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25 U.S.F. L. Rev. 681 (1990-1991)
Renovating the Bar after Keller v. State Bar of California: A Proposal for Strict Limits on Compulsory Fee Expenditure

handle is hein.journals/usflr25 and id is 693 raw text is: Note
Renovating the Bar after Keller v. State
Bar of California: A Proposal for Strict
Limits on Compulsory Fee Expenditure
THE CALIFORNIA STATE Constitution provides: Every person
admitted and licensed to practice law in this state ... shall be a mem-
ber of the State Bar except while holding office as a judge of a court of
record.1 Thus, the California Bar is an integrated bar.2 All attorneys
practicing law in the state must be active, dues-paying bar members as a
condition of their practice.3 Over thirty years ago, the United States
Supreme Court held that requiring fees be paid to an integrated bar as a
condition of practicing law in a state was constitutional notwithstanding
possible infringement on objecting lawyers' rights to free speech and as-
sociation under the first amendment of the United States Constitution.4
* Class of 1992.
1. CAL. CONsT. art. VI, § 9. The California Legislature established the Bar of Califor-
nia in 1927 through adoption of the State Bar Act. CAL. Bus. & PROF. CODE §§ 6000-6228
(West 1990). The Bar attained constitutional status in 1966 with the enactment of article VI,
§ 9 of the state constitution.
2. An integrated bar has two essential features:
(1) as a condition of licensure all lawyers are required to be dues-paying members of
a bar organization that (2) is created by court rule or legislation and therefore is a
public body .... Generally... unified bars are called state bars, in contrast to the
private voluntary-membership state bar associations that exist in all nonunified states
and coexist with state bars in [several states, but not in California].
Schneyer, The Incoherence of the Unified Bar Concept: Generalizing from the Wisconsin Case,
1983 AM. B. FOUND. RES. J. 1, 1-2 n.l.
3. See CAL. Bus. & PROF. CODE §§ 6125-6127 (West 1990) (provides criminal punish-
ment for practicing lawyers who are not active members).
4. Lathrop v. Donohue, 367 U.S. 820, 843 (1961). In Lathrop, plaintiffs alleged their
first amendment rights were violated by the Wisconsin Bar when it used their mandatory dues
to oppose legislation which they favored. Id. at 822. The Lathrop Court, however, did not
reach this specific challenge to the Bar's activities. Id. at 847. It held only that the state, to

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