A blow to liberal fascism in Nebraska

The state's lawyers association was reeling Friday over a Nebraska Supreme Court ruling that promises big changes in the scope of the Nebraska State Bar Association.

The high court ruled that while attorneys still will be required to join the bar to practice law, they will pay dues only for activities that regulate the legal profession — such as administering the bar exam, continuing education programs and disciplining unethical attorneys.

Lawyers, the court ruled, should not be required to pay for bar activities and programs that are not related to that mission — such as lobbying the Legislature, providing help to lawyers struggling with mental illness or substance abuse and financial reimbursement to people who lost money due to an unethical lawyer.

That means Nebraska attorneys, beginning in 2014, will be required to pay only $98 in yearly dues compared to the current $335 annual fee.

Bar President Mike Fenner, a Creighton University law professor, said the ruling directs that all mandatory dues go to the Supreme Court, which established the bar association in 1937.

The organization, Fenner said, will now have to seek grants and voluntary contributions to keep all of its programs running.

“Under this opinion, we don't have any money other than what we can raise,” he said. “They pretty much changed everything. This was not done with a scalpel.”

The ruling came in response to a challenge mounted by State Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha, an attorney, to the mandatory membership requirement.

Lautenbaugh, who has also filed a federal lawsuit over the requirement, argued that lawyers' free speech rights were being violated by requiring them to pay dues when the bar association takes positions contrary to their beliefs on bills before the Legislature.
The bar was being run by liberals who were pushing the Democrat agenda.  I suspect it was trail lawyers who were pushing for programs that support liberals and the plaintiff's bar in particular.   The state should benefit from the change as Texas did after enacting tort reform.


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