Bill lets lawyers opt out of Michigan state bar

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - New legislation would make lawyers' membership in the State Bar of Michigan voluntary.

Attorneys licensed to practice law must be members of the bar and pay annual dues. But Republican Sen. Arlan Meekhof of West Olive says the bar association has become more "political" and not all lawyers agree with its actions.

Meekhof said Thursday that the bill's intent isn't to let attorneys' off the hook from fees for attorney discipline system and other bar functions. Conservatives first proposed a "right-to-work" concept for lawyers at a Republican policy conference in September.

The bar has upset some by urging mandatory disclosure of those financing judicial campaign ads.

Group Executive Director Janet Welch says a mandatory professional association "is a great no-cost benefit to Michigan's taxpayers."

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