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The State Bar did what?

By: dmc-admin//January 19, 2009//

The State Bar did what?

By: dmc-admin//January 19, 2009//

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Wisconsin now has the most permissive rules in the country when it comes to admitting out-of-state attorneys based on practice in other states.

Before, such attorneys could only be permitted to join the Wisconsin bar without taking the bar exam, if their native jurisdiction would permit a Wisconsin attorney to practice there, based on the same experience.

Since I no longer practice law, I don’t have a horse in this race. I don’t blame the Supreme Court for changing the rule; I don’t blame the Board of Bar Examiners for seeking the rule change.

But I expect the State Bar to oppose the change. If I did still practice law, I would be absolutely furious at the State Bar of Wisconsin for supporting, rather than opposing, the rule change.

One of the purposes of the Bar is “to safeguard the proper professional interests of the members of the bar.” SCR 10.02(2).

I suspect that, to most practicing attorneys, as opposed to the Bar’s leadership, this is the primary purpose of the organization. The rule change that the bar supported benefits only out-of-state attorneys. But for dues-paying bar members, there is no benefit; the rule change imposes only costs by benefiting the competition, without getting anything in return.

Personally, I’m a free-trader. I support the elimination of all tariffs on all goods imported from foreign countries, regardless of whether those countries impose tariffs on American goods.

So, when the government imposes massive tariffs on sugar, I disagree with that choice. I think its poor policy to make Americans pay twice as much for sugar as anyone else in the world to protect an inefficient American sugar industry, and I would support repeal.

However, if I was a sugar grower, I’d support the tariff. And if I paid annual dues to a trade group that was supposed “to safeguard the proper professional interests” of sugar growers, and that same trade group went to Congress seeking repeal of the tariff, I would be absolutely furious.


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