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Boudreaux v. La. State Bar Ass'n

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

January 13, 2020, Decided; January 13, 2020, Filed

CIVIL ACTION No. 19-11962 SECTION I

Opinion

ORDER & REASONS

Before the Court are defendants' motions to dismiss plaintiff Randy Boudreaux's ("Boudreaux") complaint [*2]  pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the following reasons, defendants' motions are granted in part as set forth herein.

On August 1, 2019, Boudreaux filed a complaint against the Louisiana State Bar Association ("LSBA"), the Louisiana Supreme Court, and its seven Justices, Bernette J. Johnson, Scott J. Crichton, James T. Genovese, Marcus R. Clark, Jefferson D. Hughes, III, John L. Weimer, and "John Doe," the individual who will succeed the Honorable Greg Guidry as an Associate Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court from Louisiana's First Judicial District (collectively, the "defendants").1 All of the Justices are sued in their official capacities.2

Boudreaux is a licensed attorney in the State of Louisiana and a member of the LSBA.3 Pursuant to Louisiana law, Boudreaux must remain a member of the LSBA and pay annual dues in order to continue practicing law in the State of Louisiana.4 See La. R.S. § 37:211, § 37:213; La. R. Prof. Cond. § 1.1(c).

Boudreaux opposes the laws, rules, and regulations that compel him to associate with the LSBA and pay mandatory dues, as well as the LSBA's use of his mandatory dues "to fund any amount of political or ideological speech, regardless of its viewpoint[.]"5 Boudreaux also contends that the LSBA [*3]  has insufficient safeguards "to ensure that members are not required to pay for political and ideological speech and other activities not germane to regulating the legal profession or improving the quality of legal services[.]"6

Boudreaux asserts three claims against defendants. Boudreaux's first claim alleges that compelled membership in the LSBA violates his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to free association and free speech.7 Boudreaux's second claim alleges that the collection and use of mandatory bar dues to subsidize the LSBA's speech, including its political and ideological speech, violates his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to free association and free speech, and is not necessary to regulate the legal profession or improve the quality of legal services in Louisiana.8 Boudreaux's third claim alleges that the LSBA violates his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by failing to provide adequate safeguards to ensure mandatory dues are not used for impermissible activities, i.e., activities that do not serve the purpose of improving the quality of legal services through the regulation of the legal profession, without providing members with advance notice.9

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2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5201 *; 2020 WL 137276

RANDY BOUDREAUX VERSUS LOUISIANA STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, ET AL.

Subsequent History: Appeal filed, 02/11/2020

CORE TERMS

mandatory, membership, injunctive, abstention, profession, declaratory, enjoin, notice, license, ideological, weighs, abstain, annual, concrete, imminent, redress, registration, safeguards, pertains, register, comity, speedy, expenditures, well-pleaded, quotation, restrain, taxation, germane, lawsuit, defray