Texas Bar Fees Don’t Compel Speech, Legal Ethics Attorneys Say

Mandatory dues required by the State Bar of Texas are constitutional, five lawyers who specialize in legal ethics and discipline told the Fifth Circuit Friday in a friend-of-the-court brief.

The dues support activities, including legislative and administrative advocacy, that are germane to regulating the legal profession and improving the quality of legal services, the lawyers said. The dues therefore meet the U.S. Supreme Court’s test for compliance with the First Amendment, they said in support of the State Bar’s board of directors.

The brief comes in an appeal by three lawyers who challenged the State Bar’s annual membership fee of