Move to Change Imposition of California Bar-Membership Requirement in the US District Court of the Northern District of California

The National Law Review covers a petition signed by CEI’s Center for Class Action Fairness to change requirments for admission to the US District Court of the Northern District of California.

A February 6, 2018 Press Release details a movement to remove the requirement for attorneys seeking admission to the US District Court of the Northern District of California, to be licensed and active members of the California State Bar. The petitioners contend that it is unfair to require many out-of-state attorneys to pay an annual fee to the California Bar Association and sit for the California bar.

A group of 11 organizations, 10 of which are non-profit organizations, alongside two additional attorneys, and is led by Public Citizen Litigation Group, filed a petition with the court. In this petition they request that the California State Bar requirement be eliminated. The organizations represent interests of a diverse group of professionals who find this requirement to be unnecessary, costly, and burdensome to any non-California admitted attorney wishing to file a case in the Northern District.

In their petition, the primary argument that the California bar membership requirement be stricken, is becasue it is unnecessary ‘for competent practice in Federal Court.’ The petitioner’s reasoning is that many cases presented at the District Court level are federal law issues,not state law issues. Therefore, they contend that non-California admitted attorneys have the knowledge to present their clients’ cases in good faith in these instances.

The petitioners include: Public Citizen Litigation Group, American Civil Liberties Union, Association of Corporate Counsel, Cato Institute, Center for Constitutional Litigation, Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Class Action Fairness, Consumers for a Responsive Legal System, Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council, Pacific Legal Foundation and Public Justice, and attorneys Robert S. Peck and John Vail.

Read the full article at The National Law Review.