Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,400+ case briefs...

United Transportation Union v. State Bar of Michigan

United States Supreme Court
401 U.S. 576 (1971)


The Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen (Brotherhood) developed a program to make affordable, competent legal counsel available to its members in the State of Michigan for claims under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act. The Brotherhood referred its members to attorneys from Chicago who had agreed to charge union clients no more than 25 percent of the total damages recovered inclusive of costs. The Brotherhood paid union representatives for their time and expenses in transporting injured union members to meet with attorneys. The Brotherhood later merged into the United Transportation Union (Union) (defendant). In 1959, the Michigan State Bar (State Bar) (plaintiff) petitioned for an injunction to prohibit the Union from engaging in certain activities related to its lawyer referral program. The case progressed to the Supreme Court of Michigan, which enjoined the Union from engaging in four particular activities. First, the order prohibited giving legal advice to union members. Second, the order disallowed giving the names of injured members to any attorney. Third, irrespective of the fact that the State Bar did not allege or prove any type of fee sharing, the order prohibited the Union from receiving monetary benefit from a legal referral. Finally, the order proscribed any limitations on the fees attorneys could charge. The Union petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review of the state court injunction.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Black, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 496,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 496,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,400 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial