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Nation’s top court declines to hear State Bar dues case

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to consider a case that challenged the requirement that Michigan attorneys belong to the State Bar and pay dues.

In Taylor v. Warnez, attorney Lucille Taylor claimed that requiring her to be a member of the bar association and pay dues violated her First Amendment rights to free speech and free association based on a 2018 Supreme Court decision.

The Supreme Court denied the plaintiff’s petition for a writ of certiorari on April 4.

The Supreme Court has denied petitions in seven cases challenging the constitutionality of integrated bars in the past two years.

The U.S. District Court of Western Michigan previously had rejected Taylor’s argument, explaining that the Supreme Court had already “squarely decided the issues” in favor of the State Bar in Lathrop v.
Donahue, 367 U.S. 820 (1961) and Keller v. State Bar of California, 496 U.S. 1 (1990).

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals also denied plaintiff’s claims, holding that “Lathrop and Keller remain good law.”

“We are pleased to see an end to this case,” said SBM President Dana Warnez. “As an integrated bar, Michigan attorneys are both licensed and self-governed through the State Bar of Michigan.”

She said the decision “ensures that the State Bar will continue to serve and protect the public, help the state’s justice system evolve and improve, and advance the legal profession.”

ABA Young Lawyers Division unveils Leadership Academy

The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is launching a Leadership Academy as part of an ongoing commitment to invest in the advancement of individuals historically marginalized and underrepresented in the legal profession.

The academy will provide participants with tangible skills, networking opportunities and hands-on training to promote long-term success as leaders in bar service and the profession.

Travel scholarships and mentorship opportunities will also help them network and become established in their new field.

Applications are being accepted now for the initial class of academy scholars and will close on April 15.

Applicants must be members in good standing with the ABA Young Lawyers Division. Those selected will be named to two-year terms beginning in August 2022.

General practice, solo and small firm practitioners, government, military and public sector lawyers and minorities in the profession are particularly encouraged to apply.

For more information or to apply for consideration, visit the ABA YLD Leadership Academy website at


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