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In re Petition of New Hampshire Bar Association

855 A.2d 450 (2004)

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In re Petition of New Hampshire Bar Association

New Hampshire Supreme Court

855 A.2d 450 (2004)

Facts

In 1968, for a three-year trial period, the New Hampshire Supreme Court unified the New Hampshire Bar Association (the bar) (plaintiff) for the first time. Unification of the bar meant that the court required all state lawyers to join the bar for the purpose of regulating members’ education, professional conduct, competence, and public service as well as the administration of justice. In 1972, the court made the bar unification permanent. In 2003, the New Hampshire General Court (i.e., the state legislature) enacted a statute that put the bar-membership requirement to a vote of the bar members, effectively giving the membership the power to veto or ratify the state supreme court’s decision to require lawyers to join the bar. The bar petitioned for review of the statute, seeking to have the statute declared unconstitutional.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Nadeau, J.)

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