial recall
elections and to finance a public edu-

cation program in support of the pres-
ident's position. Keller v. State Bar of
California, 226 Cal. Rptr. 448 (Cal.
App. 1986). Moreover, after several
legislators indicated dissatisfaction
with the state bar's management of
attorney discipline, the Legislature
refused for months to authorize the
bar to collect 1986 membership dues,
thereby necessitating a bar plea for
voluntary dues payments. The Legis-
lature eventually relented. But it also
ordered the state auditor general to
survey bar members for their views on
the effectiveness of bar operations,
the appropriate functions of the bar
and the appropriate use of mandatory
dues. State bar leaders were banned
from communicating with their mem-
bers about this plebiscite, even
though it could provide ammunition
for a future legislative campaign to
gain greater control of the bar's bud-
get process, limit the activities the bar
may fund with mandatory dues, strip
the bar of its role in attorney disci-
pline or even abolish the bar.

I call New Hampshire and Califor-
nia this year's hot spots because the
unified bar as an institution has prob-
lems that are neither fleeting in na-
ture nor purely local in significance.
The current tussles are only the latest
manifestations of a disease that has
been sapping the energies of unified
bars for more than a decade.
The author, in September, will join
the faculty of the University of Ari-
zona, in Tucson, as professor of law.
He formerly taught at the University
of Wisconsin Law School where, in
1976, he served as a reporter to a state
supreme court committee to study the
Wisconsin State Bar. Schneyer spent
the 1981-82 academic year as a visit-
ing scholar at the American BarFoun-
dation where he did research on the
unified bar's problems and prospects.
For a comprehensive statement of his
views, see The Incoherence of the
Unified Bar Concept,  1983 Ameri-
can Bar Foundation Research Jour-
nal 1-108.

20/September-October 1986

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