US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
Boudreaux v. LA State Bar Assoc
Opinion Date: November 13, 2023
Judge: Jerry E. Smith
Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Labor & Employment Law, Legal Ethics
The LSBA is a mandatory bar association. Attorneys are required to join and pay fees to the organization as a condition of practicing law in the state. Plaintiff has been a member in good standing of the LSBA since 1996. Upset that he was forced to associate with and contribute to certain causes, Plaintiff sued the LSBA, the Louisiana Supreme Court, and its justices (collectively, “the LSBA”) in 2019. He claimed that compulsory membership in the LSBA violated his rights to free speech and association. Defendants moved to dismiss, and the district court granted the motion. Plaintiff appealed.
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the judgment in part and reversed it in part. The court remanded to the district court for a determination of the proper remedy. The court explained that although it takes no position on the proper injunctive or declaratory relief. The court also rendered a preliminary injunction preventing the LSBA from requiring Plaintiff to join or pay dues to the LSBA pending completion of the remedies phase. The court wrote that because the LSBA engages in non-germane speech, its mandatory membership policy violates Plaintiff’s rights to free speech and free association. Additionally, Plaintiff is entitled to a limited preliminary injunction for the same reasons as the plaintiffs in McDonald.
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